Vol. 26, no. 3 Summer 2010 www.noctrl.edu/cfcs
Center for French Colonial Studies Centre pour l’étude du pays des Illinois
Multiple Bead Uses at Fort St. Joseph, An Eighteenth-Century French Settlement in the Western Great Lakes By LisaMarie Malischke, Department of Anthropology, University of Alabama,Tuscaloosa, AL 35487 email@example.com [Editor’s note:This paper summarizes some of the findings of LisaMarie Malischke’s M.A. thesis completed in 2009 under the auspices of the Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project in the Department of Anthropology at Western Michigan University.]
These routes connected French inhabitants to regional and distant Native nations. It was through such interaction that beads were acquired and came to be used by the Fort St. Joseph residents.
Material culture encompasses the range of manufactured or altered objects and the various meanings ascribed to them by specific peoples. Since material culture is actively constructed by individuals and varies along class, status and gender lines (Nassaney 2008: 297), the study of material culture can be an entry point into topics such as identity, adornment, and religious practices (Turgeon 2001a: 58; Loren 2006: 1; Brandão and Nassaney 2008: 478). Although beads are small artifacts, they can reveal social information about their makers and users. An examination and analysis of the collection of beads excavated from the site of Fort St. Joseph will demonstrate that beads had multiple uses in colonial New France, especially at Fort St. Joseph.
Historical documents pertaining to Fort Saint Joseph describe religious (Paré and Quaife 1926; Paré 1930), military, and economic activities (Peyser 1978, 1992). However, there is a paucity of information regarding the fort’s inhabitants, their adornment, daily lives, and social interactions. Thus, information about those aspects of life at Fort Saint Joseph must be gleaned from archaeological excavations and analysis.
Fort St. Joseph Located in modern day Niles, Michigan, Fort St. Joseph was built along the St. Joseph River sometime around 1691. The fort was inhabited for ninety years, until 1781 when it was forcibly evacuated. Established and operated by the French, the fort later came under English control. There was a military presence at the fort, but the majority of its activity centered on the fur trade. A variety of French, Native, and Métis people called this fort locale home, which led to a blending of cultural practices that is becoming increasingly more evident as excavations and analyses continue (Nassaney 2008). Documents such as the fort’s baptismal register (Paré and Quaife 1926) and trade records (Peyser 1978) suggest that this site hosted daily interactions between the French inhabitants and the neighboring Miami, Potawatomi, and Sauk peoples. While struggling to survive the elements, these individuals traded knowledge and material goods, and maintained an alliance system for the purpose of holding off English incursion. Fort St. Joseph was centrally located between the larger centers of Detroit and Michilimackinac and other frontier outposts such as Fort Ouiatenon and Kaskaskia. The fort was strategically situated along the Great Sauk Trail, a land route that ran to the Chicago region. The fort also provided access to water routes that linked the north to the south along the Mississippi River.
Fort St. Joseph contains intact material cultural deposits including numerous artifacts and features such as cooking hearths and middens. More importantly, documentary records exist, revealing that the fort had a multiplicity of cultures and social groups who lived in and around the fort complex. Occupants included French Jesuits, French-Canadian soldiers and inhabitants, Native and Metís wives and slaves, and neighboring nations of Potawatomi and Miami along with Sauk visitors and relatives. This article discusses how each of these people may have used the beads recovered from excavations at Fort St. Joseph. Fort St. Joseph Excavated Bead Collection The beads examined for this study were collected between 2002 and 2006 using dry screening, wet screening, and flotation methods. Every excavation unit yielded beads, and by 2006 a total of 2,116 beads had been recovered. Yearly excavations since then have recovered numerous additional beads. In order to examine and define the excavated bead collection, I recorded their physical attributes, including decoration, color, and condition. Observations were made that allowed for inferences about production method. This visual inspection provided for a classification of the Fort St. Joseph bead collection. The Kidd & Kidd (1970), Karklins (1985), and Stone (1974) classification systems were used, leading to the identification of 53 types. Several broad categories of bead materials were present in the collection. Over 97% of the beads were manufactured in Europe and made of glass. Shell wampum was the second largest category representing less than 2% of the collection. Other materials include five or fewer
beads of stone, bone, and undetermined material due to decay or burning. The remainder of this article will discuss several select bead types and their uses and meanings to the people of Fort St. Joseph. French Jesuits The St. Joseph Mission was located within or near Fort St. Joseph. Jesuit priests from France were charged with upholding the religious practices of fort inhabitants as well as attracting new converts from among neighboring Natives. Beads at Fort St. Joseph may have played a role in these religious practices. Beads take on religious significance when incorporated into church decorations or when used to form religious articles such as rosaries. During the 17th and 18th centuries beads were embroidered onto altar cloths and priestly robes, or chasubles (Turgeon 2001b: 89), as shown in Figure 1.
French-Canadian Soldiers Fort St. Joseph was manned by only a handful of soldiers (Paré and Quaife 1926; Peyser 1992) and a commandant, all of whom were allowed to have wives and children at the post after 1715. The soldiers, their families, and the commandant were usually French-Canadians who migrated to the region (Peyser 1992; Idle 2003). Soldiers were prohibited from adopting Native clothing except moccasins; however, they “frequently acquired Indian beaded items as souvenirs” and not for actual use (Armour 1977: 23). Yet beads were recovered from within Fort St. Joseph structures that may have been soldiers’ barracks, private homes of soldiers, or even the commandant’s house. So if the soldiers at Fort St. Joseph were prohibited from adopting various items of Native clothing, their reasons for having European glass beads on hand may have been for personal trade. While the Fort St. Joseph commandants and soldiers received a salary, almost everyone at the fort was trading for personal gain. Bills and debts were typically settled through the exchange of goods and services since money was practically non-existent in the western Great Lakes region. Thus, soldiers would exchange items such as glass beads as a means of “paying” Natives to hunt for food, fish, create usable leather or other sundry items, or compensate for their physical labor. Soldiers and Wampum
Figure 1. Beaded altar cloth from Cathedral of Coutances, France (Turgeon 2001b: 89). Church decorating practices from France may have been employed in New France and in the western Great Lakes region. Records from Fort Pontchartrain at Detroit shed light on frontier mission church decorations. Timothy Kent noted that only a few liturgical articles and vestments were initially brought with the priest during the founding of Fort Pontchartrain. Decorative items for the church were fabricated at the fort, including cloth items from available “taffeta, satin, ribbons, gold fringe, [and] various braid” (Kent 2001: 325). If indeed these fabrics and trim were used at Fort Pontchartrain to decorate the church, this sacred space would have had a measure of opulence or luxury to it, as opposed to a bare, crude appearance one might expect on the frontier. It is evident through baptismal records, the Jesuit Relations, and the recovery of multitudes of religious artifacts that the Catholic faith was an integral part of communal and social life at Fort St. Joseph. It is plausible that devotion and sincerity of belief led the Fort St. Joseph inhabitants, especially the women, to embroider glass beads on items such as altar cloths for their mission chapels. If Fort Pontchartrain had a fairly decorated chapel, the Fort St. Joseph mission chapel could have had elaborate decorations as well. There are several bead types in the Fort St. Joseph collection that visually match the beads attached to the altar cloth in Figure 1. It is possible that the St. Joseph Mission was adorned with objects beaded in similar ways.
