(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Captain John Baptiste Saucier at Fort Chartres in the illinois, 1751-1763"

Class., _ rj'4 9 



PRESENTED BY 



Captain John Baptiste Saucier 



AT FORT CHARTRES 
IN THE ILLINOIS, 

1751— 1763. 



y 



BY 



JOHN F. SNYDER, M. D., 

Vice-President o/the Illinois State Historical Society. 



Peoria, III.: 

Smith & Schaefer, Priitters 

1901. 



-f 



Y 



TVS'- 



Preface, 



Every iutelligent man should learn all he can of 
his ancestry, and transmit that knowledge to his des- 
cendents, in order t.tiat the traits and tendencies of the 
stock, if elevating, may be emulated; if degrading, 
may be corrected and improved. 

This view prompted the writing of the biograph- 
ical sketch here presented, of Captain John Baptiste 
Saucier of the French Army, who designed the plans 
of the second Fort Chartres, in the Illinois, and su- 
perintended its construction. 

The romantic story of his early life has been pre- 
served by his family, and though, in its oral trans- 
mission from generation to generation, it may have 
gained some embellishments and anachronisms, the 
most important events in his career have been retained 
as they actually occurred. 

Documentary evidences verifying many of the 
statements herein related, were lost nearly a century 
ago in the destruction by fire of his son's residence. 

The known facts, and family legends concerning 
Capt. Saucier, have been collected, in this narrative 
form, by one of his descendents, to perpetuate the 
name and history of a brave soldier and honorable, 
patriotic citizen. 

J. F. S. 
Virginia, III. 



THE SAUCIERS IN PRANCE. 



CHAPTER I. 

At the beginning of the Eighteenth Century Mon- 
sieur Jean Beaumont Saucier — or Saussier, as the 
famil}^ name was then spelled* — was a prominent and 
prosperous merchant in the quaint old city of Orleans, 
in France. He was descended from a line of merchant 
ancestors, who had transacted business at the same 
place, the eldest son succeeding his father, from time 
immemorial. He had been carefully trained in the 
mercantile art by his father, Beaumont Saucier, who 
had, on retiring from business, a few years before, 
transferred to him the real estate, goods, credits and 
good will of the old establishment. 

*The descendents of this family in France have retain- 
ed the original spelling of their name-Saussier, pronounced 
So-se-a. During the early agitation for revision of the 
Dreyfus trial, in 1897, frequent mention was made in public 
prints of "General Saussier, Military Governor of Paris". 
In the press despatches from Paris there appeared this par- 
agraph: "Paris, January 16, 1898. One hundred and twenty- 
six patriotic and military Societies held a demonstration 
to day in the Place Vendome in honor of General Gustave 
Saussier, Commander-in-Chief of the French Army, and 
Military Governor of Paris, who now retires under the age 
limit." 



6 Captain John Baptistk Sauciek. 

Jean Beaumont Saucier was then, in 1700, about 
twenty-five years of age; was happily married, and in 
the enjojnnent of life's chief blessings, in the vener- 
able family home situated midway between the house 
of Joan D'Arc and the ancient city wall. His only 
brother, Felix Xavier Saucier, a few years his senior, 
had chosen the military profession, and was then an 
officer in the Royal Guards at Versailles. 

In the passing of time, with its swiftly shifting 
scenes and ceaseless changes, two sons were born to 
Monsieur and Madame Jean Beaumont Saucier; the 
first receiving the name of Louis Beaumont Saucier, 
and the other that of Paul, The thrifty young mer- 
chant was now blessed with possession of all the 
choicest gifts of life — health, success in business, 
friends in abundance, an angelic wife and two promis- 
ing children. The world seemed to him radiant with 
joy, and the future full of buoyant hope. But sud- 
denly a deep shadow fell upon his bright and happy 
home; caused by one of those subtle strokes of Fate, 
or inexorable Law, so difficult to reconcile wnth gener- 
ally accepted theories of Omniscient mercy and good- 
ness. By an accidental fall, down a tortuous stairway 
in the rambling old mansion, the young wife and 
mother received injuries that caused her death in a 
few hours. 

M. Saucier was almost distracted by the shock, 
and for a long time was broken down by the intensity 
of his grief. But time compassionately assuages the 
pangs of suffering it inflicts, and mitigates the acutest 
sorrow. The terrible blow fully tested the young mer- 



Captai.'^ John Baptiste Saucih;r. 7 

chant's power of mental endurance; but he survived 
it, finding solace in the care and education of his chil- 
dren, and preparing them for the great battle of life 
before them. 

The elder of the two, Louis Beaumont, destined 
to succeed his father, and perpetuate the Saucier mer- 
cantile house, received, at Paris, as thorough business 
training as was at that time practicable to obtain. 
Paul, who was gifted with his mother's gentle dispo- 
sition, in course of time, was educated for the Church; 
and, after taking holy orders, was installed as assist- 
ant priest in the old Cathedral of his native city. 

The time at length approached when M. Saucier, 
according to ancient family custom, would retire from 
the active management of his business, and relinquish 
it to his son, Louis. The thought of leaving the old 
homestead where he w^as born, hallowed by so many 
tender and endearing memories, cast a shadow of mel- 
ancholy upon his mind, and induced a feeling of inde- 
scribable lone.someness. He had purchased a little 
estate a few miles from Orleans, and fitted it up to suit 
his tastes, contemplating passing there the remainder 
of his days. This change of residence removed him 
but a few miles from the city; yet, it separated him 
for the greater part of time from his sous, and isolated 
him in the silence and solitude of the country, with 
servants as his only associates. This condition, con- 
trasted with his former active life on the busy, noisy 
street; with genial, pleasant surroundings, seemed to 
him intolerable, and suggested — as is often the case 



8 Captain John Baptiste Sauciek. 

with old widowers — -the desirability of securing a sym- 
pathetic companion to share his elegant retirement. 

While revolving the propriety of this momentous 
step in his mind an amusing incident occurred that 
dispelled any doubts or misgivings he may have enter- 
tained on the subject; and, like a stroke of magic, re- 
lieved him of all ennui and despondency. For years 
horseback riding had been his favorite exercise for the 
promotion of health, and relaxation from long hours 
of mental and physical business drudgery. 

Mounted on his trusty horse, one fine evening in 
early summer, he cantered out beyond the limits of 
the old town, as was his custom, and turned his 
course into the great forest, preserved there for ages in 
its primitive wildness, to enjoy a view of nature in one 
of its grand and majestic forms. As he rode on he be- 
came so absorbed in the freshness and fragrance of the 
budding and blooming shrubs, and the wide- spreading 
leafy branches of the stately old trees, the chattering 
of squirrels and songs of birds; and, perhaps, in deep 
reveries of more tender kind, that he lost all note of 
time, direction and distance, and wandered on, along 
by-ways and obscure paths, until the light of day was 
fast disappearing. Great fields of black clouds now 
floated up from the south and overspread the sky; and, 
soon, intense darkness ushered in the approaching 
night. 

He had often before ridden through the forest, 
and was familiar with the windings of its roads; but 
now, unable to see any object to guide his course, he 
realized the fact that he was lost. It was not, how- 



Captain John Baptiste Saucier. 9 

ever, his first experience of this sort. He had before 
lost his way in the forest at night, when, trusting to 
the sagacity of his horse, the faithful animal had safely 
and speedily carried him out of the dungeon-like 
gloom back to his home. He now dropped the reins, 
and, holding fast to the pommel of his saddle, bowed 
his head and urged his horse forward. Cautiously and 
steadily his four-footed servant pursued his course, 
across ravines, up one hill and down to another, turn- 
ing now to the right, then to the left, and again 
straight on through the dense blackness that surround- 
ed them. In his dreamy meandering before sunset, 
M. Saucier must have penetrated far into the depths 
of the old woods; for an hour or more had passed 
since his horse had commenced its unguided effort to 
retrace his course. So long indeed, that his confidence 
in the animals' instinct began to weaver, and the horrid 
thought occurred to him that all this groping in the 
dark had been aimless, and that every step, perhaps, 
carried them farther into the interior of the vast wil- 
derness. He began mentally to debate the advisabil- 
ity of stopping there, where he was, to await the re- 
turn of day, when the rumbling of distant thunder, 
and flashes of blinding lightning, portending an ad- 
vancing storm, strengthened his resolution to proceed 
yet a little farther. Just then the clatter of the horses' 
hoofs, and his accellerated gait, proved that he had 
reached a broad, well-beaten road. In a few minutes 
a glimmering light in the distance revived the des- 
pairing traveler's drooping spirits. 

The light, when approached, was found to email- 



10 Captain John Baptiste Saucier. 

ate from the window of a farm house. M. Saucier, 
though his horse manifested no disposition to slacken 
his brisk pace, concluded to stop and dispel his utter 
bewilderment by inquiring of the inmates of the house 
his exact whereaboiits. Dismounting, he made out a 
gate that obstructed his course to the light. Securing 
his horse to the fence, he entered the premises and 
walked up a graveled way to the veranda, which now 
the interior light, and fitful lightning, disclosed from 
the impenetrable darkness. He had advanced to with- 
in a few steps of the house, when, to his utter amaze- 
ment, a female figure came bounding from the door to 
meet him. She threw her arms around his neck, and 
kissing him fervently, exclaimed: "Oh, Papa! I am so 
glad you have come. You were so late getting home, 
I was fearful you had met with some accident." 

Recovering from his surprise, and comprehending 
the young lady's mistake, he replied, "You are mis- 
taken, Madame; I am not your father; but be not 
alarmed. I am Monsieur Saucier, a merchant on Rue 
Dupont, in Orleans; and having lost my way I stopped 
here on seeing the light in your window, to inquire 
where I am, and by what road I may the most speed- 
ily get back to my home." The young lady was ob- 
viously much confused; but regaining her composure, 
invited her accidental guest into the house, where he 
at once discovered her identity, and recovered his lost 
bearings. 

Much to his relief he saw before him Mam'selle 
Adelaide Trotier, daughter of his old friend and pat- 
ron, Jaques Trotier; and was in a house he had fre- 



Captain John Baptiste Sauciek. H 

quently before visited, situated on Trotier's farm, not 
quite a league from the old city wall. The girl ex- 
plained that her father had gone to town early in the 
afternoon, and that she was anxiously expecting his 
return when she heard M. Saucier open the gate and 
come up the walk; and that she was feeling very un- 
easy about his protracted absence; as he was very sel- 
dom detained in town to so late an hour. She had 
scarcely finished her last sentence when a step was 
heard on the veranda, and the door was opened by M. 
Trotier; who was no little astonished upon the unex- 
pected meeting with his friend there. Explanations 
followed, and though the belated merchant was hos- 
pitably pressed to remain until morning, he declined, 
and, mounting his impatient horse, arrived at his own 
home as the threatened rain began to fall. 

The adventures of that evening — most probably 
that impetuous kiss he received in the dark — wrought 
a notable change in M. Saucier's train of thought; and, 
also, in his plans for the future. His depression of 
spirits vanished and was replaced by marked cheerful- 
ness. His equestrian excursions became more frequent 
and less extended, usually terminating at the Trotier 
farm. In short, it was soon noticed by his intimate 
associates that he had once more capitulated to Cupid, 
and, when, a few months later, his nuptials with the 
motherless Mam'selle Adelaide Trotier were announced 
in the Church, it elicited a variety of gossiping com- 
ments, but no surprise. The young lady was twenty- 
four years of age, handsome, tall and muscular; with 
some education and much amiability and sweetness of 



12 Captain John Baptiste Saucier. 

disposition. M. Saucier was then fifty- two years old 
— a little passed the middle period of life, but in the 
prime of vigorous manhood. 

The union of a man, some years passed the merid- 
ian of his probable existence, to a lady several years 
less than half his age, is usually — and justly — regard- 
ed as a violation of the natural order of things, and a 
consummate act of folly on the part of both. Yet, mar- 
riage under any auspices — the most flattering, or least 
promising — is always, in its happiness-producing re- 
sults, a mere matter of lottery — an untried experi- 
ment. 



CHAPTER II. 



Four leagues below Orleans, on the right, or 
northern bank of the river, is situated the pretty little 
village lyachapelle; and half a league beyond it, nest- 
led in the vine-clad hills overlooking the picturesque 
valley of the Loire for miles, was the tasty, yellow- 
roofed cottage of M. Saucier, where himself and bride 
were domiciled a few weeks after their marnage. Their 
ticket in the matrimonial lottery, fortunately, drew 
the highest prize; for, notwithstanding the disparity 
of their ages, their natures were compatible, and their 
days were redolent with unmarred happiness. 

The doctrine of special Providence perhaps can- 
not be sustained; but surely none will deny the special 



Captain John Baptiste Saucier. 13 

mercy vouchsafed poor humanity in its total impoten- 
cy to penetrate the future. With this knowledge 
given to mortals, suicide would depopulate the earth; 
without hope life would be a dreary blank. Among 
the many useful articles M. Saucier had taken with 
him to the country from his town residence, was his 
factotum, Pierre Lepage, a young man of unexcep- 
tionable habits, industrious, honorable and strictly re- 
liable. Moreover, he was a broad-gauged optimist, 
with splendid flow of spirits and humor. Pierre was 
installed as general manager of the little estate, and 
saw to trimming the vines, pruning the trees, culti- 
vating the garden and miniature fields, and took care 
of the pigs, the poultry, the cows and horses All 
the day he was busy from dawn till bed-time; and was 
usually singing or whistling when not talking or 
laughing; and if not working or eating, was often 
fiddling or dancing. 

The sentiment of love is not contagious as measles 
or whooping cough, but may be communicated by ex- 
ample or association. Pierre was exposed to this in- 
fection, and was a very susceptible subject to its in- 
fluence. The connubial bliss he daily witnessed in 
the cottage profoundly impressed him, and strength- 
ened his conviction that it is not best for man to dwell 
alone. He pondered the matter over for some time, 
and the more he thought about it the more assiduous 
he became in his devotions; or rather in his attendance 
at church. Heretofore the priest had, on several oc- 



14 Captain John Baptiste Saucier. 

casions, reprimanded him for his neglect of this duty, 
and Pierre alwa3's excused himself on the plea of want 
of time. Now, however, he was, every Sabbath, the 
first one at the church door, and was a frequent caller 
at the priest's residence during week days, especially 
in the evenings. His neighbors, and the villagers, 
were for a time considerably surprised at this .sudden 
manifestation of zealous piety, and began to surmise 
that Pierre's sins must be w^eighing heavily upon his 
conscience. This view seemed confirmed when he was 
seen to enter the confessional, supposedly to invoke 
the holy man's aid in lifting the burden from his sin- 
stricken soul. But they were mistaken. About all 
that Pierre had to confess to Father Jarvais was the 
fact that he was in love with his sister, Mam'selle Ma- 
rie Jarvais; and that what he needed to ensure his 
happiness, and incidentally that of the young lady 
also, was not absolution so much as the good Father's 
consent to their union. This he obtained, and in due 
time they were married. 

A year and a half had passed .since M. Saucier 
had inducted his blooming young bride in their new 
home, and the passing days and months had brought 
to her increasing joy and happiness, and rose-tinted 
anticipations of a future blessing that would add new 
charms to that home, and gladden the hearts of its in- 
mates. But, oh; how merciful it was for their san- 
guine hopes that no power could reveal to them the 
hidden calamity the future had in store for them. 



Captain John Baptiste Saucier. 15 

On July 25th, 1726, the event occurred to which 
they had looked forward with glowing expectations, 
not unmixed with, very natural, feelings of anxiety. 
On that day a son was born to them; and, for a short 
time it seemed that heaven had smiled upon them in 
the realization of their fondest wishes. The young 
mother had received the congratulations of her de- 
lighted husb .nd and sympathetic friends and relatives 
around her; and had impressed on her infant's Hps an 
impassioned kiss, when she was suddenly seized with 
horrible, agonizing convulsions, that continued at short 
intervals, baffling the skill of physicians and unceasing 
efforts of heroic nurses, until death mercifully relieved 
her of her suffering. 

