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1640 -? John Outlaw is born sometime during this period Captain John Outlaw father possibly Robert Outlaw, no birth record as of yet
1648 - John Anderson, shipwright, Boston, sold one half of ship John and Sarah to Robert Allen of Norwich, Eng., merchant - New World Immigrants (Cromwell's Scotch Prisoners transported to Boston on the John and Sarah - Robert Allen possible descendant of Elizabeth Outlawe, wife of Robert Allen of Norwich)
| - - - - Possible connection to Capt John
Allen - possible Norfolk relative :
Did John and brother Edward migrate to the new world as sailors on ships during the English Civil War???
John Allen (1616 - 1675) - Birth: Jan. 16, 1616 Norwich Norfolk,
Death: Mar. 29, 1675 Charlestown Suffolk County Massachusetts, USA
Capt. John Allen, Jr., son of John Allen "the dyer" and his first wife Rebecca, bapt. Jan. 7, 1615/6 at the St. Martin at Palace parish church at Norwich, England. Capt. Allen followed his 10-year older brother Rev. Thomas Allen (bapt. Aug. 26, 1608) to Charlestown, Mass. by 1640. It is uncertain whether Capt. Allen m. his wife Sarah before crossing the Atlantic Ocean or after he arrived at Charlestown, Mass.
Capt, John Allen was a wealthy merchant involved in shipping between England, America and the West Indies and at his death is said to have been the wealthiest man at Charlestown, Mass.
Rev. Allen returned to Norwich, England during the Commonwealth era of William Cromwell (1651-1658) where he m. 2) the widow Joanna (Blake) Sedgewick, widow of Maj. Gen. Robert Sedgewick. Sedgewick was also of Charlestowm, Mass. and had returned to England but d. on May 24, 1656 at Jamaica as Commissioner of Jamaica under Oliver Cromwell.
| - - - -
1658 - Nov 16 - John Outlawe of Lymehouse Shipwright and Elizeabeth Baker of Radcliffe, W. (Widow) - The Marriage Registers of St. Dunstan's Stepney in the County of Middlesex - page 92
1659 - St. George of Tombland, Norwich REGISTER 1659-60. Mr. Robt. Allen, Alderman. Mr. Outlawe
1665 - Capt.
John Outlaw - sails "The Olive Branch" ship of six guns
with 96 men of crew back to Virginia from Florida. Part of Edward Morgan's
fleet preparing to attack the Dutch West Indies
1668 - “The first appearance of John Outlaw in the records of Norfolk County was on May 8, 1668, when a difference between John Outlaw and Edward Wesray, was referred to the next Court (Book “E”, Part II, Orders, p. 22a).
1668 - John Outlaw got into trouble again in August, 1668, when he had a brawl with a constable, William Dafnell,
1670 - At the General Court there, Sept. 27, 1670, John Outlaw sued Samuel Pricklove, and at the same Court was sued by Capt. Cath Cone (Hathaway, “N.C. Hist. & Gen. Register”, Vol. I, p. 135). At the same Court Laurence Gunfallis sued John Outlaw (ibid, p. 136), and it is stated “Laurence Gunfallis obtained an order against Capt. Jo. Outlaw in May Court, 1670 for a bote of 14 foot and whereas said Outlaw departed from his house and there can be no bote had, Mr. Herman Smewin and Abraham Kimberley were sworn in Court to appraise ye worth of ye said bot who vallowed said bote to be worth 750 pounds of tobacco and cask, and cost of sale, wherefore it is ordered ye said Gunfallis satisfy his debt out of ye said Outlaw’s estate where it can be found”.
1672 - The last mention of John Outlaw in the Norfolk County records until April 16, 1672, when it was ordered that Enoch Tarte was to have 2040 pounds of tobacco, granted him in Nov. 1669, out of the estate of John Outlaw
1677 - The
launching of the Carolina in August
1677 at Limehouse, England offers further evidence that
Captain John and his brother Edward were from Limehouse. -
newly found depositions of members of the Carolina's crew confirm that
George Durant was the Chief Mate of the Carolina at her August 1677
launching at Limehouse, England; on her trip to Albemarle County between
October 1677 and December 1, 1677, and on her return to England from May to July
History of North Carolina - Robert Digges Wimberly Connor, William Kenneth Boyd, Joseph Grégoire de Roulhac Hamilton
1682 - An English officer dispatched to establish a trading post on the Nelson River, Outlaw was made prisoner by Frenchman Radisson, who seized the trading post the following year. - Outlaw served as mate on the Bachelor’s Delight, commanded by Benjamin Gillam* who sailed from New England on 21 June 1682
1683 - Deposition of
John Outlaw. That the French concerned in the outrage at Hudson's Bay
declared that they acted by the King's commission. ½ p. - November 14 [Col. Papers, Vol.
LXIV., No. 119.] - 'Addenda: November 1683', Calendar of
State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 12: 1685-1688 and
Addenda 1653-1687 (1899), pp. 644 Nov. 23. - Deposition of
John Outlaw. Giving an account of the [Illegible] French attack on the English factory at Hudson's
Bay. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. LXIV., No. 121.]
1684 - Ship Lucy - HBC - Captain John Outlaw
1684 - Outlaw returned to the Nelson River, this time on behalf of Hudson's Bay Company. Ironically, his travel companion was Radisson, who had defected to the English.
1685 - Ship
Success - HBC - Captain John Outlaw - Lost
1685 - Taken prisoner again on Hudson Bay, Outlaw was denied his pay for reasons of negligence. Unhappy, he attempted a solo expedition but his vessel was destroyed by ice. - Outlaw commanded the Success in 1685
1686 - Taken French prisoner for a third time, by a team led by
d'Iberville in 1686, Outlaw decided to join the French service.
1688 - The disgruntled Outlaw joined John Abraham in an interloping expedition on the Mary but she was wrecked by ice in Hudson Strait
1688 - Ship Mary - Sponsor/Owner - John Abraham / John Outlaw - Wrecked
1692 - At Quebec, Outlaw married Françoise Denis and had three children by her.(his first wife was Mary Saille of London ? (I have Elizabeth Baker) )
1696 - He commanded
a royal frigate that sailed from Quebec in 1696. It is possible that he was
granted land in Acadia in 1697. - He commanded a royal frigate La Boufonne,
which left Quebec on a privateering expedition on 9 June 1696
1698 - Outlaw died before July 1698, when his wife was remarried.
1730 - Francoise Outelas early French colonial settler, businesswoman Born: 31 May 1730 Birthplace: Boucherville, Canada
- John Outlaw's son, Joseph’s Outelas, his daughter, Marie Francoise Houtelas (1730-?) migrated southward into the Illinois country where she married Joseph Antoine Drouet de Richarville in Kaskaskia (Illinois) in 1756. .
1756 - Francoise Outelas - (Grand
Daughter of John Outlaw) married
Antoine Drouet de Richarville at Kaskaskia, a settlement near the mouth of the
Kaskaskia River in present-day Illinois.
