and Louis Jolliet
Knock, knock. Creeeek.
"What do you want?" asked Louis Jolliet.
"I am looking for Father Marquette."
"Louis, who is it?" inquired Father Marquette.
"Who are you?" asked Jolliet.
"Warned De Park. I was one of Father Marquettes students in Jesuit school."
"Father Marquette, this man claims to be one of your old students, Warned De Park."
"What does he want?"
"Why do you wish to see him?" questioned Jolliet.
"I would like to write a biography on his amazing life."
"Show him in Jolliet, show him in. It is not every day that someone wants to write a book about me. Now where would you like to begin, Mr. De Park?"
"How about with your childhood?"
MARQUETTE'S JOURNEY THROUGH LIFE
Father Marquette was born in Laon, France on June 1,1637. He attended a Jesuit school run by priests. He joined the Jesuit (Roman Catholic) order in 1656 and spent the next ten years teaching in France.
Spreading Christianity for France:
Father Marquette was sent as a missionary to learn Indian languages in New France (France's colonies in North America). He learned six different Indian languages. In 1668, he spent two years on a mission to get in touch with the Ottawa Indians. The following year, Father Marquette went to the St. Esprit Mission on Lake Superior. In 1671, he went with the Indians to the St. Ignas Mission on Lake Michigan.
Discovering the Mississippi:
The Indians talked about a great river called "The Mississippi," a word that meant big river in Indian language.
Governor General Comte DeFrotenac of New France believed that the Mississippi might be an easier route to the Far East for traders. In 1673 he sent Louis Jolliet and Father Marquette to find the Mississippi, if there was one. He sent Jolliet because he could trace the course of the river. He sent Father Marquette because he knew a lot of Indian languages. This was important because Father Marquette would be able to communicate with the Indians that they met, he could get information from them, and he could spread Christianity as they went. Father Marquette wanted to go on this journey because he wanted to spread Christianity.
In May of 1673 Father Marquette, Louis Jolliet, and five other men set off for a long journey. They started on St. Ignas Mission and canoed south of Lake Michigan to the Fox River. They walked from the Fox River all the way to the mouth of the Wisconsin. They saw that the Mississippi flowed south. They all thought it would probably flow into the Gulf of Mexico rather than into the Pacific Ocean.
The group met a lot of Indian friends, but they met some hostile Indians at the Arkansas River. An Indian told Marquette that more whites lived farther south on the river, but Marquette and Jolliet were afraid that the Indians would attack since they learned the course of their trail. Fearing for their safety, they turned back. They traveled from the Mississippi River to the Illinois River. From there they traveled to the Kankakee River and the Chicago River. They canoed from the Chicago River to Lake Michigan. The whole trip took about 5 months.
Marquette traveled to present day Green Bay and then went back to the Kaskaskia River. He became very ill. He made it all the way back to the Chicago River.
" And that is all that happened. Is that enough, Mr. De Park?"
"Yes, thats more than enough. I will send you a copy of my book when it is finished. I hope you get better. Goodbye, Father Marquette."
Editor's Note: Father Marquette died at the age of 52 on May 16, 1675.
There was no Warned De Park.