The Windsor Border Region 9781487582876

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The Windsor Border Region
 9781487582876

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ONTARIO SERIES IV

THE WINDS OR BORDE R REGIO N

Reprinted in 2018 ISBN 978-1-4875-8159-6 (paper)

THE

WINDSOR BORDER REGION Canada's Southernmost Frontier A Collection of Documents

Edited with an introduction by

Ernest J. Lajeunesse, c.s.B. Professor of French Assumption University of Windsor

THE CHAMPLAIN SOCIETY FOR TIIE GOVERNMENT OF ONTARIO UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO PRESS 1960

All rights reserved

FOREWORD

T

only one locality in the Province of Ontario that can claim a continuous settlement antedating the British conquest. That locality is the Windsor area on the Canadian side of the Detroit River. About the middle of the eighteenth century, when the flag of France was flying over the fort at Detroit, French settlers began to clear the first ribbon-like farms on the east shore of the strait. Within a few decades these farm lots filled nearly all the water frontage along the upper part of the river. After the American Revolutionary War this frontier region became a haven to United Empire Loyalists. These new residents settled near the mouth of the river and on the north shore of Lake Erie in what is now known as South Essex. The descendants of these two pioneer groups-the one of French and the other mostly of British stockconstitute a large proportion of the present population of Essex County. These factors alone give me confidence that wide interest will be aroused by the documentary history of this frontier region as prepared by the Reverend E . J. Lajeunesse, C.S.B., of Assumption University of Windsor. Father Lajeunesse's volume is the fourth in the "Ontario Series" of documentary historical works prepared under the direction of the Champlain Society and the sponsorship of the Government of Ontario-all aimed at providing a documentary record of the early years of various regions of Ontario supplemented by useful commentaries from the very able historians who have been chosen to edit them. Much valuable research into Ontario's past has been undertaken by the Ontario Archives, interested persons, groups and communities, but I have always felt that the Province itself should be instrumental in ensuring that the fruits of such research be made available to the public in published form. The arrangement behind this series, therefore, has been a happy one. The Champlain Society, which has been publishing Canadian historical documents for over half a century, has the responsibility of choosing and guiding the editors. The Ontario Government meets the editorial expenses and publication costs. This volume, like its predecessors, is not intended to provide an interpretation of history. Its primary purpose is to bring together HERE 1s

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FOREWORD

for historians and the general reader the rich heritage that is to be found in Ontario's early records and documents. In the introductions and commentaries supplied by the editors of each work, these documents have been given perspective within the area and period to which they relate. Any opinions expressed in these volumes are, of course, those of the editors. The first volume in the Ontario Series, The Valley of the Trent, edited by Edwin C. Guillet, appeared in 1957. The two succeeding volumes, Royal Fort Frontenac, by Professors Leopold Lamontagne and Richard Preston, and Kingston before the War of 1812, edited by Professor Preston, which documented the first two hundred years of the development of the Kingston area, were published in 1958 and 1959. Under preparation are volumes on the early histories of York, the Muskoka-Haliburton region and the Grand River Valley. I should like to express my deepest appreciation to the Champlain Society and Father Lajeunesse for making possible the completion of another milestone in this unveiling of our historic past. May 12, 1960

LESLIE M. FROST Prime Minister of Ontario

PREFACE

A

the Detroit River region in 1679, Father Hennepin wrote with prophetic appropriateness these memorable lines: "Those who shall be so happy as to inhabit that noble country cannot but remember with gratitude the men who have discovered the way by venturing to sail upon an unknown lake for about one hundred leagues." Would not the hearts of today's inhabitants overflow with gratitude also for the pioneer settlers of the eighteenth century who transformed that noble wilderness into fruitful fields, if only that story were known? The present volume, while not pretending to be complete interpretative history, represents an effort to assemble the ingredients of that story, and to set them in perspective by means of a short introductory narrative. Even this much would have been a hopeless task for the present writer but for the assistance received from many quarters. To all who have helped he desires to express hearty thanks. First of all it is a pleasant duty to acknowledge gratefully the direction and encouragement received from three men who have devoted a major portion of their long lives to historical pursuits and collection in the Detroit River region: Mr. George F. Macdonald who made available his rare collection, and also gave freely of his accumulated store of information; Rev. George Pare who offered expert counsel on many occasions, and placed at the writer's disposal material that proved to be of great assistance; Dr. Milo M. Quaife whose suggestions have been of immeasurable benefit, and who gave permission to make use of any material found in his numerous writings. It is impossible within the conventional limits of a preface to give adequate expression of indebtedness to the directors and staffs of several archival depositories visited in Canada and the United States. These faithful servants constitute such a long list that it behooves to name only the institutions: Quebec Chancery Archives; Quebec Seminary; St. Mary's College, Montreal; Montreal Municipal Library; Public Archives of Canada, Ottawa; Ontario Provincial Archives, Toronto; Toronto Public Library, Reference Division; George F. Macdonald Collection, Windsor, Ontario; Archives of Assumption Church, Windsor, Ontario; Burton Historical Collection, Detroit; Wayne County Registry Office, Detroit; FTER VISITING

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PREFACE

William L. Clements Library, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Without in any way reflecting upon the generosity of others, however, it is fit to single out for special thanks the personnel of the Burton Historical Collection, where a major portion of the present work was compiled. Mrs. Elleine H. Stones and Mr. James M. Babcock, successive directors, and their efficient staff were always eager to devote time and service far beyond the ordinary requirements of courtesy or duty. It is a pleasure to express a great indebtedness to the officials of the Champlain Society, Dr. W. Kaye Lamb, the President, and Dr. P. C. T. White, the Editor, whose patient guidance and competent supervision have proven invaluable. The figures and maps appearing in this volume were drawn under the direction of Major C. C. J. Bond, Army Headquarters, Ottawa, whose contribution of exquisite craftsmanship is hereby gratefully acknowledged. Lastly an expression of sincere thanks is due to the directors of Assumption University of Windsor for granting the writer leave of absence to make possible the preparation of this work. A word of explanation about the documentation found in this volume will be helpful to the reader. Corresponding to the eight chapters of the Introduction, the Documents section also contains eight divisions lettered "A" to "H." Generally the documents appear in chronological order, but a logical sequence is observed when distinct topics are developed under the same heading. Throughout this section it has been deemed advisable to refrain from the liberal sprinkling of "sic" that would be required to mark the numerous mistakes in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. The original text of the French and Latin documents will be found in Appendix I. Some of the English translations of these documents are taken from cited published sources and are reproduced without alteration. In the translations made by the author the aim has been to convey the precise meaning without any attempt at achieving a literary excellence that is not found in the original texts. It will be noticed that a large proportion of the records comes from ecclesiastical sources. All the material available was examined, and the compiler alone is responsible for the selection. Manifesting perhaps more local pride than common prudence, quite untrained in historical research, the writer undertook this publication as a labour of love-a task that turned out to be a very rewarding experience. Many times he was led to realize the wisdom contained in the lines inscribed near the entrance of the William L. Clements Library: "In the darkness dwells the people

