Fort Michilimackinac

This was a historic Metis community populated by the Metis children of the early fur traders and Coureurs de Bois who intermarried with First Nations women who lived in the area or who came there to trade. Michilimackinac (Great Turtle in Algonquin) refers to the entire strait area where Lake Huron and Lake Michigan meet, including the island; but, originally, it meant in particular present-day Saint Ignace, Michigan, in the Upper Peninsula across the strait from Mackinaw City. The original French fort and Jesuit mission were there from about 1671, although there was no French commandant after Lamothe Cadillac left in 1697, as the post was ordered closed in 1696. The Jesuits (and several Coureurs de Bois) remained there until the Jesuits burned their residence and church in 1705. The Coureurs de Bois never really abandoned the place, nor did the governor of New France. The Jesuits were ordered to return in 1706 and built a smaller fort/residence, but they soon accompanied the Ottawas (Odawas) to the lower peninsula at present-day Mackinaw City to locate better fields for planting, as the other site had been exhausted. A French commandant was again approved about 1714 but did not arrive until some years later because of the Fox wars. Cadillac named the fort Fort Buade in 1694, after the then-governor, Louis Buade de Frontenac, but that name does not often appear in the documents. To halt the English intrusion into the fur trade territory north and west of the Great Lakes governor Denonville ordered La Durantaye to build a fort on the north shore of the strategic Straits of Mackinac (where modern day St. Ignace is located) in 1686. When the liquor trade at this location got out of hand Louis XVI cancelled the trading licenses in 1698. All the Coureurs de Bois and traders were ordered to return to their St. Lawrence River communities. The Governor of the Fort, LeMothe Cadillac, thus headed south in 1701 and subsequently built Fort Detroit, commanding the water route between the upper and lower Great Lakes. Because the Indians refused to travel east to trade this policy was abandoned in 1715 and Fort Michilimackinac was re-established on the south shore of the straits to the west of present day Mackinac City. It stayed here for the next sixty-five years. It became the storehouse and hub for the western fur trade to the Mississippi and Saskatchewan Rivers. Quebec and Montreal fell to the British in 1759 and all the French posts were forfeited to the British. Captain Beaujeu left Fort Michilimackinac for the French settlements. Second in command, Charles de Langlade remained to surrender the fort to Captain Henry Balfour in 1861. After the French defeat the Indians fought on under the command of Ottawa Chief Pontiac and they captured most of the British posts in the Midwest. In 1863 they took Forts Presque Isle, Sandusky, St. Joseph, Miami, Le Boeuf, Ouitanon and Fort Michilimackinac.


In 1764, the British returned to Fort Michilimackinac and restored the buildings. Trader John Askin made the fort his headquarters. He outfitted a large number of traders and voyageurs to trade to the west. Major Patrick Sinclair arrived to take command in 1779. He felt that the location was indefensible and moved the fort to nearby Mackinac Island. This was completed in 1781, and the name changed to Fort Mackinac. As noted above, before 1763, the French used Fort Michilimackinac on the mainland south shore of the Straits of Mackinac to control the area. After the Treaty of Paris (1763), the British occupied the French fort but considered the wooden structure too difficult to defend. In 1780/1781, its lieutenant governor Patrick Sinclair constructed a new limestone fort on the 150-foot limestone bluffs of Mackinac Island above the Straits of Mackinac. The British held the outpost throughout the war. After the Treaty of Paris, the British did not relinquish the fort to the United States until 1796. The British aided by Metis and First Nations soldiers captured the fort at the outbreak of the War of 1812. It was then relinquished by the British to the Americans in the Treaty of Ghent and the Americans reoccupied Fort Mackinac in July 1815. The fort evolved into an important staging area for exploration of the northern Michigan, including the expedition in 1832 under the command of Lewis Cass to explore the headwaters of the Mississippi River. Henry Schoolcraft held the post of Indian agent at Fort Mackinac for a time in the 1830s and conducted pioneering studies of the Native languages and culture of the region. During the Mexican-American War and for long periods during the Civil War, the Army left the care and upkeep of Fort Mackinac to an ordnance sergeant. Despite these periods of relative inactivity, the fort did manage to play a small role in the American Civil War, briefly acting as a prison for three Confederate political prisoners. Appendix People married at Fort Michilimackinac from 1725 through 1837. 