1758 - Lord (Sieur) (Joesph Antoine) Outelas and Chief Kisensi lead an attack on British and Iroquois along La Chute River near Fort Edward There was Rogers, in plain sight, gliding on the ice of the Lake — and so they gave up the pursuit. - Rogers' Rangers - Robert Rogers (soldier)
- Joesph Antoine Outlelas was the last French commander of Fort Vicennes (Indiana) until the fort was turned over to the British at the conclusion of the 7-year war
1764 - May 18, 1764, St. Ange left Fort Vincennes under British orders to assume command of Fort Chartres. He transferred command to Drouet de Richerville, a local citizen
Captain John Outlaw - Sailor and Shipwright - Born: Limehouse, England ? -Died: 1696 or 1697, possibly in Acadia Quebec Canada
After James Abbot McNeill Whistler, "Lime House", etching, pencil signed and inscribed, 13cms x 20cms.
1658 - Nov 16 - John Outlawe of Lymehouse Shipwright and Elizeabeth Baker of Radcliffe, W. (Widow) - The Marriage Registers of St. Dunstan's Stepney in the County of Middlesex - page 92
St Dunstan's, Stepney - In about AD 952 the Bishop of London — who is also Lord of the Manor of Stepney — replaced the existing wooden structure with a stone church dedicated to All the saints. In 1029, when Dunstan was canonised, the church was rededicated to St Dunstan and All Saints, a dedication it has retained. Up until the early 14th century the church served the whole of Middlesex east of the City of London. The bells are mentioned in the nursery rhyme Oranges and Lemons "When will that be, say the bells of Stepney".
The church has a long traditional link with the sea and many sailors were buried here. It was once known as the 'Church of the High Seas', and until quite recently births, marriages and deaths at sea were registered here.
Saint Dunstan is the parish church of Stepney and the mother church of the East End. Its ancient dedication of Saint Dunstan and All Saints was revived in 1896. The bells in the tower feature in the nursery rhyme Oranges and Lemons - "... when will that be, say the bells of Stepney."
In the 16th century he riverside hamlets of Stepney became London's 'Sailortown' and St Dunstan's became known as the Church of the High Seas. It was here that seafarers gathered for blessings of their voyages. Until the 1950s all UK births, marriages and deaths at sea were registered in this parish.
Registers from 1586 are housed at the London Metropolitan Archives and post July 1837 at The Family Records Centre. The Red Ensign, flag of the Merchant Navy, still flies from the tower and the church contains several memorials to Admirals and men of the Merchant and Royal Navy Fleets. The unusually spacious and leafy churchyard was enlarged in the 1600s for the burials of Plague victims. In a period of 18 months 6583 died in the parish and in September 1665, 154 were buried in one day. Only a few tabletop tombs from the 18th century remain but the churchyard was once crowded with the graves of seaman, captains, merchants of the East India Company and clergy. (Notes from Pitkin Guide and church leaflet)
The original children's nursery rhyme is sung thus:
"Oranges and lemons" say the Bells of St. Clement's"
"You owe me five farthings" say the Bells of St. Martin's"
"When will you pay me?" say the Bells of Old Bailey"
"When I grow rich" say the Bells of Shoreditch"
"When will that be?" say the Bells of Stepney"
"I do not know" say the Great Bells of Bow"
"Here comes a Candle to light you to Bed"
Here comes a Chopper to Chop off your Head"
Chip chop chip chop - the Last Man's Dead."
The phrase "When will that be?" could possibly refer to wives waiting for sailors to return from voyages with their fortunes, when their 'boat came in'.
1665 - Capt. John Outlaw - sails "The Olive Branch" ship of six guns with 96 men of crew back to Virginia from Florida. Part of Edward Morgan's fleet preparing to attack the Dutch West Indies
November 17 1665 - Nov. Jamaica
1088. I. A True and perfect Narrative by Col. Theod. Cary, declaring the proceedings in the late expedition from this island of Jamaica against the Dutch under the management of Lieut.-Gen. Edward Morgan, until his death, and afterwards by Col. Theodore Cary. On a confirmation of the report of war having been declared with Holland, Sir Thos. Modyford gave Col. Cary a commission to raise a regiment under command of Lieut.-Gen. Edward Morgan. Ere they departed most of the seamen and soldiers mutinied and would not set forward until the Lieut.-General and himself promised that their commands should not take from them any part of their plunder, which should be equally divided.
Sailed on the 16th May for the Isle of Pines, where the fleet was mustered, being in all nine sail, with 71 guns and about 650 men. Capt. Maurice Williams, the Lieut.-Gen., and himself in the Speaker, of 18 guns ; Capt. John Harman in the St. John, 12 guns ; the Civilian, 16 guns, Capt. Garrett Garretson ; the Pearl, 9 guns, Capt. Robt Searle ; the Olive Branch, 6 guns, Capt. John Outlaw ; the Trueman, 6 guns, Capt. Albert Bernardson ; the Susannah, 2 guns, Capt. Nath. Cobham ; the Mayflower, 1 gun, Capt. John Bamfield ; and the galliott, 1 gun, Capt. Abrah. Malarba.
Lost the Susannah and Mayflower with 60 men, and soon after the Olive Branch, Capt. Outlaw, with 96 men, who went for Virginia. Proposal of the Lieut.-General to attack Tobago, but it was resolved that Eustatia should be the first place attempted.
On July 17 made for their rendezvous at Montserrat, and were assured De Ruyter had left the coast, leaving only one frigate of 14 guns about the islands. At Montserrat the Lieut.-Gen. went ashore and was met by the Governor, Maj. Nath. Reade, and was provided with some sloops for landing, but left many stragglers behind. Found they were able to land 326 men, and it was ordered that Lt.-Col. Thos. Morgan should first land with his division, and Col. Cary with his to second him. Account of their landing at Eustatia on 23rd July, the ships being under the command of Capt. Harman. The enemy seeing them pressing on gave them a small volley, retreated, and presently fled. The Lieut.-General died, not with any wound, but being ancient and corpulent, by hard marching, and extraordinary heat, fell and died, and Col. Cary took command of the party upon himself by the desire of all. Summoned Capt. Peter Adrianson to surrender, whereon the Dutch marched out of the fort, leaving 11 great guns and ammunition.
