Monday, February 08, 2016

History Information in early February 2016

Detroit has a long history. Native Americans were the first inhabitants of Detroit. The first recorded mention of the site as found in Detroit was in the 1670’s. This was when French missionaries found a stone idol that was venerated by Native Americans. They or the missionaries destroyed it with an axe. The early settlers then planted 12 missionary pear trees named for the twelve Apostles. The grounds of that event is now known as Waterworks Park. The name of the city of Detroit has an interesting origin. It comes from the French phrase of “le détroit du Lac Érie” meaning the strait of Lake Erie. The Detroit River links Lake Huron and Lake Erie. This strait also includes Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River. The sieur de Cadillac (or Antoine Laumet de La Mothe) was a French explorer or adventurer in New France. New France was the area colonized by the French in North America. New France started from 1534 (when Jacques Cartier explored the Saint Lawrence River in 1534) to 1763 (when the French lost the French-Indian War against the British. New France ceded territory to Great Britain and Spain. New France was in its peak in 1712). So, the sieur de Cadillac proposed to his French government in Paris that Detroit must be established as shelter for displaced Native American allies. Paris approved of his plan. So, in 1701, Cadillac led a party of 100 Frenchmen to establish a post called  Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit, naming it after his sponsor the comte de Pontchartrain, Minister of Marine under Louis XIV. In 1704, he was given ownership over the strenuous opposition of officials in New France. There was an investigation done by de Pontchartrain. The investigation found that Cadillac acted tyrannical as a profiteer whose mischief hurt the French cause. Therefore, Cadillac was removed and sent to faraway New Orleans as the governor of Louisiana. Ste. Anne de Détroit, founded 1701, is the second oldest continuously operating Catholic parish in the United States. It was the first building erected in Detroit. Grants of free land were given to families who came to Detroit. Detroit's population grew to 800 people in 1765. During this time period, the main business was trading furs with the Native Americans (using goods supplied from Montreal). Detroit was the largest French village between Montreal and New Orleans.

Francois Marie Picoté, sieur de Belestre (Montreal 1719–1793), the last French commander at Fort Detroit (1758–1760), surrendered on November 29, 1760 to the British. They shortened the name to Detroit. Detroit would experience conflicts over land and political power. Many Native Americans have shown independent power to work together in Pontiac’s Rebellion in 1763. They overran smaller forts, but they didn’t conquer Detroit. During the age of the American Revolution, American forces always wanted to get Detroit for political and strategic reasons. Detroit was in the American frontier and gaining Detroit wasn’t going to be easy. There was the American Native American allies of Great Britain that would prevent any armed rebel force from America from reaching the Detroit area. In the Treaty of Paris on 1783, Great Britain ceded territory that included Detroit to the newly recognized United States. Detroit still was in British control. Great Britain continued to trade with and defend her Native American allies in the area, and supplied local nations with weapons to harass American settlers and soldiers. The British left in 1796 following the Jay Treaty. In 1794, a Native American alliance, that had received some support and encouragement from the British, was decisively defeated by General Anthony Wayne at the Battle of Fallen Timbers near Toledo, Ohio. Wayne negotiated the Treaty of Greenville (1795) with many of these nations, in which tribes ceded the area of Fort Detroit to the United States. Father Gabriel Richard arrived at Ste. Anne's in 1796. He helped start the school which evolved into the University of Michigan, started primary schools for white boys and girls as well as for Indians. During that time, a territorial representative to U.S. Congress helped establish a road-building project that connected Detroit and Chicago, and brought the first printing press to Michigan which printed the first Michigan newspaper. In 1805, fire destroyed most of the settlement. A river warehouse and brick chimneys of the wooden homes were the sole structures to survive. Detroit's motto and seal (as on the Flag) reflect this fire.

