Posts Tagged With: Detroit

Dr. J. L. Whiting on early Detroit, Black Hawk, Cholera and speaking on the ‘the father of medicine in Michigan.’


DR. J. L. WHITING.

Evening News, April 30, 1880.

Dr. Whiting, after fifteen years of successful practice as a physician and surgeon, retired from the profession to engage in the forwarding and commission business.

Concerning this step, he said, “The tide of immigration from the east was beginning to pour in upon us in a steady flood, and the business was most promising.

I quit medicine to follow my new venture in February, 1832, but I was compelled to return to it in July, and work harder at it than ever I had in my life.

The cholera had broken out.

“The dreadful disease was brought to us by a vessel carrying troops ordered to the scene of the Black Hawk war, a war almost unknown to the history readers of this generation.

You are aware that Black-Hawk was a powerful Sac chief, somewhat after the Pontiac pattern.

The Sacs and Winnebago’s of Wisconsin had long been ugly and spoiling for a fight.

They were angry over the rapidly advancing colonization of Illinois, and dreaded further white encroachment.

In the spring of

1832 they commenced warfare upon the frontier settlements of Illinois, killing, scalping, burning, and outraging, and a national as well as a militia force was sent out to teach them a lesson.

After a number of fights the United States troops and Illinois militia, under General Atkinson, inflicted a crushing defeat upon the redskins at the junction of the Bad Axe River with the Mississippi, capturing Black-Hawk and his son and drove the Indians beyond the father Hawk and his son were taken to Washington. On their return Black Hawk stopped for a while in Dtroit, where I saw them both.

Young Black Hawk fell desperatly in love with a prominent society belle and wanted to honor honor her by making her his squaw.

She declined the proffered dignity for reasons best known to herself, but she has never married, and is still living in a state of single blessedness at Mackinac.

“Well, as I was saying,” continued the doctor, “I had just about got used to my new work down at the dock, when along came these troops with the cholera.

One of the men died of a pronounced case of Asiatic cholera on the Fourth of July.

The military surgeon accompanying the detachment was scared almost out of his wits, and immediately upon landing betook himself to bed in the hotel.

The commanding officer, thus deserted, called upon Dr. Rice, an able physician and an amiable man, to attend the sick, and Rice came to me to ask me to go with him.

I didn’t care to go, for I knew, though I had never seen a case of

Cholera that it was frightfully contagious and rapid in its results, and I told Rice so.

He urged that he had been authorized by the quartermaster to spare no expense in securing the most competent help, and finally he persuaded me to go with him.

I told my wife when I went home that Saturday evening that I had been called upon to attend the sick soldiers.

She looked grave and sorrowful, but said that as it was a case of duty she could not ask me to back out.

“That night sixteen cases were brought ashore and placed in the quartermaster’s stores, which had been converted into a temporary cholera hospital.

The stores were back of Fisk’s present crockery warehouse, between Jefferson Avenue and the river, fronting on Woodbridge Street.

Of the sixteen cases eleven proved fatal before morning.

“On the same day Dr. Rice had the sick call sounded and carefully examined every man of the detachment.

To everyone who showed predisposing symptoms of the disease, such as the premonitory diarrhea, he administered a thumping dose of ipecacuanha and calomel on the spot.

It acted like a charm.

There wasn’t another new case in the command.

After the dead were interred the detachment was hurried up to

Fort Gratiot to recruit, and before they left, the commanding officer warmly thanked Dr. Rice and myself for our services.

“The cholera visitation upon the citizens came later in the year 1832, and imposed a vast amount of work upon me.

It was confined largely to the lower classes, and swept off the intemperate and dissipated in large numbers.

In 1834 it attacked an entirely different class; the upper orders, the sober, temperate, and church-going people.

As in 1832 I was taken away from my commission business to attend to the stricken, and had to go out to Marshall, 100 miles, to attend to the cases there, the cholera having hopped over from Ann Arbor.

Dr. Rice did wonders during both visitations.

He practiced in Detroit for some 20 years, and was a man of great merit and as quick as lightning.

“This was not the only time I was called upon to minister to United States troops.

In 1823 the quartermaster insisted upon my going to Saginaw to attend to a sick garrison from Green Bay.

The troops were suffering from malignant intermitting fever, and at the end of three weeks’ attendance upon them I was knocked over myself.

I found the whole garrison sick, with one or two exceptions, and Dr. Zina Pitcher, the surgeon in charge, was the sickest of the lot.

He was completely broken up.

He had some 120 souls, old and young—60 enlisted men, with officers, laundresses, and children—under his charge, and all of them sick but one, with one of the most abominably distressing fevers imaginable.

He was all alone, one hundred miles from anywhere, with an appalling amount of work on hand, and no wonder he broke down.

When I reached Saginaw he was being carried all over the garrison on a mattress by men well enough as yet to move about or lift anything, giving opinions and advice, and a dreadful sight he presented, I can assure you.

The garrison was broken up in October and moved to Detroit where the troops were quartered on Fort street.

I did Pitcher’s duty from August, 1823, till May, 1824, nearly a year.

At that time I began to talk to him of moving into Detroit, for I had a high opinion of him as an able physician and a fine man.

In 1828, when I was making arrangements to give up my practice, I began writing to him, endeavoring to induce him to settle in Detroit and take my place, but I did not succeed until 1835 or ’36.

“Dr. Pitcher was styled not long ago, by a president of the county medical association, the ‘father of medicine in Michigan.’

With all due respect to the president, who knew better, as I told him afterwards, medical history compels me to dispute the title awarded to my old friend.

As long ago as 1811, I commenced the formation of a medical society among the few scattered physicians of the territory.

We had three at the capital and one respectively at Pontiac, St. Clair, Mount Clemens and Monroe, and they all joined me.

Long afterwards, when I had retired from practice, and when the number of physicians was greatly increased, county and State associations were formed and Dr. Pitcher was one of the first presidents of the Wayne County Society.”

Dr. Whiting had some experience with Cass among the Indians, and was a traveling companion with General Winfield Scott as early as 1827.

“In 1827,” he said, “General Cass called upon me to accompany a treaty-making expedition to the Buttes des Morts, or Hills of the Dead, on the Fox River about 40 miles above Green Bay.

The treaty was to be executed between General Cass and Col. McKinney, Indian agent at Washington, joint high commissioners for the United States, and Winnebago’s, Chippewa’s, Pottawattamie’s, Foxes, Sacs, and Menominee’s.

The expedition went out on board the steamer class vessel in her time.

She had only a main deck, which was a fore and after, with a cabin below.

The affair was regarded as a splendid chance for speculation, so the steamer was loaded down with Detroit merchants and their goods.

I was myself entrusted with $3,000 worth of goods of one kind and another, which I disposed of to advantage.

One of the passengers was General Winfield Scott, who was on a tour of inspection of forts and posts, and as two companies were stationed at Sault Ste. Marie he persuaded the captain to take him there.

This is how the first steamboat voyage to the Sault came to be made.

“The general was about 40 hours inspecting the post, and while he was busy we were having a splendid time enjoying ourselves in pleasure and trade.

There were about a dozen beautiful young ladies on board and we had a dance nearly every night.

The after cabin was given up to the demoiselles, so General Scott used to sleep on the dining tables every night, with a whale sperm candle burning at either side of his pillow; for there was an awful deal of fuss and feathers about the old fellow, even at that early stage of his career.

“My duties as medical officer were sufficient to keep me busy night and day.

I had to attend to the Indian sick, and as it was a season when green corn was in, they gorged themselves to repletion with it, and of course, suffered torments.

I was a big gun among them, I can tell you, as the ‘medicine man,’ with a couple of interpreters in constant attendance, moving around among people who regarded me as little less than a divinity, and swallowed the most atrociously unpleasant draughts with relish.

To hear them smack their lips over rancid castor oil which spoke for itself at long range, was a caution.

“We had to wait a long time for the Winnebago’s to come in, for they were saucy and disposed to show the whites that they didn’t care for them, but at the same time they were suffering from a bad attack of green corn.

A Menominee runner came in one day in advance of his people, many of whom came down from the neighborhood of Hudson’s bay, and in answer to my inquiries replied, with gesticulations far more eloquent than words:

‘Menominee sick like hel-l-l! Eat corn!

Break up Munnominee, purroo purro-o-o-o-f ! ! !’

“There were about 3,000 Indians of the different tribes present, many of whom had marched one thousand miles to partake of the benefits of the treaty and receive the presents of food and clothing.

They were supported while they were on the treaty ground and given all the provisions they could carry away with them.

The valuable lands which they ceded have long since become among the most fertile portions of the western granary.

We went upon this expedition in June and returned in August.

The Indians thought the world of Cass, whom they named OsKotchee, or ‘Big Belly.’ ”

Of his personal share in the Black-Hawk war Dr. Whiting tells in a modest, interesting way:

“I was appointed,” he said, “surgeon of the First Michigan militia regiment in 1818, and held my commission till 1832, when the war broke out.

A Dr. Hurd, who came here in 1819, was very anxious to displace me and brought a number of recommendations from people in high position which he pressed upon General John R. Williams, then commander in chief.

When we were ordered to rendezvous at Fort Dearborn (Chicago) preparatory to marching upon Illinois, Hurd spent a whole day with the general trying to get the position.

The fact was, he had been rather unsuccessful in Detroit, and the pay was an object to him, as much as the prestige was to me.

I was determined I would not be thrust out of my rank to suit Hurd, and in the long run I defeated him and was ordered to provide a supply of medicines and make ready to march at once.

I got Dr. Chapin, then our only druggist doing anything like a business, to fit me up a big medicine chest sufficient for the requirements of 200 infantry and a company of cavalry.

We got marching orders and had gone about fifty-five miles in the direction of Illinois when we received an order from General Williams ordering us back.

Our expedition lasted from the Thursday of one week till the too short a time entirely to give the First Michigan an opportunity to disquingish themselves on the field of glory, and I regret to say, also too short to qualify any of us for the 160 acres of land which every patriot had in his eye.

I didn’t have an opportunity of physicking a single combatant before the whole business was over.”

On the close of the “second cholera” in 1834, Dr. Whiting retired permanently from the practice of medicine, and devoted himself for the ensuing eight or ten years to the forwarding business, which consisted principally in the receipt and handling of the goods of immigrants who were then flowing into the State in large numbers.

The rush of immigration began in 1828 and continued for a long period afterwards.

“I saw,” said Dr. Whiting, “the early movement of emigration to Ohio, which was vigorously proceeding when I was on my way to Michigan.

I have seen the huge wagons of the pioneers, drawn by four teams of horses or yokes of oxen, making their way over the terrible roads, laden to the bursting point with household goods, and so arranged as to be moving homes for the family for the whole duration of the journey and until the settler could erect his log cabin in the unbroken wilderness.

The immigrants who came to us were from the thriftiest and most industrious New England stock, principally from the northeastern States and New York; people who could turn their hands to almost anything, and whose industry and perseverance, which they transmitted as a heritage to their posterity, have made Michigan what she is to-day.