Marie Lepage, whose honeymoon had scarcely 
passed, remained resolutely by the stricken young 
woman's bedside, rendering every service in her pow- 
er, until the awful scene was closed; and then took 
charge of the motherless child, constituting herself its 
foster mother and most affecti nate and devoted nurse. 

It is needless here tj dwell upon the effect of this 
great bereavement upon Monsieur Saucier. Its crush- 
ing shock can much more readily be imagined than 
described. This pitiless stroke wellnigh bereft his life 
of every charm and hope. But from the almost intol- 
erable misfortune there yet remained to him one in- 
centive to live, and to continued exertion. The young 
life consigned to his love and care by the holy affec 
tion and confidence of the one who gave her life for it. 



16 Captain John Baptisth Saucier. 

demanded, and must receive, his unsparing attention 
for the balance of his declining years. 

One bright Sunday morning the babe was taken 
down to the village church and baptized by Father 
Jarvais, receiving the name of Jean Baptiste Saucier, 
with Pierre and Marie Lepage enjoying the special 
privilege and honor of appointment as his god-father 
and god-mother. No more willing or faithful sponsors 
for the motherless child could have been selected. Un- 
der the angel-like watchfulness of Madame Lepage he 
thrived and grew apace, developing robust proportions, 
and rather more than average activity and intelli- 
gence. 

Three years had passed over the house of mourn- 
ing when the gloom of its great sorrow was measurably 
dispelled and enlivened by a gleam of joy, this time 
unattended, or followed by casualty or disaster. To 
Pierre and Marie was born a daughter, which event 
the proud father lost no time in heralding throughout 
the neighborhood and village. All went well, and the 
sunlight of love and joy again illuminated the cottage. 
The time for another baptism was soon at hand. By 
this time Pierre's exuberance of happiness had settled 
down sufficiently to permit him to think coherently, 
and he asked Marie if she had yet thought of a name 
for their girl. 

"Yes, Pierre, I have", she said; "as a testimonial 
of our respect and affection for the sainted dead, and 
a token of gratitude to M. Saucier for the kindness 



Captain John Baptiste Saucier. 17 

and benefits we have received at his hands, I think we 
should name our child Adelaide; don't j^ou?" 

"Indeed I do, Marie", said Pierre, "and for the 
additional reason that Adelaide was my good old grand- 
mother's name also." 

And, so, the child received that name; but for 
convenience it was abridged to Adel. The two child- 
ren infused new life and light in the cottage; and it 
regained much of its former cheerful home-like ap- 
pearance. They were reared together as brother and 
sister, sharing alike the love and tender care of the 
young mother, and of Pierre and the old gentleman. 
In time they grew strong enough to follow Pierre 
about when at work in the garden, or among the 
vines, and to ride with him in the cart to and from the 
fields. And when Marie dressed them out in gay at- 
tire, M. Saucier experienced great pleasure and pride 
in taking tl.em with him in his gig on his frequent 
visits to the village, where they w^ere petted and ad- 
mired by friends and relatives. In course of time they 
daily walked to the village together, when the weather 
was fair, the boy carrying their dinner basket, and at- 
tended the village school, and learned the catechism. 
It was a long walk; but as other children joined them 
along the road, they enjoyed the exercise and were 
benefitted by it. In bad weather, or muddy roads, 
Pierre bundled them in his cart and took them to the 
school house, and returned for them when school was 
dismissed in the evening. 



18 Captain John Baptists Saucier. 

Jean Baptiste rapidly grew to be a manly lad; 
stout, athletic and courageous. He learned quickly, 
was fond of active sports, and, though neither ill-tem- 
pered or quarrelsome, was not slow to resent an insult, 
or redress a wrong. In consequence, he often had 
occasion to test his muscular power, and was not long 
in being accorded the pugilistic championship of the 
school. 

Adel was of quiet and retiring disposition, but 
brave and spirited enough to admire her foster-broth- 
er's knightly traits. They were brought up, as their 
parents and ancestors had been, in the Catholic faith, 
and together received elementary religious instruction 
at Father Jarvais' parochial school; and together they 
knelt at the altar in their first Communion. 

But the happy childhood days were fleeting, and 
the inevitable time at length arrived decreeing their 
separation, and diverging their young lives into differ- 
ent channels. The boy would ere long have to assume 
his part in the serious drama of life, and needed to be 
well prepared for it. He had exhausted the old vil- 
lage teacher's resources and learning, and must seek 
higher instruction at the Academy in Orleans. He 
left his home for the first time and though his desti- 
nation was but a few miles away, the leave taking left 
no dry eyes in the cottage. He visited his home at 
the close of each week; yet, his absence left a dreary 
void that dampened the hilarity of the family circle. 

He was graduated at the Academy at the head of 



Captain John Baptiste Saucier. 19 

his class, and then accompanied his father to Paris, to 
visit his uncle, Col. Felix Xavier Saucier, and to see 
the many attractive sights visible in the splendid me- 
tropolis. It is a family tradition that Col. Saucier 
bound the boy's hands together behind his back with 
a handkerchief, when he took him through the great 
palace at Versailles, in order to restrain his intense de- 
sire to touch or handle the swords and other glittering 
arms he saw there at every turn. 

Jean Baptiste was so captivated by the fine mar- 
tial bearing of Colonel Saucier, and the perfect disci- 
pline and gorgeous appearance of hisregiment of Royal 
Guards, that he determined then and there to emulate 
his uncle's course in the profession of arms; and to 
consecrate his life to the cause of his king and his 
country. His natural aptitude for that calling, and 
erect, soldierly figure, won the Colonel's admiration 
and encouragement. After m^uch persuasion he gained 
his father's consent; then through the influence and 
efforts of his uncle, was admitted into the Royal Mili- 
tary School as a cadet. 

This disruption of home ties— destined to be pro- 
longed indefinitely — cast upon the inmates of the cot- 
tage overlooking the I^oire a deeper cloud of sadness. 
M. Saucier wandered about the fields and vineyards 
aimlessly as though lost, and Adel wept in secret. 
Pierre was not so jolly as of old, and had frequent mo- 
ments of serious reflection. And poor Marie, diligent 
as ever with her routine domestic affairs, often blamed 



20 Captain John Baptiste Saucier. 

the onions, or mustard, or the dust or smoke, for 
bringing tears to her eyes that she wiped away with 
her apron. 

Jean Baptiste was too thoroughly engrossed in his 
studies and duties to be homesick. His excellent 
scholarship, assiduous application and intellectual 
alertness enabled him to readily master the curriculum 
and training of ly'Ecole Militaire; from which he em- 
erged at the early age of twenty-two with a commis- 
sion of Lieutenant of Engineers in the King's military 
service. 

He returned to his cottage home on a brief leave 
of absence, arrayed in the tinseled trappings of his 
newly attained rank, a superb type of physical man- 
hood and gallant soldier. All gazed on him with pride, 
and feelings akin to adoration. Pierre no longer called 
him pet names, but doffed his hat in respectful obei- 
sance; and Marie, in happy amazement, addressed him 
as Monsieur Jean Baptiste, Adel could scarcely real- 
ize that the handsome young military officer, in showy 
uniform, now before her, was the impetuous boy com- 
panion of her childhood; and she awoke to the con- 
sciousness that her sisterly affection for him had some- 
how changed to a different and loftier sentiment. This 
discovery caused her to be strangely demure and re- 
served in his presence. Too soon the limit of his fur- 
lough expired; and he received orders from the War 
Department at Paris, to report for duty at once to Ma- 
jor Makarty at Brienne. Then came the trying ordeal 



CAlpfAiK John BAPl'iStfi SauCiER. ^1 

bf taking final leave of his dear old home where he 
had passed all the early and happiest years of his life, 
and of the loved ones he was destined never to see 
again. 

I^eeling his fortitude about to desert him, he tore 
himself away, after receiving the tremulous blessing of 
his gray- haired father, the tearful farewell of big- 
hearted Pierre, and fervent embrace of his beloved fos- 
ter-mother, Marie, and lastly, the parting kiss of Adel; 
now a charming maiden with lustrous black eyes, rosy 
cheeks and queenly figure, who, with mighty effort, 
repressed her tears until the young soldier had disap- 
peared down the winding road leading to the village. 



CHAPTER III. 

In the autumn of 17 18, Pierre Duque Boisbriant, 
recently appointed Commandant of the Illinois, by the 
Company of the Indies, arrived at Kaskaskia with a 
detachment of troops for the purpose of constructing 
a fort in that region to protect the Company's interests 
there, and the French colonists in that portion of New 
France. Boisbriant, a Canadian by birth, and cousin 
of Bienville, then Governor of Louisiana, arrived at 
Mobile on the 9th of February, 1718. Proceeding to 
Biloxi he there made his preparations, and then com- 
menced his long voyage up the great river, which he 
accomplished by fall without incident of note. Gov. 
Bienville and a colony of French accompanied him 



22 Captain John Baptiste Saucier. 

from Mobile to a point on the east bank of the Missis- 
sippi, thirty leagues above its mouth, where they 
founded a post they named Iberville, subsequently re- 
named New Orleans. 

The site selected by Boisbriant for his fort in the 
Illinois, was near the east bank of the Mississippi, on 
the flat alluvial bottom land, sixteen miles above Kas- 
kaskia; having a long slough, or lake, the remains of 
an ancient channel of the river, on the east midway 
between it and the bluffs four miles away. This slough, 
he supposed, would add materially to the strategic 
strength of the position. The fort he erected there 
was a wooden stockade reinforced on the interior with 
earth taken from the excavations of the exterior 
moats. It was completed in 1720, and named Fort de 
Chartres, as a compliment to the Regent, whose son 
was lye Due de Chartres. 

This fort was for many years the chef -lieu, or seat 
of civil as well as military government of the Illinois 
-district embracing the territory from the mouth of the 
Ohio to Canada between the Mississippi and Wabash 
rivers. In 1731, the Company of the West failed and 
surrendered their charter to the king. The Illinois 
was by this act receded to the crown of France. 

For the protection of Kaskaskia from threatened 
incursions of the fierce Chickasaws, below the mouth 
of the Ohio, a stockade fort, was in the year 1733, 
erected on the bluff just east of the town, and a por- 
tion of the troops at Fort Chartres were sent there to 
garrison it. Th(s Kaskaskia fort has been known, er- 
roneously, since the conquest of the Illinois by George 



CAP^fAiN John BAPifiSTE Saucier. 25 

Rogers Clark, as '*Fort Gage." Its name, and the 
name of its builder, are lost. It was a French fort, 
and when the disheartening news of the cession of the 
country by the craven King of France to the English, 
in 1763, reached the town of Kaskaskia, the indignant 
citizens set fire to the fort and destroyed it, determined 
that the hated ensign of England should not float over 
it. The '^Fort Gage" entered by Col. George Rogers 
Clark, on the night of the 4th of July, 1778, was the 
stockaded Jesuit buildings in the town, occupied by 
the British under the command of M. Rocheblave.^ 

It is much to be regretted that so few of the rec- 
ords and official documents of old Fort Chartres have 
been preserved to reveal to us the story of its occu- 
pants in their daily life; of the stirring events, and 
strange, thrilling scenes transpiring there; of the busy 
throngs that came and went; of the military expedi- 
tions marching from its gates to repel invasions, or at- 
tack distant enemies; of the Indians lounging about 

*Fort Chartres passed into possession of the EJng-lish in 
1765. Seven years later, in 1772, occurred an extraordinary 
rise of the Mississippi that inundated all the low lands 
along- its borders. The water rose in Port Chartres to the 
depth of seven feet. The northwest bastion, and greater 
part of the western wall fell into the river. The Fort was 
^abandoned by the Engflish, who took possession of the large 
buildings of the Jesuits in K«skaskia, surrounding them 
with a stockade, which they named Fort Gage, and there 
established their seat of government, military and civil, for 
the Illinois. At the period of C'apt. Bossu's second visit to 
Fort Chartres, in 1755, the fort on the hill, east of Kaskas. 
kia, was garrisoned by French troops commanded by Cap- 
tain Montcharvaux. It was destroyed in 1766. 



24 Captain John BaptiSTE Sauciek. 

its gates, or camped near by; of the joys and sorrows, 
deaths and griefs, hopes and disappointments of its 
inmates in their remote exile from civilization. 

About the close of the first half of the Eighteenth 
Century France and England were again at war be- 
cause of a disagreement between Frederick the Great 
and Marie Theresa; and this produced serious dis- 
turbances in the settlements in the Illinois. Some 
Englishmen lurking on the Mississippi were arrested 
as spies and confined in the dungeon at Fort Chartres. 
Then rumors came of a contemplated English and In- 
dian attack on the Fort in retaliation. Chevalier de 
Bartel, the Commandant of the Post was sorely per- 
plexed. The Fort was sadly out of repair, and sup- 
plies of all sorts very nearly exhausted. Many of the 
soldiers of the garrison, tiring of idle confinement had 
deserted to try free life in the woods and prairies. 
"Many of the old-time Indian allies were won over 
by the British, and had agreed to destroy the French 
post during the moon of the fall of the leaf; but in 
this were thwarted by the skill and address of De 
Bartel."* 

The peace of Aix-Ia-Chapelle, in 1748, gave the 
dissolute King of France, Eouis XV, brief respite 
from contention with England and profitless continen- 
tal wars, only to sink deeper in vice and debauchery, 
and to become more completrly under control of the 
beautiful, soulless Madame de Pompadour. He had 

*01d Fort Chartres. A paper read by Hon. E. G. Ma' 
son before the Chicag-o Historical Society, June 16th, 1880. 
Fergus Co., Chicago. 



PLAN OF FORT CHARTRES. 








G 



H H 

luj CUD 




%^ 



D. 



Each 96 
feet in 



B. Main gate; facing the east. 

C. The river gate. 

D. OflBcers' quarters, hospital and store rooms. 

feet in length and 30 in breadth. 
G. G. Soldiers' barracks. Tw^o stories high, 135 

length and 36 feet in breadth. 
H. H. Storerooms and guardhouse. Each building 90 feet 

long and 24 wide. 

E. One of the several wells. 

F. The magazine. 

I. The wine and kitchen cellar. 
K The bake oven. 
L. Iv. A ravine marking the limit of erosion by the river in 
1772, and the portion of the walls then washed 
away. 
The large council hall back of the ofificers' quarters, 
and the cavalry stables along the walls are not shown in 
the cut. 



OAPtAlN JoiiN BaPI^ISTE SAtlCtfitt. 25 

impoverished France by his profligacy, and support < 
with his afniies and treasury, of his father-in-law's 
claims to the throne of Poland, and in the wars of the 
Austrian succession. Meanwhile his American colo- 
nies were utterly neglected, and some of his western 
military posts, including Fort Chartres, on the verge 
of abandonment. This latter calamity, however, was 
averted "when", again quoting from Mr. Mason's pa^ 
p»r "the Marquis de Galissoniere, Governor General 
of Canada, presented a memorial on the subject to the 
home government. He (therein) said, 'The little 
colony of Illinois ought not to be left to perish. The 
Icing must sacrifice for its support. The principal 
advantage of the country is its extreme productive- 
ness; and its connection with Canada and Louisiana 
must be maintained'." Again in January, 1750, he 
urged upon the King the importance of preserving 
and strengthening the post at the Illinois; describing 
the country as open and ready for the plough, and tra-^ 
versed by an innumerable multitude of buffalos. 'And 
these animals', he says, 'are covered with a species o^ 
wool, sufficiently fine to be employed in various man- 
ufactories' And he further suggests, and doubtless 
correctly, that the buffalo, if caught, and attached to 
the plough would move it at a speed superior to that 
of the domestic ox'." 

The King was at last aroused to a proper under- 
standing of the deplorable condition of affairs in his 
far western possessions, and decided upon a vigorous 
policy to defend and retain them. He ordered Fort 
Chartres to be rebuilt with stone, and garrisoned with 



26 Captain John BApTiStii SAtJCtfiR. 

a body of regular troops. For the reconstruction of 
the Fort he appropriated a million of crowns; and or- 
dered large quantities of munitions, and other supplies, 
to be sent up the Mississippi at once. 

