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Memorial concerning the Illinois Country, [1940?].

Author: Pierre de Liette; de Gannes; William Giese; Edward E. Ayer Manuscript Collection (Newberry Library); Newberry Library.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Manuscript   Archival Material : English
Summary:
Manuscript transcription, probably from around 1940, of an English translation by William Frederic Giese of the De Gannes Memorial concerning the Illinois country.
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Details

Genre/Form: Early works
History
Early works to 1800
Material Type: Manuscript
Document Type: Book, Archival Material
All Authors / Contributors: Pierre de Liette; de Gannes; William Giese; Edward E. Ayer Manuscript Collection (Newberry Library); Newberry Library.
OCLC Number: 54076880
Language Note: English translation of original French.
Notes: Leaves unbound in red paper wrapper; in red cloth slipcase with gold-stamped box title "Memorial concerning the Illinois Country. Gannes."
Note in pencil on inside front wrapper: "Translated into English by William Frederic Giese." Butler annotations in Check list of manuscripts in the Edward E. Ayer Collection (1937), identify translator as Milo Milton Quaife.
For the only known copy of de Liette's memoir, cf. Ayer MS 293, v. III, p. 264-362 at the Newberry Library. French text with English translation published in The French foundations 1680-1693, v. 23 of Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library / edited ... by Theodore Calvin Pease and Raymond C. Werner. Springfield, Illinois : Illinois State Historical Library, 1934, p. 302-395.
Forms part of the Edward E. Ayer Manuscript Collection (Newberry Library).
Description: 195 leaves ; 24 cm
Other Titles: Memoire concernant le pays Illinois.
De Gannes memorial

Abstract:

Manuscript transcription, probably from around 1940, of an English translation by William Frederic Giese of the De Gannes Memorial concerning the Illinois country.

Although the memorial is signed "De Gannes", this name was probably that of a secretary or transcriber, since the experiences and duties recounted by the author indicate without a doubt that he was Pierre de Liette, nephew of Henri de Tonty. The memorial describes the Illinois Country of the Miami and Illinois Indians, at the southern end of Lake Michigan, 140 leagues south of Michilimaquinac. De Liette, who came to the New World in 1687 as a youth, and quickly learned the language of the Miami and Illinois, relates his observations on Indian customs and ways of life. His detailed notes on the flora and fauna of the region include descriptions of the native trees, such as walnut, ash, whitewood, Norway maple, and cottonwood; birds such as bustards, swans, ducks, cranes, teals, and turkeys; animals such as "wood-rats" (possums), skunks, carps, and rattlesnakes; and fruits such as plums, medlars, pumpkins, and nuts. He also includes a detailed account of a five-week buffalo hunt by Illinois Indians in 1688, whom M. de Tonty allowed him to accompany. De Liette also describes the beauty of the Illinois physique, clothing, hairstyles, courtship practices, sorcery, cannibalism, treatment of women, races and games, medical practices, trade with Spaniards and other Indian tribes such as the Osage and Missourita, and war victories and capture of prisoners.

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