Vigo, Francis vē´gō, vī´gō [key], 1747–1836, American frontier trader and merchant, supporter of the American Revolution. He was born at Mondovi, Italy, and originally named Giuseppe Maria Francesco Vigo. Having enlisted in the Spanish army, he was sent to Cuba and to New Orleans, where he became interested in the fur trade. After his military service, he went to St. Louis and was secretly an agent of the Spanish governor while he built up a successful business among the Native Americans. After George Rogers Clark captured Kaskaskia (1778), Vigo took up the American cause, and his assistance with money, supplies, and information helped make possible Clark's recapture of Vincennes. In 1783, Vigo settled in Vincennes, where he became an American citizen. His claims for his advances to Clark were not honored until long after his death.
See biography by B. Roselli (1933).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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