• UNIT- Local History Component
    Title:  The First White Settler
    Focus:  Jean Baptiste Cadotte was the first white settler in Sault Ste. Marie

    Connection: Remember the French and Indian War.  Repentigny and de Bonne left to fight in the French and Indian War leaving the responsibilites of the fort to Jean Baptiste Cadotte.

    Teaching Point:

    Jean Baptiste Cadotte, Repentigny’s tenant, was the first white settler at the Sault.

    a.  The English fought and won a war against the French and Indians.

    b.  The English took control of the area and allowed only English fur traders.

    c.  Cadotte took an English partner, Alexander Henry, to continue in the fur trade.

    Resource Materials for Teachers: 

    The name of John Johnston is very familiar to any student of the history of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. He is honored as one of the earliest white settlers in the Sault, and properly so. A major street bears his name, and his home on Water Street is preserved as a historic home by the city of Sault Ste. Marie. The Chippewa County Historical Society helps operate programs at the Johnston House each summer. Much less well-known is the name Cadotte, and yet Jean Baptiste Cadotte should be recognized as the first white settler to truly make his home at Sault Ste. Marie.

                  Cadotte was hired by the French officers de Bonne and de Repentigny to be their tenant and representative at their seigneury (pronounced SEN-yoor-ee, meaning their grant of land) while they attended to their duties as officers in the French military. Cadotte forged a major fur-trading business, and his descendants became prominent players in the fur business throughout the Lake Superior region. (In spite of the difficulties and expense that must have been involved, Jean Baptiste Cadotte sent his children from Sault Ste. Marie to Montreal in order that they could attend school!)  His name, unfortunately, is not commemorated in local street names, geographical features of the area, or otherwise. The Cadotte name does live on, however, directly in the population of northern Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Also, there is a Cadotte Lake in Minnesota, and one in Wisconsin, and there is a small settlement in Alberta named Cadotte. See City of the Rapids, pp. 42, 44-47, and the article by Theresa Schenck entitled “Five Generations of Fur Traders on Lake Superior” in the book The Fur Trade Revisited: Selected Papers of the Sixth North American Fur Trade Conference, Mackinac Island, Michigan (Michigan State University Press, 1994).

    Active Engagement: Color Book with descriptive text found on pages 12-13student pages.

    Share:  Build a model of a French Fur Trading Fort.




Last Modified on February 14, 2018