A city, port of entry, metropolis of Michigan
, and county seat of Wayne county
; on the Detroit River
, 7 miles from Lake St. Clair
, and about 18 miles from Lake Erie
It is noted for the variety and extent of its manufactures and for its large traffic on the Great Lakes
For the defence of the harbor and city the federal government is constructing Fort Wayne
, a short distance below the city, which is designed to be the
strongest American fortification on the northern frontier.
In 1900 the city had an assessed property valuation of $244,371,550, owned unencumbered property of a market value of $21,684,539, and had a net general debt of $3,810,568, and a water debt of $1,033,000. The population in 1890 was 205,876; in 1900, 285,704.
was first settled by Antoine Cadillac
, July 24, 1701, with fifty soldiers and fifty artisans and traders.
Three years later the first white child, a daughter of Cadillac
, was baptized in the place, which was called by the French
“La Ville d'etroit.”
to the English
, under Maj. Robert Rodgers
, Nov. 29, 1700.
The tragedy of Pontiac
's War opened in Detroit
Under pretext of holding a friendly council with Major Gladwin
, commander of the fort, the wily chief entered it in May, 1763, with about 300 warriors, each carrying a knife, tomahawk, and short gun under his blanket.
should rise and present the green side of a belt, the massacre of the garrison was to begin.
was warned of the plot the day before by a friendly Indian, and the calamity was averted by the appointment of another day for the
A public square in Detroit, showing the soldiers and sailors' monument.|
When the Indians retired, the gates of the fort were closed upon them, and, knowing the reason, Pontiac
began a siege that lasted a year.
hastily collected a small body in the East
for the relief of Detroit
and reinforcement of Fort Niagara
, and sent them under the command of Captain Dalzell
, one of his aides.
left reinforcements at Niagara
, and proceeded to Detroit
with the remainder of his troops and provisions in a vessel that arrived on the evening of July 30.
They succeeded in entering the fort with provisions.
had already summoned Gladwin
to surrender; now Dalzell
proposed to make a sortie and attack the besieging Indians
thought it would be imprudent, but Dalzell
persisted, and before daylight on the morning of July 31 he sallied out with 240 chosen men to attack the Indians who lay about a mile up the river.
was on the alert, and, at a small stream on the northern verge of Detroit
, the English
, furiously assailed by the Indians, were forced to make a precipitate retreat in the darkness, leaving twenty of their comrades killed and forty-two wounded on the border of the brook, which has ever since been called Bloody Run
was slain while trying to carry off some of the wounded, and his scalp became an Indian's trophy.
continued the siege of Detroit
until the arrival of Colonel Bradstreet
in May, 1764.
The city was the scene of disastrous operations in the early part of the War
In August, 1812, General Brock
, governor of Upper Canada
, with a few regulars and 300 militia, hastened to Amherstburg
to assist in turning back the invaders of Canada
He arrived there on the night of Aug. 13.
and his Indian warriors were on an island opposite Fort Malden.
On the following morning Brock
held a conference with the Indians (of whom about 1,000 were present), telling them he had come to assist in driving the Americans
from their rightful hunting-grounds north of the Ohio
were pleased, and, at
a subsequent interview with Tecumseh
and the other chiefs, they assured him that the Indians would give him all their strength in the undertaking.
marched from Malden
, which the Americans
had deserted, and a battery was planted opposite Detroit
, which commanded the fort there.
The American artillerists begged permission to open fire upon it, and Captain Snelling
asked the privilege of going over in the night to capture the British
would not allow any demonstrations against the enemy, and the latter prepared for assault without any molestation.
was much deceived by letters intended to be intercepted, showing preparations for large and immediate reinforcements to Brock
's army; and he had also been deceived into the belief that a large portion of the followers of the latter, who were only militia, were regulars.
The militia had been dressed in scarlet uniforms, and were paraded so as to show treble their real number.
was hemmed in on every side; his provisions were scarce, and he saw no chance of receiving any from Ohio
that if the Indians were exasperated and the fort should be taken there would be a general massacre of the garrison and the inhabitants, and his kindness of heart and growing caution, incident to old age, made him really timid and fearful.
's preparations for attack were completed (on the 15th), he sent a summons to Hull
for an unconditional surrender of the post.
In that demand was a covert threat of letting loose the bloodthirsty Indians
in case of resistance.
's whole effective force at that time did not exceed 1,000 men. The fort was thronged with trembling women and children and decrepit old men of the village and surrounding country, who had fled to it for protection from the Indians.
He kept the flag that bore the summons waiting fully two hours, for his innate bravery and patriotism bade him refuse and fight, while his fear of dreadful consequences to his army and the people bade him surrender.
His troops were confident in their ability to successfully confront the enemy, and he finally refused compliance with the demand.
Active preparations were then made for
opened a cannonade and bombardment from their battery, which was kept up until near midnight. The firing was returned with spirit; but Hull
would listen to no suggestion for the erection of a battery at Spring Wells
to oppose the enemy if they should attempt to cross the river.
Early on the morning of the 16th they crossed and landed unmolested; and as they moved towards the fort, in single column, Tecumseh
and his Indians
, 700 strong, who had crossed 2 miles below during the night, took position in the woods on their left as flankers, while the right was protested by the guns of the Queen Charlotte
, in the river.
They had approached to a point within 500 yards of the American
line, when Hull
sent a peremptory order for the soldiers to retreat within the already overcrowded fort.
The infuriated soldiers reluctantly obeyed; and while the enemy were preparing to storm the fort, Hull
, without consulting any of his officers, hoisted a white flag, and a capitulation for a surrender was soon agreed upon.
The surrender took place at noon, Aug. 16, 1812.
The fort, garrison, army, and the Territory of Michigan
were ineluded in the terms of surrender.
The spoils of victory for the British
were 2,500 stand of arms, twenty-five iron and eight brass pieces of ordnance, forty barrels of gunpowder, a, stand of colors, a great quantity of military stores, and the armed brig John Adams
. One of the brass cannon bore the following inscription: “Taken at Saratoga
on the 17th of October, 1777.”
and his fellow-captives were sent first to Fort George
and then to Montreal
, where they arrived Sept. 6, when they were paroled, and returned to their homes.
was tried for treason and cowardice, and sentended to be shot, but was pardoned by the President
His character has since been fully vindicated.
See Hull, William.