Monthly Archives: March 2020



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Catharine Helena JAY’s Grandfather of course had been very much involved in the Colonies separation from England and the development of our Democracy. JOHN JAY had married Sarah LIVINGSTON, a daughter of the then Governor of New Jersey, William LIVINGSTON He was one of the early patriots and revolutionary founders of this country. During the Revolution he had been sent to Spain to try and negotiate support from the wealthy Spanish crown, then had gone to Paris to negotiate with Benjamin Franklin and Henry Laurens the peace treaty with the English, had return, been made Chief Justice of the new court by George Washington and then negotiated another unpopular treaty with England, and ended as Governor of New York and worked to pass the ratification of the new Constitution while Governor.

Their oldest son, Peter Augustus Jay, who married Mary Rutherfurd Clarkson, became a successful lawyer in New York City. They had eight children, four daughters of whom Catharine was the third. Peter Augustus Jay (January 24, 1776 – February 22, 1843) was the eldest son of New York’s only native Founding Father, John Jay. Peter was one of 6 children born to John Jay and Sarah Livingston Jay, and one of 2 boys (brother William was born in 1789) with 4 sisters: Susan (born and died in 1780); Maria (b. 1782), Ann (b. 1783) and Sarah Louisa (b. 1792)

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Peter Augustus Jay was born at “Liberty Hall,” in 1776, at the home of his grandparents’, the Livingstons, in Elizabethtown, New Jersey. Like his father, he graduated from King’s College, the precursor of Columbia University. Notably following his graduation in 1794, Peter Augustus acted as private secretary to his father in London for the Jay Treaty.[1] The young Jay studied law and established a practice in New York City with his cousin Peter Jay Munro, carrying on a family tradition of public service. He married Mary Rutherfurd Clarkson, daughter of General Matthew Clarkson, in 1807 [2 ][3 ] and they had 8 children. From 1812 – 1817, Peter Augustus Jay helped found the Bank for Savings (thereby contributing to the establishment of the New York State savings bank system). As a Federalist, he was a member from New York City of the New York State Assembly in 1816, during which time he was active in arranging the financing for the construction of the Erie Canal. He ran many times for Congress, but was always defeated by the Democratic-Republican candidates. From 1819 to 1821, he was Recorder of New York City. He was a delegate from Westchester Co. to the New York State Constitutional Convention of 1821. He helped found the New York Law Institute in 1828, which today is the oldest law library in New York City. Jay was President of New York Hospital (1827-1833), Chairman of the Board of Trustees, King’s College and President of the New York Historical Society (1840-1842). [4] For a time he was also a Westchester County Judge.[5]


The Rye House: Under his father’s aegis, Peter Augustus installed European styled stone ha-has on the property and planted elm trees. His father John Jay died in 1829. In 1836, Peter Augustus contracted with a builder, Edwin Bishop, to take down the failing farmhouse that had been barraged by the British during the Revolutionary War. Reusing structural elements from “The Locusts” where his father grew up as a boy, Peter Augustus Jay helped create the Greek Revivalmansion that stands there today. Unfortunately his wife Mary would not live to see the house completed, as she died in Madeira on December 24, 1838. Peter Augustus Jay died in 1843 and the Rye house passed to his son, John Clarkson Jay.[8

Mary Rutherford CLARKSON’s father, Matthew Clarkson (October 17, 1758 – April 25, 1825) was an American Revolutionary War soldier and a politician in New York State. The town of Clarkson in Western New York was named after him. He was a great uncle of Thomas S. Clarkson, a member of the family who founded Clarkson University. Matthew Clarkson was born October 17, 1758 in New York to David and Elizabeth Clarkson. He was the great-great-grandson of Reverend David Clarkson (1622–1686), a notable Puritan clergyman in Yorkshire, England, whose sermons included “The Doctrine of Justification is Dangerously Corrupted by the Roman Church.” His great-grandfather was Matthew Clarkson who came to New York from England in 1690 as Secretary of the Province. He married Mary Rutherford on May 24, 1785, and Sarah Cornell on February 14, 1792. Clarkson died April 25, 1825.


He served in the Revolutionary War, first on Long Island, subsequently under Benedict Arnold. He was at Saratoga and, later, on the staff of General Benjamin Lincoln, was present at the surrender of Burgoyne at Savannah (1779) and at the defense of Charleston (1780). He was also present at the surrender of Cornwallis. After the war, Clarkson was commissioned brigadier general of militia of Kings and Queens Counties in June 1786 and Major General of the Southern District of New York in March 1798. [edit]Political service When the war ended, Lincoln became Secretary of War and Clarkson became his assistant. He served as a member of the New York State Assembly for one term (1789–1790) and introduced a bill for the gradual abolition of slavery in the State. As a Regent of the University of the State of New York he was presented at the court of French King Louis XVI. He served as U.S. Marshal (1791–1792), State Senator 1794-1795, a member of the commission to build a new prison 1796-1797 and President of the New York (City) Hospital (1799). In 1802, Clarkson was the Federalist candidate for U.S. Senator from New York but was defeated by DeWitt Clinton. He was President of the Bank of New York from 1804 until his death in 1825. [edit]Town of Clarkson On April 2, 1819, the town of Clarkson was established by the New York State Legislature and named in honor of General Clarkson. Although there is no evidence that he ever lived in Western New York, he reportedly owned a sizable amount of land there, and he gave 100 acres (405,000 m²) to the town.

