13 September 2013

When Detroit Was (Almost) Wholly French

Sept. 13, 1759, on the heights of Abraham, the fate of French power on this continent was adversely decided, and on November 29, 1760, the French commandant surrendered Detroit and Michigan to Major Rogers, the representative of British government, and from that time until the peace of 1783 Michigan remained a part of British America.

Until 1760 such white population as there was in Michigan was wholly French, and consisted of Jesuit missionaries, fur traders, the hunters, or couriers des bois, and a few soldiers.  Between 1760 and 1796 this population was only slightly modified. The French soldiers gave place to English and the traders became largely Scotch and to some extent Irish; and a rural population began to gather about Detroit and extend along the river front from Lake Erie to Lake St Clair.

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