In addition to glass beads, fort soldiers were handling or curating wampum beads. Wampum is commonly defined as a cylindrical bead made of shell (Synderman 1954: 470). Since 2006, both white and purple wampum shell beads have been recovered from the site and many more beads have since been found. Wampum served several different functions in colonial Michigan. The first use was economic. Synderman discusses this being the case at Detroit, the site of Fort Pontchartrain: “Indeed, the account books of the Jesuit Mission for the eighteenth century indicate that the entire financial structure of Detroit was dependent on wampum” (1954: 470-471). The second use was political. At Fort Michilimackinac (Peyser 1978: documents 145 through 145.4) belts made of wampum were used as a symbol of allegiance during a meeting between the Native nations of the Kiskakons, the Chippewas, and the Saginaw, and the French General La Jonquière. In their interactions the wampum belts were used as a talking point with each side re-iterating their original agreements on gift giving, living situations, and on not trading with the English. This was a very formal situation with formal language and gestures, and the belts became public symbols of the speeches being given. Charlevoix discussed the symbolism of the mixture of bead colors, which formed figures and characters on wampum belts. Once wampum belts were exchanged Charlevoix recorded that Native nations viewed belts they received as “publick treasures” kept in the “cabin of the chief” (1966: 320). Finally, Natives employed wampum in personal adornment. According to Armour (1977: 18-19), wampum was a visual form of wealth that upper Great Lakes Native women wanted to display on fashionable occasions. Women would decorate Le Journal
their hair with wampum beads. Men would wear wampum in their scalp lock of hair, in their ears, and sometimes in their noses. Charlevoix also remarked that wampum beads were important adornment items:“I took notice that the porcelain in these countries are shells…They likewise hung them at their necks, as being the most precious things they had, and to this day their greatest riches and finest ornaments consist of them” (1966: 318-319). Armour (1977) and Vandreuil (1718: 887) describe Great Lakes Natives using wampum for body and hair adornment. Also, there is strong evidence that the Potawatomi near Fort St. Joseph were adorning themselves in this manner, especially at formal events. Thus, wampum had different functions and could have arrived at Fort St. Joseph through various mechanisms.Though not a massive military fort, Fort St. Joseph was an important site for alliance maintenance, producing key officers who dealt with alliance issues. It is very likely that wampum belts moved through Fort St. Joseph and may have been stored or curated there. The French crown also had a policy of passing out loose wampum beads to Native chiefs as presents (Kent 2001: 880). However, loose shell wampum beads were not always readily available. Occasionally, the French took apart wampum belts that they were given and reworked the beads into new belts to be distributed at political meetings with Natives (Kent 2001: 882). Kent notes that French officials paid a Native woman to do this wampum belt work. To solve the problem of the shortage of shell wampum the New France Governor communicated with Versailles to discuss the creation of an imitation form of wampum using ceramic or marble (Kent 2001: 882). However, these materials were deemed too heavy to function as wampum beads. Instead, white, black, and blue slender tubular beads of glass (rassade façon de porcelaine) were created, and shipped to places such as Green Bay in present day Wisconsin (Kent 2001: 883). It is possible that some of these imitation wampum beads ended up at Fort St. Joseph, as there are several glass bead types in the collection that fit this description. These glass wampum beads could have been used as an exchange item and/or a political item at Fort St. Joseph.
to be embroidered onto gloves, belts, purses, boots, shirts, and coats, as well as on bed canopies, cushions, altar cloths and chasubles (Turgeon 2001a: 70). To supplement this information Turgeon examined excavated Parisian beads from the Jardins du Carrousel collection recovered from garbage ditches just west of the Louvre. This collection dates from 1564 to 1610, and though it is much earlier than the occupation of Fort St. Joseph, it can still be used for comparison. In fact, the Fort St. Joseph collection contains eight bead types that exactly match beads recovered from the Jardins collection. The existence of matching bead types demonstrates a continuity of bead styles and manufacturing techniques over several centuries. It is possible that these adornment styles were incorporated into the clothing and personal and/or household items of the French-Canadian inhabitants of Fort St. Joseph, especially if the glass beads were readily accessible as a commonly delivered trade item. In the 16th century the Parisian beads were being produced for a French customer market. As the demand for beads spread across New France, these bead types were easily translatable into a trade item. Since the glass beads in the Jardins collection were all of the streamlined drawn manufacturing method, production of these bead types could have easily been increased to accommodate New World demand. Therefore, the same bead types could have been used in French-Canadian homes as well as in trade with nearby Native peoples. Inhabitants and Beaded Rosaries In addition to altar cloths, rosaries are another religious item often constructed from beads. Wilkins, a rosary scholar, explains that rosaries were made from beads that “usually had some sacred or magical virtue” (1969: 25). The origins of the rosary go back to medieval times when crusading knights were influenced by Eastern men praying on beads or always holding prayer beads in their hands (Patton 1922; Wills 2005). The materials for early Christian rosaries began simply as knots in a string, or as beads of inexpensive materials such as wood, bone, horn or even polished coal (jet) called “gagat” (Wilkins 1969; Winston-Allen 1997). By the 15th century the rosary had become an established Catholic praying tool (Wills 2005).
French-Canadian Inhabitants I investigated the history of French bead use, since the bead collection was excavated within structures interpreted as French-Canadian, that is, within French context. Because cultural and religious ideas for proper adornment were transferred to the New World, it can be deduced that traditional bead adornment practices were also transferred from mainland France. French bead makers, predominantly Parisian, produced beads of glass, shell, and other materials. Turgeon (2001a: 66) examined post-mortem inventories of bead makers’ shops dating from 1562 to 1610. His examination revealed that the most common bead materials were glass, enamel, and jet, followed by “shell, amber, coral, cornelian, chalcedony, rock crystal, wood, horn, bone, copper and ivory.” These bead makers were producing beads used by the French to create rosaries, rings, bracelets, and necklaces; to adorn belts, dresses, hats, and earrings; and as buttons. Work orders from customers called for glass beads Le Journal
Rosaries “are a circlet containing five groups of beads, with a pendant string of five beads and a crucifix” (Wills 2005: 13), though there are many variations on this standard. Rosaries were made in London by paternosters, named after the Latin pater noster ‘Our Father,’ the first words of the Lord’s Prayer. Referring first to the prayer, this designation came to symbolize the beads themselves (Winston-Allen 1997). Religious rules at the time stressed that the rosary should be worn around the neck or arm, on a belt, or carried in the hands (Winston-Allen 1997). Winston-Allen (1997) notes several interesting facts regarding rosaries. The first is that bead making offered European women a viable cottage industry. Secondly, women, rather than men, typically prayed the rosary and made up the majority of the membership of rosary confraternities. Lastly, Winston-Allen notes that rosaries served several primary purposes: as a devotional item, as a decorative item of religious jewelry, and as a power-filled amulet to ward off evil.
