Detroit: Early Documents (Before 1850)
The Old State House, Detroit, first state capitol of Michigan, ca. 1855. Print by Tarbell (Detroit, Mich., print collection) image bl004049
Anonymous ledger, ca. 1810-1830.
- 1 microfilm reel.
Detroit trader (or trading firm).
Accounts listed include Lewis Cass, Solomon Sibley, and C. C. Trowbridge.
Detroit, Michigan, papers, 1775-1888 (scattered dates).
- 1 folder.
Agreement, 1775, among Detroit merchants to regulate sale of liquor to Indians [photostat]; census, 1796, detailing number of male inhabitants and number of buildings [photostat]; tax roll, January 1818, including names of persons subject to tax and amount of their taxes; petition, 1864, requesting local navy recruiting office; and meteorological summary, October-November, 1888.
Detroit trading post journal, 1776-1777.
- 1 microfilm reel. (original in the Division of State Archives and Public Records, Denver, Colorado)
Original described as: Ledger of trading post at Fort Mackinac.
List of persons who had not paid their taxes for the year 1805, 1805.
- 2 items.
Probably from Detroit.
- Jacques Andre papers 1827
- 1 folder.
Deed and indenture between Joseph Andre (alias Clark) of Detroit and Jacques Andre of Indiana for property in Detroit.
Askin, John, 1739-1815.
- John Askin letter, January 15, 1799.
- 1 item.
Early Detroit merchant.
Letter to Robert Abbot declining financial responsibility for a note, and photoprint of silhouette.
Bellows, John N.
- John N. Bellows papers, 1834-1836.
- 1 folder.
Detroit classics teacher.
Letters of recommendation for Bellows; also plan, 1834, submitted by Bellows for a classical school to be established in Detroit under the authority of the Trustees of the University of Michigan.
- Sophia Biddle papers, 1838-1844.
- 5 items (Typescript copies).
Resident of Detroit.
Letters from Elizabeth Campbell and Rose Bailly commenting on conditions in and near Detroit, including observations on the Canadian Rebellion, 1837-1838.
- John Bond letters, 1837-1838.
- 4 items.
Letters to his brother discussing personal financial difficulties, poor business conditions in Detroit, and events during the Canadian Rebellion in 1837-1838.
Brush, Elijah, 1772-1813.
- Elijah Brush papers, 1805, 1807 and 1811.
- 3 items.
Detroit lawyer; treasurer and Attorney General of the Michigan Territory.
Petition, 1805, of Brush, Robert Abbott, Charles Moran, James May, and James Henry to Joseph Forsyth and other justices of the town of Kingston, Ontario, requesting relief and assistance after a fire in Detroit; report, 1811, to judges of the Michigan territory on the handling of territorial financial matters; and receipts (1807) for thirty-four lots in Detroit.
Bryan, John A. (John Alexander), 1794-1864.
- John Bryan correspondence, 1826-1833 and 1854.
- 6 items.
Farmer and mechanic, early settler in Washtenaw County, Michigan.
Letters from his brother, J. B. Bryan, of Penfield, New York, discussing family affairs, the abduction of William Morgan, and news he hears about Michigan; letter published in the Ann Arbor iWashtenaw Whig/i, March 22, 1854, from John Bryan, describing his arrival in Michigan in 1823, early Detroit, Woodruff's Grove, the founding of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the establishment of the county seat there.
Burt, Flora, collector.
- Flora Burt family papers 1820s-1980s
- 3 linear ft. and 1 oversize folder.
Historical documents, family papers, and photographs accumulated and maintained by Flora Burt relating to the Burt family and to other family lines. Included are materials and information pertaining to James P. McKinstry, officer in the U.S. Navy in the 19th century, and to John R. Williams, 1st mayor of Detroit. The collection also contains letters, 1839-1846, to William A. Burt from his son Alvin Burt, then doing survey work in Iowa; also letter, 1845, from William Burt to Alvin Burt, describing the solar compass that he patented.
- Campau family papers, 1794-1878.
