While the history of most American cities is rather commonplace, there are a few which furnish a story of facts more fascinating than any romance. In the development of a new country the civilization, which in time leavens the great mass of barbarism, works from a few central points. In North America Boston became the nucleus of the New England colony, although it was not the first settlement. Jamestown was the first settlement of the Virginia colony, but the town never attained great importance. New York and Philadelphia became important towns, but for the first century of their existence their influence extended over but a small area. Detroit, from the date of its founding, nearly 200 years ago, became the metropolis of the region of the great lakes and the guardian of the straits. For a period of 125 years Detroit was both the rallying point and the emporium of the West. Three nations struggled and shed their blood for its possession.