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Michigan Chapter Six

Cadillac as Feudal Lord

But just as he had all these things accomplished and the colony was in a fair way to success and to be of some profit to him, he was suddenly ordered away to Louisiana. As a loyal subject he had sacrificed all his prospects and had obeyed the orders of the king without remonstrance. He had sought to reimburse his expenditures by selling out his property at Detroit to La Foret, his successor in command. But La Foret was then in such ill health that he was in no condition to assume active command. So an arrangement was proposed by the advice and with the consent of de Raudot, then intendant, that the transfer of the property should be made to the Chevalier de Marigny, a captain. This was opposed by Vaudreuil, the governor, for what reason is left to surmise, and consequently could not be carried into effect.
When Cadillac returned to France he found that in his absence from the country the king had annulled in 1716 his rights and had re-annexed to his domain all the lands and dependencies at Detroit, with the exclusive right of trading, and had granted the same to de Tonty, who had then been put into command there. He asked to be reimbursed his advances and expenses, with payment for his services. The Council of State thereupon in 1722 made a decree that Cadillac should be paid for the property taken from him for the king's service, and that upon his defining the boundaries of the lands which he claimed the same should be confirmed to him. But as it depended wholly upon the testimony of de Tonty, Du Buisson and others who had seized upon his goods and merchandise as to what had been actually used in the king's service, manifestly they were under every incentive to belittle his claims. Cadillac complained bitterly that his successors in command at Detroit had treated his family, whom he left behind, in a most shameful manner; that they cut the fort in two and put his house and family outside its shelter; that they seized all his effects and drove Roy, who had them in charge, out of the country; that they annulled the grants of lands which he had made to the inhabitants, or taxed them beyond endurance, making new grants of the same lands to other parties.

Michigan


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