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3 1833 01076 8981

Digitized by the Internet Archive

in 2010 with funding from

Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center

Parkman Club Papers

\l, I- 10



mii,\vaiki:j-: :

No. 1.
MiLWALKtt;. Witt., Uhi:, 10, IBLIJ • ' -



Nicholas F^hRROT


Countilur American f'olk-Lort Sociu\>

[i'ci'yrigUt, l>-^>.. by (iar.luor P. .Sticituni J



.\-icholas Pfirot, Gardner P. Stickney : 1

A\id/s<!oi/ niid (iroseillicrs, Heury Colin Campbell 17

Chevalier Heiny de Tonty, Henry E. Legler 37

The Aborigines of the Northtvesi, Frank T. Terry of

Jonathan Carver, John G. Gregory : 7-5

Negro Slavery in U'iseonsii/, Rev. John X. Davidson 103

Eleazer Williams, William Ward Wight 1-33

Charles Langlade, First Settler of U'iseonsin, Montgomery E.

Mcintosh •20-')

The (,'eriuaiis in U'iseonsin Polities, f'ntil the A'ise of the Re[>nh-

liean Party, Kriiest IJruncken 22.i

The Inlanders in Wiseonsin, Frank H. Miller •23'.t

Index 247



The organization of the Parkman Club, on the lOth of
December, 189'), represented the aspiration of its founders to
contribute in a systematic wa}' to the work of collectine and
bringing into order the facts of the history of the Northwest.
The active membership of the club is limited to fifteen, and
each member in rotation is expected to prepare and submit to
the club a paper germane to the general .subject stated,
embodying the results of original research. The papers are
read by their authors at the regular monthly meetings of the
club, discussed, revised and published. The accompanying
volume embodies thf papers read before the club during the
first year of its existence. Of the ten papers here presented
the following five have been copyrighted by their authors:
AWio/ds Ptrro/. by Gardner P. Stickney; Jonathan Carver, by
John G. Gregory; AVi,^;^ Slavery in 117seo?is/n, by Rev. John
Nelson David^on: Elea~er Williams, by William Ward Wight,
and The (iernians in Wiseonsin Polities, by Ernest Bnnicken.

The club contemplates the publication of reprints of rare
books forming the .sources of early Northwestern history, as
soon as a financial basis ibr the undertaking can be secured.
A library pertaining to Northwestern history is being ac(^UInu-
lated by the club.

The membership list of the Parkman Club is as follows,
the place of residence in each case being Milwaukee unless
otherwise stated:

AcTivi-: Mk.mhkk.s — ICrnest Hruncken, Henry C. Campbell,
Rev. John N. Davidson. Two Rivers, Wis., John G. Gregory,

Frederick \V. Kelly, Rev. Joseph S. La Boule, St. Francis.
Wis., Henry E. Legler, Montgomery E. Mcintosh, PVaiik H.
Miller, Dan B. Starker. Gardner P. Stickney, William W.
Wight. ;

Associate Mk.mhkks — VV. J. Anderson, Madi.son, Wis.,
W.J. Galbraith, Whitewater, Wis., Chas. L. Goss, L. W.
Halsey, G. H. D. Johnson, John Johnston, C. E. McLenei;an,
J. M. Pereles, T. J. Perelcs, G. C. Schntts, Whitewater, Wis..
R. C. Spencer, H. Van Wyck, G. H. Wahl, F. E. Walbridge,
A. O. Wright, .Madi.son, Wis.

Associate memt)ers aie not expected lo prepare papers, but
they are privileged to atlen<i the meetings, and to take part in
the discrs^-ions. The officers of the club are a Secretary
and a Pnblication Committee, elected annually. Tlie members
of the Publication Committee for the present year are Henry
C. Campbell, Henry E. Legler and John G. Gregory. Cor
respondence may be addressed: "Gardner P. Stickney, Sec-
retary, 427 Bradford Street, Milwaukee, Wis."


