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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

Landing of Cadillac.

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.

Detroit 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.” The French surrendered Detroit 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. When Pontiac should rise and present the green side of a belt, the massacre of the garrison was to begin. Gladwin 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 [109]

A public square in Detroit, showing the soldiers and sailors' monument.

council. 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.

General Amherst 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. Dalzell 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. Pontiac had already summoned Gladwin to surrender; now Dalzell proposed to make a sortie and attack the besieging Indians. Gladwin 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. Pontiac 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. Dalzell was slain while trying to carry off some of the wounded, and his scalp became an Indian's trophy. Pontiac 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 of 1812-15. 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. Tecumseh 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. The Indians were pleased, and, at [110] a subsequent interview with Tecumseh and the other chiefs, they assured him that the Indians would give him all their strength in the undertaking. Then Brock marched from Malden to Sandwich, 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 works. Hull would not allow any demonstrations against the enemy, and the latter prepared for assault without any molestation. Hull 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. Hull was hemmed in on every side; his provisions were scarce, and he saw no chance of receiving any from Ohio. He knew

A business Street in Detroit.

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. When Brock'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. Hull'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 [111] defence. The British 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.” General Hull 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. Hull 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.

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