“While keeping an eye on immigration, I saw the arrival of most of the men who have attained to note and position in this city and State.

It was while I had my office on the dock that Zachariah Chandler, then quite a new-comer, applied to me for a situation.

I well recollect when my friend, Mr. C. C. Trowbridge, came here—I was practicing then—a bright-eyed, ambitious, enthusiastic young man whose friendship I have enjoyed for scores of years, and whose career I have watched from early manhood to old age.”

Digressing a little, Dr. Whiting said:

“I observe in your sketch of Mr. Trowbridge that he speaks of an M. Laselle having once whipped the commandant of the fort in a dispute over a question of etiquette.

M. Laselle was well known as a peppery French officer in the Union service, who was present at Winchester’s defeat at River Raisin in the war of 1812-15.

He was the officer of the day, and, as the troops slept on their arm after the carnage, while posting a tall, gaunt New Hampshire soldier as a picket guard, intelligently instructed him as to his duties as follows:

” ‘Spose you see Hinjin, you say how?

How?

Dat call him ‘tenshun.

Den you say Endoss! Endoss!

Dat come here!

Come here!

‘Spose Hinjin no endoss, you vill sa-a-acra-wentelment baionnez le dans la ventre!”

[You will sacramentally bayonet him in the bowels.]

“To return to forwarding.

There was not much of a general trade in my earlier experience of the business.

The fur trade was carried on by a few houses, Judge Abbott, Mack & Conant, Dequindre, and the Buhls.

There were a few small manufacturing concerns turning out boots and shoes, clothing, wool hats, and so on, but nothing to signify.

For all our iron work we had to send to Cleveland, and large quantities of goods, now manufactured in and exported from Detroit, were imported from Ohio.

But as the flood of population poured in from the eastern states a change came rapidly about, which had a remarkable effect upon my business.

I had at one time the agency of five steam boats, something enormous for that period—purchased their supplies, and gave a decided impetus to the fuel trade by requiring a constant supply of from 1,500 to 2,000 cords of wood.

The steamers for which I was agent ran to Buffalo, calling at the different lake ports on the way.

Once or twice a year they went to Chicago and Mackinac with supplies and stores.

In my younger days we had quite a contemptuous opinion of Chicago as a little swampy hamlet compared with which Detroit was of metropolitan grandeur.

Times fully since then, yet always for the better in Detroit whose growth has been gradually solid and substantial.

I have seen the population grow from 900 to 130,000, and I know whereof I speak.”

Dr. Whiting, after a lengthened experience as a forwarder and commission merchant, went into business as a land and tax agent, in which he continued till his physical infirmity obliged him to retire.

He stayed at his post till he was forced to seek repose.

Speaking of politics, he said:

“I have never been actively engaged in politics.

I was originally what was called a ‘blue-light federalist,’ and cast my first vote for DeWitt Clinton for president just before I left for Detroit.

Parties have come and parties have gone, leaving me, in my opinions, pretty much where I was standing when I cast my first vote.

Though I was elected city clerk in 1832 and again in 1834, I have never sought office.

During my second term as clerk of the city I found I had to either giveup my warehouse or resign the clerkship, and I chose the latter.

This completes my experience of office.

I became a Whig when Whiggery represented principles, and when it died out I found it terrible hard work to become a republican, and only surrendered under protest.

However, I had not much time to throw away on politics and politicians; my life was too busy a one for any dissipation of the kind, and besides I have always had the confidence that this Union could take care of herself, without my going into hysterics about saving her.”

As I rose to go, Dr. Whiting said: “When you hear young fellows of yesterday talking of Detroit as a slow, fossilized place, remember that I have seen it grow from a frontier post, with half a hundred English speaking Americans in it, depending upon the precarious support afforded by the fur trade and the disbursement of public money by the troops; from a little settlement, yet showing the ravages of a long war, to a great imperial city, with the most thrifty and generally prosperous population of the United States, at the distributing head of the most magnificent inland water system of the world, and growing year by year in power and riches.”

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PATRICK SINCLAIR; BUILDER OF FORT MACKINAC – BY WILLIAM L. JENKS in 1915


By far the most conspicuous object in the Island of Mackinac is the old fort which overhangs so protectingly the village below.

The thick stone and earth walls, the three old block houses, built, according to the cards upon the doors, in 1780, the old buildings within the enclosure, all force the attention of the visitor, resident or tourist, to the age of the structure, but to few is known even the name, much less anything of the career of its creator.

In the extreme northeast of Scotland lies the shire or county of Caithness; a large part of it low and boggy, it rises toward the south and west, and contains but three streams of any size, the Wickwater and the Forss and Thurso Rivers.

Most of the coast line is rocky and forbidding and good harbors are few.

Near the northeast corner is John O’Groat’s house, and south of that along the East Coast is a large bay called Sinclair’s Bay.

For several centuries the name Sinclair or St. Clair-they are in reality the same, the latter being nearer to the original Norman form-has been the leading one in Caithness; the first earl of Caithness, created in 1455, being Sir William Sinclair.

From this shire, forbidding in its natural aspects, but like so many other places in Scotland, furnishing an abundant supply of young, energetic, capable and courageous men, came Patrick Sinclair, the subject of this sketch, of interest to Michigan, not alone because of his connection with Mackinac, but because he was the first man to establish a permanent foothold in the way of occupation, erecting buildings and cultivating land along St. Clair River.

Patrick_Sinclair

This noble river should today bear the name of Sinclair as it did for many years a century ago.

The present name is derived from Arthur St. Clair, first governor of the Northwest Territory, the original name passing gradually through forgetfulness of the one and growing importance of the other to its present form.

It is a curious fact that both Arthur St. Clair and Patrick Sinclair were born in the same year in the county of Caithness, within twenty-five miles of each other, and they were undoubtedly distantly related.

Whatever the cause, temperament, roving disposition, hard and forbidding material conditions at home, certain it is that Scotchmen have proved through centuries the mainstay of British enterprise and glory in foreign lands, and Scotch soldiers and explorers have done much to extend England’s domains.

Patrick Sinclair mas born in 1736 at Lybster, a small hamlet on the east coast of Caithness about 11 miles southeast of Wick, the chief town of the County, and was the half son and oldest of four children of Alexander who had married a connection in the person of Amelia Sinclair, the daughter of another Alexander Sinclair.

His father was the fourth Sinclair of Lybster and the name Patrick was common in the family, his grandfather bearing it, and his great grandmother was the daughter of Patrick Sinclair of Ulbster.

We have no knowledge of his youthful education but it must have been considerable as his papers and correspondence evince facility in expression, clear ideas and a good command of language,

In July, 1758, Patrick Sinclair purchased a commission as ensign – practically equivalent to 2nd Lieutenant, a grade not then existing in the famous 42nd Highlanders, or Black Watch Regiment, but he may have had some previous service in some capacity as in a letter to Gen. Haldimand in August, 1779, he refers to his 25 years’ service in the army, which if not a rhetorical exaggeration would imply that he had entered the service in 1761.

At any rate he soon saw active service, as his regiment was sent to the West

Indies in 1759, and he participated in January of that year in the attack and capture of Guadeloupe.

Not long after with his regiment he went to New York and then to Oswego where they spent several months.

In July, 1760 he was promoted to lieutenant and in August his regiment joined the army which under the leadership of General Amherst invaded Canada and captured Montreal.

Later it went to Staten Island, and in October, 1761, shortly before his regiment left for the West Indies he exchanged into the 15th Regiment of Foot.

The reason for this exchange is not evident as the 15th Foot went to the West Indies the same Fall and in August, 1763 came back to New York and then to Canada.

One Company however of the 15th Regiment remained in America and it is possible that this was Sinclair’s Company, as there is some evidence that he was at Quebec for a year from October, 1761, then for a time at New York, and again at Quebec.

For a part of the time at least he was in Capt. Robert Stobo’s Company.

In the Fall 1763 or the Spring of 1764 Sinclair must have been transferred to or connected with the Naval Department of the Lakes, as in a petition to the Earl of Hillsborough in 1769, he states that he “hath servedhis Majesty near six years last past on the Great Lakes in North America where he had the honor to command his Majesty’s vessels on the Lakes Erie, Sinclair, Huron and Michigan,” and the inscription on a silver bowl presented to him by the merchants of Detroit in 1767 refers to him as Captain Sinclair of the Naval Department.

The 15th Regiment of Foot was stationed at various posts in Canada, but no part of it as far west as Detroit, which was garrisoned mainly from the 60th Regiment during the entire period Sinclair mas in charge (as he says), of the navigation on the lakes,’ his’ headquarters, however, being Detroit.

Sinclair’s duties were general but important; to maintain and provision the boats, see to their arming and protection against the Indians, who were numerous, and, for some time after 1763, largely hostile to the English, and so dispose the shipping as to serve best the interest not only of the various garrisons, but also of the Indian traders and the merchants, who of necessity depended upon these boats for the bringing in of their goods and the carrying out of their furs.

The boats then in use consisted of canoes, batteaux, snows, sloops and schooners.

The canoe was the famed birch bark canoe noted for its carrying capacity in proportion to its weight and admirably adapted to the carriage of persons but not freight.

The batteau was a light boat worked with oars, long in proportion to its breadth and wider in the middle than at the ends.

It was well adapted for carrying freight, and for some years after the English obtained possession of the lakes it was extensively used between the posts in transporting both freight and passengers.

Of necessity the shore was closely followed both with batteau and canoe.

The snow was a type of vessel long since gone out of existence, with two ordinary masts and rigged much like a brig, but having in addition a small mast near the main mast to which the trysail was attached.

All the sailing vessels were of small burden.

The schooner “Gladwin,” famous for her successful attempt in bringing aid to the besieged Detroit garrison was of 80 tons burden.

Up to 1780 the largest boat on the lakes was the brig Gage of 154 tons, built in 1774.

In the same petition referred to above Sinclair states that he is the only person on the lakes who has ever explored the navigation of the lakes for vessels of burden “by taking exact soundings of them and the rivers and Straits which join them with the bearings of the headlands, islands, bays, etc., etc.”

The beginning of the siege of Detroit by Pontiac was signalized by the murder by the Indians on May 7th, 1763, of Captain Robertson, Sir Robert Davers, six soldiers and a boat’s crew of two sailors while engaged in taking soundings near the mouth of the “River Huron” as the account states it, now called St. Clair River, to seeif the lakes and rivers were navigable for a schooner then lying at Detroit on her way to Mackinac.

As a means of facilitating his duties, especially in regard to the communications between Detroit and the upper lakes, Sinclair erected, in 1764, a small fort just south of the mouth of Pine River in St. Clair County, the buildings comprising two barracks, one for sailors and one for soldiers, two block houses for cannon and small arms, and a wharf for drawing out and careening vessels, all enclosed within a stockade.

This post, about midway between lakes Huron and St. Clair, enabled him to control the river as regards the Indians, and also furnished a place for trade with them.