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(t-axo ^AA'1XA^XJe/'^ i^ liA^-tW f\AxM V'^ Vyvivvvv^ WvO^vx^ Va^/^TV o - rvc 03* A.aa_ <Jl^

V\\\A tUv\3AJ^ V^».-vV~CQ ^



Cliief among the many treasures ot the Wisconsin Historical So-
ciety is a silver monstrance or ostensorium, fifteen inches in height,
and weighing more than twenty ounces. It is elaborately made in
French repousse. From an oval base rises a standard, nine inches
high, supporting a circular, radiated, glazed rim, whicli is in turn
surmounted by a cross. This was used to hold the sacred water
when at the celebration of the sacrament it was exposed to the view
of the pious worshippers; and was called a soleil from its supposed
ray-like resemblance to the sun, and monstrance because it was used
to demonstrate the body of Christ. This particular monstrance was
once the property of the Jesuit mission of St. Francis Xavier on the
lower Fox. Buried in the earth on the burning of the mission in
1687, it was not recovered until 1802, when it was found by some
workmen digging a foundation. Then it passed into the hands of the
Grignon family, and was occasionally used by some itinerant i)rie:t
until it was taken to Detroit in 1828. Ten years later Father Bon-
duel redeemed it for twenty-six dollars, and carried it back to Green
Bay. There it remained until it was sent to its present resting place,
only a few years ago.^

According to Prof. Butler, but four memorials older tlian this
monstrance remain to prove the early presence of white men within
Wisconsin borders. Of these, two are maps, both preserved m
archives in Paris, one showing Lake Superior as it was imderstood
in 1671, the other giving "the Mcssipi where tlie Misconsing comes
in' in 1679; a third of these memorials is Marquette's manuscript of
his journey down the Mississippi in 1673; this was written at Green
Bav during the following winter, and is now preserved in the college
of St. Mary at Montreal; and the fourth is Joliet's journal of the
same trip, written in Paris in 1674, and now in the seminary of St.
Sulpice at Paris.

Around the rini of the base of the monstrance these words are
rudely but clearly engraved in French: "This soleil was given by
Mr. Nicholas Perrot to the mission of St. Francis Xavier, at the
Bay of the Puans, i(>8G."-

1. Cf. Prof J. D. Buller, Wisconsin nistorlcfil Collections, Volume VIII, pp.
199 et Sfq.

2. I'Irtnrps of the mnnstrance nnd Its l>ottom, sliowlng (he Inscrliitlon, are
glvua IB Wlas.irs Narrative lUiU Critml Illstury, Volume IV, pages ll>2 and 193.


When the monstrance was found in 1S02, but little was known
about Nicholas Perrot: 'but the painstaking investigation of recent
years has brought to light many interesting facts concerning him.

His name is continually found in the records of Canada from
1O65 to 1700, and always in an honorable, often an important, connec-
tion. His integrity and ability were unquestioned. His influence
with the Indians was unequalled, even Du Lhut being obliged at one
tiiiic to call for his assistance. His patience and courage, and his
calmness under misfortune alike command our admiration.

The most successful of all the B'rench emissaries among the
Western Indians'' Perrot was a man of humble birth. So unimportant
did he seem that neither his parentage, the place of his birth, nor the
year of his arrival in New France is matter of record, so far as re-
cent research has been able to ascertain. Tailhan thus introduces
his biographical sketch:

"Nicolas Perrot, born in 1644, came to New France, in what
year I know not; he belonged to an honest family, but one of sm.-^ll
fortune; so, after receiving some instruction in letters, he was obliged
to interrupt his studies to enter the service of the missionaries."*