1. August 2, 1725, Pierre Parant and Marianne Chaboiller. 2. August 6, 1725, Jean Conchois and -------------------3. January 6, 1729, Antoine Menard and ---------------------4. October 30, 1729, Antoine Menard and --------------------5. September 13, 1731, Augustin de L'anglade and Donitelle Villeneuve, widow of --------------Villeneuve. 6. April 18, 1735, Antoine Grignon an dAnne Villeneuve, daughter of Madame Donitelle Villeneuve (now L'anglade). 7. September 22, 1735, Charles Chaboiller and Marianne Chevalier. 8. October 2, 1736, Claude Germain Gautier and Theresa Villeneuve. 9. January 7, 1737, Michel Rocheran and Marie Tiennote. 10. September 30, 1837, Jean du Ligne and Marie Angelique


11. July 15, 1738, Pierre Grignon and Marguerite Chevalier 12. September 20, 1738, Francois Boisghuilbert and Agathe Villeneuve, daughter of Madame Villeneuve (now L'anglade) 13. July 21, 1739, Pierre Local and Marie Josephte Chevalier. 14. August 13, 1741 Jean Baptiste Gendron and Marie Judith 15. August 30, 1741, Joseph Hains and Constante Chevallier, Master Mechanic at Fort Michilimackinac 16. August 13, 1744, Rene Bourrassa and Charlotte Veronique Chevalier, son of Rene and Magadelaine Bourrassa, of Montreal, daughter of Jean Baptiste and Manon (Lavoine)Chevalier 17. _______________, 1746, Jean Baptiste Jourdain and _______Reaume 18. February 7, 1747, Pierre Pelletier and Francoise Parant, son of Pierre and Charlotte (Arnand) Pelletier, daughter of Pierre and Marianne (Chaboiller) Parant. 19. July 1, 1747, Charles Personne and Susanne Reaume, son of Nicholas and Madaline(LaFevre) Personne, of Montreal, daughter of Jean Baptiste Reaume, of La Baie. 20. July 22, 1747, Jean Baptiste Tellier and Marie Josephe 21. September 05, 1747, Joseph Guillon and Louisa Balon, daughter of Gabriel and Susanne (Menard)Bolon. 22. February 4, 1748, Charles Hamelin and Marie Athanaise. 23. July 7, 1748, Jean Baptiste Jutras and Marie Cahterine L'Archeveque. 24. August 2, 1748, Jacques Bariso and Marie Joseph Cahterine L'Acheveque 25. August 30, 1749, Jean Manian L'Esperance and LaRose 26. October 13, 1749, Joseph Victor Couvret and Marie Charlotte. 27. February 1, 1750, Poncelet Batille Clermont and Francois (Cardinal) La Croix, a soldier, son of Jean and Marguerite (Pierrot) Batillo, Bishopric of Treves: widow of Pierre Hubert La Croix, of Lachine. 28. February 1, 1750, Jean Baptiste La Fievre and Francois Hubert La Croix 29. January 11, 1751, Charles Chanteloup and Agatha Amoit, son of Francois Charles and Mathe Chauteloup, of Montreal, daughter of Jean Baptiste Ambrose Amoit. 30. July 6, 1751, Francois Louis Cardin and Marie Constante (Chevalier) Hains: a soldier: widow of Joseph Hains. 1. July 25, 1751, Joseph Relle and Charlotte Parant 32. June 4, 1752, Estienne Chesnier and Ann Theresa Esther Chevalier. 33. July 6, 1752, Jean Brian and Francoise__________ 34. January 29, 1753, Joseph d'Aillebout and Marianne Parant: daughter of _____: see No. 1. 35. July 16, 1753, Antoine Tellier and Charlotte Migsanonjean 36. July 2, 1754, Michael Girardin and Maarie Hyppolite Favre. 37. August 12, 1754, Charles Moras de Langlade and Charlotte Amroisine Bourrassa. 38. August 15, 1754, Jean Baptiste Reaume and Marie Marie: interpreter at La Baie. 39. November 30, 1754, Charles_________ and Maria_________: Charles______, a slave of Mr. Bourrassa: Marie__________, a slave of Mr. Langlade, Jr. 40. May 25, 1755, Francois Brisbe and Marianne d'Aillebout: a Sergeant of garrison of Michilimackinac, son of Francois and Marie Brisbe, of Gooneville, Lower Normandy: Marianne (Parant) d'Aillebout, widow of Joseph d'Aillebout, Esq. 41. August 38, 1755, Nicholas Amiot and Susanne Nouvellaut. 42. February 28, 1756, Jean Baptiste Cadot and Annatasie_______.


