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The Bark Covered House
or, Back in the Woods Again


Publisher's Preface

IN these days when every man's hand seems turned against the business man; when the government of which he is the main taxable support uses his own money to try to wreck his business; when the government which is sworn to uphold the Constitution and enforce the law tries to wreck the Constitution and encourages and supports those who defiantly violate the law of the land; in these days when history is in the making (perhaps sad history for this great republic), even then we find the habit and traditions of thirty-five Christmases turning our minds, as we choose the subject for the next volume, to narratives of those pioneer days when freedom was a treasured possession and self-reliance a common practice.

With unintentional irony, our choice this year is The Bark Covered House, a narrative of pioneer life in Michigan in 1834, the scene of which is laid almost on the present site of Dearborn, Michigan. The clearing of the woods, the fishing and the hunting in an attempt to keep body and soul together, and the early agricultural endeavor of typical pioneers—hearty, industrious, self-sufficient, and finally prosperous—are all portrayed practically on the site of what is today the great Ford Motor Company.

THE PUBLISHERS Christmas, 1937.

Contents

Historical Introduction and Reproduction of Original Title Page
Prefatory Note, Key and Preface
Chapter 1. Talking of Michigan
Chapter 2. Disagreeable Music
Chapter 3. How We Got Our Sweet, and the History of My First Pig
Chapter 4. Our Second House and First Apple Trees
Chapter 5. The Jug of Whisky and Temperance Meeting
Chapter 6. How We Found Our Cattle
Chapter 7. Trouble Came on the Wing
Chapter 8. Hard Times for Us in Michigan, 1836-7
Chapter 9. A Summer Hunt
Chapter 10. How We Got Into Trouble One Night and I Scared
Chapter 11. The Indians Visit Us—Their Strange and Peculiar Ways
Chapter 12. The Inside of Our House—A Picture from Memory
Chapter 13. Metheglin; or, the Detected Drink
Chapter 14. Our Road—How I Was Wounded
Chapter 15. Prospect of War—A.D. 1835
Chapter 16. Fishing and Boating
Chapter 17. How I Got in Trouble Riding in a Canoe
Chapter 18. Our Clearing and the First Railroad Cars in 1838
Chapter 19. Trees
Chapter 20. Drawing Cord-wood—How the Railroad Was Built—The Steam Whistle
Chapter 21. How I Hunted and We Paid the Mortgage
Chapter 22. Bear Hunt of 1842
Chapter 23. Grandfather's Powder Horn—War with Pirates
Chapter 24. Light Begins to Dawn
Chapter 25. Making a Bargain
Chapter 26. How I Commenced for Myself—Father's old Farm in 1843
Chapter 27. Thoughts in Connection with Father and Early Pioneer Life
Chapter 28. Father's New House and Its Situation—His Children Visit Him
Chapter 29. My Watch Lost and Visit to Canada
Chapter 30. Mother's Visit to the East—1861
Chapter 31. Leaving New York City for Home


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