Today in Michigan History

June 3, 1798

Father Gabriel Richard arrived in Detroit.

Escaping the Reign of Terror in France, Father Gabriel Richard reached Detroit in time to organize relief for the town, which burned to the ground on June 11. Surveying the devastation, Richard was heard to say, “Speramus meliora; resurget cineribus.” Translated, it meant “We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes.” It became Detroit’s city motto. Richard served his adopted city as an educator, minister and politician until 1832 when he died after ministering to Detroiters who contracted cholera.

Thank you Michigan Start Pages for this glimpse into our past.  See more here.

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Today in Michigan History

March 2, 1824

Father Gabriel Richard spoke to Congress.

In his only recorded speech as territorial representative to Congress, Father Gabriel Richard asked for $1,500 to build a road from Detroit to Chicago. His appeal was so eloquent that Congress doubled the amount. Born in France, Richard served as pastor of Detroit’s Ste. Anne Church and spent one term as Michigan’s non-voting territorial representative. Until the election of Father Robert Drinan from Massachusetts in 1970, Richard was the only priest to serve in Congress.

Thank you Michigan Start Pages for this glimpse into our past.  See more here.

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