In the summer of 175 1, Chevalier Makarty-^, a 
Major of the Engineer Corps, a rugged soldier of re- 
mote Irish descent, arrived at the Fort, from France, 
with a considerable military force and a large number 
of artisans and laborers, and boats ladened with too^s, 
ammunition, arms, provisions and clothing. The Ma- 
jor assumed command of the post, and lost no time in 
beginning the great work he had been sent there to 
do. In this era of scientific military engineering it is 
difficult to imagine any reason for locating a defensive 
work upon such a wretched site as that selected for 
F'ort Chartres. It was situated on sandy, alluvial soil 
but little elevated above the river's level, and continu- 

*rhis is the correct spelling of his name, as written by 
himself on the parish records of ihe Church of St. Anne of 
New Chartres, Of Major Makarty, who was Commandant 
at Fort Chartres during- the very interesting period of its 
construction, unfortunately but little is known. Of his 
personal history and characteristics we know absolutely 
nothing. But meagre mention is made of him in any of 
our local histories; and the records of his official acts are 
lost, or stored in the state archives at Paris. In 1753, M. 
t)uQuesne, Governor General, wrote to the Minister of Ma- 
rines, at Paris, charging Commandant Makarty with illicit 
sales of liquor to the Indians and French settlers, and ad- 
vising that he be relieved therefor of his command. But no 
attention was paid to this charge, and he was not relieved 
until 1761, and then by his own request; as, at the time, he 
was incapacitated for active service by reason of disability 
from rheumatic gout. 



Captain Jomn Baptiste Saucier. 27 

ually subject to the river's encroachments; with a 
slough between it and the river bank, and a large 
slough between it and the bluffs; and in the midst of 
pestilential malarious, mosquito-infested, swamps. And 
why an Engineer of Chevalier Makarty's presumed 
attainments erected a splendid fortress, at immense 
expense on the same ground is beyond comprehension, 
excepting on the supposition that he acted in obedi- 
ence to positive instructions. His arrival at the post, 
with well equipped and well disciplined soldiers and 
their sprightly officers, accompanied by a small army 
of skilled mechanics and laborers, and a fleet of keel- 
boats of stores, produced a great sensation not only at 
the decayed and nearly deserted post, but all through 
the settlements in the Illinois. Fort Chartres awoke 
from its lethargy and was transformed to a scene of 
busy animation. The hum of a new activity resound- 
ed in the forest and distant hills. The habitants of 
the bottom were elated; and the Indians gazed upon 
the new arrivals in mute surprise. 

Captain M. Bossu, who came up the Mississippi 
with a company of marines, the following spring, 1752, 
writing from FortChartres.says, ' 'LeSieuriJean Baptiste) 
Saussier, an engineer, has made a plan for constructing 
a new Fort here according to the instruction of the 
Court. It will bear the name of the old one, which is 
called Fort de Chartres." The stockades of the old 
fort were decayed beyond repair, though the buildings 
they enclosed were yet tenable and in fair condition. 
The site chosen for the new structure was not half a 



28 CAi^TAtN John BapI'iste ^AtJcmM. 

leaugue above the old Fort, and but a short distance 
from the river* 

At that point a mission for the Itaskaskia Indians 
had many years before been established — which was 
perhaps one reason for locating the new Fort there^ 
and it served as the nucleus of quite a town at the 
gate of the Fort, subsequently known as NouveaU 
(New) Chartres. 

Chevalier Makarty began operations by sending a 
large force of workmen to the bluffs at the nearest 
escarpment of limestone, about four miles east, where 
they built temporary quarters of logs covered with 
clapboards, there to blast the rock and cut the de^ 
tached masses to required dimensions. "The place in 
the bluff may be seen to this day where the stone was 
quarried to erect the fort.f Another force of laborers, 
with carts drawn by oxen, conveyed the dressed stone, 
around the end of the slough, in the dry season, to the 
builders by the river; and in the wet season to the 
vslough, or lagoon, across which they were ferried in 
flat boats, and then taken on to the required place. Be- 

* I acknowledg-e with pleasure my indebtedness to Hon. 
H. W. Beckwith, President of the Illinois State Historical 
Society, for important references corroborating- this fact, 
and correcting the common impression that the new fort, 
built of stone, was a reconstruction of the old stockade. 
Captain Bossa, who again visited the fort in 1755, says— in 
his Travels en Louisiane — "I came once more to the old Fort 
Chartres, where I lay in a hut, till I could g^er lodging- in 
the new fort, which is almost finished." 

f Reynold's Pionecf History of Illi*fois. "The finer stone, 
with which the gateways and buildings were faced, was 
brought from beyond the Mississippi". B. G. Mason. 



Captain John Baptiste Saucier. 29 

side these were lime burners, mortar mixers, wood 
choppers and whip-sawyers, carpenters, blacksmiths, 
boatmen, teamsters, hunters, cooks and servants, com- 
prising, with the soldiers, a population of several hun- 
dreds. The new fort was projected on a more modern 
plan than the old one, and was much larger; a quad- 
rangle, comprising an area of four acres. The exte- 
rior walls of massive masonry, thirty inches in thick- 
ness at the base, and loop-holed for musket and artil- 
lery firing, rose sixteen feet in height, with star- 
shaped bastions at each corner excepting the south- 
western. At that angle was a small gate for conveni- 
ence of access to the river landing. The northeastern 
bastion having the flagstaff was higher than the others. 
In the southeastern bastion was situated the magazine 
of stone, laid in cement now as hard as flint. It is 
yet in sound preservation; its vertcial end walls twen- 
ty-five feet in height, closing the arch between. Its 
floor, seven feet below the surface, and its interior, 
well plastered with cement, measuring twenty-five feet 
by eighteen; and twenty-two feet from floor to apex 
of the arch. There were also long lines of barracks 
officer's quarters, store rooms and cavalry stables. 

The period occupied in building the new fort w^as 
one of unprecedented prosperity for that portion of 
New France. Kaskaskia, the metropolis of the Illi- 
nois, the center of its widespread commerce, and of its 
wealth and industries, profited largely by its proximi- 
ty to the military post. Its citizens of French lineage, 
were not distinguished for energy or enterprise, but 
were thrifty and self-reliant. With their continuous 



30 Captain John Baptiste Saucier. 

round of mirth and festivities they were not unmind- 
ful of their own interests. Cahokia, twenty-eigl t 
miles above the fort, on the Mississippi, rivaled Kas- 
kaskia as a trading point, was ahnost its equal in pop- 
ulation, and its people were as noted for their social gai- 
ties and generous hospitality. Prairie du Rocher, settled 
in 1722, and nestled at the foot of a high perpendicular 
cliff of the bluffs, four miles east of the fort, gained 
much importance during the construction of the new 
fortification. St. Philip, founded by Renault, five 
miles above the old fort, on his extensive land grant, 
had passed the zenith of its growth, and was already 
known among the settlers as ' Xe Petite Village". 
New Cbartres in the parish of St. Anne, near the main 
gate of the new fort, gained the proportions of a con- 
siderable town; having absorbed the greater part of 
the population of the town below, near the old fort,* 
with a large part of that of St. Philip, and comprised 
the temporary homes of the mechanics and laborers 
employed on the new structure; also of some of the of- 
ficers and soldiers having families. 

These settlements constituted an isolated commu- 
nity surrounded by Indians, having only periodical 
communication with the outside world by way of New 
Orleans, or the northern lakes and Quebec. They 
were all situated on the alluvial "bottom" of the Mis- 

*"The site of this village was swept off by the Missis- 
sippi; so that not much of any vestige of it remains at this 
day. This village had its commoq field, commons for wood 
and pasture, its church and grave-yard, like the other set- 
tlements of Illinois." Reynolds' Pioneer Histoty of Illinois. 



Captain John Baptiste Saucier. 31 

sissippi, a region of unsurpassed fertility, teeming with 
wild fruits and nuts, and overrun by herds of buffalo, 
deer, turkeys, prairie chickens, and other varieties of 
game; its numerous lakes and sloughs visited by my- 
riads of water fowls, and alive with the finest of fish. 
Natuie lavishly supplied, in a great measure, the sim- 
ple wants of the people, and left both old and young 
to regard the pursuit of pleasure the chief object of 
existence. 



CHAPTER IV. 

The household of the Commandant, Chevalier de 
Makarty,* consisted, with himself, of his son and 
daughter, his wife having died some years before of 
that entailed curse upon humanity, pulmonary con- 
sumption. The son, Maurice, acted in the capacity of 
his father's secretary and personal assistant. The 
daughter, Eulalie, a tall, slender, handsome girl of 
twenty summers, with very fair complexion, blue eyes 
and auburn hair, though French by parentage and ed- 
ucation, possessed some marked traits of her father's 
Celtic ancestry, with the physical constitutional frail- 
ties of her deceased mother. As some of the officers 
in the Chevalier's command were accompanied by 
their wives and families, she had come with her father 

*Much of what follows of this narrative rests upon oral 
family tradition, now committed to writing- for the first 
time. 



32 Captain John Baptiste Saucier. 

and brother, by advice of her physicians, in quest of 
health and vigor that a change of climate might offer. 
She was by no means an invalid; and the rough, 
wild life at the post, for a time, greatly improved her 
strength and animation. In the quarters she enlivened 
the garrison with her music and laughter, when not 
engaged in amelioriating the sufferings of the sick by 
her kind and patient attentions. A great deal of her 
time was passed in the open air when the weather per- 
mitted, as she was much interested in the progress of 
the work, and in everything she saw in the strange 
new country. She had for a companion — who fol- 
low^ed her everywhere like her shadow — a mulatto ser- 
vant, named Lisette, a native of Martinique, a few 
years her senior in age; strong, agile as a cat, and ab- 
solutely fearless. This maid was dex^oted to her young 
mistress almost to infatuation. In pleasant weather 
wath bright skies, the two could be daily seen together, 
mounted on their ponies, galloping over the prairie; or 
on the high bluff, viewing the grand panorama before 
them; or in a canoe paddled by the intrepid I^isette, 
on the broad Mississippi, or fishing on the marais; or 
gathering wild flowers, nuts, or grapes near the Fort. 
Occasionally some of the ladies from the officer's quar- 
ters joined them; and quite often a gallant officer, then 
off duty, offered his services as an escort to guard them 
from harm, and enjoy the young lady's smiles. Eulalie 
and her dusky maid needed no countersign to pass the 
camp sentinels; but were prudently restrained from 
going beyond the cordon of outriding pickets without 
an escort of armed horsemen. 



Captain John Baptistk Saucip:r. 33 

The multitude of people at the Fort engaged in 
the gigantic work, and the number of officers and sol- 
diers quartered there, rendered it an attractive place 
for all surrounding settlements; not only for sale of 
produce, and other traffij, but also for social enjoy- 
ment and pastimes. The Fort was frequently visited 
by parties of ladies and gentlemen from Kaskaskia, or 
Cahokia, or both, to spend the day in rowing, fishing, 
or pic-nicing, followed, after candle lighting by danc- 
ing. 

Strict discipline w'as at all times enforced by the 
Commandant of the garrison. The troops were regu- 
larly drilled; sentinels and picket guards, or videttes, 
were constantly on duty, and the distant stone and 
wood workers and teamsters were guarded by squads 
of well armed soldiers. These precautions, apart from 
maintaining discipline and order, were necessary be- 
cause of the defenseless condition of both forts, the 
old and the new, during the erection of the latter, in 
view of the many rumors of Indian hostilities, and 
possible attacks at any time by the despised English.* 

*In 1752 six Indians of the Oatag^mi, or Fox tribe, then 
residing^ west of Lake Michigfan, came down the country 
on a hunting- expedition and were captured by the Cahokia 
Indians, who burned five of them at the stake. The sixth 
one escaped to return to his people and report the fate of 
his companions. A council was called, and revenge deter- 
mined upon. One hundred and eighty bark canoes filled with 
Foxes and their allies the Kickapoos and Sioux, descended 
the river, passing the fort at Cahokia, then commanded by 
Chevalier de Volsci, at night without being seen. The Ca- 
hokias and Michigamis were encamped, as Bossu says, 

3 



34 Captain John Baptiste Saucier. 

Lieutenant Jean Baptiste Saucier reported for duty 
to Major Makarty at Brienne; aud there, before sail- 
ing with his command from France, received from the 
Minister of Marine specific instructions regarding the 
character of fort the king desired to be erected. Dur- 
ing the long tedious voyage across the Atlantic, aud 
the laborious ascent of the Mississippi, the young lieu- 
tenant was much in the company of the Major's daugh- 
ter, Mam'selle Eulalie And after their arrival at the 
old Fort, his relations with the Commandant contin- 
ue confidential and intimate, his assignment as Chief 
Designer requiring his presence at headquarters much 
of his time. While there at work the young lady was 
firequeritly at his side, assisting in his drawings and 
calculaitions; and, when off duty, he was often her 
companion in morning excursions, and in the evening 
cotillions and waltzes. This continued association of 
the handsome young officer and the brilliant girl, in 



but a league from Fort Chartres; and the day on which the 
avengers arrived happened to be one of the numerous feast 
days of the Catholic church, and several of the Indians from 
the village had gone to Fort Chartres to witness the cere- 
monies of the Church there. They were all who survived 
the vengeance of the Foxes, who slew every man, woman 
acd child remaining in the village, but a fifteen year old 
girl who ran to Capt. Bossu for protection and was not mo- 
lested. Capt. Bossu says he witnessed this massacre "from 
an eminence near by"; but it is difficult to understand'what 
"eminence" he found there, excepting one of the ancient 
prehistoric mounds, perhaps. The Foxes reascended the 
Mississippi river, firing their guns in triumph as they 
passed the Cahokia stockade. 



Captain John Baptiste Saucier. 35 

their distant exile, naturally engendered in both senti- 
ments of mutual regard higher and more fervent than 
mere respect. And indeed, with her, this sentiment 
gradually deepened to an absorbing passion. He would 
probably have fully reciprocated this feeling, but for 
the everpresent image before him of his childhood's 
playmate, schoolmate, and more than sister, the state- 
ly Adel, far away on the sun-kissed hills of the Loire. 
He admired Eulalie. but loved Adel. 



CHAPTER V. 



All through the winter and succeeding summer 
the adjacent forest resounded with strokes of the wood- 
man's axe and mason's hammer; and heavy blasting 
of rocky cliffs above Prairie du Rocher was reechoed 
like distant peals of artillery. The Indians watched 
the progress of the work in silent amazement, and the 
Creole settlers were loud in praises of their good and 
munificent King. The second winter passed pleasant- 
ly at the Fort with no cessation of labor in preparing 
building materials; or interruption of the usual ex- 
change of polite courtesies between the officers and the 
elite of Kaskaskia and Cahokia. Unrelaxed military 
vigilance was maintained; and the peace and quietude 
of the post was undisturbed, save by frequent false 
alarms of Indian uprisings, or English invasions. 

The second Easter came and passed, and the snow 
and ice disappeared. The hickory buds were bursting 



36 Captain John Baptiste Saucier. 

in the woods tinged with green; and the prairie lark, 
just up from the south, enlivened the scene with his 
cheery notes. One beautiful morning in the early 
spring, Lieutenant Saucier had passed out of the river 
gate, on a tour of inspection of that portion of the 
structure, when he was suddenly startled by the dis- 
charge of a musket and loud shrieks of the sentinel 
stationed on the river bank scarcely a rifle shot distant 
from where he stood. Rushing to the spot he saw the 
soldier wildly gesticulating and loudly calling for 
help. Glancing over the river bank, the Lieutenant 
saw the cause of his agitation — a sight that almost par- 
alyzed him; but only for a moment. Eulalie and her 
maid, lured by the brilliance of the perfect day to re- 
sume their canoe excursions suspended during the long 
winter, had rowed some distance up the great stream, 
and returning, when but a short distance from the 
landing, a puff of wind blew the young lady's hat off 
into the water. In her effort to recover it she capsized 
the canoe, and the two girls were struggling for life in 
the turbid current of the river. Lisette was clinging 
to the upturned dugout with one hand, and with the 
other had grasped her young mistress and was endeav- 
oring to support her head above the treacherous waves. 
The sentinel on duty there, a few yards away, wit- 
nessed the accident, but as he had never learned to 
swim, was powerless to afford help; yet, had the pres- 
ence of mind to fire his gun to attract assistance. 