Detroit was incorporated as a town by the legislature of the Northwest Territory at Chillicothe, Ohio on January 18, 1802, effective February 1, 1802. The government was administrated by a five person board of trustees and there was no office of mayor. After this, Ohio became a state and the eastern half of Michigan was linked to the Indiana Territory. Before the new territorial government started officially, a fire destroyed almost all of Detroit on June 11, 1805. In June 30, 1805, the Michigan Territory was established effective. This territory allowed Detroit as the capital. The territorial government back then had its newly appointed governor William Hull. The territorial judges of the government were Augustus B. Woodward, Frederick Bates, James Witherell, and John Griffin. They convinced the U.S. Congress to pass an act on April 21, 1806, which authorized them to lay out a town that included all of the old town of Detroit plus an additional 10,000 acres (40 km²) to be used as compensation for persons who lost their house in the fire. After the fire of 1805, Justice Augustus B. Woodward create a plan (similar to the Freemason Pierre Charles L’Enfant’s design for Washington, D.C.) for Detroit’s monumental avenues and traffic circles. These circles fanned out in a baroque styled radial fashion with the Grand Circus Park in the heart of the city’s theater district. This district facilitates traffic patterns along the city's tree-lined boulevards and parks. Main thoroughfares radiate outward from the city center like spokes in a wheel. The territorial government passed an act that incorporated the new city of Detroit on September 13, 1806. The governor appointed Solomon Sibley as mayor. Shortly afterward, Sibley resigned and Elijah Brush was appointed in his stead. The mayor was appointed by the governor. The act of incorporation allowed the mayor to disapprove legislation passed by the popularly elected council without any recourse for overriding the mayor. Because of this, many felt that the real aim of the governor in incorporating the city was to remove the popularly elected town officers and exert a more direct influence over governance of the city. This form of government was extremely unpopular, and was repealed on February 4, 1809. However, to prevent resurrection of the popularly elected town government, on September 16, 1810, an act passed repealing all laws pertaining to Michigan that had been passed by the Legislature of the Northwest Territory. This effectively eradicated any trace of legitimacy for the former popularly elected town government.

Paris during the Renaissance had many developments. New bridges existed. Louis XI rarely visited Paris, but he rebuilt the old wooden Pont de Notre Dame, which had collapsed on October 25, 1499. The new bridge was opened in 1512. It was made up of dimension stone and paved with stone. It was lined with sixty eight houses and shops. King Francois I laid the foundation of the first Hotel de Ville or the city hall of Paris in July 15, 1533. The architect of the building was the Italian man Domencio da Cortona. He also designed the  Château de Chambordin the Loire Valley for the king. The Hôtel de Ville was not finished until 1628. Cortona also designed the first Renaissance church in Paris, the church of Saint-Eustache (1532), covering a Gothic structure with flamboyant Renaissance detail and decoration.  The first Renaissance house in Paris was the Hôtel Carnavalet, begun in 1545. It was modeled after the Grand Ferrare, a mansion in Fontainbleau designed by Italian architect Sebastiano Serlio. It is now the museum of the history of Paris. Francis I in 1534 was the first French king to make the Louvre his resident. He wanted new structures to be built. He wanted Paris to be a place of learning and scholarship.  During the 16th century, Paris became first in Europe in book publishing. In 1530, Françis I created a new faculty at the University of Paris with the mission of teaching Hebrew, Greek and mathematics. It became the Collège de France. He died in 1547. His son Henry II continued to decorate Paris in the French renaissance style. The Fontaine des Innocents structure was built to celebrate Henry’s official entrance into Paris in 1549.

Henry II also added a new wing to the Louvre, the Pavillon du Roi, south, along the Seine. The bedroom of the King was on the first floor of this new wing. He also built a magnificent hall for festivities and ceremonies, the Salle des Cariatides, in the Lescot Wing. Henry II died in July 10, 1559 via jousting injuries. His widow was Catherine de Medicis. In Paris, there were divisions between the Catholic Church and those of Protestant Calvinism and renaissance humanism. The Sorbonne and University of Paris, the major fortresses of Catholic orthodoxy, forcefully attacked the Protestant and humanist doctrines, and the scholar Etienne Dolet was burned at the stake, along with his books, on place Maubert in 1532, on the orders of the theology faculty of the Sorbonne; but the new doctrines continued to grow in popularity, particularly among the French upper classes. Beginning in 1562, repression and massacres of Protestants in Paris alternated with periods of tolerance and calm, during what became known as the French Wars of Religion (1562-1598). Later, Catholic mobs killed Protestants in the St. Bartholomew Day’s massacre in August 1572. Many leaders of the Protestants were killed by Catholic mobs. Henry III wanted a peaceful solution and he was assassinated by the Dominican monk Jacques Clement. Henry IV promoted religious tolerance. He was crowned King of France at the cathedral of Chartres on February 27, 1594. Henry IV's building projects for Paris were managed by a Protestant, Maximilien de Béthune, Duke of Sully. For Henry IV’s advocacy of religious freedom, he was assassinated by a Catholic fanatic named Francois Ravaillac.

By Timothy

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