Under bombardment by British forces across the Detroit River, and fearing a massacre by the Indians accompaning General Brock’s troops, General William Hull surrenders Detroit on this day during the war of 1812. General Hull would be court-martialed for surrendering the city, cowardice, treason, and sentenced to death, but President James Madison would pardon him due to his services during the Revolutionary War.
One sad footnote: William Macomb and 29 other city leaders were shipped to Montreal to await ransom after the fall of Detroit. In this absence, British-allied Indian tribes ran amok. William’s young wife, who had just given birth, was forced out of her Grosse Ile home. The mansion burned, and she fled through the woods into the city; she and the infant shortly died of exposure.
Michigan Every Day.
Bill Loomis, “The War of 1812: Bombs over Detroit”, Detroit News, August 5, 2012.
War of 1812 : Detroit Showdown, HistoryNet
“Michigan at War: The Struggle for the Old Northwest, 1812-1815,” a documentary produced by the Michigan Commission on the Commemoration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, has been posted for free access on MI Streamnet through a partnership with Wayne Regional Educational Services Agency.
For the rest of the story, see Mickey Lyons, “Macomb’s Irish Legacy : Exploring the story behind a familiar statue, and why the man had a Michigan county named after him”, Hour Detroit, March 3, 2015.