43. April 27, 1756, Charles Faultenx and Francoise Amiot. 44. May 20, 1756, Claude Pelle and Marie_______, daughter of "Neskes", granddaughter of "Kinonchamei" 45. July 19, 1757, Jean Baptiste Metivier and Josette Chaboillez. 46. May 21, 1758, Pierre le Duc and Agathe Villenenuve. 47. May 21, 1758, Michael Rocheran and Marie Tiennote 49. July 24, 1758, Jean Baptiste Marcot and Marie Neskech. 50. August 06, 1758, Jean Cotenoir and Marie_____ 51. January 17, 1760, Michel Boyer and Josette Marguerite Dulignon. 52. July 13, 1761, Pierre Dupre and Marie Josephe Carignan. 53. August 16, 1762, Constant Kerigon, Jr. and Angelique Metivier. 54. July 25, 1763, Michel Joseph Marchettant and Therese Parant: daughter of _____: see No. 1. 55. May 4, 1764 Jean Baptiste Couchois and Angelique Sejourne. 56. July 24, 1765, Jean Baptiste Lebeau and Marie Josephe Jourdain. 57. July 25, 1768, Gabriel Cote and Agathe Desjardin 58. July 28, 1768, Hyacinthe Hamelin and Marie Josephe Maingans. 59. June 23, 1775, Francois Maurice Lafontaine and Marie Anne Cardin. 60. October 6, 1775, Joseph Ainsse and Therese Bondy: son of _____: see No. 15, daughter of Joseph and Cecile (Campeau) Bondy, of Detroit. 61. Januray 1, 1779, Charles Gautier and Magdelaine Chevalier: Lieut. Capitaine and King's Interpreter to the savages at Michilimackinac: son of _____: see NO 8: daughter of Louis Paschal and Magdelaine (Rheaume) Chevalier. 62. April 19, 1781, Thomas Stone and Margaret Paterson, daughter of George Paterson, a soldier in the Eight Regiment. 63. July 20, 1786, Charles Gautier and Magadelaine Chevalier: see note of No. 61. 64. July 20, 1786, Daniel Bourrassa and Marguerite Bertrand: son of Rene and Ann (Chevalier) Bourrassa: daughter of Laurent and Marie (Dulignon) Bertrand. 65. May 10, 1787, William Aiken and Elizab McDonald, of Dumfries, Scotland: Bombadier in the Fourth Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Artillery:daughter of John McDonald, late Sergeant in the Eight or King's Regiment of Foot. 66. August 8, 1787, Pierre Grignon and Louise Donnitelle Langlade: son of Pierre and Marguerite (Chevalier) Grignon, of Grondines, Quebec: daughter of Charles and Charlotte (Bourrassa) Langlade. 67. August 20, 1787, Louis Hamelin and Josephte Legable, son of Charles an dArvaci Hamelin, of Montreal. 68. November 15, 1791, James M. Hamilton and Louisa Mitchell, Ensign in the First Regiment; daughter of David Mitchell,Esq. 69. January 21, 1792, Jean Baptiste Laborde and Marguerite Machar Chevalier. 70. March 19, 1792, Alexis Laframboise and Josette Adhemar:born at Three Rivers, Canada, son of Jean Bte. and Genevieve (LaBissonniere) Laframboise: daughter of Antoine and Genevieve (Blondeau) Adhemar, of Detroit. 71.July 1, 1792 Charles Chandonnet and Charlotte Marcot: see note to No. 102 72. January 14, 1794, Paul Gina and Marie Josepht 73. February 6, 1794, Jean Baptiste Lafontaine and Marguerite__________.


