Le Sueur County Courthouse, 88 South Park Avenue, Le Sueur, Minnesota

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Le Sueur County Courthouse

Address: 88 Park Avenue S
City/locality-
State/province
Le Center, Minnesota
County-
State/province:
Le Sueur County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year built: 1896
Primary Style: Richardsonian Romanesque
Historic Function: Courthouse
Historic Function: Correctional Facility, Single Dwelling
Other Historic Function: Correctional Facility, Single Dwelling
Current Function: Courthouse
Current Function: Government Office
Other Current Function: Government Office
Architect or source of design: Louis M. Curry, Albert Shipple
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Brick
Material of Roof: Ceramic Tile

Le Center Le Sueur County

National Register of Historic Places Information
Reference Number: 81000692
Certification date: February 17, 1981
Level of significance: Local
Primary Style: Richardsonian Romanesque


Contents


Memories and stories

Pierre-Charles Le Sueur (c. 1657, Artois, France - 17 July 1704, Havana, Cuba) was a French fur trader and explorer in North America, recognized as the first known European to explore the Minnesota River valley.

Le Sueur came to Canada with the Jesuits to their mission at Sault Sainte Marie, but very soon he turned himself to fur trade and became a coureur des bois. He was fluent in several Native languages, which was crucial to his success in trade. Around 1683, he received some samples of bluish clay from the middle reaches of a tributary of the Mississippi and took it back to France to be analyzed. A chemist, L'Huillier, deemed it to be copper ore. Le Sueur returned to New France to mine this ore, but was waylayed by, among other things, a prison term for overreaching his trade privileges. He was present at the formal assertion of French sovereignty of Canada, declared in 1689 by Nicholas Perrot at Green Bay. Eventually, however, he was given a royal commission to open a copper mine (although some suggested he was more interested in "mining furs").

In 1699, he was with the group that ascended the Mississippi River from Biloxi to the "country of the Nadouessioux", stopping to overwinter at Isle Pelée or Fort Perrot above Lake Pepin. He went upstream as far as Saint Anthony Falls. After trading with the local Dakota bands (the Mdewankantons, Wahpetons and Wahpekutes) in the area, in the summer and fall of 1700 he and a group of 20 men went further up the river known to the native population as "minisota", or "cloud reflected water". This river was known to later voyageurs as the St. Pierre, but it is unclear if Le Sueur new it by that name at the time. The group continued to the Blue Earth River, where they built Fort L’Huillier, named for the chemist who declared it to be copper ore. They overwintered at Fort L'Huillier, trading furs and other merchandise with the local Indian bands. They found the prairies full of bison, and learned to subsist largely on a meat diet. In May of 1701, Le Sueur left a garrison of men at the fort under the command of d'Eraque and accompanied a large quantity of the blue earth (Dakota language: "mah kato") back to Fort Mobile for further analysis, which revealed that it was not copper and thus worthless. Later that year, Fort L'Huillier was attacked by Sac and Fox Indians. An estimated 15 Frenchmen were killed in the attack and buried at Fort L'Huillier, which was abandoned by 1702. The survivors, including the "intelligent carpenter" Penicaut (see The Relation of Penicaut, University of Louisiana Press), made it back to Louisiana to relate their harrowing experiences. Le Sueur sailed to France to secure a commission to serve as a local magistrate in what is now Alabama, but died of yellow fever shortly after his return in 1704. He never saw the Minnesota country again, though a city and county in Minnesota were named in his honor.Courthouse[1] Blue Earth County and its seat, Mankato, were named for the Dakota "blue earth" that Le Sueur had mined nearby. The supposed site of Fort L'Huillier is marked with a signpost along U.S. Route 169 south of Mankato.



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Related Links

[2] Courthouse Profile

Notes

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