Rosaries were also linked to magic throughout most of the Spanish colonial era (Deagan 2002: 38). Gagat, the polished coal or jet, was believed to have magical and protective qualities and was used for rosaries as well as other religious items such as amulets and ornaments (2002: 68). Deagan discussed the popularity of coral:“Coral was believed in Spain to have a number of special qualities, probably stemming from its red, bloodlike color, which promotes the belief that it protects against illness” (2002: 68). These materials—coral and jet—were present in the shops of the French bead makers (Turgeon 2001b: 89), possibly for use in French rosaries with the same or similar magical meanings. The use of religious items for protection or as an amulet was not unique to the Spanish colonists. Moogk (2000) enumerates similar uses of religious items by French colonists. These uses include: written prayers as amulets (2000: 235-236), certain words as magic (2000: 236-237), and crucifixes worn for protection (2000: 247-248). Deagan suggests that one method of distinguishing rosary beads from jewelry beads is when rosary beads are “recovered with their metal linking elements attached” (2002: 70). In addition, she states that amber or tawny colored glass beads are usually uncommon on colonial sites and therefore their presence may be “primarily associated with rosaries” (2002:72). Turgeon (2001a:63) confirms that amber colored beads and red bone beads found in Parisian context are most likely from rosaries or necklaces. The Jesuit Relations, an early ethnographic chronicle of Jesuit missions in New France, contains several entries discussing the shipment of rosaries to New France. In the western Great Lakes, Fort Michilimackinac was a distribution center for goods traveling to Fort St. Joseph. Fort Michilimackinac researcher Stone (1974: 117) explains that rosaries “were common in the Mackinac Straits area as early as 1680.” Stone remarks that the recovery of rosary beads at Fort Michilimackinac indicates their use as religious apparel and as a trade item throughout the entirety of the French period. Heldman’s (1977) field report of his work at Fort Michilimackinac provides a picture of white rosary beads (material not listed, appears to be white glass) with metal links (Figure 2). His interpretation of this beaded item as part of a rosary is seconded by Deagan’s interpretation of similarly recovered beads with metal links. Figure 2. “Rosary Chain” recovered from Fort Michilimackinac (from Heldman 1977: Figure 64, B). Brandão and Nassaney (2008: 494) note that “like their Catholic relatives in the St. Lawrence valley” the French at Fort St. Joseph “believed in the need for, and value of, prayer, attending mass, and confessing and atoning for sins.” It is therefore safe to conclude that these people owned and used rosaries as prayer devices. The Fort St. Joseph collection does have a few bead types that fit the parameters of rosary beads examined by other bead researchers. The most likely glass rosary bead is Type 44—a red bead. As discussed previously, the body of this bead is quite spherical as rosary beads tend to be, and is of the desired red color that symbolized health.
A second glass bead that could be from a rosary is a white tubular, glass bead that has been threaded onto a piece of wire with curved bends on each end. A second curved-end wire was found in association with this specimen, and the two wires appear identical (see Figure 3).
Figure 3. White glass bead with metal links recovered from Fort St. Joseph. Using Deagan’s data, I conclude that these two pieces were from a rosary that broke or fell apart. These links are remarkably similar to a rosary fragment recovered by Heldman (1977) at Fort Michilimackinac (see Figure 2). There is a possibility of more Fort St. Joseph rosary beads within the non-glass bead category. Fort St. Joseph Type 21 contains three spherical bone beads and one bead fragment. Deagan (2002), Stone (1974) and Turgeon (2001a) all recorded bone as a material used for rosary beads. One Type 21 Fort St. Joseph bead is perfectly spherical, indicating that it might have been turned on a lathe. A second Type 21 bead has unequal aperture ends and could have been made by hand, while the third bead has a more oval shape. These beads are stained with the same “water” stain on their natural tanish-sandy coloration, suggesting that they might have come from the same rosary. To summarize, most of the existing literature regarding bead collections and bead use suggest that imported beads were produced and intended strictly as trade items for Native peoples. However, I have attempted to demonstrate that traditional French use of such beaded objects went well beyond trade; beads were used on French clothing, as household items, for Catholic Church adornments, and as sacred objects, specifically as rosaries. It is likely that the French-Canadian inhabitants of Fort St. Joseph employed beads for all of these purposes. Inhabitants and Adopted Adornment The adoption of Native clothing by the French-Canadian inhabitants of Fort St. Joseph reflects the blending of cultures in the New World. Direct contact and interaction between Native and European cultures resulted in changed behaviors, beliefs, and material items used in daily life (Quimby 1966; Turgeon 2001b; Nassaney 2008). The French had to modify their behavior to fit into their surroundings and to survive their new environments. Conversely, Native peoples had to adapt and deal with the presence of the French. Le Journal
Adornment objects were typically involved in the process of cross-cultural exchange. The French adopted Native adornment ideas, items, and styles. French and French-Canadian peoples adopted the use of moccasins as footwear (Moogk 2000: 219), and young men shed their shirts and worked in bare chests in hot weather (Eccles 1983: 90). Combinations of Native and European clothing were observed:“In the interior, the traditional native garments were adopted by great numbers of French men in place of breeches and stockings” (Kent 2001: 541) yet “both leather and woolen leggings were retained, and were utilized on different occasions by French and native wearers” (Kent 2001: 543). Even French-Canadian women were influenced by Native styles, as observed by Peter Kalm in 1749: The women in general are handsome here…they are very fond of adorning their heads.Their hair is always curled, powdered and ornamented with glittering bodkins and aigrettes [arrangement of feathers]. Every day but Sunday they wear a little neat jacket, and a short skirt which hardly reaches halfway down the leg, and sometime not that far. And in this particular they seem to imitate the Indian women (Benson 1966: 402-403). Clothing changed the most for French-Canadian voyageurs and coureurs de bois as these men adopted various elements of Native clothing styles such as breechcloths, leggings, leg ties, moccasins, trade shirt and sash. They also incorporated Native means of carrying personal items such as tump-lines, beaded pouches, and neck knife pouches (Gibbon 1936; Eccles 1983: 8 and 89, Kent 2001: 543). All of the above examples are behaviors and lifestyle changes not seen in France at this time. Collectively, they demonstrate how the identities of New France inhabitants were changing to accommodate the conditions and environment in which they lived. Through cultural exchange, intermarriage, or just daily living with Native slaves, the French and French-Canadians were becoming less French. They were establishing an identity unique to New France. At Fort St. Joseph glass beads were recovered from each excavation unit, with the majority of beads being recovered from within French habitation structures. Since Fort St. Joseph was not a major distribution center, trade was most likely personal. Glass beads stored in homes could have been kept for this purpose. Additionally, Frenchmen married to Native or Metís wives, along with Metís children, could have worn clothing items beaded in the Native style, probably mixed with European clothing in various combinations. Beads at Fort St. Joseph were used to signal the self—one’s identity—whether it be the commandant’s wife trying to maintain her Frenchness through beaded shoes; the pious Metís godmother wearing a rosary at her belt; the voyageur whose beaded pouch and moccasins were gifts from his Native wife; or their children who wore a combination of cloth shirts, wampum hair ornaments, glass bead necklaces, and beaded leather leggings. Native Bead Use Before the importation of European glass beads pre-contact Native adornment included painting of the skin, hair, and clothing along with adornment of heads, hair, necks, wrists, Le Journal
elbows, waists, knees, ankles, weapons, bags and baby cradleboards. Natives peoples used naturally occurring items for adornment such as feathers, stone, mineral pigments, ceramic, native copper, shells, bone, teeth, antler, porcupine quills, rock crystals, berries, nuts and even fruits and flowers (Quimby 1966;Turgeon 2001a). Many of these items do not survive in the archaeological record and instead are recorded through documents, drawings, and oral histories. In the Great Lakes there are indicators that color symbolism was part of regional Native spiritualism. Perrot remarked that white animals were preferable for sacrifices, and that red paint was often applied on sacrificial occasions (Blair 1996: 61). La Potherie recorded that quills used for embroidery were dyed red, yellow, green, blue or black, then used in pre-determined designs on skins, bark, pipes, tobacco and tinder bags, knife and paint-stick cases, amulets, tunics, shirts, leggings, belts, arm and leg bands (Blair 1996: 327-328). The Illinois nation was recorded as utilizing “wood rats and malodorous animals, whose hides they color black, red, and yellow” (Quaife 1962: 121-122). When a Great Lakes Native woman with children became a widow the village would paint the face and hair of the deceased red, and put him in a white shirt. Then relatives came to the widow with gifts of red or blue blankets, and yellow or red kettles along with other items (Quaife 1962: 135136). These observations indicate that Great Lakes Natives had a history of adorning themselves and their personal objects with symbolically meaningful colors. There is evidence in the Fort St. Joseph excavated bead collection that some of the Native pre-contact adornment practices were not fully abandoned with the introduction and easy supply of glass trade beads. Fort St. Joseph Type 27 contains one grey/putty colored stone bead. Type 46, the barrel bone or plant-seed bead introduced in the rosary section, also has uneven apertures that could have been drilled by hand. These beads, as well as other artifacts such as Native stone pipes and gaming pieces, add to the evidence indicating that segments of Native culture were sustained after the introduction and subsequent settling of the St. Joseph River area by French-Canadians. Yet, it cannot be denied that introduced European glass beads became integrated into the adornment practices of these neighboring Natives. Most likely, the above Native beads were worn in conjunction with European glass beads. Loren (2008) records Creoles mixing decorative items. Mason (1986) observed a mixing of indigenous beads, glass beads, and decorative items in Ottawa graves at Rock Island, Wisconsin. The Potawatomi at Fort St. Joseph were likely beading garments such as shirts, shawls, leggings, and moccasins, as well as using glass beads to adorn their bodies, hair and other portable objects such as bags. Black, white and blue glass beads recovered archaeologically could have been used to create necklaces and headbands. These beaded objects were not mass produced as trade objects. Although some beaded items may have been traded person-to-person during more intimate exchanges, they were primarily destined for personal and familial use. It is possible that Fort St. Joseph French-Canadians with Native or Métis family members were also adorned in this manner. One can begin to visualize how glass trade beads were specifically used by western Great Lakes Native nations, in combination with the widely traded shell beads that increased in popularity under colonialism.
