Fort Orleans - DeWitt, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 39° 23.073 W 093° 13.289
15S E 480925 N 4359475
The French, and their contact with the natives of this land.
Waymark Code: WM3E33
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 03/22/2008
Published By:Groundspeak Regular Member GEO*Trailblazer 1
Views: 11

Note: This marker use to be located in a roadside park on US 24 about 1 mile E. of Dewitt. MoDot, like other states, are removing rest areas and roadside parks, and this was one of them. The marker was moved to DeWitt. The co-ordinates provided by iconions.
My photos show the roadside park.

Marker Erected by: State Historical Society of Missouri and State Highway Commission.
Date Marker Erected: 1953.
County of Marker: Carroll County.
Location of Marker: US-24, Wiese Roadside Park, 1 mile NE of De Witt.

Marker Text:

Fort Orleans
Fort Orleans, first European post in the Missouri Valley, was built by the French explorer Etienne Véniard De Bourgmond on the Missouri River close by, a few miles above the mouth of the Grand, 1723-24. The exact location of the fort is not known.

De Bourgmond, friend of the Indian and author of the first navigation report on the Missouri River, 1714, was chosen to build the fort by a French trading concern, The Company of the Indies. The fort was to serve as a check to any advance by the Spanish from the southwest and as a base for New Mexican and Indian trade. Some 40 men came with De Bourgmond on the fort building mission. Made Commandant on the Missouri, he was also in charge of making peace with the Comanche Indians.

A village of Missouri Indians was across the river from the fort. These Indians, of Souian stock, at one time called themselves Niutachis. They were probably first called Missouris, Algonquin for "he of the big canoe" by the Illinois Indians. The last of the Missouris died on the Oto Reservation in Oklahoma 1907.

Westernmost outpost of France in what is now Missouri, the establishment of Fort Orleans included a chapel, first Catholic church in the Missouri Valley. The first resident priest was Abbé Mercier.

When the fort was built, De Bourgmond traveled into what is now central Kansas, 1724, where he fulfilled his commission to make peace with the Comanches. In 1725 he returned to France taking several Indian chiefs and a young Missouri maiden along for a visit. The whole party delighted the French who called the girl "Princess of the Missouri," saw her baptized in Notre Dame, and married to a sergeant. De Bourgmond was made a noble and had for his coat of arms an Indian against a silver mountain.

De Bourgmond stayed in France, and in 1728 the fort was closed. Fort Orleans was built in territory claimed for France, 1682, and named Louisiana after Louis XIV by La Salle. France held the greater part of this claim for 80 years, then ceded it, 1762, to Spain which held it 38 years, returning it to France, 1800, which sold it to the United States, 1803.

History of Mark:
Second marker on this site: Fort Orleans, 1723. First settlement in Missouri made by the French. marked by the Carrollton Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, 1924.

** This marker also moved to DeWitt.

Web link: Not listed

Additional point: Not Listed

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iconions visited Fort Orleans - DeWitt, MO 02/22/2014 iconions visited it
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