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THE 



LAST fre:^^ch post 



THE VALLEY OF THE LITER JHSSISSII'PI 



NEAR FRONTENAC, MINN.; 



WITH NOTICES OF ITS COMMANDANTS. 



EDWARD D. NEILL. 



^'^^^^i,^ 



SAINT PAUL, MINN.: 
The Pionkkr Press Companv. 

1887. 



"They who make researches into an- 
tiquity may be said to pass often through 
many dark lobbies and dusky places, be- 
fore they come to the Aula lueia, the great 
hall of light; they must repair to old 
archives, and peruse many moulded and 
moth-eaten records, and so bring light as it 
were from darkness, to inform the present 
world what the former did, and make us 
see truth through our ancestors' eyes." — 
Howell's "Londinopolis,^^ London, A. D. 
1657. 



FRENCH POST, 

Lake Pepin, Minnesota. 



The recent discovery of two cannon balls, one of six-pound and 
the other of four-pound calibre, at Frontenac station, near Lake 
Pepin, Minn., renders desirable a notice of the last French establish- 
ment in the valley of the upper Mississippi river. 

The department of trade called '• La Baye " included all the 
French posts between Green Bay and the Falls of Saint Anthony. 
Bellin, the distinojuished geographer in "Eemarques sur la carte do 
[ TAmeriqueSeptentrionale," published in 1755, at Paris, refers to those 
on the shores of the river Mississippi and its tributaries, and men- 
tions "Fort St. Nichoks at the mouth of the Wisconsin;" a small 
fort at the entrance of Lake Pepin; one above, on the opposite side 
of the lake; and another on the largest isle just above the lake, built 
in 1695, by Le Sueur. Nicholas Perrot, when commandant of the 
■La Baye". district, in the autumn of 1685, ascended the Mississippi 
, and passed the winter at "Montague qui tremps dans I'cau," just be- 
l yond Black river, according to Franquelin's map, and subsequent!}' 
J built the fort on the east side of the lake, on the same map marked 
j "Fort St. Antoine." In 1689 Le Sueur was one of his associates at 
I Lake Pepin, and Boisguillot, for a time in charge at Mackinaw, then 
; at the post on the Mississippi just above the mouth of the Wisconsin. 
The tirst calling of the lake, as Pepin appears in tbe journal of Le 
Sueur in 1700, and was perhaps given to the sheet of water in com- 
pliment to Monsieur Pepin^ who, in 1679, vvas with Du Luth on the 
shores of Lake Superior, or some other member of that Canadian 
family. 

1. Stephen Pepin, the Sieiir de hi Fond, married .^[a^ie Boucher, theaiint of theSieurde la 
I'erriere. 



After the year 1703, owing to the hostility of the Eenards (Fox 
Indians), the French abandoned all their existing posts in the "La 
Baye" district of the upper Mississippi, and, with the exception of 
a few lawless voyageurs left the country. B}' the treaty of Utrecht, 
in 1713, France yielded to Great Britain all the country- around Hud- 
son's ba}', and after this the former power turned its attention to the 
region west of Lake Superior and the discovery of a route to the 
Western ocean. In July, 1717, Lieutenant La Noue' was ordered to 
estal)]isli a post at the extremity of Lake Superior, and to explore 
the chain of lakes westward, and Captain Paul Saint Pierre'- in 
1718, was ordered to Chagouaniigon hay and Lake Superior. J*a- 
chot, an ensign, at the same time was sent to the Sioux to persmule 
them to make peace with the Cristinaux. Soon after Pachot's return 
to Saint Pierre's post at Chagouamigon, the Sioux attacked the In- 
<lians near Kamanistigouya' and killed seventeen, which so alarmed 
the Saulteurs (Ojibwa\'s) of Chagouan)igon bay that they began to 
prepare to go to war against the Sioux. Saint Pierre directed the 
officers, Pachot and Ijinctot, to visit the Sioux and censure them for 
their hostility to the Cristinaux, but they found that they had 
formed an alliance with the Renards (Foxes), and were implacable. 

Pachot in a letter to the French government, dated Quebec. Oct. 
27, 1722, suggested that as the Sioux were hostile to the Lake Supe- 
rior tribes, a trading post for their benefit should be established near 
the Falls of St. Anthony, and that the officer of the post Avith the 
traders' canoes should first proceed to Chagouamigon bay, and then 
to the Neouissakouete (Bois Brule) river. At that period the "Outa- 
batonha," or "Sciouxof the Eivers," dwelt in the valle}' of the Sainl 
Croix river, fit'teen leagues below Snake river. Charlevoix, a leai'ned 
Jesuit, in 1721, under the auspices of the French government, visited 
Canada and Louisiana, and upon his return urged the establishment 
of a trading ])ost and sending two missionaries among the Sioux to 
learn the language, in the belief that through their country a routi' 
to the Pacific ocean could be discovered. ILs suggestions were favoi-- 



1. Killed in 1734, by a band of Irociuois. 

2. Captain Paul Lcgardeur, Saint Pierre was the son of J. Baptiste Legardeiir, who on tlu' 
eleventh of .Tuly, 10r>(;, married Marguerite, the daughter of the brave explorer, Jean Nicolet, tin 
first white man who in lG;)4-.5 visited (ireCn Bay and vicinity in Wisconsin. 

3. Also written (ianianetygoya and Kamanistignya. Baraga in his Ojibway dictionary de- 
fines Ningitawiligweiag as the place wliere a river divides into several branches. 



ably considered but delay ensued in carrying out the project, by tiie 
hostility of the Rcnards, Avho had killed several Frenchmen, and also 
refused to allow traders to pass to the Sioux through their country. 
De Lignery was therefore dispatched, in 172G, to confer with the 
tribes near Crreen Bay, and on the seventh of .Tune made a treaty 
with the chiefs of the Eenards (Foxes), Sakis (Sauks) and Puans 
(Winnebtigoes). 

