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Detroit 1820

BY EPHRAIM S. WILLIAMS

The solid little building used by the First National Bank has an interest of its own, having been erected in 1836, the "wildcat" days, for the bank of Michigan. It was bought by the United States in December, 1842, for $32,000, and long used for the post office and federal court house. It stands as is well known, upon the site of the east gate of the stockade about Fort Pontchartrain, which acquired special renown as the "Pontiac gate" after the failure of the treacherous Indian attempt in 1763. From this gateway, on the 31st of July in that year, marched the red coats under Capt. Dalzell to the massacre at Bloody Brook, and through it fled back the remnants of that ill starred band after their terrible repulse. The stockade of 1807, built by Gen. Hull, extended far beyond this, reaching from the Cass to the Brush farm near the Biddle house, and from the fort on the second terrace, whose site is now crossed by Fort street, to the river. It had gates and block houses on each side on the line of Jefferson avenue.
Walking down Griswold street from the bank corner, we have on -our right the site of the "King's palace" and garden, names which mark the later English regime, when the palace or official residence was built for Gov. Hamilton, the "Hair-buyer General, " as George Rogers Clarke designated him in the Vincennes campaign of 1778, from his offer of premiums for scalps of American patriots. The site is now partly covered by the fine buildings on the south side of Jefferson avenue.

Detroit Michigan


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