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Bishop Brutés History of Vincennes – 1839: Part 1 of 7

This History of Vincennes which was written by Bishop Brute, the first Bishop of VincenneS was published in the Western Sun, Vincennes, Indiana in the year 1839. It was published in seven parts starting with the issue of March 9, 1839 and was concluded with the issue of June 22. 1839.

As far as known the original manuscript is lost but the files of the Western Sun for the period in which the history was published have been preserved in the State Library at Indianapolis. This then is a copy of the work as it was published in the Western Sun..

Francis P. Clark.
Nov. 15. 1967.


Part – 1:
Brute’s History of Vincennes. 1
M. De Vincennes.””””Francois Morgan de.Vincennes, or rather Vinsenne, according to his own signature had his name attached to our town a few years after his death, which happen in 1736. It is found to designate the place in the oldest register of the Church of St. Francis Xavier, those of 1749. Before, it was only called the post or fort on the Ouabache, which is mentioned in documents more than twenty””five years anterior to his death; for instance, about 1708, when Father Mermet, a Jesuite, was ii St. Louis of Peoria; and shortly after, perhaps the same year, is found a Missionary at the fort upon the Ouabache, sent to that post on the reciuest of the people living there. Go how long before? We do not exactly find it recorded.

M. Dc”Vinsenne” was, it appears a Canadian gentleman, and a distinguished officer of the royal troops in Canada””””In what corps he did serve, whether in the marines, or as it has been said, in the regiment of Carignan, i left uncertain.

We find him in commission in the Northern parts of our State, perhaps at Ouitanon, as early as 1722; the fact is thus related in La Potheric:

“œ1722. The Comte De Frontenac (Governor of Canada) sent afterwards M. D’ Argenteuil with a detachment of soldiers, who had orders to go to Michillimachinac, and to the Miamis. M de Vincennes was to command in the last post, and M. de Tonti at Michillimachinac “”””(His. of Amer. tom, 3, page 309.)

The. writer remembers to have seen the same fact stated in Father Charlevoix celebrated History of Canada.

More than ten years after””””too large a chasm in the service of M. de Vincennes””””we find him, about 1733, married in Kaskaskia, to the daughter of a rich inhabitant, Philipe Longpre; and in different acts still preserved at
Recorder’s office in Kaskaskia, signed by himself, he is thus designated: Francois Morgan de Vinsenne, commandant of the troops of the King in the post upon Quabache. In March, 1734, we find the will of his father””in””law, and in September, an inventory of the goods and chattels, after the death of the same, showing that N. de Vinsenne was absent””””probably at the post. In January, 1735, an act of sale, signed by himself in Kaskaskia, proves his presence there. His wife had remained at the post”Ouabache’ and the act was sent to her for her ratification; it was returned by”Lesperencer” to be the mark of”Madam do Vinsenne’ who declared she did not know how to sign her name.

He was soon after engaged in the expedition to the South, in which he was killed in 1736.

The French were at war with the Chicachas. The friendly tribes of the Illinois, and the royal troops on the upper parts of the Mississippi, about Kaskaskia, appear to have been called to the South by N. D!Artaguette, the commander””in””chief. The events of this war were disastrous; they are partly related in the last volume of Father Charlevoix, ancLthefollowing interesting account of the death of N. de Vincennes, form the very last lines of that volume.

“œAll France knows the loss that the colony of Louisiana has sustained in 1736; the death of the brave chevelier D’artaguette, and a great number of officers of merit; also the noble devotedness of Father Senat a Jesuit, who preferred the manifect danger of being taken by the Chicachacas, and burnt. by them , as in far it happened, to the chance of flight leaving the wounded unassisted in their last moments these poor men being unable to follow the retreat and it being impossible to carry then away. That retreat was conducted by a young officer only 16 years old N. Vosin, with, as much talent as bravery. As for the unfortunated prisioners, whose number was considerable, they were burnt in the most barbarous manner, with their missionary. But he was alone exhorting them, and supporting the courage of the companions of his tortureres. Whilst he exhorted them to behave worthy of their religion and their country, N. de Vincennes, A Canadian Gentleman, and an officer in the army, shared with him the glory of that good deed, and was admired in his death by his tormentors’ “”””See Charlevoix, torn 1V, of the edition in 120, page 297).


  1. Western Sun, Vincennes, March 9, 1839. []

Categories: Postings.