PREFACE

xi

which knows its annals not." In presenting this volume his great hope is that it may serve at least as a small candlelight to dispel some of the darkness that in the past two centuries has gathered over this oldest continuous settlement in the Province of Ontario. It will be more than ample compensation if this "gathering up of the fragments lest they be lost" should help to interest some future writer in the preparation of a work that will do full justice to the greatness of the subject. E. J. LAJEUNESSE, C.S.B.

CONTENTS FOREWORD TO THE ONTARIO SERIES BY THE HONOURABLE LESLIE M. FROST, PRIME MINISTER OF ONTARIO

vii ix

PREFACE

INTRODUCTION

A. B. C. D.

VISITORS BEFORE 1700 THE FOUNDING OF DETROIT AND THE HURON MISSION SETTLERS COME TO THE SOUTH SHORE .......... . .. .. .. ... .. . THE PIONEER SETTLERS AND THEIR FARMS ... .... ...... .. . E. GOVERNMENT AND LAW UNDER BRITISH RULE .. .. ... . .. . . F. RELIGION AND EDUCATION AFTER 17 60 .. .... ... ........ ... . G. LOYALISTS AND LAND BOARDS . . . . . . . .... . .. .. .. ... . . H . FIRST TOWNS-SANDWICH AND AMHERSTBURG . . . . . . . . . . . .

xxix xii

Iii

lxvi lxxvi XC

cii

cxvii

DOCUMENTS

A.

VISITORS BEFORE

A A A A A A A A A A

1700

1 Extracts from the Relation of 1640-1 by Jerome Lalement at Ste. Marie among the Hurons ..... .. . 2 Extracts from the Relation of 1640-1 by Jerome Lalement at Ste. Marie among the Hurons ....... . 3 Extracts from Galinee's Narrative (1669-70) ... . 4 Act of Taking Possession of the Lands of Lake Erie ( October 1669) . .. ... .. .. ... ... ... .. .. ... .......... .. . 5 Tonti's Visit to the Strait of Lake Erie ..... .. .... .. . 6 Hennepin's Description of the Strait by which Lake Orleans Empties into Lake Conty ......... .. . 7 Denonville to Monsieur Du Lhut (Duluth) ..... . 8 Act of Retaking Possession of the Land in the Neighborhood of the Strait between Lakes Erie and Huron ........ .. ...... .. .. .... ... ....... .... ..... .... ..... ... . 9 Frontenac to the Minister .. ... ... .. ... .. . .. .. ...... .. . 10 Cadillac to the Minister xiii

3 3 4 8 8

9 10 11 12 13

CONTENTS

xiv

B.

THE FOUNDING OF DETROIT AND THE HURON MISSION

B B B B B B B B B B B B B

C.

1 Callieres to Pontchartrain . .. .. ... . ..... . ... .. .. ... .. ... ... . 2 Description of the Detroit River by M. de Lamothe, the Commandant there .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .... . 3 Germain to Cadillac ... .. ... . ... ... .. .. ... ... .. . .... . ... ... .. . 4 Extracts from Cadillac's Description of Detroit in 1702 ..................... ............ ..... 5 Extracts from Cadillac's Report of Detroit in 1703 ····· ··· ·· ·· ................... 6 Memorandum on Indians at Detroit .. .. ... . ... .. ... .. 7 Extracts from the Answer of Mm. Vaudreuil and Begon to Cadillac's Petition to Be Put in Possession of Detroit .. ... .. .. ... .. .. ... . ... .. .. .. ... .. ... .. . 8 Charlevoix at Detroit . ... ... . .. ... .. .. . .. ... ... . ... .. . 9 La Richardie to Retz ....... ......... ...... ... 10 Extract from the Journal of the Most Interesting Occurences in Canada 1746-7 . ..... ...... .. 11 Extracts from the Account Book of the Huron Mission .. .. . ... .. ........ ... ............ .. ..... .......... 12 Extracts from the Potier Manuscript ... ..... .. .... .. 13 Extracts from the Potier Gazette .. .. ... .... .. ........

17 18 19 20 22 24 26 26 27 29 30 35 37

SETTLERS COME TO THE SOUTH SHORE

C C C C C C C C C C C C C

1 The Journey of Joseph Gaspard Chaussegros de .. ... .. ..... ... ..... .... Lery to Detroit in 1749 . . 2 Instructions for the Surveyor of Detroit .. .. .. .. ... . 3 Names of Inhabitants to Whom Were Granted Lands of 3 Arpents Frontage by 40 Arpents in Depth in the Year 1749 . .. ....... ..... ..... 4 Lery's Report of his Journey to Detroit .. . ..... . .. . 5 Contract of Jean Baptiste and Rene LeBeau to Conduct a Canot to Detroit ... .... .. ... .. ... . . ... ... .. .. 6 Extracts from the Cicotte Book .. .. ..... ........... .. . 7 Census of the Inhabitants of Detroit on September 1st, 1750 .. . . . . .... .. ... . . .... .. .. .... .. .. ... .. ... . ... ... .. . 8 Extract from Father Bonnecamps' Report ... ... .. .. 9 Grant of Land to Chevalier de Longueuil .. . ... .... 10 Grant of Land to Alexis Delisle .. .. .. .. ... ......... ... 11 Grant of Land to Pierre Reaume ... .. .. . .. . . ... ... .. 12 Grant of Land to Widow Vien .... . ... ... .. ... .. .... . .. . 13 The Captivity of Charles Stuart . .. ... .. .. .. .. ... ... .. ..