This service among the missionaries was of a peculiar nature, a
combination of body-servant, farn!-hand and hunter, rendered neces-
sary by tlie wildness and roughness of the country, and the zeal of
the missionaries for the ingathering of the harvest of souls before
them to the exclusion of their own bodily comfort or welfare. Most
of the Canadian missionaries were men of delicate nature and high
education, little fitted for the hardships of their life, and as little
fitted for the manual labors necessary around their mission stations.
Occasionally there came a brave heart like Breboeuf or DoUier dc
Casson, able and ready to buffet any kind of a storm; but their na-
tures were nmrc than ordinary natures, and they serve but to accentu-
ate the connnon life of the others. The missionaries could not de-
pend for their food upon the generosity of the Indian hunters, and
so they early began to employ young French Canadians to hunt,
fish and till the ground for them. These young men were known as
donncs and engages, the former giving their services, and the latter
receiving a small salary. Perrot was enrolled among the engage 1.
These men not only labored for tlie fathers around the mission sta-
tions, but accompanied them on IrmLi vc.ya'jes, caring for their needs,
and sharing their dangers and privations, as in the case of Jean
Gucrin, who served Father ^fenard. No doubt in this close roin-
lianionship they received much instruction in temporal as well as in
spiritual affairs. The nature o\ the ci>nntry, and the language and
customs of the Indians around them were ever fruitful topics, and it
is not unlikely that we owe the writing of Perrot's Meinoires to ini-
piessions he received at an Indian campfire, from some Jesuit lather.

3. I'r.if. .T. I>. Hiitlnr. Wisr.iiisiii Hisi..iK-ul Cclectlons. Volume VIII, p.-ci;,- likj.

4. TallimiilVinn's .\l..u](jiri-, iia^-e "^T.


Perrot remained at this eniployinent some four or five years'',
learning much about the Indians and their life; and in 1065 he came
West for the first time as his own master, free to follow his own
plans. He was at this time about twenty-one years old, and wis
already imbued with the importance of combining the western In-
dians against their common enemy, the Iroquois; and fully alive
to the advantages of allying them to the French. The Pottawattomies
believed that his coming brought them great good fortune, although
his firearms alarmed them, and his appearance excited great sur-
prise. Tailhan says: "They did not think the French were men,
modelled in form like themselves." Perrot was feasted and smoked
over as a god, and these poor savages even assigned supernatural
powers to his hatchet and knives, and to his various articles of cloth-
ing. But as Tailhan says," Perrot was no vulgar trafficker turning
all this to his personal advantage. He learned that his hosts, the
Pottawattomies, were about to become embroiled with their neigl";-
bors, the Maloumines or Menominccs, and he offered his services as
peacemaker, and at once set out for the Menominee village. The Mc'
nominees had some knowledge of the French and considered them-
selves greatly honored by his visit. It required only a little per-
suasion to get them to forego their war-like plans. Perrot then re-
turned to the Pottawattomies, and wished to visit other neighboring
tribes. His hosts endeavored to dissuade him, and for a while
succeeded in doing so. They knew the advantages of their geo-
graphal position, and wished to become the intermediaries between
the French and the western Indians, monopolizing the trade in beaver
and other valuable skins. But Perrot penetrated their designs, and
in spite of their warnings about the fierceness of the men whom he
would meet, and the difficulties of the journey, he set out with
some Sac Indians in the spring of the following year to visit the Fox;
village on the Wolf River. Taking the route so often travelled in
later years, he passed up the Fox River, through Lakes Winnebago
and Butte des Morts to the village of the Foxes, or Outagamies. H<;
found these Indians irt a state of destitution, the sight of their misery
exciting his compassion. Their arrogance, however, and the bad re-
ports he had received concerning them, led him to withdraw from
them, leaving the Sacs among them, to trade in his interests. The
good judgment he here displayed bore fruit in later years, the Foxes
saving him at one time from being burned by the Miamis, and always
showing him an unusual confidence and affection.