Children of Henry Augustus Du BOIS and Catharine Helena JAY
1. Col. Cornelius Jay DuBois, M.D., b. N. Y. City, Aug. 31, 1836; d. New Haven, Conn., Feb. 11, 1880
2. Peter A. Jay DuBois, b. Madiera, Spain Feb. 23, 1839; d. June 3, 1839. 3430.
3. Major Henry A. DuBois, Jr., M.D., b NY City. June 26, 1840; m. Emily M. Blois. He was Surgeon in regular army, and served in Civil War. They had 4 children.
4. John Jay Dubois, b.Newton Falls, June 6, 1846; d. Nov. 11, 1898. 3432.
5. Augustus Jay DuBois, b. Newton Falls Apr. 22, 1849; m. Adeline Blakeslee.
6. Alfred Wagstaff Dubois, b. Newton Falls Dec. 30, 1852. d. 17 May 1900 m Anna M Lictenberg
7. Mary Rutherford Dubois, b.NY City May 22, 1854. d Nov 6, 1919
8. Robert Ogden Dubois, b New Haven CT Jan. 19, 1860; d. Mar. 9, 1895; m. ■, Alice Mason. They had three children



Col. Cornelius Jay DuBois, M.D., b. N. Y. City, Aug. 31, 1836; d. New Haven, Conn., Feb. 11, 1880. Grad. Columbia Law School in 1861; on outbreak of Civil War went to Washington with 7th Reg1t; recruited Co. D. 27th Conn. Vols, at New Haven and was made Capt.; served under Gen. Hancock in Zooks1s Brigade at Aquia Creek, Falmouth, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville; was severely wounded at Gettysburg, July 2, 1863; rescued by brother, Dr. Henry A. DuBois3430, Ass1t Surgeon reg. army, but never fully recovered from wound; Gen. Hancock testified to his father there was never a more gallant charge, and Col. Brook said there never was a more gallant soldier in the army than Capt. DuBois. After partial recovery he became Adjutant of 20th Conn. Vols., and served under Hooker and Sherman in Georgia; in battle of Resaca, he seized colors from wounded bearer and planted them on summit of enemy1s position; brevetted Major by Pres. U. S. for bravery at Gettysburg, and Lieut. Col. for gallantry at Resaca; July, 1866, received degree of M.D. at Yale Medical College, and went abroad for health; on return spent balance of life at New Haven, bearing his sufferings with the same courage displayed in military action.



Their second son, Henry after the CivilWar, served with Indian Service in New Mexico. He moved to Mann County in California about 1868. Two of his brothers lived with him for a time. He was married to Emily Blois in 1880. They had four children .

BioYale: . Henry Augustus DuBois, M.D., b. at the residence of his g. f. DuBois, n. w. cor. Broadway and 8th street, June 26, 1840 ; Yale B.P., 1859; April 25, 1861, he joined the 12th Regiment of N.Y.S.N.G. as Hospital Steward, in a few weeks was examined for Asst. Surgeon, U.S.A., and passed No. 3 out of 40 applicants; Aug. 28, 186 1, was under Dr. Abadie in the Columbian Hospital, Washington, but was soon put in full charge. He served in the 6th U. S. Cavalry as Inspector of Cavalry ; May, 1862, Asst, Med. Director of the Army of the Potomac, subsequently Medical In-spector of the Artillery Reserve under Gen. Hunt ; was at the H of Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, etc., in all about 40 battles ; 1864, Inspector of Hospitals at headquarters of the Army of the Potomac ; in June, 1864, on Gen. Sheridan’s staff; Aug., 1864, appointed Asst. Med. Director of the Middle MilitaryDivision of Va., on Sheridan’s staff, and was with him in all his battles, and present at Lee’s surrender ; brevetted by the President Captain, and subsequently Brevet Major. In 1865, took charge of the U. S. Laboratory in Phil. ; May, 1866, sent to Fort Union, New Mexico ; resigned Feb. 21, 1868, and is now practising medicine in San Rafael, Cal., where he has founded a cemetery (Temaulpas), of which he is Comptroller ; delivered in Yale Medical Coll., April, i860, a course of lectures on Toxicology. Confirmed by Bishop Williams, in St. Paul’s, New Haven; m. in 5th Avenue Church, by Rev. John Hall, D.D., Dec. i, 1880, Emily, dau. of Hannah MariaFerris (dau. of Miss Schieffelin, who was dau. of Hannah Lawrence and Schieffelin), and Samuel Blois, M.D. i child.


