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Antonie de Cadillac: French Explorer

Antonie Laumet de La Mothe de Cadillac (March 5, 1658 - Oct. 15, 1730) was a French explorer, soldier, and leader. Cadillac founded the city of Detroit in 1701 and was the governor of the Louisiana Territory from 1710 to 1716 or 1717.

Cadillac sailed to Canada (from France) in 1683. In Canada, he fought the Iroquois Indians. He then lived in Maine. Cadillac became the commandant of the post of Mackinac (in what is now Michigan) from 1694 to 1697.

King Louis XIV of France allowed Cadillac to establish a fur trading post and fort in Fort-Pontchartrain du Detroit (now called Detroit). He arrived on canoe, accompanied by about 50 French soldiers, 50 settlers, and 2 priests. Cadillac was in charge of this outpost until 1710, when he was forced to move to the new, remote French colony of Louisiana (which then included the Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio Rivers and the nearby regions) to be its governor. Because he was so unpopular in this colony, he was soon recalled to France where he was sent to the Bastille prison. After his short stint in prison, he remained in France, never returning to North America.

The city of Cadillac (in Michigan, USA), Cadillac Mountain (in Maine, USA), and the Cadillac car (an upscale General Motors car produced since 1903) are all named for Antonie de Cadillac.

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