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Jacque MarquetteJacques Marquette was a great French Jesuit Missionary and explorer He was also known as Pere Marquette He was born at Laon in Northern France on June 1 1637 He was one of the first white men to explore the upper Mississippi River region He entered the Jesuit College at Nancy about 1654 He later studied and taught in Reims as well as other French Towns In 1666 he was sent to New France Canada as a missionary priest arriving at Quebec in September of 1666 To prepare himself for his assignment he studied Indian ways of life and Indian languages He knew six different languages He lived in the wilderness and sometimes slept in freezing temperatures with little or nothing to eat Jacques established a mission on Mackinac Island in 1671 which was named St Ignace This is where on May 17 1673 he met Louis Jolliet and set out with five other Frenchmen in two birch canoes across Lake Michigan Their plan was to rediscover the Mississippi and to lay claim to all the land and water they might discover in the name of Louis XIV King of France Native Mascouten Indians living in the region They landed at Green Bay Wisconsin and crossed the Fox River where they got help from the native Mascouten Indians living in the regions to guide them They finally entered the Mississippi River on June 17 1673 They followed the river for a month until they reached the mouth of the Arkansas River Now they knew the Mississippi did not lead to the Pacific Ocean but to the Gulf of Mexico They turned back and followed the Illinois River Jolliet left Marquette who wanted to establish a mission among the Illinois Indians and started back to Quebec to report their findings Jacques Marquette suffering from dysentery started back to St Ignace where he died May 18 1675 on the banks of the now Pere Marquette River
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