Founded by French military entrepreneur Antoine Laumet de Lamothe Cadillac in 1701, colonial Detroit was occupied by thousands of French settlers who established deep roots on both sides of the river. The city's unmistakable French past, however, has been long neglected in the historiography of New France and French North America. Exploring the French colonial presence in Detroit, from its establishment to its dissolution in the early nineteenth century, Fruits of Perseverance explains how a society similar to the rural settlements of the Saint Lawrence valley developed in an isolated place and how it survived well beyond the fall of New France. As Guillaume Teasdale describes, between the 1730s and 1750s, French authorities played a significant role in promoting land occupation along the Detroit River by encouraging settlers to plant orchards and build farms and windmills. After New France's defeat in 1763, these settlers found themselves living under the British flag in an Aboriginal world shortly before the newly independent United States began its expansion west. Fruits of Perseverance offers a window into the development of a French community in the borderlands of New France, whose heritage is still celebrated today by tens of thousands of residents of southwest Ontario and southeast Michigan.
Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press
Number of pages: 240
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm
"Teasdale has given us the first truly reliable historical portrait of the region during the French regime and during the transitional years of the British and American regimes, from 1760 to 1811. The latter is especially important because it provides a useful basis of comparison with other parts of French mid-America, particularly Lower Louisiana, Upper Louisiana (Missouri), and the Illinois Country." Jay Gitlin, Yale University
"Teasdale's depth of understanding about his subject matter is a gift of major proportion to anyone studying eighteenth century French culture in the New World-not just in the Detroit River region-but throughout French colonial America." Michigan Historical Review