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Discover the story of French traders saved from starvation by Ottawa Indians at the headwaters of the Chippewa River in 1659.

Learn how contact with Europeans, the fur trade, and warfare among the tribes drove many Indans to the Wisconsin territory in the 17th century.

Historical Essay

The Man with the Iron Hand

Learn about explorer Robert de La Salle's iron-handed chief lieutenant, Henri de Tonty, and what resulted in most likely the worst winter of his life.

Learn how white contact disrupted and transformed Indian life in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Historical Essay

The War of 1812

Learn about the War of 1812 in Wisconsin when the British relinquished control over that territory and Americans took over the fur trade in the region.

Read an account of the French explorer who claimed much of Wisconsin for France and who traded with several Indian tribes near Green Bay, Wisconsin.

In 1959 Rev. A.A.A. Schmirler traced the path Fr. Rene Menard took in 1661 down northern Wisconsins rivers to discover where Menard likely died.

Read about the early French explorers who mapped and described the Wisconsin territory in the 17th century.
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