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La Charrette Village

Interested in what Lewis & Clark, Daniel Boone, Zebulon Pike, John Colter, President Jefferson and other notables thought about America's newly acquired westernmost village? Enjoy the west...before it became distorted by TV, movies and novels.

Location: Port Aransas, Texas, United States

A retired professor of Food and Animal Science at Texas A&M University, The University of Connecticut and Texas Tech. A cowboy in my previous life...never thought about being a professor or an author.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

"...quaint and perky..."

Where it not for Zebulon Pike's exhibition traveling with their dual companions 'serendipity' and 'fate' they never would have crossed Texas from the Rio Grand River, just below Eagle Pass, to the Sabine River to the east. Here they paid $4.00 ferriage on June 1, 1807 before entering the original French settlement of the Louisiana Purchase at 4:00 P.M. At that time Natchitoches and La Charrette, both of the Louisiana Purchase, represented its oldest and the most westerly settlements, respectively.

Ironically, Natchitoches, Louisiana remains as the oldest permanent settlement of the Louisiana Purchase according to its Chamber of Commerce webpages at the title link while La Charrette failed after about a 30-year span to become a Ghost Town of the Louisiana Purchase http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/la/labooks.html. It was founded as a trading post in 1714 to trade with the nearby Natchitoches Indians, a history almost identical to that of Village Charrette. Today, Natchitoches leaders proclaim their town as "quaint and perky", a description which might as aptly have applied to La Charrette Village. Certainly Pike and his crew understood these unique distinctions as they had traveled west from La Charrette to today's Pike's Peak of the Colorado Rockies, south to Santa Fe, New Mexico and on into Chihuahua, Mexico before turning north for Natchitoches.

Would it not be appropriate to celebrate this bicentennial connection of two unique French villages of the Louisiana Purchase - one successful, one failed - both "quaint and perky" on June 1, 2007? What do you think Lt. Zebulon Montgomery Pike would have said about the idea?

Monday, July 25, 2005

Why did you write a book?

La Charrette: Village Gateway to the American, ISBN 0-595-27538-9, published by iUniverse, Inc. in 2003 did not start with a deliberate commitment to write anything. As a farm boy in Charrette Township of Warren County, Missouri, I was interested in all things western...cowboys, Indians, exploration, western expansion and adventure. Daniel Boone's legacy was prominant in my home community but I knew next to nothing about La Charrette Village. What little I knew was largely related as oral history, to include heated arguments among the local farmers about its location, date of demise, and the like.

Later, as a school boy, I learned that Lewis and Clark departed La Charrette on their epic expedition and would return there to conclude their adventures. As a young Charrette Township farmer with a B.S. degree in Animal Husbandry, now married, I learned from my mother that Uncle Frank Schoppenhorst was translating an unpublished La Charrette document from German into English. Shortly after I became an Assistant Professor of Animal Science at Texas A&M University in 1965 I acquired a copy of Uncle Frank's translation.

For the next 30 years I would frequently search the card file (later computer searches) seeking information in libraries around the world on this little village. I was perplexed upon finding next to nothing. Then upon retiring in 1995 I studied my family roots for about five years and discovered that all of my ancestors came come from within a 35-mile radius of Lippe and Westphalia in Germany...and they all had disembarked at Marthasville Landing (Charrette Landing) in the mid-1800's. The last five years have been devoted to learning more about this community of La Charrette my ancestors had joined, and eventually owned.

This slow to emerge interest was further sparked when I attempted to conduct genealogies on those La Charrette families mentioned in Uncle Frank's translated document. A considerable amount of information was gathered. Since I was accustomed to research, writing and publishing as a professor, I began to write - not a history, but a fanciful novel or perhaps a 'living' history of La Charrette. But to my chagrin it was soon obvious that those families were not the ones who had actually settled La Charrette Village!

Now I was hooked. Soon it was learned that by 2004 La Charrette Village would become central to a national Lewis and Clark bicentennial celebration. This was the incentive that motivated me to write its history. By now I was convinced that no one had ever before written one, nor could I locate anyone who contemplated doing so.

Certainly I would have been well advised to study publishing techniques like those outlined in the title link, but instead I came to this point via the slower route. Including the false attempts, interlibrary loans, technical and popular artricles plus Internet sources, well over a thousands documents were eventually studied in preparation to writing its history.