Consultations as to the division of plunder, sending the Dutch off the island, and leaving the English, Scotch, and Irish, who took the oaths of allegiance to his Majesty. Reasons for not attacking St. Martin's. Refusal of the soldiers and seamen to stir until the booty gotten at Eustatia was shared, and the delay caused through the officers and soldiers not being able to agree on the manner of sharing. While this was in agitation, which took up no little time, the Mayflower arrived, which with Maj. Stevens and Capt. Jas. Walker and 48 soldiers, in all 70 men, were sent to reduce the island of Saba, four leagues from Eustatia, which surrendered on the same articles. Differences between officers and soldiers, the seamen and their captains ; the fleet came out upon the account of no purchase no pay, but the seamen and soldiers for the most part disowned any agreement but customary, and this would not please all. Recruits solicited from Col. Watts, Governor of St. Kitts, but no men could be got unless they would take Lord Willoughby's commission, "from which all our party dissented." On a muster not 250 appeared, and they grown so mutinous that they would not proceed, but on their own terms. Account of further disputes as to division of plunder. Consultation about carrying on the design for the Virgins and Curaçao, when it was resolved that considering the number and their conditions, they could not reasonably proceed further, so they departed, leaving Lt.-Col. Thos. Morgan, Governor of Eustatia and Saba. Met with a great storm which disabled and scattered the ships, but most of them since arrived at Jamaica, bringing 400 negroes ; the Speaker, Pearl, and Olive Branch being still abroad. Those acquainted with the customs and manners of the privateers, and the natures of soldiers, may judge how Col. Cary passed his time amidst so great confusion as usually attends such parties, whose plunder is their pay and obedience guided by their wills. His greatest trouble was to return and not to effect what he intended when he first undertook the voyage. Account of the booty, also list of arms and ammunition, and the inhabitants sent off and remaining on the two islands. There were captured four colours, 20 guns, six barrels of powder, 192 small arms and ammunition, 942 Indians and negroes, besides horses, cattle, sheep, goats, and cotton. 320 Dutch were sent off the islands, and some, with many English, Scotch, and Irish, remained and took the oath of allegiance. Jamaica, 1665, Nov. 17. 20 pp. [Col. Papers, Vol. XIX., Nos. 130, 130 I.] From: 'America and West Indies: November 1665', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 5: 1661-1668 (1880), pp. 326-338. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=76493
An English officer dispatched in 1682 to establish a trading post on the
Nelson River, Outlaw was made prisoner by Frenchman Radisson, who seized the
trading post the following year. The Radisson
Hotels group, starting with the Radisson hotel in Minneapolis in 1909,
is also named after him Pierre
Esprit Radisson .
In 1684, Outlaw returned to the Nelson River, this time on behalf of Hudson's Bay Company. Ironically, his travel companion was Radisson, who had defected to the English.
Taken prisoner again in 1685 on Hudson Bay, Outlaw was denied his pay for reasons of negligence. Unhappy, he attempted a solo expedition but his vessel was destroyed by ice.
Taken French prisoner for a third time, by a team led by d'Iberville in 1686, Outlaw decided to join the French service.
He commanded a royal frigate that sailed from Quebec in 1696. It is possible that he was granted land in Acadia in 1697.
Nelson River - Fort Nelson, an historic Hudson's Bay Company trading post, was located at the mouth of the Nelson River at Hudson Bay and was a key trading post in the early 18th century. After his pivotal role in establishing the Hudson's Bay Company, Pierre Esprit Radisson, noted French explorer, was chief director of trade at Fort Nelson during one of his sustained periods of service to England. Today, Fort Nelson no longer exists. Port Nelson, the abandoned shipping port remains on the opposite side of the river mouth on Hudson Bay.
1683 - Deposition of John Outlaw. That the French concerned in the outrage at Hudson's Bay declared that they acted by the King's commission. ½ p. - November 14 [Col. Papers, Vol. LXIV., No. 119.] - 'Addenda: November 1683', Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies, Volume 12: 1685-1688 and Addenda 1653-1687 (1899), pp. 644
Nov. 23. - Deposition of John Outlaw. Giving an account of the [Illegible] French attack on the English factory at Hudson's Bay. 1 p. [Col. Papers, Vol. LXIV., No. 121.]
Excerpts from Our Immigrant Ancestors - By B. M. Carr Revision C February 18, 2007.He stated “I have just discovered that I am descended from an English sea captain, John Outlaw whom I originally found at the end of one of my French Canadian links under the name Jean Outelas/Houtelas. In 1665, he captained a ship in the fleet of Edward Morgan in his expedition against the Dutch in the Antilles. Later in the 1680s Capt. Outlaw commanded ships for and against the Hudson Bay Company. He ended his life sailing for the French out of Port Royal, Nova Scotia.”
OUTLAW, JOHN - Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online
OUTLAW, JOHN (Outlan or Outlas, Jean), “Marriner & Shipwright” of Limehouse, England; d. c. 1696–97.
He served as mate on the Bachelor’s Delight, commanded by Benjamin Gillam* who sailed from New England on 21 June 1682 and founded a post 26 miles up the Nelson River.
Subsequently Radisson* and Chouart Des Groseilliers, and John Bridgar established posts for the French and HBC respectively. Radisson captured the two rival posts in 1683.
Some of the English prisoners were put on the unseaworthy Sainte-Anne, and Outlaw navigated it to James Bay, whence he returned to England in the HBC ship, Diligence (Capt. Nehemiah Walker).
Despite Outlaw’s being an interloper who had infringed their patent the HBC hired him for their 1684 voyage. He was given command of the Lucy and sailing with the Happy Return made a successful voyage to and from Port Nelson. Radisson, his captor of the year before and now in English pay, was a passenger on the Happy Return, and Henry Kelsey*, on his first voyage to the Bay, was aboard the Lucy.
Outlaw commanded the Success in 1685 and on the voyage out encountered two French ships from Port Nelson under Claude de Bermen* de La Martinière with the captured English vessel Perpetuana Merchant. He was unable either to seize the French ships or to release their prize. Homeward bound from Charlton Island the Success was wrecked by ice; passengers and crew made their way to Charles Fort on Rupert River. Outlaw spent the winter at Moose. In the spring of 1686 Pierre de Troyes captured Moose (which the French called Saint-Louis) and at Rupert River captured both the post and the HBC ship, Craven. Outlaw piloted the Craven to Moose where de Troyes loaded it with cannon before proceeding to capture Albany (Sainte-Anne).
Outlaw and many of the English prisoners were sent in the Colleton to winter at Port Nelson and Severn, subsequently returning to England in 1687.
Outlaw and his crew were refused their wages for alleged negligence in losing the Success.
Therefore in 1688, the disgruntled Outlaw joined John Abraham in an interloping expedition on the Mary but she was wrecked by ice in Hudson Strait. The crew were happily rescued by the HBC ship Churchill (Capt. William Bond) which, with the Yonge, was taking a new governor, Marsh, and men to Albany to establish a post near the former English fort captured by the French in 1686. The new post was established but Pierre Le Moyne* d’Iberville captured it during the winter and Outlaw was taken prisoner by the French for the third time. He accepted his destiny and deserted to the French either then or shortly afterwards. In 1690 the HBC warned its servants that Outlaw was a potential interloper.
At Quebec in 1692 Outlaw married Françoise Denis (his first wife was Mary Saille of London) and had three children by her. He commanded a royal frigate La Boufonne, which left Quebec on a privateering expedition on 9 June 1696 (n.s.). He may have been the “sieur Outlas” to whom some land in Acadia was granted in 1697 and the “Outelas” forbidden by Governor Joseph Robinau de Villebon in August 1697 to go off on a cruise without further instructions. Outlaw died before July 1698, when his wife was remarried.
