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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Search Results for: Keyword: 'lac du flambeau'

Term: Dubay [Dube), John Baptiste 1810 - 1887

Definition: (Note: birth date given in original as "July 10, 1810[?].") pioneer fur trader, b. probably in Green Bay. He was the son of a French trader and a Menominee Indian. Although the facts of DuBay's early life are obscure, it appears that from 1824 to 1839 he was engaged in the fur trade at Saginaw and Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., and at Lac du Flambeau, Wis., either in the employ of the American Fur Co. or operating his own posts. In 1839 he purchased the American Fur Company's post at Fort Winnebago (Portage), where he served as Hercules L. Dousman's (q.v.) agent until 1851 and continued his residence in the Portage area until 1858. A colorful and well-known figure in early Wisconsin, DuBay was frequently utilized by the U.S. and territorial governments as Indian interpreter, and was also called upon by the Indians and half-breeds to act as a spokesman in their behalf. In 1857 while living near Portage he became involved in a property dispute with William S. Reynolds, and, while drunk, shot and killed him. A widely publicized murder trial was held in Madison in which many of Wisconsin's leading figures testified in DuBay's behalf. Moses M. Strong (q.v.) and Harlow S. Orton (q.v.) conducted DuBay's defense and Luther S. Dixon (q.v.) acted as assistant prosecutor. The jury failed to reach a verdict in the first trial, and a second trial produced the same result. Although one other attempt was made to renew the case, proceedings were eventually dropped. DuBay retired to a trading post north of Stevens Point, where he lived in obscurity until his death. M. E. Krug, DuBay (Appleton [19461); Hist. of N. Wis. (Chicago, 1881); WPA MS.

[Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]
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