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Marie, though most of the rest of the region remained unsettled by Europeans.France offered free land to attract families to Detroit, which grew to 800 people in 1765, the largest city between Montreal and New Orleans.During the American Revolutionary War, Detroit was an important British supply center.Most of the inhabitants were French-Canadians or Native Americans, many of whom had been allied with the French.Cadillac's wife, Marie Thérèse Guyon, soon moved to Detroit, becoming one of the first European women to settle in the Michigan wilderness.

Jesuit missionaries were well received by the area's Indian populations, with relatively few difficulties or hostilities. In 1701, French explorer and army officer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac founded Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit or "Fort Pontchartrain on-the-Strait" on the strait, known as the Detroit River, between lakes Saint Clair and Erie.French voyageurs and coureurs des bois explored and settled in Michigan in the 17th century.The first Europeans to reach what became Michigan were those of Étienne Brûlé's expedition in 1622.After France's defeat in the French and Indian War in 1762, the region came under British rule, and was ceded to the newly independent United States after Britain's defeat in the American Revolutionary War.The area was part of the larger Northwest Territory until 1800, when western Michigan became part of the Indiana Territory.

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