Perrot, Nicolas (nēkôläˈ pĕrōˈ) [key], 1644–c.1718, French explorer in Canada and the Old Northwest. He came to New France as a child and, in service of the Jesuit missionaries, became acquainted with the Native Americans and Native American languages. Later, as a fur trader around Green Bay, he acquired considerable influence over the Indians of Wisconsin and in 1670 was sent to the West by Frontenac to take formal possession for France. In 1684, with Duluth, he helped bring the western Native Americans into the French campaign against the Iroquois, and in 1690 he visited Mackinac to prevent an Iroquois alliance.
Perrot was made (1685) commandant of the territory around Green Bay and opened trade with the Sioux as well as with other Indians and in 1689 formally claimed possession of the upper Mississippi region for New France. Probably in 1690 he discovered the lead mines of SW Wisconsin. When all trading licenses were revoked, he returned to Lower Canada and was employed as Indian interpreter in 1701. He is best remembered for his Mémoire sur les mœurs, coustumes et relligion des sauvages de l'Amérique Septentrionale (1864), the one memoir to survive out of his many writings.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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