The Mascoutins and Aliamis. dwelling on the upper Fo.x and to
the south of it, had heard from the Ilurons and Ottawas, lleeing from
the Iroquois, about the French, their bravery, and their firearms and
improved tools. Learning that the French were among the Potta-
wattomies. they sent an invitation to the latter to visit them, anil

5. TalUiniiPorrot's Mi'imilre. pnfre 2.1S.

6. 'falUian-lVrrot'a Mcniolre, page 2(K».


tc: bring the Frenchmen with them. But the Pottawattomies did not
wish to place the French in comnuuiication with their own western
customers, and so they set out alone, leaving Ferrot at the Bay with
no knowledge of the invitation. But a Mascoutin and a -Miami finally
reached him in person, and he started with them for their villages,
despite the manj' objections of the Pottawattomies. He was received
with high honors, being smoked with and addressed in speeches of
great length; and in turn he made a speech which he ended with
piesents, among other things a gun to the warriors, a kettle to the
old men, and a knife to the women, "to render the accomplishment of
their daily tasks more easy.'' Eight days later the ]\Iiami chief
gave a great feast. In the center of the banquet hall was a kind of
altar, erected to the Indian gods in whose honor the feast was given.
When he learned of this, Perrot refused to eat, until the chief be-
sought him to eat to the great spirit of the French, and added that
he hoped for as much help from that source as from the gods he h:nl
ordinarily worshijiped.

The Pottawattomies sent emissaries to the allied Miamis and
iMascoutins. hoping to prevent any treaty or alliance between them
and the French. Unluckilj' for their plans, these emissaries told their
lies in Perrot's presence, thus enabling him to counteract their in-
fluence. And a treaty was finally concluded. On his return to the
Bay, the Pottawattomies disavowed any action on their part against
the French: but Perrot's manner showed them that he had no con-
fidence in their protestations, and they presented him with a bag of
corn and five beaver robes to remove the anger from his heart.

Tailhan attaches great importance to this visit of Perrot to thrt
Miamis and Mascoutins,' as it brought the French into friendly
communication with the kindred of the Illinois, and gave them their
first footing in the great valley of the Mississippi. Having obtaincti
this footing, the discovery of the river itself and the opening up of
the country were only questions of time.

These two journeys are the only ones of Perrot, during these
years, of which we have any record. But rt seems right to suppose
that between 1665 and 1670 he visited most of the western tribes, and
was highly esteemed by them, and acquired great influence over
llicm. We are told that the Ottawas loved him, and the various na-
li-jns of the Bay regarded him as their father. With the Foxes his
influence was stronger than that of all other Frenclimen. In th.?
^pri^.g of 1670, after five years among these western Indians, he
started for the French settlements, joining a flotilla of thirty canoes
bound from the Bay to Montreal. Joined on the way by many
C.Mt.Twas, the party followed the Ottawa route, French River, Lak.;
Xipissing and the Ottawa River, to ^lontreal. As Perrot says, "More

7. Tallhan-PciTot's Memoire, pnge 275.


than nine liundred Ottawas came down to Montreal in canoes. We
were five P'renchmen in their company.'''

Most of tlie party, finishing tlicir trading, soon turned thi:ir
laces westward, but Perrot remained behind and in July vi^itcd Que-
l)ec. Talon, the acute intendant, had before this written frijin
I-'raiKe to Courcelles, the governor. He advised the selection of
some man of known influence among the western Indians, that under
.such leadership they might be gathered at some convenient i)lace,
there to acknowledge their dependency on the French crown. Charle-
voix; .lays: "For this purpose none bcttter could bo fouuvl llian
Nicolas Perrot," ^and he was accordingly selected. Talon confirmed
the selection on his arrival from France, soon after. The action of
the French in taking formal possession of the western country was
h.isieii<:d by their jcalousj' of the English at Hudson's Bay, and Sr.
Lusson was commissioned for thi.s puri)ose Sept. 3d, 1670. As tlic
centralized monarchy was fast super.>;eding the old feudal govern-
ment, it was the sub-delegate of the intendant, rather than the repre-
senlalive of the governor, who was to play the prominent part in the