In sum, this article demonstrates that far beyond being a simple trade item, beads had multiple uses in colonial New France. The Fort St. Joseph beads were sometimes used in ethnically traditional ways, although new identities were expressed as traditional and introduced adornment patterns became mixed. The reasons behind bead use were as varied as cultural attitudes towards adornment, religious affiliation expression, superstition and amulet protection, appropriation of introduced items, and cultural color preferences. The people of Fort St. Joseph were engaged in new social situations and interactions, allowing for individuals to fill or create new social identities— economically, politically, religiously, or through familial relations. These new identities were outwardly expressed through adornment with both glass and non-glass beads, in ways that subtly differed from other contemporaneous sites in the western Great Lakes.
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populations that relied on the services of an itinerant priest), this paper examines variation in Catholic ecumenical economic practices in the western Great Lakes region.
Stone, Lyle M. 1974 Fort Michilimackinac, 1715-1781: An Archaeological Perspective on the Revolutionary Frontier. Publications of the Museum, Michigan State University, Anthropological Series, Vol. 2, East Lansing.
It has long been stated that the founding of the colony of New France was predicated upon fish, fur and faith.The monetary success for the first of these two was almost certainly assured at or before the founding of the permanent habitation at Quebec in 1608. The Atlantic cod fishery off the Grand Banks was the initial draw to the coast of Canada.The first European explorers described the waters as being so bountiful you just had to lower a basket to bring it up full of fish (Faulkner 1985; Pope 2008).The cod fishery remained of such importance to the French crown that when the Treaty of Paris was signed ending the Seven Years War in 1763, France ceded all of Canada to the British save two small islands off of Newfoundland.To this day Saint Pierre and Miquelon represent the sole remaining vestige of France’s once vast North American possessions.
Thwaites, Reuben Gold (editor) 1901 Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents, vols. 1-74. Burrows Brothers, Cleveland, OH. Turgeon, Laurier G. 2001a French Beads in France and Northeastern North America During the Sixteenth Century. Historical Archaeology 35(4): 58-81. 2001b Material Culture and Cross-Cultural Consumption: French Beads in North America, 1500-1700. Studies in the Decorative Arts 9(1):85-107. Vandreuil 1718 Memoir on the Indians between Lake Erie and the Mississippi. In Transcripts of Documents in the Archives of the “Ministère De la Marine Et Des Colonies,” of the “Ministère De La Guerre,” and in the “Bibliothèque Du Roi,” at Paris, Paris Documents I-VIII, 1613-1744. New York Colonial Manuscripts. Wilkins, Eithne 1969 The Rose-Garden Game: The Symbolic Background to the European Prayer-Beads. Victor Gollancz Ltd., London. Wills, Garry 2005 The Rosary: Prayer Comes Round. Penguin Books, NY. Winston-Allen, Anne 1997 Stories of the Rose: The Making of the Rosary in the Middle Ages.The Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park.
The High Cost of Souls: Economic Practices of Jesuit Missionaries in the Pays d’en Haut Andrew Beaupré, 235 Upper Pleasant Valley Rd., Unit 201, Jeffersonville, VT 05464. firstname.lastname@example.org
[Editor’s note: An earlier version of this paper was presented at the annual conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology, Amelia Island, FL, January, 2010. Andrew Beaupré is currently a Western Michigan University graduate student conducting research on the materiality of religion in New France.] It is evident from the Jesuit Relations that missionaries relied on economic support from the Society of Jesus as well as private donations to fund religious activities on the French colonial frontier. However, information gleaned from archaeological investigations as well as examination of historical documents may indicate other means of support available to the Jesuits in the Upper Country of New France. Employing evidence from a number of Jesuit mission sites that differ in demographics, population, and church involvement (from missions with a permanent Jesuit presence to Le Journal
The fur trade is a direct outgrowth of the Grand Banks fishery. Fisherman landed to dry their catch and soon began to trade for furs with the Indians and gradually this trade grew (Trigger 1965:33).The fur trade was an incredibly lucrative enterprise in the early 16th century. Though the profit margin decreased over time, the fur trade remained vital to French-Native relations in the American interior (Peyser 1992:61-69). The fur trade and the fishing industry were both at the very least self sufficient enterprises and at most mammoth capital earning ventures in the New World. The pursuit of souls for Christ however, did not have a quick investment return ratio. Because the foundations of Canada were commercial rather than agricultural, the Jesuit missionary church had to concern itself with economic matters to a great extent (Jaenen 1976:69). Although its members took a vow of poverty that prevented the missionaries from owning personal property, the Society of Jesus was not a mendicant order. The order therefore enjoyed substantial revenues from donations and bequests, rents on lands in France and Canada, royal subventions as well as other endowments, which they employed to underwrite their mission (Axtell 1985:79, 278). For the purpose of this discussion I have separated the funding sources available to the Jesuits of New France into three distinct categories: external funding from donations to the missionary effort, internal funding from the order’s assets, and site based micro-funding entrepreneurial enterprises.Though the missions in the pays d’en haut may not have directly benefited from all the funding sources discussed, at one time in the order’s history all of the sources were vital to the survival of the greater missionary effort and therefore enabled the founding of the missions in the pays d’en haut in the later half of the French period. External Funding The ability of the Society of Jesus to raise money for the colony played a pivotal role in the preservation of New France. Following the return of the colony to French hands after the Kirke brothers’ occupation of Quebec in the late 1620s, the colony’s coffers were effectively empty.The fishing and fur industries, neither of which required a developed infrastructure, lacked the forward capital required to settle the colony (Eccles 1987:27). The Jesuits succeeded in obtaining sizable sums
of money from a wealthy secret society, the compagnie de Sainte-Sacrement. Renowned Canadian historian W.J. Eccles (1987:27) describes this group as “a blend of the present day Salvation Army, the Carnegie Foundation and the mafia.” Philanthropic enterprises such as the Jesuit missions, were but one of the three endeavors which this organization pursued. The remaining two were the persecution of perceived enemies of the Catholic faith (i.e., Jews and Protestants) and puritanical moral improvements such as the banning of exposed cleavage, gambling, and theater. (Axtell 1985:40). Though the company’s motives may not have always been altruistic it was nonetheless a powerful group.The compagnie de Sainte-Sacrement’s political dealings rendered the placement of one of its members to the position of the first Bishop of Canada, Francois Laval-Montigny (Axtell 1985:40).These same political dealings proved to be the Company’s undoing. In the 1660s Louis XIV prohibited the activities of the company and the Jesuits had lost a major benefactor for their cause in the New World (Jaenen 1976:72). The Compaigne was by no means the only source of private donations that the Jesuits received. Especially during the early period of missionary work in the colony, many devout individuals in France pledged large quantities of their personal fortunes to the Jesuit cause (Jaenen 1976:71).The primary vehicle for this fundraising campaign was the published Jesuit Relations (JR).This voluminous series of annual reports consists of letters written by missionaries in the field, edited by their Superior in Quebec, sent to the Parisian office of the Jesuit Order, and published as popular literature for wider consumption.The Relations include several pleas by the Jesuits for funding from private benefactors. I hope that the good God will obtain for me, by means of some zealous persons, the things which may help us to win these poor savages. . . If I had the advantage possessed by some of our Fathers, who have annuities in France, I would with only a hundred francs make many conversions (JR 17:423-424). Appeals to the public such as these were effective in recruiting benefactors from the French nobility.This media vehicle was short lived however. In the 1670s the Jesuit Relations ceased to be published, thereby putting an end to one of the most influential appeals for support of the missions (Jaenen 1976: 72).Though private donation did continue, it was not with the same fervor. The last major source of external founding was the French government. After the crown took control of the colony in 1662, the state provided an average of 40% of the funds that were at the Jesuits’ disposal (Eccles 1989:29; Frégault 1968:105). France was a Catholic nation and the goal of conversion of the Natives was a responsibility that the crown was obligated to uphold.This commitment lasted throughout the French occupation of North America and is evident in numerous documents. In his instructions to the Governor and Lieutenant-general of New France, dated 7th May 1726, King Louis XV stated: It is his Majesty’s will that the governor particularly employ the authority vested in him to promote, as much as will be in his power, the service of God throughout the entire Colony, and the spread of the Christian religion over all the Indians.To this end, he must be aiding in all ways to the Missionaries, to the Jesuits and Friars, who are laboring for the salvation of souls (NYCD Paris Documents 8:983).
