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3 1833 01052 7213

Digitized by the Internet Arciiive

in 2010 witii funding from

Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center



State Historical Society
of wisconsin



Secretary and Superintendent of the Society

The French Regime in Wisconsin — 1743-1760
The British Re^jime in Wisconsin — 1760-1800
The Mackinac Register of Marriages — 1725-1821






From portrait in possession of M. le Conite Jacques de Cleiniont-Ten-

neres, Chateau de Brugny, Maine, Fiance


^ttblitf^tb bg ^ui^orhn of iHb



Contents and Illustrations

Portrait of PiERu?:-PBANfois Rigaud, Marc^uis de Vaudreuil,

Governor ok New France . . Frontispiece

Officers ok tiie Society, 1908 . . . ix

Preface . . . . . xi








Sioux instigate rebellion; News from Illinois

Negotiations with Western Tribes

Canada and Louisiana; Coureurs des Bois; Post op

La Baye
Partnership to exploit La Baye
The Upper Posts
The Shawnee
cuequamegon post

The Illinois should revert to Canada
Instructions to the new Governor, the Marquis de


Policy toward Indians

License system restored

Development of Detroit and Mackinac

Posts of the Upper Country

Arrangements for La Baye, and a post among the

Sioux; Fort at Toronto
Promotion for a Wisconsin officer
C^loron's expedition down the Omo
Conspiracy in the Illinois
Affairs in the Upper Posts
Affairs at La Baye; Officer drowned; The Sioux

Post ....

. [iii]







Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. xviu

1750: Councils with Tribesmen; Rkports from Upp

1750: Regulations for the fur-trade

1750: Affairs at Detroit

1750-51: Marin's Western journey

1751: Reports from the Northern Posts

1751: Reports fkom the Southwestern Posts

1751: Post at Sault Ste. Marik

1752: News from the Upper Country

1752: Instructions regarding the Indians

1752: Exploiting the Posts

1752: Sault Ste. Marie . .

1752: The trade at Detroit

1752: Grant of La Baye

1752: Langlade captures Pickawillany

1753: Grant of La Baye

1753: Peace among Northwestern Triijes

1754: Langlade's marriage contract

1754: The Upper Posts

1754: Rigaud and the lease of Green Bay

1754: Routes to tub Upper Country

1755: Langlade commissioned ensign

1755: Instructions for Vaudreuil

1755: Regulations for trade at the Upper Post

1755: Concession of Post of La Baye

1755: Upper Posts and Detroit

1749-55: Services of the younger Marin

175G: Affairs in the Ohio Valley

175(i: Grant of La Baye Post

1757: Memoir of Bougainville

1757: Submission oe the Iowa

1757: Exploiting La Baye

1757: Trade with Upper Posts

1758: Sub-lease of Northern Posts .

