Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/René Ménard

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Missionary, b. at Paris, 1604, d. about 10 August, 1661, in what is now Wisconsin. After the usual course of studies he set out from Dieppe in the beginning of May, 1640. Arriving at Quebec he was assigned to work among the Hurons, labouring first, however, among the Nippisriens. After the destruction of the Huron Missions he went to Three Rivers, and on 17 May, started for the Iroquois country. He was sent to the Cayugas, where for the first two months he was brutally treated, but after that he won the affection of the savages. When the Iroquois missions were interrupted he again went to Three Rivers, but in 1659 started with 300 Ottowas for the Far West. He was then fifty-five years of age. In all probability the post he endeavoured to establish was at Keeweenaw, one hundred leagues west of Sault Ste. Marie. The story of his sufferings there forms one of the most pathetic pages of the "Relations". From Keeweenaw he set out to reach the Dacotahs, who, according to a letter written by him in July, 1661, lived three hundred leagues farther on. With him was a single Frenchman, not Guérin, the famous "Donné", but an armourer or blacksmith. They became separated in forests, and Ménard was never heard from again. He was probably murdered at the first rapid of the Menominee.

MÉNARD, Jesuit Relations (Cleveland); SHEA, History of the Catholic Church in the United States, I (New York, s. d.); ROCHEMONTIEUX, Les Jésuites et la Nouvelle France; WINSOR, Narrative and Critical History of America.

T.J. CAMPBELL