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MICHIGAN CHAPTER 15

Michigan Under British Rule

Finally after nearly two years' imprisonment, on the advice of General Washington, they were allowed to go free. Hamilton was permitted to go to England. Dejean went to New York and never returned to Detroit.
When Hamilton left Detroit on his ill-starred expedition the command of the post fell upon Major R. B. Lernoult, who thought it wise to strengthen the defences of the town, in view of the threatening attitude of Colonel Clark and his Americans. He accordingly built a new and much stronger fort on the rising ground some little distance back from the river. This work was called Fort Lernoult until it fell into the hands of the Americans when its name was changed to Fort Shelby Early in 1779 General Arent S. De Peyster was transferred from Michilimackinac to Detroit and remained in command there about six years. He was born in New York in 1736 and was related to the Van Cortlandt and Schuyler families. He was sent to England in his youth where he was educated for the army, upon entering which he was given a commission in the Eighth, or King's regiment of foot. After his service at Detroit he retired to Dumfries, Scotland, which had been the early home of his wife. Here in 1796 he commanded a regiment of volunteers, among whom the poet, Robert Burns, was enrolled. De Peyster was a man of some literary pretensions and wrote alleged poetry himself. Quite a warm friendship sprangup between the two men. There are allusions in some of the poems of Burns to his military commander.
After the capture of Fort Vincennes Clark contemplated an expedition against Detroit, but various causes delayed such a movement. It was plain to be seen that if the colonial forces could gain possession of Detroit the Indian problem would be solved and the raids upon the Virginian frontiers would be suppressed. Jefferson was strongly in favor of the; project and called Washington's attention to it.

MICHIGAN


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