[N.p. after 1831]. Pencil sketch on cardstock, 8 x 10 inches. Lower margin titled in pencil, "Grand Rapids in 1831." Initialed lower right, "A.E.C.," and inscribed lower left, "Drawn by Rev. J. Booth." Minor stain along left margin, partially extending into sketch, and lower right corner, just touching bottom right corner of sketch, some creasing, small chip to lower right corner. Good. Item #WRCAM53481
A detailed rendering of Grand Rapids as Baptist Missionary Reverend John Booth remembered it in 1831, executed after a pencil sketch produced by him housed at the Grand Rapids Public Library. The drawing, initialed by the artist "A.E.C." at lower right, shows an Indian camp in the foreground, including a wigwam, shelter, and canoe, with three buildings further downriver representing the fur trading post of Louis Campau, an important figure in the early settlement of Grand Rapids as well as Saginaw. Across the Grand River, referred to as Owashtanong by the Indians, a cluster of buildings used by the Baptist mission can be seen. The single cabin on the small hill to the left of the mission belonged to Ottawa Chief Noonday. Note the island at far left, which was the first of four islands that were subsequently filled in and made part of the Grand River's east bank. English native John Booth moved to the United States as a young boy. He served as a pastor for churches in Pennsylvania and New Jersey before venturing to Michigan Territory in 1829, where he would remain for the next forty years. In 1831, Reverend Booth assisted at the small mission on the Grand River for a brief amount of time, later producing his pencil sketch of the area for his family. The artist of this study of Booth's sketch is unknown to us. An interesting view of early 19th-century Michigan, including a Native American encampment.