1758: Disturbance at La IUye

1758: Excessive expenditure

1758: Distrust and dishonesty at Posts

175U: Grant of La Baye to UuiAUD

175i): News from the Upper Country

1700: Garrison at Fort Massac

1760: The war draws to a close

1700: Mackinac evacuated

Posts 07



1743-1821] Contents and Illustrations


1760-61 The British take possession . . . 223

1761: CONFEUENCE AT Dktkoit . . . 229

1763: The Illinois . . . .259

1764: News from Wisconsin . . .261

1764: Wisconsin Indian praisei) . . . 268

1764: Re-estaulisument of Mackinac . . 270

1764: Aspect of Detroit . . . 272

1765: Frencu lease of La Baye . . 274

1765: British in the Illinois . . 275

1765-66: Trader in Northern Wisconsin . . 277

1766; Rogers to Langlade . . . 278

1766-67: Travels in Wisconsin . . .280

1767: Certificate to a ^Ienominee . . . 286

1767: Trade at La Baye . . . .286

1768: 'Western fur-trade .... 288

1768: License for Illinois priest . . . 292

1768: Lake Superior copper mines . . . 293

1769: Fear of Indian conspiracy . . 295

1769: Indians and settlements of Spanish Illinoks . 299

1773: Affairs at Mackinac ani> in Wisconsin . . 308

1740-75: Journal of Peter Pond . . 314

1776: Western Indians iieinforce Carleton . . . 355

1777: Wisconsin Indians in Burgoyne's campaign . 357

1777: Spanish describe tribesmen . . 358

1778: Wisconsin levies aid J^ritish . . . 368

1778: Certificate to Menominek chief . . 369

1778: Langlade to reinforce Hamilton . . 371

1779: Clark's operations; Indian COUNCIL AT Mackinac . 373

1779: Expedition against Illinois . . 375

1779: Si'EECH to the Western Indians . . 377

1779: Southwestern expedition . . . 391

1779: Close ok campaign . . . .401

1780: Langlade's services .... 403

1780: British expedition against St. Louis . . 404

1780: Spanish report of attack on St. Louis . . 40(i

[780: Furs saved at Prairie DU CiiiEN . . .411

1780: Scouting from Mackinac . . . 412

1780: Spanish rioport English intrigues . .412

1781: Warning to traders .... 415

1781: Instructions for Spanish governor of St. Louis . 417

1782: Expedition against St. Josephs . . 430


Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. xviu

















Land-gkant at Mackikac

Indian discontekt at Mackinac

A trader's note

News from Mackinac

Mackinac Company in the Ii.ijnois

English traders in Upper Louisiana

Mackinac Indians oppose Wayne

Green Bay chief desires a medal

British remove from Mackinac

Spanish on the Upper Mississippi

Arrangements for boundary commissioners

IIaid ON THE Mississippi

Americans visit Northwest Posts

British protection against Spanish

Langlade's business affairs




1725-1821: Register of marriages jn the Parish of Michili-

mackinac . . . . 409




Pobtbait of Pierbe-Fran^ois Rigaud, Mabquis de Vatjdbeuil.
From painting in possession ol' M. le Oomto Jacques de
Ole.rmont-Tenneres, Chateau dt* Rrugny, Marno, France


Pobtbait of Michel-Rolland Babin, Comte de la GALissoNifeBE.
From a copy, at Qucboc, of original painting in possession
of the family in France ....

Leaden plate buried by CfiLOBON. Found at mouth of Great
Kanawlia River, and now in possession of Virginia Histori-
cal Society. From a recent photograph

Marriage contract between Charles Langlade and Char-
lotte BouRAs.SA. Dated, August 11, 1754. Reduced fac-
simile of part of first page of original, in Wisconsin His-
torical Library ....




1743-1821] Contents and Illustrations

The Chicago Poutaqk. From the first Uaitocl States government
survey (ca. 1820) of the region of the portage and site of
Chicago, in possession of Cliicago Historical Society . IIU

PoKTKAiT OF Louis-Antoine de Bougain vii.le. From painting in
possession of M. le Comte R. Kerralain, Quimper, France.
Reproduced from pliotogravun; In Doughty and Parmalee,
Siccjc of QueOa; i, p. 178 . . . . IGS

Portrait of Philippe -Francois Rastel, Sieub de Rociieblave,
Commamlant at Massac and Kaskaskia. Frt)m portrait in
possession of the family .... 214

PoKTUAiT OF Hknky Bouqukt. I'^roni steel engraving in l\nin,syl-

vdfiia Maf/iizine of IJixtori/ and IJiograp/it/, ill, p. 121 . 224

SiK William Johnson's CIektificate to Ogemawnee. Dated,
Niagara, August 1, 17(J4. Reduced facsimile of original in
\Visconsin Historical Library .... 208

Geneual Haljjimanu's Certificate to Ciiawanon. Dated, Mon-
treal, August 17, 1778. Reduced facsimile of original in
Wisconsin Historical Library .... 370

Poutkait of Henuy Hamilton, LiEirTENANT-CovEUNOK of De-
Tuorr. After a portrait in possession of Clarence M. Bur-
ton of Detroit . . . . .376

Plan of St. I>ouih, 1780. Photograph from original MS. map in
CJeneral .\rchives of the Indies, Seville, Spain, where it ac-
companies a document among the "Papers from Cuba"
taken to Seville after the Spanish-American War . 406

Langlade's lkttekto Rociieblave and Poulieii. Dated, July 2U,
1800. Reduced facsimile of original in Wisconsin Histori-
cal Library . . . . .402

FoiiT Mac:kinac IN VM'>. Photograph from pasture southwest of

the fort, between the village and I he (iraiid Hotel . 408

vii ]

Officers, 1908


William Wakd Wight, il. A.


Vice Presidents

Hon. Emil Baknbch
Hon. Burr W. Jones, U. A.
Lucius 0. Colman, B. A.
Hon. John LucnsiNQER .
Hon. Benjamin F. McMillan
Hon. John B. Winslow, LL. I).



La Crosse




Secretary and Superintendent
Reuben G. Tiiwaites, IAj. D.



Hon. Lucikn S. Hanks


Librarian and Assistant Superintendent
Isaac S. Bkauley, B. S. . . .


Curators, Ex -Officio

Hon. James O. Davidson
Hon. James A. Fheak
Hon. Andri?w H. Daiil .