74. June 25, 1794, Jean Bonga and Jeanne________ liberated negro slaves of Capt. Daniel Robertson: they kept the first hotel on the Island of Mackinac, on Front street, where Overall's saloon now stands. 75. October 6, 1794, Jean Baptiste Mineville and Charlotte_________. 76. September 21, 1795, Joseph Lauret Bertrand and Felicite Carignant: widower of Marie Therese Dulignon: widow of Jean Louis Carignant, who was Notary Public and Superintendent of Navigation of Lake Michigan, and drowned at Michilimackinac December 13, 1791. 77. July 29, 1796, Alexis Lafromboise and Josephe Adhemar: see note of No. 70 78. July 30, 1796, Joseph Laurent Bertrand and Felicite(Pillet)Carignant, see note of No.76 79. August 8, 1796, Michel Brisbois and Donnitelle Gautier, son of Joseph and Marguerite (Devault)Brisbois: daughter of Carles and Magdelaine (Chevalier) Gautier 80. December 7, 1796, Michel LaBruere and Inacvois Kamoquoy. 81. January 21, 1797, Andre Charleand Josephe Hamelin 82. July 23, 1797, Isidore Pelletier and Sophie Soloman. 83. January 28, 1799, Andre Lachaine and Susanne J. Irebour. 84. May 16, 1799, Charles Maillet and Isabelle McDonald 85. July 22, 1799, Pierre Lacroix and Marie McGulpin: eldest son of Pierre and Therese (LaFranse) LaCroix of Quebec: youngest daughter of Patrick and Magdelaine (Crequi) McGulpin 86. August 5, 1799, Jacques Vasseur and Madeline____, son of Jacques and Madelaine Vasseur, of Montreal 87. January 19, 1800, Louis Hamelin and Marie Louise. 88. April 20, 1800, Jacques Chauvin and Angelique________. 89. July 28, 1800, Andre Sarrare and Irsule Mercier. 90. December 30, 1800, Joseph Gautier and Louise LeVasseur. 91. January 25, 1801, Francois Courtemanche and Magdelaine Waters. 92. April 6, 1801, Stephen G. Hogan and Marie Vaillancour: daughter of _____: see note to No 95. 94. August 17, 1802, Guillaume Varin and Marguerite Bourassa 95. February 18, 1804, Charles Marly and Marie Josephe Vaillancourt: daughter of Joseph and Marie (Bourgois) Vaillencourt. The name of Joseph Vaillancourt suggests a little piece of local history. This building that is now the Government granary was used in early days as a storehouse. It was noticed that there was a larger percentage of shrinkage in a certain barrel of pork that is allowed even now by the Commissary General, and that when a change of level of the brine occurred, it took place during the night. A sharpened steel trap was prepared and anchored beneath the surface of the brine. A day or two afterward, the brine presented a reddish tinge, and a day or two later, the post surgeon was called upon to complete the amputation of two fingers. No fees were charged, no questions asked, and no information volunteered as to who or what began and left the operation unfinished. Joseph Vaillancourt died June 13, 1845, aged ninety-four years. Charles Marly died May 26, 1856, aged seventy-eight years. 96. June 30, 1804, Jean Baptiste Maiot and Marie Josephe Taillefer. 97. July 1, 1804, Joseph Gautier and Louise Vasseur;son of Nicholas and Marie (Champeau) Gautier.