In October the party left Montreal, small in numbers, but the
"indispensable Perrot" was among them. Reaching Minitoulin
I.-iand !;;te in the year, it was decided that Perrot, after sending mes-
sages to the northern tribes, should hurr}' on to summon the western
Indian:^ in person, leaving St. Lusson to winter on the island. At
Green Bay,'" for he went no further west. Perrot found th.:; great
chief of the Mianiis, Tctinchoua by name. This chief was always
accompanied by r. body guard of thirty or forty chosen warriirs, and
held himself away from his people, rarely giving direct ordpr.-, bui
ininsuMtting hi? wishes through his officers. 'i He is rcnortcd tu
ha\c had four or five thousand warriors under his command. When
he was told of Pcrrot"s approach, he sent a detail to receive him and
escort "lim into camp. This detail advanced in warlike array, brand-
i>hing their weapons, and uttering their war cries. Perrot's )v;rty
I)reiiarcd themselves in l.ike style. When they came face to face there
was a momentary halt, after which the Miamis in single file ran t >
tile left, and Perrot's Pottawattomies to the right. Th': ^liann^ be-
ii'g much the larger party, cc)mplctely surrounded the Potta\\atli>-
mies. A mock fight ensued, guns being fired and tomahawks used,
after which peace was declared, the calumet was smoked, and Perrot
was escorted to Tetinchoua.' The chief entertained him royally after
the Mi.inii cusioni, among other things giving him an escort of fifty

8. I'enot's .Meiiioire, |ia;;._> ll'J.

9. Illstnry of New rninci.'. ."^lioa'." translntion, Voluuip III. pa;;? ITvi.

10. Cliarli'Viii.\ pliiecs tliLs iiiectijii; at CliUagou. See I'arknian, I^i .Salle and
nisf^vor.v of tho flrcat Wist, pa^rc 41. uolc.

11. rarUman tlioii;;lit tliat th.'^o stati-miiils woiilil lip onnsiilori'd prrpoatpr' u; h"
tlu'V wiTo u.jt L-.>iTuUoraie.l by liabl.m, Ij .Sallu auU l)isoovi_Ty uf I'u- Hmmi W.-i.
payo 41.


IVIiamis. Then Perrot statcl Ins errand. Tetinchoiia wished to ac-
comiiany him to Sault Ste. ^^.-l^ie, hut he was old and growing I'eoljle,
and was finally persuaded by the Pottawattoniies not to go in person,
iiiit to .Mithorize them to represent him and his people. Perrot'.s
, inll'icnce among the otlier western tribes enabled him to per-
suade I'le principal chiefs of the Pottawattoniies, Sacs, \Vinncbai';o5
and Mc-icininees to accomijany him to the Sank Ste. Marie, the ap-
pointed meeting place. The chiefs of the Foxes, Mascoutins anil
Kickapoos were at the Bay, but would go no further. Perrot s-ays
th.'.t c his arrival at the Sault, on May stli, 1671, he found not oidy
the chiefs of the northern triljcs, but also those of the Kiristinons and
the Monsonis from the Hudson Bay countrj', with all their neighbors;
also the chiefs of the Nipissings, the Amikouets and the Saulteurs o!
tl'.e iniiiiediatc vicinity.'- TJie Ilurons and Ottawas did not arrive
until rifter the ceremonies were completed, the Ottawas accompanied
by Father Marquette.

