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Marquette, Jacques

MARQUETTE, JACQUES (1637-1675), French Jesuit missionary and explorer, re-discoverer (with Louis Joliet) of the Mississippi. He was born at Laon, went to Canada in 1666, and was sent in 1668 to the upper lakes of the St Lawrence. Here he worked at Sault Ste Marie, St Esprit (near the western extremity of Lake Superior) and St Ignace (near Michilimackinac or Mackinaw, on the strait between Huron and Michigan). In 1673 he was chosen with Joliet for the exploration of the Mississippi, of which the French had begun to gain knowledge from Indians of the central prairies. The route taken lay up the north-west side of Lake Michigan, up Green Bay and Fox river, across Lake Winnebago, over the portage to the Wisconsin river, and down the latter into the Mississippi, which was descended to within 700 m. of the sea, at the confluence of the Arkansas river. Entering the Mississippi on the 17th of May, Joliet and his companion turned back on the 17th of July, and returned to Green Bay and Michigan (by way of the Illinois river) at the end of September 1673. On the journey Marquette fell ill of dysentery; and a fresh excursion which he undertook to plant a mission among the Indians of the Illinois river in the winter of 1674-i67sprovedfatal. He died on his way home to St Ignace on the banks of a small stream (the lesser and older Marquette River) which enters the east side of Lake Michigan in Marquette Bay (May 18, 1675). His name is now borne by a larger watercourse which flows some distance from the scene of his death.

See Marquette's Journal, first published in Melchiss&lech Thvenot's Recueil de Voyages (Paris, 1681), and fully given in Martin's Relations inedites, and in Shea's Discovery and Exploration of the Mississippi Valley (New York, 1852) ; cf. also Pierre Margry's Decouvertes . . . des Franc, ais dans Vouest et dans le sud de I' A merique septentrionale (1614-1^4) '< Memoires et documents originaux (Paris, '875), containing Joliet 's Details and Relations; Francis Parkman, La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West (Boston 1869-1878), esp. pp. x., 20, 32-33, 49-72.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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