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Michigan Chapter Six

Cadillac as Feudal Lord

Thereupon the latter went to France to secure the restitution of his property to La Salle, in which effort he was successful. He was then restored to the command of Fort Frontenac which he retained for several years. He was a close adherent of La Salle and devoted much time and energy to the support of the cause of his early friend and patron. After the death of La Salle, La Foret was given the command of Fort St. Louis, to which post he was accompanied by La Salle's old companion, Henry de Tonty. The two remained at Fort St. Louis several years engaged in the fur trade. In 1705 we find him second in command at Detroit and in full authority during the absences of Cadillac. He seems to have enjoyed the full confidence and esteem of his superior. It was only natural that he should be appointed to succeed in the command. But his health was then very poor and he could not at once proceed to take actual possession of his post. In the meantime Du Buisson was put in temporary charge and so continued until La Foret recovered sufficiently to assume his duties. He remained in command until his death, which occurred at Quebec in 1714. Just before his death he made a report upon the condition and prospects at Detroit in which he advocated the building up of that post as a military necessity to withstand the encroachments of the English and for the protection of French interests in the west. His recommendations did not receive the attention they deserved.
There were several temporary commanders at intervals during Cadillac's incumbency when he was absent from the post. The first of these was Alphonse de Tonty, who went out with Cadillac on his original expedition to Detroit as second in command, a position which he continued to hold for several years. He misbehaved himself in some respects, betraying the confidence of his superior officer during the absence of the latter.

Michigan


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