The ceremony began w ith a speech after the Indian style and in
the Algonquin tongue by F.Mlicr Allouez. showing forth the glories
of the French king, Louis XI\'., "he of infamous memory," and tlie
great advantages accruing Xi> the Indians from so powerful an ally.
and iiro[osing that all pre>enl join in acknowledging him as their
head chief. St. Lusson. internreted by Father Allouez, followed in
a brief speech in which he a^kcd if all agreed to the proposition.
He was met by presents and cries ui assent from the Indians, and
"Live the King" from the I'renchmen. One writer states that the
Indians repeatedly threw earth into the air as an additional token
of their submission. Then, while the Frenchmen sang the Vexilla
Regis, a hymn of the seventli century. Perrot directed the digging of
two holes, and the planting of a cedar pole in one, and a cedar cros.i
in the other. To the accr>nipaniment of the Exaudiat, the Joth
psaini, the arms of I'rance i!ni)rinted on a leaden block were tiien
fastened to the i)ole. St. I.ii.:-.iii with sword in hand followed with
a declaration that tlie cnuntry was by these ceremonies given to tht;
king, and all its inhabitants were placed under his protection. This
speech was received in clKiracterf>tic manner by both Frencli and
Indi:u)s, and the ceremonies were concluded with the singing ni tiie
Te Deum. The documentary return of the ntTair was signed by St.
Lusson, Perrot as interpreter, leathers Dablon, Allouez, Andre and
Dreuillettes and fourteen others, among them Louis Jolliet. .Ml the
ceremonies being completed, the Indian tribes returned each to its
own country, and all li\cd in liarnicny fur several years. Perrot and
Jolliel returned to Quebec wiih St. laisson. It is perhaps worthy
c>l note that the Indians pulled duwii the arms of France abt)ut as
soon as the Frenchmen had departed. Courcelics and Talon got into
trouble and the governor was recalled late in 1671. Courcelics \vn.-
succeeded by Louis de iJuade. Cuunl Frontenac.

12. Porrofs .Mfiin.iro. page 1J7.


One of the greatest of the rulers of New France, Frontenac's
frank and somewhat choleric nature had but little in common with the
Jesuits. He was continually having^ trouble with them and their
fiicnds. Unlike most of the voyageurs, Perrot was a good church-
man and a firm friend of the priests, and so he came under the ban.
Perhaps his enforced idleness in the settlements turned his thoughts
ill other directions. At any rate during this year, 1671, he married
^larie Madeline Raclot, who brought him a considerable fortune.
For the next ten 3'ears he lived in retirement with his wife and chil-
dren at the seignory, Becancour, on the St. Lawrence, near Three
Rivers. This must have been the most comfortable and in many ways
the pleasantest period of Perrot"s life.''

Tlie French archivist. Margry, has printed a record of talks with
La Salle by some unknown person, who he thinks was the Abbe
Renaudot. a learned churchman. In this record one Nicolas Perrot,
otherwise known as Jolycoeur. a house servant, is accused of an at-
tempt to poison La Salle by putting hemlock in a salad, about 167S.
Parkman states that this anonymous manuscript is sometimes sup-
ported by contemporaneous accounts, and sometimes rests solely
upon itself.i^ He partially endorses it. and adds that "this places the
character of Perrot in a new light; for it is not likely that any other
can be meant than the famous voyageur,'"'-' and then in half defense
says that poisoning was a common crime in those days, persons of
high rank being often accused of it. Winsor says: "There is a
strong tendency among careful investigators to give it scant cre-
dence,''"' referring to the whole account.

Even if we follow Parkman in accepting the paper, we may be
justified in refusing to identify our Perrot as the culprit, first, be-
cause this was the period of his greatest prosperity, and it is ex-
tremely improbable that he would be in any one's domestic service;
second, the pseudonym Jolycoeur, if applied to such a well-knov/a
t:ian as our Perrot, wotild be very likely to occur elsewhere, wherea-
Parkman says he has been unable to find mention of it in any otlvr
connection; and third, such an act is cntireh' out of harmony with
his nature, as it is shown to us in well authenticated records. The
onlj- motive that can be alleged for such an act is a blind devotion.
to the cause of the Jesuits. While a man of Perrot's training and
e.^Jperience might liave knocked a man on the head for the priests.
such a man is hardly the one to enter another's employ in the de-

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