The way now being opened, a company to trade with the Sioux was 
formed, and among the associates were Jean Baptiste Boucher, the 
Sieur de Montbrun, Francois Boucher de Montbrun, and Francois 
Campeau. Campeau was a blacksmith and armorer and in the arti- 
cles of agreement it was provided that upon the payment of four 
hundred livres in coin or peltries he could work for an}' who might 
wish his services. 

The commandant appointed to conduct the expedition was Rene 
Boucher, the Sieur de la Perriere, ' and a i-elative of two of the trading 
company. The chaplains attached were the Jesuits Louis Ignatius 
Guignas and De Gonor. The}' left Montreal on the sixteenth of June, 
1727, and on the seventeenth of September reached the enlargement 
of the Mississippi, the picturesque Lake Pepin. Lnmediately Bene 
Boucher, the Sieur de la Perriere, selected a site upon a low point, 
about the middle of the lake shore, opposite Maiden's Rock and 
ordered the erection of a stockade of pickets, each twelve feet in 
length, forming a square of one hundred feet, with two bastions. 
Within the enclosure was a log house for the commandant, a resi- 
dence for the missionaries, and a storehouse,^ all of which by the last 

]. The Boucher family was one of the most distinguished in Canada. 
Children of Gaspard, the immigranl: 
Pierre, governor of Tliree Rivers. 
Marie, wife of Stephen Pepin. 
Children of Pierre of Three Rivers: 
Pierre, born A. D. 1653. 

Marie, " " 165.5 ; married Rene (Mialtier Varennes. 

Jean, " " 1667; Sieur Montbrun. 

Rene, " " 1668; " de la Perriere. 

J. Baptiste, " " 1673; " de Niverville. 
Children of Rene: 
Tanguay gives as children of Rene; 
Ren6, born Jan. 10, 16it9. 
Jean Baptiste, born Aug. 10, 1700. 
Francois, born July 1-1, 1704. 
2 The houses were all sixteen feet in width. One was twenly-five feet, one thirty feet, and the 
third, thirty-eight feet long. 



6 

of October was completed. The tort was named " Beauharnois," in 
compliment to the governor of Canada; and the missionaries called 
their mission "St. Michael the Archangel." Father Guignas in a let- 
ter from the fort writes:^ -'The fourth of the month of November 
we did not forget that it was the Saint's Day of the general. The 
holy mass was said for him in the morning, and the}' were well pre- 
pared to celebrate in the evening, but the slowness of the pyrotechnists 
and the variableness of the weather led to the postponement of the 
celebration to the fourteenth of the same month, when they shot off 
some very beautiful rockets, and made the air resound with a hun- 
dred shouts of 'Vive le Ro}^' and of 'Vive Charles de Beauharnois.' 
* * * * That which contributed a great deal to the merry 
making was the fright of some Indians. When these poor people 
saw the fireworks in the air, and the stars fall from the sk}', the 
women and children fled, and the more courageous of the men cried 
for mercy, and earnestly begged that we would stop the astonishing 
play of that terrible medicine (medecin)." 

On the fifteenth of April, 1728, the water rose so high in the lake that 
for several weeks it was necessarj^ to abandon the fort. During the 
spring the commandant ascended the Mississippi, for sixty leagues, 
but found no Sioux, as they had gone to war against the Mahas 
toward the Missouri. The missionary De Conor left at this time, 
and when he reached Mackinaw on his way to Montreal, found there 
Pierre Gualtier Varennes,' the Sieur Verendrye (Vcrandrie), who had 
been in command at Lake Nepigon and desired to seek for the west- 
ern ocean by way of Lake Winnipeg. 

A year after the expedition of Sieur de la Perriere, on the fifth of 
June, 1728, the Sieur de Lignery left Montreal Avith a force to punish 
the Renards (Foxes), who continued to molest traders. During the 
night of the seventeenth of August he reached Green Bay, and the 
next day at midnight arrived at the mouth of Fox river, where Fort 
St. Francis^ was situated. The Renards fled at the approach of the 



1. Margry. Vol. VI. 

2. Hi.s mother was a sister of TSouchcr de la Perriere. He was a cadet in 1697, and in 1704 
served in an expedition to New Kngland, and the ne.xt year was in New Foiindland. Desirous of 
distinction, he went to France and was connected with a Hretagne regiment. He attracted atten- 
tion by his bravery at Malplncjuet, in Septomber, 1709, where the Duke of Marlborough defeated 
the French. After he returned to Canada he had the rank of ensign. 

3. Fort St. Francis is the name given in Crespel's Voyages. 



array, abandoning everything in their villages, and retreating to the 
country of the Aioues (loway), beyond the Missifssippi. On the 
twenty-fourth of the month he reached the village of the Puans 
(Winnebagoes), who had also run away. Upon his return he burned 
Fort St. Francis, lest the Henards should return, take possession, and 
make war ujion the Folles Avoines, who were allies of the French. 
De Beaujeu was the second in command of this expedition, and was 
not satisfied with De Lignery's conduct. 

On account of the hostility of the Indians, the post on Lake Pepin, 
in October, 1728, was left in charge of a youth twenty years old, 
Christopher Dufrost,^ the Sieur de la Jemeraye; and twelve persons, 
among whom were the Sieur de Bouc-herville, Jean Baptiste Boucher, 
the Sieur Montbrun, and the Jesuit Guignas, embarked with their 
goods, in canoes, for Montreal, by Avay of the Illinois river, as the 
hostility of the Foxes prevented the route by the Wisconsin. On the 
twelfth of the month, twentj'-two leagues above the Illinois river, 
they were captured by the Mascoutens and Kickapoos, who Avere 
allies of the Foxes. 

Among the manuscript in the Parliament library of Canada, at 
Ottawa, there is a communication of De Till}^ dated April 29, 1729, 
which mentions that '• eleven Frenchmen and Father Guignase hav- 
ing left the Fort Pepin to descend the river Mississippi as far as the 
Illinois, and to go from thence to Canada, were captured by the Mas- 
coutens and Quicapous, and brought to the Eiviere au Boeuf, with 
the intention to deliver them to the Renards, and that the fSieur de 
Montbrun and his brother, Avith another Frenchman, escaped from 
their hands the night before they Avere to be surrendered to these In- 
dians. The Sieur de Montbrun left his brother sick among the 
Tamaroides,'^ and brought the intelligence to M. le General, avoiding 
certain posts on the way to escape the Mascoutens and (Juicapous." 