And the process never ends. While vacationing in Santa Fe, New Mexico in June 2005, I was astonished to find "Charette Lakes" in a Santa Fe Trail brochure map produced by the Raton/Colfax County Hispano Chamber of Commerce. Since brothers Jean Marie and Paul Cardinal, and Jose Tebeau are thought to have crossed from La Charrette to Santa Fe in about 1797, I was only too eager to add this to the second edition only days before the publisher's deadline.

My hope is that others will continue the search for certainly it is not yet complete.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

"Indian" Phillips: A Shawnee at La Charrette

Charles "Indian" Phillips was representative of the displaced Native Americans residing at La Charrette as explained by Professor John Mack Faragher at the title link. Faragher, history professor at Yale University, explains their plight, discusses how the family of Daniel Boone and others around La Charrette interacted with Native Americans in developing their conditional yet mutually supportive relationship.

Faragher's narrative book on the Life and Legend of an American Pioneer at http://www.holtzbrinckpublishers.com/academic/Book/BookDisplay.asp?BookKey=514195 about Daniel Boone extends his experiences with Indian Phillips at La Charrette.

Most considered Phillips "a dirty fellow - of no account & only fit for the woods as servant or campkeeper" no doubt explains why 85-year old Boone hired him in 1816 to assist on one of his last extended hunting ventures. They and Boone's Black slave, Derry, traveled in canoes like those shown above. Phillips worked occasionally for others too, married, owned property in St. Charles and lived nearby Village Charrette at Little Boeuf Creek for most of 40 years before taken as a "stray". Jose Tebeau, Jr., whose father was a likely squatter in Charrette Bottoms, did the arresting in St. Charles Township on May 2, 1821. Tebeau was also one of those at La Charrette who provided Zebulon Pike the essential details for the first draft of a map of the Santa Fe Trail in 1806.

Can you imagine the topics discussed when Charles "Indian" Phillips, Daniel Boone, his black slave Derry and America's First Mountain Man John Colter sat about a campfire telling tales? Chewing a plug of tobacco...spitting, now and again. Such was the mix of cultures fueling the intellect at La Charrette.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

...199 Years Later

As Zebulon Pike and his expedition crew were approaching La Charrette Village on July 20th, 1806, I was 'clogging' up Pike's Peak 199 years later. The title link tells more of Zebulon Pike and the cog railway that I rode to the summit he never attained...Where later "America the Beautiful" was inspired. Pike spent 3 eventful days at Village Charrette from July 21-23, 1806. More about the peak of Pike's Peak is offered at http://community.webshots.com/photo/177475462/177481048TDbbPd

In September 2004 I visited Fort Clatsop 199 years after the winter 0f 1805-06 when Lewis and Clark were there with other Corps of Discovery members. See today's rendition of their hastily constructed fort at http://www.oldoregon.com/Pages/fortclatsop.htm This time Wendy and I were enjoying a cruise down the west coast to our Astoria, Oregon port-of-call. We were part of a tour bus full of other Lewis & Clark enthusiasts as I explained about there departing La Charrette Village in May of 1804 and returning September 20, 1806 to first celebrate their accomplishments. Dancing, drinking, feasting and story-telling on the Missouri at Charrette Creek.

As Zebulon Pike was approaching La Charrette 199 years ago, Lewis and Clark were at Spring Creek in present-day Cass County, Nebraska. John Colter, Sacagawea, Chabonneau and "Little" Baptiste had already left the expedition by now. The others were happily headed downriver to celebrate at La Charrette Village.

Join in the celebrations... greet these two wonderous expeditions at La Charrette next summer to celebrate 200 years of adventures. September 20th is the 2006 date for celebrations at nearby Marthasville. Mark your calendar now... the details soon will be announced.

Friday, July 15, 2005

The Seven La Charrette Families

When President Thomas Jefferson's administration acquired the the Louisiana Purchase for an astounding $27.27 million in 1803, they had little knowledge of its people living on America's new frontier. All that is except The President. Jefferson read all journals and other documents he could lay his hands on, even that of Jean Baptiste Trudeau who had traded with squatters and Indians for furs at Charrette Bottoms for many years. Jefferson had hoped the Corps of Discovery could train there during the winter of 1803-04. But who where these fur trapping families living at La Charrette Village?