As the Lieutenant reached the water's edge Li- 
sette lost her hold of Eulalie who sank beneath the 
surface. Quick as thought, he threw aside his coat 



Captain John BaMiste Saucier. 37 

and hat and plunged into the stream. He was an ex- 
pert swimmer, and though encumbered with his cloth- 
ing, and the water was very cold, he caught the girl 
as she was disappearing, and, by exertion that only 
such an emergency could inspire, succeeded in bring- 
ing her to the shore 

When Lisette saw her mistress sink she quit the 
canoe to attempt her rescue; but the Lieutenant, who 
had by this time grasped the drowning girl, called to 
the servant to save herself, which she readily did by 
swimming to the bank. The report of the sentinel's 
gun and his frantic cries were immediately answered 
at the Fort by the long roll of the drum, and the com- 
pany then on duty, led by its officers, came dashing to 
the place of supposed danger. A hand litter was 
quickly improvised upon which Kulalie, exhausted, 
■pale and unconscious, but still breathing, was placed, 
warmly enveloped in several of the coats that nearly 
every member of the company divested himself of and 
offered for the purpose. She was hurriedly taken to 
her apartments, where the post surgeons, aided by all 
the ladies of the garrison, in time resuscitated her. 
From the river bank Lisette, fatigued and, of course, 
dripping wet, walked briskly behind the litter borne 
by the soldiers, and could not be induced to lose sight 
of her mistress until assured that all danger was 
passed. 

Eulalie -was saved from death by drowning; but 
the shock she received, together with the cold immer- 
sion, resulted in a severe attack of pneumonia that 
brought her to the verge of collapse. She was con- 



38 Captain John Baptiste Saucier. 

fined to her room for some weeks, for several days in 
the balance between life and death, the beam finally 
turning in her favor. The wild roses and sunflower^ 
were in bloom when she had gained sufficient strength 
to sit in the dearborn, or caleche, cushioned around, 
for exercise in the prairie in the early mornings and 
evenings. A cough she had contracted during the 
Christmas festivities became aggravated and persist- 
ent. The melancholy fact that she was now an inva- 
lid, with serious pulmonary trouble, was apparent, with 
but little doubt of its ultimate result. 



CHAPTER VI. 

Communication with France, by the residents of 
the IHinois, was at that era slow and uncertain. The 
best sailing vessels required from two to four months 
to cross the Atlantic; and often that leng h of time 
was consumed in propelling keel boats, or lighter craft, 
from New Orleans to Kaskaskia, or the Fort. About 
the same period of time was necessary for the trans- 
mission of despatches and letters by Quebec, by friend- 
ly Indians, or hardy Canadian couriers, to the Illinois 
settlements. Traveling by either route was irksome 
and laborious, and attended by many dangers, particu- 
larly when passing through hostile tribes of Indians. 

Lieutenant Saucier called frequently on Eulalie, 
and by affecting much cheerfulness himself, sought to 
stimulate her hopes, and inspire her with courage. 



Captain John Baptists Saucier. 39 

And her spirits always revived when in his presence, 
or within sound of his voice. 

Several weeks had passed since Eulalie's thrilling 
experience in the river when, one day, a courier, ac- 
companied by several Indians, arrived at the Fort from 
Quebec, bringing official despatches from the Governor 
General, and also from the home government, and Eu- 
ropean mail for the Fort and surrounding settlement^. 
When the Lieutenant called that evening, as usual, a4: 
the Commandant's quarters to enquire how the young 
lady had passed the day, and to assure her that she 
looked better, he received, among other letters from 
France, one with familiar superscription closed with^.a 
black seal, which he pretended not to notice as he huj:- 
riedly put it, with the others, in his pocket. He sodn 
excused himself on the plea of duty, and, reaching the 
privacy of his room, tore the black-sealed missive open 
with trembling hands, and quivering lips. It was from 
Adel, and its contents caused a conflict of emotions; 
of profound grief, and joy, of sadness and pleasure, 
that plunged him in deep thought, oblivious to his sur- 
roundings for a long time. She informed him of the 
death of his father; how he calmly passed away w4th 
his two sons and military brother by his side; how his 
priest son had administered to him extreme unction; 
and how in his last conscious moments he had spoken 
of, and invoked the blessings of heaven upon his 
youngest and beloved son, now in the King's service 
far away in New France. She described the funeral 
ceremonies, and told of the great concourse of friends 
of the deceased that followed his body to the grave. 



40 CAPTAiNf JoHJf BAPT^iJ^I'fi SAUClfiK. 

She then said that by this sad event her father, Pierre, 
would be thrown out of employment^ as tlie estate 
would pass into other hands; and that he had con- 
cluded to emigrate to America and try his fortune?? 
there. She added that hey had engaged passage in a 
vessel named L'Etoile du Nord, for New Orleans, and 
would sail from the port of Brest about the tenth of 
February. In a postscript she told him he need not 
answer her letter, as their preparations for leaving the 
dear old cottage were then nearly completed, 

Young Saucier was deeply affected by the death 
of his father, though he had passed the the three score 
and ten allotted to humanity and succumbed to the 
inexorable law of natufe. His grief was mitigated by 
the reflection that he would again meet Adel and her 
d^ar, dear parents, much sooner than his most san- 
guine hopes had ever permitted him to expect. 

After entering the military service the Lieutenant 
was always reticent about his family history and rela- 
tives, and confided to no one the profound and sincere 
love he entertained for AdeL For reasons of his owu 
he mentioned to no one the information Adel's letter 
had conveyed, excepting to tell of his lather's death to 
Chevalier Makarty. 

He was now moody, silent and reflective, in such 
marked contrast with his usual social, jovial disposi- 
tion, as to attract the notice of his associates, who cliar- 
itably attributed the change to his tender solicitude 
for the invalid girl in the Fort, now slowly fading 
away. How to dispose of Pierre and Marie when they 
arrived gave him no uneasiness, as he was well able 



CapTaIs Sovis BAPtiiitE; SAtfciRR. 41 

financially to situate them comfortably in any of the 
neighboring settlements. But there was another mat- 
ter he could not so easily dispose of, that he now had 
to consider. He was fully aware of Enlalie's fervent 
regard for him; now intensified by gratitude for having 
saved her life at the risk of his own; and his sense of 
honor upbraided him for permitting her to be longer 
deceived respecting the true sentiments he entertained 
for her. He concluded he would frankly tell her that 
another had a prior claim to his aflfections. But then, 
Adel had never spoken or written to him of love, save 
that of a sister; and, for aught he knew, she might 
then be the plighted fiancee of another. Having 
nerved himself to the point of making a full disclosure 
of his perplexing thoughts and sentiments to Eulalie, 
he called upon her for that purpose. His resolution, 
however, failed him when, seated by her bedside, he 
took her feverish hand in his and looked into her 
shrunken, haggard face. He saw that her frail con- 
dition could not bear such arevehtion; and he esteem- 
ed her too highly to subject her to the anguish of 
mind it woud cause, and thereby endanger lier slender 
hold upon life; and, so, postponed his intended con- 
fession to a more propitious time. 

The days sped by and he continued dreamily to 
discharge his routine duties in silence, 

The time had arrived for the annual descent of 
the fleet of keel boats to New Orleans for supplies for 
the post. The voyage that year was one of unusual 
importance, as engineer's reports and other weighty 
despatches were awaiting transmission to France, and 



42 Cap-tatn John Baptists Saucier. 

a considerable ariiount of specie, large supplies, and a 
company of recruits for the Fort, must be brought up 
from New Orleans. The annual voyages to and from 
New Orleans were generally in charge of a subaltern 
of the Commissary, or Quartermaster's department; 
and they were by no means mere pleasure jaunts. The 
lading and unloading of the boats, their navigation, 
controlling the crews of boatmen, and guarding against 
the many dangers by the way, involved grave responsi- 
bilities, and entailed many hardships, with much ex- 
posure and hard labor; requiring vigilance, prudence 
and great firmness. The boats commonly employed 
in this service, called piroiiges by the French river 
men, were large, unwieldy, clumsy affairs, constructed 
of hewed timbers and whip sawed plank fastened to- 
gether with wooden pegs. Floating with the current 
and the use of oars, rendered descent of the stream 
comparatively easy; but stemming the river's current in 
its ascent for over a thousand miles was accomplished 
only by persistent hard work. To surmount the force 
of the swift current for long stretches of the way, or 
to pass strong eddies, the boats were "cordeled"; that 
is, a long line was taken ashore and carried far above, 
where it was made fast to a tree on the river's bank. 
The boat was then drawn, by hand, or capstan, to that 
point; and this was repeated again and again until 
calmer water was reached, when the oars were once 
mjre plied. When practicable, the boats were drawn 
by the united strength of the crew walking along the 
shore, as horses draw canal boats. At night, when 
going up stream, the boats laid by in willow thickets 



Captain John Baptiste: Saucier. 43 

bordering sand bars, or islands, for safety from sur- 
prises, or night attacks, by hostile Indians. 



CHAPTER VII. 

The Commandant was about to detail a non-com- 
missioned officer for that summer's voyage, when he 
Was much surprised by receiv-ing an application from 
Lieut. Saucier for this duty, While Major Makarty 
would not have ordered a commissioned officer for 
this onerotis service, he was pleased when Lient. Sau- 
cier volunteered for it; for he knew that it could not 
be entrusted to anyone more reliable, or more capable 
to conduct it successfully. Having perfected his pre- 
parations, the Lieutenant took leave of Rulalie, prom- 
ising to return as soon as possible, and expressing the 
hope that he would find her much better when he 
came. His boats were furnished by the merchants of 
Kaskaskia and Cahokia, free of charge excepting the 
transportation down the river of their export produce. 
Some of them were loaded with lead in bars from Re- 
nault's mines at New Potosi, in the Spanish territory 
across the river; others carried cargos of furs obtained 
in trade from the Indians; others with beeswax, dried 
venison, buffalo meat, and other products of the coun- 
try. 

The Lieutenant's progress, with his fleet, down 
the river was rapid and without extraordinary inci- 
dent. The tedium of the voyage was lightened by his 



44 CMitAlN JOllN BAWlSffi i^AUClEtt. 

anticipations of joy in meeting, at his destination, the 
loved ones who had left i^rance some months before, 
and were probably then at New Orleans awaiting his 
arrival. In imagination he pictured the surprise of 
Pierre and Marie upon meeting him, and wondered 
how* Adel looked, and What she would say. 

Arriving at New Orleans, after securing his boats, 
he eagerly enquired along the river front for the ex- 
pected vessel) L'Etoil du Nord, and was grievously 
disappointed when told that nothing had yet been 
heard of it. After paying his respects to Colonel Kef- 
lerec, the then Governor of Louisiana, he secured 
pleasant lodgings, and proceeded industriously to dis- 
charge the duties of his mission. The Governor court- 
eously took charge of his despatches, to transmit them, 
with his own, to the Minister of Marine by special 
messenger. Overhauling and refitting his boats; keep- 
ing his crews of boatmen under control; receiving, re- 
ceipting for, assorting and stowing away his cargos of 
munitions, and supplies of vafious kinds, occupied his 
time for many days. Though he was the recipient of 
many invitations from the Governor, officers and citi- 
zens, to dinners, balls and other social entertainments, 
he declined all that he well could on different pretexts, 
feeling that in his state of mental anxiety they would 
afford him no pleasure, and he could not acquit him- 
self as a guest with credit. 

He arose every morning with the sun, and took 
long walks along the river bank, or about the stragg- 
ling town; and often during the day he scanned the 
great river southward hoping to catch sight of an in- 



Captain John Baptistk ^^aucier. 45 

coming ship. OccasionalK he was elated by seeing in 
the distance a sail slowly moving toward the landing. 
With feveiish impatience he awaited its arrival, to be 
again overcome with disappointment when it proved 
to not be the vessel he was expecting, nor bringing 
any news of it. One evening, after an unusually busy 
day, he again, as was now his custom, sought the river 
s^de, with a lingering hope of perhaps gaining some 
tidings of those he longed to see. As he approached 
the river he was astonished on seeing a large ship 
moored near the wharf, from which its passengers and 
their luggage were being put ashore. The setting sun 
had touched the line of verdure that fringed the we>t- 
ern river bank; and its departing rays converted the 
broad surface of the stream into a sheet of burnished 
gold. The resplendent beauty of the scene; however, 
was lost to the Lieutenant as he hurried to the water's 
edge to see the name of the vessel. He saw it painted 
in large letters above the rudder, and almost sank from 
revulsion of overwrought hope again blasted The 
name he read was not "L'Etoile du Nord", but "La 
Cygne", and, as he soon learned, from Bordeaux, 
France, having touched on the way in at Fort Royale, 
in Martinique. Rallying his drooping spirits he clam- 
bered aboard to make inquiries for the object of his 
weary watching. Accosting the Commander of the 
vessel, he asked if he could give him any information 
of "L'Ktoile du Nord" that sailed from Brest four 
months ago. The burly old seaman, apprised by the 
questioner's uniform that he was a military officer in 



46 Captain John Baptiste Saucier. 

the King's servace, touclied his cap, and answered 
courteously, regretting that he knew nothing of the 
ship; but said his Commis (Purser) over there per- 
haps did; and added, so far as he knew, that craft had 
not been heard from since it left the French port. The 
Purser, a brisk young man, busy with pencil and entry 
book, overheard the question and the Captain's answer, 
and without looking up from his book and papers, said, 
•'Is it of the French ship, L'Ktoile du Nord, Monsieur 
is enquiring?" 

"Oui, oui", gasped the Lieutenant, "can you tell 
me where she now is?" 

"Yes"; answered the young man, between rapid 
strokes of his pencil, "she is in the bay of St. Pierre, 
in Martinique, undergoing repairs; having had a dis- 
astrous transit of the ocean. One of her passengers 
who came aboard this ship at Fort Royale, and has 
not yet gone ashore, can probably give you any addi- 
tional information you may desire". 

With a great effort to appear calm the Lieutenant 
asked the busy Commis if he would be so kind as to 
point out to him the person mentioned. 

"Certainly, Monsieur; there is the man, in white 
clothing and broad brimmed hat; sitting on the chest 
by the main mast." 

The individual in white clothing, a middle aged 
man of gaunt frame, with grizzled hair and thin, sal- 
low face, evidently emaciated by prolonged sickness, 
was instantly confronted by the agitated young officer, 
w^ho asked: 



CAPTAm John Baptiste Saucier. 47 

"Was you a passenger from France on L'Etoile 
du Nord?" 

"Yes, Monsieur, I vvas",.the man dryly answered. 

"Tell me, please, were Pierre Lepage and his 
family on that vessel?" was the next anxious inquiry. 

"They were", said the man with ominous empha- 
sis on the "were". 

"Can you inform me where the}^ now are?" faint- 
ly asked the questioner, 

"Yes, Monsieur, I can", replied the weary look- 
ing individual," they are all three dead and at the bot- 
tom of the sea". 

"Mon Dieu!" gasped young Saucier, "that surely 
cannot be possible". 

"Yes; it is indeed possible, and too true. Did 
you know them. Monsieur?" 

To this question the Lieutenant responded that he 
did. 

"Pardon me, Monsieur", added the stranger, eye- 
ing him closely, "may I ask who you are?" 

"I am Jean Baptiste Saucier, from Lachapelle, 
near Orleans, in France, now in the King's military 
service". 

"Ah, yes, yes", remarked the man musingly, 
"and so you was not slain by the Indians? I see how 
you knew Pierre Lepage and wife. They kept house 
for your father, whom I knew well; and I remember 
you when a school boy at the village near by your fa- 
ther's place. My name is Isadore Brusier. I lived in 
Tours, and my business occasionally called me to Or- 



43 Captain John Baptiste Saucier. 

leans, and there I became acquainted with your fatlier 
and his son Louis" 

"Pardon me, Monsieur Brusier", interrupted Jean 
Baptiste, "but please tell me of the fate of the Le- 
pages". 

