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Michigan Chapter Six

Cadillac as Feudal Lord

He had formerly left under a cloud of unpopularity, as it were, and it does not appear exactly clear what influences led to his re-appointment. He was known to be grasping and selfish and certainly unscrupulous. The manner in which he and others, perhaps under his influence, treated the family and property rights of Cadillac was, to say the least, anything but honorable. Under his new regime he showed his former selfish characteristics in exaggerated form. He joined with himself a few of the citizens to monopolize the trade. He had promised great reforms, but they did not materialize. He was evidently a man of energy and persistency. He entirely reconstructed the fort and made it one of the best of the kind in the country. In this work he had spent a great deal of money and had incurred considerable debts. Possibly he felt justified in imposing on the inhabitants to any extent which their good nature would bear. But he made himself so obnoxious that charges were preferred against him and he was obliged in the winter of 1721-22 to go to Quebec to defend himself. Nothing resulted from the charges. In 1724 he was again called to Quebec to answer summons to a suit brought by one La Marque, who had purchased some of the property of Cadillac. Nothing came of it. On his return he was met by infuriated citizens who denounced him and demanded his recall. This time the Huron Indians joined their voices with the exasperated whites and added a threat to remove altogether from the place. This was too serious for the government to ignore. Beauharnois, the new governor, at once ordered de Tonty's removal, but for the purpose of letting him down easy, gave it out that he would retire at the expiration of his term in the following spring. He was greatly chagrined over this decision of the government, and this is believed to have some bearing upon his death which occurred at Detroit Nov. 10, 1727.

Michigan


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