Marinette, Queen [Marinette Chevalier Jacobs] 1793 - 1865 | Wisconsin Historical Society

Historical Essay

Marinette, Queen [Marinette Chevalier Jacobs] 1793 - 1865

Fur Trader

Marinette, Queen [Marinette Chevalier Jacobs] 1793 - 1865 | Wisconsin Historical Society
Dictionary of Wisconsin History.


b. Post Lake, Wisconsin, 1793
d. Allouez, Wisconsin, 1865

She was the daughter of a Menominee Indian mother and Bartholemy Chevalier, a French trapper. Her first husband, Jean B. Jacobs, a fur trader and school teacher, deserted her about 1823, and she became the common-law wife of William Farnsworth (q.v.), with whom she lived until he abandoned her about 1833. Farnsworth's successful opposition to John Jacob Astor's American Fur Co. was largely due to Marinette's Menominee kinship and to her skill as a trader. After Farnsworth left her, she carried on the fur trade with her children until about 1854, often advising the Menominee on dealings with white settlers, lumber companies, and the U.S. government. She was well-known for her charity work with impoverished and sick residents of the area, and the city and county of Marinette adopted her name in tribute. She was not a queen, and her name "Marie-nette" (Little Marie) was probably used to ditinguish her from other girls named Marie; some authors have also speculated that it was a contraction of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, who died the same year Marinette was born.  Marinette and Peshtigo Eagle, July 15, 1876; Marinette Eagle-Star, Dec. 7, 1946; Wis. Mag. Hist., 5; Green Bay Hist. Bull., 5 (1929), pp. 7-13.Dictionary of Wisconsin biography

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