42 45 45 46 48 49 54 57 57 58 59 59 59

CONTENTS

C 14 Gift of Land-Pontiac to Maisonville .......... ...... C 15 Louis Gervais Takes Possession of Land ............ C 16 Extract from the Census of All the Inhabitants of Detroit Made by Philip Dejean in the Year 1768 ·· ····· ····· ····· ··· ········· ········ ··· ··· ···· ······ ··· ······· · C 17 General Gage to Commander at Detroit ............ C 18 Gift of Land from the Ottawas to Charles Reaume ..... ...... .. .. .... ..... ....... ...... .... ... ... .. ........ ... C 19 Lieutenant-Governor Hamilton to General Carleton .. ... ...... .. ... ........... .. .. ...... ... .... ..... .. . .. ...... .. C 20 Lieutenant-Governor Hamilton to General Haldimand ... .... .... ... ... ... .. ..... ... .. ........ ................. .. ... .. C 21 Notes on a Survey by T. Smith of Lots Opposite Peach Island ... ......................... ........................ C 22 Major De Peyster to F. Compare ...... ..... ...... C 23 A Survey of the Settlement of Detroit Made by Order of Major De Peyster in 1782 ........ C 24 General Haldimand to Lieutenant-Governor Jehu ... ..... ...... Hay ... .. C 25 Lieutenant-Governor Hay to General Haldimand C 26 Census of the Families and Farms of Petite Cote C 27 Extracts from the Minutes of the Land Board of the District of Hesse D.

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62 62 63 64 66 67 67 68 68 69 74 74 75 77

THE PIONEER SETTLERS AND THEIR FARMS

D

D D

D D

D D D D

1 Baptisms of French Children at the Mission of the Hurons ... .... .... ..... ... ... .. ....... .. ....... .. .. ... 2 Marriage Contract .. ... .. ... .. .. .. .. ... ... .. .. 3 List of the Inhabitants Living on the Detroit River, Who Have Engaged to Furnish Provisions for His Majesty's Troops at this Post and Yearly, Specifying the Quantity and at What Rate ........ 4 Inventory of the Estate of Joseph Pillet ............ 5 A General Return of All the Inhabitants of Detroit Taken by Phillip Dejean, 1773 ....... 6 Contract of Purchase between Claude Landry and Benjamin Chaput ......... .. ... ... .. . 7 Lieutenant-Governor Hamilton to the Earl of Dartmouth 8 Petition for Water-Mill on Turkey Creek ..... ... 9 Reverend J. F. Hubert to General Haldimand ....

78 79

80 81 82 83 84 85 86

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CONTENTS

E.

GOVERNMENT AND LAW UNDER BRITISH RULE

E E E E E E E

1 2 3 4

5

6 7

E 8 E 9 E 10 E 11 E 12 E 13 E 14 E 15 E 16 E 17 E 18 E 19 E 20

E E E E E E E

21 22 23 24 25 26 27

E 28 E 29

Marquis de Vaudreuil to Commander Belestre Extract from the Journal of Robert Rogers ....... . Extract from George Croghan's Journal 1759-63 Extracts from the Pontiac Manuscript ........ ... ... Major Henry Gladwin to Sir Jeffery Amherst ... . Commission to Jacques Campeau ...... ..... . Appointment of Philip Dejean as Justice of the Peace etc. . .. .. . ... ... .. .. .. . ... .. .. .. ... .. .. ... ... .. Appointment of Philip Dejean as Judge ..... ....... Major Henry Bassett to General Haldimand ...... Award by Arbitrators .. .. . ... ... .. .. .. .. .. .. Lord George Germain to Governor Haldimand .. Calculation of Rum Necessary per Day for Detroit, Taken from the Issues between 25th December 1778 and 24th June 1779 ... ....... ... . General Haldimand to Lieutenant-Colonel Mason Bolton ... ... ......... ... ...... .. ... ...... ... ....... . Major De Peyster to General Haldimand .......... Extract from the Account of the Expedition of Lieutenant-Governor Hamilton ..... ........... ......... . Major Mathews to General Haldimand . . .. .. ... ... .. Extract from the Proclamation Forming the District of Hesse ... .... .. .. .. .. ... .. ... .. .. ... .. .. .. .... .. .. . Appointment of Justices and Officers for the District of Hesse .. ... ... .. ... .. .. .. .. .... .. .. ... .. ... .. ... ... . .. Judge Powell to Bishop Hubert .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .... .. . .. Extract from the Copy of a Journal Dated Detroit June 8, 1791 .................. ... ....... .......... . Accounts of the Sheriff of the District of Hesse .. D . W. Smith to John Askin .............. ..... .... .. ....... Smith to Askin .. ... ... .. ... .. .. ... .. .. ... .. ... .. .. ... .. .. .. ... .. Smith to Askin .. .. .. ... . ... . . ... .. .. ... .. .. .... .. . ... Election Expenses of David W. Smith .. ... .. .. .. .. . .. Smith to John Askin .. .. ... . .. .. .. .. .... . ... .. ... .. .. Copy of an Account of the Sheriff's Expenses for the Election of Members for the Counties of Suffolk & Essex .. .. ... ... ... . .. .. . ... .. .. .. ... ... .. .. .. Askin to Alexander McKee ······ ···· ··· ·· Askin to McKee ... ... .. .......

88

89 93 94 98 100 100 101 101 102 102 103 103 103 104 104 105 105 106 107 107 108 110 111 112 113 113 114 115

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CONTENTS

E 30 Captain Wm. Mayne to Major General Anthony Wayne .... ....... .. ... .... . ...... ......... .... .. ....... .115 E 31 Wayne to Mayne ... .... . ........ ........ ..... ..... ..... .... . 116 F.

RELIGION AND EDUCATION AFTER

F

F

F F

F

F F F F F F F F

F F F F F F

F F F F F F

1760

1 Report of Father de Launay, Procurator of the Canadian Missions, to the Superior-General .... 2 Sale of Land-Potier to Marantet .................... . . .... .. . ... .. ... 3 Potier to Briand 4 Extract from the Account Book of Assumption Parish for 1775-1781 5 List of the Inhabitants of Petite Cote in 1778 .... 6 Gift of Land from the Hurons to Father Potier .. 7 Death and Burial of Father Potier . .... ............. 8 Affidavit of Francis Pratt ............ ...... . 9 Inventory of the Effects of the late Father Potier 10 Major De Peyster to Major Lernoult .... .. 11 Minutes of a Meeting of the Church Wardens .... 12 Speeches of the Principal Huron Chiefs in Council with Major De Peyster, Commandant of Detroit &c, July 29, 1781 .... .. .. .... ..... .............. .. 13 Extracts from the Account Book of Assumption Parish for 1781 .... . ..... .... ..... ....... .. 14 Gift of Land from the Huron Indians to Reverend F. X. Hubert and the Sisters of the Congregation .... .... ... ..... ... .... .. ....... ....... ... ... ..... ...... .... 15 Re a Foundation of the Congregation of NotreDame at Detroit ................................................ 16 Hubert to Bishop Briand ............. ........ ........... .. 17 Frechette to Hubert ............................ ......... .. ... 18 Dufaux to Hubert ..... . .... ..... ... .. .. ... .. ... .. .. .... ..... .. 19 Dufaux to Hubert .. .......... .. ........ .. .. ... ... ... ... .. ... .. . 20 Dufaux to Hubert ...... ... ..... ... ....... ... ... .... ..... ...... . 21 Dufaux to Hubert .... . .. ..... ....... ....... .. .... .. ... .. ... 22 Dufaux to Hubert ........... . ... .. ....... ..... ... .. .......... . 23 Wm. Monforton to Alexander McKee ..... ........ . 24 Dufaux to Hubert ...... .... ....... .......... ..... ........ .. .. . 25 Copy of a Letter from His Excellency John Graves Simcoe to the Reverend Edmund Burke, Vicar-General of Upper Canada ....... .

117 117 118

118 119 120 120 121 121 123 124 124 126 131 132 134 134 136 139 141

142

145 145 145

147

CONTENTS

xviii

F 26 Dufaux to Hubert ..... .. .............. . .. .. ..... .. ............. F 27 The Inhabitants of L'Assomption to Hubert .... F 28 The Reverend E. Burke to the Parishioners of the Church of the Assumption .......................... F 29 Marchand to Hubert .... ............... .. .... .. F 30 Extract from the Minutes of the Executive Council (Lands) ...... ...... .... ........ .. .. G.

148 149 150 151 153

LOYALISTS AND LAND BOARDS

G G G G

1 2 3 4

G 5 G 6 G 7 G 8 G 9 G 10 G 11 G 12 G 13 G 14 G 15 G 16 G 17 G 18 G 19 G 20 G 21

Indian Deed to Jacob Schieffelin . .. . .. ... .. ... Captain Alexander McKee to Sir John Johnson Captain Bird to Captain Mathews ...... .. ...... ... . General Frederick Haldimand to Sir John .... .......... .. Johnson .. .. ... .. ... ..... .... Haldimand to Lieutenant-Governor Hay ...... .. .. Hay to Haldimand . ............... Haldimand to Hay ........... .......... .. ...... Hay to Philip Fry, Deputy Surveyor Certificate of Philip Fry, Deputy Surveyor Extract from the Minutes of Council of Upper Canada ..... ........... . .. ... ......... ......... Report of Land Committee re the Grant of a Certain Marsh at Detroit . .. .. .. .. .. Extracts from the Diary of David Zeisberger .... The Chiefs of the Ottawa and Chippewa Nations of Detroit Ceding Land at River Canard and Bois Blanc ... ....... ... .... Major Robert Mathews to Haldimand .............. List of Disbanded Troops and Loyalists to Be Settled on the North Side of Lake Erie ... ...... .. . List of Disbanded Troops and Loyalists Settled at the Mouth of the River Detroit ...................... Indian Deed of Present Southwestern Ontario to King George III ...................................... Indian Speech to Sir John Johnson at Huron Village ........................ ............. Minutes of a Meeting of the Land Board for the District of Hesse .... ... .... . .. .... ....... .. .. Schedules of Lots in Two Connected Townships Minutes of a Meeting of the Land Board for the District of Hesse ..... . . .. .... ..... ........ ....

154 155 156 157 157 158 159 160 161 161 162 163 165 166 167 170 171 173 173 174 176

CONTENTS

G 22 Minutes of a Meeting of the Land Board of the Counties of Essex and Kent ... . .. .. ... .. ................. G 23 Minutes of the Land Board Meeting, re the Claims of the Inhabitants of L'Assomption Settlement for a Second Concession .................. G 24 Minutes of a Meeting of the Land Board of Hesse, re the Petition of the Inhabitants of Petite Cote for Their Continuations ............... G 25 D. W. Smith, Secretary of the Land Board, to P. McNiff, Deputy Surveyor .. ................ ............ G 26 McNiff to D. W. Smith . ... .. .. .. ... ... .. . ... . G 27 Minutes of a Meeting of the Land Board for the District of Hesse re the Side Lines at Petite Cote G 28 D. W. Smith to Captain Monforton ..... .......... ... G 29 E. J. O'Brien, Secretary of the Land Board, to McNiff ..... ....... ... ....... .......... .... .... . .. ... ....... ... .... G 30 Report from McNiff ... ................. G 31 Order of Survey for Lots on Streams Flowing . ... ... .. .. .. .. ... .. ... ... . . into Lake St. Clair ... G 32 Report from the Deputy Surveyor Re Lots on Streams Flowing into Lake St. Clair .................. G 33 R. G. England to D. W. Smith .... ..... .. G 34 Agreement of Sale from William Smith to John Askin .... .... .. ......... ... ..... .. .... ..... ... ....... . G 35 Deputy Surveyor Iredell to Surveyor General's Office ... ..... ...... .... G 36 Certificates for Lots of Land Bought by Askin .. G 37 Askin to D. W. Smith at Newark ..... .... ... G 38 Askin to the Honorable Richard Cartwright at Yorke ... ... ..... ..... .. .. ........ ... .. .. ...... ..... ........ ......... H.

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17 6 177 178 178 179 180 180 181 182 183 184 184 185 185 186 186 187

THE FIRST TOWNS-SANDWICH AND AMHERSTBURG

H H H H H H

1 Lists of Persons Residing in Detroit in 1796 who Elected to Remain British Subjects ..... ... ... .... ..... 2 A Memorial from Several Magistrates of Detroit to Colonel Sargent .... .. .... . . . . ..... . . ...... ... . . . . ..... . . 3 Peter Russell to Robert Prescott ... ... .. .... ... .. ....... 4 Prescott to Russell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Russell to Prescott ······ · · ·· ·· · · · ·· ····· ·· · · ·· · · · ·· ·· · · · ··· · · · 6 Prescott to Russell ····· ······ ·· ····· ·· ·· ··· ···· ·· ······ ··· ··· ·

189 190 191 191 191 192

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CONTENTS

H

H H H

H H

H H H H H

H H

H H

H H H

H H H H

H H

H H H H H

7 Lists of Persons Who Have Drawn Lots in the Town of Sandwich ..... ...................................... 8 Minutes of the Executive Council (Lands) re Lots Adjoining the Baby Mill ............................ 9 Directions Respecting Reserves and Surveys in the Town of Sandwich .... ................................ 10 Certificate of First Houses in the Town of Sandwich and Assignment of Park Lots .................... 11 Minutes of the Executive Council re Gaol and Court House for the Western District ....... .... .. .. 12 Prideaux Selby to Russell .. .. . .. .. ... . .. .... . ... .. . 13 Russell to the Duke of Portland ...... 14 Schedule of Timbers Contracted for by Mr. Augustin Roy for the Purpose of Building a Gaol and Court House at Sandwich .... 15 Russell to the Anglican Bishop of Quebec ..... . 16 The Anglican Bishop of Quebec to Russell ....... 17 Russell to the Duke of Portland ............ 18 Marriage Register for the Western District 19 Report of Grand Jury re Town of Sandwich ...... 20 Alexander McKee to Russell .............. ............. 21 Sir John Johnson to Russell .... ....... ....... .... ..... .. . 22 Captain Thomas McKee to Captain William Claus .... ....... .... .. ... .. ........ .. ... ........... ....... ...... .... 23 Sale of the Huron Church Reserve .................. 24 Extract from Gother Mann's Report to Lord Dorchester ........................................................ 25 Minutes of the Land Board of Hesse re George Town .. ... .... ....... ... .... .... . ......... .... .......... 26 Memorandum by Gother Mann to LieutenantGovernor Simcoe ...... . .. ... .. .. ... ... ... . ... ... . ... ... . 27 Lieutenant-Colonel R. G. England to Simcoe .. .. 28 Dorchester to Simcoe ....... ....... ..... .. .. ..... .. 29 England to Green ...... .... .... ..... ...... .. ... ...... .. ...... .. 30 England to Green ..... .... ... ............ ... .. .. ...... .. .... .. 31 England to James Wilkinson ..... ..... .. .... .. .......... 32 Captain Wm. Mayne to Green ... ..... ..... ....... ...... 33 Captain Hector McLean to Green ..................... 34 McLean to Green ...... ................. ................... 35 Requisition for Stores Proposed as Presents for Indians Resorting to the Post of Amherstburg for the Year 1797 ...... ......... .... ...... .. ... ... .. .... ... ..

193 194 194 195 195 196 197 198 199 199 199 200 203 204 204 205 205 209 210 211 212 212 212 213 213 214 215 217 217

CONTENTS

H 36 Return of Provisions and Rum Issued to Indians at Amherstburg and Chenail Ecarte from 25 June 1797 to 24 June 1798 ...... ...... ................. H 37 McLean to Green ..... ............. .......................... H 38 McLean to Colonel Alexander McKee .. ........ .. .. H 39 McLean to General Robert Prescott ...... H 40 Prescott to Russell .......................... ................. H 41 McLean to Green ..... ................... .................... H 42 McLean to Green . ........... . ......... ................... H 43 McLean to Green ............. H 44 Names of Lot Holders in the Town of Amherstburg 1799 ............. ............................................

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220 221 221 222 222 223 225 225 226

APPENDIXES

I.

ORIGINAL TEXTS OF FRENCH AND LATIN DOCUMENTS

A A A

A A A A A A A B B B B

1 Extraits de la Relation de 1640-1 par Jerome Lalement a Ste-Marie-aux-Hurons ... ..... ... .. .. ... .. 2 Extraits de la Relation de 1640-1 par Jerome Lalement a Ste-Marie-aux-Hurons .... ...... .... .... .. 3 Extraits du voyage de MM. Dollier et Galinee 1669-70 ............................................................ 4 Acte de prise de possession des terres du Lac Erie ... .... ..... ... ..... ..... ...... ... ...... ......... ........ ... .. .. 5 Visite de M. de Tonti au detroit du Lac Herie .. 6 Description par Hennepin du detroit par lequel le Lac Orleans se decharge dans le Lac Conty .. 7 Lettre du Marquis de Denonville a Greysolon du Lhut (Duluth) .. ... .. .. ... .... .... ........ ... ....... .... .. .... .. 8 La Durantaye renouvelle la prise de possession des terres des environs du detroit des Lacs Erie et Huron ............................................................ 9 Frontenac au ministre .. .. .... .. .... .. ............ ........ .. .. 10 Lamothe Cadillac au ministre .. .. ... ...... .... ......... 1 Callieres au ministre .... ... ... ........ .. .. ... ..... .. ...... .. .. 2 Description de la riviere du Detroit par le Sieur de Lamothe Cadillac qui y commande .............. 3 Lettre du Pere Germain a Lamothe Cadillac ...... 4 Extraits d'une description du Detroit par M. de Lamothe ............................................................

229 229 230 233 233

234 234 235 236 236 239 240 241 242

CONTENTS

xxii

B

5 Extraits d'une lettre de Lamothe Cadillac

B

7

B 8 B 9 B 11 B 12 B 13 C C C C C C C C C C C C

D D D D D E

a

Jerome Pontchartrain ................................. Extraits de la reponse des Sieurs de Vaudreuil et Begon ..... ..... ... ..... ............... ..... .... ... .... ...... .... ... . Charlevoix au Detroit ....................................... La Richardie ad Retz ........... ............................ Extraits du livre de compte de la mission des Hurons du Detroit ................... ........................ Extraits du Manuscrit Potier ......... .............. ....... Extraits de la Gazette du Pere Potier ..................

1 Extrait du journal de la campagne que le Sr. de Lery a faite au Detroit en l'annee 1749 ...... .. .... 4 Rapport de Joseph Gaspard Chaussegros de Lery sur son voyage au Detroit en 1749 ..... .. ..... ...... .. 5 Contrat de Jean Baptiste et Rene LeBeau pour conduire un canot au Poste du Detroit ............ 6 Extraits du Registre Cicot .................................. 8 Extrait du rapport du Pere Bonnecamps ............ 9 Concession au Chevalier de Longueuil .............. . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . 10 Concession a Alexis Delisle 11 Concession a Pierre Reaume .............................. 12 Concession a la veuve Vien .......... ........ ..... ... ... 15 Louis Gervais prend possession d'une terre ...... 18 Donation des Ottawas a Charles Reaume ....... 22 Le Commandant De Peyster a F. Compare 2 Contrat de mariage .. .... ... ..... ....... ..... 4 Inventaire des biens de f eu Joseph Pillet, habitant etabli ala cote du sud .................................. 6 Contrat d'acquest entre Claude Landry et Benjamin Chappue . ................. ...................... 8 Petition pour un moulin a eau a la Riviere aux Dindes .... . ... .... ........ ... ... ... .. ..... .... . 9 Le Reverend J.-F. Hubert au General Haldimand

244 245 245 246 247 251 253

257 259 262 262 266 267 268 268 269 269 269 270 270 271 272 273 274

1 Le Marquis de Vaudreuil au Commandant 274 Belestre ..... .. ..... ...... ... ... ...... ...... ............. ...... E 4 Extraits du journal de la conspiration de Pontiac 275 E 19 Powell a Hubert . .... ....................................... 278

CONTENTS

xxiii

E 20 Extrait de la copie d'un journal date Detroit 8 janvier 1791 ..... .... ..... ....... ....... ......... ...... ..... .. 278 F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F II. III.

1 De Launay, Proc. Miss. Canad. ad Superiorem Generalem ............ . ....... ..................... 2 Vente de terre- Potier a Marantet ...... .. .... .... .. 3 Potier a Briand ...... ............... ........................... 4 Extrait du livre de compte de l'eglise de I'Assomption 177 5-81 ............ 6 Donation des Hurons au Pere Potier .................. 7 Mort et inhumation du Pere Potier .................... 8 Declaration de Fran~ois Pratt ............................ 9 Inventaire des effets du feu Pere Potier ............ 11 Proces-verbal d'une assemblee des marguilliers 12 Discours des principaux chefs hurons en conseil au Major De Peyster commandant au Detroit &c. 29 juillet 1781 ..... ............. .............................. 13 Extraits du Registre des Comptes, Elections &c. de la paroisse de l'Assomption, 1781 - ...... ... ... 15 Etablissement de la Congregation de NotreDame a Detroit .. . .. ........ ...... ........ ............. ...... 16 Hubert a Mgr. J.-O. Briand .... .... .... ............ ... ... 17 Frechette a Hubert ....................................... ..... 18 Dufaux a Hubert .............................................. 19 Dufaux a Hubert ........ .............. ....................... 20 Dufaux a Hubert ....................... ... ................ .... 21 Dufaux a Hubert ............ .. ................................ 22 Dufaux a Hubert .. .. ............ ............................. 24 Dufaux a Hubert ........................................... ... 25 Traduction fran~aise de la susdite lettre ............ 26 Dufaux a Hubert .............................................. 27 Les habitants de l'Assomption a Hubert .......... 28 Le Reverend E. Burke aux paroissiens de l'eglise .............................. de I'Assomption ... 29 Marchand a Hubert ....................... ......... .......... FRENCH COMMANDANTS AT DETROIT

279 279 280 280 281 281 281 282 284 285 286 291 293 293 294 297 299 300 303 303 304 305 306 307 308

1701-60 ........ 310

DOUBLE NAMES OR SOBRIQUETS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

311

JV. ABSTRACTS FROM THE DETROIT NOTARIAL RECORDS .. 312

V.

GENEALOGIES .. .. .. ...... ... . ...... ... ... .... ......... ....... .. ... ... . ...

335

xxiv

CONTENTS

VI. VII. VIII.

SUMMARY OF THE MARRIAGES RECORDED IN THE PARISH OF THE ASSUMPTION 1760-81 .... .... ... .. ... ..... .

343

17601796 ·· ···· ···· ·········· ···· ·········· ···· ··· ··· ················ ··········· · 356

BRITISH COMMANDING OFFICERS AT DETROIT

MARGUILLIERS OR WARDENS OF THE PARISH OF THE ASSUMPTION

356

IX. HOLDERS OF FARM LOTS IN ESSEX COUNTY ABOUT

1794 ···· ····· ······· ···· ····· ··· ·· ···· ··· ··· ···· ··· ·················· ······ · 357 BIBLIOGRAPHY

361

INDEX

365

· · ····· · ·· ·· ··· ·· · ··· ·· · ···· ·· ········ ·· ·· · ·· ·· ·· ·· ······ ·· ··· · ···· ·· ·· ·· ·· ···· ·· ·· ·

ILLUSTRATIONS MAPS 1. SANSON'S MAP OF CANADA OR NEW FRANCE, 1656 facing page xxxii 2. SECTION OF MAP OF GALINEE'S VOYAGE, 1670 ....... .. .

:xxxiv

3.

MAP SHOWING THE LOCATION OF INDIAN AND PREINDIAN VESTIGES IN ESSEX COUNTY AND VICINITY . . . . . .

XXXviii

4.

MAP OF DETROIT ERIE BY COMMANDANT DE BOISHEBERT, C. 1730 .. ... ... ....... .. .... .. .. ... ... ..... .... ....... .... .. .. .

xliv

5.

IMAGINATIVE DRAWING OF FORT PONTCHARTRAIN,

c.1740 .... .... ..... ..... .... ....... ... ..... .... .... .. .. .... ... .. .. .... .. ....

1

6.

MAP OF THE DETROIT RIVER BY CHAUSSEGROS DE LERY, fils, 1749 ... ... ..... .. .. .. . .. ... ... .. ..... .. .. ...... .. .. ....... ....

liv

7.

TOPOGRAPHICAL MAP OF DETROIT BY CHAUSSEGROS DE LERY, fils, c. 1754 .. ... .. .. ..... ... ..... .. ... .. ... ..... .. .. ... .. .. .. .. ..

lviii

8.

PLAN OF DETROIT WITH ITS ENVIRONS BY JOHN MONTRESOR, 1763 ........... ........... ....... .......... ..... .... .... ..

bill

9. SECTION OF MCNIFF'S SURVEY OF 1791 SHOWING LOCATION OF WINDMILLS ALONG THE DETROIT RIVER

1xxiii

10. PLAN OF J. B. FERE'S WATER-MILL ON TURKEY CREEK BY T. SMITH, 1798 .... ........ .. .... .. .... ......... ....... ......... ...

lxx.v

11 . THE BOUNDARIES OF THE COUNTIES OF ESSEX, KENT, AND SUFFOLK IN 1792 ..............................................

lxxxvi

12. PLAN OF THE HURON RESERVE AND MALDEN BY P. MCNIFF, 1790 ·· ·········· ··· ······· ····· ········· ··· ············· ··

cvi

13.

THE CESSION OF THE INDIANS TO KING GEORGE ill ON MAY

19, 1790 ·· ····· ······ ·········· ····· ···· ···· ··· .... ....... ..........

ex

14. MAP OF ESSEX COUNTY SHOWING THE WATER-FRONT....... .. facing page cxvi AGE SURVEYS OF THE 1790's .......... XXV

xxvi

15. 16. 17.

18.

ILLUSTRATIONS PLAN OF THE PURCHASE OF THE HURON RESERVE FOR THE TOWN OF SANDWICH BY A. IREDELL, JULY 12,

1797 ................... ........... .. ... ... ........ ........ ..... .... .... .....

cxix

PLAN OF FORTIFICATIONS OPPOSITE THE ISLAND OF BOIS BLANC IN 1796 ............ .....................

CXXV

SKETCH OF THE POST AT AMHERSTBURG BY A. COOPER, 1797, AND THE WORKS OF DEFENCE ORDERED TO BE CONSTRUCTED IN 1799 BY GOTHER MANN . . . . . . .

cxxvii

HOLDERS OF LOTS IN THE TOWN OF AMHERSTBURG,

1799 ...... ................. ....................... ......................... cxxviii PLATES

(Between pp. /xiv and /xv) I. FATHER PIERRE POTIER, S.J. II. COLONEL ALEXANDER MCKEE III. THE RECTORY AND HALL OF ASSUMPTION PARISH BUILT IN

IV. THE MATTHEW ELLIOTT HOMESTEAD BUILT IN

17 84

1784

V. THE HURON CHURCH OR CHURCH OF THE ASSUMPTION OPENED

IN

1787 (Between pp. xcvi and xcvii)

VI. THE NORTH BLOCKHOUSE OPPOSITE THE UPPER END OF BOIS BLANC ISLAND VII. THE STOREHOUSE FLANKED BY TWO SMALL BLOCKHOUSES IN FRONT OF THE WHARF OPPOSITE THE ISLAND OF BOIS BLANC

THE WINDSOR BORDER REGION

INTRODUCTION

A.

VISITORS BEFORE 1700

THIS historical survey is intended to serve as an introduction to a series of documents relating to the exploration and settlement of Canada's southernmost frontier. A glance at the map of Canada suffices to locate that frontier-the Detroit River region.1 At 42° latitude the eye quickly focuses on a 20-by-30-mile rectangular peninsula whose south, west, and north shores are washed by the waters of Lake Erie, the Detroit River, and Lake St. Clair respectively. Today this peninsula is Essex County in the Province of Ontario. Local Chambers of Commerce refer to it as the Sun Parlour of Canada. A recent book which records the development of the county and its chief city, Windsor, during the past century is entitled Garden Gateway to Canada. These last two appellations indicate its frontier position, its mild climate, and its fertile fields. The exploration of the Detroit River region was retarded by the warring expeditions of the Father of New France. In 1609 and 1615, when Champlain accompanied Algonquin and Huron Indians on forays against their Iroquois enemies, whose strongholds were located between the Hudson and Genesee rivers in the present State of New York, he sealed the friendship between the French and the Hurons and Algonquins. At the same time, however, he provoked later alignments of the Iroquois with their Dutch and English neighbours of the Atlantic seaboard, because the savages became convinced that the French were the allies of their Indian enemies. Because of this enmity of the Iroquois for the French, for half a century the French explorers and missionaries could not follow the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario in their westward journeys. Instead they paddled and portaged up the Ottawa River to Lake Nipissing, then down the French River into Georgian Bay at a point directly east of the Straits of Mackinac, connecting Lakes Huron and Michigan. As a consequence all the upper lakes were explored before Lake Erie. Despite the Iroquois road-block on the Lake Ontario route to the interior of the continent, the historical beginnings of the strait between Lakes Huron and Erie reach back into the first half of the seventeenth century. By the Ottawa route Father Jean de Brebeuf lThe French word derroit means a strait. The early explorers considered the whole water connection between Lakes Huron and Erie as Le Detroit, Lake St. Clair being only a bulge in the strait. xxix

XXX

THE WINDSOR BORDER REGION

and his companions in 1626 reached the country of the Hurons on the southern shore of Georgian Bay. These Indians had been chosen as the object of the first Jesuit missionary effort in the West because they were less migratory than the other tribes. While striving to evangelize this nation, the blackrobes did not close their eyes to other possible fields of apostolic endeavour which lay beyond the boundaries of Huronia. As early as 1640 they had detailed knowledge of the territory to the south, where were located the villages of the Neutral nation, 2 and at least a general notion of the strait between Lakes Huron and Erie ( A 1 ) . Where had they obtained this information? Some of it had likely come from Joseph de La Roche d'Aillon, Recollet missionary, who in 1626 had spent some time among the Neutral nation, "of which the interpreter (Brusle) has told wonders." 3 Information might also have been supplied by Etienne Brule himself, who is believed to have been the first European to gaze upon the waters of Lake Erie. Moreover, the Relation of 1640-!4 tells of many Frenchmen from Huronia who, in the past, had penetrated into the country of the Neutrals for purposes of trade. On their return these traders were no doubt interrogated and any geographical knowledge thus obtained was entered on maps drawn at the mission headquarters of Ste. Marie among the Hurons. 5 These reports about the extent of this nation to the south kindled the zeal of the Jesuits, and in the fall of 1640 Fathers Brebeuf and Chaumonot left the country of the Hurons to spend the winter preaching the Gospel to the Neutrals. The Relation of 1640-1 2Some historians relying mostly on early maps assign to the Neutral nation the whole northern shore of Lake Erie from the Niagara to the Detroit rivers. Others basing their opinion on written documents tend to restrict the villages of the Neutrals to the Niagara district (both sides of the river) and a small area at the western end of Lake Ontario. 3For an account of La Roche d'Aillon's excursion into the Neutral country, see Father Christian Leclerq, First Establishment of the French in New France, I, 263-70. 4The Jesuit missionaries in North America sent every year to their Canadian Superior at Quebec an account of their activities. These letters were combined into a long narrative called a Relation, which was sent to the Provincial in Paris. There they were printed by Sebastien Cramoisy. The Relations proper begin in 1632 and continue to 1673. In 1858 the Dominion government published in French a three-volume edition of these Jesuit Relations. From 1896 to 1901 Reuben Gold Thwaites edited a page-for-page translation of the Relations, to which he added a mass of related documentary material. This imposing publication comprising seventy-three volumes is known as The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents, hereafter referred to as Thwaites, Jesuit Relations. 5On the right bank of the River Wye, about three miles east of the town of Midland, Ontario.

INTRODUCTION

xxxi

describes this winter tour of the missionaries, and states that they were well received by a certain strange nation at a village called Khioetoa, 6 which they renamed the Mission of St. Michel ( A 2). On his return to Huronia in March 1641, Chaumonot drew a map of this journey, but no copy can be found today. However, that map very likely served as a basis for two others that were issued within the next two decades. In 1656 Sanson d' Abbeville, geographer to the King, published at Paris a map showing the full extent of Lake Erie and its connection with Lake Huron through what are now known as the Detroit River, Lake St. Clair, and River St. Clair (see Fig. 1) . Therefore, as early as 1656, and possibly much earlier, certain persons had explored the strait sufficiently to make a fairly accurate map of the waters and the adjacent land. In 1660 the Jesuit historian Du Creux issued a map which differs only slightly from Sanson's. On both these maps Lake St. Clair is named Lac des Eaux de Mer (Salt Water Lake), which suggests that some of the information had come at least indirectly from the Indians, who were always willing to "oblige" the explorers looking for the South Sea. Information was also derived from the Jesuits, possibly from Chaumonot's map, because on both maps there is marked the location of a number of their missions. The Mission of St. Michel is located on the Canadian side of the Detroit River near the present city of Windsor. Hence we must reckon with the possibility that Fathers Brebeuf and Chaumonot may have reached the Detroit River region in the winter of 1640-1. The Relation of 1641-2 reveals that the Jesuits were withdrawn from such outlying missions as a consequence of Father Lalemant's policy of concentrating all missionary efforts among the Hurons until the entire tribe should be converted. 7 The result of this policy was that some 3,000 persons were baptized in the two years prior to the spring of 1649. 8 This was the year of the martyrdom of the Jesuits and the destruction of the Huron villages by the Dutcharmed Iroquois. The remnants of the Hurons fled in every direction. Some three hundred of them, after various sojourns, settled at Lorette near Quebec, and their descendants are there to this day. Others made their way to the islands in Georgian Bay and to the northern shores of Lakes Huron and Michigan and even to Wisconsin. After the 6It is important to note that the village of Khioetoa was inhabited by a strange nation, not by Neutral Indians. Hence its location near the Detroit River cannot be used to establish the extent of the territory of the Neutral nation. 7Thwaites, Jesuit Relations, XXIII, 179-81. 8/bid., XXXIII, 69, 257.

xxxii

THE WINDSOR BORDER REGION

dispersal of the Hurons, the Iroquois carried the terrors of their ferocious prowess southwest to the Petuns or Tobacco nation and then southward to the land of the Neutrals. By 1651 the whole of western Ontario including the Essex County peninsula was nothing but the unpopulated hunting grounds of the Iroquois. In 1666 the Iroquois spirit was temporarily tamed when the Mohawk strongholds were destroyed by the Carignan-Salieres Regiment. The St. Lawrence and Lake Ontario route was now open to the French, and the explorers and missionaries lost little time in taking advantage of it. In 1669 Robert Cavelier de La Salle was preparing near Montreal an expedition to the southwest in order to explore the Ohio River, which was believed to empty into the South Sea, and thereby find a way to China. Governor Remy de Courcelles urged Fran~ois Dollier de Casson, a Sulpician priest, to join the expedition. Rene Brehant de Galinee, a deacon, was sent as Dollier's companion9 and recorded the events of the journey. Galinee's Journal unfolds one of the most interesting stories of early American exploration (A 3 ). On July 5, 1669, twenty-one men in seven canoes left Montreal. After a voyage up the St. Lawrence River, they followed the south shore of Lake Ontario where they obtained a guide at a Seneca village. In September they arrived at an Iroquois hunting camp called Tiwanatawa, formerly the site of a Neutral village, located a dozen miles northwest of the present city of Hamilton, Ontario. There they talked with a man named J olliet, 10 who was returning to Quebec from Lake Superior where he had been sent by Courcelles to discover the location of copper mines and to find an easy route for bringing the ore to Montreal-a vision of a commercial highway along the chain of lakes and rivers. An Iroquois prisoner whom Jolliet had saved from the Ottawa Indians had offered to show him a new passage to the St. Lawrence. It proved to be the straits connecting Lakes Huron and Erie-a way that Sanson had mapped out in 1656, and which had been described in the Jesuit Relations as early as 1641. Jolliet is, however, the first white man known to have paddled down the Detroit River. 9Why historians employ the name Dollier instead of Casson, but Galinee rather than Brehant, is one of those quirks frequently associated with FrenchCanadian names. lOJt has been generally assumed that this man was Louis Jolliet, who later explored the Mississippi River with Marquette. However, in the light of recent investigation it is more probable that it was Adrien, brother of Louis, with whom the missionaries conferred. See Jean Delanglez, S.J., "Louis Jolliet-Early Years," in Mid-America, XXVII, 3-29.

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