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Father Jacque Marquette's Mission Among The Illinois Indians - December 4

  • 2013 12 Dec
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Father Jacque Marquette's Mission Among The Illinois Indians - December 4

Father Jacques Marquette arrived in Quebec from France to be a missionary among the Indians. In 1673, Frontenac, the Governor of New France, commissioned Father Marquette and Louis Jolliet to explore the unknown Mississippi River. They traveled by canoe from Lake Michigan, across Green Bay, up Fox River to the Wisconsin River and down to the Mississippi, where they floated as far as the Arkansas River, deciding not to go further for fear of Spaniards. On their return trip up the Illinois River, Father Jacque Marquette founded a mission among the Illinois Indians. Caught by winter weather on DECEMBER 4, 1674, Father Marquette and two companions erected a rough log cabin near the shore of Lake Michigan. The settlement would afterwards grow into the city of Chicago. In an account written by Father Dablon of the Society of Jesus, 1678, Father Jacques Marquette met with over 500 chiefs and "explained to them the principal mysteries of our religion, and the end for which he had come to their country; and especially he preached to them Christ crucified, for it was the very eve of the great day on which he died on the cross for them." In 1895, the State of Wisconsin placed a statue of Father Jacques Marquette in the U.S. Capitol's Statuary Hall.