"Ah! Mon cher enfant", feelingly replied M. Bru- 
sier, becoming quite communicative, now that he knew 
to whom he was talking, "I have a very sad story to 
tell yon. You have, I presume, heard of the death of 
your father? Yes; well, after his burial, his estate was 
sold for partition and passed into possession of strang- 
ers; so Lepage concluded to leave France and seek a 
new home in America. About that time — fortunately 
after your father's death — the report came that you 
had been killed in battle with the savages. This re- 
port, believed by all to be true, very nearly caused Le- 
page to give up the voyage and remain in France, — 
and would to God that he had. done so! But his prepa- 
rations were completed, and he went to Brest with his 
wife and daughter and took passage on the ill-fated 
ship on which my brother and myself embarked. 

"The voyage, though tedious, was not unpleasant 
until we had traversed about two- thirds of the way, 
when we were struck by a terrific stv»rm, coming from 
the northeast, that continued with unabated fury, for 
six days. Two of the seamen were w^ashed, or blown, 
away, as was also the main mast; and the ship sprung 
a leak that threatened to sink us to the bottom. We 
could do nothing but keep the vessel in line with the 
course of the gale, and that carried us far out of our 
way in the direction of Brazil. It is well that L'Etoile 



Captain John Baptiste Saucier. 49 

du Nord was staunch and well built, else none of us 
would have ever reached dry land — and not many of us 
did, as it turned out. 

"But we all worked the pumps, night and day, and 
kept afloat. When the storm at length abated, and 
the raging sea subsided, the leak in the hull was se- 
curely closed, and by crowding on all the sails the two 
remaining masts could carry, we regained our course 
and made fair headway, being driven by the African 
tradewinds. All this was bad enough; but as nothing 
compared to what fate yet had in store for us. 

"What with calms, and storm and very slow sail- 
ing we had been on the sea for three months or more. 
Our supplies of water and provisions were running 
low; but we were all well, and buoyed up by the ex- 
pectation of soon sighting some one of the West India 
Islands. The weather was intensely hot and the little 
w^ater remaining in our casks was scarcely fit to drink. 
Suddenly, one day, one of the passengers was taken 
violently sick, and soon died. Then another was 
prostrated with the same symptoms and lived but a 
short time. Tlien we realized the appalling fact that 
the plague^^ had broken out among us and we were 
doomed to destruction by this horrid pestilence. 
Lepage was among the first victims, and lived but 
twenty- four hours. He w^as always jovial and good 
humored; and by his fine flow of spirits, had material- 
ly mitigated the dreariness of the voyage, and greatly 
aided in sustaining the flagging hopes and courage of 

*Probably a virulent foroi of jellow fever. 



so * Captain John Baptiste Saucier. 

all on board throughout all our troubles. We gently 
lowered his body into thejsea; but had no time to 
indulge our grief, as he was quickly followed by 
others.. 

' 'The terrible disease attacked the strong as well as 
the weak; the old and the young alike, with pitiless 
severity. The only mercy it extended was to render 
its victims speedily unconscious The ship's captain, 
surgeon, half the crew, and more than half of the pas- 
sengers fell before the awful scourge and were con- 
signed to the deep. Madame I^epag-, who had been 
untiring in ministering to the sick and dying, was 
spared for some time; but, at length she was stricken 
down and soon breathed her last, following Pierre to 
an unmarked grave. We were now approaching the 
islands, and very eager to reach land — any land — so 
that those of us who survived might abandon the in- 
fected vessel and flee to the shore for our lives. Only 
a day and a night after we had given to the waves the 
body of Marie I^epage, her daughter, Adel, already 
exhausted by grief and attention to the sick, was seized 
by the dreadful epidemic, and quickly succumbed to 
its deadly virulence. I was bathing her head with sea 
w^ater, in her death struggles, when all at once I felt 
very sick. The ship seemed to be rapidly whirling 
around; everything became dark, and I fell to the 
deck unconscious. 

"When I awoke, as though from a long, troubled 
sleep, I was in a large shed-like house thatched with 
palm leaves, on the highlands in the northern part of 
the island of Martinique, where my brother, who was 



Captain John Baptists Saucier. 51 

of the uumber who escaped the plague, had me imme- 
diately brought, from the ship — we having entered the 
Bay of St. Pierre, in that island a few hours after I 
had fallen. There he and others took care of me until 
I recovered. My brother having secured employment 
at Fort Royale will remain there until winter and then 
join me here where we will engage in business. As 
soon as the anchor was dropped in the Bay of St. 
Pierre my brother had me carried to the northern part 
of the island — as far as he could go from the death 
smitten .ship — without stopping; and I have seen none 
of our shipmates since. I learned, however, before 
leaving Fort Royale, tliat L'Etoile du Nord was at 
once deserted by all the survivors aboard, and is still 
in the Bay of St. Pierre being thoroughly repaired. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

Lieutenant Saucier sat as though stupefied while 
listening to Monsieur Brusier's startling narrative, and 
only by a mighty effort could he control his emotions 
when the narrator depicted the closing scene of Adel's 
young life. How he left the La Cygne and got back to 
his quarters in the town he never could remember. In 
the solitude of his room he contended with his great 
grief through the sleepless, restless night. He was 
literally prostrated with the weight of sorrow that 
taxed all his fortitude to bear. His glowing day 
dreams were cruelly dissipated, and even hope had 



52 Captain John Baptiste SAtrciEK. 

vanished and left him dismally alone in the world with 
nothing further to live for. The next morning was 
ushered in with rain; and dense black clouds covered 
the sky like a pall, as though the very elements were 
testifying their sympathy with the young soldier's 
woeful wretchedness. Pleading indisposition ^ he re- 
mained in his room and excused himself to all who 
called on him. In the evening a messenger from the 
Governor informed him that the company of recruits for 
the force at P^ort Chartres, he was expecting, had 
arrived, and begged him to call at the executive office 
next morning to arrange for their transportation up 
the river. This had some effect to divert his mind 
from, and somewhat relieve it of the dark gloom that 
had fallen upon him. 

The next morning, he arose early, as usual, re- 
solved, if possible^ not to be overcome by his misfor- 
tunes; but to assert his manhood, and continue the 
conflicts of life with all the firmness he possessed. At the 
appointed hour he called at the Governor's office with 
little, if any, external indication of the soul-racking 
torture he was enduring. Arrangements for additional 
boats and provisions were perfected in a few days; 
and then, having neither incentive or disire to longer 
remain in the melancholy place, he hurried the prepar- 
ations for his departure as rapidly as possible. In less 
than a week after his interview with the Governor he 
was ready to start, courting, rather than dreading, the 
perils and hardships that he knew awaited him. 

As the prevailing winds at that time of the year 
are from the south, Lieutenant Saucier concluded to 



i2\'9tAis John Baptiste Saucier. S3 

try the experiment, when they blew with sufficient 
force from that direction, of utilizing them in propelling 
his boats. Accordingly he caused a light, strong and 
movable mast to be stepped in each of his pirogues, 
rigged with spars and sails. Several of his recruits, 
■enlisted al)out the seaport towns of France, were fami- 
liar with the management of sailboats, and these he in- 
stalled as his navigators. 

At length all was in readiness; his bills were all 
settled; his cargoes snugly stowed in the boats, and his 
round of farewell calls ended. His men were in superb 
condition for service; and at the dawn of one of the 
closing days of July, he left New Orleans with his fleet 
having every sail set and and a stiff breeze from the 
Gulf. Not a sail was furled during the entire day, and 
they proved valuable adjuncts to the oars. The sun 
in setting must have passed the new moon; as it ap- 
peared in the early twilight a little way above the 
western horizon, and was pronounced by the sages 
among the crews, a *'dry" moon, augering a propi- 
tious voyage and pleasant weather. The river was at 
that season at its lowest stage, and its current, in con- 
sequence, at its slowest rate; so, the progress of the 
flotilla, if not rapid, was quite satisfactory. In pro- 
pelling the boats the men had regular relays at the 
oars; and when off duty, some slept, others fished, and 
a few with musical talent, enlivened the toil of their 
comrades with exhilerating strains of the violin. 

Everything went well until the mouth of the 
Arkan.sas was passed. Indians at several places along 



54 Captain John Baptiste Sauciek. 

the river, had come to the boats in their canoes in 
friendship, to beg; or to barter game they had killed 
for calico and brass oranaments; but though manifest- 
ing no unfriendly disposition then they were known 
to be treacherous and utterly unreliable. To guard 
against night attacks of hostile savages ashore— for 
there was no danger whatever from them in midstream ^ 
or in day time— keelboatmen cautiously landed on one 
side of the river in the evening, or on an island, and 
there made fires and prepared their meals. Then 
extinguishing the fires, resumed their course for a 
short distance, and tied up on the opposite shore until 
morning. 

On the evening of the fourth day after having 
passed the mouth of the Arkansas river^ the sky be- 
came heavily overcast with dark clouds: and therumbl- 
•ing thunder and vivid lighting were sure harbingers 
of an approaching storm. The boats that had been 
tied up on the Arkansas side of the river for the even- 
ing repast, were hastily cast loose, and, as customary, 
rowed to the opposite side, in the rain and darkness, 
and made fast to the overhangfing trees there for the 
night. Not an Indian had been seen during the day 
on either side of the river; or any indication of their 
presence observed anywhere. By the time the boats 
were secured to the river bank, and the tarpaulins 
drawn aver each, the rain desended in torrents, and 
continued for the greater part of the night. 

At early da^vn next morning, the rain had ceased, 
but the sky was still obscured by clouds, and the air 



CAPtAii^ John BaWiSTE SauCiEr. 53 

was hot and sultry. The men, glad to escape from the 
sweltering confinement of the boats; leaped ashore 
with the first rays of light in the east, and began to 
kindle fires to prepare their breakfast. A few of them 
had the precaution to take their arms with them as 
they left the boats, probably from force of habit. Of 
this number was Lieutenant Saucier, who never went 
ashore without his trusty carbine. While all were 
busily engaged in search of fuel dry enough to feed 
flickering fires, they were suddenly assailed by a 
shower of bullets from the surrounding trees and 
undergrowth, followed by a chorus of unearthly yells 
and whoops; as a large body of hideously painted 
savages rushed wildly upon them The few French- 
men armed stood their ground, and with steady aim 
returned the fire of their assailants as they advanced, 
then clubbing their guns went fearlessly into the fight. 
Those without their arms fled to the boats to secure 
them; and very soon returned with the balance of their 
comrades who had not before landed; all well armed, 
and lost no time in coming to the support of those 
holding the Indians at bay. They charged upon the 
horde of red demons, who had not had time to reload 
their guns, with such fury, that they fell back, and 
scattered in full retreat. In this brief but spirited en- 
gagement the Frenchmen fought with the courage and 
precision of well-trained veterans. They followed up 
the advantage their first charge gave them, and 
advanced in quick time; firing at the retreating foe as 
long as one of them could be seen. At the first appear- 
ance of the Indians, Lieutenant Saucier fired and killed 
the one nearest him; then seizing his carbine by its 



56 Captain John Baptiste Saucier. 

muzzle he brained the next one, and struck right and 
left, at the same time cheering his men on, until his re- 
inforcements came up, when he led them on until the 
enemy was dispersed. He was twiced wounded, but not 
seriousl}^ and was not aware of having received any 
injury until the fight was all over. The Frenchmen 
lost but one man; one of the new recruits was killed; 
but several of the others were more or less severely 
wounded. Several of the Indians were left dead on 
the ground, and several more so badly wounded they 
could not escape and they, the infuriated boatmen 
despatched without mercy. They breakfasted without 
further molestation, then pushed ofif, continuing their 
voyage, taking with them the body of the dead soldier 
which they buried at evening on the western side of 
the river. The wounded were made as comfor- 
table as possible, and they proceeded, with more cau- 
tion, and without further incident or accident, to their 
destination. 



CHAPTER IX. 

The first frosts of early autumn had tinged the 
dark green maples with scarlet and gold, and the ripe- 
ning hickory nuts and pecans were beginning to fall, 
when the long line of boats were drawn up to the fort 
landing. The commander of the successful expedition, 
who had not yet recovered entirely from his wounds, 
looked haggard and careworn. Leaving the boats, he 
marched the recruits, not disabled from wounds or 



Captain John Baptiste Saucter. 57 

sickness, to the barracks, and then repaired to the Com- 
mandant's quarters. His knock at the door was 
answered 1)y Lisette who to his hurried inquiries, told 
him her young mistress was very low, and daily fail- 
ing in vitality; also, that as long as she could speak 
she had asked about him every day, and prayed that 
she might see him again before she was called away to 
her mother. Following the devoted servant into the 
sick chamber he was shocked upon seeing the ravages 
wrought by the unrelenting disease during his absence. 
The sunken cheeks flushed with hectic fever, the 
glistening eyes, the cruel, ppfsistent cough and hot, 
dr}^ hands, plainly told that the fair young girl was 
doomed and her life nearing its close. She spoke his 
name in a husky whisper as she extended her thin 
bloodless hand, and a gleam of radiant joy lighted her 
wan features when he pressed her hand and implanted 
a kiss upon her forehead. She was too far exhausted 
to speak to him; but the mute eloquence of her ex- 
pression assured him that his presence afforded her 
real comfort and happiness. Almost heartbroken al- 
ready by M. Brusier's narrative, the pathetic sadness 
of Eulalie's condition very nearly overpowered him. 
All the strength he could command was required to 
control his feelings while by her side, and not add to 
her distress by an exhibition of emotional weakness. 
With great effort he appeared cheerful, and tried to 
speak to her in the pleasant, airy strain of other days — 
and partially succeeded. But he could not long sustain 
this unnatural simulation, and, with a promise to call 
again in a short time, he took leave of her and hurried 



S8 Cap'i'ain John Bapi^isth SaUcIer. 

to his owu quarters, and there found relief in unmanly 
tears that could no longer be repressed. 

The arrival of the boats with stores, mails and re- 
cruits, was an exciting event an the I^ort. From the 
Commandant down to the servants, all were elated and 
eager to hear an account of the voyage, and learn what 
was going on in the outer world. The pirogues were 
unloaded and sent back to Kaskaskia; the sick and 
wounded were carried to their separate wards in the 
hospital; the munitions were safely placed in the ma- 
gazine, and other supplies in the store rooms; and the 
Voluminous mail niattet -promptly distributed. Lieuten" 
ant Saucier was weak and still suffering from his 
Wounds, and sorely depressed in mind; but refused to 
be billeted, by the post surgeon, to the hospital, and 
applied himself as diligently as his condition permitted 
to writing the report of his transactions in New Or- 
leans, and of his fight with the Indians, and all other 
important incidents of his memorable descent and ascent 
of the great river. He visited Eiilalie every day as 
often as his duties admitted, and experienced some 
assuagement of the oppressive affliction he was bearing 
in silence, by his efforts to soothe and mollify the 
fleeting hours of her waning life. He recounted his 
adventures on the river, and told her of amusing in- 
cidents and strange sights he had witnessed at New 
Orleans; and by interesting her in that way sought to 
detract her attention from the gloom and misery of her 
mournful fate. 

A week, or more, had passed since the arrival of 
the boats at the Fort, and the commotion that event 



Captain Joiin Baptisye ^UttctgR. 50 

caused had gradually subsided to the ordinary routine 
life of the post. One beautiful morning in the mellow 
haze of lovely Indian summer, the bright sunshine 
streaming through the invalid's open window, and the 
soft, invigorating breeze fanned her wasted form, the 
Lieutenant sat by her side with her small hand clasped 
in his; her brilliant blue eyes w^ere fixed upon his sad 
face, a sweet smile played upon her pallid lips, and 
then, without sigh or tremor, her spirit took its flight, 
so gently and quietly that, for several moments, those 
around her could scarcely realize that the struggle 
was ended. 

