Following the Revolutionary War, the 1783 Treaty of Paris ceded Mackinac Island to the colonies. However, the British did not evacuate Fort Mackinac for St. Joseph Island until 13 years later, in 1796.
On September 1, 1796, British Lieutenant Andrew Foster impatiently signed his name to the descriptive inventory of Fort Mackinac’s buildings and defensive works. Completing that inventory and lowering the Union Jack were his final acts as the fort’s commander.
The American Major Henry Burbeck, who had just arrived from Detroit, completed the transfer by accepting the inventory and ordering U.S. soldiers to raise the American flag over the fort. At that moment, Mackinac Island finally became part of the United States. The British soldiers withdrew to St. Joseph Island.
For more information see Mackinac Island: Historic Frontier, Vacation Resort, Timeless Wonderland by Pamela and Thomas M. Piljac.
Source : Michigan Historical Calendar, courtesy of the Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University.