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Picnics

Sunday Picnics: Always a part of French life in the new world, these affairs continued to the time of my youth. My mother and grandmother told wonderful stories about them. They were ongoing forums for gossip, socializing, news, discussions, eating, drinking, and the occasional “friendly fights” so common to the French culture in the new world. Read More 
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Americans take control of Detroit

The American Government: This presented another ambivalence for the now French-Americans which will play into book five. As Jacques Allard told Hamtramck, most French stayed where they were: either in Détroit or Sandwich (now Windsor) with little regard to the government. Again they remained aloof. Read More 
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Following the Revolution

Following the revolution, Détroit remains in British hands despite treaties and agreements to the contrary. Jacques marries Jennie Laforest, the sister of his good friend Jean-Baptiste Laforest. Starting a farm and a family on the Milk River Settlement in Grosse Pointe, Jacques becomes a respected citizen and increases his land holdings on the farm that will hold the family through Book Eight: The Chief. Read More 
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American Revolution

The American Revolution: This was another source of ambivalence for the French citizens. Many did have American sympathies and took part in the ill-fated Battle of Québec, as well as other successful battles such as Saratoga. As shown in The Allards Book Three: Peace and War, the Americans learned a great deal from both the French and Indian styles in battle, and men such as Thomas Sumter, Andrew Pickens and Francis Marion used it to their great advantage. Read More 
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American Revolution

Samuel Price, an old friend of Jacques’s late father, Pierre, arrives in Détroit. A British Colonist active in the smoldering descent of the 13 colonies, he secretly recruits French citizens of Détroit to aid in the coming Revolution. During the American Revolution, Jacques, Henri-Pierre, and many others hold secret meetings and give aid to the Americans. They travel to Massachusetts to instruct the American militia in French and Indian warfare. Later they are part of a failed attempt to take Québec but also of a successful battle at Saratoga. Read More 
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Voyageurs Route West


Following the old voyageur river trail to the Ohio our heroes arrive at St. Louis, the last real outpost. From there they take the Missouri River to the Great Falls in what is now Montana. During this time the boys learn trapping, trading and the ways of the Native Americans of the West with no small amount of adventure, danger, and some teenage romance. Read More 
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Landing in Detroit

Eventually the two canoes arrive at the Straits of Détroit. Little more than a fort and trading post at this time, it will remain the home of the Allards for the remainder of the Allard Series. Here they take on more men including Henri-Pierre de Baptiste, the grandson of old Joseph. He and Jacques Allard are destined to become life-long companions as they depart from Antoine Cadillac’s city in the wilderness for the true frontier and lands seen by few if any white men. Read More 
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Crossing Niagara

Book Four: The Voyageur 1761-1803, opens on Jacques Allard learning to navigate the Niagara River as he approaches the daunting portage of the falls. He and his life-long friend, Louis Renaud are tutored by the famous voyageur, Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau and Joseph, the aged native friend of the Allards. It is here the boys began to learn the wonder and danger of the wild as they hone their new skills while crossing one of the most daunting of nature’s marvels. Read More 
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Finding Jacques

During my early days of researching Allard family history I was stymied by Jacques Allard. The records of Quebec showed him born in 1746, and my fellow Canadian researchers thought he died at the age of 15, as he disappeared from the Canadian records after the fall of Quebec in 1760. However my research in Detroit showed him married at Ste. Anne on Feb. 7, 1780 and dying in Detroit in 1814. The records of both Quebec and Detroit are filled with census and other records from that time with no trace of him—where was Jacques between 1760 and 1780?? Finally an obscure note found in the bowels of the Burton Library listed him at Fort Pontchartrain with occupation listed as Voyageur! This morsel of information led me to what may be the most exciting adventure in The Allard SeriesRead More 
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Jacques Allard

When I conceived of writing the history of the Allards, it was the story of Jacques Allard I was most anxious to tell. A young boy, who leaves his family at a critical junction in history becoming a true voyageur and later the first Allard citizen of Détroit, his lifetime encompasses a vital period in the development of Cadillac’s city in the wilderness as well as that of the American nation. Read More 
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