The following article was written by Marilyn L Geary and published in the SanRafael paper. “DR Henry Augustus DuBois, Jr. settled in San Rafael in 1869 after serving as a surgeon in the Civil War and in the Indian Wars of New Mexico. Born to a wealthy East Coast family, Yale-educated Dr. DuBois was a great-grandson of John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and a president of the Continental Congress. In his memoirs, William Kent described DuBois as “a New Englander and a straight-laced and proper citizen. He was educated, skillful and much esteemed.” Chickahominy Fever Dr. DuBois may have been lured to San Rafael by its healthy climate. In the California Medical Society’s journal, Dr. DuBois recommended San Rafael as ideal for a “sanitarium for chronic diseases.” During the Civil War, DuBois had contracted Chickahominy fever, a camp fever with symptoms of typhoid and malaria named for the mosquito-ridden swamps of the Chickahominy River in Virginia. The 1870 Census shows Dr. DuBois residing with 40-year-old Dr. Alfred Taliaferro, the first physician to practice in Marin. They lived in San Rafael Village with a 23-year old Chinese servant named Ah Poy. Dr. DuBois subsequently purchased land west of San Rafael at the end of today’s Fifth Street in what was called Forbes Valley. His land was far removed from town and included a section of Red Hill. Burials Prohibited When Dr. DuBois arrived in San Rafael, the town was growing fast, and the cemetery at St. Paul’s Episcopal Churchyard, Fourth and E Streets, could not keep up. In 1876, two years after San Rafael incorporated, town trustee Dr. Taliaferro proposed and got passed an ordinance prohibiting burials within San Rafael’s town limits. On Sept. 14, 1876, theMarin County Journal reported on a town meeting held to determine where to locate a new cemetery: “Nearly all the money and land kings were present.” Among several bids, Dr. DuBois offered a portion of his ranch for $13,000. The town trustees took no action, and the law to prohibit burials in town limits was rescinded. It was deemed “better to double up in the old yard than keep the dead above ground.” A Committee of One Not one to dawdle, by June 1878 Dr. DuBois had 40 men working on 113 acres of his land to build the new cemetery. He later stated, “I organized myself a committee of one.” He put enormous funds and energies into the venture, planting myrtle and ivy by the wagonload, laying out miles of roadways, setting out 2,000 trees and thousands of flowers. In September the Marin Journal reported that Dr. DuBois was doing a great amount of work. Schooners came up San Rafael Creek to First and C streets with loads of urns, fountains, sample monuments, granite walls and fences. DuBois had drawn up plans for a bell tower and an artesian well 2,000 feet deep. In December 1879 the Marin Journal reported that Dr. DuBois had toured 42 cemeteries in the East to collect drawings, photos, maps, statistics on water supply and other cemetery best practices. DuBois’ Folly In the late 1800s cemeteries were designed as parks for picnics and Sunday outings. DuBois expected that the cemetery would be a favorite destination and built miles of access roads. As he owned a portion of Red Hill, he hired Chinese laborers to build a zig-zag road up its heights to provide access from San Anselmo. Too steep for horse and buggy, the project gained the label “.” The Mt. Tamalpais Cemetery was dedicated in August 1879. It eventually served some of San Rafael’s most prominent families, including the Dollars and the Boyds. DuBois’ horizons, however, stretched beyond Marin. In January 1880 Dr. DuBois wrote in the Marin County Journal: “It is believed that, with the example of New York City, many burials from San Francisco will take place here…Objections [are] that San Francisco funerals must come on the boat and pass through town, but the midday, little-used boat will be used and funerals can pass on streets with few houses. Friends prophesy I will be ruined…I have been ruined so frequently – at least my friends have so prophesied – that I don’t mind it a bit.” Dr. DuBois built a number of artificial lakes at the cemetery. In 1881, reporting that the carp had multiplied from 11 to over 750, he suggested, “Carp raising would be a good industry here.”San Rafael in Denver? In 1874 Dr. DuBois platted a development in Denver, Colorado, which he named San Rafael for his California home. He expanded this subdivision in 1882 and 1886 as demand increased for more lots.The area, located 8 blocks northeast of downtown Denver, is now a heritage district on the National Register of Historic Places. An early advertisement described it as “beautifully located overlooking the city with a glorious view of the mountains.” Despite his activities in Denver, DuBois remained in San Rafael, Calif., where two of his siblings joined him. In 1880 he lived with his brother Alfred W. DuBois, a 28-year old Chinese servant Ah Jim and a 44-year-old servant Amelia Schuthris. Later that year, Dr. DuBois married Emily M. Blois, and they subsequently had four children. The Vaccine Farm : Building a cemetery, a residential neighborhood in a distant city, and a new family is more than enough to manage, but Dr. DuBois saw problems as opportunities. In the 1880s, vaccine panics often accompanied smallpox epidemics. Summer heat precluded transporting fresh vaccine from the East, and vaccine became scarce. The Pacific Coast Vaccine Farm didn’t last. Dr. DuBois died May 27, 1897 at age 55 of the typhoid fever he contracted in the Virginia swamps. Du Bois Street in San Rafael is named for another DuBois, but Dr. Henry A. DuBois Jr.’s legacy lives on in Mt. Tamalpais Cemetery and in Denver’s historic San Rafael district.”



