Detroit

The site that would become the city of Detroit, a flat plain on the Detroit River, was probably first inhabited around 6000 b.c.e. These early inhabitants had verifiable contact with both the Copper People and the Mound Builders, who left three small mounds in the area. By 1600, the region was home to the Huron, Ottawa, Chippewa, Fox, Sac, Miami, and Potawatomie tribes, but warfare between the Huron and the five Iroquois nations had devastated several settlements and severely reduced the population by the time of European contact along the river. The first Europeans to see Detroit were probably French coureurs de bois, voyageurs seeking new sources of furs. In 1625, French explorer and interpreter ‰tienne Br»l mapped Lake Erie from Georgian Bay on the orders of Samuel de Champlain. Other French explorers continued to pass by the area en route to Lake Erie from Sault Sainte Marie, and named it literally the strait Detroit. Permanent settlement came in 1701, when Antoine Laumet de Lamothe Cadillac convinced Louis XIV that the region needed a chain of fortifications in the fur trading lands, both to keep out the British and to exert French control over the native peoples in the area. Cadillac called the area Detroit du Pontchartrain, although the du Pontchartrain was soon dropped from common use. Cadillac brought over his own wife and encouraged the establishment of permanent farms and a Roman Catholic parish, St. Anne’s, which is the second-oldest continuously functioning parish in the United States. Protected by a log stockade, the French settlers farmed winter wheat, oats, and corn, and they traded in beaver, muskrat, and deerskins. While they initially lived on narrow ribbon land allotments along the river, over time, the settlement developed orchards that produced a well-known brandy. Because of its remote location, Detroit was not involved in the French and Indian War, but surrendered to British general Jeffery Amherst on September 8, 1760, under the terms of Montreal’s capitulation. British settlers and agents of the British army did not arrive in Detroit to take possession until 1761, after which the fort and its inhabitants were prime targets in the rebellion of Chief Pontiac and his supporters against the British. Major Henry Gladwin of the 80th Light Foot Regiment defended the settlement against a two-month siege, which ended on October 31, 1763. Despite the slaughter at Bloody Run of the relief force sent to aid Detroit, it was the only British fort in the region that did not fall to Pontiac during the war. During the American Revolution, Detroit was a convenient and strategic launching point for British raids into Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and New York. Detroit’s lieutenant governor, Henry Hamilton, and his military commander, Captain Richard Lernoult, fearing attack from George Rogers Clark, rebuilt the stockade in the eighteenth-century snowflake pattern popularized by Vauban and engineered in Detroit by Captain Henry Bird. Other partisan activities, particularly among the loyalist Iroquois tribes, gained Hamilton the reputation of a hair-buyer, or giver of bounties on scalps, but it is probably undeserved American propaganda. Although Detroit was given by treaty to the United States in 1783, it remained in British hands as a Native American trading center and was so attached to British Canada that it elected two members to the provincial council in 1791. In 1794, the battle of Fallen Timbers placed American authority close enough to Detroit to finally claim the city and the surrounding region for the United States, although the British garrison withdrew across the straits to Fort Malden only in 1796. The border between the two remained a sore point, with the British encouraging runaway slaves to escape to Canada, and the British commander of the Great Lakes, Commodore Alexander Grant, refusing to move from his house at Grosse Point, which had become American territory, until his death in 1813. In 1805, a catastrophic fire destroyed most of the original French structures in Detroit. But the disaster allowed the town to be rebuilt largely in brick, on a system of plazas copied from Pierre L’Enfant’s plan for the U.S. capital. The War of 1812 saw Detroit used as a natural base for attacks on Fort Malden. In a dramatic turn of events, cannonades from the British caused Governor William Hill to surrender Detroit to the British, for which he was later court-martialed. The British occupation was extremely uncomfortable for the people of Detroit, who suffered food shortages and martial law. This situation lasted until Commodore Perry’s victory on the Great Lakes in September 1813 and the defeat of British land forces at the Battle of the Thames. In the postwar opening of the Old Northwest, Detroit became the capital of the Territory of Michigan and a gateway for westbound travelers. It was aggressively advertised to settlers after the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825, and steamboat travel and advantageous land acts soon made Detroit a growing American city. Margaret Sankey See also: Fortifications; French; French and Indian War; Pontiac. Bibliography Bald, F. Clever. Detroit’s First American Decade, 1796 1805. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1948. Mason, Philip P. Detroit, Ft. Lernoult and the American Revolution. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 1964. Peckham, Henry Howard. Pontiac and the Indian Uprising. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 1994. Russell, Nelson Vance. The British Regime in Michigan and the Old Northwest, 1760 1796. Northfield, MN: Carleton College Press, 1939. Woodford, Arthur. This Is Detroit: 1701 2001. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 2001. Woodford, Frank, and Arthur Woodford. All Our Yesterdays. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 1969. Why the GOP cares about Detroit – POLITICO Mapq8Detroit Data Center Colocation Michigan Data Centers 365 Data … Mapq8It Follows: How the new movie uses Detroit to explore the horror … Mapq8

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