Detroit History Timeline
|1535||Jacques Cartier discovers the St. Lawrence River and sails up it to what is now Montreal, claiming Canada for France.|
|1600||First certain record of inhabitants in the Detroit area.|
|1608||a) Samuel de Champlain founds Quebec. French and Hurons, who have been at war with Iroquois, develop peaceful relationship. Iroquois thus develop a hatred for the French settlers.|
|1608||b) Samuel de Champlain is named governor of New France (Montreal). Settlement begins.|
|1610||Samuel de Champlain is believed by some to have been in the Detroit area. If true, he is the first known non-Native American to see the site of Detroit.|
|1615||French missionaries establish the Huron Mission at Georgian Bay.|
|1618||Jean Nicolet is sent from Canada to the Straits of Mackinac where he is believed to be the first European to visit what is now Michigan.|
|1625 - 1626|
|1627||Cardinal Richelieu reorganizes Canada making it closed to all but Catholics.|
|1634||Jean Nicolet, looking for a water route to the Pacific, lands in what is now Green Bay in Lake Michigan.|
|1649||Huron Mission at Georgian Bay is attacked by Iroquois. Mission is abandoned.|
Antoine Laumet (Cadillac) is born in St. Nicholas de la Grave, in the Department of Tarn and Garonne, France.
|1668||Father Jacques Marquette founds Sault Ste. Marie. It is considered the first permanent settlement in present day Michigan.|
September - Adrien Joliet (French explorer) is said to have been the first white (non-Native) man to have seen the area now known as Detroit. He is led by an Iroquois prisoner from Sault Ste. Marie. They travel Lake Huron, the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River to Lake Erie. They run into LaSalle
|1670||(Year was not 1670 -- but in the 1670's) Louis de Buade, Comte de Frontenac, is made Governor of New France|
Fathers Dollier and Galinee enter Detroit River after wintering in present day Port Dover, Ontario. They are said to have found a rock formation shaped like a human figure near the mouth of the Rouge River. It had been decorated and made an idol by the Native Americans. The priests were so offended, they destroyed the landmark with their hatchets and dumped the pieces out in the river before continuing on to Sault Ste. Marie, Montreal and Quebec.
|1671||Father Jacques Marquette founds Mission of Point St. Ignace on the northern shore of the Straits of Mackinac.|
Simon Daumont, Sieur de St. Lusson represents the French King at a celebration marking 'formal' French possession of the territory adjoining the Great Lakes and all the land extending west and south to the oceans. 2,000 Native Americans are present. Father Allouez speaks at the ceremony.
Louis Joliet (brother of Adrien) and Father Jacques Marquette are sent by the French government to explore the Mississippi River. (Some sources say date was 5/29/1673)
Joliet and Marquette discover the mouth of the Mississippi.
|1674||Robert Cavalier, Sieur de La Salle is given command of Fort Frontenac.|
La Salle is given permission by King Louis to continue the explorations of Joliet and Marquette.
|1679||LaSalle builds Fort Miami at the mouth of the St. Joseph River. He also builds Fort Creve Coeur near present day La Salle, Illinois.|
|1679||Robert Cavalier, Sieur de LaSalle|
Friar Louis Hennepin (Recollet) sees Detroit. Reports evidence that Jesuit missionaries and coureurs-de-bois have been there. The party is led by Robert Cavalier Sieur de La Salle. Together, they give Lake Ste. Claire (St. Clair) its name. As travel in the area increases, the area becomes known as le Detroit (the strait).
La Salle and his crew sail the Griffon to the Detroit River (at or near the future site of Detroit) and pick up his lieutenant, Henry de Tony, who was sent ahead to find another party. One of La Salle's travel companions, Father Louis Hennepin, names Lake St. Clair (St. Clairs feast day is August 11).
|1682||Frontenac is recalled to France because of problematic relations with Jesuits and other missionaries regarding trade practices with Natives. (Woodford) La Barre takes his place. (Burton)|
|1682||LaSalle builds Fort St. Louis at present day Starved Rock in Illinois|
|1684 - 1698||Spring - Frontenac is once again Governor of New France.|
|1686||Daniel Greysolon, Sieur Duluth builds Fort St. Joseph (present day Port Huron) at the head of the St. Clair river to try to keep the British out of the upper lakes|
|1687||La Salle is killed by members of his own crew|
|1688||Fort St. Joseph is abandoned|
|1689||Cadillac is called to France to help the court in planning a sea attack against New England.|
|1689||Frontenac is sent back to New France.|
|1689 - 1697||Iroquois war|
|1690||Fort de Buade is built at Michilimackinac (St. Ignace?). It is the most important settlement in the west. The Commandant there supervises all other French settlements. The superior of the western missions is headquartered nearby at the Mission of St. Ignace.|
|1691||A second Fort St. Joseph is built 25 miles up the St. Joseph river from Fort Miami (in present day Niles).|
|1694 - 1698||Cadillac is given command of Fort de Buade (some sources say Michilimackinac) and thus command of all posts in the west.|
|1696||Louis XIV commands all non-Jesuit French to leave the upper regions after reports that they are|
|1698||Cadillac goes to court of Louis XIV and proposes to make Detroit the main trading post in the area.|
|1698||Forts de Buade and St. Joseph are abandoned|
|1698||Frontenac dies. Chevalier Hector de Callieres becomes Governor of New France.|
|1700||Cadillac writes a letter to the French court detailing his plans for a new settlement (Detroit).|
|1701||(August) The Treaty of Montreal is signed ending the war with the Iroquois.|
Cadillac returns to Quebec from France having gotten the King's permission to establish a settlement in the Detroit area. The grant hasn't been made formal yet.
Quebec - Governor of New France (Hector Louis de Callieres) meets with Antoine Laumet de la Mothe Cadillac, Sieur de Douaguet and Mont Desert; Alphonse de Tonty; and others to celebrate the granting of commission of Commandant of 15 square acres of his choice along the Detroit River to Cadillac by Count Ponchartrain, the Minister of Marine under Louis XIV.
Cadillac sets sail from Montreal to found a new settlement in the lower region. He takes with him 25 canoes, 2 priests, 50 soldiers, 50 coureurs de bois, 100 Native Americans, and his 2nd in command, Alphonse di Tonty.
Cadillac and party reach the Detroit River. They spend the night on Grosse Ile
A crop of winter wheat is sown, placing Fort Ponchartrain (Detroit) on its way to self-sufficiency. It is the first wheat ever to be sown in present day Michigan.
King Louis XIV signs a contract giving Fort Ponchartrain and Frontenac operations to the Company of the Colony of Canada.
September (the exact date is uncertain) - Madame Marie Therese Guyon Cadillac and Marianne de Tonty leave Quebec and set out for Fort Ponchartrain du Detroit. They are the first non-Native American women to visit and live in the fort. Woodford says the women arrived in Detroit at this time.