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GEORGE B. CATLIN
COPYRIGHTED 1923, By
The Lakeside Press
FOREWORD \HE Story of Detroit is a simple, outline history of Detroit's development since
the time of Cadillac, written by the librarian of The Detroit News for the promotion of a better understanding of the city's past in the minds of a multitude of new residents and of the younger generation. It is the hope
will stimulate a proper civic pride, and develop high ideals of citizenship.
The Story of Detroit is reprinted from The Detroit News, in which it appeared serially, beginning January 1 and continuing to August 23, 1923; and is republished in commemoration
that newspaper by James Edmund Scripps, August 23, 1873.
THE DETROIT News.
IT is in the pastimes and games of childhood that the human
race makes preparation for the serious duties of life. The
Duke of Wellington remarked that the Battle of Waterloo was really won on the playgrounds of Eton, Harrow and other schools. Childhood is a period of preparation for greater things than military victories but the methods of preparation are so simple that their importance is not generally appreciated.
The most common toys of childhood are mere wooden blocks painted in various colors and patterns with which the child makes his first attempts at construction and arrangement. He can arrange them into an almost infinite variety of interesting designs which appeal alike to his aesthetic sense and his reasoning powers. All through life men of intelligence keep up that interesting game of synthesis, analysis and deduction which they began in childhood. Soon they discard the wooden blocks and begin to utilize the facts of life and human experience as they slowly become revealed and they arrange them into certain definite patterns according to individual taste and ability.
The facts of history, considered separately and without correlation, are apparently inert and uninteresting. Most of them are soon forgotten. But when one uses them like building blocks and combines them in some systematic arrangement they work out into patterns and designs of fascinating interest. The writing of the simplest and most unpretentious history, even of a single locality, is, in the main, a game of building blocks. It can mean much or little according to the arrangement and it is rarely the case that any two builders will work out the same pattern. The possibilities of construction are largely governed by the number and patterns of the blocks under the hand of the builder.
The Story of Detroit is such a construction. The building blocks that have been employed are but a small part of all that