Governor Beauharnois, on the tAventy-ninth of October, wrote to the 
French Government: " I have the honor to report, upon what has 
passed upon the part of the Kickapoos and Mascoutens Avho arrested 
the French coming from the post of the Sioux, and the enterprise ot 
Sieur de Montbrun, after his escape from the village of the savages 



1. He was the son of a naval officer who in H'.'.ts was in comiuand at Fort Frontenac. His 
mother's maiden name was Marie Gualtier, and on Pec. 7, 1707, he was born. 

2. The Tamarois were a band of the Illinois Indians. 



8 

to bring us the news of tlit- artair. He is a pei-son zealous in the 
service of his majesty, and I can not refuse the request he has made ta 
write to you to procure his promotion. He is cadet of the troop and 
a most excellent officer. 

The Sieur de la Jemeraye, who remained among the Sioux with 
some Frenchmen, left Lake Pe])in and brought the Renards' chief' to 
the River St. Joseph^ also deserves your protection." 

Boucherville and Guignas i-emained ])risoners for several months, 
and the former did not reach Detroit until June, 1729. The account 
of expenditures made during his captivity is interesting as showing 
the value of merchandise at that time. It reads as follows: 

" Memorandum of the goods that Monsieur de Boucherville was- 
obliged to furnish in the serviceof the king, from the time of his de- 
tention among the Kickapoos, on the twelfth of October, 1728. until hia 
return to Detroit, in the year 172D, in the month of June. On arriv- 
" ing at the Kiekapoo village, he made a present to the young men to se- 
cure their oj^position to some evil minded old warriors — 
Two barrels of powder, each fift}' pounds at Montreal price, 

valued at the sum of 150 liv. 

One hundi'ed pounds of lead and balls making the sum of 50 liv. 

Four pounds of vermilion, at 12 francs the pound 48fr. 

Four coats, braided, at twenty francs SOfr. 

Six dozen knives at four francs the dozen 24fr. 

Four hundred flints, one hundred gun- worms, two hundred 

ramrods and one hundred and fifty files, the total at the 

maker's prices 90 liv. 

After the Kickapoos refused to deliver them to the Renards (Foxes) 
they wished some favors, and 1 was obliged to give them the following, 
which would allow them to weep over and cover their dead: 

Two braided coats @ 20 fr. each 40fr. 

Two woolen blankets @ 15 fr HO 

One hundred pounds of powder @ 30 sous 75 

One hundred pounds of lead («) 10 sous 25 

Two pounds of vermilion @ 12 fr 24 

1. Governor Beauliarnois, in a coiiimunication dated May fi, 17:!0, alludes to the defeat of the 
Renards by the allied Mcnoinonees, Ojibways and Winncbagos, and writes: " It is also confirnied 
by the journey taken since this last adventure by the great chief f'f the Renards to the River St. 
Joseph." 

2. In Michigan. 



Moreover, given to the Rcnuvds to cover their dea<l tuid pre- 
pare them for peace, fiity jwuiids of powder, malting 75fr. 

One hundred pounds of lead @ 10 sous 50 

Two pounds of vermilion @ 12 fr 24 

During the winter a considerable party was sent to strike hands 
with the Illinois. Given at that time : 

Two blue blankets @ 15 fr 30 

Four men's shirts @ 6 fr 24 

Four pairs of long-necked bottles @ 6 f r 24 

Four dozen of knives @ 4 fr Ifi 

Gun-worms, files, ramrods, and flints, estimated 40 

Given to engage the Kickapoos to establish themselves upon a 
neighboring isle, to protect from the treachery of the Renards — 

Four blankets @ 15fr 60f. 

Two pairs of bottles, 6fr 24 

Two pounds of vermilion, 12fr 24 

Four dozen butcher knives, 61 r 24 

Two woolen blankets @ 15fr 30 

Four pairs of bottles @ 6fr 24 

Four shirts @ 6fr 24 

Four dozen of knives @ 4fr 16 

The Renards having betrayed and killed their brothers, the Kicka- 
poos, I seized the favoi-able opportunity, and to encourage the latter 
to avenge themselves, I gave — 

Twenty-five pounds of powder, @ 30 sous 37f.l0s. 

Twenty-five pounds of lead, @ 10s 12f lOs. 

Two guns at 30 livres each 60f. 

One-half pound of vermillion 6f. 

Flints, guns, worms and knives 20f. 

The Illinois coming to the Kikapoos village, I supjiorted them 
at my expense, and gave them powder, balls and shirts val- 
ued at '^Of 

In departing from the Kickapoos village, I gave them the 

rest of the goods for their good treatment, estimated at 80f 

In dispatches sent to France, in October, 1729, by the Canadian 

gvernment, the following reference is made to Fort Beauharnois : 

"They agree that the fort built among the Scioux, on the border of 

Lake Pepin, appears to be badly situated on account of the freshets, 

*2 



10 

tint tlu' Indians assure that the water rose higher than it ever did 
belbre, and this is credible inasmuch as it did not reach the fort this 
year [1729]. When Sieur de la Perriere located it at that place it was 
on the assurance of the Indians that the waters did not rise so high ; 
however, he could not locate it more advantageously in regard both to 
the quantity of land suitable for cultivation, and to the abundance of 
game. * * * As the water might possibly rise as high, this fort 
could be removed four or five arpents from the lake shore without prej- 
udice to the views entertained in building it on its present site. 

"It is very true that these Indians did leave shortly after on a hunt- 
ing excursion, as they are in the habit of doing, for their own support 
and that of their families, who have only that means of livelihood, as 
they do not cultivate the soil at all. M. de Beauharnois has just been 
informed that their absence was occasioned only by having fallen in 
while hunting with a number of prairie Scioux, by whom they were 
invited to accompany them on a war expedition against the Mahas, 
which invitation they accepted, and returned only in the month of 
July following. 

