Father Marquette and
the Jesuit Missionaries in
Michigan
http://www.ssc.msu.edu/~anp/marquettemission/Jesuits.h
tml
What is a missionary?
 A Priest or other member of a church
 Someone who wants to spread religion
to other parts of the world
 In Michigan in the 1600 and 1700’s, it
was someone who wanted to teach the
Native Americans about Christianity
Where did they come
from?
 The Missionaries who came to Michigan
in the early 1700’s were from France.
Why did they come?
 Most missionaries came to Michigan to
teach the Native Americans about
Christianity.
 They believed that the Native
Americans needed help. The Native
Americans believed in many gods and
that was not what the priests thought.
Why were they
important?
 They sent letters back to their church
leaders describing what they saw.
 Some drew maps to document the way
the land looked to them.
 They believed that the fur traders
should not use alcohol to make better
trades. They spoke out against this
behavior.
Sending letters home
The Jesuit Superiors in France used letters that the missionaries wrote to
them to report to people what life was life here in Michigan. In one
report, they talk about the difficulties facing the missionaries here.
“At the Sault, the Fathers are, cultivating the soil and some of the Indians
have even begun to imitate their example. In their Chapel, they
regularly give instruction both to adults and children, and celebrate the
rites of the Church; The greatest obstacle in their way is the devotion
paid by the savages to their personal manitous, or medicine, a
devotion inculcated, from earliest infancy, in both boys and girls.
Notwithstanding, this: and other difficulties, the missionaries at the
Sault have baptized more than three hundred persons of all ages.”
The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents Volume 54
Map Making
Because of his
knowledge of
Native American
languages,
Marquette was
chosen to do do
some exploring
with Louis Jolliet.
On his travels he
created this map of
the
Michigan/Wisconsi
n area.
Speaking out against alcohol
 “…Our Father, we ask thee to take steps to prevent them from giving us
intoxicating liquor as eagerly as they do. To thus deceive us by urging us
to drink, in order to make us spend in this way all that we bring back
from our hunt, is just the same as if they robbed us. I repeat, as nearly
as I can in our language, the expressions used by our Savages when
they state their opinion to me respecting liquor.”
 “Herefore, to show them that I speak the truth on this point, as soon as 1
learn that some wretched frenchman has taken the clothing of a savage,
giving him perhaps twenty ~01s worth of liquor for clothes worth from ten
to twelve francs, I make a great stir in the village. I say that I will
certainly have the clothes given back, but that it is also necessary that
the savage who has been foolish enough to give his clothing for almost
nothing, to obtain liquor, must atone for his sin.” Father Jacques Bigot
Oct. 1684
The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents Volume 63
What did the Native
Americans think?
 The Native Americans called the priests
“Black Robes” because of the clothes that
they always wore.
 Not all of the Native Americans were happy to
have people come and tell them to give up
their way of life.
http://www.usgennet.org/usa/mo/county/stlouis/jesuit/marquette.jpg
Who is Father
Marquette?
 He was a Jesuit priest from
France.
 He studied the Native
American languages.
 He began the settlements in
Sault Ste. Marie and St.
Ignace
 He used his knowledge
about languages to help
Louis Jolliet explore the
Mississippi River.
Jacques Marquette
Source: Currey, J. Seymour.
Chicago: Its History and Its
Builders. Chicago: S.J. Clarke
Publishing Co., 1912.
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Father Marquette and the Jesuit Missionaries in Michigan