It is important to note that endless funds were not supplied to the Jesuits by the crown. In a letter to the king the Governor and Intendant mentioned that the Jesuits have spent their allotted 6000 livres royal subvention, which was almost 60% of the annual budget and now are entering a plea for additional funding. That the Hurons of Detroit are asking for a Missionary, whereby they would be attached more strongly to the French.They [the Jesuits] are ready to supply one, hoping that his Majesty will be pleased to furnish his maintenance (NYCD: Paris Documents 8:995). The King’s response to the request for increased Jesuit funding was less than cordial. In a letter to Messrs. Beauharnois and Dupuy dated at Versailles, May 14, 1728, Louis XV wrote: If Messrs. de Beauharnais and Dupuy consider it necessary to allow the Hurons of Detroit a Missionary, according to their desire, his Majesty will approve of the Jesuits sending one thither; but he is very glad to explain to them, at the same time, that he shall not allow any increase of expense for that service (NYCD Paris Documents 8:996). Internal Funding The second source of Jesuit financial support in New France was internal funding generated from within the Jesuit order. A predetermined advantage the Jesuits enjoyed in the missionary activities was the wealth of the order itself. The missionary effort in New France enjoyed revenues from the interest on reserve funds, bequests, and revenues from properties in France (Jaenen 1976: 72). The Jesuits also had income from lands in New France. In the early years of the colony Jesuits acquired important properties.The goal was to become self-supporting as rapidly as possible. Self-sufficiency was not achieved as hoped; none of the lands in the St. Lawrence Valley were particularly fertile compared to French agricultural returns. In 1663 the Jesuits held the largest area of cleared farmland in Canada (Jaenen 1976:70). In 1701 the Society of Jesus collected rents in Canada totaling 3,430 livres, which amounted to a return of less than 1% on seigneurial investments (Axtell 1985: 345; JR 65 181-87).The grain yield from this land had an additional purpose besides the production of bread. In 1646 the order commissioned Brother Ambroise Cauvet to brew ale and beer. Pre-dating the state brewery founded by Intendant Talon in 1666, the order’s brewery could dispose of surplus wheat and recoup some of the losses on seigneurial rent at the price of 25 livres a barrel (Douville and Casanova 1968:170). Micro-Funding The third source of Jesuit funding in New France—what I have dubbed micro funding—is specifically related to the missions of the pays d’en haut. The first of these mirco-industries was the Jesuit exploitation of the fur trade for monetary gain (Figure 1).The commercial origins of the Canadian colony imposed on the French church a measure of participation in the exploitation of New World resources (Jaenen1976:73).The first Jesuit missionaries to Acadia actually entered into a commercial contract with a fur trade merchant.
is evident in the documentary record. When the blacksmith, Jean Baptist Amiot argued with a Jesuit at Michilimakinac, Father Du Jaunay, Du Jaunay fired Amiot, and when Amiot opened his own business, the Jesuits demanded half of his profits because the crown had granted the Jesuits a monopoly on blacksmith work at Michilimackinac (Moran 1994:33-34).
Figure 1. Map showing three archaeological sites in the pays d’en haut. Fort Michilimackinac and the Francis Xavier Mission both show evidence of site based micro-funding. There is no smallscale ecumenical funding evident at Fort St. Joseph. This maneuver enabled harsh criticism had individuals accused the Jesuits of coming to the New World “to convert beavers rather than savages.”The papal reply to such accusation was the beaver pelts were an accepted medium of exchange in the colony and Jesuits were employing them “in order to lessen the expenses of their establishments in heathen lands” (Jaenen 1976 :73;Trigger 1965). Papal bulls of 1633 and 1669, however, reversed this position in response to commercial activities among Jesuits in Canada as well as those trading in the silks of Japan (Jaenen 1976:75). Accusations of ungentlemanly trading for commercial gain against the Jesuits continued throughout the French occupation of the North American interior.The attorney general of Quebec accused the Jesuits of active trading among the Ottawa and in 1705 he followed with accusations of commercial ventures in the Illinois country and at Michilimackinac (Jaenen 1976: 75). Whether the Jesuits engaged in illegal fur trade at Michilimackinac may never be known. However, there was a welldocumented commercial endeavor underway within the walls of the fort.Throughout the entire French period the Jesuits owned and operated the blacksmith shop at Fort Michilimackinac (Moran 1994:32).Though the blacksmith was capable of creating utilitarian wares, such as door handles and latches, records indicate that most hardware was imported. The blacksmith spent most of his time repairing metal objects, especially weapons (Evans 2003:21). The Jesuit economic control of the blacksmith is reflected in the spatial relation of the shop to the Jesuit house.This is evident through the extensive archaeological research undertaken at Fort Michilimackinac over the past fifty years (Figure 2). Control of a much-desired industry such as the blacksmith brought significant profits to the clerics in their missionary labors (Moran 1994:32).The blacksmith in the direct employ of the Jesuit Father was paid annually “400 livres and a few pots of brandy,” which exceeded his salary tenfold (JR 17:423-424). A profitearning venture such as this was highly valued by the Jesuits, as Le Journal
Figure 2.The ecumenical control of the blacksmith at Michilimackinac can be seen in the spatial orientation of the buildings in the reconstructed fort. The blacksmith shop, foreground left, is attached via a breezeway to the priest’s house. The church of Saint Anne can be seen looming directly behind. Moving westward through Lake Superior, the Jesuits founded the St. Francis Xavier Mission in proximity to the French fort near present day Green Bay, Wisconsin (Foley 1983:10). Though archaeological evidence of the Xavier Mission is all but non-existent (Mason 1986), historical references do indicate similar economic practices as have been documented at Michilimackinac.The mission proper was not founded until 1671, but there had been a missionary presence since the fort was founded in 1634. Father Hennepin, a member of the La Salle expedition and a Recollet priest, accused the Jesuits of both financial ventures discussed above. The last six leagues, and three leagues lower down, and at the mouth of this river in the Bay of the Puans, is a house of the Jesuits, who have truly the key of the country of Beaverland where a brother blacksmith, whom they have and two companions convert more iron into beaver than the Fathers do Indians into Christians (Shea 1880: 365). The final site to be discussed is that of Fort St. Joseph. Founded as a Jesuit mission in 1691 and later a garrison and trading post complex as well, Fort St. Joseph is an anomaly as it has no recorded instances of site based micro-funding enterprise undertaken by the Jesuits. Another characteristic that sets Fort St. Joseph apart from Fort Michilimackinac and Green Bay is that there was never a permanent Jesuit priest present (Brandão and Nassaney 2009:490; Peyser 1992). My research suggests that they may not be coincidental. Prior to the establishment of Fort St. Joseph, ecumenical care of the Natives in the area fell within the sphere of Michilimackinac (Brandão and Nassaney 2009: 481). After the crown granted lands to the Jesuits for the creation of the mission, the tie between the two entities remained. Though no priest was stationed at Fort St. Joseph permanently, baptismal records indicate the presence of itinerant priests
visiting Fort St. Joseph; most of these priests were stationed at Michilimackinac.The theory that Fort St. Joseph operated as a satellite mission to Michilimackinac would seem a simple explanation. Yet the Jesuits would appear to have lost out on a sizable potential profit. The blacksmith operating at Fort St. Joseph was in direct employ of the crown. Payment records reveal that while the blacksmiths at Michilimackinac were kept busy with repairing guns and metal objects for their Jesuit employers, the same work was being undertaken at Fort St. Joseph for the French and their numerous Pottawatomi allies. Yet the blacksmith here was billing the crown directly (Nassaney 2008: 310-311). Archaeological evidence of the blacksmith’s activity has been recovered in excavations (Figure 3) (Nassaney 2008:310-311). It seems that the monopoly on working metal did not extend to the “satellite mission” of Fort St. Joseph.
