IN THE PENAL COLONY
They convinced the U. After the fire of , Justice Augustus B. Detroit's monumental avenues and traffic circles fan out in a baroque styled radial fashion from Grand Circus Park in the heart of the city's theater district , which facilitates traffic patterns along the city's tree-lined boulevards and parks.
On September 13, , the territorial government passed an act incorporating the new city of Detroit. The governor appointed Solomon Sibley as mayor. Shortly afterward, Sibley resigned and Elijah Brush was appointed in his stead. The mayor was appointed by the governor and, under the act of incorporation, was able to disapprove legislation passed by the popularly elected council without any recourse for overriding the mayor.
Because of this, many felt that the real aim of the governor in incorporating the city was to remove the popularly elected town officers and exert a more direct influence over governance of the city. However, to prevent resurrection of the popularly elected town government, on September 16, , an act passed repealing all laws pertaining to Michigan that had been passed by the Legislature of the Northwest Territory. This effectively eradicated any trace of legitimacy for the former popularly elected town government.
In the War of , Governor Hull surrendered Detroit to a smaller British force which threatened to allow its Indian allies to kill all American prisoners. Tecumseh marched his native troops through a clearing and then circled the same troops through the clearing again to make it seem there was a much larger native force.
Hull was convicted of cowardice and sentenced to death by a court martial, but received a presidential pardon. The U. Army recaptured Detroit in after the British abandoned it and used it as a base to invade Canada and permanently end the threat of Indian raids on American settlements. Lewis Cass , as territorial governor, on October 24, , restored control of local affairs to the people of Detroit, with the election of a five-person board of trustees and enactment of a charter for the city of Detroit.
One piece of the Detroit narrative that is often exempt from the telling of history is that of slavery. Although Detroit, or the North in general, is often perceived to have been free of slavery, slavery indeed played a role in the city's history. Captive indigenous and African people contributed to the early development of the city.
It is likely that enslaved people were among the first group that Cadillac brought to settle Detroit in and that their labor was used to plant the first crops. The labor of enslaved persons was crucial for the city's construction, enslaved blacks provided the labor for the fur trade, and indigenous women were exploited for sex. From Detroit's establishment to Michigan's gain of statehood, the ownership of slaves was dynamic.
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Slaves were originally held by the French and their Indian allies, then by British officers and businessmen, and finally they were held during American occupation preceding Michigan statehood. Slaveholders included merchants, farmers, political leaders, priests, and others who held power within the society. Partly due to the inadequate documentation, the story of slavery in Detroit is incomplete and unknown by many. There is nearly no record of the direct words of Detroit slaves, but there are some surviving records of slavery in the journals, wills, and finance accounts of slaveholders.
Few scholarly works have been written about the role slavery played in Detroit and Michigan has not produced any full-length narratives of slavery. Government under the board of trustees continued until an act of the Territorial Legislature on August 5, , created a Common Council of the City of Detroit. The Council consisted of five aldermen, the mayor, and the recorder. In an act of April 4, , the number of aldermen increased to seven.
In , it increased to two aldermen from six wards plus the mayor and recorder. A seventh ward was created in , an eighth in , and the ninth and tenth wards in Also in , a new city charter provided that the mayor and recorder would no longer sit as members of the council. At this time, the council consisted of 20 members, two aldermen from ten wards. In , a twelfth ward was added and aldermen from an illegally constituted eleventh ward also temporarily sat on the council. In , a properly constituted eleventh ward and a thirteenth ward were added. The city charter of changed the name of the body to the Board of Aldermen.
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A few years earlier in , a separately elected ten-person body named Board of Councilmen also called the City Council , was established. This body was abolished in After Detroit rebuilt in the early 19th century, a thriving community soon sprang up, and by the Civil War , over 45, people were living in the city,  primarily spread along Jefferson Avenue to the east and Fort Street to the west.
As in many major American cities, subsequent redevelopment of the central city through the next years has eliminated all but a handful of the antebellum structures in Detroit. The oldest remaining structures are those built as private residences, including a group in the Corktown neighborhood and another set of houses strung along Jefferson Avenue — notably the Charles Trowbridge House , the oldest known structure in the city , the Joseph Campau House , the Sibley House , the Beaubien House , and the Moross House The main communication medium from the s until the rise of television in the s was the newspaper.
Detroit had a large variety of daily papers, meeting the needs of the political parties have different language groups in the city, as well as the needs of readers concerned with news of business, labor, agriculture, literature, local churches, and polite society.
Prior to the American Civil War , the city's access to the Canada—US border made it a key stop for runaway slaves along the underground railroad. Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying Thank God for Michigan! The Detroit race riot of occurred on March 6, and was the city's first such incident, as Irish and German Catholics resisted the mandatory draft laws. At the time, it was reported as "the bloodiest day that ever dawned upon Detroit. Detroit's central location in the Great Lakes Region has contributed to its status as a major center for commerce and global trade.
As Detroit grew, it emerged as a U. Pharmaceutical firms such as Parke-Davis in the s and the Frederick Stearns Company in the s established centers between East Jefferson Avenue. Globe Tobacco built a manufacturing facility closer to downtown in During the late 19th century, cast-iron stove manufacturing became Detroit's top industry; by the s, the city became known as the "Stove Capital of the World". The rise of manufacturing led to a new class of wealthy industrialists, entrepreneurs, and professionals.
Some of these nouveau riche built along East Jefferson, resulting in structures such as the Thomas A. Wells House , the John N. Bagley House , and the Frederick K. Stearns House Detroit began increasingly to expand, and other citizens pushed north of downtown, building houses along Woodward in what was at the time a quiet residential area. The city has many restored historic Victorian structures, notably those in the Brush Park and East Ferry Avenue historic districts. Frank J.
Near the end of the 19th century, apartment living became more acceptable for affluent middle-class families, and upscale apartments, such as the Coronado Apartments , the Verona Apartments , the Palms Apartments , the Davenport Apartments in the Cass-Davenport Historic District , and the Garden Court Apartments were constructed to meet the new demand.
These well-to-do lateth-century residents also funded the construction of a spate of churches, such as the Cass Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church , the First Presbyterian Church , the Trinity Episcopal Church built by James E.
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Scripps , and the First Unitarian Church Detroit has long been a city of immigrants, from the early French and English settlers in the 18th century, through the Irish who settled in the Corktown neighborhood in the s, and the Germans who comprised the largest group. Significant contingents during this period included German and Polish immigrants who settled in Detroit in the s.
Conditions were especially favorable for the Irish Catholics. Vinyard finds that they enjoyed many opportunities and suffered "negligible religious prejudice. They funded the migration of relatives from Ireland. They took very active leadership roles in the Democratic Party and labor unions  .
European immigrants opened businesses and established communities. German immigrants established German-speaking churches, primarily on the east side of the city, including Saint John's-St.
Luke's Evangelical Church , St. Boniface and Gethsemane Evangelical Lutheran Church Close behind, a wave of Polish immigrants established east-side Roman Catholic parishes such as St. Josaphat's , St. Stanislaus , and St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church The son of Prussian Polish immigrants, Rev. John A. Mary Roman Catholic Church , at the corner of St.
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Antoine and Croghan Monroe , on February 18, , attended St. Albertus for his primary education, and studied at Detroit College which is now the University of Detroit Mercy where he received a bachelor's degree in ; then, after attending St. Mary's in Baltimore, he completed his theological studies at St. European immigrants including German, Belgian, Polish, and Irish ethnics were likely to be home owners in the city.