"The interests of religion, of the service, and of the colony, are in- 
volved in the maintenance of this establishment, which has been the 
more necessary as there is no doubt but the Foxes, when routed, 
Avould have found an asylum among the Scioux had not the French 
been settled there, and the docility and submission manifested by the 
Poxes cannot be attributed to any cause except the attention enter- 
tained by the Scioux for the French, and the offers which the former 
matle the latter, of which the Foxes were fully cognizant. 

"It is necessary to retain the Scioux in these favorable di8i)ositions, 
ill order to keep the Foxes in check, and counteract the measures they 
might adopt to gain over the Scioux, who will invariably reject their 
propositions so long as the French remain in the countiy, and their 
trading post shall continue there. But, despite all these advantages 
and the importance of preserving that establishment, M. de Beauhar- 
nois can not take any steps until he has news of the French who 
asked his permission this summer to go up there with a canoe load of 
goods, and until assured that those who wintered there have not dis- 
mantled the fort, and that the Scioux continue in the same sentiments. 
Jiosides, it does not seem very easy, in the present conjuncture, to 
maintain that post unless there is 9> solid peace with the Foxes; on 



11 

the other hand, the greatest portion of the traders who applied in 
1727 for the establishment of that post have withdrawn, and will not 
send thither any more, as the ruptui-e with the Foxes, through whose 
country it is necessary to pass in order to reach the Scioux in canoe, 
has led them to abandon the idea. But the one and the other case 
might be remedied. The Foxes will, in all probability, come or send 
next year to sue for peace ; thei'efore, if it be granted to them on ad- 
vantageous conditions, there need be no apprehension when going to 
the Scioux, and another company could be formed, less numerous than 
the first, through whom, or some responsible merchants able to afford 
the outfit, a new treaty could he made, whereb}' these difficulties would 
be soon obviated. One only trouble remains, and that is, to send a com- 
manding and sub-officer and some soldiers up there, which are abso- 
lutely necessary for the maintenance of good order at that ]iost; the 
missionaries would not go there without a commandant. This article, 
which regards the service, and the expense of which must be on his 
majesty's account, obliges them to apply for orders. They will, as far 
as lies in their power, induce the traders to meet that expense, which 
will possibly amount to 1,000 livres or 1,500 livres a year for the com- 
mandant, and in proportion for the officer under him; but, as in the 
beginning of an establishment the expenses exceed the profits, it is 
improbable that any company of merchants will assume the outlay, 
and in this case they demand orders on this point, as well as his ma- 
jesty's opinion as to the necessity of preserving so useful a post, and 
a nation which has already afforded proofs of its fidelity and attach- 
ment." 

The Canadian authorities determined to send an expedition against 
the insolent Eenards and their allies. In March, 1730, the Sieur Marin 
then in command among the Folles Avoines (Menomonees), with a 
number of friendly Indians, moved against the Eenards and had 
an engagement of the "warmest character." During the month of 
September of the same year a force under Sieur de Villiers vanquished 
the tribe, and the French government was informed that "two hun- 
dred of their wari'iors have been killed on the spot, or burned after 
having been taken as slaves, and six hundred women and children 
were destroyed." 

After the victor}'- over the Eenards steps were taken to rebuild the 
post on a more elevated spot near the first site on Lake Pepin. In 



12 

June, 1731, Sieur Linctot was appointed commandant, and Sieur Port- 
neuf was the next oflficer in rank. Among those now interested in trade 
with the Sioux were Francis Campeau, Joseph and Pierre Le Due, 
and the son of Linctot, a cadet. A new stockade was ordered to be 
constructed one hundred and twenty feet square, with four bastions, 
and nccommodations within for the commandant. 

Linctot passed the winter of 17;U-2 at Pcrrot's first establishment 
''Montague qui trempe dans lean." In the spring he ascended to the 
site of the post on Sandy Point, where he found a large number of 
Sioux who expressed satisfaction at the return of the French. 

Upon the sixteenth of September, 1733, the Ilenards (Foxes) and 
Sakis (Sauks) appeared at Green Bay, but were put to flight by the 
son of Sieur de Villiers. The Sioux and Ayouais (loway) refused to 
protect them and they were obliged to descend the "Ouapsipinckam" 
river, which flows into the Mississippi above Eock Island. 

Black Hawk, the celebrated Sauk chief captured in 1832, told his 
biographer that his people moved to that vicinity about one hundred 
years before, and that in 1768 he was born. 

At the request of the elder Linctot he was relieved of the command 
opposite Maiden Rock, Lake Po])in. and in 1735, Legardeur Saint 
i*ierre took command. In a communication dated twelfth of October, 
1736, by the Canadian authorities, is the following: "In regard to 
the Scioux, Saint Pierre, who commanded at that post, and Father 
Guignas, the missionary, have written to Sieur de Beauharnois on the 
tenth and eleventh of last April, that these Indians appeared well in- 
tentioned toward the French, and had no other fear than that of being 
abandoned by them. Sieur de Beauharnois annexes an extract of 
these letters, and although the Scioux seem very friendly, the result 
only can tell whether this fidelity is to be absolutely depended upon, 
for the unrestrained and inconsistent spirit which composes the Indian 
character may easily change it. They have not come over this summer 
as yet, but M. de la St. Pierre is to get them to do so next year, and 
to have an eye on their proceedings." 

Upon the sixth of May, 1736, one hundred and forty Sioux arrived 
at the fort, and said they were taking back to the Puans a slave who 
had fled to them. Saint Pierre told them that he thought it was a 
large guard for one woman, and they then alleged that they were 
going to hunt turkeys to obtain feathers for their arrows. Contin- 



13 

uing their journey down the Mississippi, they met and scalped two 
Frenchmen. When .Saint Pierre was on a visit up the river to see 
about building another post, the hiwless party returned, and for four 
daj^s danced the scalp dance in the vicinity of the fort. 

Two canoes of Saulteaux (Ojibways) arrived from La Pointe, Lake 
Superior, on the twenty-third of August with letters from Nolan, 
Legros and Bourassa, conveying the startling news that the Sioux of 
the Woods with a few of the Sioux of the Prairies had killed a num- 
ber of Verendrye's exploring party, at the Lake of the Woods. 