When the Lewis and Clark disembarked La Charrette in May of 1804 the seven families residing there were mostly 'French-Canadians' who were themselves at least of half Native American or married to Native American women. By name they included Syndic, Joseph Chartran, his Osage wife and their son Joseph, Jr. They also had 5 orphans living with them. Chartran's immediate genealogy is at http://www.jenforum.net/chartran/ and at http://lists.rootsweb.com/index/surname/c/charette.html An exciting revelation about his extended heritage is recorded at http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rls=GGLD,GGLD:2004-29,GGLD:en&q=http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/3914/&spell=1 to include several prominent Indian Chiefs, Native American women plus an aid to Christopher Columbus, all reflecting the unique multi-ethnic background of Village Charrette citizens.

Living on the next farm to the west of Chartran was widow St. Franceway whose husband Louis died a short time before since she had one child born in 1803. Further to the west in Charrette Bottoms resided Jean Baptiste Luzon with his wife, one child and 4 or 5 orphans. They were married in Montreal, Canada in 1773. Genealogical assistance for these French-Canadian families appears at http://www3.sympatico.ca/fcgss/

Jack Amos, of whom little is revealed, lived on the other side of Chartran next to Charles Tayon, Jr., son of Don Carlos and Cecilie Deschamps Tayon, who lived on the next farm to the east. Brother Louis lived nearby. Both their farms were owned by their father. Portions of their heritage is revealed at

All the village farms were large but their homes were all clustered on the riverbank at the mouth of Charrette Creek. Futher to the east of Tayon was Jean Marie Cardinal and his Native American wife Isabel Antayat-Peltier. Later they had 5 children. Uncle Paul lived with them when Tuque Creek still ran by their farm. Both Paul and Jean Marie were at least of half Native American heritage. This 'French-Canadian' fur trading family had lived on the frontier of North America since 1619 just like those presented at http://www.quintinpublications.com/fcw.html
Jean Marie soon sold his farm to William T. Lamme. By 1806 Lamme and his wife Frances Callaway, granddaughter of Daniel Boone, also purchased the ajacent village farm from Joseph Arnow. The Lamme's had 10 children. A great place to start studying these families is at the title link in the home county of La Charrette Village.

Does anyone have a clue or contact regarding those 9 village orphans? It's a shame to allow them to remain nameless. Please leave a message if you can share something. One of the great joys of studying this village history has been my opportunity to 'connect' with living descendants of almost all of these vibrant frontier families. You too may have connections to this village of exceptional ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversities endlessly repeated across America.

Following these original seven families came members of Daniel and Rebecca Boone's family who are addressed elsewhere within these blogs. They were largely of English extraction and owned the village farms until about 1850. To obtain birth, marriage and death certificates on their ancestors in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland contact James Frank at http://www.bmd-certificates.co.uk

From the 1850s forward those of German heritage predominated as owners of these old La Charrette Village farms, to include my ancestors. The story of their early La Charrette lives is presented at http://www.rootsweb.com/~mowarren/schake/intro.html Of course the Native Americans were the first land stewards at Charrette Creek. They too are presented as a seperate portion of these blogs.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Pike's Rendezvous at La Charrette

Zebulon Pike led an expedition arriving at La Charrette Village July 21, 1806, just as Lewis and Clark began anticipating their arrival from the west. Pike's first order of business before proceeding toward the southwest was to safely return 51 Native Americans to their lodges further upriver. Previously, most of these Indians had been held ransom by the Pottawatomis. Some of their family members had been killed and those at La Charrette were not only mourning but sick with an unknown infection. The remaining Indians had just returned from Washington, D. C. as guest of President Jefferson's. These Indian Chiefs had also been exposed to disease and death as six of their original party had died on their trip to see the President. Each morning at sunrise they would collectively greive and mourn their losses.

Osage Chief White Hair (Pah-hu-Skah), shown above, was among them. His crayon rendered likeness was sketched while in Washington, D.C. as explained in J. J. Mathew's book, The Osages: Children of the Middle Waters (Norman, 1961).