References Cited Axtell, James 1985 The Invasion Within: The Contest of Cultures in Colonial North America. Oxford University Press, NY. Brandão, José, and Michael Nassaney 2008 Suffering for Jesus: Penitential Practices at Fort St. Joseph (Niles, MI) During the French Regime. The Catholic Historical Review 94(3): 476-499. Douville, Raymond, and Jacques Donat Casanova 1968 Daily Life in Early Canada, Volume 12. Macmillan Press, NY. Eccles, W.J. 1987 Essays on New France. Oxford University Press,Toronto. Evans, Lynn 2003 Keys to the Past: Archaeological Treasures of Mackinac. Mackinac Island State Parks Commission, Mackinac Island, MI. Faulkner, Alaric 1985 Archaeology of the Cod Fishery: Damariscove Island. Historical Archaeology 19(2):57-86. Foley, Betsy 1983 Green Bay: Gateway to the Great Waterway. Windsor Publications, Woodland Hills, CA. Frégault, Guy 1968 Le XVIIIe Siècle Canadien. Etudes, Montreal. Jaenen, Cornelius 1976 The Role of the Church in New France. McGraw-Hill Ryerson, Toronto, ON. Mason, Ronald J. 1986 Rock Island: Historical Indian Archaeology in the Northern Lake Michigan Basin. MCJA Special Paper No. 6,The Kent State University Press. Kent, OH.
Figure 3. A small sample of the more than 100 gun parts recovered from a single excavation unit at Fort St. Joseph is evidence of 18th-century blacksmithing. Photo taken by John Lacko, provided courtesy of the Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project. Conclusion Though the sample size is small, there may be a pattern in the ways in which the Jesuits obtained financial support in the pays d’en haut during the French regime. All the missions in the Great Lakes region undoubted benefited in some way from external donations to the Jesuit order and internal funding from the Society’s holdings. It seems that micro-funding is what set some missions apart from others. The hard work of the blacksmith at Michilimackinac seems to have bankrolled the conversion attempts of not only the Native groups in direct association with the settlement, but those hundreds of miles away at Fort St. Joseph as well.The question remains, did Fort St Joseph not have a micro-funding industry because it was a satellite mission, or did it remain a satellite mission, with no permanent Jesuit in residence for lack of site based funding? Interestingly enough, the revenues from these entrepreneurial enterprises do not appear on the Jesuit budgets shown in the Jesuit Relations.Yet these funds from small commercial endeavors were vital to the survival of the missions in the Upper Country.
Morand, Lynn L. 1994 Craft Industries at Michilimackinac, 1715-1781. Archaeological Completion Report Series Number 1, Mackinac State Historic Parks, Mackinac, MI. NYCD 1664-1788 Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York. Compiled from official records in the office of the Secretary of State, Albany, New York. Accessed on CD-Rom. Peyser, Joseph L. 1992 Letters from New France: The Upper Country, 1686-1783. University of Illinois Press, Urbana. Pope, Peter 2008 The Archaeology of France’s Migratory Fishery on Newfoundland’s Petit Nord. In Dreams of the America: Overview of New France Archaeology, edited by Christian Roy and Hélène Côté, pp. 38-54. Archéologiques, Collection Hors Séries 2. Shea, John Gilmary 1880 A Description of Louisiana, by Father Louis Hennepin, Recollect Missionary.Translated from the edition of 1683, John G. Shea, NY. Thwaites, Reuben Gold 1888-1911 The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents. Cleveland. Trigger, Bruce G. 1965 The Jesuits and the Fur Trade. Ethnohistory 12(1): 30-53.