On the fifteenth of August, 1731, arrived at the Grand Portage, 
near Pigeon river, the northeastern extremity of Minnesota, on the 
shore of Lake Superior. Pierre Gualtier Varennes, the Sieur Veren- 
drye (Verandrie), with an expedition in search of a route to the Pa- 
cific ocean. The second in command was his nephew, the brave 
youth Christopher Dufrost, the Sieur de la Jemeraye, who for a time 
was in charge of Fort Beauharnois. During the autumn, by difficult 
portages the Sieur de la Jemeraye and two sons of Verendrye reached 
JRainy Lake, and established a trading post, called Foi't St. Pierre. 

About the middle of July, 1732, Fort St. Pierre was left, and the ex- 
plorers ascended to the Lake of the Woods, where they erected Fort 
St. Charles. During the j-ear 1733 the Sieur de la Jemeraye wont to 
Montreal to attend to his uncle's business, and in the beginning of 
March a party, conducted by the eldest son of Verendrye, moved 
westward and established Fort Maurepas, near the entrance to Lake 
Winnipeg, which in September, 1735, was in charge of Sieur de la 
Jemeraye, who had returned, and during the following winter two 
sons of Verendrj^e remained there. During the spring of 1736 Jeme- 
raye died at the post. Upon the eighth of June Auneau, the chaplain, 
and one of the sons of Vereiulrye, with some voyageurs, left the post 
on the shore of the Lake of the Woods to go to Mackiiuuv, and while 
encamped upon an island in the lake, seven, leagues from Fort St. 
Charles, they were surprised by the Sioux, and the whole party of 
twenty-one killed. Some days after, five voyageurs stopped at the 
island, and found the Jesuit chaplain. Auneau, with an arrow in his 
brain. The son of Verendrye was lying upon his back, and his flesh 
hacked by tomahawks. His head had Itcen removed and was orna- 
mented with garters and bracelets of porcupine quills. 

The sixteenth of September there came to the Lake Pepin post ton 



14 

Indians, three chiefs, and two young slaves, bringing a quantity of 
beaver skins, which they delivered to Saint Pierre as a pl«dge of 
friendship, and declared that they had no part in the attack at the 
Lake of the Woods. They were then asked as to their knowledge of 
the killing of two Frenchmen on the Mississippi. The next day a 
chief came with three young men, one of whom wore in his ear a 
silver pendant. When asked by Saint Pierre how he obtained the 
ornament, he smiled but would not answer. The captain tore it from 
his ear, and found it was similar to those sold by the traders, and 
placed him under guard. 

Thirty-six men and their families, on the eighteenth of December 
arrived and passing the Fort, visited some Puans ( Winnebagoes) en- 
camped in the vicinity. Ouakantape (Wah-kan-tah-pay) was the 
chief and quite insolent, and some of the party burned the pickets 
around the garden of Father Guignas, the chaplain. 

The gates of the post were opened about eight o'clock of the morn- 
ing of the twenty-fourth of January 1737, to admit a wood cart, 
when some of the Sioux pushed in and defiantly behaved. Upon the 
twentieth of March thirty Sioux appeared from Fond du Lac Supe- 
rior where thej^had scalped an Ojibwa}", his wife and child. The next 
May a war party of Ojibways came and wished the Puans to unite 
with them against the Sioux. While they were parleying, five Sioux 
came to the Fort to trade, and were protected until night, when they 
were permitted to leave. An Ojibwa}' lying in an ambush, who spoke 
Sioux, arose and asked " Who are you ?", when the Sioux fired and 
escaped. In view of the hostilit}^ of the Indians, Saint Pierre, after 
conferring with Sieur Linctot the second in command, Father Guig- 
nas, and some others, on the thirteenth of May 1737, burned the post, 
and descended the Mississippi. 

Upon the eighteenth of June, 1738, the Sieur Verendrye left Mon- 
treal to continue his discoveries. Ke arrived at Fort Maurepas on 
twenty-third of September, and ])ushed on through Lake Winnij)eg, 
to the mouth of the Assiniboine liiver, ascending which sixty leagues, 
on the thii'd of October stopped and built Fort La Reine. A lit- 
tle while before, the eldest son of Verendrja^ ' built a post at the mouth 
of the Assiniboine and Red River ol" the North, which was soon aban- 
doned. On a maj) of the tribes, rivers and lakes west of Lake Supe- 



l. For an account of a tour to the Uocky >fountains by the sons of Verendrye, see Appendix. 



15 

rior, in 1737, appears Red Lake of Minnesota, the Red River, and the 
" Bois Fort,'' the Big Woods. 

A few days after Fort La Keine was established, the Sieur de la 
Marque, whose family name was Marin, arrived with his brother de- 
siring to visit the countrj^ of the Mandans. 

The Foxes in 1740 again became troublesome, and the post on Lake 
Pepin was for a time abandoned by the French. A dispatch in 1741 
uses this language: "The Marquis de Beauharnois' o]>inion respect- 
ing the war against the Foxes, has been the more rcadil3^ aj)proved by 
the Baron de Longeuil, Messieurs De la Chassaigne, La Corne, de Lig- 
nery, La None, and Duplessis-Fabert, whom he had assembled at his 
house, as it appears from all the letters that the Count has written for 
several years, that he has nothing so much at heart as the destruc- 
tion of that Indian nation, which can not be prevailed on by the 
presents and the good treatment of the French, to live in peace, not- 
withstanding all its promises. 

" Besides, it is notorious that the Foxes have a secret understand- 
ing with the Iroquois, to secure a retreat among the latter, in case 
they be obliged to abandon their villages. They have one already se- 
cured among the Sioux of the prairies, with Avhom they are allied; so 
that, should they be advised beforehand of the design of the French 
to Avage war against them, it would be easy for them to retire to the 
one or the other before their passage could be intersected or them- 
selves attacked in their villages." 