Eulalie is dead, was whispered throughout the 
garrison, and all was hushed; all labor suspended; the 
flag floating from the highest bastion was lowered to 
half mast and the great fortress became at once a 
house of mourning. They draped her cold body in 
robes of spotless w^hite, and laid it in state in the 
large hall, where she had, in health, reigned as queen 
of the dance and joyous fCvStivities, and received the 
homage of all in her social realm. Then placed in a 
coffin covered with white velvet, they conveyed her to 
the church in Kaskaskia, preceded by a guard of 
honor with arms reversed, the flag craped and drums 
muffled, followed b}^ all the officers and ladies of the 
Fort, and a large concourse of civilians from the ad- 
jacent settlements. After the sacred offices of the 
priests she was tenderl)' consigned to the grave in the 
village cemetery near the church and buried with 
military honors. 



60 Captain John Baptistk Saucier. 



CHAPTER X. 

The grand object to be the attained in rebuilding 
Fort Chartres was the permanent security of French 
possessions on the Mississippi, and, incidentally, the 
maintenance of peace. But the great work was not 
completed when hostilities between England and France 
again commenced. Their respective military forces 
in America, ever at variance, were not long in engag- 
ing in earnest conflict. In the month of May, 1754, 
one George Washington, a Virginian, in the service of 
the English King, commanding a bod}^ of miltita from 
his native state, then stationed in Pennsylvania, sur- 
prised Coulon de Jumonville with a small detachment 
of French soldiers, near the Youghiogeny, (not far 
from the present city of Connellsville, in Fayette 
county), and defeated him, Jumonville falling at the 
first fire, shot through the head* 

The report of this affair, and its resultant disaster 
to the French arms, when received at Fort Chartres 
produced the wildest consternation, and fired the mili- 
tary ardor of the inactive garrison. Neyon de Villiers. 
the senior Captain of Chevalier Makarty's command, 
a brother-in-law of Jumonville, asked leave of the 
Commandant to march to the scene of conflict and 
assist in avenging the death of his relative and re- 

*"Judge it as we may, this obscure skirmish began the 
war that set the world on fire " Montcalm and Wolf. By 
Francis Parkman. Vol. 1. p. 150. 



Captain John Baptistk Sauciek. 61 

gaining the lost prestige of France in that quarter. 
This leave he readily obtained; and, with alacrity, be- 
gan his preparations for the expedition. 

To the depressed mind of Lieutenant Saucier the 
excitement and hazard of this undertaking offered 
alluring promise of relief. He felt willing to undergo 
any hardships; or risk any danger that would tend to 
revive his broken spirits and divert his thoughts from 
the sad occurances of the past few months. He volun- 
teered his services, and was granted permission by the 
Commandant to accompany Capt. de Villiers as one of 
his Lieutenants. A hundred picked men were selec- 
ted and fully equipped with everything necessary for 
the long journey. The boats were overhauled and put 
in order. Embarking, they proceeded down the Miss- 
issippi; then up the Ohio to Fort du Quesne, where 
they joined the force of Coulon de Villiers, an elder 
brother of the Captain. They there organized their 
men in four companies under trusted officers, and vsal- 
lied forth in the quest of the enemy. Washington, 
apprised, by Indians friendly to the Briti.sh, of the ad- 
vancing French, retreated to the Great Meadow, a 
short distance from the spot wliere he had assas.sinatcd 
Ensign Jumonville, a year before. There he sought 
safety in Fort Necessity, a temporary defense of little 
strength, and awaited the avengers. He had not long 
to wait. De Villiers was soon upon him and investing' 
his entrenchnients, poured in upon him a murderous 
fire from all sides. The engagement lasted nine hours. 
Washington seeing the futilty of contending longer 
with such a superior and determind foe, after a short 



62 Captain John Baptistk Saucier. 

parlay, surrenderee^. The French, magnanimously 
permitted him to march out with side arms and camp 
equipage. In this affair Washington lost twelve 
killed and forty- three wounded. He returned to the 
east side of the AUeghanies, leaving not an English- 
man or English flag on their western side. On leaving 
Fort Necessity, Washington's Indian allies killed all 
his horses and cattle, plundered his baggage, knocked 
his medicine chest in pieces, and killed and scalped two 
of his wounded men. Left with no means of trans- 
portation his men were obliged to carry their sick and 
wounded on their backs.* He commenced his retreat 
on the fourth of July, a day afterward made glorious 
to a new born nation. Tlie Fort Chartres contingent 
returned to the Mississippi flushed with victory, and 
without loss of a man. 

They received a royal welcome from the garrison, 
and their successful humilation of Mr. Washington and 
his loyal militia was celebrated in all the settlements 
around the Fort with prolonged festivities. 

Not long after the return of this expedition a 
courier arrived at the Fort from Montreal with impor- 
tant despatches from the home governnunt and from 
the Governor General of Canada. Among those papers 
were commissions of promotion, as rewards, for several 
of the officers and men who had faithfully discharged 
their duties in the erection of the new Fort. Of those 
thus rewarded by the King, Major Makarty was ad- 

"^ Montcalm and Wolf. B^- Francis Parkii:an. Vol. 1. 
pp. 147- 161. 



Captain John Baptiste Sauciek. 63 

vanced to the rank of Colonel, and Lieutenant Sauicer 
to that of Captain. 

English emissaries were soon busy among the 
Indians all through the west attempting to win thera 
over to their cause. And by liberal presents, more 
liberal promises, and misrepresentations, were success- 
ful in seducing several of the tribes from their allegi- 
ance to, and friendship for, the French. This change 
of policy by the savages caused much uneasiness and 
some trouble at Fort Chartres. A British invasion was 
among the possibilities expected; but no immediate 
danger of a general uprising of Illinois Indians was 
apprehended. Yet, the scattered settlements required 
protection, particularly from threatened inroads of the 
Chickasaws about the mouth of the Ohio river. Com- 
panies were detailed for police duty to different points, 
and frequent excursions were made in the interior of 
the country by detachments of soldiers to punish ma- 
rauding bands of Indians. Chevalier de Volsci and 
his men having been ordered to Canada, Major Ma- 
karty sent Capt. Saucier to take command of the fort 
at Cahokia. This stockade was on the margin of the 
Mississippi three fourths of a mile west of the town. 
A few years later it was swept away by the current, 
that, about the close of the eighteenth century, eroded 
the banks of the river to within less than a quarter of 
a mile of the village. Captain Saucier was quite a 
favorite among the Cahokians; and while commanding 
there was very successful, not in fighting the discon- 
tented Indians, but in pacifying them and regaining 
their friendship. 



6+ Captain John F3aptiste Saucier. 

When spring returned peace prevailed throughout 
the Illinois, and the scattered soldiers were recalled to 
the Fort. The tribes in upper Louisiana; or, more 
properly, along the Mississippi river below the Ohio, 
however, were reported to have joined the English — as 
all the eastern colonists were called — , and were 
harassing the whites engaged in navigation of the river. 
One of the first pirogues enroute for New Orleans was 
captured by them, and its crew were all slain. 

. The time had again arrived for despatching the 
boats to New Orleans for the garrison's annual sup- 
plies. In the then hostile attitude of the southern 
Indians, it was necessary to select for this service men 
of tried courage and endurance, and a commander of 
prudence, firmness and experience. Besides the sup- 
plies that might be drawn from the Quartermaster's and 
Commissary's departments in New Orleans, it would 
be necessary to purchase considerable quantities of 
stores there for the troops at the Fort. There w^ere 
also expected at New Orleans important despatches, 
and a large sum of mone3^ from France, for the Com- 
mandant and Paymaster at the Fort; and it was very 
desirable that all these valuables should be brought 
up the river in safety. 

After pondering the matter over for sometime, Col. 
Makarty sent for Captain Saucier, and asked him if he 
would undertake the management of the voyage, 
.stating that he would not detail him for that service if 
he preferred not to go; but that he would regard it a 
personal favor if he would accept the perilous office. 
The Captain answered, without hesitation, that he 



Captain John Baptiste Saucier. 65 

was one of the King's soldiers, ready at anytime to go 
wherever required; and this duty would suit him as 
well as any. 

The late spring rains had long since ceased. The 
waters had receded from the low, overflowed lands, to 
the lowest level of their accustomed channels. The 
sandbars had reappeared with barren prominence 
above the river's surface, when Capt. Saucier repaired 
to Kaskaskia, and put his fleet of boats in readiness, 
as before. He was fortunate in finding the best men 
of his former crews, whom he engaged; and taking 
from the Fort a few of the most reliable enlisted men 
who were with him on his former voyage, he once 
more i id adieu to the Illinois, and set his flotilla in the 
current of the great river. He again took his depar- 
ture when the j^oung moon was a silvered crescent 
about to drop into the dark western forest; choosing this 
phase of that orb for leaving, not from superstitions 
notions; but because he would have light at night for 
some time, enabling him to continue his course with 
the least possible delays. 

At only two points on the river were hostile de- 
monstrations made by the Indians; and these he re- 
pulsed without trouble, being constantly on his guard. 
By the exercise of cool judgment and careful manage- 
ment he reached his destination in comparatively a 
short time, without casualties, or encountering extra- 
ordinary hardships. 



66 Captain John Baptiste Saucier. 



CHAPTER XI. 

Thirty-seven years had passed since the first settle- 
ment was made at New Orleans by Bienville; and it 
was already a pretentious town*, the metropolis of all 
the vast territory claimed by the French Crown from 
the Gulf to the great northern lakes; and the commer- 
cial and military gateway to all that region. The prim- 
itive architecture of the place gave it the appearance 
of an irregular collection of huts with streaks of mud 
for streets; Yet, that early, much wealth was concen- 
trated there, which — as in older communities — had the 
effect of creating social distinctions among its people. 
Squalor and poverty were conspicuous in some quar- 
ters of the place, while in others Parisian opulence and 
splendor, and Parisian styles and fashions were lavish- 
ly displayed. An aristocratic class had been fostered 
there by the late Governor of Louisiana, Pierre de 
Regaud, Marquis de Vaudreuil, who, a short time be- 
fore, was transfered to Quebec as Governor General 
of Canada, superceding there M. de Gallisoniere. De 
Vaudreuil's pomp and state; his sumptuous style of 
living, punctilious etiquette and courtly manners, 
which found many servile immitators, caused his 
official residence, or chateau, on Rue Ponchartrain, to 
be named by the populance 'Xe Petite Versailles". 

*By the close of the year 1752, forty-five brick houses 
had been built in New Orleans. Gaynrre's History of 
Louisiana. 



Captain John Baptists Saucier. 67 

The shipping interests of the town were represented by 
large and commodious warehouses; and the many gay 
shops and elegant stores gave evidence of commercial 
prosperity. The Jesuits were there, of course, since 
1727; but the only edifices yet erected by the church 
were the Ursuline Convent, Hospital and Chapel. New 
Orleans was made the capitol of Louisinan in 1721. 
On going ashore from his boat, near the spot where 
the Captain had met Monsieur Brusier when last here, 
the memory of that gentleman's doleful story was re- 
vived, with the wretched dispiriting effect he had ex- 
perienced when listening to it. A feeling of extreme 
misery crept over him as he reveiwed the cruel fate of 
those he loved; his blighted hopes, and lonely life. 
The vision of two angelic young creatures, now still in 
death, whose love had illumined his soul and lent a 
charm to existence, arising before him, with the 
shades of his revered father and foster parents beyond 
— all now gone forever — almost overpowered him with 
a sense of heart-rending despondency. Philosophy, 
however, came to his rescue. It argued to him that 
nothing could be gained by repining and brooding over 
ill- fortune. The dead were beyond his reach; the 
living had claims upon him; and he was yet young 
enough to outlive the incubus of grief; and to benefit 
humanitv and his country. Rallying all the strength 
of his resolute mind, he determind to hide his sor- 
rows in the recesses of his own thoughts, and act to 
the best of his abilities, the part assigned him in the 
world's affairs. 

To further this resolve, he concluded no longer 



68 Captain John Baptistk Sauciek. 

to mope in seclusion; but to reenter society, and seek 
forgetfulness in its pastimes and frivolities. This 
course, he correctl}^ judged, would be the most effec- 
tive to banish melancholy. Social gaieties and amuse- 
ments in New Orleans were not, in that era, restricted 
to certain seasons. There was then no hegira of the 
favored classes to northern watering places, or seaside 
resorts, during the heated term; but pleasure there, 
considered — next to obtaining the necessaries of life — 
the chief duty of existence, its pursuit, in feasting, 
dancing and visiting, was always in order from one 
Christmas to another. 

The Captain's presence in town was soon generally 
known, and but little time was left him to feel lonely. 
His military rank; his youth, manly figure and hand- 
some features, with his gentlemanly bearing and man- 
ners, made him a desirable acquaintance; and the 
knowledge that he was an accredited government 
agent disbursing large sums of money for military 
supplies, gave him ready admission into the highest 
circles of society, in which he soon became conspicu- 
ous. He was lionized by the wealthy, mercenary 
traders, by the educated and refined, and also by shrewd 
mothers having marriagable daughters. By accepting 
pressing invitations from all quarters, he was quickly 
inducted to the whirlpool of social entertainments, and 
was in a short time, one of society's chief attractions. 
He was a graceful dancer and interesting talker, and 
ever ready to take part in current amusements; but de 
tested the coarse revelry and dissipation of the bar- 
racks and messroom. 



Among the wholesale dealers and importers whose 
stocks of goods he inspected preliminary to making 
his purchases, Was a merchant named Antoine Delorme, 
one of the wealthiest citizens of the town, a leader in 
its business circles, and an affable^ hospitable gentleman. 
His residenee on Rue Ponchartrain, in what was then 
known as the aristocratic quarter, was exteriorly plain> 
but large, roomy^ and furnished interiorly with taste 
and munificence. Patterned after the gaudy mansion 
t)f the former Governor, the Marquis de Vaudreuil, it 
had all the appointments and accessories of luxurious 
'comfort that wealth could provide, including a retinue 
of negro slaves perfectly trained for personal and do* 
mestic service. 

Monsieur Delorme' s family comprised only his 
wife and daughter, at home. Another daughter, who 
Was married, resided in t^rance; and a son, also mar- 
ried, was the principal merchant and shipowner in St. 
Pierre, on the island of Martinique. Madam Delorme 
was, in many respects, the antithesis of her husband, 
lie had married her when both were yoUng and poor> 
from a social stratum below that to which his parents be- 
longed. She was a peasant^ s daughter, coarse, illiterate, 
and a stranger to the usages of refined society in which 
he had been nurtured. But she was a pretty girl, 
strong, healthy, industrious, and a shrewd, economic 
c^l household manager. She had proven an efficient 
coadjutor in the accumulation of his large fortune, a 
true wife and exemplary mother. Advancing age had 
wrought serious changes in her girlish figure and rus- 
tic beauty; and her altered station in life had develop- 



70 CapYain John Baptisi'b: Saucier. 

ed the, too common, arrogance and foolish vanity of 
riches displayed by vulgar people becoming wealthy. 
She was corpulent, florid and broadfaced^ and spoke 
very ungrammatically; but dressed in fine, showy 
clothes, made in the height of fashion that illy — be- 
came her rotund form; with a profusion of flashy, 
costly jewelry. Coming, as she had, from the mud- 
sills of society, she seemed to have forgotten her early 
hardsl ips and privations, and now looked down upon 
the plebeians with uncharitable contempt. 

Her daughter, Mam'selle Rosealie, the youngest 
of her children, was reared in luxury and indolence, 
receiving considerable polish— if not much erudition 
— in a French convent in Paris. Her face was pretty 
but wanting in expression. With a tendency to 
obesity, she had inheirted none of her mother's former 
energy and force, but all of her mother's later weak- 
ness for fine clothes and sparkling ornaments. She 
was blessed with an easy, good-natured disposicon and 
pleasant voice; was a fair musician, a voluble talker 
and fine entertainer. To secure for this girl a husband 
of wealth, or rank— both preferably — was now the ob- 
ject for which Madame Delorme lived. No means were 
spared in making her salons attractive; and eclipsing 
all others in the sumptuousness and brillancy of her 
entertainments, not excepting those of the late Governor 
De Vaudreuil. Her balls and dinners were grand, 
and her musicales and garden dejeuners superb. 

