Jacques Marquette

Jacques Marquette ( born June 10, 1637 Laon (France), † May 18, 1675 near Luddington (Michigan, USA) ) was a French Jesuit and explorers.

Early years

At the age of 17, he entered as a novice in the Society of Jesus, where he graduated from university studies and in 1666 the Jesuit mission has been issued in the French colony of Canada. Upon his arrival he undertook first travel into the interior, to learn Indian languages ​​.

1668 he left Quebec finally, to settle in the mission " Sault Sainte Marie " in the area of ​​Ottawa Indians and to make missionary work there. Since the mission was at a convenient point between Lake Huron and Lake Superior, came there many passing travelers, Indians, Marquette by a river called " Missispi " told. In the fall of 1669 Marquette founded at the western end of Lake Superior, the mission " Pointe du Saint -Esprit ", from which he wanted to reach the Ottawa Indians and the Wyandot. Here Marquette also learned Indians of the Illinois tribe know who were familiar with some of the " Missispi ". In preparation for a trip there, he began to learn their language. Probably in the summer of 1671 met Marquette in Sault Sainte -Marie along with the fur trader Louis Joliet. This was present there on the 4th of June, when Simon Daumont de Saint- Lusson officially sided with the French crown of the western territories owned, while Marquette was ordained in the same place on July 2, a priest. As a result, they operate the exploration of the Mississippi River as a joint project which has been delayed by a war among the Indians. While Joliet returned to Quebec to Marquette settled on Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron, where he founded in July 1671 the mission " Saint -Ignace ."

Exploration of the Mississippi

1673 Joliet and Marquette were able to begin their joint projects. The former had received an official order of the Crown to seek the missionary to the sources of the Mississippi. On May 17, the two broke up with five attendants and two canoes from Saint -Ignace from. They crossed the street from Michillimakinac and then touched today's Green Bay at the western Lake Michigan. On the Fox River, they continued their journey westward and reached on 17 June as the first European to see the Mississippi. On the journey to the south they discovered nor the Missouri River and the Ohio River. They were convinced that the river would flow into the Pacific, and decided after a journey of 450 km on the Mississippi River in present-day Arkansas repentance, so as not to fall into the hands of the Spaniards. The return journey began in mid-July. For Marquette discovering the Mississippi River was an important step to extend the influence of the missionaries to the west and south.

Later years

In October 1674 he left Green Bay to establish a mission among the Illinois Indians. He wintered in the area of present-day Chicago and founded on April 8, 1675 an Indian village, the mission to " Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin ". On May 18, the enfeebled by previous hardships missionary at the age of 37 years died on the voyage to the north " in the woods " near the present Luddington (Michigan, USA ) to amoebic dysentery. A year later, his remains were exhumed and buried in Saint -Ignace.

The Father Marquette National Memorial pays tribute to his tomb his life and work.