John Jay Du BOIS was a lawyer and lived part of his life in San Rafael, California with his brother Henry. He was unmarried


Augustus Jay Du BOIS married Adeline Blakeslee and lived in New Haven. He was the Professor of Civil Engineering at the Sheffield School of Engineering, part of Yale University. They had no children.


Alfred Wagstaff Du BOIS married Anna Lichtenberg. He lived for a period with his brother Henry in California. He died in Paris of a “hemorrhage” at age 47.  Aunt ANNA continued to live in San Francisco.


Mary Rutherfurd Du BOIS was unmarried and lived and died in New Haven.


The youngest child, Robert Ogden Du BOIS was born in new Haven in 1860 the time of the Civil War. He went to Yale and then Yale Medical School. He then moved to New York City and opened a medical practice specializing in ENT problems. In 1889 he married Alice Mason, the daughter of Rev Arthur Mason and from the family of Jonathan Mason from Boston. They had three children, Arthur, Helen and Robert. Unfortunately he had Rhumatic Fever as a child, developed heart disease and died of congestive heart failure when he was 36. His wife Alice died soon after. Their three children were brought up by their Mason Uncle, called Boompa!

Her father, Arthur Mason was born in Boston in 1837. He graduated from Trinity College. He studied in Geneva and returned to enter Berkley Divinity School in Middleton, Ct. He married Amelia Caroline Taylor, He was Rector of a number of churches in Mass, New Haven and New York City. He died at his home in New York City in 1907 and was buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery.

Her mother, Amelia Caroline Taylor was born in Cuba. Her father was a successful sugar Merchant there. He lived in Cuba until 1848 when they returned to Baltimore, Md. His father had also been active in sugar trade with Cuba and had been active in Baltimore political life. He was involved in the War of 1812. He also was one of the managers of a statue erected to honor George Washington in Baltimore

The couple had four children, a son and four daughters. Alexander T Mason, the oldest, became active in NY Politics and was the Republican Leader of the 29th Assembly District. The oldest daughter, Isabella married Mansel Van Rensselaer and they had four children, Bernard, Arthur, Maud and Alexander. The next oldest daughter, Alice married Robert Ogden Du Bois and they had three children, Arthur, Helen and Robert, The youngest daughters, ”Maud and Teddy” never married

Her grandfather, Jonathan Mason, Jr., of Boston, was a portrait and figure painter, student of Gilbert Stuart, friend or acquaintance of virtually every major American artist of the nineteenth century. His father Jonathan died in 1831. He himself was married to Isabella Weyman in Italy in 1834. The sculptor Horatio Greenough was one of the witnesses. They had six children: sons Charles, Arthur, Herbert, and Philip, and two daughters, Isabelle (who married Charles Hook Appleton) and another who married William Sturgis Hooper. Arthur became an ordained minister. Herbert and Philip served in the Union army during the Civil War; Philip died from wounds in July 1864 and was interred atMount Auburn Cemetery.

Her Great Grandfather was Senator Jonathen Mason who was born in Boston and graduated from Boston Latin School and Princeton University. He studied law and was admitted to the Mass bar in 1779. He served in the Mass House of Representatives and in the Senate from 1786 to 1800. In 1800 he was elected to the United States Senate where he served from 1800 to 1803. He then returned to the Mass Senate and returned to Washington as a member of the House from 1817 to 1820. He married Susannah Powell whose family had immigrated from Wales and were early settlers of Vermont. Senator Mason was a friend of Gilbert Stuart and urged him to move to Boston. Portraits of them done by Stuart hung in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston

The oldest son, my father, Arthur Mason Du BOIS, Birth Nov 4, 1890 in New York Death Dec 1979 in New York married my mother, MARIE LOUISE DIXON+*Birth 15 Dec 1895 in Brooklyn, Kings, New York, Death 03 JUL 1943 in Hewlett, Nassau, New York, They had two children. Both are buried in the Jay Cemetery. Married Cornelia Prime COSTER Birth 6 Feb 1901 in New York, New York, Death 11 Dec 1956 in New York,

M. LOUISE Dixon Du BOIS was active in the formation of the New York Junior League. She had an active interest in history and documented the genealogy of my ancestors. This is kept at the Jay Homestead in Rye and as part of their exhibition.