G. E. Thorman
HBRS, IX (Rich); XI, XX (Rich and Johnson); XXI (Rich). Coll. de manuscrits relatifs à la Nouv.-France, II, 222. P-G. Roy, Inv. concessions, IV, 135. Chevalier de Troyes, Journal (Caron). Tanguay, Dictionnaire, I, 456. Webster, Acadia, 106.
Boucherville, Canada still has a large number of 18th c. houses, among which are La Chaumière (416 rue Ste-Famille; built 1741), the Manoir Pierre-Boucher (468-470 Bd. Marie-Victorin) and the Maison Lafontaine (1780). In addition the church of St-Famille possesses some of the finest wood carvings in the whole of Canada, including side altars (dated 1808) by Louis Amable Quévillon and a 1745 tabernacle by Gilles Bolvin.
François-Pierre Boucher House (1740), Boucherville, province of Quebec, Canada
Genealogy John-Jean Outelas
|Occupation:||Capitaine de navire|
|Parish / City:||Limehouse ou Londres|
|Death:||16 July 1698 before
|Parish / City:||Quebec|
|Children of Outelas John-Jean and/or Denys Francoise|
Genealogy Joseph Outelas
|Born:||10 July 1697|
|Parish / City:||Quebec|
|Death:||27 April 1777 - Age: 80|
|Parish / City:||Boucherville|
Fils de John-Jean et Françoise Denys
|Children of Outelas Joseph and/or Boucher Marie-Anne|
Francoise Outelas - early French colonial settler, businesswoman Born: 31 May 1730 Birthplace: Boucherville, Canada
Although very little is known about Outelas, particularly her childhood, it is evident from a handful of surviving records that she was an important figure in the early history of Vincennes, a small but thriving French settlement that later became the territorial capital of Indiana before it became a state.
In 1756, Francoise Outelas married Antoine Drouet de Richarville at Kaskaskia, a settlement near the mouth of the Kaskaskia River in present-day Indiana. [ incorrect - Illinois ]
Although it is not known how old Outelas was at the time, the marriage was apparently her first, and so she was probably in her late teens. Her husband, who was born in 1699, was 57. However, such arrangements were not uncommon then, and the marriage prospered. They had three children, Joseph Antoine, Elisabeth, and Marguerite, who were born at Vincennes in 1759, 1760, and 1762, respectively.
Colonial Frenchwomen often enjoyed a great deal of independence and were actively involved in business, especially if their husbands were away for long periods of time fur trapping or trading. Outelas's husband, Antoine Drouet, was a military officer, but he also acquired large tracts of land and was involved in the fur trade. After his death in 1764, Outelas remained a widow for nine years, during which time she managed the family lands and made various business transactions. In 1773 she married a local merchant named Ambroise Dageny; later, her daughters also married prosperous merchants at Vincennes, extending the family's business ties.
At her death, Outelas was apparently among the wealthiest and most influential residents of Vincennes.Died: Nov. 27, 1801
Excerpts from Our Immigrant Ancestors - By B. M. Carr Revision C February 18, 2007
Captain John Outlaw came
to Norfolk County, Virginia about 1665-1667 and appears in the records of
Norfolk County and North Carolina 1668-1672.
Our immigrant ancestor, EDWARD OUTLAW, was Captain John’s much younger
brother, a minor at the time. In
studying the escapades of Captain John, a turbulent character, it seems almost
like reading about my own father John. Both
marched to the beat of their own drummer and were disdainful of public opinion
and authority. In the following
account, the italicized print is quoted from Historic Southern Families
written by genealogical researcher
Benjamin C. Holtzclaw.
“The first appearance of John Outlaw in the records of Norfolk County was on May 8, 1668, when a difference between John Outlaw and Edward Wesray, was referred to the next Court (Book “E”, Part II, Orders, p. 22a). On the same date John Outlaw, Edward Outlaw, and Thomas fforkin were convicted of unlawfully killing a steer, and they were ordered to pay a fine of 2000 pounds of tobacco, ½ to William Memocks, Thomas Smith, Edward Shoulder, and Thomas Ward, presumably the owners of the beast, and ½ to the County (same reference). John Outlaw seems to have borne the burden of the fine, indicating that his brother Edward was under age, and perhaps Thomas fforkin, too.
Outlaw got into trouble again in August, 1668, when he had a brawl with a
constable, William Dafnell, at the funeral of Robert Spring’s first wife,
Isabel. On Feb. 15, 1668/69, Capt.
John Outlaw was among those ordered to assist in clearing the roads (ibid, p.
29a), and on the same date (p. 30) William Dafnell arrested John Outlaw in an
action for debt, and Outlaw not appearing, his security was ordered to pay.
Book “E”, p. 48, gives the depositions of Mary ffanshaw and Robert
Tucker regarding the trouble with Dafnell in August, 1668.
Mary ffanshaw, aged about 21, deposed on Feb. 15, 1668/9 that “being at
the house of Robert Spring at the funeral of his wife there was a difference
between John Outlaw & John Johnson & (they) fell out, & they called
for the constable to Command the peace by him the said constable, Wm.
Davnell. With that Jno. Outlaw came
to the door and said he would be revenged upon Wm. Davnell and struck the said
Davnell two or three blows more and called him rogue and Cuckold”.
Robert Tucker, aged about 23, deposed that “being at the house of
Robert Spring in Augt. last past there was some difference between Capt. John
Outlaw and John Johnson and Edward Outlaw, and Edward Outlaw (is this a lapus
styli for John?) Said unto his Brother pray lett me alone for I will be
revenged of that whore and rogue, meaning William Dafnell and his wife, and
running unto the door said , you say I owe you a hogshd. of Tobacco. I will pay
you with a pox and struck him two or three blowes on the head and she fell into
a swound and William Dafnell said, what is the matter with you, Capt. Outlaw, I
have charged the peace before you and I know not what to doe with you. With that John Outlaw struck Dafnell two several times”.
(Note, that William Dafnell later became Edward Outlaw’s
In connection with this case, on March 31, 1669 John Outlaw of the Western Branch of Elizabeth River appointed Thomas Gilbert his attorney in two suits “depending between me and William Davenall”(Bk. “E”, p. 46). More trouble was coming, for on April 21, 1669 Enoch Tarte got an attachment against the estate of John Outlaw (Bk.“E”, Part II, Orders, p. 33), and about that time John seems to have moved to North Carolina.
On Nov. 17, 1669 Thomas Boures was fined in Norfolk County for not appearing in the suit of Enoch Tarte vs. John Outlaw (ibid, p. 40a); and on the following day, Nov. 18, the Court ordered that Enoch Tarte be paid 2040 pounds of tobacco out of John Outlaw’s estate, it being stated that in April last John Outlaw was ordered to pay William Dafnell, Constable of the Western Branch, 1000 pounds of tobacco, and “Robert Boures, security for Outlaw, is to pay it, Outlaw having absented himself” (ibid, p. 42). This is the last mention of John Outlaw in the Norfolk County records until April 16, 1672, when it was ordered that Enoch Tarte was to have 2040 pounds of tobacco, granted him in Nov. 1669, out of the estate of John Outlaw (ibid, p. 85).