This establishment was ordered and approved by Colonel Bradstreet who was in Detroit in August, 1764.

During the season of 1764 Sinclair had under his command the schooner “Gladwin” which had brought relief to the beleaguered garrison at Detroit in the siege of Pontiac, and at the close of that season’s navigation he put her in winter quarters at Pine River.

In connection with his duties while stationed on the Lakes he made a trip of exploration down in the Indiana Country along the Wabash River, thus acquiring considerable knowledge of the French settlements in that vicinity.

Sinclair seems on the whole to have got along with the Indians very satisfactorily, and to have obtained their respect and liking and to have established a widespread reputation to that effect.

He was not entirely free from troubles however, as in 1767 the Chippewas, or Mississaguas, murdered a servant of his near the foot of Lake Huron.

The murderers were apprehended and sent to Albany for trial but were finally released to his indignation.

In 1767 the system of operating boats on the Lakes was changed and delivered over to private contractors, and Sinclair’s duties and official position terminated but it required some time to close out his matters, and when in the early summer of 1768 his regiment returned to England he remained upon the Lakes, and did not return to England until the spring of the following year.

That his conduct of affairs while in charge was acceptable to the class with whom he came most in contact outside of his government relations is proved by the presentation to him in 1767 of a silver bowl-still preserved in the family-with the following inscription engraved upon it:

“In remembrance of the encouragement experienced upon all occasions by the merchants in the Indian countries from Capt. Patrick Sinclair of the Naval Department, not as a reward for his services, but a public testimony of their gratitude this is presented instead of a more adequate acknowledgment which his disinterested disposition renders impracticable.

Dated the 23rd September, 1767.”

The merchants of Mackinac also gave him a testimonial.

Sinclair had erected the buildings and made the improvements at his fort mainly at his own expense, and in March, 1769, he applied to Gen. Gage, then commanding the British forces in America., to be reimbursed for his outlay £200, but Gage replied that the Government had not directed the construction and therefore Sinclair could do with the improvements what he saw fit.

Proposed_outline_of_Fort_Mackinac

 

Perhaps in anticipation of such result and as a measure of self-protection

Sinclair had obtained from the Indians a deed to a tract of land upon the St. Clair River, 2 ½ miles along the river by the same in depth to include his improvements. This deed was dated July 27th, 1768, and was signed by Massigiash and Ottawa, chiefs of the Chippewa Nation, in the presence of 15 Indians of that Nation and of George Turnbull, Captain of the Second Battalion of the 60th Regiment, George Archbold, Lieutenant, and ensigns Robert Johnson and John Amiel of the same Regiment, also of John Lewis Gage,Ensign of the 31st Regiment, and Lieut. John Hay of the 60th Regiment, Commissary of Indian affairs.

 

In the deed the land is described as being “on the Northwest side of the River Huron, between Lake Huron and Lake Sinclair, being one mile above the mouth of a small river commonly called Pine River and ending one mile and a half below the mouth of said Pine River.”

The consideration stated is “the love and regard we bear for our friend Lieut. Patrick Sinclair and for the love and esteem the whole of our said nation has for him for the many charitable acts he has done us, our wives and children.”

The King of England in his proclamation of October 3rd. 1763, establishing the province of Quebec, had expressly prohibited the obtaining of deeds from the Indians except under special license, and through certain officials.Site_of_Fort_MichiliMackinac_on_Mainland

This deed, therefore, although executed with considerable formality, and in the presence of the highest British Officials in the vicinity, did not operate to convey any legal title and this was recognized by Sinclair himself in 1774, in a petition to the government to be reimbursed for his expenditures on the property.

The property thug obtained was of sufficient size and quality to entitle him to consideration among the land owners of his native home, and he improved it by clearing, by setting out an orchard on the north side of Pine River, and by additional buildings.

It included a considerable body of pine and it is a curious fact that this marked on the East side of Michigan the Southern line of the great pine section of the Lower Peninsula.

During the period of his station at Detroit, Sinclair used the fort, buildings and pinery, but it is not known who looked after it during his absence from this locality after leaving in 1769 until 1759 when he arrived at Mackinac, but in 1780 Francis Bellecour, the British Indian Agent at Detroit, mas in charge.

He evidently was not giving satisfaction to the Indians in the vicinity, as in July of that year Maskeash, one of the Chiefs who signed the deed, with his wife and ten other Indians from along St. Clair River, went up on one of the government vessels, commanded by Alex Harrow, to Fort Mackinac to ask that Baptiste Point de (or du) Sable, be appointed to take cliai.ge of the property in place of Bellecour. DeSable mas a free mulatto who had traded with the Indians at the lower end of Lake Michigan, and, as he was friendly to the Americans, had been captured in 1779 by a British force from Fort Mackinac on the ground of his being a sympathizer with the American Rebels, and taken to Mackinac and detained.

By his conduct after his capture he commended himself to his captors and to Sinclair, then Lieutenant Governor, and as a result he was released and sent down to look after this property and trade with the Indians.

He appears to have remained there more or less continuously until 1784 when his effects were taken to Detroit and he returned to Illinois and continued at Peoria and Chicago until his death in 1811.

Although not in chronological order the subsequent history of this tract may be here narrated.

Sketch_of_Fort_Mackinac

In 1783 Lieutenant Governor Sinclair was living on the Isle of Orleans awaiting a decision upon the allowance of his accounts.

A young man by the name of Nicholas Boilvin who was a native of the Parish of St. Nicholas near Quebec. decided to try his fortunes in the far west, and April 5th., 1783, Sinclair gave to him a power of attorney to take charge of 1iis.farm on Pine River, his “stock, houses, barns, orchards, gardens, timber and every other article thereto appertaining.”

The same instrument recommended Boilvin to the protection of the officers at Detroit, so that all other persons might be prevented from cutting timber or trading near the post to Boilvin’s detriment.

Boilvin, on reaching Detroit, decided to go still farther west and September 20th, 1783, he assigned his power of attorney to David Ross and shortly after went to St. Louis.

He there became an Indian agent of the United States, but later removed to Prairie du Chien, where he mas for many years a person of some consequence.

In 1788, Sinclair’s rights were sold at auction and bought by Meldrum & Park, a firm of merchants and Indian traders of Detroit who went into possession of the property, made improvements and erected two saw mills and a grist mill.

In 1795, as the Indian deed to Sinclair had never been registered, but taken by him to England. finally finding its way to the Public Record office in London, Meldrum & Park obtained another deed from twenty-six Chippewa Chiefs, purporting to be in confirmation of the former deed to Sinclair; but the new deed conveyed a tract ten miles along St. Clair River by four miles in depth or about six times as much land.

This seems to have been in accordance with the usual way of honesty and fairness with which the white men treated the Indian.

This deed was not recognized by the United States as a conveyance of title, but the possessions taken under it enabled Meldrum & Park and their grantees to obtain patents from the United States, in 1810, to nearly five thousand acres.

In 1768 or 1769 Sinclair petitioned the Earl of Hillsborough, then Secretary for the Colonies, for the appointment of Superintendent of Navigation upon the Lakes, pointing out his experience, his successful services and the great need of such an official to protect the interests of the government, but the petition was refused, much to Sinclair’s disappointment.

It is not known exactly when he returned to England and his regiment, but it was sometime in the spring of 1769 and he was engaged in recruiting for upwards of a year.

In May 1771 he applied to the Earl of Hillsborough for the grant of a house at Detroit belonging to the Crown in lieu of his buildings at Pine River.

The matter as referred to General Gage, then at New York, who promised to look into the matter and see if that could be done without injury but apparently the inquiry was never made and nothing came of the petition.

He was promoted to Captain April 13, 1772, and the next year retired with the provision that he would not lose his rank if he rejoined the army.

Upon his retirement Sinclair returned to his ancestral home at Lybster, but time moved slowly there to a man accustomed for years to the wilderness and freedom of the Great Lakes in America and to the power and influence which Sinclair had been wont to exercise and directly upon his retirement he began exerting influence to get back to this country.

On June 1st, 1773, Sir Charles Thompson who had been for seven years the Colonel of the 15th Regiment, and who was an intimate personal friend of the King, wrote Lord Dartmouth in his behalf, recommending him as a proper person for appointment in Pennsylvania, the Jerseys, New York and the New England Provinces, but nothing came of it.

The government had never recognized his title to his land in America, nor had it ever repaid his outlays upon it, and in December, 1774, he applied for payment not only of these charges, but also for £56 which he paid to the Indians in redemption of white captives.

In the same account he includes £27 for his expenses caused by his being detained in the west when his regiment was sent to Europe and £70 for two servants killed by the Indians.

In February, 1775, his same kind and influential friend wrote again to Lord Dartmouth recommending Captain Sinclair for employment in Canada.

This time the fates were propitious and prompt, as on April 7th, 1775, he was commissioned by King George III, as Lieutenant Governor and Superintendent of the Post of Missillimakinac.

By the Proclamation of 1763 the Province of Quebec was established with such boundaries that practically all the Great Lake region lay outside, and therefore without any established form of government, which remained essentially military, without courts or ordinary civil officers.

The Quebec Act, passed by Parliament and effective in October, 1774, greatly extended the limits of the Province so as to reach the Ohio on the South and the Mississippi on the west.

By this Act a form of government by Governor and Council was provided and the old French laws recognized.

Although the Act itself made no reference to or provision for the western posts, the King in April, 1775, recognized four western districts or posts, and appointed as many Lieutenant Governors or Superintendents, one each to the posts of Detroit, Missillimakinac, St. Vincennes, and the Illinois.

These appointees were respectively Henry Hamilton, Patrick Sinclair, Edward Abbott and Matthew Johnson.

There was no attempt made to define the limits of each district, but ordinarily no question could arise over conflict of jurisdiction.

There was in each case a fortified place, which formed the center of operations.

There was, however, a clear distinction between the Post or District, and the fortified place; thus in the case of Sinclair, his seat of operations was Fort Mackinac, while his post was Missillimakinac and extended to cover the territory of all the Indians who were wont to come to that point to trade.

In the commission appointing Sinclair Lieutenant Governor there was no definition of his powers but he was to hold the position with all its “rights, privileges, profits, perquisites and advantages during the King’s pleasure.”

The incumbent, however was required to obey such orders and directions as he might receive from time to time from the Captain General and Commander in Chief of Quebec.

As there was no statute or general regulation upon the subject, the relation of the Lieutenant Governor, a civil officer, to the military force stationed at his post was indefinite and at Detroit was productive of considerable trouble.

Anxious to arrive at his post of duty promptly, there being no direct shipping from Glasgow to Quebec, Sinclair sailed for Baltimore, where he arrived July 26th, 1775, and at New York August 1st.