Captain Saucier was not wealthy; but for business 
reasons, and because of his official position in the 
King's service, he soon became a frequent and wel- 



Captain John BapTiste Saucier. 71 

come guest at the Deiorme mansion. He was among 
the first invited to the Madame's fetes and parties, and 
was always graciously received when he dropped in, 
informally, to pass an hour in pleasant chat with Mile. 
Rosealie. 



CHAPTER XIL 

A month had passed since the Captain's arrival at 
New Orleans, in which he had been busily employed 
every business hour each day. He had made all his 
purchases; but was still detained awaiting the expected 
despatches from France. Time however did not hang 
heavily on his hands. He had formed many agreeable 
acquaintences who extended to him the cordial hospi- 
tality of their homes, and vied with each other in their 
efforts to enchance the pleasures of his visit. He re- 
ceived flattering attentions in these charmed and 
charming circles, from the ladies particularly, who al- 
lowed him but little opportunity for serious retrospec- 
tive reflection, and impressed upon him the axiom that 
life is for the living and should be enjoyed while it 
lasts. 

Calling one morning before the sun's rays became 
oppressive, at the Deiorme mansion, his knock at the 
door was answered, as usual, by a colored servant who 
ushered him into the small parlor, or drawing room, 
and then went to apprise her young mistress of his 
presence. As he entered the room he casually glanced 
through the open folding doors into the adjoining 



12 CkPI^aW So^-^ SAf'TlgTE SAtrClEl!?/ 

room add saw there a Waman, apparently yaungv sit- 
ting in a large alcove engaged in sewing. * Her hands^ 
lie saw, were white,' but he did not see her face. She 
arose on his entrance into the parlor, and gathering itp 
her work basket and the material upon which she was 
plying her needle, left the apartment without so much 
as glancing in his direction. He saw, as she flitted 
out of the room like a shadow, that her tall, well- 
molded form was plainly but neatly dressed in black. 
As Mile. Rosealie directly made her appearnce, the 
woman in black passed out of his mind, and the pam-- 
pered daughter of fortune amused and interested him 
for a time with her vivacious conversation and music. 

The climate at New Orleans has not materially 
changed since the administration of affairs there by 
the 'Grand Marquis" Vaudreuil, a century and a half 
ago. In the late summer the nights and mornings are 
pleasantly cool^ w.th Uncomfortable heat during the 
middle part of the day. In the olden days, however, 
the rush and bustle of business of the present were 
unknown there, and through the heated hours busi" 
ness pursuits and pleasure- seeking were suspended un- 
til a fall in the temperature in the evening. 

A few days after the Captain's last morning call 
at the Delorme abode; he was again there one evening 
with a gay party of young gentlemen and ladies, wha 
had met him on the street,, and prevailed upon him to 
accompany them. Such impromptu gatherings of 
young society people were then of almost daily occur- 
rence, and always highly enjoyed by hostess and 
guests alike. While the Captain was recounting to a 



CAPfAfK JOHPJ fiAPtlgtR SAtJCiKR. /5 

gfoiip of girls some of his experiences in Kaskaskia 
and Cahokia society he chanced to look, from the 
piazza where he sat, towards the flower garden, and 
saw the same figure in black he had seen a few morn^ 
ings before sewing in the alcove, enter the garden 
from the street, by a side gate, and passing through 
the shrubbery and flowers, disappear beyond the reaf 
angle of the building. She wore, as before, a plain, 
tieatly-fiitting, black dress and her head was covered by 
a sutiboiinet that concealed her face. He lookod at 
the retreating woman as lotig as she was in 
view; though she seemed, from her garb, to occupy 
no higher station than that of an upper menial — a 
hired vSeamsiress perhaps-^artd of no consequence. It 
may have been the striking contrast she presented to 
Mile. Rosealie, in the perfect symmetry of her form 
and her graceful movemerits. that attracted his atten- 
tion and curiously interested him. On two or three 
other occasions when at the Delorme mansion he again 
caught glimpses of tliat mysterious retiring youn^ 
woman in the distance; and though he strove to dis- 
miss her from his mind, as otle in whom he was in no 
manner concerned, she strangely impressed him; and 
he found it difficult to suppress the desire to learn who 
she was. 

The long looked for ship from I^Vance at length 
arrived, bringing the expected depatches and mails. 
The Captain, much relieved, now began earnestly to 
complete his final preparations for his long and trying 
return voyage. Early and late he was in the large 
Delorme warehouse, where his goods were stored, 



74 Captain John Baptiste Saucier. 

superintending and directing the assorting and trans- 
fering of bales, boxes and casks to the boats, and 
seeing to arranging them there securely and com- 
pactly. 

Coming into the spacious building on the first 
morning, to hurry forward this work, he was hailed by 
old Michael Mallait, the clerk and guardian genius of 
this department of the Delorme establishment who 
had been in the Delorme service since its commence- 
ment, with this cheery greeting: 

"Ah! bon jour; bon jour; Monsieur le Capitaine. 
You are quite well, I am happy to see. And, so, you 
are going to leave us, eh?" 

"Yes; Uncle Michael; I expect to bid New Orleans 
a long, and perhaps last, farewell, on next Monday 
morning; Dieu volante," said the Captain. 

"Ah! mon cher garcon", continued the old man, 
"we will all miss you very much when you are gone; 
and you don't know the devastation your departure 
will cause here." 

"You are surely jesting, my friend; for what 
calamity can my leaving occasion?" 

"Broken hearts among the damoiselles, of course," 
answered the old man, with a knowing smile; and then 
added; "I don't know how they will manage to get along 
without you in their fine balls and parties. And Mam'- 
selle Rosealie, poor thing!, will be inconsolable in your 
absence". 

"Bah!" retorted the Captain, with some impati- 
ence, "she will very soon forget that I was ever 
here." This allusion to Rosealie reminded him of the 



Captain John Baptistr S^attcirk. /.^ 

plainly- attired young woman he had now and then 
seen about the Delorme premises, and seeing no impro- 
priety in interrogating him about her, he asked, "Now 
that I think of it, mon oncle; can you tell me who 
that strange young woman is, of whom I have some- 
times caught sight, up at the mansion?" 

"No, I cannot; only this of her have I learned; 
that she has but recently arrived here — since you came 
— ; from F'rance, I think; and that she is a distant re- 
lative of Delorme's, an orphan, distitute, and trying to 
support herself with her needle. 1 have heard her 
name; but cannot now recall it. Of course she is not 
admitted into Mam'selle Rosealie's set.'' 

Their conversation then turned on business affairs 
and each was soon engrossed in matters that concerned 
him most, and which gave them ample occupation for 
the balance of the day. This routine work continued 
until Saturday evening, when the Captain had every- 
thing in readiness to start away the next evening or on 
Monday morning. His boats were all in first class 
condition, each wnth its cargo in place; his arms and 
ammunition carefully inspected; his bills all settled, 
and his men at their respective posts, ready for duty. 
He would have given the order to shove off that even- 
ing, but for the conscientious scruples of the men, 
who could not agree to embark on such a perilous 
journey without first attending mass, and receiving 
absolution from the priest, on the Sabbath. 

The Captain tiad a snug little cabin fitted up in his 
boat; walled around with bales and boxes and covered 
with tarpaulin. At either end was a small window 



looking fore and aft; a carpet covered the floor, and a 
cosey blink and a couple of chairs imparted to it ail 
air of honle-like comfort. The termination of his stay 
in New Orleans had arrived, lie had paid all of his 
tareWell visits, and bid adieu to all his social and busi- 
ness acquaintances including the Governor and mill-* 
tary oflficersj then gladly left his quarters in the town, 
and took possession of his cabin arid boat, prepared 
for the serious task before him. 

After retiring for the night he reviewed the time 
he had jiist passed in New Orleans; the mission he 
had successfully accomplished, interspersed and varied, 
as it had been, with many pleasant episodes; with 
Courtesies, and the respect and kindness accorded him 
by his many new acquaintances, and many charming 
ladies. All this Was gratifying to his self esteem. He 
found that he had gained much of his former cheerful- 
tiess and interest in life, and ambition for an honorable 
career. He fell asleep congratulating himself that he 
had overcome the poignancy of grief without impair- 
ment of his loyalty to the memory of the dead, success- 
fully resisting the arts and blandishments of the city 
beauties. 



CHAPTER XHl. 

The golden light of the Sabbath dawn shone re- 
splendent in the east beyond lyake Borgne, and as the 
sun arose above the horizon, the curtain of fog, settled 
on the bosom of the great river during the night, was 
slowly furled and floated away. 



Captain John Baptiste Saucikk. " 77 

From force of habit, observed in camp, at the Fort 
and on the march, the Captain arose at the reveille 
hour. His daily practice while sojourning in the town 
was to be up before the rising of the sun, and take 
long walks before breakfast, for exercise. Sometimes he 
strolled along the levee above the river bank; or out 
to the lakes; then again, he walked through the noisy 
and odorous markets; or by the slumbering residences 
and perfume- ladened flower gardens in the opulent 
quarter; or among the lowly huts of the poor classes. 

On this refreshing Sunday morning, seeing that 
everything about the boats was quiet and in order, he 
took his course to the old Place d' Armes, and then 
into the deserted streets, with no aim in view but to 
look for the last time on some of the objects and 
localities he had become familiar with. His unre- 
strained thoughts dwelled upon the possibilities and 
probabilities of his voyage; then wandered to the more 
serious problem of impending war with the English; 
mentally discussing its consequences in the Illinois, and 
its ultimate results; and how it would affect his individ- 
ual plans and aspirations; and in what way he might 
best serve his King and country, and at the same time 
promote his own interests. 

He walked on slowly, in deep reverie, heedless of 
his course; past the silent rows of closed shops and 
stores, and on through the little park, or commons, 
then towards the Ursuline Convent and Chapel, seeing 
no one astir but the devout few on their way to the 
Chapel to attend la bas messe, or matin services. 
Arousing himself from his meditations to take his 



78 Captain John Baptiste Saucier. 

bearings and see where he had wandered to, he noted 
that he was then passing the Chapel into which a few 
shuffling old people and young girls were noislessly 
creeping, like straggling bees into a hive. He stopped, 
and concluded to retrace his steps, and regain the river 
and his boats by the most direct route. He walked 
back a short distance; but a sudden impulse caused 
him to again turn and continue in the direction he 
had been walking, as by that course he could, with a 
few detours, reach the boat landing without much loss 
of time or distance. Going on he passed by some of 
the better class residences where he had been, in the 
last few weeks, royally entertained; and, for a moment 
felt a pang of regret in exchanging those generous 
luxuries for the rough fare of the river and camp. 

A little farther on he came in sight of the well- 
known gables and piazzas, and spacious grounds of the 
Delorme mansion now wrapped in the stillness of pro- 
found repose. As he preceded toward the house, 
along the apology for a sidewalk, the side gate of the 
flower garden next to the street suddenly opened, and 
the black-garbed figure of the young woman he had 
occasionally seen about the mansion, emerged, with 
rosary and prayer book in hand, and head bowed 
in devotional attitude, evidently on her w^ay to 
matin worship at the Chapel. She came on toward 
him with downcast eyes, walking slowdy, as though 
in deep thought, or burdened with some secret sorrow. 
Though penniless and alone in the world, and consign- 
ed by fate to a life of toil and obscurity, as old Michael 



Captain John Baptiste Saucier. 79 

Mallait represented her, she moved with grace and 
dignity strangely at variance with her lowly station. 

As they approached each other on the narrow 
wa-k, she raised her eyes slightly as he was about to 
step aside to let her pass by. His gaze was fixed 
upon her, and as she momentarily looked up he saw 
her face for the first time. Starting back in bewildered 
amazement, he exclaimed "Merciful God! Can this 
be but a mocking dream! Pardon me, Madame, will 
you please tell me who you are?" She did not faint 
or scream; but stood — like a statue — transfixed with 
surprise. The color left her cheeks for a moment; but 
regaining her presence of mind she answered firmly, 
"My name is Adel I^epage." 

"Adel Lepage!", he repeated, with agitation; 
"But Monsieur Brusier told me that my — that is — I 
mean — the Adel Lepage whom I knew in France, died 
of the plague aboard the ship, L'Etoile du Nord, at 
sea." 

"I escaped death almost by a miracle", said she; 
but, pray sir, who are you?" 

"I am Jean Baptiste Saucier", answered the Cap- 
tain, as he clasped the astonished girl in his arms. 

"Oh! Jean Baptiste", she cried half incredulously, 
"can it^ossible that it is really you? They told us 
you was killed by the savages, and my poor parents 
and myself mourned for you with bleeding hearts." 

He turned and walked with her in the direction 
of the Chapel; but so intent were they with mutual 
explanations of causes why they were not dead, and 
accounts of events transpiring in their lives since they 



80 Captain John Baptistk Saucier. 

had seen each other last, they passed the Chapel with- 
out seeing it, and proceeding to the Convent lawn sat 
down on one of the rustic seats there, and continued 
their animated conversation perfectly oblivious to all 
surroundings. 

"Did you", she asked, "receive my letter giving 
you an account of your father's death, and of my 
father's conclusion to emigiate to New France?" 

"Yes", he answered sadly, "and that was the 
last letter I received from you. You perhaps forgot 
to write to me again." 

"Oh! Jean Baptiste, how can you say that?", she 
said resproachfully, and her eyes became su-^used with 
tears. "I will tell you why* I did not wrue to you 
again" she continued: "You no doubt remember Jo. 
Michot?" 

"I do, indeed", said the Captain; "and I will 
hardly ever forget — nor do I think he will — the 
thrashing I gave him, when we were at school at La- 
chapelle, one recess, for meanly kicking over our 
dinner basket." 

"Well", continued Adel, "he annoyed me very 
much by his persistent attentions, after you left home, 
and asked me to marry him. I, of course, refused; 
for I always cordially detested him. It was just after 
your father's death — a few days after I had written to 
you of it — and we were preparing to start to America, 
that he brought the intelligence from Orleans that you 
had been slain in battle with the Indians. From the 
accounts you had written us of those terrible savages, 
I believed the sad news he brought was true. He 



Captain John Baptiste Saucier. 81 

then told me I need not go to America to look for you, 
as you was dead; and I might as well marry him and 
remain in France. This not only pained, but infuriated 
me, and I replied that I w^as anxious to go to New 
France, and would go there, or anywhere else, if for 
no other reason than that I might be where I would 
never see, or hear of him again." 

"Mille Tonnerre!", interrupted the Captain 
vehemently, **I wish the lying poltroon was here now, 
so that I could show him whether I am dead, or not." 

"So then", continued Adel, "Monsieur Isidore 
Brusier told you all about the awful misfortunes that 
befel us on the ocean. Oh! it was dreadful beyond 
any human power of description. In an hour or two 
after I was attacked by the plague I lost all conscious- 
ness, and only know what followed by having been 
told of it by others. All were satisfied I was dying 
when Monsieur Brusier was stricken down, and they 
made preparations to throw me into the sea to follow 
my poor father and mother and the others who had 
died. And two or three times again it was thought I 
had breathed my last; but when the unfortunate ship 
next morning, cast its anchor in the Bay of St. Pierre, 
in the island of Martinique, I was still alive. All on 
board, sick and well, were immediately sent ashore. 

"Monsieur Brusier' s brother, who escaped the 
scourge, and who had cared for him every moment of 
his sickness, employed natives at once to carry the 
sick man to the extreme northern part of the island, 
so as to be near relatives of theirs at Fort Royale. The 
other sick persons, who had friends or relatives with 



82 Captain John Baptiste Saucier. 

them, were also carried away to the hills as soon as 
possible; but I, having no one left to care for me, w^as 
taken on shore and placed in a vacant native hut 
under the palms, with no thought that I could survive 
many hours — or minutes, perhaps. The arrival of our 
vessel, and its disastrous voyage, were soon known in 
St. Pierre, and the citizen there lost no time in offering 
such relief as was in their power. 

