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Narrative of Angelique Langlade

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The concluding narrative of these personal recollections is that of Angelique Langlade, still living in Penetanguishene at an advanced age, and the last survivor but one of a somewhat noted family. Her command of English is very limited, but her mixed dialect so picturesque and pointed, that I am constrained to present it almost verbatim, in her own simple but expressive style, with apologies to several writers of dialect literature.

Ma name, Angelique Langlade; born Drummon Islan; me Chippawa half-breed; ma mudder, Josephine Ah-quah-dah,¬†Chippawa squaw, Yankee tribe; ma fadder, Charles Langlade, French half-breed, hees born Mackinaw, an move Drummon Islan wid Breeteesh. I no spik good Eengleesh ver well. I not know how old I be – ha-a – I no chicken – me. I tink bout seven, ten, mebbe tirteen year ole when we come Pentang. Mebbe some day God tell me how ole I be when I die. Ma fadder, mudder, Charlie, Louie, Pierre, two Marguerites, Angelique, dats me, an Delede, all come in big bateau from Nort shore. Priess mak mistak an baptise two Marguerites. Katrine born Pentang. All dead but two, Delede (Mrs. Precourt) an me – dat’s Angelique. We come Gordon’s pinte; mak wigwam cedar bark, stay dare leetle tam; wait for land, den come ware McAvela’s place on de hill, an leeve dare lang, lang tam.1 Soldiers come nex year after we come Gordon’s pinte. Ma granfadder Capn. Charles Langlade.2 Good French, come Montreal; work for Hudson Bay Coy., marry Chippawa squaw – big, big soldier in Breeteesh army – he fight fer Mackinaw 1812 – much good, loyal to Eengleesh – had ver fine sword – after war went to Green Bay, where he die – had tousan acre lan – built ver big fine stone house, where he lef hees sword, piano an lots money – ver, ver rich. Had tree sons an tree daughters – Alixe, Indians mak him big chief way, way off in Unat Stat; Charlie, dats ma fadder, he come Drummon Islan wid Breeteesh soldiers and den he come Pentang; Napoleon, be go way an nevare come back no more – nevare hear from him every years – speks lak hees dead long tam. One daughter kep Mackinaw, where she married an leeve; two go to school, Montreal, get married an go to Lac Montaigne to leeve. Lots ma friens Langlades leeve Montreal – fine peoples – ver rich. Ma granmudder, Angelique Langlade, she come on visit from Green Bay an die in Pentang. She ver, ver ole when she die. Father Point, Missionary Priess, on veesit from Wek-wam-i-kon, he bury her. He say she more as hunner year ole. Ma sister, Marguerite, she marry George Gordon, hees secon wife. She die in Toronto. Odder Marguerite, she die in Pentang. Dr. Mitchell come Drummon Islan, too; hees wife Chippewa squaw; she die fore he come here. Hees son, Andrew Mitchell, kep store in ole log – house where Charlie Wright’s barn ees, on Water Street. Ole Dr. Mitchell, hees son Andr√© an some more buried on ole Mitchell farm. Jacko Vasseur, Batcheesh, young Jacques, Marguerite, Paul an Rosette all buried on Gidley’s. Mr. Simpson, trader, he marry squaw on Drummon Islan; she buried behind ole store on Water Street; hees secon wife half – breed, sister Jo. Craddock, Coldwater. Mr. Keating capture Yankee schooner on Drummon Islan.

I have in my possession a copy of a letter (Report) in French, written by Capt. Charles Langlade, Angelique’s grandfather, in 1783, from La Bai to the commandant at Mackinaw, detailing an attack on Wisconsin Portage by the Indians, which he was sent to repulse.3 He was also sent with a detachment to the relief of Governor Hamilton, who was imprisoned by the Indians at Vincennes. At the close of the war Captain Langlade and one son went to Green Bay, Wisconsin, while another son; Charles, accompanied the British forces to Drummond Island. Subsequent to the Captain’s death in Green Bay, his wife died in Penetanguishene, while on a visit to her son, about the year 1845, at an advanced age. She was reputed to be over one hundred years. The stone mansion, sword and piano are still in possession of descendants at Green Bay, and highly prized as memorials of Captain Langlade. Records in possession of the Gordon family prove that Angelique was born about 1820, if not earlier.

Footnotes

  1. The old Langlade mansion and original block – house is, still standing. 

  2. For a long article on Charles de Langlade, see Joseph Tasse’s “Les Canadiens de l’Ouest” Vol. I, which also contains some lists of his descendants. See also the index to Coues’ edition of the Journal of Alex. Henry the younger, under “Langlade,” for a concise biography. 

  3. Notices of Langlade and his Indians, at Labaye (Green Bay) and Vincennes may he found in the Report on Canadian Archives, 1890, Calendar of State Papers, pages 81, 84, 85, 109, etc. 


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