His purpose then was to go up the Hudson to Albany, thence to Oswego, and from there by boat to Quebec, and he made all preparation to leave New York August 4th, but on that day the Provincial Congress of New York then in session, having learned the previous day of his presence in the city, and of his great influence with the Indians, thought it unwise to permit him to go to his post where he might prejudice his Indian friends against the Colonies, and took him in custody and sent him on parole to Nassau Island in Suffolk County, Long Island, where he remained

until the following March, when upon his application to be permitted to retire to Europe, the Continental Congress granted his petition and he returned to England that summer.

He remained in England about a year and, apparently, found it rather difficult to get passage back to America, as in May, 1777, we find Lord George Germaine, then Secretary of the Colonies, granting Sinclair permission in response to request to come over in the packet Bristol rather than as “an unwelcome guest in a man-of-war.”

He did not reach America until the fall of 1777, this time at Philadelphia where he went with letters to Sir William Howe who advised him that his best plan to reach his post of duty via Quebec was to go by way of the St. Lawrence River the following spring.

Accordingly he spent the winter with Lord Howe and when the English fleet and forces left for England in May, 1778.

Captain Sinclair went as far as Halifax, where he was again compelled to wait until he could obtain transportation to Quebec.

Communications between Halifax and Quebec were infrequent and slow and it was a year later, in June, 1779, that Captain Sinclair arrived at Quebec and was ready to present himself and his commission to the Governor and receive his instructions and proceed to his post, although he had sent a communication to the Governor from Halifax in October of the year before.

At this time Sir Frederick Haldimand was Governor General.

He was of Swiss birth and, after some years’ service in the Prussian army joined the British forces in 1754 and was rapidly promoted.

He was an efficient officer and a good soldier, but his character and training both emphasized the military over the civil power.

On more than one occasion he received severe reprimands from the English government because of actions due to this feeling.

The officer then in command at Fort Mackinac was Maj. Arent Schuyler DePeyster who had been there for five years.

He was a capable officer, quite influential with the Indians and tactful in his intercourse with others.

He was gifted in a literary way, and although of American birth had strong English sympathies, sewing in the English army during the Revolutionary War.

Upon his retirement from the army he went to Dunfries, Scotland, his wife’s native place, where he became a close friend of the Poet Burns.

For some time DePeyster had been desirous of leaving Mackinac, giving as his reasons that his health was poor and that his private affairs at New York where his family had long been established sadly needed his presence but his real reason was the distance of his post from civilization, as no further complaints were heard from him after he was transferred to Detroit.

It is probable that Haldimand and Sinclair had met before.

In 1760 Haldimand, as lieutenant Colonel, accompanied the British force from Oswego to Montreal and Sinclair’s regiment, the 15th Foot, was a part of the force. Although Sinclair arrived in Quebec early in June, 1779, and undoubtedly presented himself promptly with his commission and a letter from Lord Germaine, which stated that, as Lieutenant Governor, he would have command over the military force stationed there, as well as civil authority, the Governor General, who did not relish the idea of Sinclair’s exercising military as well as civil powers at his post, put him off on various pretenses for over a month-in the meantime writing to DePeyster that he intended to delay Sinclair until the ship’s arrival from England in mid-summer, hoping perhaps to receive by then some authority to reduce or negative the instructions in Lord Germaine’s letter.

The ships arrived, but nothing to favor his wishes: he thereupon wrote to England, commenting upon the union of the civil and military authority in one person; but the reply received the following year made plain that the action of the government in this respect was fully considered and not to be altered.

In the meantime Haldimand issued a set of instructions for Sinclair, in which, disobeying the express terms of Lord Germaine’s letter, he authorized Sinclair to act as Commandant only until a senior officer of the garrison stationed there should arrive, and impressed upon him that only such senior officer had power over the troops to be sent beyond garrison limits, and in addition the perquisites attached to the commander of the post were to go to the officer.

Naturally such instructions proved very distasteful to Sinclair who at once addressed a spirited remonstrance to the Governor.

After some vigorous correspondence, in which Sinclair proposed to return to England rather than occupy a position which might be humiliating, the matter was compromised;the instructions were somewhat modified, and it was represented to him that there was in fact no senior officer at the post and an early opportunity would be given to purchase a commission as officer which would entitle him to outrank anyone who would be sent to the garrison.

With these assurances he left Quebec the last of August, 1779, for his post, and arrived at Fort Mackinac October 4th, 1779, probably by way of the Ottawa River, four and one-half years after the date of his commission.

He had crossed the ocean three times and while, until this date, he had not been able to exercise any authority under his commission, he had not neglected one important part of his duty, to draw his annual salary of £200.

Three days after his arrival, Major DePeyster left for Detroit, and Sinclair was free to examine his empire.

The fort was on the mainland on the south side of the strait, and practically in the same condition as it existed in 1763 at the time of its capture by the Indians.

It enclosed about two acres and the ramparts consisted solely of pickets driven into the ground.

It was on the sand and so near the shore that the waves in time of storm dashed over the pickets.

The practiced eye of Captain Sinclair at once noted its insecure condition, its inability to resist any attack but that of small arms, and that it could not afford protection to vessels.

In a letter to Captain Brehm, aide to Governor Haldimand, written four days after his arrival, he suggested the removal of the fort to the Island of Michilimackinac, and pointed out at some length the many advantages which the island possessed in the way of easy construction of a defensible fort, the protection of vessels, and good building material “but for God’s sake be careful in the choice of an engineer and don’t send up one of your paper engineers fond of fine regular polygons.”

In another letter to Brehm a week later, he returned to the subject and urged prompt action.

“It is the most respectable situation I ever saw, besides convenient for the subsistence of a Garrison, the safety of troops, traders and commerce.”

Without waiting for authority from the Governor, which could not be expected to be received until the following spring, Sinclair proceeded to set men at work on the island clearing, making shingles, pickets, etc.

By February he had so much done that he set about moving the French Church over to the Island and persuaded the traders and Canadians (as the French were generally called) that the removal was not only desirable but certain.

In May, 1780, came the consent of the Governor to the change with the information that lie had so much confidence in the Lieutenant Governor’s engineering abilities that no other engineer would be sent.

Sinclair soon found, however that, with the limited means at his command in masons and artificers, it would not be possible to complete the new fort sufficiently to move into it during that season, and he accordingly took all steps to put the mainland fort into the best possible condition to repel attack which he feared might come from the “rebels” – friends and adherents of the United States and their Indian friends.

In the meantime Sinclair had obtained the desired reinstatement, in military rank, so he was properly styled the Commandant (as well as Lieutenant Governor), thus uniting the military and civil powers of the post.

It so happened that Capt. George McDougall of the 84th Regiment, had been for some time anxious to sell out and retire on account of his health, but as he was an active and efficient officer, well-liked by the Indians, the Governor was loath to permit him to go.

However, in the spring of 1780, on the representation of failing health, permission was granted him to sell out and Lieut. Patrick Sinclair became the purchaser and a Captain again in the British Army, his commission being dated from April 1, 1780.

Sinclair received notice of his appointment July 8, and it evidently was a source of much satisfaction to him as he signed his letters for a time “Patrick Sinclair, Capt. 84th Regiment &Lieut. Gov.”

It was not long before an affair justified his insistence with Governor Haldimand upon the propriety and necessity of the provisions in Lord Germaine’s letter. Captain Mompesson of the 8th Reg., then at Detroit, was ordered by Maj. DePeyster to take a part of his company to Mackinac to relieve a company of Grenadiers.

Upon his arrival, Ang. 21st, 1780, he immediately refused to take orders from Sinclair and the next day issued a Regimental order that he expected obedience to his commands from the troops in the garrison.

Both officers wrote at once to the Governor who immediately decided that Captain Sinclair was in the right, that his former rank as Captain in the 15th Regiment had been ‘preserved upon his leaving that regiment, and he therefore clearly outranked Captain Mompesson.

The Governor in his letter to Sinclair about the matter added that he had at length obtained his Majesty’s decision upon the disputed rank of Lieutenant Governors of the post; this decision was, in fact, merely a confirmation of Lord George

Germaine’s letter.

Another episode happened at this time not calculated to soothe a somewhat peppery disposition and one regardful of the dignity and authority of its owner. Capt. Alex Harrow, of the Schooner Welcome, arrived July 29th, 1780, and assumed, as superior in naval command, to give an order to Captain McKay, of the Felicity, which had been plying chiefly between the post and the Island.

(Captain Harrow was a Scotchman who came to the Great Lakes in 1779 as an officer in the naval department and, in 1794, settled in St. Clair County on a large tract of land lying a short distance above Algonac and upon a part of which descendants of his are now living.)

The Lieutenant Governor resented this interference with his own authority and as both men were tenacious of their dignity, it resulted in Harrow being taken from his vessel and imprisoned in the fort.

After confinement of a month or two the authority of Sinclair was confirmed by the Governor, and Harrow, through the good nature of Sinclair, who, though quick to anger, was equally quick to relent, was released and reinstated in command of his vessel.

The command of a post so distant and isolated as that of Mackinac was a severe test of the qualities of promptness, decision, judgment and tact, and an early opportunity displayed Sinclair’s possession of the first two qualities in ample quantity.

After France embraced the cause of the United States she endeavored to get Spain to do the same; but the latter, though aiding the Americans in many ways, including the sale of a large quantity of gunpowder at New Orleans, made no formal declaration of war until May 8, 1779.

Lord Germaine either devised or adopted a plan to drive the Spanish out of Louisiana and on June 17, 1779, wrote General Haldimand, directing him in co-operation with Brigadier General Campbell to attack New Orleans and the other

Spanish posts on the Mississippi River.

Haldimand issued a circular letter to the Governors of all the Western posts giving general instructions.

This letter after passing from Colonel Bolton, at Niagara, to Major DePeyster, at Detroit, was forwarded by the latter Jan. 2, 1780, to Sinclair at Mackinac.

The day after its receipt Sinclair sent a war party to engage the Sioux Indians to proceed down the Mississippi River.

He also ordered Mr. Hesse, a trader, but formerly in the army, to collect a force of Indians and supplies in Wisconsin for the same purpose.

A few days later he dispatched a sergeant with Machiquawish, a noted Indian Chief, and his band.

The combined force made an attack on St. Louis which was only partially successful, and the project, as a whole, was a failure, the result being to leave the district South of Lake Michigan and as far West as the Mississippi River in American control.

Sinclair shows up, however, very favorably in the affair and, if the King had been as well served elsewhere, the result might have been very different.

The removal to the Island fort was made in the summer of 1781, although the fort was not entire1 completed.

When finally completed for occupation it contained four block houses, three of which are still standing; the fourth, which stood near the southeast corner was later removed.

The walls have since been widened and raised, and the roadway from the lower town brought nearer to the face of the hill and parallel to it, and lengthened so as to reduce the grade.

The officers’ quarters within the enclosure stand where they were originally constructed and the guard house, built in 1835, is on the site of the one built by Sinclair.

However, the general plan of the fort remains substantially the same today as when it was originally constructed 134 years ago, except that the North wall toward the West is brought in. thus contracting the enclosure by about one-fourth.

