Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
July 2007

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia




Detroit, a city in the state of Michigan, in the. United States, on the west bank of the Detroit river, 6 miles from lake St. Clair and 14 miles from lake Erie. It was founded in 1701 by Antoine de La Mothe Cadillac, a French officer who was sent to establish here a fur-trading post. The post, which had a permanent garrison, became an important link in the chain of western forts built by the French, and was a supply centre for the Indian allies of the French. It was handed over to the British in 1760, and in 1763 it was besieged by the Indians under Pontiac from May 9 to October 12, when the British garrison under Major Gladwyn was relieved. During the early years of British rule, it was an important centre of the British fur-trade. By the Peace of Paris in 1783 it was ceded, with other western lake-posts, to the Americans; but it was not actually surrendered until 1796. Then many of its inhabitants moved to the Canadian side of the Detroit river. It was captured, with its garrison, by General Isaac Brock in 1812; but was evacuated by the British in the autumn of that year, and has remained American territory from that day to this. It has become one of the largest and most prosperous of American cities, and is the site of many important industries, notably that of the manufacture of automobiles. Pop. about 1,573,985. Detroit is an anglicized form of the French word détroit (strait or narrows).

Source: W. Stewart WALLACE, The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. II, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 411p., p. 203.


© 2007 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College