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Detroit’s Original Colonists

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On the accompanying map I have placed numbers on the various lots to conform to the report made by Cadillac. They do not agree with the order of alienation, but all the transfers were made between 1707 and 1710. The names of the purchasers, arranged according to the numbers on the map, are also given, with the consideration for each parcel. The names are sometimes indefinite, for these Frenchmen had curious habits of changing their name, passing by different names at different times, and even in the little village Cadillac did not seem to know the first names of all his people, as frequent references are made such as “a man named Rencontre,” “a man named Beauregard.”

Generally, when a parcel of land was conveyed, there were two items in the consideration required. First, a fixed rental, payable every year and probably accepted in lieu of all taxes, except the tithes for maintaining the church, and second, a certain sum which Cadillac required for privileges extended to the purchaser, as for instance, suppose the purchaser was a blacksmith, Cadillac having the exclusive right of trading at the post, would grant this purchaser the right of black-smithing to the exclusion of all others, and would receive an extra compensation for this privilege. The ownership of the land remained in Cadillac, and no man was entitled to his lot unless he took and maintained actual possession of it. If he abandoned it, it reverted to Cadillac, and he sold it to some other person.

Map of Detroit in 1708
Map of Detroit in 1708

From references in some of the conveyances, it appears that there were transfers made to parties not included in the report. We know that a man named Boucherville, and another named St. Aubin owned lands, but we do not have their deeds.

Cadillac’s conveyances were not confined to the village. He granted a good many farms and the boundary lines of these tracts can be as distinctly traced as if made today. These farmers lived within the palisades, for it was sometimes dangerous to live, unprotected by soldiers. The farmers had rents to pay for the farm lands, similar to the inhabitants of the village. But where a farmer had two places, one in the country, and one in the city, a different and lower rate of rents was demanded. This list doubtless contains -h- Jiames o^ the most influen-tial of the first settlers of Detroit, and many of them are familiar as the ancestors of the families of French descent, still remaining with us.

I give the name of the lot owner, the number of his lot and the date of the conveyance and consideration paid.

