St. Ignace, MI

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St. Ignace, MI

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1693 Promissory note signed in Michilimackinac

1693 Promissory note signed at Michilimackinac (now St Ignace, MI). Written in French.

Translation: "I promise to pay to Maurice Menard, or order, four marketable beaver, which he has lent me ... the said beaver I promise to pay him this spring in the month of June 1694. Drawn up at Michilimackinac, this 2nd day of July, 1693."
Signed by Claude Fezeret.

From notes provided by the donor:
"An early promissory note payable in 'marketable beaver,' made out at Michilimackinac, an important center through which the majority of the fur trade for the Great Lakes region was conducted at the time.

Claude Fezeret (1642-1720) came to Quebec some time before 1659. He was a master locksmith and gunsmith by profession, and from 1676 to 1681 he figured prominently in the Montreal Armourers Company (having been known as 'the first gunsmith in New France'). It seems that he also conducted business at Michilimackinac, probably servicing armaments for fur traders, and possibly taking an active and direct role in the fur trade in the Great Lakes region.

Maurice Menard (1664-?) was born in Trois-Rivieres. We know little about Menard, other than he was an interpreter at Michilimackinac, and lived there with his wife Madeline, dit Couc. They had a son Antoine, born at Michilimackinac on April 28, 1695. It appears that Madeline was one of the first white women living in the western 'Indian Country' during this period."