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Bishop Brute” History of Vincennes ““ 1839: Part 3 of 7

From March 9 through June 22, 1839, Bishop Simon Brute wrote a seven part series for the Vincennes Western Sun. In 1967, Francis P. Clark, a microfilmer at the University of Notre Dame Archives, transcribed this series. We present it in the original seven parts:

M. de �Vincennes� left a daughter, who married at Kaskaskia, in 1752, Louis de Lisle; her name being written as usual �do Vinsenne� (Mary Theresa). It is signed many times on the parish register of Kaskaskia, as a witness of religious ceremonies, marriages, baptisms, etc. �Mary Theresa do Vinsenne de Lisle� and after 1760, �widow de Lis1e! This manner of recording her name �do Vinsonne�,� indicates a particular esteem for that name; yet it was common among the French to do so. Whether N. do Vinsenne had other children, we cannot say; his blood in the line of the De Lisles being all that we could find on record. The father�in�law Philip Longpre gave, for the marriage portion of his daughter 1000 francs in furniture, furs, and goods, at his death is inventory amounted to 19,569 francs. The record of the items took many folio pages, of which we may quote some as relating to the state of society in Illinois, one century ago. The house was valued at 500 francs, (about $1000); 3 black slaves, at 3000 francs (about $600); 5 Indian slaves at 1800 fr., ($360); and 5 oxen at 625 fr, 7 bulls, 3 cows, 70 hogs, 30 fowls, etc., were part of the estate. Before we leave our old commander, M. de Vincennes, we must remark that Lapotheric” fact of his mission, received from N. do Frontenac, should rather be referred to H. do Vaudreuil, who was governor of Canada from 1705 to 1726. Frontenac lived previously from 1672 to 1699.

To the many names of Vincennes, we ought to have added that of �Port St. Vincent�,� or Vincennes, often used from its situation on the Wabash, and one so familiar to the French; �The Village�,� when they knew no other remarkable city but New Orleans, which they called by distinction, �La Ville�,� (the city.) Who has not been puzzled and astonished in our later time, when Vincennes itself plays the city to no little advantage, to receive for answer when in the surrounding country, and asking an old man, �where is your son?� he is �a la yule�,� that is gone to �New Orleans�. Our river had also its variety of names, The Ouabache, became Wabash; the river St. Jerome, with a small branch just enough to mark the future Ohio. It was once in fact carrying the honors of its name to the Mississippi itself. When Father Marquette, in 1673 passed the mouth of the present Ohio, its name was given him Ouabouquigo; and we have old French maps, nay, very late in the last century, that have the name Oyo written along our Wabash, only extending it much farther east from Oulatanon, parrallel to Lake Erie. When the errors of the western geography began to be corrected, by those from the east, strange enough; maps had another Ohio made to turn round a� bout, and dischange its waters into Lake Erie. A farther progress brought the Ohio proper to the Mississippi, and left our river to be merely its tributary. But some geographers could not give up, and they led on the Wabash by a parallel line, north of the Ohio, still to carry its own water to the great Father of rivers. Another map has two mouths of the Ohio in the Mis� sissippi if to satisfy both claims. The writer has seen maps of all these 4escriptions, except that of the strange Ohio made to empty into Lake Erie, but it is referred to in Butler” History of Kentucky, (p. 379), in the possession of Cen. Harrison. To cap the climix, in Cueudeville” atlas of 1729, the Tennessee is made a brabch of our river, and the Cheraquees to live at the head waters of the Wabash. The geography of our valley of the Mississippi was them what that of the Oregon region and its waters were lately, and in part are yet. If these original sketches and anecodotes find admittance, we will offer other connected with the period previous to the time of M. de Vincenn”,

V B.
Western Sun, Vincennes, March 23, 1839.


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