Friday, April 11, 2014

Was Faribault A Trader And A Spy?


Excerpt from the Memoir of Jean Baptiste Faribault (also here)

When the war of 1812 was declared, the British Government made great efforts to enlist the Indians of the Northwest against the Americans. Knowing the great influence wielded by the traders among...[them], commissions in the British army were tendered to each of them, and they were accepted by all but Messrs. Faribault and Provencalle, who declined to take any part against the American Government. The subject of this memoir was consequently arrested by a Col. McCall [possibly McKay], of the British militia service, and held as a prisoner on a gunboat, commanded by a Capt. Henderson, on board of which were two hundred men, en route to Prairie du Chien to dislodge the Americans. He was ordered to take his turn at the oar, but absolutely refused, saying he was a gentleman, and not accustomed to that kind of labor.

This article at the Mississippi Brigade wondered if Faribault was a spy:

"But Faribault and U.S. interpreter Joseph La Rocque seemed to have been appearing British but were actually risking their lives to gather information at Prairie to aid Boilvin."
"Faribault appears to have been exposed as an American sympathizer in July of 1813, when his property is burned and possessions plundered by the Winnebago."

Faribault had declined the honor of serving for the British.

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