Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Formerly chief tribe of the confederacy of Illinois Indians (q.v.). The name is of uncertain etymology, but may possible have reference to a "hide scraper." With the other Illinois they probably made their first acquaintance with the French at the Jesuit mission station of Chegoimegon (Lapointe near Bayfield, Wisconsin ), established by the noted Father Claude Allouez in 1667. In 1673, Father Marquette, on his return from the lower Mississippi, was kindly received at their village, and on their earnest request returned later and founded among them in April, 1675, the Mission of the Immaculate Conception, the first of the Illinois missions, apparently about the present site of Utica, Lasalle Co., Illinois. On his death, a month later, the work was suspended until taken up again in 1677 by Allouez, who remained until the arrival of Lasalle in 1679, by whom the mission was turned over to the Recollects, Fathers Gabriel de la Ribourde and Zenobius Membré. In consequence of the opposition of the Indian priests, the attacks of the Iroquois, and the murder of Father Ribourde by the Kickapoo, the Recollect tenure was brief. In 1684 Allouez returned, but withdrew a second time on the rumoured approach of Lasalle from the south in 1687. In the latter year also the Jesuit Father James Gravier visited the tribe.

In 1692 the celebrated Jesuit FatherSebastian Rasle restored the mission, which continued thenceforward under Jesuit auspices for a period of eighty years. In 1693 Gravier took charge and with Binneteau, Pinet, Marest, and others laboured with much success until his death in 1706 from a wound received at the hands of an unconverted Peoria. He compiled the first grammar of the language, and about the year 1700 was instrumental in settling the tribe in a new village about the present Kaskaskia, Illinois, near the mouth of the river of the same name, which remained their principal town and mission station until their final removal from the State. When visited by Charlevoix in 1721 the Kaskaskia were considered Christian, although a considerable portion of the other Illinois still adhered to their old forms.

Notwithstanding the apparent success of the mission, the whole Illinois nation was in rapid decline from the hostilities of the northern tribes and the wholesale dissipation introduced by the French garrisons. In 1764 the Kaskaskia, who may have numbered originally 2000, were reported at 600, and in 1778 at 210, including 60 warriors. In 1762 the Jesuits were suppressed by the French Government, and any later work was carried on by secular priests. In 1795 the Kaskaskia first entered into treaty relations with the United States, and in 1832, together with the kindred Peoria, they ceded all of their remaining original territory in Illinois and were assigned to a reservation in what is now north-eastern Oklahoma, were they still reside, the entire confederated band, including Kaskaskia, Peoria, and other representatives of the old Illinois, together with the remnant of the Wea and Piankishaw of Indiana, numbering only 200 souls, not one of whom is full-blood, and not more than a dozen of whom retain the language.


More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 2:12-22
12 do not forget, I say, that you were at that time ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14
9 His saving help is near for those who fear him, his ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:35-38
35 'See that you have your belts done up and your ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 21st, 2014 Image

St. Hilarion
October 21: Abbot and disciple of St. Anthony the Great, companion of St. ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter