|The Voyageur in the Illinois Country: The Fur Trade's Professional Boatman in Mid America
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Jean-Baptiste Cardinal and the Affair of Gratiot's Boat: An Incident in the American Revolution
|Louis Lorimier in the American Revolution, 1777-1782: A Mémoire by an Ohio Indian Trader and British Partisan
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Code Noir: The Colonial Slave Laws in French Mid-America
|French Colonial Studies:
Le Pays des Illinois. Selections From Le Journal, 1983-2005
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|Plumbing the Depths of the Upper Mississippi Valley. Julien Dubuque, Native Americans, and Lead Mining
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|Standing Up For Indians. Baptism Registers as an Untapped Source for Multicultural Relations in St. Louis, 1766-1821.
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The French voyageur cuts a dashing figure in our imaginations, so much so we often overlook the reality of his profession: it was a job. The author looks at the business end of being a waterman in the remote French settlements of the Illinois Country in the mid 18th century; she presents her picture of the voyageurs' world from the perspective offered by the contracts, debts, and inventories they left behind.
This story of the Illinois Country voyageur is gleaned largely from an assemblage of some 7000 unsorted and mostly unpublished French documents and records known collectively as the Kaskaskia Manuscripts. Few people are as familiar with this collection as Dr. Brown, who has worked with this and other caches of French Illinois records for years.
The Voyageur in the Illinois Country expands our knowledge of other aspects of life in the French Midwest beyond the fur trade: inventories of household goods, watercraft in use locally (not the romantic birch bark canoe, incidentally). We also learn that French/Indian relations were not always as cordial as popular history often paints them to have been. (38 pages, maps, illustrations.)
About the author:
Dr. Margaret Kimball Brown is well known for her work in historic and prehistoric archeology. She retired as director of the famous Cahokia Mounds State Park archeological site and museum a few years ago. French Colonial Illinois has always been of particular interest to her, and that is reflected in some of the titles she has published: The Village of Chartres In Colonial Illinois, 1720 1765 (co-author Lawrie Dean); The French Colony in the Mid Mississippi Valley, and the pending Kaskaskia Manuscripts 1714 1816. Dr. Brown is the founder and first president of the Center for French Colonial Studies.
CFCS Members : $7.00, Non-Members: $9.00
72 pages, 2 maps
The Revolutionary War in the Old Northwest was more than the exploits of Col. George Rogers Clark and Lt. Governor Henry Harrison and Buyer Hamilton. This was a vast expanse where Indian alliances, bold strokes and intrigues won and lost vast domains of primeval forest.
While there were British forts here, the population of Europeans descent was overwhelmingly the sons of the Ancien Regime: Canadian Frenchmen. These were people of the fur trade. If they spoke a second language it was more likely an Indian tongue than English. They knew the Native people here; they knew the terrain.
During the war, neither the British nor the Americans were ever certain of the loyalties of the French in the Old Northwest. Being confidants of the Indians and expert guides, large numbers of these Frenchmen did play pivotal roles in the war here in spite of this. Not knowing the language of the principal combatants and even illiterate in their own mother tongue, they were not well represented in the documentary record, though.
The incident of Jean-Baptiste Cardinal and Gratiot's boat is a noteworthy exception. Here is a story where there is a wealth of documentation, much of which was unpublished until now.
Indeed the strength of Wiederaender's work is that he has assembled, presented, translated,and interpreted such a large number of diverse sources regarding one Canadien's role in a chapter of Midwestern Revolutionary War history. This work proves that patient, persistent, and exhaustive sleuthing can reconstruct some of the elusive stories of the French participationin the war.
Beyond the importance as a model for research, this work deserves attention simply because it is an intriguing story. Wiederaenders has sorted out the fiction that accumulated over two centuries. He has also added new and thought provoking interpretations on this incident on the upper Mississippi and on the British and Indian assault on St. Louis. (Dennis Au, past president of the Center for French Colonial Studies).
CFCS Members: $8.00, Non- Members: $10.00
Louis Lorimier in the American Revolution, 1777-1782:
By Paul L. Stevens, PhD
A Mémoire by an Ohio Indian Trader and British Partisan
61 pages, 2 maps
[One French-Canadian's role in the Revolutionary War]
Much has been written about how the American Midwest's French inhabitants helped Revolutionary War hero George Rogers Clark to overthrow British rule on the frontier. But little has been told of the other French of mid-America--the ones who actively supported Britain's cause in opposition to Clark. Paul L. Stevens does much to fill that historical void with this 61 page paper dealing with the frontier service of one such man--Louis Lorimier.
French-Canadian Pierre-Louis de Lorimier was a wilderness entrepreneur operating a trading post in Ohio on the strategic Auglaize-Miami portage, the main military route between British Detroit and the Ohio valley. Lorimier not only helped facilitate overland transit of British/Indian strike forces and provided supplies, but also willingly joined their expeditions against the Kentucky settlements and the Ohio frontier. The ultimate results of Lorimier's pro-British activities were the destruction of his post at the hands of George Rogers Clark's vengeful forces--and his own financial ruin. Lorimier's mémoire--a six page recap of his wartime activities--was apparently written from amongst the smoldering wreckage of his destroyed business and was intended to remind British authorities of his service in hopes of winning some sort of compensation for his staggering losses. It appears Lorimier was unsuccessful; his debts forced him to abandon Ohio and eventually reestablish himself in Spanish Missouri after the war.
Dr. Stevens provides us with an English translation of Lorimier's unique document (perhaps the only existing period account by a French participant of British raids on the Ohio and Kentucky frontiers). A detailed introduction presents the reader with an interesting background to Lorimier and to the shadowy world of warfare in the western wilderness, and extensive textual annotations provide a wealth of ancillary information relating to the events and personages of the Revolution in the West. William Potter (past president of CFCS).
CFCS Members: $7.00, Non-Members: $9.00
French and English texts
(67 pages, illustrations.)
Code Noir: The Colonial Slave Laws of French Mid-America, the new CFCS extended publication has just been published. Edited by William Potter, it features an introductory article by Carl Ekberg, the complete French text of the Code Noir de la Louisiane of 1724 and an English translation on opposite pages as well as facsimiles of a number of related documents from the Kaskaskia Manuscript collection with English translation. (67 pages, illustrations.)
“Vernon V. Palmer, an authority on legal history, has recently opined that the Black Code ‘was one of the most important codes in the history of French codes.’ Given French preoccupation with codifying laws—under the monarchy, the empire, and the various republics—this is a very large statement. Credit must be given to the Center for French Colonial Studies for sponsoring the publication of this welcome new translation of the Code.”( From the Introduction by Carl Ekberg.)
CFCS Members: $9.00, Non-Members: $11.00
(17 articles, 132 pages) 2006
The seventeen articles, selected from more than twenty years of publication, are organized in thematic sections: the French Experience, Sources of Information, the French Language and Culture, the People, the French Heritage and Culture. They reflect the interests of the variety of persons who have participated in the annual conferences of the Center, or whose work has been published in Le Journal. Each thematic section is summarized briefly and a short résumé of the author precedes each article.
CFCS Members: $12.00, Non-Members: $15.00
JULIEN DUBUQUE, NATIVE AMERICANS, AND LEAD MINING
By B. Pierre Lebeau, Lucy Eldersveld Murphy, Robert C. Wiederaenders
Maps, Illustrations, 104 pages. ISBN: 978-1-4243-2155-1
Julien Dubuque born in Quebec, received a grant in 1788 from the Mesquakie in northeastern Iowa that allowed him to operate for twenty-two years a rich vein of lead at the Peosta mine, later known as the Mines of Spain, located at the site of today’s city of Dubuque.
The book presents a biography of Julien Dubuque by Robert Charles Wiederaenders. The section by Lucy Eldersveld Murphy brings out a usually unknown aspect of gender roles in the Mesquakie tribes involved in the exploitation of lead and describes the mining techniques used by the Native Americans and the increasing economic importance that lead mining assumed in the trade relations between Natives and Europeans. The documents in the appendix edited and translated by B. Pierre Lebeau, include the estate inventory, bills of sale, letters, etc. and offer details regarding Dubuque’s business activities and his relationships with other traders.
Robert Charles Wiederaenders, a retired church archivist, received a graduate degree from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago after graduate studies in history. He is a long time member of the Center for French Colonial Studies and a member of the board of the Dubuque Historical Society.
Lucy Eldersveld Murphy is Associate Professor of History at Ohio State University. The University of Nebraska Press published her major work, A Gathering of Rivers: Indians, Metis, and Mining in the Western Great Lakes, 1737–1832 in 2000. She edited with Rebecca Kugel, Native Women’s History in Eastern North America Before 1900: A Guide to Research and Writing (Nebraska, 2007).
B. Pierre Lebeau, Professor Emeritus of History at North Central College, Naperville, Illinois, is past president of the Center and a member of the Editorial Advisory Boards for the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society and the Journal of Illinois History.
CFCS Members: $10.00 Non-Members: $13.00
Standing Up For Indians. Baptism Registers as an Untapped Source for Multicultural Relations in St. Louis, 1766-1821.
By Sharon Person.
145 pages. Illustrations, appendices, bibliography.
The work of Sharon Person is crucial for a more nuanced understanding of the métissage of the Saint Louis area in the last half of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. She provides insight on a theme until recently too often ignored by scholars of the Mississippi Valley. General histories of Missouri and Saint Louis mention Indian slavery but do not treat the subject in depth. The specialized literature stretches back thirty-five years, but only recently have scholars begun to integrate the story of Indian slavery into the larger historical narrative. The author forces us to reconsider the existence and role of Indian slaves in a society in which French and Americans intermix more and more. The baptism records analyzed by Sharon Person document the indisputable existence and persistence of Indian Slavery in early Saint Louis.
CFCS Members: $15.00. Non-Members: $18.00
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