Elizabeth Munro Fisher. a step note to my genealogy

Elizabeth Munro Fisher, a stepnote to my geneaology

This is a strange story that involves my great aunt, Eva Jay, the older sister of John Jay who was emotionally unstable, her husband the Rev Henry Munro from Scotland and loyal to the crown, his daughter from his first marriage, Elizabeth Munro and her upbringing by step mother Eva Jay, Elizabeth’s marriage to Donald Fisher. The land dispute she had with her father. Their three children. Her two sons who moved West to Prairie du Chien on the Mississippi River to trade in fur. Their marriage into Métis families. The growth of the Métis families. Then Elizabeth in jail in New York.

Let’s start with the Rev Henry Munro and his daughter Elizabeth. He was born in 1730 in highlands of Scotland. He was educated there and went to divinity school of Univ of Edmington graduating in 1757. He then joined as Chaplain the 77th company of qHighlanders and served in the new colonies during the Seven Years War. He was married three times. In 1760, to the widow of a fellow officer and they had one daughter, Elizabeth. His wife died after childbirth. He then married in 1763 and again both wife and new born son died. His third marriage was to Eva Jay, in 1766 when she was 38 and he was 36. She was the oldest child of Peter and Mary Jay. She had been introduced to him by her cousin Anne VanCortlandt Chambers at Trinity Church in New York. After their marriage he moved to Albany to become the rector of St Peters Church. They had one child the year after their marriage, Peter Jay Munro who was born at Rye in 1767 and spent his childhood in Albany. This was at the start of our Revolution. The Rev Henry was then forced out of Albany because of his continued ties to the British crown. He was arrested but was able to return to Scotland but never saw his child or wife again. Because of his service with the 77th Highlanders he had been given 200 acres of land in what is now Hebron N.Y., that he called Monroeville, and built a large cabin there. At the time of the Revolution, Eva and her son Peter moved back to be with the family in Rye. Step sister Elizabeth, married in 1776, was instructed to move with her new husband to the cabin built by her father on the land in Hebron. They were not there long and forced to move to Canada. The cabin was burned to the ground by the British. This was the start of a long period of dispute for Elizabeth who felt that her father had given her the title to the land. A problem at that time was that as a woman she could not own property. Her main dispute was with her step brother Peter Jay Munro. She was accused of falsifying the deed.

Elizabeth Fisher late of the town of Hebron in County of Washington, widow, Aug. 29, 1800 with force and arms at the City of Albany . . . feloniously did falsefy, make forge and counterfeit, and cause and procure to be falsely made, and did willingly cut and assist in the false making forging and counterfeiting a certain paper writing sealed, purporting to be a deed of conveyance for certain lands therein mentioned, and to be signed sealed and delivered by one Harry Munro to the said Elizabeth Fisher.

She was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment in jail in New York. She entered jail in 1801 and was released in 1806.

Hebron’s beautiful hills and valleys are part of the slate valley of the Upper Taconic Mountains (Taghkanic, meaning ‘in the trees’), and part of the Great Appalachian Valley (also known as the ‘Great Valley’). Thus, many of the main hills, valleys, creeks and roads run diagonally across Hebron in keeping with the general outlay of the Appalachians.

Elizabeth never gained control of this property. It was sold by her step brother Peter Jay Munro about 1800 when she was jailed. Elizabeth, after she had been released from jail in 1806, wrote a memory of her life. This included two things. The first was how unfairly she had been treated by her stepmother Eva during her childhood, and second the unfair treatment she felt she had received from her father and stepson over control of the Hebron property.

About 1800, step mother, Eve Jay Munro had returned to Rye. I believe she was an angry vindictive person her entire life. She was not asked to live at the farm but arrangements for her to live in an apartment in Manhattan were made. At the time of her husbands death she was given no income and was dependent on the support of her family. There is mention of her plea for funds in a letter from Faddy Jay to John Jay with his instruction to give her only what she only needs. I can find little more documentation until a letter from John Jay in 1810 stating that she had developed a left sided palsy and died soon after, at age 81, I believe in her son’s house in Mamaroneck.

Her son, Peter Jay Munro, I think escaped much of her wrath. He was initially educated in Albany. When his mother was forced to return to Rye at the start of the Revolution he was about 13. John and Sarah realized that Eva was not capable of continuing as his parent and they arranged that he would accompany them on their trip to Spain and then France. This worked very well and was the start of a long term association between them. On their return to New York they had Peter engaged in the law office of Aaron Burr and he became a very good and respected lawyer. In fact Peter Augustus spent time training with him. He married in 1790 his second cousin, Margaret White. They lived in Larchmont and they had ten children!

Elizabeth had gone to live with her husband in Montreal. He died there in 1799. She was in New York Prison from 1801 to 1806. Then I believe she lived in several New York City apartments and died in 1845 in New York City. Elizabeth, like her step mother, was also an angry and vindictive person who had to deal with personal loses all her life.

