Jean Baptiste Bissot, Sieur de Vincennes

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Jean Baptiste Bissot, Sieur de Vincennes
Born19 January 1668
Quebec, Canada
Parent(s)François Byssot de la Rivière
Marie Couillard

Jean Baptiste Bissot, Sieur de Vincennes, (19 January 1668 – 1719) was a Canadian soldier, explorer, and friend to the Miami Nation. He spent a number of years at the end of his life as an agent of New France among the Miami.

Vincennes was born in Quebec on 19 January 1668. His father, tanner François Byssot de la Rivière, was granted a seigniory for his tannery on the St. Lawrence River in 1672. Later, he became a ward of his brother-in-law, Louis Joliet, who entered him in the seminary at Quebec.

Vincennes married Marguerite Forestier in Montreal in 1696. They had four daughters and three sons, including François-Marie.

Through the efforts of his godfather, Jean Baptiste Talon, he secured a commission as ensign in the French marine. In 1696, the Comte de Frontenac appointed him as commander of the French outposts southeast of Lake Michigan (in present-day northeastern Indiana). Here he became good friends with the Miami people, settling first at the St. Joseph River, and, in 1704, establishing a trading post and fort at Kekionga, the location of present-day Fort Wayne, Indiana. The same year, the current governor-general of New France, Philippe de Rigaud de Vaudreuil, wrote the French court to emphasize the importance of Bissot's services to New France among the Miami people.

In 1712, Vincennes served as second in command at Fort Detroit. In this position, he resided with the Miami to keep them from falling under the control of the British. He helped defeat the forces of the Fox Nation and acquired a young Fox slave, whom he named François-Michel. This slave eventually was owned by his son, François-Marie Bissot.[1]

He died in 1719 at Kekionga and was succeeded by his son as commander of the French in Miami country.[2] After his death, a permanent garrison was established in the Maumee River area by Jacques-Charles Renaud Dubuisson.[3]


  1. ^ Brett Rushforth, "Slavery, the Fox Wars, and the Limits of Alliance," Archived 2007-03-10 at the Wayback Machine William and Mary Quarterly 63 (January 2005), No.1, para. 32. Rushforth confuses the two Vincennes explorers. François-Marie was 12 years old during the First Fox War.
  2. ^ Barnhart, p. 73.
  3. ^ Chaput, Donald (1979) [1969]. "Renaud Dubuisson, Jacques-Charles". In Hayne, David (ed.). Dictionary of Canadian Biography. II (1701–1740) (online ed.). University of Toronto Press. Retrieved 2012-05-30.