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Bishop Brutés History of Vincennes – 1839: Part 2 of 7

PART-2 1
De Vincennes — The Chicachaws’ sad triumphs, seems from the expressions of Father Charlevois, to have made considerable impression in France; the loss of the commander of the expedition, the chevalier D’artaguette, and so many brave officers, and the heroical end of the good Chaplain, and of H. de Vincennes, must have excited much sympathy. Those of their freinds, who, with that worthy young leader, Voisin, effected their retreat, must have preserved a very lively sense of gratitude for the generous missionary who, resisting their entreaties to save his own life, had chosen to remain with his more unfortunate companions, as well as warm admiration for that excellent officer, who after facing death in its usual sudden or abridged forms in the field, not only had, by his invincible patience at the stake, commanded the respect even of men accustomed to the most resolute stoicism amid the tortures which they used to inflict on their fellow barbarians, but supported, amid the aggravated horrors of death, the honor and religion of those who had to share them with himself.

No wonder, then, that some of those who escaped and returned to Kaskaskia, and to the post of the Ouabache, wished to perpetuate the memory of thier noble friend, Vincennes. Although we find no deliberation, no special act, no express monument for the attaching of his name to the”post”, we see how effectually that honorable gratitude gave his name to it. The register of the parish of St. Francis Xavier preserved from 1749, carries his name on the title page,”Register du Poste Vincennes? Though the post was served by the Brethren of Father Senate, they were not tempted to give it his name and it is remarkable that those excellent men never though amid their meritorious labors, to attach their own names to places which they started into existence, while yet alive, or that of their best friends who departed life before them. Thirty years before, Father Mermet had been the first Missionary-“”for, it appears, he was the ‘First’, but his name is wholly forgotten here. As for that of M. de Vincennes, it narrowly escaped being superceded by that of St. Vincent, one of the most hallowed on the Catholic calandar, and in the annuals of beneficence, Few places have received so many different appellations in the public documents either of old Virginia, of Congress, or even the Territory where it would seem it would be best preserved; few had their orthography more wonderfully diversified. Beide the ancient”Post'”The Post’:”0 Poste’ for au””poste” and poste”0uabache” and”Post St. Francis Xavier’ once”Post Vincennes” being introduced without regard to the habitual signature N. de Vinsenne”, but rather probably to the far famed .town and State prison of”Vincenne&’ in France, a royal reideflCe as ancient as the days of king St. Lcuis who in the thirteenth century used to sit under the trees of its forest and there administer justice to all that approached him,””””we have had the letter changed to the terms of”Vinoene’ Vincens; then St. Vincent” and St. Vincennes, etc., with the additions that long signalized our military origin, dropped at last that of”Post” or”fort” still retained in some places in the state that had been only”Posts” or”Forts’, Fort Wayne’, now so thriving a town, for instance.

  1. Western Sun. Vincennes. March 16, 1839[]

Categories: Postings.