End of an Era
End of an Era
This chapter reflects on Louis St. Ange de Bellerive's diplomatic work with various Indian tribes during his lifetime. From the time that St. Ange was stationed with his father at Fort St. Joseph until he arrived at St. Louis as commandant in October 1765, he dealt with Indians of one tribe or another on a daily basis. His entire adult life was all about Indians, not only in the public arena, but also about the Indian women who bore his children. In discussing Indian affairs, St. Ange never once suggested employing force of any kind as an instrument of policy. Although a military man, his passion, his knowledge, and his skill lay in diplomacy, not warfare. This chapter discusses St. Ange's attitude toward Indians as well as his concubines, his Indian slaves, and the last seventeen months of his life, which he spent in the residence of Marie-Thérèse Bourgeois Chouteau. St. Ange was found dead in his bed on December 27, 1774.
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