Friday, May 18, 2012

On this day in history, the death of Jacques Marquette

Jacques Marquette was born in Laon, France. He would grow up to become a Jesuit that traveled to Quebec in Canada. He went on to travel the Northern Mississippi, founding cities like Sioux Ste. Marie (modern day Michigan & Canada), the city that would become Ashland, Wisconsin, Portage, Wisconsin and tromped around important Great Lake cities that would eventually become Chicago and Green Bay. He traveled down the Mississippi River until he started to encounter a bunch of Natives that carried Spanish trinkets. Fearing an encounter with Spanish conquistadors he traveled back up the river after having reached the Arkansas River. He passed away at the site would eventually become Ludington, Michigan. Marquette has been remembered in much of the Midwest, with cities or parks in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa bearing his name. The University of Marquette in Wisconsin is named after him. He died when he was only 38. Had he not died so young, there may have been many other states that had cities named after him. Can't you imagine a Marquette, Missouri, Marquette Falls, Minnesota or Marquette Bluffs, Louisiana? Sadly though, his early death cut down an aspirational exploratory career.

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