Antione de la Mothe Cadillac was a French military officer who decided to make a colony on the Detroit river. We can find plenty of information about him in his step by step strategy for how to make the colony in a letter he wrote to his French superiors on October 18, 1700. (Michigan Voices, Grimm, pg. 17)
Cadillac went through a list of steps on how to form the colony. At the basis of his plan he knew that the only way to go forward and establish this colony would be to make “friends” with the Native Americans. To him the Native Americans were just another animal that you would tame, like a bird or wild beast, they were savages. Though he sought friendship with them, it was only a part of his plan for success. He couldn’t except that the Native Americans were different from him and his kind, he wanted to change them, to be just as the French were, “civilized”.
Though Cadillac seemed to think very low of the Native Americans he saw the Native American women as objects to help him in his plan. He believed that if a Native American woman was united in marriage to a French man that the French and Indians would also be united in brotherhood. We can see clearly that this was simply a game he wanted to play for success. You can also see how Cadillac believed he had great authority over the Native American women, as he had no problem speaking on their behalf and telling his superiors back in France who the women would prefer to marry.
Keep in mind that his discrimination was not only to the Native American women but also the European woman too. You can see clearly in his plans that the European men were to come and establish the colony, then bring the women over to start a family. They would also help make friendship with the Native Americans by tending to their needs as nurses. We can see that is wasn’t completely Cadillacs fault for thinking lowly of women, sadly it was just normal for that time and age. (Michigan Voices, Grimm, pg. 17 )
In the end Cadillac’s plans fell through, this is because most young Frenchmen saw the quick profits of the fur trade much more appealing than the hard labor of farming. This may have been an advantage to the Native Americans, due to the fact that Cadillac would not be seeking a “friendship” with them and using them any longer. (Michigan, A History of the Great Lakes State, Rubenstein and Zlewacz, pg. 34-37)
(Michigan Voices, Grimm, pg. 17)(Michigan, A History of the Great Lakes State, Rubenstein and Zlewacz, pg. 34-37)