History of Detroit, Michigan.
The first recorded mention of what became the city of Detroit in the U.S. state of Michigan was in 1670, when the French Sulpician missionaries François Dollier de Casson and René Bréhant de Galinée stopped at the site on their way to the mission at Sault Ste. Marie. Galínee's journal notes that near the site of present-day Detroit, they found a stone idol venerated by the Indians and destroyed the idol with an axe and dropped the pieces into the river.
European settlement of the area began when French officer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac founded a fort and settlement at a site, where the modern city currently stands, along the Detroit River in 1701. Originally the settlement was called Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit after the Comte de Pontchartrain, minister of marine under Louis XIV of France, and for the river that connects Lakes St. Clair and Erie. Francois Marie Picoté sieur de Belestre (Montreal 1719 - 1793) was the last French military commander at Fort Detroit (1758-1760), surrendering the fort on November 29, 1760 to British Major Robert Rogers (of Rogers' Rangers fame and sponsor of the Jonathan Carver expedition to St. Anthony Falls). The British gained control of the area in 1760 thwarted by an Indian attack three years later during Pontiac's Rebellion.
During the French and Indian War (1760), British troops gained control and shortened the name to Detroit. Several tribes led by Chief Pontiac, an Ottawa leader, launched Pontiac's Rebellion (1763), including a siege of Fort Detroit. Partially in response to this, the British Royal Proclamation of 1763, included restrictions in unceded Indian territories.
Detroit was the goal of various American campaigns during the American Revolution, but logistical difficulties in the North American frontier and American Indian allies of Great Britain would keep any armed rebel force from reaching the Detroit area. In the Treaty of Paris (1783), Great Britain ceded territory that included Detroit to the newly recognized United States, though in reality it remained under British control. Great Britain continued to trade with and defend her native allies in the area, and supplied local nations with weapons to harass American settlers and soldiers.
The Cadillac automobile was named after the 17th century French explorer Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac, who founded Detroit in 1701.