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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Missionary Travels in the New World

American Minute from William J. Federer

Father Jacques Marquette arrived in Quebec from France to be a missionary among the Indians.

Governor Frontenac commissioned him to explore the unknown Mississippi River. He traveled by canoe from Lake Michigan, across Green Bay, up Fox River to the Wisconsin River and down to the Mississippi, where they floated as far as the Arkansas River, deciding not to go further for fear of Spaniards.

On their return trip up the Illinois River, Father Marquette founded a mission among the Illinois Indians.

Caught by the winter weather on DECEMBER 4, 1674, Father Marquette and two companions erected a rough log cabin near the shore of Lake Michigan. The settlement would afterwards grow into the city of Chicago.

In an account written by Father Dablon of the Society of Jesus, 1678, Marquette met with over 500 chiefs and "explained to them the principal mysteries of our religion, and the end for which he had come to their country; and especially he preached to them Christ crucified, for it was the very eve of the great day on which he died on the cross for them."

In 1895, the State of Wisconsin placed a statue of Father Jacques Marquette in the U.S. Capitol Statuary Hall.

William J. Federer is a nationally recognized author, speaker, and president of Amerisearch, Inc, which is dedicated to researching our American heritage. The American Minute radio feature looks back at events in American history on the dates they occurred, is broadcast daily across the country and read by thousand on the internet.


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