The inventories of Détroit residents provide us with insight into their belongings, how they lived, and in the case of François Bienvenu dit Delisle, and Cadillac, how their homes and other buildings were was constructed.
Bienvenu Inventory -
this inventory was taken in Detroit in 1707 following the death of François Bienvenu dit
Delisle's first wife, Geneviève Charron dite
Laferrière. The couple had four children. He remarried Marie Anne Lemoine in Montréal in 1708.
Marillac Inventory -
this inventory was taken in Detroit in 1709 following the death of Jérôme Marillac. Jérôme Marillac and Marie Anne Galien had two children. His widow remarried in 1712.
Cadillac Inventory - on 25 August 1711, Fr. Cherubin Deniau, Pierre Chesne, and Antoine Magnan dit Lespérance took a General inventory of the buildings, mill, livestock, merchandise, tools, furniture, real estate, and other goods belonging to Sieur de Lamothe Cadillac, which were in the hands of Pierre Roy. The inventory can be accessed from Michigan Pioneer and Historical Series Collections, Vol. 33, pp. 518-527.
Although we have no idea whether François Bienvenu dit Delisle or Jérôme Marillac traded with the local Native Americans or personally hunted for the buffalo robes listed in the above inventories, the map below shows a Native American hunting for buffalo southwest of Lake Erie.
1703 Map attributed to Antoine de Lamothe, sieur de Cadillac
In his 1718 memoire, Jacques Charles de Sabrevois, sieur de Bluery, noted that buffalo could be found south of Lake Erie. Sabrevois was commandant of Détroit from 1715 to 1717. He noted that the Potawatomi adorned themselves in buffalo robes, and that buffalo herds ate the clay and rolled in it near la glaise [present-day Defiance, Ohio] about 55 miles southwest of present-day Toledo, Ohio. [LAC, Mikan #3065210 – original memoir; WiHC, Vol. 16, pp. 363-376 – translation].
See the Culture, Heritage, and Traditions Page on this website for insight into the use of animal skins such as buffalo and bear skins and travelling matresses and to download the Hunting and Fishing Métissage PDF to read how the fur-bearing animals were hunted.
Sources for the Detroit River Region:
Antoine de Lamothe, sieur de Cadillac’s, 1706 – 1710 grants: See Le Détroit du Lac Érié – Volume 1, by Gail Moreau-DesHarnais and Diane Wolford Sheppard, and Volume 2, by Suzanne Boivin Sommerville. The Land Chapter in Vol. 1, pp. 369-449 provides the reader with a list of the grants, brief biographies of the recipients of the grants, and images and translations of two of the grants.
1734 and 1736 concessions in the Detroit River Region:
The Concessions for 1734 through 1752 can be downloaded from BAnQ’s advanced search page:
Type concession in the first box and Détroit the second box, then click “rechercher”. The results will appear in a list. Click on any item in the list and you will see a summary of the document in French. Click on “voir les image(s)” and the images of these documents will appear on your computer screen. Click on the icon showing a document and a computer and the document will be downloaded. You can then save it to your computer