With her marriage to Donald Fisher, living in Montreal, she had three children. A son was born in 1776, Henry Munro Fisher. A second son, Alexander, was born six years later in 1782 and their third child, a daughter, Elizabeth in 1784. All three children were raised in Montreal. Her husband died in 1799 when the children were still young. Her oldest was 22 the youngest was 12.


Her oldest child, Henry Munro Fisher, about age 18 had become acquainted with a Montreal fur trading family and decided to enter the fur trade. He joined the Northwest Trading Company, and moved West to Prairie du Chien a small town on the Mississippi River in what is now Wisconsin about 1795.


Prairie du Chien (/ˌprɛri du ˈʃiːn/) is a city in and the county seat of Crawford County, Wisconsin, United States.

Often referred to as Wisconsin’s second oldest city, Prairie du Chien was established as a European settlement by French voyageurs in the late seventeenth century. The city is located near the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers, a strategic point along the Fox-Wisconsin Waterway that connects the Great Lakes with the Mississippi. Early French visitors to the site found it occupied by a group of Fox Indians led by a chief whose name Alim meant chien in French (dog in English).[6][7] The French explorers named the location Prairie du Chien, French for “Dog’s Prairie”. Originally this name applied only to the plain upon which the settlement is located, but it was later applied to the city as well.

In 1685, the French explorer Nicolas Perrot established a trading post in the area as part of the large and lucrative French fur trade industry. After Americans entered the trade in the nineteenth century, John Jacob Astor built the Astor Fur Warehouse, an important building in the regional fur trade, which was centered in Prairie du Chien. The significance of Prairie du Chien as a center of the fur trade did not diminish until the mid-nineteenth century, when European demand declined, as did game stock.

In Prarie du Chien he married in 1796 Madeline Gauthier DeVerville and they had three children. Madeline has a complex genealogy. She is Métis of Objiway parentage. Her father had many marriages at least two to Indian woman. Henry was first employed by the North West Company, and then set up a private company. This prospered. Upon the organization of Indiana Territory he was appointed Aug. 19, 1802, a captain of militia, a title he continued to use. Madeline, his first wife died In 1809, and Fisher married for his second wife Marianne Lasalière of Mackinac. They had one daughter, Elizabeth. His second wife’s mother was the daughter of Ottawa Indian Chief, Returning Cloud, Kewinaquot. Marianne was also a Métis.

The Métis (/meɪˈtiː/) are a polyethnic Indigenous group whose homeland is in Canada and parts of the United States between the Great Lakes region and the Rocky Mountains. The Métis trace their descent to both Indigenous North Americans and European settlers. Not all people of mixed Indigenous and Settler descent are Métis, as the Métis is a distinct group of people with a distinct culture and language. Since the late 20th century, the Métis in Canada have been recognized as a distinct Indigenous peoples under the Constitution Act of 1982; and have a population of 587,545 as of 2010. The Métis ethnogenesis began in the fur trade, and they have been an important group in the history of Canada, as well as the foundation of the province of Manitoba. The Métis have homelands and communities in the U.S., as well as in Canada, that have been separated by the drawing of the U.S.-Canada border at the 49th parallel North.

The War of 1812–15 was breaking out, Fisher was unwilling to take part against the Americans, so he retired to the Red River country in Canada and entered the Hudson Bay Company. He did not returning to Prairie du Chien for over ten years. In 1827 he died at Prairie du Chien at age 69 from the effects of fever.

With Henry’s first marriage to Madeline Gauthier de Verville in 1796 three children were born.


The oldest son, Henry Munro Fisher(III) born 1799, had many marriages and many offspring. Henry(III) had several homes, part of this being his assigned to different trade centers with Hudson Bay and with the Northwest Trade Company. For awhile he lived in the Red River area of Manitoba and had marriages while there. Later in his life he settled in St Boniface, the French part of Winnipeg in Manitoba and stayed there. I count 5 marriages with unknown number of children. His life was focused on the fur trade and the trading posts that it involved.

St Boniface was started by Fur traders and European mercenaries to protect the fledgling Red River Colony in Manitoba were among the area’s first European settlers. With the founding of a Roman Catholic mission in 1818, St Boniface began its role in Canadian religious, political and cultural history – as mother parish for many French settlements in Western Canada; as the birthplace of Louis Riel and fellow Métis who struggled to obtain favorable terms for Manitoba’s entry into Confederation;


Their middle child, Jane, born 1804, had two marriages. The first was to Joseph Rolette who was head of the trade post at Prairie du Chien. They had three children. When he died she married his younger partner, Hercules Louis Dousman and they had one son. He was very successful in business and she and her son inherited a large fortune when he died. Her son left Prairie du Chien when he married, but returned later in life, tore down the old house and rebuilt it. It is now a museum.


Hercules Louis Dousman (August 4, 1800 – September 12, 1868) was a fur trader and real-estate speculator who played a large role in the economic development of frontier Wisconsin. He is often called Wisconsin’s first millionaire.