- 23 items.
Papers of a Detroit family including Joseph Campau, Detroit landowner and businessman; his brother Barnabe, and Lieutenant Robert John McDougall of the British Army.
Comments concerning economic and social conditions in the Midwest, including mention of land values, medical treatment, church activities, prices and the Mackinac Island; land grants and orders of pay in the A. M. Campau Realty Office, a bill for drawing up documents in the transfer of Hog Island (Belle Isle, Mich.), rendered by Walter Roe.
Campau, Claude Bernard.
- Claude Bernard Campau power of attorney, June 12, 1809.
- 1 item.
Resident of Detroit.
Power of attorney granted to Claude B. Campau by Jacques and Antoine Pettier.
- Candler family papers, 1794-1864.
- 2 linear in. (Typescript copies in part)
Residents of Detroit.
Genealogical information on the Candler family; diary, 1845-1849, of William Robert Candler, including a discussion of his decision to leave England for America; diary, 1845, of Mrs. Robert Thomas of London, England, mother-in-law of William Candler; correspondence, 1850-1861, of family members.
- François Chovin deeds, 1793
- 1 folder.
Early resident of Detroit.
Deeds from land transactions.
Cooper, David M. (David Mack), 1827-1908
- David Mack Cooper papers, [ca. 1812]-[ca. 1908].
- 1 item and 2 volumes.
Presbyterian clergyman in Saginaw, Grand Haven, Albion and Detroit, Michigan.
Two scrapbooks, one containing business accounts of father, David Cooper, a tax roll for War of 1812 damages, documents signed by President John Q. Adams, and some correspondence, including two letters from William Woodbridge and one from Henry Schoolcraft sent from Washington, D.C., 1819, via the Walk-in-the-Water; the other containing clippings pertaining to his ministerial activities plus scattered manuscript articles; also a letter, 1848, to his father listing his expenses for one term at the University of Michigan.
Dequindre, Antoine, b. 1784.
- Antoine Dequindre account book 1815-1818
- 1 microfilm reel : negative ; 16 mm.
Detroit, Michigan, merchant.
Fairbanks Scale Company.
- Fairbanks Scale Company correspondence, 1835-1864.
- 15 items.
Scattered correspondence from company agents in Michigan to the home office in Vermont, mostly about business matters; also letter, July 1864, from Erastus Fairbanks describing lands owned by the St. Mary's Falls Ship Canal Company.
Fitch, Chauncey W.
- Chauncey W. Fitch letter, 1841.
- 2 items (photostatic copy)
Detroit clergyman and teacher.
Letter to Benjamin Hale, president of Geneva College, applying for a teaching position in the college; also mention of the poor financial condition of the Detroit branch of the University of Michigan which necessitated its closing.
- Charles Foster diary, 1836-1839.
- 1 volume.
English immigrant to the United States.
Account of his voyage to America, his stay in New York City, and his subsequent settlement in Monroe, Michigan, with observations on people and political and economic conditions of frontier Michigan, especially in Detroit and Monroe, Michigan; also mention of the wildcat-banking phenomenon.
Granger, John A.
- John A. Granger diary, 1827.
- 18 p. (Typescript copy)
Journal of a tour in 1827 through parts of the Michigan Territory including Detroit, Sault Sainte Marie, Lake Superior, Mackinac, and Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Houghton, Douglass, 1809-1845.
- Douglass Houghton papers 1830-1846
- 1 microfilm reel : positive.
State geologist of Michigan.
Business correspondence relating to real estate business of Houghton and Henry Hubbard, correspondence concerning the incorporation of St. Paul's Church in Detroit, survey maps, and geological field notes (1837-1840 and 1845).
Michigan. Commission on Land Titles.
- Extract of proceedings of the governor and judges of Michigan, February 26, 1812.
- 1 item.
Document relates to adjustment of titles of land in Detroit to be used for a jail and a courthouse.
O'Keeffe, George A.
- George A. O'Keeffe letter April 11, 1835
- 1 item.
