French in Michigan cover
French in Michigan
Compared to other nationalities, few French have immigrated to the United States, and the state of Michigan is no exception in that regard. Although the French came in small numbers, those who did settle in or pass through Michigan played important roles as either permanent residents or visitors.
The colonial French served as explorers, soldiers, missionaries, fur traders, and colonists. Later, French priests and nuns were influential in promoting Catholicism in the state and in developing schools and hospitals. Father Gabriel Richard fled the violence of the French Revolution and became a prominent and influential citizen of the state as a U.S. Congressman and one of the founders of the University of Michigan. French observers of Michigan life included Alexis de Tocqueville. French entrepreneurs opened copper mines and a variety of service-oriented businesses. Louis Fasquelle became the first foreign-language instructor at the University of Michigan, and François A. Artault introduced photography to the Upper Peninsula. As pioneers of the early automobile, the French made a major contribution to the language used in auto manufacturing.
Publication Date: March 1st, 2016
106 pages| 5.5 in x 8.5 in
Russell M. Magnaghi taught at Northern Michigan University, where he served as head of the history department and director of the Center for Upper Peninsula Studies.  

Early Praise

“Professor Magnaghi’s research is always meticulous, comprehensive and complete. He has a fine eye for a good story combined with the uncanny ability to tease out facts and create a fine narrative from hard-to-find evidence. In this volume he chronicles the ongoing experiences of the first Europeans to explore and settle in Michigan. This is an exciting human drama well told.”
Robert Archibald, retired President, Missouri History Museum and Professor of History, Northern Michigan University
“French in Michigan illuminates the often overlooked social, cultural, and technological contributions French immigrants have shared with Michigan. Professor Emeritus Russell Magnaghi’s work traces these cultural exchanges from first contacts through the contemporary. It is a valuable contribution to students and scholars of Michigan’s history and heritage.”
Gabe Logan, PhD, Director, Center for Upper Peninsula Studies, Northern Michigan University

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