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Dr. Randa Duvick French presence in NW Indiana program

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Published on Mar 1, 2011

The French and French-Canadians in Indiana: Joseph Bailly, LaSalle, and More

Joseph Bailly, the French-Canadian who set up his fur-trade post on the Little Calumet River in about 1822, was not the first French speaker to live in what is now Indiana. As part of New France until 1763, our area saw French explorers like Marquette and LaSalle passing through and, later, French soldiers and fur-traders living and doing business in the present Hoosier State. This talk traces the history of the French presence in Indiana with a special look at Joseph Bailly, who marked the historical transition between the French fur-trade presence and American settlement patterns, and whose account books—in French—give us a look at this corner of Indiana at the time of our very beginning as a state.

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