In the meantime, John Outlaw was continuing his inauspicious career in North Carolina. At the General Court there, Sept. 27, 1670, he sued Samuel Pricklove, and at the same Court was sued by Capt. Cath Cone (Hathaway, “N.C. Hist. & Gen. Register”, Vol. I, p. 135). At the same Court Laurence Gunfallis sued John Outlaw (ibid, p. 136), and it is stated “Laurence Gunfallis obtained an order against Capt. Jo. Outlaw in May Court, 1670 for a bote of 14 foot and whereas said Outlaw departed from his house and there can be no bote had, Mr. Herman Smewin and Abraham Kimberley were sworn in Court to appraise ye worth of ye said bot who vallowed said bote to be worth 750 pounds of tobacco and cask, and cost of sale, wherefore it is ordered ye said Gunfallis satisfy his debt out of ye said Outlaw’s estate where it can be found”. (Bk. “O”, pp. 10-11).
The last mention of John Outlaw in North Carolina was in 1672 (as in Norfolk Co.,
Va.) when he was sued by Samuel Davis (Hathaway, op. Cit., Vol. I, p. 140). What became of him is uncertain.”
written by Abner Henry Outlaw does not offer any additional records concerning
Captain John Outlaw but states “ Captain John was a boat captain and a boat
builder and probably a tobacco farmer as he seemed able to pay some fairly steep
court fines in tobacco poundage. He
was never married as far as we know. His
parentage, back in England’s County Norfolk, is unknown as are siblings, if
any, other than Edward... It is
believed that he returned to England around 1670 and died there as there are no
further records of him in Norfolk County, Va. or the Albemarle counties, N.
In the preceding
account written by Benjamin Holtzclaw for Historic
Southern Families he omitted another action at the same General Court held
27 September 1670 at the house of Samuel Davis in the county of Albemarle of the
Province of North Carolina (North Carolina Historical and Genealogical Register,
January 1900, Volume 1, No. I, page 136). The Honorable Peter Carteret , Governor and
Commander-in-Chief was present and probably presided over the court. In the omission John Barrows petitioned the court to have an
attachment against the estate of John Outlaw; there appears to be due to him 200
lbs. of tobacco.
speculation about Captain John being a tobacco farmer in Outlaw Genealogy
may be true, but it seems to ignore the most likely source of Captain John’s
wealth in tobacco, that is, the result of profitable
trading along the eastern coastline and possibly boat/ship building on the
Elizabeth River. What
would be more natural, viewing his proclivity for the sea than to engage in
trade up and down the eastern coastline? The
following case found in the Maryland State Archives of the Provincial Court
appears to substantiate this theory. George
Attkins plaintiff sued the defendant James Veitch in an account of debt for
12,000 pounds of tobacco. The defendant failed to appear, alleging to the court
that he was too sick to travel so far, and he was ordered to make an appearance
before the next Provincial Court. George Attkins was represented by Morecroft and James Veitch
was represented by Daniel Jenifer at the 1668 court. ...the said James by Daniel
Jenifer his Attorny Cometh and defendeth the force and injury ...he saith that
at the time and place in the declaration mentioned the said James was not bound
to pay to JOHN OUTLAW or the said George the said summe as in the said
declaration....” For want of
sufficient testimony to prove the plaintiff’s declaration, judgment was
awarded against him.
Since the court date
of 1668 is about the same time that Captain John appears in Virginia court
records and Veitch’s debt took some time to occur beforehand, it may indicate
that John and Edward arrived first in Maryland when they came to the New World.
If he was actively trading up and down the coastline, this could account
for him not making the appearances in court in the Norfolk and North Carolina
20 April 1682 Edward Outlaw and Dennis Aishley obtained 556 acres of land in Lower
Norfolk County at the head of the Western Branch of the Elizabeth River and 250
acres of this patent was granted for transporting 5 persons into the Virginia
Colony. Edward listed himself
twice on the patent which indicates that he entered the colony two times, as
might be expected of an active seaman. Edward
obtained another 50 acre credit for Robert Calderwood’s transportation,
evidently another seaman, as Calderwood was also listed on land patents to
Christopher Bustian (3 times) and Lucy Keeling (1 time) for 50 acre credits.
It should also be noted that Dennis Aishley is the name on the land
patent, not Dennis Ashley as listed in Historical
Southern Families on page 3. Although
this may seem a trivial point, different surname spellings help to separate
families of similar surnames.
Although Captain John returned to England several times he did not return to live there. A Captain John Outlaw appears in several records other than those of Virginia and North Carolina. Considering the population density of the New World settlements, the rarity of the Outlaw surname coupled with the Christian name of John, and the same vocation of a ship’s captain, the odds are overwhelming that this John is the same as our ancestor Edward’s brother.
Evans Page emailed an inquiry to the Internet mail list Gloucester-L@rootsweb.com
seeking information on a Captain John Outlaw.
He stated “I have just discovered that I am descended from an English
sea captain, John Outlaw whom I originally found at the end of one of my French
Canadian links under the name Jean Outelas/Houtelas. In 1665, he captained a ship in the fleet of Edward Morgan in
his expedition against the Dutch in the Antilles.
Later in the 1680s Capt. Outlaw commanded ships for and against the
Hudson Bay Company. He ended his
life sailing for the French out of Port Royal, Nova Scotia.”
In the engagement against the Dutch in 1665, Captain John Outlaw
commanded the ship The Olive Branch which was outfitted with
Some of the information available about this Canadian John Outlaw in the
online biographies and family
genealogies is sometimes contradictory. The
following is quoted from Volume I of The Dictionary of Canadian Biography
Online written by Professor G. E. Thorman.
HBC is the abbreviation for Hudson Bay Company.
My comments including data from other sources are printed in red.
JOHN (Outlan or Outlas, Jean), ‘Marriner &
Shipwright’ of Limehouse, England; d. c. 1696–97
He served as mate on the Bachelor’s
Delight, commanded by Benjamin Gillam who sailed from New England on
21 June 1682 and founded a post 26 miles up the Nelson River. [June
21st, 1682 – “Ben Gillam, son of Capt. Gillam of the “Prince
Rupert” with John Outlaw from Boston at the expense of the Company of the
North (French) landed at Port Gibson in an attempt to divide the spoil with the
Hudson’s Bay Co.”]
Subsequently Radisson and Chouart Des
Groseilliers, and John Bridgar established posts for the French and HBC
respectively. Radisson captured the two rival posts in 1683. Some of the English
prisoners were put on the unseaworthy Sainte-Anne, and Outlaw navigated it to James Bay, whence he
returned to England in the HBC ship, Diligence
(Capt. Nehemiah Walker).