2010 CFCS Conference Michiana (South Bend, Indiana/Niles, Michigan) October 22-24, 2010 Conference Theme:The French in Michigan Conference Organizer: Michael Shakir Nassaney Western Michigan University The annual conference of the Center for French Colonial Studies will be held in Michiana, October 22-24, 2010.The area is of interest to the members of the CFCS because the French established Fort St. Joseph in 1691 in Niles to serve as a mission, garrison, and trading post complex until it was abandoned in 1781.The site is currently under investigation by Western Michigan University archaeologists. Conference participants will have the opportunity to tour the archaeological site and local commemorative monuments, view recently excavated finds, and learn more about the French presence in the pays d’en haut, or Upper Country. The theme of the conference will be appropriately “The French in Michigan,” underscoring the enduring presence of the French in the Great Lakes state, particularly in the Detroit area, the Straits of Mackinac, and the St. Joseph River Valley. Program presenters will discuss various aspects of French colonial and post-colonial history and culture in the Great Lakes state including interactions with Native Americans, consequences of the fur trade, evidence of material culture, early colonial settlements and subsistence practices, and change and continuity in French culture before and after the conquest. Dr. José António Brandão has agreed to serve as discussion moderator. The conference begins with a wine and cheese reception on Friday evening, followed by a day of presentations by six speakers and a moderated discussion on Saturday. After a Saturday evening banquet there will be 18th-century entertainment consisting of professional dancers and historical re-enactors.The Friday and Saturday events will be held at the Inn at St. Mary’s Hotel and Suites, the official conference hotel located immediately adjacent to I-90.The conference concludes on Sunday morning after the attendees enjoy a “behind the scenes and beneath the ground” tour of the Fort St. Joseph site and artifact collections in Niles, Michigan. 2010 CFCS Conference Proposed Paper Titles and Authors The French of Orchard Country: Territory, Landscape and Ethnicity in the Detroit River Region, 1682-1815, Guillaume Teasdale,York University All Sources Are Not Created Equal: A Cautionary Tale; Taking a Fresh Look at Sources and Resources for the History of New France and Michigan, Suzanne Boivin Sommerville, Independent Scholar The River Raisin: A Comparative Look, Dennis Au, Independent Scholar Material Culture of the Western Great Lakes during the French Regime, Timothy Kent, Independent Scholar The French at the Straits of Mackinac, Lynn Evans, Director of Archaeological Research, Fort Michilimackinac Indian Women and French Men: Rethinking Cultural Encounter in the Great Lakes, Susan Sleeper-Smith, Michigan State University Le Journal
2010 CFCS Conference Program Friday, 10/22 5-7 pm Wine and Cheese reception (Inn at St. Mary’s Hotel and Suites, South Bend, IN) Saturday, 10/23 8-8:40 am Coffee/Registration (Inn at St. Mary’s Hotel and Suites) 8:40-9 Welcome to Michiana 9-9:50 he French of Orchard Country: Territory, Landscape and Ethnicity in the Detroit River Region, 1682-1815, Guillaume Teasdale,York University 9:50-10:40 All Sources Are Not Created Equal: A Cautionary Tale; Taking a Fresh Look at Sources and Resources for the History of New France and Michigan, Suzanne Boivin Sommerville, Independent Scholar 10:40-11 BREAK 11-11:50 The River Raisin: A Comparative Look, Dennis Au, Independent Scholar 12-1:15 pm LUNCH 1:15-2:10 Material Culture of the Western Great Lakes during the French Regime Timothy Kent, Independent Scholar 2:10-3:00 The French at the Straits of Mackinac, Lynn Evans, Fort Michilimackinac 3-3:15 BREAK 3:15-4:05 Indian Women and French Men: Rethinking Cultural Encounter in the Great Lakes, Susan Sleeper-Smith, Michigan State University 4:05-4:30 Comments and Panel Discussion Moderated by Dr. José António Brandão, Western Michigan University 4:30-6 Annual meeting followed by a short Board meeting 6:30-? Banquet followed by 18th Century Entertainment Sunday, 10/24 9-12:00 Orientation to the Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project, tour of the Fort St. Joseph site, and admission to the Fort St. Joseph Museum, Niles, MI. Accommodations The Inn at St. Mary’s Hotel & Suites, 53993 US 933, South Bend, IN 46637, 574-232-4000, 800-947-862730 has blocked 30 rooms for conference participants for October 22 and 23 at $99 per room plus tax.To reserve your room, call the hotel and say you are with the Center for French Colonial Studies. Any rooms not reserved in the block by September 22, 2010 will be released for public sale. Rooms reserved after September 22 will only qualify for the conference rate if rooms are available.
In Memory of William Lynn Potter (1951-2010) [Editor’s note:The entire board of the CFCS was saddened to hear that Bill Potter had died earlier this spring. Pierre Lebeau provided these sympathetic words in his memory.] Former president and long-time board member, Bill Potter passed away April 24, from an aggressive degenerative brain disease. He was sick only for a short time and died peacefully at home. Most people knew him for his activities as a French colonial, or British, re-enactor. A part he played so well it was difficult at first to tell the difference between the real person and the character he represented. It was obvious to anyone who knew him that Bill loved history. He could immerse himself totally in it, be it the American Revolutionary period or the French Colonial period of the Illinois Country. He shared this love readily and joyfully with all who met him. A graduate of Lewis University, Illinois, Bill received a Master of Arts degree in History and Archaeology from Murray State University, Kentucky. Actively involved in local and living history, Bill was on the Board of the Palos Historical Society. He was a founder and board member of the North West Territory Alliance. He helped organize many events in which the re-enactors of the King’s 8th Regiment of Foot were taking part, as well as the Sand Ridge Settlers Days and the Spirit of Vincennes Rendez-vous. Bill became a strong contributor to the activities of the Center for French Colonial Studies early in its history. He wrote the first by laws of the organization and was its president from 1993 to 1998. As board member for many years he actively, and sometimes passionately, contributed his wit and resourcefulness to the planning and execution of the varied activities of the Center. He conceived and launched the successful Extended Publications Series by editing and designing of the first monograph on Louis Lorimier in the American Revolution, by Paul Stevens. A talented artist, he designed and produced the illustrations and maps for the next four volumes. He also crafted models of French Colonial houses with posts in ground and posts on sill. A skilled photographer, he documented the activities of the Center as well as the numerous reenactment activities in which he took part. An experienced pilot, he occasionally took friends for aerial photos of the French sites in the Pays des Illinois. He also served on the board of the OX-5 Aviation Pioneers, a group of aviation enthusiasts whose mission is to preserve the history of air transportation and preserve the memory of pioneer airmen. There is no doubt that Bill Potter was an accomplished renaissance man. But his friends will also remember and miss him for his kindness, his conviviality and especially his gift of humor. The Board unanimously voted to name the Extended Publication Series after him in recognition of his devoted service to the Center for more than twenty years. Marcia and Pierre Lebeau represented the Center at the Memorial Reception, Sunday, May 2, at the Sand Ridge Nature Center, South Holland, Illinois. Another memorial service was held Sunday, May 30, at Vincennes Historic Park, Vincennes, Indiana. Donations in Bill’s memory can be made to the NWTA Scholarship Fund, 8417 Adbeth Ave., Woodridge, IL 60517.
Message from the President I hope all of you are enjoying a happy and healthy summer season. Your board has been very busy, holding a productive meeting at Springfield on April 24 and planning another one for July 10 at a different Illinois location. Please take some time to email me (email@example.com) about any issues or concerns you have about the Center, especially any agenda items you want the board to consider. In order to encourage a large turnout at the annual meeting in Michiana this October, we are considering the possibility of renting a well-equipped touring bus to take members from the metro St. Louis area to the conference. Please let me know by July 9 if you would be interested in that mode of transportation for the roughly 700-mile roundtrip, the number of people in your party, and how much you would be willing to pay. We may also be holding a silent auction or raffle of items related to France, French colonization, Indian allies, and the fur trade at the annual meeting, and I would appreciate hearing from anyone willing to donate items for that fund-raising event. At the North American Fur Trade conference held at St. Louis in 2006, an auction of new, lightly used, and rare items (such as a point blanket, books, etc.) raised a great deal of money to help defray the costs of the meeting. Thanks and Best Wishes, Fred Fausz