98. July 11, 1804, Joseph Laframboise and Magdalaine Marcot: son of Jean Bte. and Marguerite (La Bissoniere) Laframboise: daugter of _________; see No 49. 99. July 12, 1804, George Schindler and Therese Marcot: son of Jonas and Genevieve (Maranda) Schindler: daughter of _____, see No 49: born 1776 100. July 13, 1804, Jacques Jauvan and Angelique___________. 101. July 13, 1804, Francois Grignon and Angelique Gravalle. 102. July 13, 1804, Charles Chandonnet and Charlotte Marcot: son of Andre and Charles (Fichot) Chandonnet: daughter of ______: see No. 49. Charlotte Chandonnet died January 2, 1806, and was buried in the old Roman Catholic Cemetery, on Astor Street. Mr. D.A. Winslow, in his historical sketch of Berrien County, describes the death and burial of Charles Chandonnet as follows: During the war of 1812, and in that year, John B. Chandonai was in the service of the United States, and was engaged in carrying dispatches from Detroit to Chicago. On one of his trips from Chicago, in company with the elder Robert Forsythe, he stopped near the mouth of St. Joseph River, and camped near the upper end of the Burnett orchard. His uncle of the same name, then stationed at Mackinac, but that place being in the possession of the British, was sent by the commandant of that post, with a force of some thirty Indians in canoes, to intercept John B. with the dispatches, and to take him prisoner to Mackinac. This force arrived in the night, and early in morning his uncle called on John B. and made known his business. John B. had a double-barreled gun in his hands, and told his uncle he should not go with him, or be taken prisoner. He then drew a line on the ground, and told his uncle he must not cross it: but his uncle, determined on killing his victim, drew his sword and advanced. As he stepped over the line, he was shot dead by the nephew. The report of the gun aroused the Indians, who went to John's camp. He met them as he did his uncle, and speaking their language pointed to his uncle's dead body and to the line: said he had shot his uncle to save his own life, and that he was sorry he had to do it, but if taken prisoner, he himself would have been killed: that he would not be taken alive, and the first one that attempted to cross the line was a dead Indian. The Indians held a council and terms were agreed upon. 103. July 16, 1804, Andre Lachaine and Susanne Irbour. 104. July 16, 1804, Jean Baptiste Bertand and Margerite________. 105. July 16, 1804, Charles Marly and Joseph Vaillancourt. 106. July 16, 1804, Paul Gina and Marie Josephte 107. July 17, 1804, Guillaume Varin and Marguerite Bourassa. 108. March 15, 1808, John Dousman and Rosalie LaBorde: eldest son of John and Catherine (Barckman) Dousman, of Pittsburgh, Penn: daughter of Jean Bte. and Marguerite (Chevallier) LaBorde. 110. August 11, 1821, William McGulpin and Magdelaine Bourrassa:eldest son of Patrick McGulpin: eldest daughter of Daniel and Marguerite(Bertrand)Bourrassa. 111. August 13, 1821, Francois Paget and Celeste Reed 112. August 13, 1821, John Dousman and Rosalie LaBorde: see note of No. 108. 113. August 1, 1823, Augustin Hamlin and Angelique Kiminitchawgan:son of Louis and Josephte Hamelin; daughter of Kiminitchaw and SichigikSA. 114. August 2, 1834, Jean Baptiste Perault and Marianne Jeandron: son of Jean Baptiste and Catherine Lafleur (Perault) daughter of Michel and Anobin Jeandron. Jean Baptiste Perault was a Canadian, who came to Mackinac while quite young, and previous to the war of 1812. He died some years ago, leaving no heirs here. There is a large and valuable


property in Michigan awaiting the claiming of his relatives. Genealogists will do well to look at their records. 115. August 10, 1837, Petrus Ains and Maria Anna Lazard, daughter of Antoine and Catharine Lazari Reference: This is the end of the article from "Annels of Fort Mackinac" by Dwight H. Kelton, Chicago, Fergus Printing Company. 1882. Reprinted in 1992, Mackinac State Historic Parks, Mackinac Island, Michigan. Pages 58-69.


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