Despite Outlaw’s being an interloper (i.e. a poacher with Gillam)
who had infringed their patent the HBC hired him for their 1684 voyage. He was
given command of the Lucy and sailing with the Happy Return made a successful voyage to and from Port
Nelson. Radisson, his captor of the year before and now in English pay, was a
passenger on the Happy Return,
and Henry Kelsey, on his first voyage to the Bay, was aboard the Lucy
K. G. Davies of the University of Bristol, England writes that Kelsey, explorer,
mariner and overseas governor of the HBC, was apprenticed to the HBC for a term
of four years on 15 March 1684 and sailed with Captain John Outlaw onboard the Lucy
on 6 May 1584 to the Hudson Bay.]
Outlaw commanded the Success in
1685 and on the voyage out encountered two French ships from Port Nelson under
Claude de Bermen* de La Martinière with the captured English vessel Perpetuana
Merchant. He was unable either to seize the French ships or to
release their prize. Homeward bound from Charlton Island the Success
was wrecked by ice; passengers and crew made their way to Charles Fort on Rupert
River. Outlaw spent the winter at Moose. In the spring of 1686 Pierre de Troyes captured Moose (which the French called
Saint-Louis) and at Rupert River captured both the post and the HBC ship, Craven.
Frenchman Chevalier de Pierre Troyes divided his command into two groups, one to
attack Fort Charles and the other to seize the ship.
Lemoyne D’Iberville he entrusted the naval part of the program, gave him a
boarding party, and left him to his own devices.
Pleased at the confidence shown in him, the young man placed his men in
two boats and started under cover of darkness for what was to be another
surprise attack. Climbing over the Craven’s side, the Canadians found the sentinel sound asleep.
They promptly secured this valiant watchdog, then stamping on the watch
below – it was evidently a point of etiquette to waken the enemy before
attacking them – they drove the sleepy sailors back with their swords as they
swarmed up the companionway. A dose of lead fired into the main saloon nipped an incipient
rally in the bud, and the crew of fifteen half-clad men meekly surrendered,
together with Governor Bridgar, newly appointed commander of the Hudson Bay
posts, and Captain John Outlaw.]
Outlaw piloted the Craven to
Moose where de Troyes loaded it with cannon before proceeding to capture Albany
(Sainte-Anne). Outlaw and many of the English prisoners were sent in the Colleton
to winter at Port Nelson and Severn, subsequently returning to England in 1687.
Outlaw and his crew were refused their wages for alleged negligence in losing
the Success. Therefore in
1688, the disgruntled Outlaw joined John Abraham
in an interloping expedition on the Mary
but she was wrecked by ice in Hudson Strait. The crew were happily rescued by
the HBC ship Churchill (Capt. William
Bond) which, with the Yonge,
was taking a new governor, Marsh, and men to Albany to establish a post near the
former English fort captured by the French in 1686. The new post was established
but Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville captured it during the winter and Outlaw
was taken prisoner by the French for the third time. He accepted his destiny and
deserted to the French either then or shortly afterwards In 1690 the HBC warned
its servants that Outlaw was a potential interloper.
Committee emphasized gratitude as an important part of their relationship with
their servants. In 1690, the
Committee referred to Captain John Ford (who was captured by the French in 1689
and defected to their service) and servants- turned interlopers John Abraham and
Captain John Outlaw as “ungrateful perfidious men, who have eate of our Bread
& turne Renegadoes, towards us afterwards.]
Quebec in 1692 Outlaw married Françoise Denis (his first wife was Mary Saille
of London) and had three children by her. He commanded a royal frigate La Boufonne,
which left Quebec on a privateering expedition on 9 June 1696 (n.s.).
He may have been the “sieur Outlas” to whom some land in Acadia was
granted in 1697 and the “Outelas” forbidden by Governor Joseph Robinau de Villebon in August 1697
to go off on a cruise without further instructions. Outlaw died before July 1698,
when his wife was remarried.
G. E. Thorman
entry concerning Captain John Outlaw was found in the 1696 miscellaneous
judicial papers in the Quebec Province Archives..
It concerned the capture of two English ships at the Sable Cape in Nova
Scotia by the brigantine Frontenac under the command of Jean Outlas (John
Outlaw). The two English ships were
the sloop Brothers Adventurers
commanded by Joseph Turner with Hugh Putnam aboard, both of Massachusetts Bay
and the brigantine Adventure under the
command of James Philbricke of New Hampshire.
a letter dated September 13, 1697, William Stroughton of Maryland wrote that
this coast was lately infested by a small French Privateer from Canada, one
Outlaw, an English Renegade Commander. I
do not hear of any mischief done by the same except the taking of five open
Sloops, three of which he burnt and carried the other two away.
He landed the prisoners on shore which he had some time before taken in
fishing vessels at Cape Sables 
Canadian records state that Captain John
Outlaw was born in Limehouse, England. Limehouse
is located down the River Thames, two or three miles from the Tower of London.
In the writer’s research, other mariners were noted as coming from
Limehouse, and Henry Hudson who established the Hudson Bay Company sailed out of
the Thames bound for Canada. John
Thompson finished his apprenticeship years around 1640 as a mariner presumably
at Limehouse where he lived and subsequently made several trips to America.
Another mariner, Robert Juet, from Limehouse, England served under Henry
Hudson in as least four of his trips to America, at least two of which he served
as first mate. George Durant was
the Chief Mate of the Carolina
at her August 1677 launching at Limehouse, England and on her trip to
Albemarle County, North Carolina between October 1677 and December 1, 1677 and
on her return to England from May to July 1678.
launching of the Carolina in August
1677 at Limehouse, England offers further evidence that
Captain John and his brother Edward were from Limehouse.
As a ship builder, Captain John most likely learned his trade at the
Limehouse shipyards, and Edward, a minor when they arrived in Virginia, learned
the trade from him.
appeal and complaint of Nullity was brought by Ludovic Connor of Virginia, a
merchant and owner of the Salamander sloop, of which John Ralph was master, against John
Seymor, Governor of Maryland, and John Rously, naval officer for the District of
Pattoxon, and Thomas Smith, Procurator General for the Crown, over seizure of
certain goods aboard his ship (High Court of Admiralty; Hampton, Virginia,
Instance and Prize Courts: Book of Acts 1709/10-1712/3).
In the court case the following details were brought out by various
depositions. The Salamander,
John Ralph, master, was built for the coastal trade and for no other service in
the Elizabeth River, Virginia about 1707 for Lewis Connor, a merchant. In April 1708 molasses and sugar were laden on the ship in
the James River. Given a permit to
sail to the Potomac, no further security was needed for such a trip.
The sloop was seized in the Potuxon River in Maryland.
EDWARD OUTLAW, ship’s carpenter and builder of the Salamander,
filed a two page deposition on July 30, 1711 in the case.
interesting to note that even as far back as 1708, Maryland and Virginia were
bickering over control of the commerce on the Potomac River, disagreements which
continued into more modern times. Unlike
most rivers where the center of the river forms the boundary between states, the
low tidewater mark on Virginia’s side of the Potomac is Maryland’s state
boundary. This boundary allowed the operation of slot machines in Colonial Beach
in the 1950s although gambling was illegal in Virginia.