An overview of events at http://www.kancoll.org/books/cutler/deschist/earlyexp-p4.html sets the scene for Pike's westward explorations. While at La Charrette for three days Pike sketches what has become the only surviving visual representation of La Charrette Village, the four little stylistic houses shown below on the north bank of the Missouri River. During his two-night stay at "Village De Choreete" Pike resides in the cabin of Syndic Joseph Chartran. The reason he spent three days was related to heavy rains soaking the expedition's gear which needed to dry, to acquire "...the Circumferenter and Bark left by Dr. Robinson" and to conduct other business. Additionally, some of Pike's men were ill and fearful of the warring Pottawatomis in the region.

Sometime during his stay at La Charrette General Pike records another milestone. Jose Tebeau, Jean Marie Cardinal, Jr. and his brother Paul told Pike how to get to Santa Fe. What these La Charrette citizens described was recorded by Pike. It was a small map showing the best places to cross the rivers along the route...the first map of what later would become known as the Santa Fe Trail! The map as shown here http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/lewisandclark/images/ree0103.jpg
includes the name of Tebeau and the Cardinals. Later it helps get Pike detained and led into Mexico by the Spanish military as related in his journals at http://www.tamu.edu/ccbn/dewitt/pikejour.htm. It is thought that the Cardinals and Tebeau had crossed the trail sometime around 1795 as they and their families represented the first squatters at Charrette Creek arriving around 1763. The Cardinals and Tebeau all had Native American mothers and wives whose families could easily have helped them learn the route before sharing it with Pike.

Help celebrate these historical events by participating in the National Bicentennial Celebrations of Pike's adventuresome accomplishments as presesnted at http://skyways.lib.ks.us/orgs/p2c/

Grandma's House

Maria Lavina Ahmann was the eldest of thirteen children born in Charrette Township like all of my immediate ancestors. Their ancestors were all either from Lippe or Westphalia, Germany and arrived at Charrette Landing between 1833 and 1860. When eighteen she married Karl Heinrich Rocklage in 1887. By then the Ahmanns and Rocklages owned the western farms once part of La Charrette Village. Karl and Mary lived in Charrette Bottoms in the same cabin that Daniel Boone favored the last years of his life when visiting his daughter and son-in-law, Jamimia and Flanders Callaway. Previously, Syndic Joseph Chartran owned this property but it is not known with certainty whether or not Mary and Karl's cabin was the same one Chartran lived in. Regardless, their first two babies were born there, Amanda Elise in 1888 and Ida Marie in 1890. The title link of Margy Miles provides a virtual tour about the unusually picturesque environs of Charrette Creek were they lived.

As this young family anticipated better times, they moved further up the Missouri River to Ray County and bought cheaper farmland. They lived in the now extinct community of Sunshine. But 'sunshine' was soon diminished for Mary as on August 22, 1902 Karl had died, probably the victum of Typhoid Fever acquired from the impure drinking water. Mary then returns to Marthasville to her parents by a combination of horse drawn wagons and train. She was now a young widow with Amanda, Ida, Carl, Martha, Anna, Flora and Clara at her side. Otto and Elsie Ahmann, her parents, 'adopted' the family. Mary was totally dependant upon her parents for support except for her earnings from sewing for others and help from the community and the children. For about one-year they lived together in their home on the Missouri River Bluff immediately west of the Marthasville viaduct crossing the Katy Railroad. Otto then builds Mary a little house just east of his in Marthasville. Being a frugal German, he and family members dismantled an old home on one of his Charrette Bottom farms to aid in the construction of my Grandma's House. Which cabin of La Charrette Village or other structure was involved has never been resolved but Mary's lifelong connection to that nitch of history is indeed rich. Grandma died on November 15, 1955, the only grandparent I ever knew. Her grandsons served as pallbearers to include myself and Carl Rocklage shown in a rear-side view admiring our restored Grandma's Home.

Memories of the richest variety... going to Grandma's House.

