The French military officer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac is know for his founding of Detroit. Today I will shine a light on this man. We will taking a looks at his views and opinions on Native Americans. Additional we will look at his view on gender roles. We will gaining some insight from a piece of his own writing and taking a look at the purpose of his writing.
Cadillac held a very negative view on the Native Americans calling them “savages” and thinking of them as inferior to the Europeans. While him thinking this may not seem so bad, but Cadillac acted on these views and made plans to deal with these savages. Plans include teaching their young the French way, saying that “We take wild beast at their birth, birds in their nest, to tame them and set them free.” showing that he views the Native American as no more than animals. While his opinion on the Indians are quite bad he defiantly valued them as allies or fear them as enemies, this is shown by how he planned to help their sick and allow them to marry french men.
Cadillac thought of women as pawns for him to use to meet his goals and to secure allies. he though the Native Women would be key to establishing in new world saying that “they always prefer a Frenchman for husband to a savage whatever”. This shows that he believes that the native women will marry Frenchmen thus giving the french more pull on the Native population. He is not the first to treat women as pawns in this way and Cadillac knows it because is is copying the what the Romans did to the Sabines, by using their women to “perpetuate peace”.Cadillac’s use of women this way shows that women are still seen as the lower of the genders in the 1700s.
From this piece of his writing we can see much about the man of who wrote it, but we have yet to look at why he wrote it. We can see that he is trying to outline his plans for Detroit. While being an outline for the future this is also a request supplies and troops. He is asking for these because he knows that for his plans to turn out he will need more skills men and families. We can see by the amount of people his is asking for that he believes Detroit to be quite important for the future of the French in America.