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Histories:  Trempealeau Co. Historical Accounts:

"History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917":

Chapter 6:

Le Sueur

-As transcribed from pages 55 - 56

One of the witnesses to this document was Pierre Charles le Sueur, an explorer and trader, whose work added to the knowledge given to the world by Perrot. In 1695 Le Sueur built a fort on Pelee Island (a short distance above Red Wing), which was maintained about four years, during his own absence in France. He later returned and conducted an expedition in search of copper in the Blue Earth country, Minnesota. In ascending the Mississippi from its mouth, he found that the remains of Fort St. Antoine, on Lake Pepin, and his own island fort above Red Wing, were plainly to be seen.15  He passed Trempealeau Mountain on his upward journey between September 10 and September 14, 1700. The Red (Black) River, the River Paquitanettes (possibly the Buffalo), the River Bon Secours (Chippewa) and Lake Bon Secours (Pepin) are mentioned in the account of the voyage, as are the prairies extending back from the bluffs.16  In Trempealeau County one of the party killed a deer.

More than one-fourth of the eighteenth century passed away before another attempt was made to build a post on the upper Mississippi. The Fox Indian wars had made the Fox-Wisconsin waterway untenable, and any approach to the Sioux had to take the difficult route from the end of Lake Superior through the tangled marshes and ponds at the head of the Mississippi.

In 1727, however, the French government determined to establish a post among the Sioux. In September of the same year the new fort was erected near what is now Frontenac, on the Minnesota side of Lake Pepin, and dedicated amid imposing ceremonies as Fort Beauharnois. The failure of the expedition against the Foxes the following year made this post untenable, however, and it was hastily abandoned by the alarmed garrison.17

In writing from Fort Beauharnois, May 29, 1727, Father Michel Guignas describes the bluffs, islands and scenery in this vicinity, but makes no particular mention of Trempealeau Mountain.18 

Resources for the above information:

15 - Pierre Margry, Decouvertes et Etablissements des Francois dans L'Amerique (Paris, 1882), V, 413.

16 - Penicault in his Journal of Le Sueur's Expedition as reported in: Neill, Explorers and Pioneers of Minnesota, 41. Also: Thwaites, ed., French Regime in Wisconsin, Part 1, Wis. Hist. Colls., XVII, 183. See Ibid., 177, note, concerning Le Sueur's Journal, La Harpe's and Penicault's versions, and Shea's and Thwaites' translations.

17 - Thwaites, ed., French Regime in Wisconsin, Part 2, Id., XVII, 10-15, 22-28, 56-59, 77-80.

18 - Letter from Father Michel Guignas from the Brevort Manuscripts, printed in Shea's Early French Voyages, and reprinted in Neill's Explorers and Pioneers of Minnesota, 52; also in Wis. Hist. Colls., XVII, 22-28.


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