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Jean Baptiste Ducoigne, Kaskaskia Indian Chief

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Jean Baptiste Ducoigne. A Kaskaskia chief at the beginning of the 19th century, noted mainly for his firm adherence to the United States and friendship for the whites. Reynolds1 describes him as a cunning half-blood of considerable talent.

In his Memoirs, Gen. W. H. Harrison, who had dealings with Ducoigne, speaks of him as “a gentlemanly man, by no means addicted to drink, and possessing a very strong inclination to live like a white man; indeed has done so as far as his means would allow.” Writing to the Secretary of War, he says: “Ducoigne’s long and well-proved friendship for the United States has gained him the hatred of all the other chiefs and ought to be an inducement with us to provide as well for his happiness, as for his safety.” According to Reynolds, Ducoigne asserted that neither he nor his people had sired the blood of white men. He was a signer of the treaties of Vincennes, (August 7, 1803; August 13, 1803); by the latter the United States agreed to build a house and enclose 100 acres of land for him.

He had two sons, Louis and Jefferson, and a daughter, Ellen, who married a white man and in 1850 was living in Indian Territory. The name of Louis appears on behalf of the Kaskaskia in the treaty of Edwardsville, Illinois, September 25, 1818. Ducoigne’s death probably occurred shortly before October, 1832, as it is stated in the treaty at Castor Hill, of that date, that there should be reserved “to Ellen Ducoigne, the daughter of their late chief,” a certain tract of land.

The name is perpetuated in that of the town of Duquoin, Perry County, Ill.

Footnotes

  1. Reynolds, Pion. Hist., III, 22, 1887 


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