Dousman was born in 1800 on Mackinac Island, Michigan, the son of Michael Dousman, a prominent local fur trader, and his wife. His father was highly successful and sent the son back East to be educated in Elizabethtown, New Jersey. For a period he worked as a clerk in a New York City store.

After Dousman returned to Mackinac Island, he was employed by the American Fur Company, which his father had served as an agent following the War of 1812. In 1826, the company sent Dousman to the frontier settlement of Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, where he worked as an assistant to Joseph Rolette, the company’s local agent.

In Prairie du Chien, Dousman proved his abilities as a trader, quickly rising in the company’s ranks. By 1834 he had acquired an interest in the company’s Western Outfit, and in 1840 he became an equal partner in the business together with Joseph Rolette and Henry Hastings Sibley.

In 1842 the American Fur Company declared bankruptcy, as the European market had declined, and furs were harder to find in the West. To continue in the trade, Dousman entered into a joint venture with Rolette, Sibley, and Pierre Chouteau (of St. Louis, Missouri) to organize a new company to replace it on upper Mississippi. A few months later, Rolette died in debt to the new company, and most of his estate was seized by the remaining partners, including Dousman. With this and other revenue, Dousman acquired more wealth. He began to invest in lumber mills in northern Wisconsin and real estate in some of the state’s growing population centers. Timber was in high demand in the developing settlements of the upper Midwest.

As Dousman began building his investments during the 1830s, he began a long affair with Margaret Campbell, a local Prairie du Chien woman, who may have been of mixed-race. Together they had three children: Emily, George, and a third unnamed child who died at birth in 1838. Campbell also died of complications at this birth.

In 1844, two years after Joseph Rolette’s death, Dousman married his widow, Jane Fisher Rolette. Together the couple moved into the large two-story brick house that Dousman had constructed a year earlier. Hercules and Jane Dousman had one son, Hercules Louis Dousman II, who was born on April 3, 1848, the year that Wisconsin became a state.


The youngest son of Henry and Madeline, George born 1805, married, stayed in Prairie du Chien and had six children. His children had a lot of children! Son George married Emily Boyer in 1858 and had eleven children. Ambrose married Rosalie Chilafoux and had six children. They both lived and raised their children in Saskatchewan.

George Fisher moved to Lebret, Saskatchewan and raised his family there. I believe at this time he also worked for the Northwest Trading Company.


Lebret is a village within the rural municipality of North Qu’Appelle No. 187, in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada. The village is situated on Mission Lake in the Qu’Appelle Valley. The village was named after “the parish priest, Father Louis Lebret, who became the first postmaster of the community and, although he only held the position for a little more than six months, the office was named Lebret and the name became that of the community.”

The site of Lebret first came to non-First Nations outside attention in 1814 when Abbé Provencher visited. It “became the main centre of Catholicism for the Métis and First Nations people in the region and a base for Oblate priests who travelled the southern plains to points such as Wood Mountain and the Cypress Hills.” Until the latter half of the 20th century Lebret was an important religious and educational centre.

Ambrose moved to Duck Lake and worked with the North West Trading Company.


Southbranch Settlement was the name ascribed to a series of French Métis settlements on the Canadian prairies in the 19th Century, in what is today the province of Saskatchewan. Métis settlers began making homes here in the 1860s and 1870s, many of them fleeing economic and social dislocation from Red River, Manitoba. The settlements became the centre of Métis resistance during the North-West Rebellion when in March 1885, Louis Riel, Gabriel Dumont, Honoré Jackson, and others set up the Provisional Government of Saskatchewan with their headquarters at Batoche. The Settlements stretched along both sides of the South Saskatchewan River in river lot style from Fish Creek north through Batoche and St. Laurent to St. Louis which was its northern boundary. They included Duck Lake 12 kilometers from St. Laurent accessed by the St. Laurent Ferry. They were proximal to several Cree reserves, as well as Anglo-Metis settlements to the north around Prince Albert. In the 1880s the population of the Southbranch settlements may have been as high as 1300 with 40 to 60 families living in each of the four largest communities.


Henry’s second marriage was to Marianne LaSalerie in 1810 and they had one child, Elizabeth Theresa Fisher, who married her teacher, in 1824, Henry Samuel Baird. They moved to Green Bay, and he became the first lawyer in the territory. He was committed to problems with Indian rights. Green Bay, a Métis area, became their home.


The younger brother of Henry, Alexander had also moved West and would also work in the fur trading industry. He would marry in 1830 a Métis bride, Angelic Savard and they would have at least 9 children. His advice to his nephew was not followed!

You must not on any account get yourself entangled with the squaws for if you do, you are a lost man, you will get a family and of a spurrious kind, that you will regret as long as you live. Now if you have any send them from you. Do not let such a weakness get the better of you. It would require a chapter to write you the evils that attend such a concubinage.

