Introduction to the Detroit Census Data written by Michelle Cassidy

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Number of Slaves among Detroit Population: These numbers are taken from censuses from 1773, 1779, and 1782 during English possession of Detroit. Philip Dejean, a Justice of the Peace, recorded the census numbers for Detroit in 1773. He included people at Fort Detroit, north and south of the fort, and on Hog Island. He noted that troops stationed at the fort were not counted and that there were actually more male servants than recorded as many of them were out hunting or visiting American Indian villages. The 1779 survey was conducted by Justice of the Peace Mr. Thomas Williams, Captain McGregor, and Mr. Sampson Fleming at the request of the Commanding Captain Richard B. Lernoult. The survey was recorded during the American Revolution and these numbers included the garrison and 500 prisoners. Major DePeyster ordered the 1782 "Survey of the Settlement of Detroit" and prisoners and military families were not included in these recorded numbers.

Source: Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collection, 2d ed. (Lansing: Wynkoop Hallenbeck Crawford Company, State Printers, 1908), 9: 649; Ibid., 10: 311-326, 601-613. Also, see Brian Leigh Dunnigan. Frontier Metropolis: Picturing Early Detroit, 1701-1838 (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2001), 71-72.

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1810 "District of Detroit": During this time, Detroit was part of the Territory of Michigan and these numbers reflect the District of Detroit, which consisted of a ten-mile long strip along the Detroit River. Households in Detroit with last names starting with an "A" and some starting with a "B" are missing from these numbers (and the original manuscript in the B.F.H. Witherell papers at the Detroit Public Library). The numbers in this bar graph only include places in the District of Detroit where slaves lived. There were 2, 355 inhabitants counted for the entire District of Detroit.

Source: Donna Valley Russell, ed. Michigan Censuses, 1710-1830: Under the French, British, and Americans (Detroit: Detroit Society for Genealogical Research, Inc., 1982), 88-91.