The gambling casinos in the Potomac River were legally in Charles County,
Maryland, as there was an air gap between their piers and the Virginia shore.
Although few people in the writer’s area currently make their living as
watermen, in the 1960s the writer counted over 120 oyster boats one afternoon in
the Potomac opposite the town’s beach. Competition
over harvesting the crabs and oysters led to “oyster wars” in the past
between Maryland and Virginia watermen.
Lucy commanded by Captain John Outlaw
for the Hudson Bay Company was a 120 ton vessel.
Tonnage is a measure of the size or cargo capacity of a ship.
The term derives from the taxation paid on tuns of wine, and was later
used in reference to the weight of a ship’s cargo.
To get some idea of the size of this ship, the Susan
Constant, was also a 120 ton vessel and was the largest of the three ships
of the Virginia Company which in the 1607 voyage that resulted in the founding
of the first permanent English settlement in North America, Jamestown, in the
new Colony of Virginia. On that
voyage, she carried 71 colonists, all male.
Photographs of the replica of the 116 feet long Susan Constant anchored at Jamestown are attached to this report.
fur trade of the Hudson Bay Company was an extremely lucrative enterprise with
dividends of 50 per cent being paid for the years 1683 and 1684 despite the
interception of furs by the French overlanders.
The Company had a fleet of seven vessels, each carrying from twelve to
twenty men plying to and from the bay. Three
of the ships – Happy Return, Captain Bond; Owner’s
Good Will, Captain Lucas, and Success,
Captain Outlaw – were yearly chartered from Sir Stephen Evance, a rich
goldsmith, who had become a heavy shareholder in the Company,
The other ships were The Diligence, Captain Walker, The
Perpetuana Merchant, Captain Hume, the sloop Adventure, Captain Geyer and one frigate.
the accounts of the French adventurer Peter Esprit Radisson, who defected to the
English at the mouth of the river at Port Nelson “… That
pleasure was followed soon followed by another; for I saw in this same place 2
ships, of which one had the glorious flag of His Majesty hoisted upon his main
mast, for I recognized to be the one that was commanded by Captain Outlaw when
the one in which I was passed had been separated from 2 others.
This ship floating the Royal
Standard of England was the Alert ,
commanded by Captain Outlaw, having brought out the Company’s new Governor,
William Phipps, the previous season.
. Unfortunately, the biography of Captain John Outlaw written by G. E. Thorman, Vice-Principal and Head, Guidance Department, Teacher of English and History, St. Thomas Collegiate, St. Thomas, Ontario, does not identify the three children of this marriage.
Evans Page in his emailed Internet inquiry stated that he was a descendant of
Captain John Outlaw’s son Joseph (1697-1777).
Joseph’s daughter, Marie Francoise Houtelas (1730-?) migrated southward
into the Illinois country where she married Joseph Antoine Drouet de Richarville
in Kaskaskia (Illinois) in 1756. Joeph
Antoine was the last French commander of Fort Vicennes (Indiana) until the fort
was turned over to the British at the conclusion of the 7-year war.
online genealogies list a Outelas/Outlaw/Houtelas as an Canadian ancestor, but
differ widely in the details surrounding their life as might be expected from
the scarcity of good hard factual data. These
genealogies are the Huppe/Mailhot/Boisjolie; Rainville and Associated Families;
the Family Chartrand; the Premiere Generation; the Famille de Regis St. Pierre;
and the Descendants of Jean Boucher.
sifting through the often conflicting data of these genealogies, the following
summation is deemed the most likely account of our uncle of long ago.
A Genealogy of French
North America Regional Index of immigrants
by Denis Beauregard from Limehouse, Middlesex, England lists “Outlaw, John
& Jefferis, Elizabeth (before 1676) as an entry with their destination as
being Acadie, Quebec. Both
Captain John and Elizabeth apparently were born around 1635 in Limehouse and
were married there around 1660, so Captain John left a wife at home in England
when he and Edward sailed across the ocean to Virginia.
three children of Jean Outelas and Marie-Francoise Denis were: (1) Jean Outelas,
born 30 September 1694, died 28 January 1695, (2) Jean-Philippe Outelas, born 12
April 1696, (3) Joseph Outelas, born 10 July 1697.
Marie-Francoise, born on November 14, 1666, married Jean Outelas in 1692,
and remarried in 1698,
so Jean must have been died between 1696 and 1698, probably in Acadia
The Descendants of Jean Boucher lists Marie Ann Boucher de Montbrun as one of the many children of Jean Boucher de Montbrun and Francoise Claire Clarets. Marie Ann was born 2 June 1708 in Boucherville, Montreal, Quebec, died 26 January 1736/1737 in Boucherville, Montreal, Quebec. She married Joseph Outlas on 25 July 1729 in Montreal, Quebec. After her death Joseph married Catherine Le Gardeur de Croisille (b. 9 May 1714) on 27 October 1744 in Quebec.
A list of the 1700’s
Kaskaskia, Illinois Marriages compiled from church records lists: “Feb. 3,
1756, Francois Antoine Drouet, Sieur de Bajolet of Post Vincennes, to Francoise
Outlas, Three bans.”
B. M. Carr - Revision C - February 18, 2007
 Boddie, Mrs. John Bennett,
Historic Southern Families, Volume
XVI, Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1971, pages 147-149.
 Outlaw, Abner Henry, Outlaw Genealogy, Second Edition, Greensboro, North Carolina: Private Printing, 1972, page 15.
 Archives of Maryland, Proceedings of the Provincial Court 1666-1670. Volume 57, Page 239.
 Ibid, page 306.
 Nugent, Nell Marion, Cavaliers and Pioneers, Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants, Volume 2 (1666-1695), Richmond: Virginia State Library, 1977, pages 234-235.
 Seaman, Holly S., MANITOBA, Landmarks of Red Letter Days, 1610-1920, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, 1920, page 13.
 Davies, K. G., Henry Kelsey, Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online, University of Toronto, Canada.
 Crouse, Nellis M., Lemoyne D’Iberville, Soldier of New France, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2001.
 Hudson’s Bay Records Society, IX (Rich); XI, XX (Rich and Johnson); XXI (Rich). Coll. de manuscrits relatifs à la Nouv.-France, II, 222. P-G. Roy, Inv. concessions, IV, 135. Chevalier de Troyes, Journal (Caron). Tanguay, Dictionnaire, I, 456. Webster, Acadia, 106.
 Stephen, Scott P., Masters and Servants: The Hudson’s Bay Company and Its Personnel, 1668-1782, HBC (London) to George Geyer & Council, (Port Nelson), 22 May 1690, L. O. 1688-1696, 99-100.
 Parker, David W., Guide to the Materials for United States History in Canadian Archives, Washington D.C.: Carnegie Institution, 1913, page 220.
 Archives of Maryland, Proceedings of the Council of Mayland, 1696/7-98, pages 216-217.
 The Library of Virginia, Virginia Colonial Records Database, Reel Number 782, Connor, Ludovic – lawsuit involving – SR 05486, p. 1-5.
