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Title Relation du Sieur de la Motte Cadillac [manuscript]: capitaine en pied aiant une compagnie de la marine en Canada...
Author Cadillac, Antoine Laumet de Lamothe (1658-1730)
Document Type Travel Journal; Manuscript
Description From the Newberry Library Catalogue: Ms. transcription by D....D, dated July 21, 1718 in Versailles, au Parc au Cerf, of Lamothe Cadillac’s description, probably from around 1693-1697, of the French settlement at Michilimackinac, and the customs and traditions of the neighboring Indian tribes. In the first chapter on Michilimackinac, Cadillac describes the geography of the Great Lakes, the way the Indians build their homes, cook their food, trap beaver and fish, and the practices of the voyageurs or fur traders. He continues by discussing the physical make-up of the Indians, how they engage in warfare and torture their captives, their own indifference to pain, their rituals of courtship, marriage, and death; and the practices of their medicine men. Chapt. 4 contains Cadillac’s arguments in support of his theory that the Indians are descended from the Hebrews, and are the original Jews. Finally, he describes, tribe by tribe, the Indians south of Michilimackinac, including the Outaouas, Hurons, Pouteouatamis, Noquets, Sakis, Puans, Outagamis, Miamis of Chicagou, and Sioux. In the last chapter, Cadillac marvels at the rivers which join the Mississippi, and lead south, and west, possibly to the Pacific Ocean, and also describes the beauty of the land inhabited by the Illinois.
Places Michilimackinac, Mackinaw City, Michigan, Mississippi River, Great Lakes, United States; Versailles, France; Canada
Keywords custom, tradition, observation, travelogue, beaver, fur trade, fur trader, war, captive, ceremony, ritual, marriage, death, medicine men, personal account, settlement, France, social life
Theme Observation, Representation and Cultural Encounters; American Indians and the European Powers
Tribe / Nation
Culture Area Northeast, Great Plains, Subarctic
Language French
Additional Information

FULL TITLE: Relation du Sieur de la Motte Cadillac [manuscript]: capitaine en pied aiant une compagnie de la marine en Canada, cy devant commandant de Missilimakinak et autres postes eloignée ou il a eté pendant trois annees: ouvrage tres curieux, tiré sur l’original de l’auteur et non encore imprimé.

Cadillac was a fur trader, military officer, and founder of Detroit. Born in Les Laumets, France in 1658, he was a trader and privateer in Acadia from 1683-1691, when he moved to Québec and received a commission in the naval troops. A protegé of Frontenac, he served as commandant at Michilimackinac from 1693-1697. He established a settlement at Detroit, where he remained from 1701-1710, to prevent English expansion, and to control the fur trade with Indian tribes to the west. He served as governor of Louisiana from 1710-1717, before returning to France in 1718.

Library The Newberry Library
Copyright The Newberry Library
Collection The Edward E. Ayer Collection
Reference VAULT Ayer MS 130
Catalogue Link The Newberry Library Catalogue