grist for the mill

A not-so-secret research cache

Monday, March 15, 2004


Belle Isle History: "In 1752, the French governor granted title to the island to M. Douville Dequinder. By 1760, the British had gained possession of Detroit and King George III, in 1768, gave George Mcdougall permission to live on the island as long as Detroit was maintained as a strategic military post. Lt. Mcdougall purchased the Island from the Chippewa and Ottawa Indians for five barrelsof rum, three rolls of tobacco, three pounds of red paint and a belt of wampum. In 1793, Mcdougall's heirs sold Belle Isle to William Macomb for 1600 English pounds.
Then in 1817,Macomb's sons sold the island to Barnabas Campau. It was his descendants who sold Belle Isle to the City of Detroit in 1879 for $200.000. Some Detroiters opposed the purchase, arguing that the price was too high. It is believed the Island was renamed by Campau in honor of Isabelle Cass, the daughter of Lewis Cass, former Michigan territorial governor and later U.S. Senator."

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