The first permanent French settlement in the Detroit region was built on this site in 1701. The location was recommended by Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, who wished to move the fur trade center south from Michilimackinac
. Cadillac's plan was approved by Count Jerome de Pontchartrain, Minister of Marine, for whom the fort was named. The term le detroit
(the strait) was applied to the fort and surrounding area; after 1751 the post was known as Fort Detroit. In 1760, as a result of the French and Indian War, the British gained control of Detroit and other posts in the Great Lakes region. British troops enlarged Fort Detroit, but during the American Revolution they moved to nearby Fort Lernoult
, built in 1778-79. The Americans occupied Fort Lernoult in 1796 and renamed it Fort Shelby.