Jacques, French missionary, born in Laon, France, in 1637; died near
Marquette river, Mich., 18 May, 1675. He entered the Society of Jesus at the age
of seventeen, and was ordained priest in 1666. He sailed for Canada the same
year, landed at Quebec on 20 September, and on 10 Oct. went to Three Rivers, where
he spent eighteen months studying the Algonquin and Huron languages under
Gabriel Druilletes (q. v.).
In 1668 he was ordered to return to Quebec and
prepare for the Ottawa mission, and while awaiting the Ottawa flotilla at
Montreal met a party of Nez-Percds, with whom he went to Lake Superior and
founded the mission of Sault Sainte Marie. After building a church and
converting a large number of Indians, he was directed to proceed to La Pointe du
Saint Esprit, where he arrived on 13 Sept., 1669. He was stationed at the head
of Ashland bay till 1671, when he was obliged to fly with the Huron part of his
flock, on account of the hostility of the Sioux, to Mackinaw, where he founded
the mission of St. Ignatius and built a church.
Here Louis Joliet came
in 1673 with orders from Frontenae, governor of Canada, to take Marquette as
and guide on his expedition of discovery. Marquette had already heard of
Mississippi river from the Illinois Indians that came to La Pointe. He now spent
the winter in making the necessary preparations, drew up a rude map of the river
from information that he received from the Indians, and carefully entered facts
of any value in his notebook. “We took all possible precautions,” he
says, “that, if our enterprise was hazardous, it should not be rash.”
Marquette and Joliet set out on 17 May in two canoes that soon reached Green
Bay. The story of the voyage and discovery is related by Marquette in his
“Voyage et deeouverte de quelques pays et nations de l’AmSrique
Septentrion Me,” a translation of which is given in Shea’s “Discovery and
Exploration of the Mississippi” (New York, 1852). The narrative is remarkable
for charm of style as well as close observation and fine descriptive ability. He
had a keen and scientific eye for all the natural features of the river. He
returned to Green Bay in September and remained there until October, 1674. The
hardships that he endured had broken his constitution, but he sent to his
superior the journal of his voyage down the Mississippi, and awaited orders.
Being commanded to establish a mission in Illinois, he set out for Kaskaskia
on 25 October, and, overtaking a party of Pottawattamie and Illinois Indians,
journeyed with them southward along the western shore of Lake Michigan.
Marquette reached Chicago river in December, and found himself too exhausted to
proceed farther. The Illinois left him to go to their village, but two Frenchmen
remained with him and built a log hut, the first human dwelling-place on the
site of what is now the city of Chicago. On 26 Jan., 1675, three Illinois
Indians brought him presents from the chiefs of the tribe, and he promised to
make every effort to reach their village. Notwithstanding his sufferings, he
spent the long winter in prayer, meditation, and retreat, and said mass every
day. Some time afterward he recovered sufficiently to resume his journey.
March he set out, and, after great suffering, reached Kaskaskia on 8 April. He
went from cabin to cabin explaining the principles of his religion, and then
convened the whole people on a prairie near the village. He preached to more
than 2,000 men and a still larger number of women, most of whom he converted.
After addressing another great meeting, he told the Indians that he was
obliged to leave on account of his Mhnent, and then set out for Mackinaw,
escorted for thirty leagues by the Indians. But his strength gradually failed
and he became so weak that he had to be lifted in and out of his canoe. On the
eve of his death he told his companions that he would die the next day, and,
perceiving the mouth of a river with an eminence on the bank, he directed that
he should be buried there. He was carried ashore and a poor bark cabin raised to
shelter him. “The river where he died,” writes Parkman, “is a small stream
in the west of Michigan, some distance south of the promontory called the
Sleeping Bear. It long bore his name, which has now been given to a larger
stream.” His remains were transferred to Point St. Ignaee, Michigan, and their
resting-place was afterward forgotten, but was discovered by a clergyman of
Eagle Harbor, Michigan, in 1877. Father Marquette was the first to give an
explanation of the lake tides, and his theory has not been improved by modern
-- Edited Appleton's Cyclopedia
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2001 by VirtualologyTM
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Louis Jolliet (1645-1700). Jacques Marquette (1637-1675).
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JACQUES MARQUETTE (1637-1675) LOUIS JOLLIET(sometimes
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JACQUES MARQUETTE. Jacques Marquette est un jésuite missionnaire né à Laon en
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ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA. Marquette, Jacques b. June 1, 1637,
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Marquette was born on June 10, 1637 in Laon, an old French province. He ...
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