. Governor

. Secretary of Stal

. Slate Treasurer


Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi.

Thomas E. Brittinguam, Esq.
Henry C. Campbell, Esq.
WiLLLAM K. Coffin, M. S.
Hon. Lucien S. Hanks
Hon. Nils P. Haugen, LL. H
Col. Hiram Hayes

Curators, Elective
Term expires at annual meeting in 1909

Rev. Patrick B. Knox

Maj. Frank W. Oakley

Hon. Arthur L. Sanborn, LL. B.

Hon. Halle Steensland

Hon. E. Ray Stevens, LL. B.

William W. Wight, M. A.

Term expires at annual meeting in 1910

Hon. Robert M. Bashford, M. A. William A. P. Morris, B. A.

Ho". Jairus H. Carpenter, LL. D. Rev. J. M. Naugutin

Lucius C. Colman, B. A. Arthur C. Neville, Esq.

Hon. Henry E. Leoler liocEitT (J. Siebeckeu, LL. B.

Hon. Benjamin F. McMillan Frederick .1. Turner, LL. 1).

Danna C. Munro, M. a. Charles R. Van Hise, LL. U.

Term expires at

Rasmus B. Anderson, LL. D.
Hon. Emil Baensch
Charles N. Brown, LL. B.
Hon. George B. Burrows
Frederic K. Conover, LL. B.
Alfred A. Jackson, M. A.

inual meeting in 191 1

Hon. Burr W. Jones, M. A.
Hon. John Luchsinger
Most Rev. S. G. Messmer
J. Howard Palmer, Esq.
John B. Parkinson, M. A.
Hon. N. B. Van Slyke

Executive Committee

The thirty-six curators, the .secretary, the librarian, tlie governor, the
secretary of state, and the state treasurer, constitute the executive com-



In volume xvi of our series, we begau the chronological pre-
sentation of contemporary documents' concerning the French re-
gime in the country of the upper Great Lakes, having special
but not exclusive reference to events connected with Wisconsin.
To have restricted our publication to material directly affecting
the territory embraced in our present State, would have
been quite impjracticablo. Wisconsin was then politically part
of the broad geographical region extending from Detroit to St.
Louis, by way of Lakes Huron, Michigan, and Superior, and the
several portage routes connecting the two latter with the Missis-
sippi River. What affected one portion of this vast "upper
<»untry" was apt to be of importance throughout its length and
breadth. To stiuly early Wisconsin apart from Michigan, north-
ern Illinois, and those portions of j\Iinnesota, Iowa, and Missouri
bordering on the ]\Iissis3i])i)i, is imjwssibl'!. While necessarily
including in our collection uiaterial bearing upon the history of
other Oouimonwealths than our own, wo have, however, sought
to limit our selection to data concerning men and events that
in some measure, at least, have inlluencod Wisconsin history.

Volume XVI ranged chronologically from ICiSI, the date of
Nicolet's landfall, to 1727, when the Fox Wars Avere at their
height. Volume xvii covered the years 1727 to 17-48, d period
of much- interest, notable for French enterprise in exploration
and the fur-trade, but giving signs of incipient decay in the
political supremacy of ISTew France, especially in Wisconsin,
where the insurgent Foxes seriously interrupted communication
between the widely-separated colonies of Canada and Louisiana.

The present volume concludes the presentation of documents
concerning 'New France in the upper country, the range being

Wisconsin Historical Collection

S [vol. xviii

from 1743, when the Sioux were reported to have allied them-
selves with the Foxes, to 1760, when the old French post of
Mackinac was evacuated by the conquered French. These pa-
pers are followed by documents illustrating the British regime in
this region, between 1761 and 1800. The volume closes with
the Mackinac register of marriages during the eventful century
from 1725 to 1821.

During the half century and more between 1743 and 1800,
the land now included in the Wisconsin of our day was under
the dominion of three great nations — France, Great Britain,
and the United States- — and was bordered by the domain of a
fourth, Spanish Louisiana. The period also embraces two great
wars, waged to determine which sovereignty should here pre-
vail. It involves three tyj)es of administration in the North-
west — the colonial jiaternalism of the French court, the negli-
gent but avowedly military rule of the English officials, and the
beginnings of American control. Nevertheless, throughout
these several changes the small white communities located upon
Wisconsin soil remained essentially French in habits, customs,
lang\iage, and mode of thought ; indeed, the British regime
within our State might with sf)mo propriety be termed a contin-
uation of that of the French. As for American influence, it
was but slightly felt in Wisconsin before the coming of a United
States garrison to Green Bay, in 1816; although established
at Mackinac some twenty years before.