In the summer of 1743, a deputation of the Sioux came down to 
Quebec, to ask that trade might be resumed. Three years after this, 
four Sioux chiefs came to Quebec, and Avished that a commandant 
might be sent to Fort Beauharnois; which Avas not granted. 

During the winter of 1745-6, De Lusignan visited the Sioux coun- 
try, ordered by the government to hunt up the " coureurs des bois," 
and withdraw them from the country. The}^ started to return with 
him, but learning that they would be arrested at Mackinaw, for vio- 
lation of law, they ran away. While at the villages of the Sioux of 
the lakes and plains, the chiefs brought to this officer nineteen of their 
young men, bound with cords, who had killed three Frenchmen, at 
the Illinois. While he remained with them they made peace with the 
OJibways of La Pointe, with whom the}' had been at war for some 
time. On his return, four chiefs accompanied him to Montreal, to 
solicit pardon for their young braves. 



16 

The lessees of the tradini^ post lost inimy of their peltries that 
winter in consequence of a fire. 

In November, 1745, Legardeur de Saint Pierre, St. Lucde la Corne, 
Marin and his son left Montreal to attack the English settlements in 
New York. Passing Fort St. Frederick, at Crown Point, on the thir- 
teenth of the month, by the twenty-seventh, the French and Indians 
were at Fort Edward. On the next da}' they crossed Fish creek, a trib- 
utary of the Hudson, and the combined forces under the elder Marin, 
attacked the settlement of Saratoga, killed Capt. Philip Schuyler 
and many others, took sixty prisoners, and burned nearly all the 
houses. They then retraced their stei)S and on the seventh of De- 
cember returned to Montreal. Upon the thirtieth of the same month 
Saint Pierre was sent again to Crown Point with a large force to 
surprise the frontier settlements of New York and New England. 
He passed the winter in alarming the English, and in April Avas again 
in Montreal. During the latter part of the next year he was sent to 
Mackinaw, whither he was accompanied by his brother Louis Le- 
gardeur, the Chevalier de Repentign}'. 

In 1749 the Sioux earnestly entreated the elder Marin ^ to use his 
influence with the governor of Canada to re-establish the post at 
Lake Pe])in. The next year Marin was sent to the Sioux, and La Jon- 
quiere, the governor of Canada, directed him to proceed to the source 
of the Mississippi river to see if some stream could not be discovered, 
at the height of lands, which flowed toward the western ocean. Ma- 
rin's son, known as the Chevalier and cajitain of the militar}^ oi'der 
of St. Louis, the same year that his father went to Lake Pepin, was 
ordered to "La Pointe de Chagouamigon " of Lake Superior and re- 
mained two 3'ears, and in 1752 Covernor La Jonquiere directed him 
to relieve his father at the Lake Pepin post, and to prosecute discov- 
eries. He remained here ior two years, and on foot journeyed many 
leagues both in Avintcr and summer. Saint Pierre had been active in 
the service front the time that he evacuated the post at Lake Pepin. 
After the death of Sieur Verendr3'e, in December, 1749, he was com- 
missioned by the governor of Canada to continue the explorations 
toward the western ocean. He left Montreal in June, 1750, atid on 



1. Pierre Paul, son of Csesar Marin, and his wife, who was the daughter of De Callieres, gov- 
ernor of Canada, was born March 19, 1692, and from his youth was distinguished for his boldness 
and energy. He was married March 21, 1718, to Marie Guyon. 



17 

the twenty-ninth of September reached Ruiny lake, and in a confer- 
ence with the Cristnaux told them that the younger Marin had 
been sent to the Sioux, and that he now hojied the war between the 
two tribes would cease. 

During the winter of 1751 he Avas at Fort La Eeine on the Assini- 
boine river, on the twenty-ninth of May of that year, sentBouchei- 
de JSiverville, with two canoes and ten men, to ascend the Saskatchewan 
and build a post near the Rocky mountains which was called La Jon- 
quiere. The latter part of this 3'ear the Assiniboines and other tribes' 
toward the Rocky mountains showed hostilities to the French, and 
Saint Pierre declared that during the thirty-six years he had been 
among Indians, he had never witnessed greater perfid}'. 

Upon the twenty-second of February, 1752, two hundred Assini- 
boines appeared at Fort La Reine, passed its gates, took possession of 
the guard house, and showed a disposition to kill Saint Pierre. Dur- 
ing the summer he abandoned the fort, and on the twenty-fifth of .luly 
arrived at the Grand Portage of Lake Superior, south of Pigeon River- 
The next winter he passed in the valley of the Red river, where hunt- 
ing was good. On the twenty-ninth of Februarj-, 1753, he received, 
a letter from Marin's son, who wrote that the Sioux of the rivers and. 
lakes deplored the attack of the Sioux of the prairies upon the Cris- 
tinaux the year before, and they would be pleased to hold a confer- 
ence at Mackinaw. This letter was not received by Legardeur Saint 
Pierre until the twenty-sixth of May, at the lower part of the river 
Ounepik (Winnipeg), and on the twenty-eighth of July he and Boucher 
de Niverville came to Grand Portage, below Pigeon river. Lake Su- 
perior. The month before, the elder Marin who had returned ironx 
the Sioux country, arrived at Presque Isle, Lake Erie, with an armj- 
of French and Indians to prevent the advance of the English into the 
valle}' of the Ohio river. Cutting a road thi-ough the woods of North- 
western Pennsylvania to a branch of the Au Bceuf, called b}^ the- 
p]nglish French creek, he in August, built a stockade, with pickets- 
twelve feet high, and placed before the gate a four-pound cannon, 
and in the bastions six-pounders. During the fall he was attacked 
with dysentery, and while sick a messenger came from Montreal, 
bearing for him the decoration of the cross of the military order of 
Saint Ijouis. He was too ill to wear it, and on the twenty-ninth of 
October, died. 



r I 



18 

The following record^ has been preserved: ''In the year one thou- 
sand seven hundred and fifty-three, on the twenty-ninth day of Octo- 
ber, at four and a half in the exening, at 'Eiviere aux Boeuf' called 
Saint Peter, Monsieur Pierre Paul, Esq., Sieur de Marin, chevalier of 
royal military- order of Saint Louis, captain general, and in command 
of the army of Belle Hiviere (Ohio), at the age of sixty-three 3'ears, 
after having received the sacraments of penance, extreme unction, 
and the viaticum. His remains were interred in the cemetery of 
said fort, and during the campaign of the ]k'lle Riviere. There were 
pre.sent at his interment Monsieur Repentigny, commander of the 
above-mentioned arm}-; Messieurs du Muy. lieutenant of infantr}- ; 
Bonois, lieutenant of infantry; de Simblin, major of the above-men- 
tioned fort; Laforce, guard of the magazine." 