Sinclair proposed to call the new fort “Haldimand” after the Governor, but the latter decided that the fort should be called Fort “Makinac,” and the post should be continued to be called Michilimackinac, thus indicating that the post, meaning the civil jurisdiction, was more extensive than the fort, which included only the garrison limits.

The Governor’s spelling of the name of the fort was never carried out but the name of the post continued as long as the British retained control.

When they left and the Americans took possession, the post, as such, ceased, and both island and fort took the same name, Mackinac.

Sinclair, as a means of propitiating the Indians and securing their approval of removal to the Island, had negotiated with some of the Chiefs for a deed which he finally obtained in May, 1781.

By this deed five Chiefs of the Chippewa nation relinquished to Lieutenant Governor Sinclair, for the behalf and use of the English King, the Island of Michilimackinac, and agreed to preserve in their village a belt of wampum seven feet in length to perpetuate and be a lasting memorial of the transaction.

The consideration was £5,000 New York currency (equal to $12,500 in 1915).

The deed was signed with the totems of the Chiefs, also by Patrick Sinclair, Lt. Governor & Commandant, Captain Mompesson, Lieutenant Brooke and Ensign McDonall, and witnessed by six of the resident traders.

The work of completing the fort went on slowly as the Commandant could not get the necessary workmen.

Major Depeyster at Detroit was not feeling very friendly to Sinclair and when requested to send artificers reported that he could not spare any.

In August, Brigadier General Powell was compelled to peremptorily order him to send up two carpenters.

During the years of the construction of the fort an unusually large number of Indians came to Mackinac from all quarters to receive their annual presents from the British Government.

Sioux, Menominies, Sacs, Foxes, Ottawas and Chippewas, Winebagoes and all other tribes between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi, and even beyond, had become accustomed to make an annual pilgrimage to & Michilimackinac to meet the representative of their Great Father across the water and receive in return an outfit which would please their sense of display and enable them to support life until another season.

The coming of the white man and the introduction of strong drink and firearms had completely revolutionized the status of the Indians.

From an independent self-supporting people procuring their spare and difficult livelihood by the exercise of natural talents heightened by ever present necessity, they had become dependent for clothing and the means of obtaining food.

So longer were their own developed weapons sufficient.

They needed guns, powder and shot to kill the animals whose flesh gave them food and whose skins gave the furs the white man coveted and was willing to pay for.

The French had found it advantageous to give the Indians some presents to stimulate and maintain their friendship, but the English found it necessary to give far more.

The French, by their willingness to live the life of the Indians, to intermarry with them, and by their understanding and appreciation of Indian nature, were naturally regarded as their friends, and in the long French and English war the sympathies of the Western Indians were with the former and Pontiac found it easy to obtain the adherence of the most of the tribes.

When the English obtained possession of the western posts they thought it wise to conciliate the Indians by presents, and as time went on the number of Indians who applied for gifts and the extent of their demands increased until it became appalling to the British authorities.

An additional reason why during the period of Governor Sinclair’s station at Mackinac a larger amount of presents was needed than in ordinary times was that, owing to the Revolutionary War, the English feared-and with good reason-that the French were, in the main, friendly to the Americans, and would use their influence with the Indians to turn the latter against the English.

If this should happen all the Western posts would inevitably fall into the hands of the Americans.

The three posts on the lakes to which the Indians resorted in large numbers for supplies were Niagara, Detroit and Michilimackinac.

One of the articles most in demand was rum and, as an illustration, it appears that there was consumed during the year from June, 1780, to June, 1781, at the three posts, 19,386 gallons of this article euphemistically called “milk” at the Indian pow-wows.

This does not include the large amount used and furnished by the traders.

The nature of other articles sent by the Government as presents can be seen from the return showing that in 1781 there was sent to Lieutenant Governor Sinclair for Indian presents, 991 pairs of blankets, mostly 2% and 3 point, 102 dozen calico shirts, and 50 dozen linen ones, laced hats, feathers, looking glasses, knives, tomahawks, medals, needles and thread, axes, razors, brass and copper kettles, tobacco, powder, shot and guns, and a host of other minor articles.

It happened not infrequently that the supply of goods furnished by the government became low, or was very late in arriving at the post and, as the presents must be made when the Indians were there, the officers at the posts had been in the habit of buying from the traders such articles as they thought to be absolutely necessary.

In consequence they often were compelled to pay high prices.

These purchases as well as all other outlays were met by drafts drawn by the Lieutenant Governor upon the Governor General.

In order to prevent a further continuance of this practice and reduce, if possible. the great and Increasing expenses of the Western posts, on June 22nd, 1781, Governor Haldimand issued orders that the officers at Niagara, Detroit and Michilimackinac should, on no account whatever, after receipt of the order, purchase liquors or any other articles whatever for the use of the Indians from the trader, and that no circumstances whatever would he admitted a reason for not complying with the order.

Lieutenant Governor Sinclair did not observe this order very closely, evidently believing that this order was only intended for ordinary occasions, and that, as he was on the ground, he was entitled to use his judgment, even if it resulted in violating orders made at a great distance.

During the years 1780, 1781, 1782 the new fort was under construction, and in 1781 Sinclair drew on the Governor General drafts to the amount of £43,000 New York currency, for the engineering works and £65,000 for the Indian Department. This was an increase over the preceding year of £18,000 in the latter and nearly £35,000 in the former, which, however, was probably not unexpected as much more work was done on the new fort in 1781 than in 1780.

In 1782 the Lieutenant Governor drew for immense sums in both departments; in January one draft went forward for over £43,000 to be charged against the fort building, and to this no objection seems to have been made.

On the same day, however, he drew £11,450 on account of Indian expenditures, and when this draft was presented to Haldimand he refused to accept it, and referred the accounts to Mr. Goddard, general storekeeper and inspector of Indian presents, with instructions to charge out all articles he might consider presents to the Indians.

He later requested advice from his Attorney General upon the question whether he could legally pay part of the account, without acknowledging the whole.

Apparently he was advised that he might safely pay part as he did pay over £9,000.

In April Sinclair drew drafts to the amount of £14,500 of which £9,500 was on account of the fort and was paid, and £5,000 for Indian expenditures which was paid in part.

In July he drew for over £60,000 of which £40,000 was for the Indian department and the remainder for the Fort construction, about one-half of these drafts were accepted and the others refused and protested.

Although the Commandant at Detroit was at the same time also drawing heavily-in 1781, £162,000 and in 1782, £66,000 nearly all of which was on Indian account, none of his bills were refused.

In August, 1782, Haldimand alarmed at these enormous expenditures, which were affecting his own standing with the authorities in London, appointed Lieut. Col. Henry Hope, Sir John Johnson.

Superintendent of Indian Affairs, and James S. Goddard, to go to Mackinac and examine into the situation.

They arrived September 15th and found a number of irregularities.

There evidently had been looseness and carelessness in the keeping and checking of accounts, and the instructions of Governor Haldimand had not been followed with regard to the purchase of articles from the traders.

One of the perquisites which had been enjoyed and which though profitable to the Lieut. Governor, was detrimental to the public interests, was the reception by that official of presents from the Indians, generally in the nature of furs which naturally called for increased presents to the Indians, paid for by the Government.

It is apparent, however, that Sinclair’s actions had some justification.

Supplies ordered by him had not been sent, or were damaged in transit, or were so greatly delayed as not to arrive in time for distribution to the Indians, and the Commandant was obliged to choose between disappointing and alienating the Indians, a consequence of much importance until the Revolutionary War was ended – or purchasing goods from the traders.

Most of these drafts which were objected to were drawn in favor of George McBeath to be used by him in the payment of the various traders who had furnished articles.

McBeath had been sent up by Haldimand for the very purpose of taking charge of these expenditures and evidently thought them proper and necessary.

A few days after the arrival of the investigating board, Sinclair turned over the command of the post to Captain Robertson, the next ranking officer of the garrison, and left for Quebec arriving in October.

The fort was not yet entirely completed.

A careful survey made at the time by an engineer indicated the extent of the work done, and estimated that with 100 laborers and the necessary artificers, the fort could be put into a safe condition in about two months.

As nearly $300,000 had then been spent upon its construction without serious objection by the English authorities it may be easily conceived that they regarded the post as of high importance.

November 1st, Sinclair applied to Governor Haldimand for permission to go to Great Britain, which was refused on the ground that he was needed for the examination of his accounts.

He then took up his residence on the Isle of Orleans, awaiting action on this matter, and there he remained until the fall of 1784, when he finally obtained the desired permission and left for England.

In the meantime Haldimand wrote in October, 1782, to the English Treasury stating what he had done and that he would investigate and report.

In November, he followed this by an explanation of his reasons, which were in the main, that Sinclair had acted contrary to the order of June, 1781, in buying Indian presents from the traders.

He also promised to have the matter carefully looked into.

A year went by without any action whatever and in October, 1783, Haldimand wrote the Treasury that he was waiting with great impatience for instructions.

To this the Lords of the Treasury replied that he had failed to give them the information which he had promised, and which they needed before giving full instructions.

In January, 1784, the Treasury received remonstrances from the merchants whose bills were unpaid, and they wrote Haldimand that such parts of the bills as represented articles furnished and labor performed should be paid for at the usual rates.

In July, 1784, Haldimand wrote that he had offered £22,000 upon bills drawn for £57,000, and that his offer had been refused and he had been threatened with prosecution by the claimants.

In the meantime Sinclair was eating out his heart on the Isle of Orleans.

Prevented from going to England and meeting his family and friends, feeling the hostility of the Governor General, receiving the frequent importunities of the unfortunate traders who had parted with their goods, but had not received their money.

It is not to be wondered at that he fell into a state of deep and settled melancholy, and that even to his best friends his faculties began to seem impaired.

Representations were made to the Governor General and in August, 1784, he was allowed to return to England in company with Captain Erskine Hope and his wife, who was a connection of Sinclair.

The trip and his surroundings and his friends and relatives in Scotland, where he at once repaired upon his arrival in England, restored his health.

In November Haldimand himself left Canada for England, arriving at London in January, 1785.

As soon as Sinclair heard of this he left at once for London determined to have his affairs settled, and arrived there February 28, 1785.

He was delayed in meeting Haldimand, however, by being arrested at the suit of some of the holders of the protested Mackinac bills and thrown into Newgate prison, from which he was released on March 17th by his paying the bills.

He immediately demanded of Haldimand that the latter repay the amount at once, or he would apply for a Court Martial.

Apparently neither action was taken but early in April, Haldimand was sued for £50,000, he at once called upon the Government to defend him.

In the following year the action was dismissed, and the claimants appealed to Government for their pay.

The result of this application is unknown but the standing of Sinclair with the English authorities does not seem to have been impaired by all these proceedings. While at Mackinac he had advanced in military rank, having become a Major in 1782.

The next year his regiment, the 84th, was disbanded.

His absence from his post as Lieut. Governor did not affect his title or his salary except the allowance which he drew as commanding officer.