Editor’s Note As I write these words I’m thinking about the opportunity to showcase the French in Michigan at our annual conference this October. I hope you can join me in the lovely St. Joseph River valley as we avail ourselves to presentations by knowledgeable speakers, programs, and events that remind us of the importance of the pays d’en haut, aka the Upper Country, in the legacy of New France.This issue of Le Journal highlights current research stimulated by the Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project, an initiative begun at Western Michigan University to explore the role of the fur trade and colonialism on the edge of the French empire in the 18th century. Now in its second decade, the project continues to yield information about life on the frontier at this mission-garrisontrading post complex. Moreover, there have been considerable efforts to involve the public in the site investigations and make the results of the work known to various communities through education and outreach that bring the public in direct contact with the archaeological enterprise. Among the common artifacts recovered from the archaeological deposits of Fort St. Joseph are the glass beads imported from Europe that were ubiquitous on the frontier. LisaMarie Malischke examines the variety of bead uses by the French and Indians, based on her analyses of collections from excavated contexts.The fort was surely an important commercial center, but it was also the site of an early mission established by Fr. Allouez in the 1680s after he had left the Illinois Country. Andrew Beaupré looks at the varying economic strategies that Jesuits used to underwrite their missionary activities. He argues that places that had permanent priests benefited from the fur trade and goods produced by specialists such as blacksmiths.The Fall 2010 issue of Le Journal will contain a summary of the 2009 field season at Fort St. Joseph, which will be meant to whet your appetite to learn more about the project and our findings at the annual meeting. In the meantime, I’m also in the midst of preparing for the 2010 field season. If you can’t wait until October to see the site and want to view ongoing excavations, recent finds, and re-enactors, I invite you to visit Fort St. Joseph during our annual open house on August 14-15, 2010.You’ll be amazed by the lasting imprint that the French made along this quiet stretch of the St. Joseph River beginning in the late 17th century. For more information, visit our web site at: http://www.wmich.edu/fortstjoseph/ A bientôt, Michael Shakir Nassaney
Announcements Mark your calendars for the 2010 annual conference of the Center for French Colonial Studies, to be held in Michiana (Niles, MI, and South Bend, IN), October 22-24. The theme of this year’s conference will be “The French in Michigan.” Further information about the program can be found in this issue of Le Journal and on the CFCS web site: www.noctrl.edu/cfcs/annual_meeting.shtml The annual Open House at Fort St. Joseph in Niles, MI will be held August 14-15, 2010.The theme this year is Women of New France. If you can’t wait until the annual fall meeting to see the site, visit this summer to see ongoing excavations, hear on-site lectures and interpretations, and witness living history re-enactments of the 18th century. Opportunities are still available for middle school students (6th-9th grades) to participate in the excavations this summer. See the project web site for more information about the program and how you can get involved: http://www.wmich.edu/fortstjoseph/ Benn Williams reports that the Carl Ekberg Research Grant committee, consisting of Benn, Stamos Metzidakis, and Arnaud Balvay, is pleased to announce the winner of the 2010 competition is Kathryn Magee, a Ph.D. candidate in History at Ohio State University. Under the direction of Margaret Newell, Kathryn’s dissertation entitled “‘Dispersed But Not Destroyed:’ A History of The SeventeenthCentury Huron Diaspora” offers an alternative account of Huron mobilization and innovation throughout a period often typified by defeat at the hands of the Iroquois. Her research shows that while the Hurons were pushed out of their homeland around Georgian Bay, there was in fact a Huron diaspora into the Illinois Country. She will use the Ekberg grant to visit the Archives Nationales d’Outremer (ANOM), located in Aix-en-province, in order to examine the dynamics of Huron diplomacy as well as the precarious nature of their influence in terms of French-Iroquois relations.The Ekberg grant will allow her to complete the last section of her project. According to her mentor, Kathryn is “the most impressive graduate student I have encountered in my sixteen years at Ohio State.” The Center lost a friend in David A. Armour who died on April 28, 2010 at the age of 72, after a long fight with cancer. David was a Michigan native who attended Grove City schools, went on to Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI, attended his Jr. year at the University of London and graduated in 1959. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in History at Northwestern University. He was on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, WI for 4 years. David was hired by the Mackinac Island State Historic Parks Commission as Deputy Director, a position he held for 36 years. He was interested in American and French colonial history and consulted with Support the Fort, Inc. in 1997, encouraging them to conduct archaeological investigations before beginning a reconstruction of Fort St. Joseph.
PLUMBING THE DEPTHS OF THE UPPER MISSISSIPPI VALLEY:
JULIEN DUBUQUE, NATIVE AMERICANS, AND LEAD MINING By B. Pierre Lebeau, Lucy Eldersveld Murphy, Robert C. Wiederaenders Maps, Illustrations, 104 pages. ISBN: 978-1-4243-2155-1 Julien Dubuque born in Quebec, received a grant in 1788 from the Mesquakie in northeastern Iowa that allowed him to operate for twenty-two years a rich vein of lead at the Peosta mine, later known as the Mines of Spain, located at the site of today’s city of Dubuque. The book presents a biography of Julien Dubuque by Robert Charles Wiederaenders.The section by Lucy Eldersveld Murphy brings out a usually unknown aspect of gender roles in the Mesquakie tribes involved in the exploitation of lead and describes the mining techniques used by the Native Americans and the increasing economic importance that lead mining assumed in the trade relations between Natives and Europeans. The documents in the appendix edited and translated by B. Pierre Lebeau, include the estate inventory, bills of sale, letters, etc. and offer details regarding Dubuque’s business activities and his relationships with other traders. Robert Charles Wiederaenders, a retired church archivist, received a graduate degree from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago after graduate studies in history. He is a long time member of the Center for French Colonial Studies and a member of the board of the Dubuque Historical Society. Lucy Eldersveld Murphy is Associate Professor of History at Ohio State University.The University of Nebraska Press published her major work, A Gathering of Rivers: Indians, Metis, and Mining in the Western Great Lakes, 1737–1832 in 2000. She edited with Rebecca Kugel, Native Women’s History in Eastern North America Before 1900: A Guide to Research and Writing (Nebraska, 2007). B. Pierre Lebeau, Professor Emeritus of History at North Central College, Naperville, Illinois, is past president of the Center and a member of the Editorial Advisory Boards for the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society and the Journal of Illinois History. Prepaid orders only: CFCS Members: $10.00, Non-Members: $13.00. Shipping and handling: 1 book: $4.60; 2 and 3 books: $4.60 + $.50 per additional book; 4 and more books: $4.60 + $.25 per additional book. Order from: Center for French Colonial Studies, Inc., North Central College/ History Dept., CM 321, 30 N. Brainard Street, Naperville, IL 60540-4690
Center for French Colonial Studies Officers Fred Fausz, Florissant, MO, President (2011) Ruth A. Bryant, St. Louis, MO, Vice-president (2010) Emily Horton, Saint Louis, MO, Secretary (2011) Marcia Lebeau, Naperville, IL,Treasurer (2011)
Board of Directors Dennis Au, Evansville, IN (2011) Jim Baker, Ste. Genevieve, MO (2010) Arnaud Balvay, Paris, France (2011) Margaret K. Brown, Prairie du Rocher, IL (2012) B. Pierre Lebeau, Naperville, IL (2010) Michael McNerney, Carbondale, IL (2010) Robert J. Moore, Jr., St. Louis, MO (2010) Robert Morrissey, Chicago, IL (2012) Cece Boyer Myers, Richmond Heights, MO (2012) Michael Nassaney, Kalamazoo, MI (2011) Helen Vallé Crist, Columbia, MO (2011)
Correspondents U. S. - B. Pierre Lebeau (firstname.lastname@example.org) U. S. - Helen Vallé Crist (email@example.com) France - Arnaud Balvay (firstname.lastname@example.org) Québec - Denys Delâge (email@example.com)
Honorary Directors Jean-Baptiste Main de Boissière, Consul Général de France, Chicago James A. Cooper, Consul Honoraire de France, St. Louis Marc T. Boucher, Délégué du Québec, Chicago
Former Presidents Dennis Au, Margaret Brown, Ruth Bryant, B. Pierre Lebeau, William Potter
Le Journal Editor Michael Shakir Nassaney Guillaume Teasdale, book review editor Neither the editor of Le Journal nor The Center for French Colonial Studies assumes responsibility for errors of fact or opinions expressed by the contributors.The editor reserves the right to refuse submitted material and to edit material prior to publication. Deadlines to submit announcements: 12/10, 3/10, 6/10, 9/10. All correspondence and materials for publication should be addressed to: Michael Shakir Nassaney Department of Anthropology Western Michigan University Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5306 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org 269-387-3981 <www.noctrl.edu/cfcs> Le Journal
Center for French Colonial Studies Centre pour l'ĂŠtude du pays des Illlinois A 501(c)(3) organization
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Membership year: October through September. Please return check to CFCS-History Department CM 321, North Central College, 30 North Brainard, Naperville, IL 60540-4690
Center for French Colonial Studies, Inc. History Department CM 321 North Central College 30 North Brainard Street Naperville IL 60540-4690
Congratulations are in order for archaeology grad student LisaMarie who just published an article on glass beads from the 18th-century Frenc...
Published on Sep 30, 2010
Congratulations are in order for archaeology grad student LisaMarie who just published an article on glass beads from the 18th-century Frenc...