Today, Linda Sutterer, a stained glass artist, has expanded the home to accomodate her studio. She offers handmade ornaments, fused glass and related art work while instructing students there.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Visiting La Charrette Today

La Charrette Village faded from existance around 1830 but we may still return and experience its fasinating frontier adventures at historic Marthasville, Missouri, a rural village of about 800 souls, and still growing. Marthasville was established within a mile of and only 16 years after La Charrette was founded. Marthasville welcomes visitors at http://marthasvillemo.com/lewisandclark.html providing many opprtunities to their guests. Notice the bousillage (vertical log) construction project (above) to create a La Charrette village cabin to support Lewis and Clark, Zebulon Pike, and related celebrations with a bit of living history. Marthasville Chamber of Commerce Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Committe members Ralph Bakameyer and Clyde Sprick are show in Marthasville Park where the cabin may be seen today (Photo from the Marthasville Record.) Constructing the unusual cabin proved to be a challenge, but their results are impressive.

I suggest hiking or biking across old La Charrette farms on the Katy Trail at http://www.bikekatytrail.com/site.asp?sid=58 or visiting Daniel Boone's Monument http://www.mpcps.org/boone/cems/boone/bryan.shtml Be certain to spend the night at local bed and breakfast inns like Rita and Jerry Hoelscher's Little House at http://www.bbim.org/littlehouse.html or The Inn at Cinagro Farms at http://www.bbim.org/Cinagro.html and while in Dutzow enjoy a glass or two of La Charrette wine at Blumenhof Vineyards. And that's just a sample of what's available!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Conflict at La Charrette - War of 1812

The War of 1812 was still raging at frontier La Charrette in 1815. The Ramsey family at the title link was perhaps the hardest hit of any at La Charrette (Scroll almost two-thirds down the page). By now Callaway's Fort had been established at La Charrette where Daniel Boone, now 80 years old, maintained a steady vigilance as other responded to the sounding of trumpets as a call for help. Daniel and Rebecca's son Nathan arrived just in time to console a confused and dying Ramsey child, "Daddy, the Indians did scalp me".

Lieutenant James Callaway, son of Flanders and Jamima Callaway of La Charrette, and grandson of Daniel and Rebecca Boone, led an unsuccessful nearby search for stolen horses as related at http://alvyray.com/Family/Stories/DanielBoone.htm (Scroll about one-third down the page to read about the conflict that took his life). During these tense times Nancy Howell Callaway, James' wife, was staying with the Callaways at La Charrette. Boones Rangers, previously led by Callaway, occasionally mustered at Callaway's Fort with his Rangers to include America's First 'Mountain Man' John Colter. Still others of Boone's family continued to serve on the Missouri frontier as told in the book about Nathan Boone, another of Rebecca and Daniel's children at http://www.umsystem.edu/upress/fall2000/hurt.htm Boone family members remained active as community leaders for generations to include several medical doctors and a steamship captian.

John Busby, who sold his La Charrette farm to William and Frances (daughter of Flanders and Jamima Callaway) Lamme before moving upriver, may also have been another statistic of the conflict that extended all along the Missouri River. Details aside in this time of heated passions and poorly recorded events, the same account of his death is also offered for Sarshall Cooper's at http://www.rootsweb.com/~mocooper/Biographical/Johnson_PP_0100_to_0149.htm

These horrible conflicts between the settlers and Native Americans always seemed to offer more than 'warfare' as we routinely think of it. Here at La Charrette settlers and Native Americans were one and the same through their extensive inter-marrying. These circumstances must have offered terrible internal family conflicts, yet I have found none reported in the local literature. Does anyone have leads to share on this question?

Friday, July 08, 2005

Native Americans at 'Wolf Creek'

A few of many artifacts found by Lowell on the farm of his birth which adjoins La Charrette Village. Here, as a boy, I searched with friends for 'arrows' at an old Native American campsite and fantasized about how lucky Indian children were...they didn't have to go to school!

Before Bourgmound and other early Europeans came up the Missouri River, Native Americans had established an advanced culture at Wolf Creek, their supposed name of the creek at La Charrette Village. Study their arrival and culture at the title link. Further details of these regional tribes is discussed at http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/tribes/siouan/missourihist.htm with their modern-day genealogies presented at http://www.umsystem.edu/shs/nativeam.html to include extensive references and other helpful resources. An excellent discussion on the lives of the French living among Native Americans on the lower Missouri is complied at the skillfull hand of author Tanis C. Thorne http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/082621083X/104-2962684-2702363?v=glance This insightful book, The Many Hands of My Relations, is highly recommended.