In August 1784, the Governor General was careful to impress upon Captain Robertson, then commanding at Mackinac, that his authority was merely in the absence of the Lieut. Governor.

In October, 1793, Sinclair was made a Colonel.

The post of Michilimackinac was transferred in June, 1796, to the Americans, and although Sinclair had not set foot in it since he left in August, 1782, he had continued to draw his yearly salary of £200 with great regularity.

According to modern ideas this would have been an unjustifiable sinecure, but that was an age of sinecures and it was acknowledged that an office was a vested right of which no possessor should be deprived without the payment of compensation.

Accordingly, it is not surprising to find that in April, 1797, Colonel Sinclair, then in London, petitioned the Duke of Portland, Secretary of State, that as he had been at great pains in fortifying and defending the post of Michilimackinac, and his Majesty had found it expedient to give it up to the United States, he flattered himself that this action would not be prejudicial to him and that his salary might be transferred to the general establishment.

This petition apparently seemed reasonable and his salary continued during the remainder of his life.

Not long after he was retired on half pay and withdrew to Lybster where he spent the remainder of his days.

Being still in line for promotion he was made a Major General on September 25th, 1803; he was made Lieut. General, July 25th, 1810, and at his death, which occurred January 31st, 1820 at the age of 84, he was the oldest officer of his rank in the British army.

From a consideration of all the evidence now available in the matter of the protested bills Sinclair was unfairly treated.

Haldimand, although a good soldier, was a stubborn opinionated man whose training as a soldier inclined him to be overbearing and impatient of anything except the most exact obedience to his orders.

In the face of the King’s commission to Sinclair with the accompanying letter of Lord George Germaine, which made the Lieut. Governor the Commandant entitling him to outrank any officer under a Brigadier General, he refused to recognize any military authority in the position.

Although admitting the great importance of placating the Western Indians, and having himself no personal knowledge of the difficulties of the situation, he thought his orders issued from a thousand miles away should be implicitly obeyed.

It is clear that Sinclair did not understand until the Board put in its appearance at Mackinac that he was doing anything more than the necessities of the situation required, in view of the fact that the government agencies were often so dilatory and neglectful as to leave the far distant post short or entirely lacking.

From his reply to Haldimand’s letter of June, 1781, it is apparent that he understood that his position as Lieut. Governor gave him discretion and this position was never contradicted by Haldimand.

His good faith is manifest all through, and even if Haldimand were justified in claiming that Sinclair had acted in contravention of his orders, that furnished no excuse for not paying the traders who had, in good faith, furnished articles actually used by the government and ordered by a representative they had no reason to suspect.

It seems probable that in the end the government paid the bills, as in 1786 the Treasury at London called on Haldimand to furnish information why the bills had been protested, and to explain why he had continued McBeath at Mackinac in connection with Indian disbursements after he had repudiated his actions in connection with Sinclair.

Sinclair married Catherine Stuart, of Invernesshire, and had four sons and one daughter.

Three sons died unmarried, and one married but left two daughters, who never married.

His only lineal descendants are through the children of his daughter, Susan, who married David Laing, surgeon, of Thurso.

A full length silhouette of General Sinclair taken after he had retired from the army shows a large handsome man of imposing presence.

Family tradition depicts him as an impulsive, warm hearted, as well as warm tempered individual, quick to resent and to punish, and equally quick to forgive; kindly and generous to dependents; philanthropic and helpful to the needy and improvident.

He lived to the good old age of eighty-four and his thoughts must frequently have gone back to this Inland Empire in which nearly a decade of his life was spent, and in which he had wielded a wide influence, and had erected a monument still enduring.

His name which was so closely connected with the early history of Michigan should be perpetuated and both Mackinac and St. Clair County should mark, by proper memorials, the name of Sinclair, as a most important one in their rolls of historic characters.

Categories: Ancient Treasure, Archaeology, artifacts, Legends, Michigan, Strange News, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ORIGINAL INHABITANTS OF DETROIT, MICHIGAN


griffon-drawing-1

INDIAN AGENTS.

EARLY VISITORS.

ORIGINAL INHABITANTS.

The origin of the first occupants of this region is shrouded in mystery.

Several writers have adopted the theory that they were descendants of the lost tribes of Israel, and they fortify their position with a variety of interesting facts.

The founder of our fair domain was a believer in this theory, and the archives of France contain a lengthy memorial written by Cadillac in which he distinctly asserts his belief that the Indians are descendants of the Hebrew race, strengthening his argument with statements of many remarkable coincidences and customs confirmatory of the idea.

The researches of Schoolcraft, Prescott, Pickering, and others, indicate that the first comers were from Asia, that they were driven by winds and waves over to the Pacific coast, or made their way by the Aleutian Islands or Behring’s Strait to Alaska, and from thence southward to Mexico and South America, afterwards spreading northward and eastward over the American continent.

Elaborate and plausible arguments have been made to prove the converse theory, that the Chinese are descended from the Aztec race.

In support of this supposition, it is urged that the trade winds from the Peruvian coast pass directly to China, and that even frail vessels could easily be wafted thither.

Unique and ancient bronze implements are found alike in both countries; the picture-writings of the two countries are in many cases similar, and in others are exactly the same; and the Feast of Souls, as celebrated in Central America, is remarkably like certain of the Chinese ceremonies.

The order of the ancient occupancy of the country seems to have been, first the Olmec’s, then the Toltecs, then the Aztecs, or Aztecas.

Various reasons give rise to the theory that the Aztec race were the first occupants of this particular region.

Humboldt was of the opinion that the country of the Aztecas was in this latitude.

The meaning of their tribal name is “People of the Lakes;” and there is no place in the United States in which small lakes are so numerous as in Michigan, while the State is nearly surrounded by lakes, which are almost seas in extent.

The name Michigan is derived from two Chippewa words, Mitchaw, great, and Sagiegan, lake. Great Lake.

The so-called Indian mounds in various Western States, in their size, form, and contents, add force to the Aztecan theory.

In the township of Springwells, just below Detroit, were four of these mounds; one of them still remains inside the grounds of Fort Wayne; the second was on property now occupied by the Copper Smelting Works, and the third lay between the other two.

They were circular in form, from thirty to seventy feet in diameter, and varying from three to ten feet in height.

Two parallel embankments, about four feet high, led to them from the east.

One of these mounds was opened in 1837, and the one inside the fort, by permission of the War Department, on May 22, 1876.

Both were found to contain numerous skeletons, arrow-heads, and vases or pots of earthenware.

The one last opened contained also an iron vessel capable of holding two or three gallons, and several pounds of what appeared to be a sort of paint.

The Great Mound of the River Rouge, about half a mile below Fort Wayne, was at first, probably, fully three hundred feet long and two hundred feet wide.

In 1876 it was twenty feet high.

It has never been fully explored, but a partial investigation by Henry Gillman resulted in the discovery of stone axes, arrow-heads, fragments of pottery, and human bones much decayed.

An old Indian told a member of the Cicotte family that these mounds were erected as forts, at the time the tribes were fighting each other.

Indian tradition also ascribes these mounds to the Tuetle Indians, who preceded the Wyandotts.

The name Tuetle is believed to be a corruption of Tuteloes, a tribe once supposed to have emigrated from Virginia only as far north as the Susquehanna; but it now seems probable that some came as far as the Detroit.

Of the more modern Indian tribes who roamed over this region, the Algonquin race was the earliest.

They counted among their numbers in the northwest the tribes of the Ottawas, Menominees, Sacs, Foxes, and Chippewas.

There were also in this vicinity the tribes of the Miamis, Potowatamies, Winnebagoes, and the Ouendats, or Wyandotts.

The latter who came to this vicinity about 1680, excelled the other tribes in energy and progressiveness.

From time to time the Iroquois also appeared.

This nation was composed originally of the Onondagas, Cayugas, Senecas, Oneidas, and Mohawks.

In 1714, the Tuscaroras of North Carolina united with them, and they were afterward known as the Six Nations.

They claimed all of Michigan, and between them and the Algonquins warfare was frequent.

Indeed, the Iroquois were the enemies of all the Indians at or near Detroit, and in 1649 they drove the Algonquins from this region.

They were unfriendly to the French, and during the French and English war did good service for the English.

They were the cannibals of America, and French residents of Detroit, in 1756, stated that the Iroquois actually ate the flesh of persons slain in battle.

It was the settled policy of the French commandants to induce as many friendly Indians as possible to settle near their forts.

We find Cadillac, in 1703, urging the Ottawas to move to Detroit.

The French records of the same year show that several Miamis were already settled there, and that on June 28 thirty Hurons arrived from Mackinaw and erected wigwams near the fort.

The Potowatamies had their village west of the fort, near the mouth of what was afterwards called Knagg’s Creek.

The Ottawa settlement was where Windsor now is, and the Hurons were gathered on the Canada side, opposite the Cass Farm.

In 1705 about two hundred Indians had been persuaded by Cadillac to settle in the vicinity.

In furtherance of his plans a great council of chiefs was held, continuing from August 6 to August 10, 1707.

The following translation from a French Colonial Memoir, written in 1707, and preserved at Paris, gives a vivid picture of Indian life at this period:

The village of the Pottowatamies adjoins the fort; they lodge partly under Apaquois, which are made of mat-grass.

The women do all this work.

The men belonging to that nation are well clothed, like our domiciliated Indians at Montreal; their entire occupation is hunting and dress ; they make use of a great deal of vermilion, and in winter wear buffalo robes richly painted, and in summer either blue or red cloth.

They play a good deal at la crosse in summer, twenty or more on each side.

Their bat is a sort of little racket, and the ball with which they play is made of very heavy wood, somewhat larger than the balls used at tennis; when playing they are entirely naked, except a breech cloth, and moccasins on their feet.

Their body is completely painted with all sorts of colors.

Some, with white clay, trace white lace on their bodies, as if on all the seams of a coat, and at a distance it would be apt to be taken for silver lace.

They play very deep {gros j’eu) and often.

The bets sometimes amount to more than eight hundred livres.

They set up two poles and commence the game from the center; one party propels the ball from one side and the other from the opposite, and which ever reaches the goal, wins.

This is fine recreation and worth seeing.

They often play village against village, the Poux against the Outaoues or the Hurons, and lay heavy stakes.

Sometimes Frenchmen join in the game with them.

The women cultivate Indian corn, beans, peas, squashes, and melons, which come up very fine.

The women and girls dance at night; adorn themselves considerably, grease their hair, put on a white shift, paint their cheeks with vermilion, and wear whatever wampum they possess, and are very tidy in their way.

They dance to the sound of the drum and sisiquoi, which is a sort of a gourd containing some grains of shot.

Four or five young girls sing, and beat time with the drum and sisiquoi, and the women keep time and do not lose a step ; it is very entertaining, and lasts almost the entire night.

The old men often dance the Medelinne (Medicine Dance); they resemble a set of demons, and all this takes place during the night.

The young men often dance in a circle {le tour) and strike posts; it is then they recount their achievements, and dance, at the same time, the war dance (des decouvertes), and whenever they act thus they are highly ornamented.

