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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Term: Groseilliers, Medard Chouart, Sieur Des 1618 - 1684

Definition: fur trader, explorer, b. Charly-sur-Marne, France. He entered the service of the Jesuits, migrated to Canada about 1637, and spent several years in a Huron mission. Attracted to the fur trade, he went to Three Rivers where he became associated with his brother-in-law, Pierre Esprit Radisson (q.v.). His first western journey was made between 1654 and 1656, followed by a second journey with Radisson (1659-1660). The region around Green Bay was explored on the first voyage, and the second took the explorers along the southern shore of Lake Superior. They built a log hut on Chequamegon Bay near Whittlesey's Creek or Shore's Landing which is believed to have been the first white dwelling in Wisconsin. Caching their supplies at this point, they visited Indian tribes in northern Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota, returned to Chequamegon Bay, and built a small fort, supposedly at Houghton Point. Successful in the fur trade, but angered over the confiscation of their furs by the French governor, Groseilliers and Radisson joined the English, who were also competing for control of the area. In 1668 Groseilliers succeeded in reaching the southern shore of Hudson Bay for the English. He returned his allegiance to the French in 1674, but before his death again rejoined the English. Dict. Amer. Biog.; G. D. Scull, ed., Voyages of P. E. Radisson (Boston, 1885); G. L. Nute, Caesars of the Wilderness (New York [1943]); Coils. Minn. Hist. Soc., 10 (1905); L. P. Kellogg, French Regime in Wis. . . . (Madison, 1925); Proc. and Trans. Royal Soc. of Canada, set. 2, 9 (1903).

[Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]
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