  1. Pierre Chesne, March 10, 1707, for 3 livres rent and 10 livres for other rights given up, all payable in furs, or in such coined money as may be current.
  2. Andre Chouet. dit Cameraud, March 10. 1707, for 3 livres rent and 10 livres for other rights
  3. Pierre Taverau, dit La Grandeur, March 10, 1707, for 38 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights. This lot was afterwards conveyed to Robert Germain. A sol, or sou, was a small coin, or penny.
  4. Joseph Despre, or Depre, March 10, 1707, for 2 livres rent and 10 livres for other rights.
  5. Solomon Joseph Du Vestin, March 10, 1707, for 40 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights. This lot was sold to Richard le Michel Bizaillon.
  6. Pierre Leger, dit Parisien, March 10, 1707, for 40 sols rent and 10 livres foV other rights. This lot was sold to Jacques Cardinal.
  7. Bonaventure Compien, dit L’Esperance. March 10, 1707, for 24 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights. This lot was sold to Francis Livernois.
  8. Jacob de Marsac, dit Desrocher. March 10, 1707, for 3 livres and 2 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights.
  9. Mr. D’Argenteuil, March 10, 1707, for 50 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights. This lot was sold to Nicolas Rose.
  10. Jean Richard, March 10, 1707, for 40 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights. This lot was abandoned and afterward granted to Jacques Hubert.
  11. Jean Labatier, dit Champaign, March 10, 17oV, 2 livres rent and 10 livres for other rights. This man’s name is given in another place as Abatis. This lot was surrendered March 27, 1709.
  12. Estienne Boutron, dit Major, March 10,. 1707. 3 livres rent and 10 livres, for other rights. This lot reverted to Cadillac and was newly granted to Antoine Magnant.
  13. Pierre Hemard, March 10, 1707, for 50 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights. This lot was sold to Jacques Hubert.
  14. Antoine Dupuis, dit Beauregard, March 10, 1707, 3 livres rent and 10 livres for other rights. This lot was sold to Jean Baptiste Duplessis.
  15. Jacques Langlois, March 10, 1707, for 6 livres and 10 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights.
  16. Guillaume Bouet, dit Deliard, March 10, 1707, for 2 livres and 10 sols rent, and 10 livres for other rights. This lot was subsequently sold to Pierre Robert.
  17. Michel Masse, March 10, 1707, for 8 livres and 8 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights.
  18. Michel Campo. March 10, 1707, for 5 livres and 6 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights.
  19. Louis Normand, March 10, 1707, for 2 livres and 10 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights. This was subsequently sold to Alexis Lemoine.
  20. Francois Tesee. March 10, 1707, for 40 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights. On the 20th of June, 1710, this parcel was conveyed to Antoine Carriere.
  21. Pierre Chantelon, March 10, 1707, for 56 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights. This lot was later conveyed to Jean Le Soeur.
  22. Francois Bienvenue, dit de L’Isle, March 10. 1707. for 3 livres rent, and 10 livres for other rights. Many descendants of this man still live in and around Detroit. They generally go by the name of Delisle, and some of them have coupled the two names together, as Bienvenue-Delisle.
  23. Pierre Esteve, March 10, 1707, for 50 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights.
  24. Blaise Surgere, March 10, 1707. for 3 livres rent and 10 livres for other rights.
  25. Pierre Porrier, March 10, 1707, for 50 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights.
  26. Antoine Ferron, March 10, 1707, for 40 sols rent, and 10 livres for other rights.
  27. Pierre Tacet, March 10, 1707. for 50 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights. This was afterwards sold to Jean Content.
  28. Francois Fafard de Lorme. March 10. 1707. for 4 livres and 10 sols rent, and 10 livres for other rights.
  29. Michel Disier, March 10, 1707, for 50 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights.
  30. Jacob de Marsac, March 10, 1707, for 40 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights. This lot was sold to Charles Charon.
  31. “A man named Rencontre,” March 10, 1707. for 50 sols rent and 10 livres for other privileges. There was a “Rencontre” street in the village, which. I suppose took its name from this person.
  32. “A man named Desloriers,” March 10, 1708. for 50 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights.
  33. A man named Xaintonge, March 10, 1708. for 50 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights. The name seems to indicate that the owner of this parcel was an Indian, though it would not be very likely that an Indian would pay rent, or would follow a trade. He sold a lot to “a, man named Bouche.”
  34. Jacques Du Moulin, March 10, 1708, for 3 livres rent and 10 livres for other rights.
  35. Guilleaume Aquet, dit Laporte, March 10. 1708. for 50 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights. This grantee in other places is named Aquenet. Pierre Chesne, who owned the lot on Ste. Anne street, adjacent to this lot. purchased it, thus giving him two frontages, one on Ste, Anne and the other on St. Joachim street. Pierre Chesne (or Chene, as it is now commonly called), was one of the most important men of that early day, and many of his descendants still reside in Detroit.
  36. Louis Gustineau. March 10, 1708. for 50 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights.
  37. Joseph Parent1 , March 10, 1707. for 3 livres rent and 10 livres for other rights. Parent was a blacksmith.
  38. Martin Sirier, March 10, 1707. for 3 livres rent and 10 livres for other rights. Nicolas Rivard, afterwards purchased this parcel.
  39. Quilenchive. March 10. 1707. for 50 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights. The grantee was an Indian chief, I think, and he afterwards sold the parcel to Julien Dervisseau.
  40. M. Derance, March 10, 1707. for 30 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights.
  41. Du Figuier, March 10. 1707, for 54 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights. The lot was surrendered by Du Figuier and resold to Paul Guillet.
  42. La Montagne. called Pierre Mouet. March 10. 1707, for 4 livres. 10 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights. Baptiste Trudeau subsequently purchased this prop-erty.
  43. Pierre Mallet. March 10. 1707, for 8 livres rent and 10 livres for other rights.
  44. Antoine Dufresne. March 14, 1708, for 5 livres rent and 10 livres for other rights.
  45. Jean Baptiste Chornic, March 10, 1708, for 32 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights. Subsequently, transferred to Jean Chevalier.
  46. Jean Casse. March 10, 1708, for 50 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights. Sold to Zaoharie Plante.
  47. Paul Langlois, March 10, 1707. for 50 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights.
  48. Jerome Marliard, March 10, 1707, for 40 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights.
  49. Andre Bombardie, March 10, 1707^ for 50 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights.
  50. Pierre Du Roy. March 10. 1707. for 3 livres rent and 10 livres for other rights.
  51. Pierre Roy2 , March 10, 1707, for 3 livres 18 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights.
  52. Francois Marque. March 10, 1707, for 26 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights. Jean Paquet purchased this lot.
  53. Antoine Magnant, March 20, 1708, for 5 livres rent and 10 livres for other rights.
  54. Francois Bonne, July 7, 1708. at 5 livres rent and 10 livres for other rights.
  55. Toussaints Dardennes. March 20. 1703. at 30 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights.
  56. Pierre Bassinet. March 20. 1708, at 20 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights.
  57. Francois Brunet. June 20. 1708. at 40 sols rent and 10 livres for other righ<s.
  58. Antoine Beauregard, July 17, 1708, at 12 livres rent and 10 livres for other rights. This was surrendered to Cadillac.
  59. Marie Le Page. March 20, 1707, at 3 livres 12 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights. This is the only record of a con-veyance to a woman m tne early Detroit. Madam Le Page had a husband living at this time, but subsequent events, as well as this conveyance, lead me to think that he had separated from her – probably with just cause.
  60. Jacques Campo, March 1. 1709. at 40 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights.
  61. Jean Serond, March 10, 1707, at 50 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights. Joseph Trudeau bought this lot subsequently.
  62. Pierre Robert, March 14. 1709. at C livres rent and 10 livres for other rights.
  63. Larramee, March 6. 1707. for 50 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights.
  64. Rene Le Moine. March 20. 1709, at 40 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights.
  65. Jacques Le Moine. Sept. 1, 1706. at 40 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights.
  66. Paul Guillet, Dec. 10, 1709. at 6 livres rent and 10 livres for other rights.
  67. Joseph Rinard. June 27, 1710, at 30 sols rent and 10 livres for other rights.
  68. Antoine Tuffe. called du Fresne, June 28, 1710, at 2 livres rent and 10 livres for other rights.

Footnotes

  1. It has been stated by some who have written regarding Detroit’s early history, that Parent and Pierre Roy were living among the Indians in the neighborhood of Detroit before the arrival of Cadillac and his party, and consequently that they were the first white people here. 

  2. It has been stated by some who have written regarding Detroit’s early history, that Parent and Pierre Roy were living among the Indians in the neighborhood of Detroit before the arrival of Cadillac and his party, and consequently that they were the first white people here. 


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