It is altogether very curious.

They often perform these things for tobacco. When they go hunting, which is every fall, they carry their Apaquois with them to hut under at night.

Everybody follows, men, women, and children, and winter in the forest and return in the spring.

The Hurons are also near, perhaps the eighth of a league from the French fort.

This is the most industrious nation that can be seen.

They scarcely ever dance, and are always at work; raise a very large amount of Indian corn, peas, beans; some grow wheat.

They construct their huts entirely of bark, very strong and solid; very lofty and very long, and arched like arbors.

Their fort is strongly encircled with pickets and bastions, well redoubted, and has strong gates.

They are the most faithful nation to the French, and the most expert hunters that we have.

Their cabins are divided into sleeping compartments, which contain their misirague, and are very clean.

They are the bravest of all the nations and possess considerable talent.

They are well clad; some of them wear close overcoats {juste au corps de capot).

The men are always hunting, summer and winter, and the women work.

When they go hunting in the fall, a goodly number of them remain to guard their fort.

The old women, and throughout the winter those women who remain, collect wood in very large quantity.

The soil is very fertile; Indian corn grows there to the height of ten to twelve feet.

Their fields are very clean, and very extensive; not the smallest weed is to be seen in them.

The Outaoues are on the opposite of the river, over against the French fort ; they, likewise, have a picket fort.

Their cabins resemble somewhat those of the Hurons.

They do not make use of Apaquois except when out hunting: their cabins in this fort are all of bark, but not so clean nor so well made as those of the Hurons.

They are as well dressed and very laborious, both in their agriculture and hunting.

Their dances, juggleries, and games of ball (la crosse) and of the bowl, are the same as those of the Poux.

Their game of the bowl consists of eight small pebbles (noyaux), which are red or black on one side, and yellow or white on the other; these are tossed up in a bowl, and when he who holds the vessel tosses them and finds seven of the whole eight of the same color he gains, and continues playing as long as he receives the same thing.

When the result is different, the adverse party takes the bowl and plays next, and they risk heavy stakes on all these games.

They have likewise the game of the straws, and all the nations gamble in like manner.

In 1736 there were five hundred Indian warriors at Detroit,—two hundred each from the Huron and Ottawa tribes and one hundred from the Potowatamies.

Bougainville, who was here in 1757,says:

The Indians who usually come to trade at Detroit are the Hurons of the same tribe of those of Lorette, near Quebec, a perfidious and deceitful nation in whom we must never put confidence.

There are also the Ottawas, the Sauteux, and the Potowatamies; these last named are of all the Indians the most faithful and the most attached to our interests.

They have never murdered any Frenchmen, and have often warned us of the plots of other tribes.

Cadillac says that the Ottawas wore, as an ornament, a little stone suspended from their nose, and that “Ottawa,” the name of the tribe, signified “the nation with a hole in their nose.”

The French gave nicknames to most of the tribes in this region.

The Wyandotts they designated as Hurons, because of their fierce aspect, comparing them to a wild boar; the Chippewas, as Sauteurs, from their residence near the Sault St. Marie; the Menominees were called Folles Avoines, from “wild rice,” one of their principal articles of food.

The name Potowatamie was abbreviated into Poux.

This nation was very uncleanly.

All of the tribes known to the Americans, north of the Ohio and east of the Mississippi, had their council-fire at the village of the Wyandotts, near the mouth of the Detroit River.

The Wyandotts alone had the power to convene the tribes, and when a council was to be held, application was made to them, and it was held at their village.

This fact gave the locality a peculiar importance and made it familiar to all the Indians.

At various times nearly all the noted Indian leaders visited this post.

Pontiac, Tecumseh, and his brother The Prophet, were frequent visitors. John Logan, the Cayuga chief, whose speech to Lord Dunmore, Governor of Virginia, is familiar to every schoolboy, was here in 1774, and after the treaty of Chillicothe, he resided for many years in this vicinity.

He became a drunkard, and was killed, between Detroit and Miami, by an Indian.

The French trusted the Indians almost without fear.

No seals or locks were placed on the storehouses, and the Indians came and went as they pleased. Under English and American rule the Indians were welcomed inside the stockade during the day, but at night all were turned out except those who were entertained by private persons.

The Indians were always persistent beggars, and no Arab of the present day demands backsheesh more clamorously than did the red men of their French and English “brothers.”

Their requests were generally acceded to, and the presents given them in some measure made up for the exorbitant prices charged them for articles offered in exchange for furs.

Their likes and dislikes turned, like a pair of scales, according as they had free range or were restricted in their visitations to the houses.

On September 18, 1770, Captain Stephenson, of the Eighteenth Regiment, then in command, wrote to Sir William Johnson:

My children here are quiet at present.

They have all been to pay me a visit and suck my breast, to which they made so close an application that I told them I was afraid they would throw me in a consumption.

They are very happy at having free access to my house, which my predecessor’s delicacy would not admit.

Even after this region was surrendered, the English Government sought the favor of the Indians by annual gifts; and year by year up to 1836 thousands from various tribes gathered at Detroit, Sandwich, or Maiden to receive the presents of their Great Father, the King.

The American Government was compelled to follow this precedent.

On November 24, 1807, Governor Hull wrote to the Secretary of War that within the two or three days previous seven or eight hundred Indians had called at Detroit, on the way to their villages, and that he had been compelled to feed them.

In the autumn of 1812, while the city was in possession of the British, the Indians committed many outrages.

A party of them went in a body to rob Colonel Lambert Beaubien’s orchard, but the Colonel attacked them with his fists, and made so courageous a defense that he drove them from his premises.

After the city again passed under American control, Colonel Cass was obliged to feed great numbers of the Indians.

In one communication to the War Department he states that for several years he fed an average of four hundred Indians per day.

Between 1814 and 1817, he disbursed $200,000 for the benefit of the Indians.

To divide and distribute among them the goods and bounty of the Government was a task vexatious in the extreme, and almost unbearable, for it was impossible to satisfy the stupid and stolid savages.

All the year round they came and went, and the agent’s family was “driven from one extremity of the house to the other by them.”

In addition to the annuities the “government blacksmith” repaired, free of charge, their guns and traps.

There was always some excuse for their coming, and citizens were not surprised at any time to see a swarthy face at the window-pane; oftentimes the click of the latch was the only warning of the entrance of one of the nation’s wards.

Some of them were gayly dressed with blankets of scarlet broadcloth, and strings of silver half-moons graduated in size from one to several inches in length, hung from neck to ankles, both in front and down the back.

Their moccasins and leggins were gay with beads and the stained quills of the porcupine.

The heads of the war chiefs were frequently gayer still with the vermilion and bear’s grease which had been rubbed thereon.

The squaws were not left behind.

There was always some burden for them to carry, and the procession ceased on one day only to begin the next.

Indians and more Indians, and still they came! Indians lazy and Indians drunk, Indians sick and Indians hungry, all crying “Give! give!”

After receiving their payments, hundreds of them would lie about the city stupidly drunk; in August, 1825, they so disturbed the peace of the city, that the Council, through the mayor, sought aid from the governor to quiet and control them.

A few of these Indians came to buy goods, and were really trustworthy.

An old account book of that period contains charges made against Indians called “Saw Goose’s Wife,” “Big Wind’s Daughter,” “The Rat,” “The White Devil,” ” The Old Cow,” “The Cow’s Sister,” “The Old Eagle and Son,” “The Red Bird,” and “The Turtle.”

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10 Poorest Cities in America and how did it happen?….


City, State, % of People Below the Poverty Level

1. Detroit , MI 32.5%

2. Buffalo , NY 29.9%

3. Cincinnati , OH 27.8%

4. Cleveland , OH 27.0%

5. Miami , FL 26.9%

5. St. Louis , MO 26.8%

7. El Paso , TX 26.4%

8. Milwaukee , WI 26.2%

9. Philadelphia , PA 25.1%

10. Newark , NJ 24.2%

What do the top ten cities (over 250,000) with the highest poverty rate

all have in common?

Detroit, MI (1st on the poverty rate list) hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1961

Buffalo, NY (2nd) hasn’t elected one since 1954

Cincinnati, OH – (3rd) since 1984

Cleveland, OH – (4th) since 1989

Miami, FL – (5th) has never had a Republican mayor

St. Louis, MO – (6th) since 1949

El Paso, TX – (7th) has never had a Republican mayor

Milwaukee, WI – (8th) since 1908

Philadelphia, PA – (9th) since 1952

Newark, NJ – (10th) since 1907

Einstein once said, ‘The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again

and expecting different results.’

It is the poor who habitually elect Democrats……. yet they are still POOR.

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From The Thin Blue Line…A former Chicago Police Officer speaks….


Chicago, formerly America’s Second City a once proud bastion of American capitalism. Now, after years of liberal Democrat rule, we have a city in rapid decline, soon to enter into bankruptcy. Chicago will become Detroit west.

Now some home truths from a former Chicago cop.

That was the score 4th of July (2013) weekend in Chicago. 86 shot (actually puncture wounds) 12 dead, Chicago stopped counting graze wounds and only counts actual bullet holes now, you don’t count if you get your nose or ear shot off. Chicago is also a city three quarters of which is unsafe to walk in. The thug and gang infested South, West and East sides are expanding like a cancer, while the few remaining safe neighborhoods are shrinking annually due, largely in part, to scattered site housing.

This is the crowning achievement of our politicians and the social engineers, who long ago decided that big, bad, brutish policemen were no longer needed. So, it came to pass that, in the ’70s, they started allowing females onto the department. That did away with height and strength requirements. They then decided that the correct rainbow of colors was needed. To accomplish this, they lowered the aptitude tests and created quotas. That did away with intelligence and integrity requirements. Of course, gays could not be excluded, either. The ideal candidate for promotion became a black transvestite with a Spanish surname.

Our weapons were next on their agenda. Blackjacks, sap gloves and the like were banned. Our shotguns were moved from the front seat to the trunk, from the trunk to the radio room and, from there, just disappeared. New ammunition was issued, which was so inadequate it would ricochet off of car windshields. And God help you if you hit someone with your flashlight.

Finally, the politicians got rid of the real Policemen. The old dinosaurs were lured into early retirements and replaced with internal affairs weenies and gays with a decent sprinkling of color. The brutish “Old Clancy” stereotype was laid to rest and replaced by “Officers Ken & Barbie.” The end result is a department that is befuddled, cow towed, hamstrung, weak and totally not feared by the thugs and gang bangers, but oh so politically correct.

The City has succeeded in ridding itself of the brutish dinosaur cops of old and has replaced them with little girls and college yuppies who wouldn’t know a bad guy if he shit in their face. They have invented new politically correct terms like Wilding and Flash Mobs to describe black Mob Violence, which is rapidly spreading into the once “Safe Zones” of Michigan Avenue, River North and Wrigleyville.