Commencing with 1761, however, the admixture of new ele-
ments wrought somewhat of a social change within the isolated
little Wisconsin settlements — the coming and going of English
officers and Scotch and Yankee traders, the intrigues of French
and Spaniards to regain control or repel assault, the machina-
tions for the favor of the Indian tribesmen, the rumors of wars,
and dangers of invasion. All these contributed to niffle the
quiet of the French habitants, and in some measure to connect
them with the life of the world beyond their wilderness ham-

At the close, as at the beginning of the period covered by our

[ xii ]

1743-1821] Preface

vohuiie, periiianeut settlements leave somewhat iincertaiu traces;
indeed, there was little of permanence in the ways of these for-
est dwellers. Lacking commandant or priest, none of our prim-
itive Wisconsin settlements has left a continuous record of its
existence. After the French officials had retreated, English
military forces occupied Wisconsin for less than two years;
thereafter, governmental control, such as it was, was exercised
from Mackinac. During this entire half century, no priest is
kno\vn to have dwelt within the borders of our present State.
After 1765, even parochial visits up the Great Lakes to Mackinac
were few, with wide intervals between.

What white dwellers there were, within the boundaries of
Wisconsin, were nearly all traders and voyageurs; the few who
tilled the soil did so but to make provision for local consump-
tion. Green Bay (the La Baye of New France) was the most
stable of these settlements, and by the close of oui- period had
spread along Fox ]^iver as fai', probably, as Katdcauna, with
an outlying |>ost near Oshkosh. At J^ortage, lived a few
French or half-breeds engaged in trade and in transporting can-
oes Avith their small cargoes from one stream to the other. At
the mouth of the Wisconsin was held, as of old, a semi-annual
concourse, or fair, that collected traders and voyageurs from
all the Northwest streams, leaving between its times of meeting
a small residuum of white population. Besides Green Bay,
other villages were interniittciitly maintained — that of Che-
quamegou being api)arently of less importance than it had been
in earlier times; while the trading ])Ost of Milwaukee began to
loom into a larger measure of consequence, especially during
the years of the American Bevolution.

These small communities had for neighbors the Illinois set-
tlements on both sides of the IMississippi, and others at St.
Josephs, Ouiatanon, Miami, and Vincennes. Orders and mer-
chandise came from the two entrepots of the region — Detroit at
the south, ]\rackinac on the north. At the entrance of Lake Super-
ior was established in 1750, near the site of a century-old
French Jesuit mission, the military and agi-icultural post of


Wisconsin Historical Collections [voixvui

Sault Ste. Marie; while at the west end of the gi-eat lake was
maintained a station for traders to the far Northwest, who
in their wide journeyings intercepted the rontes of adventurers
from Hudson Bay. Isolated as they were, in the far interior
of the North American continent, these small communities, and
the savage tribes with whom they traded, were nevertheless
drawn into the current of history by their connection with the
colonial systems of the great world powers.

In the first two hundred pages of this volume, there is ex-
emplified the final years of the administration of New France,
with its corruption, exploitation, and ultimate neglect of this
great Western empire. By the time the documents in this vol-
ume began, the Fox Wars were ])i'actically at an end, but their
harvest of dissimulation and distrust among the tribesmen was
still to be reaped. After the submission of the Sauk and Foxes,
the arrangements made for the re-establishment of posts at La
Baye and among the Sioux might have been valuable to the
colony of New France had they been entrusted to the care of an
able governor, such as Beauhamois, or of an honest intendant
like llocquart. Instead, La Galissoniore's short but vigorous
rule was succeeded by the avaricious regime of La Jonquiere;
and after three years of renovation under Marquis Du Quesne,
by the weak administration of Vaudreuil. La Jonquiere entered
into a partnership with his officers to plunder the Wisconsin post,
taking out of it a net profit of a hundred and fifty thousand
livres per year. By his solicitations, the last French governor
secured the lease of La Baye for his spendthrift brother, who
was deeply involved in the fraudulent transactions marking the
final years of French rule.

Meanwhile, beyond the borders of the present State but pro-
foundly influencing her course of history, stirriug events were
taking place. English colonists and traders had secured a foot-
hold in the gTeat Ohio valley, and French officers were sent to
dislodge them. Celeron's ex7)edition of 1749 proved abortive.
Three years later, however, a force of Indians from Mackinac
and Green Bay, under the leadership of young Charles Lang-


1743-1821] Preface

lade, surprised and sacked the English fort at Piekawillany,
and the fortunes of the intruding English traders began from
that time to wane.