By the time La Charrette Village emerged on the scene, the Native Americans residing there represented vastly different tribes than a few years previous. They represented something akin to a westward progression of displaced tribes from east of the Mississippi River. Unbeknown to them, many were on their way to reservations via the Trail of Tears. Several descendants of La Charrette Village families experienced this fate. Others had been captured and sold into the slave trade "downriver".

Charles 'Indian' Phillips was one of these displaced Native Americans associated with La Charrette Village. His life was something of an infamous existance. As a close friend of both Daniel Boone and his neighbor, America's First Mountain Man John Colter, others considered him "lazy" and "filthy". Yet he was respected, almost famous, for his skills as a hunter and frontier guide. Other Native Americans at La Charrette were family members, either of local or 'displaced' origins. Several of the so-called "French Canadians" there are known to have had Native American wives and/or mothers, likely even some grandmothers were represented. The Village of La Charrette would never have existed without these and other contributions of many Native American families.

Join us at "Author's Corner" October 21-23

Missouri Life magazine is hosting prominent Missouri authors at their first ever "Author's Corner" event at the Four Seasons Lodge on the Lake of the Ozarks, October 21-23, 2005. As part of the Osage River system, Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks is rich in frontier history tied to La Charrette settlers and explorers.

Lowell and sisters Dorothy and Helen will be there with copies of "La Charrette" chatting with guest about their lives at old La Charrette Village. Lowell, dressed here as a fur trapper, invites everyone to his presentations about his favorite Charrette Township village and family home. We'll be in 'Period dress' just as we were at La Charrette Village celebrations and book signings in 2003 when Lewis and Clark reenactors 'spent the night'. Make your reservations now!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Saxony and Lowell on the Beach

Saxony is my 'overgrown' Great Pyrenees puppy. Always friendly and playful, this 125 pound faithful companion celebrated his sixth birthday on July 4th. He is our families third Great Pyrenees. Saxony has been a part of the intensive La Charrette reserach, writing and publishing processes from the beginning. Though not a common occurrence within the breed, Saxony has been deaf since birth. We walk for miles on our Mustang Island beach and share many new friends each and every time. Learn more about this unique breed at the title link.

While many Great Pyrenees serve as guard dogs for flocks of sheep and goats on Texas ranches, none lived at La Charrette Village. There hounds were favored for their hunting and companionship skills like those pictured with La Charrette's Daniel Boone at http://www.pbs.org/wnet/historyofus/web03/features/see_it_now/MES02750.html
The expeditions of Lewis and Clark and Zebulon Pike also relied upon assistance from faithful canine companions, mostly Labrador types well adapted to swimming.

My first puppies were Collie x Shepard mix. I have loved puppies for a long time. The picture below was taken around the time of my ninth birthday.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Where was La Charrette?

Life for La Charrette Village was short (1801~1830), thus it doesn't appear on today's maps. Only namesakes Charrette Creek and Charrette Township of southern Warren County, Missouri remain as landmarks. But its river landing continued to serve the Missouri Frontier into the 20th Century, then renamed Marthasville Landing. Nearby Marthasville, initiated in 1817, was an early contemporary of La Charrette Village. The precise coordinates, topography, a site map, even the local weather conditions for this historic multiethnic village are shown at
http://www.fallingrain.com/world/US/29/Charrette_historical.html If only the early explorers passing there had been so lucky!

The 2004 article, at the title link, published in the Illinois State Historical Society journal by Hasting states that La Charrette was 45 linear miles from St. Louis when Louis and Clark had hoped to camp, train and spend the winter of 1804 there...probably at the behest of President Jefferson as he had read about Chorette's Creek in the 1795 journals of part-time fur trader Jean Baptiste Trudeau. By September 20, 1806 Corps of Discovery members were returning La Charrette Village as recorded at http://lewisandclarktrail.com/section1/mocities/St.Charles/1806history1.htm

To investigate further take a virtual field trip with Lewis and Clark reenactors to La Charrette at http://ali.apple.com/ali_sites/ali/exhibits/1001381/Week_2.html or see Missouri Ghost Town Books http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/mo/mobooks.html to acquire a copy. Alternatively, browse La Charrette on-line at
http://books.iuniverse.com/viewbooks.asp?isbn=0595275389&page=fm1 or read the romantic novel "Avenging Angel"staged at La Charrette by Rosina LaFata at http://www.wings-press.com/excerpts/Avenging%20Angel.htm

What's in a name?

