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Pere (Father) Jacques Marquette

French missionary and explorer

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Jacques Marquette was born in 1637 in Laon, France. He became a Jesuit priest and was sent to Quebec, Canada, in 1666.

In 1668, he set up a new mission to minister to area Native Americans, at Chequamegon Bay near the western end of Lake Superior. Also in 1668, Marquette established a mission at Sault Ste. Marie, Ontatio, Canada.

At the behest of King Louis XIV, Louis Joliet went to Canada in order to discover where the Mississippi River emptied. It was hoped, at the time, it would be the Pacific Ocean. Pere Marquette was sent on the mission as Chaplain.

After a trek that spanned from Lake Michigan through Green Bay, up the Fox River, through Lake Winnebago, across to the Wisconsin River and finally to the Mississippi. They traveled southward to near the mouth of the Arkansas River before heading back home, secure in their belief thay the Big River did not empty into the Pacific.

On their return trip, they traveled the Illinois River and the Chicago River to Lake Michigan.