"Augustine Delorme, son of M. Antoine Delorme 
of this place, the wealthiest merchant in St. Pierre, and 
himself a vShipowner, and whose grand mother was a 
Lepage, on learning from our ship's register my name, 
and my parent's names, as passengers, from near 
Orleans, thought we might be relatives of his, and 
sent an agent to the ship right away to enquire about 
us. On learning the facts he came himself immedi- 
ately with a lot of servants, and caused me to be placed 
in a covered litter, or palanquin, and conveyed, by 
relays of carriers, to his summer house upon the mount- 
ain side. There a corps of physicians and nurses, 
superintended by Monsieur Augustine's good wife, 
bravely contended with the horrid disease that was 
consuming me, for many days, and finally triumphed." 



CHAPTER XIV. 

"I told them my story", continued Adel, ''when 
sufficiently recovered to be able to talk; and when able 
to sit up my newly found relatives removed me to their 
home in St. Pierre, and installed me there as one of 



Captain John Baptiste Saucier. 83 

their family. I there did all 'I could for them to repay 
their great benevolence, by such services as I could 
render; and, while there, learned to be quite an expert 
dress-maker. Though every comfort was at my com- 
mand, and every want gratified, I could not avoid the 
feeling that I was a dependent and object of charity. 
I begged M. Augustine to permit me to come to this 
town on one of his ships, where I might find better 
opportunities to earn my support. They all tried to 
dissuade me from the view I had taken and the pur- 
pose I had formed, and implored me to remain with 
them. It must have been some destiny impelling me; 
for I could not resist the constant impulse to come 
here. 

"With reluctance and regrets, they at length con- 
sented; but only on my promise to go directly to M. 
Antoine Delorme's house, and make it my future 
home; and if I was disappointed in my expectations 
here to return immediately to them. 

"I arrived here four weeks ago, and 'ound the 
Delorme mansion a very pleasant home, and have been 
treated very kindly. I soon discovered however, that 
my place there was that of a poor, dependent relation, 
and that I was expected not to transgress its bounds 
by intruding myself into Mam'selle Rosealie's circle. 

"This situation has its twinge of humiliation; but 
not of hardship; for society has no allurements for me, 
and I long only for the quietude of obscure retirement 
— that Madame Delorme and Mam'selle Rosealie seem 
quite willing for me to enjoy. I have though, with- 
out consulting them, made arrangements to leave the 



84 Captain John Baptiste Saucier. 

mansion tomorrow morning, and commence work in 
Madame Durand's dress-making and millinery estab- 
lishment, on Rue St. Charles, where I can earn good 
wages and be measurably independent." 

The Captain listened to this recitel with deep 
interest; and to some of its passages, with illy-suppress- 
ed emotions. He then told her of Fort de Chartres 
and the country in which it was located; of Kaskaskia, 
Cahokia, and of the people who lived there. He Told 
her of his life at the Fort; and of his former voyage 
down the river, and the great joy he anticipated in 
meeting her and her parents in New Orleans, and of 
his plans for their future settlement in the colonies 
near the Fort. He recounted his eager watching for 
the arrival of their ship, and of his heartrending dis- 
appointment and grief when he met Monsieur Brusier, 
and heard from him the terrible reality, with the as- 
surance of her death also. He then informed her of 
his present mission to New Orleans, its objects accom- 
plished, and his arrangements all perfected for starting 
that evening, or early the next morning, on his return; 
not omitting a description of the perils and hardships 
of the voyage. Then taking her hand in both of his, 
he said, "Adel, will you be my wife, and go with 
me?" 

She raised her eyes to his, beaming with joyous 
confidence, as she answered unhesitatingly; **Yes, Jean 
Baptiste, I will; and will go with you anywhere." 

If this biographical sketch of Captain Jean Baptiste 
Saucier was a mere romance, a coinage of the fancy, 
portraying imaginary characters and apocryphal 



Captain John Baptists Sauciek. 85 

events, it should end here with the stereotyped formula 
— employed in closing most of love stories and works 
of fiction — that the hero and heroine, having discover- 
ed each other, "were married and lived ever after in 
serene happiness." But Captain Saucier was a real per- 
sonage,* and the incidents here related are, in the 
main, historically true. Regard for the truth of his- 
tory, therefore, compels the reluctant statement that 
his later life, for a time an existence of blissful happi- 
ness, was again darkened by a sorrow exceeding all 
others he had before experienced. 

They again met early next morning at the Ursu- 
line Chapel, and knelt together at the altar. The 
officiating priest, informed of the Captain's situation, 
dispensed with the Church's rule in ordinary mar 
riages, of publishing the bans from the altar for three 
consecutive Sundays, and proceeded to solemnly pro- 
nounce the ceremony that made them man and wife. 

The only witnesses present were old Michael 
Mallait and Monsieur Delorme; Madame Delorme and 
Mam'seDe Rosealie, if invited, did not deign to even 
send their regrets; much less to offer either reception 
or wedding feast for the young couple An hour later 
the boats were moving up stream, with Adel as mis- 
tress of the Captain's cabin, enroute to a new, strange 
world to found a new home under novel auspices. 

Their progress up the tortuous river was labori- 
ous, and not altogether free from exciting adventures 

*l^eynold's Pioneer History of Illinois. Second (or Fer- 
gus) edition, Chicago 1887, pp 286—288 



86 Captain John Baptiste Saucier. 

and narrowly averted dangers; but in due time; all 
arrived safely at the Fort. 

The great structure was almost completed. The 
broad stone platform over the fine arch of the main 
gate was placed in position; and also the stone stair case 
and balustrade leading up to it. The cannon"^, bear- 
ing on their surface, the monogram and arms of Louis 
XIV, were mounted in the bastions, and the buildings 
and arched magazine within the huge walls were all 
nearly finished. On the low swampy bank of the 
Mississippi river, in the far western wilderness, it 
stood, a marvel of engineering skill and labor, the 
grandest and strongest fortress in America. 

New Chartres, the town near the entrance to the 
Fort, so named in contradistinction to Old Chartres, 

*The cannon, five in number, were taken from the 
ruins of Fort Chartres, in 1812, by Gov. Ninian Edwards 
and mounted on his Fort Russell, a mile and a half from 
the present city of Edwardsville. One of them was bursted 
when firing- in celebration of Gen'l. Jackson's victory at 
New Orleans, in January, 1815. Of the other four no trace 
can be found Of the aspect of Fort Chartres, when he visited 
it in 1802, Gov. Reynolds says; "It was an object of anti- 
quarian curiosity. The trees, underg-rowth, and brush are 
mixed and interwoven with the old walls. It presented the 
most striking contrast between a savage wilderness; filled 
with wild beasts and reptiles, and the remains of one of the 
largest and strongest fortifications on the continent." He 
visited it again in 1854, and found "Fort Chartres a pile 
of mouldering ruins, and the walls torn away almost even 
with the surface." At present nothing of the great struc- 
ture remains but one angle of the wall a few feet in height, 
and the magazine." 



c:aptain John Baptiste Saucier. 87 

near the gate of the old fort below, had grown to re- 
spectable dimensions. Commencing with temporary 
habitations of artisans and laborers, it had absorbed 
the population of the old town, and the greater part 
of that of St. Philip * Several traders settled in it and 
some of the officers and soldiers of the garrison having 
families resided in the village in preference to the re- 
stricted limits within the walls. A beautiful lawnlike 
esplande, or drill ground, of twentj^ acres, laid between 
the great gate and the town. We can well imagine 
the maneuvers here of grenadiers, in pleasant weather, 
viewed with patriotic pride, by the officers and their 
friends, from the large stone platform surmounting 
the carved arch of the principal gate. Captain's 
Saucier' s cottage was the newest and neatest in the 
village "officers row," its attractiveness and embellish- 
ments due to the taste and industry of his handsome 
wife. As a token of h^'s special regard for the Captain, 

*"On the first-named grant, Renault established a little 
village, and as is the fashion in more modern times, hon- 
ored it by his own baptismal name — St. Philip. It was on 
the rich alluvion and had its common field there, the allot- 
ments made by himself and within five miles of Fort 
Chartres, then just erected on a small scale, and with no 
view to durability or strength; within its shade grew up 
'Chartres Village' as it was called, with its 'common field' 
also, and 'commons' embracing a large scope of the unap- 
propriated domain, and with a chapel served by a Francis- 
can friar and dedicated to St. Anne. Not a vistage of these 
two villages now remain, save some asparagus yearly put- 
ting forth its slender stems upon the open prairie." — The 
Early History of Illi'nois. By Sidney Breese, Chicago, 1884, 
pp. 177-178. 



88 Captain John Baptists Sauciek. 

Chevalier Markarty transferred Lisette to Adel, for 
whom she formed an attachment at their first meeting; 
and the true, worthy servant remained in the Captain's 
household, through its changes, the rest of her days. 

Fort Chartres was the depot of arms and muni- 
tions, and the seat of military power for all the vast 
region from New Orleans to Montreal west of the 
Alleghanies; as France then, claimed the entire Miss- 
issippi valley. England's rapidly increavSing colonies 
or the Atlantic seaboard however passed the mountain 
barrier, and were overrunning the territory claimed 
by France north of the Ohio river. Their aggressions 
brought on local conflicts which, in 1755, resulted in 
war between the two nations, Braddock that year 
marched on Fort Du Quesne and was defeated. In 
1756, the English General, Forbes, with 7000 men, re- 
trieved Braddock 's disaster and compelled the French 
to evacuate Fort Du Quesne, where all the garrison of 
Fort Chartres, but Captain Saucier' s company, had 
been drawn. It was now plain that the empire of 
France in America was tottering to its fall. It was too 
extensive to be successfully defended at all points from 
onslaughts of such a foe. For three years more the 
unequal contest continued, when it was practically 
terminated by the English victory on the Plains of 
Abraham, and fall of Quebec, on the 13th of Septem- 
ber, 1759. The boldness and sagacity of Pontiac, the 
friend and ally of the French, however, prevented the 
victorious English from taking possession of the Illi- 
nois until six years later. 

The reverses of the French arms were servereiy 



L.ofC. 



Captain John Baptiste Saucier. 89 

felt at Fort Chartres, and throughout the settlements 
on the Mississippi, though they were not in the thea- 
tre of the war. The Fort had been rebuilt at immense 
expense of treasure and labor, designed to be a perma- 
nent bulwark for the French possessions in the Miss- 
issippi Valley. Yet, it was not completely finished 
when the fall of Canada clearly pressaged its doom. 

In 1 76 1, Col. Makarty was, by his own request, 
ordered back to France, and Capt. Neyon de Villiers, 
who^of seven brothers in the military service of the King 
in America, was the only survivor, the other six having 
been killed in defense of Canada, succeded him in 
command at the Fort. The retiring veteran, upon 
taking his departure, bid farewell, with touching 
sadness, to the officers and men, to the colonists who 
revered him, to the splendid citadel he erected and to 
the grave of his idolized daughter. When he parted 
with Capt. Saucier, who accompained him from France, 
and had for a decade been intimately associated with 
him in all the affair* of the Fort, and had shown his 
daughter such tender attentions, his iron firmess failed, 
and tears coursed down his bronzed cheeks as he 
flung himself into his boat and left the Illinois for 
ever. 

When the weak and corrupt King of France, hav- 
ing secretly transfc'rred Florida, New Orleans and all 
the territory west of the Mississippi to Spain, purchas- 
ed peace with England by ceding to her all the balance 
of his possessions in America, in 1763, the settlers in 
the Illinois district were overwhelmed with surprise 
and mortification. Disgusted and heartbroken, Cap- 



90 Captain John Baptiste Sauoier. 

tain de Villiers abandoned Fort Chartres and went to 
New Orleans. Captain Saucier, not wishing to return 
to France, and seeing his military career in America 
terminated, handed de Villers his resignation from the 
army and took up his abode in Cahokia. The veteran 
Comniandant,IyOuis St. Ange de Bellerive, who, many 
years before, commanded the old stockade fort Char- 
tres, now came from Vincennes, with forty men, and 
assumed command of the grand new Fort, only to for- 
mally surrender it, on the loth of October, 1765, to 
Captain Sterling, of the 42d Highlanders, much to the 
chagrin and deep disgust of Pontiac and his braves, 
and to all the French colonists. To the lasting dis- 
grace and humiliation of France her lillies were hauled 
down from the bastion staff and replaced by the detest- 
ed flag of Great Britain. Fort Chartres was the last 
place on the continent of North America to float the 
French flag. St. Ange de Bellerive, unwilling to live 
under English rule, after the surrender, embarked with 
his handful of men, at the Fort landing and proceeded 
up the river to St. Louis, which he thought was yet in 
French territory, and assumed command of that post. 
New Chartres was speedily deserted; several of its in- 
habitants following St. Ange to St. lyouis, and the 
balance scattering out in the neighboring settlements. 
Captain Saucier and wife, enamored with the 
country and people, upon his resignation, left New 
Chartres and purchased an elegant home in Cahokia, 
where they were accorded the highest respect and con- 
.•-ideration by the entire community. The feeble exhi- 
bition of authority by the new rulers of the Illinois 



Captain John Baptiste Saucier. 91 

effected no perceptable change in the old regime, and 
the old habitants were soon reconciled to the new 
dynasty. Cahokia continued to flourish and grow in 
importance. Captain Saucier engaged actively in 
business pursuits and was very successful. He was 
situated for enjoyment of every bliss that life has in 
store; and his propitious future was apparently well 
assured. But, alas! his sanguine dreams of earthly 
happiness were of short duration. They were rudely 
dissipated by a sudden and terrible shock that, for a 
time, caused his reason to totter. His adored wife, 
Adel, whose physical constitution had no doubt been 
impaired by the dreadful ordeal she had passed at sea, 
fell a victim to the noxious malarial exhalations of the 
swamps. After a few days of indisposition, that oc- 
casioned no uneasiness, she was attacked by a severe 
chill, prolonged, yet merciful in its comparative 
brevity, that terminated in death, instead of the usual 
reaction. In the month of October, 1765, she was laid 
to rest in the little grave yard adjoining the old church 
in Cahokia. 



The rest may be briefly told. 

Time, that graciously alleviates all trouble, at last 
healed — in some measure — the Captain's broken heart. 
Five years after he had looked for the last time upon 
the cold form of his cherished Adel, he led to the 
altar, in the old Cahokia church, another bride, Mam'- 
selle Manette Lecompt, who was born in the village of 
St. Philip, in 1745. She was the daughter of Louis 



92 Captain John Bapttste Saucier. 

Lecompt, a Canadian by birth, whose parents emigra- 
ted to Montreal from the province of Mayenne, in 
France. She died in Cahokia in April, 1809. 

At the date of his second marriage Capt. Saucier 
was forty-four years of age; and his wife nineteen 
years his junior. The date of his death is not certainly 
known; but there is evidence that he was a highly re- 
spected resident of Cahokia — where he was finally 
buried — and a patriotic citizen of the United States, 
for many years after George Rogers Clark, on the 
night of the 4th of July, 1778, tore down the odious 
banner of St. George at Kaskaskia, and planted in its 
stead in the Illinois — for all future time — the ensign of 
political freedom. 



Captain John Baptiste Saucier. 93 



GENEALOGICAL 

No children were born to the first wife of Captain 
John B. Saucier. The second marriage was blessed 
with four; three sons and one daughter, in the follow- 
ing order*: 

John Baptiste Saucier, 

Francois Saucier, 

Adelaide Saucier, 

Matthieu Saucier. 

The daughter, Adelaide; married, in 1798, a 
young Frenchman named Jean Francois Perry, from 
the vicinity of Lyons, in France; and to them three 
children were born, all daughters; named 

Louise Perry, 

Adelaide Perry, 

Harriet Perry. 

Adelaide Perry, married on the i8th of October, 
1820, at Cahokia, a young man from Fayette county, 
Pennsylv? nia, named Adam Wilson Snyder; and of 
several children born to them, three sons survived, 
named 

William Henry Snyder, 
Frederick Adam Snyder, 
John Francis Snyder. 



* Pioneer History of Illinois. By John Reynolds. Second 
(or Fergus) edition, Chicago, 1887, pp. 286 to 291. 



OCT 15 1903 



I