 Champlain Society, The Publications of the Champlain Society, Canada: The Society, 1949, Volume 9, page xi.
 Laut, Agnes C., The Conquest of the Great Northwest, Being the story of the Adventurers of England known as the The Hudson’s Bay Company, Volume 1, New York: The Outing Publishing Company, 1908, pages 193-194.
 Publications of the Prince Society, Established May 25th 1858, Radisson’s Voyages, Boston: John Wilson and Son, 1885, page 323.
 Willson, Beckles, The Great Company, New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1900, page 118.
 Le Jeane, Jonis Marie, Dictionnaire general de biographie, histoire literature, agriculture, ...
Kaskaskia, Illinois is a village in Randolph County, Illinois, United States. In the 2000 census the population was 9. A major French colonial town of the Illinois Country, its peak population was about 7,000, when it was a regional center and Illinois' first state capital, before the capital was moved to Vandalia in 1820.
Most of the town was destroyed in April 1881 by flooding, as the Mississippi River shifted eastward to a new channel, taking over the lower 10 miles of the Kaskaskia River. These were the results of deforestation of the river banks during the 19th century, due to the need for wood fuel to feed the steamboat traffic. The river now passes east rather than west of the town. The state boundary line, however, remained in its original location. Kaskaskia, essentially an island, is one of the few portions of Illinois west of the Mississippi and can only be reached from Missouri. A bridge crosses the old riverbed, a creek or bayou that periodically is full of water.
The town was named after the Native American name for the Kaskaskia River. At first situated on a favorable peninsula, the town was cut off and mostly destroyed by repeated flooding and a channel change by the Mississippi River.
The site of Kaskaskia near the river was first a Native American village, inhabited by varying indigenous peoples for thousands of years.
In 1703 French Jesuit missionaries established a mission with the goal of converting the indigenous people to Catholicism, and the congregation built its first stone church in 1714. The village also was used by the French as a post in the fur trade. King Louis XV sent a bell to Kaskaskia in 1741 for its church, one of several constructed there. During the years of French rule, Kaskaskia and the other agricultural settlements in the Illinois Country were important for supplying lower Louisiana, especially New Orleans, with wheat and corn. Farmers shipped tons of flour south over the years, as those staple crops could not be grown in Louisiana's climate.
In 1733 the French built Fort Kaskaskia near this site. It was destroyed by the British in 1763 during the French and Indian War, which they won. Rather than live under British rule after France ceded the territory east of the river, many French-speaking people from Kaskaskia and other colonial towns moved west of the Mississippi to Ste. Genevieve and St. Louis, and other areas.
The city fell to George Rogers Clark in 1778 during the American Revolution. The parish rang the church bell in celebration, which has since been called the "liberty bell". It is housed in a brick building shrine near the Church of the Immaculate Conception. The brick church was built in 1843 in the squared-off French style.
As a center of the regional economy, Kaskaskia served as the capital of Illinois Territory from 1809 until statehood was gained in 1818, and then until 1820. Its peak population was about 7,000 before the capital moved in 1820 to Vandalia. Although introduction of steamboats on the Mississippi River stimulated the economies of river towns in the 19th century, their use also had devastating environmental effects. Deforestation of the banks followed steamboat crews' regular cutting of trees to feed the engine fires. River banks became unstable and collapsed into the water. From St. Louis to the confluence of the Ohio River, the Mississippi became wider and more shallow, with more severe flooding. Much of Kaskaskia and other French colonial towns has been lost. Following the Great Flood of 1844, Kaskaskia relocated to the south. The original location of Kaskaskia became an island, surrounded by the Mississippi River. The flood of 1881 destroyed all remnants of the original town and the Mississippi shifted into the channel of the Kaskaskia River, passing east instead of west of the town. Parts of the town were rebuilt in the new area.
As the Mississippi continued to flow through its new bed, earth was deposited so that the village became physically attached to the west bank of the river, which primarily lies within the boundaries of the state of Missouri. The old channel has become a bayou and is regularly flooded, however. In 1893 the people of the town moved and rebuilt the Church of the Immaculate Conception on Kaskaskia Island.
By 1950 only 112 people lived in Kaskaskia. By 1970 the population had fallen to 79, and it continued its precipitous decline to only 33 in 1980. The town was submerged under nine feet of water by the Great Flood of 1993, which reached the roofs of the buildings. By 2000, with a mere nine residents, Kaskaskia was almost a ghost town.
THE CURSE OF KASKASKIA - ILLINOIS' LOST CAPITAL
HISTORY & HAUNTINGS OF ILLINOIS - CURSE OF KASKASKIA Illinois' Lost Capital
A new settlement was started along the western edge of the Illinois region in 1703 and it was called Kaskaskia. For more than a century, it was the commercial and cultural capital of Illinois. Little of the city remains today, although it was once a prosperous and thriving settlement. Strangely, many believe that the city was destroyed because of an old curse, leaving nothing but a scattering of houses, and ghosts, behind.
Many years ago, Kaskaskia was a part of the mainland of Illinois, a small peninsula that jutted out just north of the present-day location of Chester. There still remains a portion of what was once Kaskaskia, which is accessible from Illinois today, but the peninsula is now an island, cut off from the state by a channel change in the Mississippi River that took place decades ago. Much of the area was flooded at that time and it is now largely a ghost town, consisting of a few scattered homes and a handful of residents.
The remains of the town, while still considered part of Illinois, can now only be reached from Missouri. There is an ancient bridge between Ste. Genevieve and St. Mary’s which crosses the Mississippi to the island. It is the only physical link this desolate spot has to either state. There are only a few scattered buildings left here, including the Kaskaskia Bell Memorial site, which indicate that the city ever existed.
The vanished town was founded by the French settlers and it was once considered the "metropolis" of the Mississippi Valley and the main rendezvous point for the whole territory. It also served as a springboard for explorations to the west and in time, became the state and territorial capital of Illinois.
The area grew and in 1804, Kaskaskia became a land-office town and the territorial capital in 1809. The town was made up of stone mansions and homes of typical French architecture, which according to contemporary sources, were inclined to be "shabby".
Half of the inhabitants were French or French-Indian mixtures who raised cattle, horses and hogs and worked small farms. The city also boasted a post office and a number of general stores, a hat shop and three tailor shops. There was only one tavern in town and it was said to be constantly overcrowded by state officials, soldiers, adventurers and land speculators.
In 1818, the state capital was moved to the new city of Vandalia, in the central part of the state. Illinois had just gained its statehood and legislators began searching for a place that was more centrally located than Kaskaskia. The move was made with some regret... but of course no one knew that the river city would be destroyed in just a few more years.
About 25 years later, the waters of the Mississippi began to shift in their channel and flooding attacked the edges of Kaskaskia, destroying homes and farms. By 1881, the peninsula was completely cut off by the river and the city nearly ceased to exist.
But what happened to change the fates of this once marvelous city? Was it simply nature taking its course.... or were more dire circumstances behind the demise of Kaskaskia?
Frontier Indiana - Andrew R. L. Cayton