After you have been shot, raped or robbed, Officers Ken & Barbie will arrive and write a most excellent report with perfect grammar and punctuation, which will be fed into a state of the art computer, which will crunch and manipulate the numbers precisely. Me, I long for the old days when Clancy crunched and manipulated the thugs before I became the next victim.

All of this in the most corrupt city, most corrupt county, most corrupt state in the country, whose political leaders zealously and vehemently fight to impose the most restrictive gun control legislation in the nation. If you believe Officers Ken & Barbie are going to protect you and yours, you had better get your head out of your butt and smell the coffee. Old Clancy is retired. It’s now up to you to protect yourself.

Rejoice, oh liberals. You have gotten exactly what you wanted. Hope you enjoy it!

Sincerely, a retired “old-school” Chicago cop

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Mich. judge calls Detroit bankruptcy unconstitutional; AG to appeal….


DETROIT — It took less than 24 hours for the legal wrangling to start around the Detroit bankruptcy filing.

First a county judge ruled the filing unconstitutional under Michigan law.

Then the state’s attorney general said he would appeal the ruling and asked that the judge’s orders be stayed until the appeal.

Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said the bankruptcy filing violated the state’s constitution, which she says prohibits actions that will lessen pension benefits of public employees, including those in Detroit.

She ordered Gov. Rick Snyder to ask Emergency Financial Manager Kevyn Orr to immediately withdraw the bankruptcy filing and that no further Chapter 9 bankruptcies be filed that threaten pension benefits of public employees.

“I have some very serious concerns because there was this rush to bankruptcy court that didn’t have to occur and shouldn’t have occurred,” Aquilina told the Detroit Free Press.

Later in the day Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said he will appeal Aquilina’s ruling and ask for a stay so that the bankruptcy can proceed until the appeal is heard.
Aquilina has a Democratic background. Snyder is a Republican.

Earlier in the day, an adamant and focused Snyder said he decided to authorize the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history because “now is our opportunity to stop 60 years of decline” in Detroit.

Snyder cited years of financial mismanagement, deterioration of city services and a decade of having the worst crime rates in the nation as reasons to file for bankruptcy.

“The city is basically broke. It is $18 billion in debt,” Snyder told a packed news conference at Wayne State University in Detroit.

It was the governor’s first public appearance since the filing of a 16-page document on Thursday to place Detroit in Chapter 9 federal bankruptcy protection.

The expectation is that the bankruptcy will allow Snyder, Orr and Detroit city leaders to set aside lawsuits and work on gaining financial stability for the beleaguered city by offering protection from creditors and unions.

Snyder said the decision to file for financial protection was a difficult one but one that had to be made.

“It’s been a long period of decline,” he said. “It’s time to do something about it.”

Orr, who spoke to the media alongside Snyder, blamed years of mismanagement on the city’s economic decline.

“The depth of some of the practices … and the tolerance of this behavior for decades is, at its best, unorthodox,” said Orr, who was given 18 months when he took office in March to find a financial fix for the city. “I wish there had been a lot more outrage over the last 10 to 20 years.”
Orr was asked if he had discussed Detroit’s financial difficulties with the White House, and he declined to comment.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said during a briefing later in the day in Washington, D.C., that senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan have been in conversations with leaders in Detroit and Michigan.

Carney said he was unaware if President Barack Obama or Vice President Joe Biden have been involved in any of those conversations.

“I would simply say that clearly the situation in Detroit is unique at this time given the declaration and the size of the city and the size of the challenges that Detroit faces,” Carney said.

Snyder and Orr took questions from local and national media for about 45 minutes behind a simple podium adorned with a photo of the city’s iconic skyline and the slogan “Reinventing Detroit.”

Several of the questions focused on which of Detroit’s prized assets, or city “jewels,” including artwork and city parks, would be sold to appease creditors.

“Right now there is nothing for sale, including Howdy Doody,” Orr said referring to the TV puppet that is in storage at the Detroit Institute of Arts that some say is worth $1 million.

Synder touted the investment in the city from benefactors such as Quicken Loans chairman and Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, who has bought up millions of square feet of real estate in the heart of the city and invested about $1 billion to move the city into a technology hub of the Midwest.
He also credited Detroit Tigers and Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch for years of investment in the city and a new commitment to build a new hockey arena downtown.

“There are so many tremendous things going on,” Snyder said. “Young people are moving to Detroit.”

Both Synder and Orr said the process will involve working with creditors, pension fund managers, civil servants, citizens and government leaders to improve neighborhoods and get the city back on a solid financial foundation.

“People may say this is the lowest point in Detroit’s history,” Synder said. “This is the day to stabilize Detroit.”

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First came box lunches…now box homes….


Shipping Containers to Become Condos in Detroit

===========================================================================
The first U.S. multi-family condo built of used shipping containers is slated to break ground in Detroit early next year.
Strong, durable and portable, shipping containers stack easily and link together like Legos. About 25 million of these 20-by-40 feet multicolored boxes move through U.S. container ports a year, hauling children’s toys, flat-screen TVs, computers, car parts, sneakers and sweaters.
But so much travel takes its toll, and eventually the containers wear out and are retired. That’s when architects and designers, especially those with a “green” bent, step in to turn these cast-off boxes into student housing in Amsterdam, artists’ studios, emergency shelters, health clinics, office buildings.
Despite an oft-reported glut of unused cargo containers lying idle around U.S. ports and ship yards – estimates have ranged from 700,000 to 2 million – the Intermodal Steel Building Units and Container Homes Association puts the number closer to 12,000, including what’s sold on Craigslist and eBay.
HyBrid Architecture in Seattle, which has built cottages and office buildings from containers for close to a decade, coined the term ” cargotecture” to describe this method of building. Co-founder Joel Egan warns that although containers can be bought for as little as $2,500, they shouldn’t be seen as a low-cost housing solution. “Ninety-five percent of the cost still remains,” he says.

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The search for Jimmy Hoffa’s body: 6 rumored burial grounds…..


1. The Roseville backyard burial
On Friday, Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality is taking a core sample from the driveway of a house in the Detroit suburb of Roseville, after a recent radar scan of the driveway found an anomaly two feet underground. If forensic anthropologists find human remains in the sample, local police will excavate to find the body, be it Hoffa’s or someone else. An unidentified tipster told Roseville police that he saw the man who owned the house in 1975 — a bookie for Detroit mafia captain Anthony (Tony Jack) Giacalone, one of the men Hoffa was going to meet the day he vanished — stay up all night mixing concrete for his driveway on the fatal day. Retired Detroit FBI chief Andrew Arena is skeptical. “You’ve got to check it out, but this doesn’t sound right,” he tells the AP. “I just don’t see [the mob] burying the body basically at the intersection of a residential neighborhood with this guy standing there.”

2. The horse barn interment
In 2006, the FBI followed “a fairly credible lead” to a horse farm about 30 miles west of Bloomfield’s Machus Red Fox restaurant. On the day of Hoffa’s disappearance, there was a lot of activity at the farm, including reports of a backhoe appearing on the property — reputedly a mafia meeting place at the time. The feds hauled in a whole team of investigators, archeologists, and anthropologists, plus enough heavy equipment to dig around and demolish the horse barn. Two weeks and $250,000 later, the FBI left empty-handed, mystery unsolved.

3. The Beaverland betrayal
Hoffa loyalist and Pennsylvania Teamster official Frank (The Irishman) Sheeran died in 2003, but not before suggesting to his biographer that he shot Hoffa in a home in the Detroit suburb of Beaverland. The account, by former prosecutor Charles Brandt, has Sheeran betraying his friend on the orders of Pennsylvania mob boss Russell Bufalino. According to the book, Sheeran lured Hoffa into the house, shot him in the back of the head, and left, while brothers Thomas and Stephen Andretta cleaned up and disposed of Hoffa’s body, burning the remains in a trash incinerator at a funeral home. In May 2004, local police pried up some of the floorboards in the Beaverland home to test blood found on the wood against a sample of Hoffa’s DNA. Their conclusion: The blood wasn’t Hoffa’s.

4. The New Jersey stadium burial
In a 1989 Playboy interview, convicted mob enforcer Donald (Tony the Greek) Frankos made one of the most enduring, and oddly specific, claims about Hoffa’s fate: After being lured to a Mt. Clemens, Mich., home by foster son Charles (Chuckie) O’Brien, Hoffa was shot dead with a silenced .22 pistol by New York Irish mobster Jimmy Coonan, dismembered with a power saw and meat cleaver by Coonan and fellow mob boss John Sullivan, bagged and frozen, then buried five months later in the concrete under Section 107 of the New York Giants’ stadium in New Jersey. Before the old Giants stadium was razed in 2010, TV’s Mythbusters squad looked for evidence of Hoffa’s entombment under the stadium and found nothing.

5. The GM headquarters tomb
This claim comes from a 2011 book by self-described “weasel” and mob “goon” Marvin Elkind: Hoffa was buried in the foundation of Detroit’s Renaissance Center, which was being built when the ex-Teamster boss disappeared. Elkind says he learned the location from Giacalone at a 1985 Teamster conference, when the mobster nodded toward the building and said, “Say good morning to Jimmy Hoffa, boys.” After Hoffa’s body was dumped in, “there was a mad rush to get the concrete poured,” Elkind adds. “It makes some murderous logistical sense to kill him and dispose of his body” in nearby Detroit — certainly more so than hauling his remains to New Jersey, says John Pearley Huffman at Edmunds Inside Line. But if Hoffa really is buried under the Renaissance Center, now the headquarters for GM, the largely union-owned auto giant’s home is “built upon a foundation that includes one of labor’s most famous leaders.”

6. The watery grave
In 1987, former Hoffa tough Joe Franco and ex-New York Times reporter Richard Hammer claimed in a book, Hoffa’s Man, that the FBI’s theory is all wrong. Hoffa wasn’t whacked by mafia and Big Labor rivals, but by two federal agents who abducted the labor boss, took him up in a small airplane, and pushed him out over the Great Lakes.

I was in Detroit when Jimmy turned up missing…the next day the rumor on the streets was……Jimmy was picked up and told he would be returned to his car after the “meeting” with Russ and Frank (“Russ” was the notorious mob boss Russell “McGee” Bufalino. “Frank” was no other than Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran. Both were close friends and allies, and two of the only people Hoffa trusted with his life), instead he was shot in the head during the ride, taken to a scrap yard and tossed into a car ready for the crusher. The car was crushed into a standard bale, loaded onto a truck and taken to the foundry.
What happened next is what happens to all scrap, crushed cars…dumped into the vat and melted down. No body will ever be found if this is true.

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U-Haul Truck Carrying Biden Gear Stolen in Detroit…..


He should have expected no less in a town full of Democrats……

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A U-Haul truck carrying equipment for Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign event in Detroit Monday was stolen this weekend, ABC News confirmed with United States Secret Service.

Ed Donovan, a spokesman for the USSS, told ABC News the truck carrying equipment was stolen between late Saturday night and early Sunday morning at the Westin Hotel in Detroit. He would not specify what kind of equipment was in the truck.

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