During the French and Indian War^ the Western country was
strongly loyal to the king of France ; had it not been so stripped
by the extortions of plundering officials, the West might have
furnished more substantial aid than was at that time possible.
In addition to spoliation, the upper country suffered much
from neglect. At the outbreak of the Avar the higher officers
were withdrawn, and the posts left to the care of subordinates
of small repute. The dearth of reports after 175-i, indicates
the lack of interest at headquarters concerning the fate of the
deserted district.

Each year of the great contest saw the gathering of barbaric
warriors at Mackinac, who under French or half-breed officers,
their well-trained and acknowledged leaders, were sent to
participate in the campaigns of the Lake Ghamplain region,
and in the final struggle on the Plains of Abraham. During
the last five years of French administration in the upper coun-
try (1755-GO), its most interesting and suggestive history is
connected with these expeditions that sallied from the farthest
Western wilderness to the theatre of war. Amid the train
of Montcalm's assistants, one officer alone was properly impressed
with the importance and possibilities of the great Western
empire of New France. In Bougainville's memoir, we have a
glimpse of what might have been its line of development, had
Wolfe and not Montcalm been defeated before Quebec.

"Ill news travels fast." This proverb was never better ex-
emplified than in the rapid message that ovei-took Lieutenant
Charles Langlade, returning with his savage adherents from
the siege of Montreal. Dismissed September 3, 1760, from
the only citadel remaining in French hands, Langlade had been
but five days on his journey when Vaudreuil was forced to sur-
render all Canada to Murray, and to order the evacuation or
transfer to the British of all the upper posts. When or in
what wise this last occun-ed at Mackinac, has not previously been


Wisconsin Historical Collections [voi. xviu

noted in our histories; but a document heroin published shows
that upon Langlade's arrival, sonietinie in October, the French
commandant Beaujeu de Villemonde — brother of him who, five
years earlier, fell victorious at Braddock's defeat — made a hasty-
decision to evacuate his post before the arrival of the British
forces. Gathering up his effects and gan-ison at Mackinac,
he retreated through Wisconsin, carrying oif, in all probability,
all that remained of the garrison and stores at La Baye. Un-
able to reach the Illinois before ice had encased the rivers, he
wintered in the Indian town at the mouth of Rock River, where
a few years later was born that redoubtable champion of Indian
rights, the Sauk leader Black Hawk.

Meanwhile Lieutenant Charles Langlade, left in charge at
Michilimackinac, maintained what order was possible during
the year intervening between the departure of Beaujeu and the
coming of the British under Captain Henry Balfour. But be-
fore England's troops came English traders — Albany men, for
the most part, some of them descendants of the very same
Dutch-Englishmen who had been captured on Lake Erie in 1687
by Graysolon Duluth. The journal of the elder Alexander
Henry has long been a prime source for the beginnings of
English rule in the Northwest; to this document should be ad-
ded the journal of l^icutenant James Gorrell,^ first and only
British commandant, at Green Bay, and now the documents pub-
lished in the present volume. These latter, from originals in
possession of the Society, correct in some wise Henry's account
of the capture of 'Fort Mackinac in 1763, especially of the part
taken therein by Charles Langlade. Additional light is also
thrown on the immediate causes and effects of what took place
in Wisconsin proper, and on the temper of the tribesmen within
her borders. Aft^r Pontlac's conspiracy, English occupation
at Mackinac was not renewed until the autuum of 1764. As
for the abandoned fort on Fox River, it was not rebuilt un-
til the coming of American troops, forty-two years later.

Thus was Wisconsin wholly given over to the trading class,

In Wis. Hist. Colls., i.


17:13-1021] Preface

save that about this time the important family of the semi-mil'-
itary Langlades removed from Maekiuac to the Green Bay set-
tlement, exercising n salutary intluence upon the growth and
progress of that small village. Wisconsin was henceforth gov-
erned from Mackinac, a post becoming more and more cosmo-
politan in character — a congery of traders of all nationalities;
of broken-down adventurers and eager speculators from all the
English colonies. Among these latter was ]\iajor Robert Rog-
ers of the famous Ranger corps, who ap])('ars to have entered
into souLe obscure intrigue ro di'li\cr the |)()st to its former
masters, and thus recoup his owu waning fortunes. There is
some reason to believe that one of his agents was the erstwhile
famous traveller, Jonathan (-arver. wliusc reliability, so long
unchallenged, now stands openly iu cpiestiun.

That Carver visited Wisconsin, seems assured ; but that he
was treated like the ''tcudert'oot" on more recent American

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