By Ray Anthony
The Father Jacques Marquette statue, located on a quaint rocky outcropping, over-looking Founders Landing and next to Marquette starting point; the Lake Superior Community Partnership, received a long-overdue restoration. Some recent vandalism committed upon the statue spurred the restoration project into action.
The Early Life of Father Jacques Marquette
Jacques Marquette was born on June 10, 1673. He attended a school run by Jesuit priests. His ten tenure of study after joining the Jesuit order in 1656 afforded him vast knowledge; two years of which were solely dedicated to learning six Native American languages. In the year of our Lord of 1666, Father Marquette was assigned as and sent as a Jesuit missionary to New France, which were the French colonies in the New World.
Father Marquette Seeks Out The Great River Called The Mississippi
In 1671 he campaigned to what is modern day America and inhabited along side of the Native people of the Huron and Ottawa Indians. Father Marquette was intrigued by the stories described by these Native Americans about a 'Great River' as they cited to a big river. So little was known about the geography of North America, let alone the fact it was not explored. Father Marquette cerebrated the idealization that this 'Great River' might flow into the Pacific Ocean.
Marquette also conceived that this inquest could be conducted in amalgamated with spreading Christianity among the Indians they may encounter along his journey in searching for this 'Great River' the Natives referred to. It was than acceded that a designation of a seven man excursion be set off in 1673 in birch bark canoes.
Father Marquette and the seven-man expedition assembly journeyed west along the north shore of Lake Michigan to Green Bay, then up the Fox River, which Earnest Hemingway later in time fished and wrote about in his books of his also intrepid travels. When Father Marquette reached the Mississippi in mid-June, and traveled down the river until they soon disinterred that it did not lead to the Pacific Ocean. Father Marquette and exploration party theologized that since the river maintained south, they affirmed it led into the Gulf of Mexico.
Father Marquettes' Intrepid Journey Cut Short By Illness
The date was July 17, 1673 when the intrepid site-seeing exploration party headed upstream. This proved to be a daunting task for Father Marquette and the seven-man team to paddle against the strong current. Well traveled and learned Natives told the party of an easier route that voyaged up the Illinois River, and ultimately to Lake Michigan. Father Marquette got very ill during the return trip back to his missionary and the party were forced to camp for the acrimonious Upper Peninsula winter. By 1674, Father Marquette prevailed enough to continue his dedications of running the missionary, but Marquette died only a few months later on May 18, 1675 as he traveled north to adjoin with yet another assemblage of Native Americans.