The register is signed by a priest of the Recollect Franciscans, 
■chaplain of the fort Fr. Denys Baron. 

Saint Pierre arrived at Montreal from the distant west on the 
seventh da}'' of October, and on the third of N^ovember the Marquis 
du Quesne wrote to the Minister of war in France that he had sent 
the Sieur de Saint Pierre to succeed Marin in the command of the 
Army of the Ohio. He did not reach the stockade at French creek 
until the first week in December, and seven days after his arrival, 
■came young George Washington with a letter from Governor Din- 
widdle, of Virginia. After courteous treatment from Saint Pierre for 
several days he was sent back with the following note: 

'•Sir: As I have the lionor to be here the commander-in-chief M- 
Washingtort delivered to me the letter which y(ni wrote to the com- 
mandant of the French troo])s. 1 should have been pleased that you 
had given him order, or that he had been disposed to go to Canada to 
see our General to whom it better belongs, than to me, to set forth 
the evidence of the incontestable rights of the King, my master, to the 
lands along the Ohio, and to refute the pretentions of the King of 
Great Britain thereto. I shall transmit your letter to M. the Marquis 
■du Quesne. His reply will be law to me, and if he shall order me to 
communicate with you, you may be assureil that I shall not fail to act 
promptly. 

As to the summons you send me to retire, I do not think I am 
obliged to obey. Whatever may be j^our instructions, I am here b}^ 
order of my general, and 1 beg you not to doubt for a moment but 
that I am determined to conform with the exactness and resolution 



1- LambiDg's Fort Duqueme Regitlers. 



19 

which becomes a good officer. I do not know that in the progress of 
this campaign anything has passed which can be regarded an act of 
hostilit}', or contrary to the treaties between the two crowns, the con- 
tinuation of which pleases us as much as it does the English. If you 
had been pleased to enter into particulars as to the facts which caused 
your complaint, I should have been honored to give as full and satis- 
factory reply as possible. 

I have made it a duty to receive M. Washington with the distinc- 
tion due on account of your dignity, and his personal worth. I have 
the honor to be, Monsieur, your very humble and very obedient ser- 
vant, Legardeur De Saint Pierre. 

At the Fort of the Eiver aux Boeufs, the 15 December, 1753. 

Eight weeks after the defeat of Braddock, in 1755, commenced 
another struggle between the troops of England and France. In 
the advance of the latter, at the head of the Indian allies was Le- 
gardeur de Saint Pierre. On the eighth of September a battle took 
phxce near the bottom of Lake George. The conflict was desjicrate, 
on the side of the English fell Col. Ephraim Williams, the founder of 
Williams college, Massachusetts; while upon the part of the French 
Legardeur de Saint Pierre was fatall3' wounded. His last words were : ^ 
■"Fight on boys, this is Johnson not Braddock." 

In 1755, Marin, the son of the commander who died at French 
•creek, Pennsylvania, was again sent by Governor Du Quesne to com- 
mand the department " La Baye." The next year, with sixty Indians, 
he was fighting the English in New York, and in 1757 was engaged in 
the capture of Fort William Henry, and attacked with great bold- 
ness Fort hidward. He was also present in 1758, at Ticonderoga. 

Louis Legardeur the Chevalier de Kepentigny was the brother oi 
Captain Saint Pierre, and, in 17-19, an officer under him at Mackinaw. 
In 1750 he built a trading establishment one hundred and ten feet 
square, at his own expense at Sault Ste. Marie, and also began a farm. 
In 1755, he served with his brother at the time of his death, and in 
1758 was with Montcalm at Quebec. At the battle of Sillery, 1760, 
he was at the head of the French centre, and with his brigade resisted 
the English, the only brigade before whom the foe did not gain an 
inch. He was taken prisoner in 1762, and two j'-ears later visited 
France. From 1769 to 1778 he was commandant at Isle of Ehe, and 
then for four years at Guadeloupe. After this ho was governor of 

1. stone's Sir Will. Johnson, vol 1, page 51('i. 



20 

Senegal, Africa, and on the ninth of October, 1786, died in Paris v.-hile 
on furlough. 

St. Luc de la Corne tookchargeof the posts beyond Lake Superior, 
after Saint Pierre was recalled, and on the third of September, 1757,^ 
married Marie the Avidow of his predecessor. 

During the war of the English colonies for independence. La Corne, 
was in the service of the British king. Thomas Jefferson, in a letter 
to John Page, of Virginia, dated Philadelphia, Oct. 1P>. 1775, alludes to 
him: '-Dear Page: We have nothing new from England, or the camp 
before Boston. By a private letter this day to a gentleman of con- 
gress from General Moiitgomerv we learn that our forces before St. 
John's are 4,000 in number, besides 500 Canadians, the latter of whom 
have repelled with great intrepidity three different attacks from the 
fort. 

"We apjn-ehend it will not hold out much longer, as Monsieur St> 
Luc de la Corne, and several other principal inhabitants of Montreal^ 
who have been our great enemies, have offered to make terms. This 
St. Luc is a great Seigneur amonst the Canadians, and almost abso- 
lute with the Indians. He has been our most bitter enemy. He is 
acknowledged to be the greatest of all scoundrels. To be assured of 
this I need onlj' to mention to you that he is the ruffian who, during 
the late war, when Fort William Henry was surrendered to the French 
and Indians on condition of saving the lives of the garrison, had every 
soul "murdered in cold blood." 