Alexander Fisher, exhibited the rather “condescending attitudes and licentious behavior” of many of his peers. He was also reportedly a rather flighty and disreputable character. Governor George Simpson, whose comments were admittedly rarely complimentary described him as a “trifling thoughtless superficial lying creature.” Other correspondents support these claims, referring to him as an unscrupulous and vindictive man. He had two marriages. The first was to Angelic Savard, a Métis in 1830. Her mother was an Indian woman. They lived most of their time at Fort Simpson. They had at least nine children and I could find little record of their lives after.

His second wife was in 1843 to Elsie Taupier, also a Métis with an Indian mother. They had one child born in 1843, Marie Fisher who married in 1858 Charles Phillips Gaudet and lead a distinguished life in Fort Good Hope, in the Northwest Territories. This is a isolated part of the North. They had several children many of whom died in childhood. One daughter, Belle, survived and four sons who worked in the area with the Hudson Bay Company. Belle made one trip East which was very hard on her and on return to Fort Good Hope, never left. Her husband retired to Quebec in 1930 with 2 sons and some grandchildren, and died during the trip.

Marie died at Fort Good Hope in 1914 and her husband died in 1917.

Fort Good Hope, formerly Fort Hope, also now known as the Charter Community of K’asho is a charter community in the Sahtu Region of the Northwest Territories, Canada. It is located on a peninsula between Jackfish Creek and the east bank of the Mackenzie River, about 145 km (90 mi) northwest of Norman Wells. The two principal languages are North Slavey and English. Hunting and trapping are two major sources of income. The Church of Our Lady of Good Hope, a National Historic Site, is located in the community. The church, completed in 1885, was once home to Father Émile Petitot.

It is a community that can only be approached today by air. The winter is a long nine months, spring and summer are three.


The third child, daughter Elizabeth, was raised in Montreal and never married. She probably stayed with her mother after her jail time in New York, and then after her mother’s death in 1845, returned to Canada.

With the move of Elizabeth’s two sons to the West a lot changed. They both married woman with Indian parentage. Thus all their children were Métis. Both sons stayed involved in the fur trading world and worked with several trading companies.

Marriage as a trading strategy


American historian Bruce White described the way in which the Ojibwe and the other Indian peoples sought to “use sexual relations as a means of establishing long-term relationships between themselves and people from another society was a rational strategy, one that has been described in many parts of the world”. One fur trader who married an Ojibwe woman himself described how the Ojibwe would initially shun a fur trader until they could give gauge his honesty and provided he proved himself an honest man, “the chiefs would take together take their marriageable girls to his trading house and he was given the choice of the lot”. If the fur trader married, the Ojibwe would trade with him as he became part of the community and if he refused to marry, then the Ojibwe would not trade with him as Ojibwe only traded with a man who “took one of their women for his wife”.

One study of the Ojibwe women who married French fur traders maintained that the majority of the brides were “exceptional” women with “unusual ambitions, influenced by dreams and visions—Out of these relationships emerged the Métis people whose culture was a fusion of French and Indian elements.

As noted my Métis connection all comes from my step sister Elizabeth two sons, Henry and Alexander. Their descendants branched out through the fur bearing world of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, Canada and what would become the States of Wisconsin, North Dakota and Minnesota in the United States. Fur was a big industry in the early 1800’s. This was also a big factor uniting the Indian nations and the French and English fur trappers and traders. The fur trade came to an end in 1870. Reduction in the number of beaver was part. A larger part was the change in styles in London. The hats made from Beaver pelts were no longer the fashion. Silk took over. Before this there was competition over the trading of beaver. The Hudson Bay Company had been given a very large territory extending from the Hudson Bay down to what is now Wisconsin in about 1760. In competition the Northwest trading company emerged in 1800 and both Henry and Alexander and several of their descendants worked for them. In 1832 the two companies were merged. The Northwest company had gone through financial problems and was taken over by the Hudson Bay Company. There were a large number of Métis descendants in Canada and parts of the United States Mid west. Henry had children that had settled away from Prairie du Chien. His oldest son, Alexander, was brought up in St Boniface in Manitoba and moved to Lebret, Saskatchewan. His oldest son, also Alexander moved to Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan became the settling point for this family. Another Métis child, Marie Lalouise Fisher, married and moved to Ste Rose du Lac, in Manitoba. His daughter Jane Fisher, stayed in Prairie du Chien, with her two marriages. One of her children, “Jolly Joe” Rolette settled in what is now Leroy, North Dakota. Brother Alexander also had children who moved. His daughter from his second marriage moved North to Fort Good Hope and this became the home for her and her family. I do not have good records of all the descendants of Henry and Alexander that were added to the Métis population but large families were the rule.

The fur industry ended about 1870 and the role of the Hudson Bay Company decreased. New roles were needed. Many of the Métis stayed in the towns they were in. Meanwhile Canada and the Northwestern United States were growing with new immigrants. Change was coming!