1701 : Antoine Laumet de la Mothe Cadillac Founds Detroit

July 24, 2024 all-day

Cadillac Arrives at the Site of Detroit

The Peace Treaty signed in August of 1701 between the French and the Iroquois removed what had been a major obstacle to the expansion of French influence in the Great Lakes region. Even before the treaty was formally concluded, Cadillac and his party of soldiers and workmen were on their way to the confluence of Lakes Erie and Huron, with plans to establish a fort and permanent settlement. The French hoped to head off a British attempt to do likewise, thus gaining strategic access to and control of the upper Great Lakes through Le Detroit, or “the strait.”

No photo description available.

Fort Ponchartrain, which was located roughly on the site of the present-day Civic Center, was named for Louis XIV’s chief minister, Count Ponchartrain, a major supporter of French expansion into the western lands.

Source : Michigan Historical Calendar, courtesy of Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University.

For more information, see History of Detroit, 1701-2001

Also see A History of Detroit, courtesy of the Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University.

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