||Allouez, Claude Jean, 1620-1690?
||Father Allouez¿s Journey into Wisconsin, 1669-70
||Kellogg, Louise P. (editor). Early Narratives of the Northwest, 1634-1699. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1917). Pages 141-160.
||22 / 0
The Jesuit priest Jean Claude Allouez (1620-1689) was
ordained in 1655 and spent seven years in the Canadian
settlements on the lower St. Lawrence before his mission in
Wisconsin described here. Allouez accompanied a returning Indian
trade fleet through the Great Lakes to establish a mission at
Lake Superior’s Chequamegon Bay, near modern Bayfield,
Wisconsin, in 1665. Allouez founded the mission at Sault Ste.
Marie, Michigan, which would become the headquarters for the Jesuit
missions in the upper Great Lakes and the site of the Pageant of
1671 (see AJ-050). He spent the next ten years among the Indians
around Green Bay, Wisconsin, building the mission house of St. Francis
Xavier at DePere, Wisconsin, before taking over the Illinois mission near
modern Peoria after Marquette's death in 1675. During his
twenty-four years of service, Father Allouez is said to have
instructed over 100,000 Indians and baptized over ten thousand.
Allouez’s Mission to Wisconsin, 1669-70
In the early years of the seventeenth century the French had
established trading posts and Jesuit missions among the
Algonquian-speaking nations of the eastern Great Lakes. During
the 1640s and 1650s, wars with the Iroquois drove those tribes
west from their traditional homelands to the forests surrounding
Lake Superior, in what today is Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan,
and western Ontario. For two decades the French in Montreal and
Quebec had little or no contact with their former allies.
Sent by the Bishop of Quebec to open missions in the upper
Great Lakes, Father Allouez left Sault Ste. Marie in November
1669 and canoed from the head of Lake Huron into upper Lake
Michigan. Canoeing barefoot and covered with ice, his party
followed the southern coast of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula into
Green Bay. He celebrated mass with bands of Indians camped at
the Oconto River, then traveled to spend the rest of the winter
among the Potawotamie east of the Fox River on Green Bay. After
the ice broke in mid-March, Allouez began to travel among the
other Indian bands living in Wisconsin, where he reported on
their fish weirs and abundant fishing in Kaukauna, Grand Chute,
and other rapids on the Fox River in central Wisconsin. On the
banks of Lake Winnebago, he observed large flocks of migrating
waterfowl, wild rice beds, deer, bears, and beaver in great
abundance. Allouez also found camps of migrating Indians
displaced by the continuing wars with the Iroquois. He visited
Sauk Indians, driven to Wisconsin by the wars, and engaged in a
conflict with the Santee Dakota who lived in western Wisconsin
and west of the Mississippi River. Allouez continued into the
Lake Michigan region in an attempt to convert the Miami and
other displaced. spent the remainder of his life instructing
Indians throughout Wisconsin and Illinois.
Allouez’s journal was first published in the Jesuit
Relation of 1668, printed by Sebastien Cramoisy in Paris.
Other Internet and Reference Sources
The Cathloic Encyclopedia has a biography of Claude Allouez
See also the Background File to AJ-047.