The name Charrette is deeply rooted in the 1794-95 Missouri River expedition of Jean Baptiste Trudeau's. The title page of his journal documents, shown above, were edited and translated from the original French and published by the American Historical Society in 1913-14, Volume 19: 299-333. This document, like hundreds upon hundreds of others was acquired via interlibrary loans, this one from the University of Southern Colorado, Pueblo, to conduct the necessary research on La Charrette Village.

Joseph Chorett drowned while swimming nearby when serving on this fur trading expedition led by Jean Baptiste Trudeau, the first schoolmaster of St. Louis. (Tudeau's St. Louis home site is enshrined to honor his contributions to education as explained at the title link). The creek that took Chorett's life soon acquired his name. Chorette's Creek later became rendered as Charrette Creek. In French, la charette designates 'the cart' like the all wooden two-wheeled ones used at La Charrette Village. The exact progression from these two words to La Charrette is lost in obscurity, yet the name lives on in addition to several local landmarks. But over the past 200-years other imaginative spellings include Charette, Cherrette, Charet, Choritte, among others.
Today a conference room, as part of the Missouri State Capital Building complex in Jefferson City, is designated as La Charrette. And see the RailCruise America Charrette Creek party car at http://www.event-solutions.com/articles/2002-08-coverstory5.html A local winery even commissioned a 'highly recommended' Missouri Semi-Sweet Light wine as La Charrette in 2003. Order a case from Mark in Dutzow at http://www.blumenhof.com, and when you visit, tell him "Howdy" for me. Today the word 'Charrette' is most prominately used to represents the architectural concept of planned community development derived from shared ideas. Like tossing one's hat into the ring, in this case ideas are tossed into a cart for planning the development of a Charrette Community. "Miserable" "poverty stricken" La Charrette villagers probably participated in a similiar exercise as all of their homes were in a little cluster close to Charrette Landing. This, inspite of their large land grants averaging about 800 acres each, and whatever planning might have preceeded the village, it failed.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

"the last settlement of whites on this river..."

The title of this blog is the same as an article of mine appearing in Lewis and Clark's Journey Across Missouri (Fayette, 2003). Copies are available from Missouri Life magazine for $24.95 by calling 1-800-492-2593. Before the days of political correctness, Sgt. Charles Floyd recored this entry in his journal upon departing the village. My article, the title portion shown here, explains about the French x Indian squatters there years before village founding. This booklet's Corps of Discovery articles are all well illustrated with photos by Brett Dufur.

Learn about these early multi-ethnic families and events associated with La Charrette Village. Additional muti-ethnicity is revealed with Daniel Boone and his black slaves as shared at http://www.missouri-slave-data.org/slaveinfo.html , at
http://www.rootsweb.com/~mopoc/articles/otokos.htm and other early Missouri families at http://www.usgennet.org/usa/mo/topic/afro-amer/upperla/, all before Upper Louisiana became part of the Louisiana Purchase, and America. Many Native American genealogy resources are offered nearby La Charrette at Linnemann Library of St. Charles at
http://www.win.org/library/services/lhgen/natamerican.html representing those living there before all the others. Many of these data bases are works in-progress. The 1876 book by Bryan and Rose on the history of The Pioneer Families of Missouri is a classic. Another source for the earliest French-Canadian, Spanish and Native American families is the census offered at
http://www.umsystem.edu/whmc/invent/2965.html for the Cardinal, Tayon, Tabeau and others living around La Charrette Village. Early Missouri fur trading, so vital to La Charrette Village life, is skillfully protrayed at http://www.conservation.state.mo.us/teacher/highered/crafts/craft4.htm

In all reality, La Charrette was not just a "... settlement of whites..."!

Friday, July 01, 2005

Before La Charrette Village, Bourgmound records its creek in 1714

Who was the first European to see the creek at La Charrette Village, before the squatters and settlers arrived? Learn more about this unusual French explorer whose name is often spelled ending with a 't' at http://www.leveillee.net/roots/suzanne6.htm