Discover your family's story.

Enter a grandparent's name to get started.

Start Now

Fort Massac

The far too farseeing French in 1702, in furtherance of their design of dominion in North America, despatched a detachment of about thirty men from Kaskaskia under the temporal command of M. Juchereau de St. Denis and the spiritual direction of fiery Father Mermet to establish a trading post, mission and fort, as near as convenient to the mouth of the Ohio River to guard the southern access to this vital means of travel. The result of this expedition was the establishment of Fort Massac, the site of the future little city of Metropolis, Illinois. Consider the map as it is today, showing Metropolis and the surrounding country, and see the fine position that Fort Massac had in the day of its establishment: It was about thirty-six miles above the mouth of the Ohio, quite far enough up to be out of the reach of any flood of that great torrent and also to be beyond the convenient call of marauding expeditions which might be making the Mississippi their route north; it faced to the south the mouth of the Tennessee River and was not far from where the Cumberland and Wabash rivers joined their courses to the Ohio, and thus it had fine trading advantages. Therefore it is not to be wondered at that for a time the new post flourished mightily. Juchereau traded and Father Mermet preached to satisfied savages and Frenchmen. Of Father Mermet’s work it has been said that his gentle virtues in everyday life and his fervid eloquence in the spiritual rostrum made him beloved and respected by all. At early dawn his pupils...

Pin It on Pinterest