A descendant of one of the commandants at Lake Pepin, however, 
adhered to the Americans. Depe3'ster, the British commander at 
Mackinaw, under date of April 12, 1781, wrote to the Delaware In- 
dians: '• Send me that little balibling Frenchman named Monsieur 
Linctot, he who poisons your (y.xrs, one of those who says he can 
amuse you with words ; only send him to me, or be the means of get- 
ting him, and I will then put confidence in you. * * * * sic 
If you have not the opportunity to bring me the little Frenchman, 
you may bring me some Virginia prisoners. I am pleased when I 
see what you call live meat, because I can speak to it and get infor- 
mation."' 

The post ojiposite Maiden's Kock, Lake Pepin, was never occupied 
after the surrender of Canada to the British. The first English 
troops entered Minnesota by way of Lake Superior. Major Thomp- 



21 

son Maxwell, in his jonrnal, nionlions that in May, 17G2, he an-ivcdat 
Grand Portage, now in Minnesota, with a few soldiers, as a guard to 
the goods of traders. Captain Jonathan Carver, the first British 
traveler in Minnesota, in 17G6, observed "the ruins of a French fac- 
tor}' where, it is said, Capt. St. Pierre resided, and carried on a very 
great trade with the Naudowessies before the reduction of Canada." 

Lieut. Z. M. Pike, the first officer of the U. S. Army to pass through 
Lake Pepin, in 1805, reached "Point du Sable" or Sandy Point, on the 
same day of the same month as La Perriere in 1727 arrived. lie 
writes "The French, under the government of M. Frontenac, drove 
the Eeynards or Ottaquamies from the Wisconsin, and pursued them 
up the Mississippi, and as a barrier built a stockade on Lake Pepin, 
on the west shore just below Point du Sable, and, as was generally 




the case with that nation blentled the military and mercantile profes- 
sions by making their fort a factor}' for the Sioux." 

The point in the engraving without a house is Santly Point. A 
short distance from the point, near the mouth of what Pike on 
his map calls Sandy Point creek, there is an elevated ]tlateau from 
which there is an extensive view. There is evidence that there has 



22 

been lony; ago a clearing made there, and as it is. the most suitable 
spot in the vicinity for a stockade,, and visible to any one coming in 
a canoe from the direction of Lake City, it was probabl}- the site of 
a French post. The Indian trail to the head of the lake ran through 
the valle}' of the creek and passed Frontenac station, where the two- 
cannon balls were recently found. They may have been bui-ied by 
the Indians as "wakan" or supernatural. 



APPEXDIX. 



In an article from the pen of the writer upon Sieur Verendrye and 
sons, published in 1875, there were some erroneous inferences. Since 
then the itinerary of Verendrj^e's sons of their journey to the Eocky 
mountains has been published, and it is now more easy to trace the 
i-oute of the explorers. 

On the tenth of April, 1739. Verendrye sent his son. the Chevalier, 
to look out for a site for a fifth post, north of La Reine, at the Lake 
of the Prairies, which was built and called Fort Dauphin, and at a 
later period a sixth post was established at the Saskatchewan (Pas- 
koyac) river, and named Fort Bourbon. The father passed the sum- 
mer of 1740 at Montreal and Quebec, but on the thirteenth of October 
returned to Fort La Reine. 

The two sons of Verondrye left Fort La Reine on an exploration 
towai'd the Rocky mountains on the twenty-ninth of April, 1742, and 
on the twenty-first of May reached the Mandan villages, on the l)anks 
of the Missouri river. Here they rested two months, and from thence 
traveled for twenty days west-southwest, probably in the valley of 
the Yellowstone river. Moving south-southwesterly about the mid- 
dle of Sc])tember they arrived in a village of Beaux Ilommes, and re- 
mained Avith them until the ninth of November, when again proceed- 
ing south-southwesterly, on the twelfth day they came to a village of 
Petite Cerise. From thence they marched to a Pioya village, and con- 
tinuing southwesterl}- arrived at a village of the '• Gens des Chevaux," 
which had been destroyed by the Snake Indians. Here guides were 
obtained to lead them to the " Gens de I'Ai'C," and on the eighteenth 



23 

of November they reached a vlllace of "Gens de la Belle Riviere,"" 
and three days later found the Arcs. 

From this point they journeyed generally in a southwesterly course, 
but sometimes moved northwesterly. On the first of January, 1743, 
the first view of the mountains was obtained. Under the guidance 
of an Are chief they marched, and on the twelfth day halted anion ti- 
the mountains, as the Arcs were unwilling to proceed further owinc 
to the hostility of the Snake Indians. 

Coquard, a priest who had been associated Avith Verendrye, mentions 
that his sons found falls of water, probably the Yellowstone Falls, and 
that thirty leagues beyond (au-dessus), they found a narrow pass ; also 
between the mountains and the Missouri (Yellowstone tributary?) 
there is the outlet of a lake. 

Bougainville wrote that southwest of the river Wabick or La 
Coquile, on the banks of La Graisse river are the Hactanes, or Snake 
tribe Avho stretch to the base of a chain of mountains which has a 
northeasterl}' trend and that south of this is the Karoskiou river or 
Cerise Pelee, which flows toward California. 

An examination of anj" good modern map Avill show that the head 
waters of Green river, a branch of the Colorado Avhieh empties into 
the Gulf of Califoi'nia, rise near Fremont's Peak. Some of the Snake 
Indians in Texas are still called Hictans. 

Eeturning from the Kocky Mountains, the Verendr^-e brothers oi> 
the ninth of February, 1743, came to the first of the Arc villages, and 
on the fifteenth of March they met some of the Petite Cerise tribe, 
and on the nineteenth arrived at their post on the banks of the Mis- 
souri. Upon an eminence in the vicinit}' they placed a lead plate 
with the arms of the king of France, and over it stones in the form 
of a pyramid in honor of the governor of Canada. Pursuing a course 
generally to the northeast, they reached the Mandan country on the 
eighteenth of Ma}", and on the twenty-seventh passed the Butte in 
the Assiniboine region. To the joy of their father, the sons reached 
Fort La Peine on the second of Julj'.