Letter of George O'Keeffe to Abraham Bell and Co., Detroit, requesting that Bell and Co. arrange for passage of Miss Ellen O'Keeffe from Cork, Ireland to the United States.
Old Dartmouth Historical Society (New Bedford, Mass.)
- Old Dartmouth Historical Society papers, 1806-1844 (scattered dates).
- 6 items and 1 oversize folder.
Collected miscellaneous materials include letter, 1818, from Horatio Ball describing climate, commercial potential, and composition of population in Detroit and vicinity; letter, 1838, of Stevens T. Mason to Gen. Hugh Brady concerning troop movements and other military information; letter, 1842, of John J. Adam discussing loan made by Albany bank to finance public works; and other correspondence of more routine character.
Sanger, H. K.
- H. K. Sanger letter, 1839.
- 1 item.
Letter to J. Roly discussing business affairs and Michigan's poor financial conditions.
Schmalzriedt, Fred R., collector.
- Fred R. Schmalzriedt contracts, 1799 and 1801.
- 2 items.
Contracts, 1799 and 1801, signed by Henry Dearborn and James McHenry, U.S. Secretary of War, for distributing food rations to various army posts, including Detroit and Michilimackinac.
- Thorley family papers 1828-ca. 1940 (scattered dates)
- 5 items.
Detroit, Michigan family.
Apprenticeship agreement for Thomas Thorley to work for blacksmith Matthew Johnson, 1830; family memorial cards, and clipping.
Tremble, Joseph L.
- Joseph W. Tremble will August 12, 1832
- 1 item (1 p.).
Resident of Detroit, Michigan.
University of Michigan. Board of Regents.
- Board of Regents (University of Michigan) records, 1817-[ongoing].
- 115 linear ft., 3 oversize v., and 1 oversize folder
The records of the governing body of the University of Michigan include various documents of the earliest form of the university, the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, located in Detroit. Documents include Laws of the university (1817-1818), Minutes of the Detroit Classical Academy (1818-1829), Minutes of the Trustees of the University of Michigan (1821-1837), and miscellaneous papers.
Walker, Charles I. (Charles Irish), 1814-1895, collector.
- Charles Irish Walker papers, 1817-1887 (scattered dates).
- 1 oversize volume.
Professor of law at the University of Michigan.
Papers collected relating to the founding of the University; include original draft of the act to establish the Catholepistemiad, table explaining meaning of names of professorships, various drafts and amendments, receipts, correspondence, and related documents; contain papers drafted or signed by Augustus B. Woodward, John Monteith, and William Woodbridge.
- Frank Whitehouse papers, 1827-1840.
- 12 items (Photocopies)
Resident of Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Collected letters of missionaries of the American Home Missionary Society concerning conditions in Ann Arbor, Niles, and Detroit, Michigan.
Whitney, Andrew G., 1786-1826.
- Andrew G. Whitney papers, Nov. 6, 1826.
- 1 item (photostat)
Lawyer in Detroit.
Probate inventory of his estate, listing his library and household furnishings.
Winder, John, b. 1804.
- John Winder papers, 1825-1834.
- 29 items.
U.S. Receiver of public lands at Detroit, 1826-1828; bookkeeper for the American Fur Company on Mackinac Island, 1828-1829; and clerk of the Michigan Territorial Supreme Court, 1829.
Business letters from Isaac S. Rowland, Henry R. Schoolcraft, John R. Williams, and William Woodbridge; communication received from the grand jury of Wayne County, Michigan, and circular letter, 1831, from the Department of State concerning taking of the Fifth Census.
- Woodbridge family papers, 1824-1883.
- ca. 30 items and 1 oversize folder.
Letters of William Woodbridge, Michigan governor and senator, his wife Juliana, their son William Leverett, and other family members; include letters concerning family activities and illnesses, description of fire in Detroit in 1842, education, and daily life.
View of Detroit from Sandwich, Ont. (now part of Windsor), 1852 (Detroit, Mich., print collection) image bl004050