• UNIT-Local History Component
    Title:  John Johnston Builds His Home
    Focus:  John Johnston, an Englishman, was granted land in Sault Ste. Marie for the fur trading.
    Connection: Remember when we talked about how this area came under British control.  Today we are going to talk about one of the early English settlers in this area.

    Teaching Point:               

    Fur trader John Johnston, an Irishman, moved to the Sault in 1793 with his Chippewa wife Ozhahguscodaywayquay.

                             a.  John Johnston was given a large tract of land at the Sault to start a fur trade business   (1792).

                            b.  Johnston married Ozhahguscodaywayquay daughter of Waubojeeg.

                            c.  The Johnstons had eight children, who called their mother Neengay (My Mother).

                            d.  The Johnston home was a favorite stop for fur traders and other visitors.

    Teacher Resources:  John Johnston came to North America from Ireland in 1790, and soon found his way to the northern Great Lakes, to pursue his fortune in the fur-trading business. It is interesting to note that John Jacob Astor also arrived from Europe, only seven years before Johnston, and became America’s first millionaire — much of his wealth having been gained from his American Fur Company (which was centered on Mackinac Island)!  So Johnston’s instincts were apparently good, regarding the opportunities. He married a Chippewa woman, which was a common way for a white man to gain connections that allowed him to form trading relationships. He and his wife raised eight children in Sault Ste. Marie. The children had one foot in the “European” world, and the other in the Chippewa world. Several became interpreters. The Johnston home on the banks of the St. Marys River, below the rapids, soon became well-known to those who traveled in the area, since John and his wife Susan were hospitable, and their home was something of an outpost of refinement when the Sault was on the edge of “civilization.” 

    Active Engagement: Color Book with descriptive text found on pages 16-17student pages.

    Share:  With a partner summarize what you learned today about John Johnston.  Why did he take a Native American wife?



Last Modified on February 14, 2018