Wisconsin Historical Society

Historical Essay

Jesuit Missionaries in Early Wisconsin

Brief history of Jesuit Missionaries and key figures

Jesuits | Wisconsin Historical Society
Dictionary of Wisconsin History.

 

The Jesuits are a Catholic religious order whose missionaries were the most numerous in New France (which included Wisconsin) between 1630 and 1690. Many of them served in Wisconsin, ministering to Indians and traveling with fur traders. Each year they sent home annual reports, known as the Jesuit Relations, which detailed their lives in Indian communities and their travels throughout the interior of North America.

Jesuits in Early Wisconsin History

The principal missionaries who served in or wrote about Wisconsin, or who are mentioned in Jesuit Relations concerning Wisconsin, are listed below.

Albanel, Fr. Charles
Served in the Province of Toulouse. Born in Auvergne in 1616 (al. 1613). Entered the Order on September 16, 1633. Arrived in Canada on August 23, 1649. Died in Sault-Ste-Marie on January 11, 1696.
Allouez, Fr. Claude Jean
Served in the Province of Toulouse. Born in St-Didier-en-Forest, Haute Loire, in 1613 (al. 1620); entered the Order at Toulouse on September 25, 1642 (al. 1639). Arrived in Canada on July 11, 1658. Died in the Ottawa missions, among the Miamis of St. Joseph's River (near Niles, Mich.), the night of Aug. 27-28, 1689.
Bressani, Fr. Francesco Gioseppe
Served in the Province of France. Born in Rome on May 6, 1612. Entered the Order at Rome on August 15, 1626. Arrived in Canada in 1642. Returned to France on November 2, 1650. Died in Florence on September 9, 1672.
Carheil, Fr, Étienne de
Served in the Province of France. Born in Château de la Guichardaye, Carentoir, on November 20, 1633 (al. November 10, 1634). Entered the Order on August 30, 1652 (al. October 3, 1653). Arrived at Quebec on August 6, 1666. Died in Quebec on July 27, 1726.
Dablon, Rev. Father Claude
Served in the Province of France; born in Dieppe on January 21, 1619. Entered the Society at Paris on September 17, 1639. Arrived in Canada in 1655. Died in Quebec on May 3, 1697.
Jogues, Fr. Isaac
Served in the Province of France. Born in Orleans on January 10, 1607. Entered the Order in Paris on October 24, 1624. Arrived at Quebec on July 2. Arrived in Miscou about June 3, 1636. Killed by the Mohawks at Ossernenon, near Auriesville, New York, on October 18, 1646.
Lalemant, Rev. Father Charles
Served in the Province of France. Born in Paris on November 17, 1587. Entered the Order at Rouen on July 29, 1607. Arrived in Canada on July 19, 1625 (al. July 15, 1625). Returned to France in 1638. Died in Paris on November 18, 1674.
Lalemant, Fr. Gabriel
Nephew of Charles and Jérôme. Served in the Province of France. Born in Paris on October 10, 1610 (al. October 30, 1610). Entered the Order in Paris on March 24, 1630. Arrived in Canada on September 20, 1646. Tortured to death by the Iroquois on March 17, 1649, at St-Ignace of the Hurons, about half-way between Coldwater and Vasey, Simcoe County, Ontario.
Lalemant, Rev. Father Jérôme (also found as Hierosme)
Brother of Charles and uncle of Gabriel Lalemant. Served in the Province of France. Born in Paris on April 27, 1593. Entered the Society at Paris on October 20, 1610 (al. October 2, 1609). Arrived in Canada on June 25, 1638. Died in Quebec on January 26, 1673.
Le Jeune, Rev. Father Paul
Served in the Province of France. Born in Châlonssur-Marne in July, 1591. Entered the Society at Rouen on September 22, 1613. Arrived in Quebec on July 5, 1632. Returned to France on October 30, 1649. Died in Paris on August 7, 1664.
Le Mercier, Fr. François
Served in the Province of France. Born in Paris on October 4, 1604. Entered the Order in Paris on October 19, 1620 (al. 1622, 1623). Arrived in Canada on July 20, 1635. Returned to France in 1673. Died in the Island of Martinique on June 12, 1690 (d. Oct. 16, 1692).
Marquette, Fr. Jacques
Served in the Province of Champagne. Born in Laon on June 10, 1637. Entered the Order in Nancy on October 8, 1654. Arrived at Quebec on September 20, 1666. Died near the present site of Ludington, Michigan on May 18, 1675. His remains were transferred two years after, and (on Whittuesday, June 8, 1677) were buried in the mission Chapel, near Point St. Ignace, at the head of East Moran Bay. There they were discovered on September 3, 1877, by V. R. Fr. E. Jacker. The little monument erected at the spot covers part of his remains; but the larger portion are preserved at Marquette College, Milwaukee.
Ménard, Fr. Rene
Served in the Province of France. Born in Paris on March 2 (al. Sept. 7), 1605 (al. 1604). Entered the Order on September 5 (al. 7, Nov. 7), 1642. Arrived at Tadousac on June 30 and at Quebec on July 8, 1640. Perished in the primitive wilderness of northeastern Wisconsin in 1661 (about August 15, 1661).
Nouvel, Fr. Henri
Served in the Province of Toulouse. Born in Pézenas, Hérault, in 1621 (al. March 1, 1624). Entered the Order on August 28, 1648. Arrived in Quebec on August 4, 1662. Died in the Ottawa missions near Green Bay, Wisconsin, in 1702 (al. at Quebec, October 7, 1674; al. at Aix-la-Chapelle, Jan. 3, 1696).
Ragueneau, Rev. Father Paul
Served in the Province of France. Born in Paris on March 18, 1608. Entered the Society in Paris on August 21, 1626. Arrived in Canada on June 28, 1636. Left Quebec to return to France on August 12, 1662. Died in Paris on September 3, 1680.
Vimont, Fr. Barthélemy
Served in the Province of France. Born in Lisieux on January 1, 1594 (al. January 17, 1594). Entered the Order in Rouen on November 1, 1613 (al. Nov. 16, 1614). Arrived in Ste-Anne, Cape Breton, on August 24, 1629. Returned to France on October 22, 1659. Died in Vannes on July 13, 1667.

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[Sources: Jones, Arthur Edward. "Catalogue of Jesuit Missionaries to New France and Louisiana, 1611-1800." The Jesuit Relations and Allied Documents... ed. by Reuben Gold Thwaites (Cleveland: Burrows Bros. Co., 1896-1901). 71: 120ff]