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Stephen Doutreleau

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Missionary, born in France, 11 October, 1693; date of death uncertain. He became a Jesuit novice at the age of twenty-two and migrated to Louisiana, U.S.A. with the Ursuline nuns in 1727. Soon after his arrival he was sent to the Illinois mission, for in 1728 he seems to have been at Post Vincennes, "the fort on the Wabash", which was established about that time. On 1 January, 1730, he set out for New Orleans on business connected with the mission. The Natchez Indians, only a few weeks before, had massacred all the inhabitants of the little French village of Natchez, and the Yazoos, a neighbouring Indian tribe, had followed their example. Two Jesuit missionaries perished in these uprisings. Ignorant of the state of the country and accompanied by four or five French voyageurs , Father Doutreleau landed at the mouth of the Yazoo River to offer up the Holy Sacrifice. The Indians attacked the little party killing one of the Frenchmen and wounding the missionary in the arm. Doutreleau escaped to his canoe with two of his companions and began their flight down the Mississippi. After many dangers they reached the French camp at Tonica Bay, where they were received with great kindness; their wounds were dressed and after a night's rest they proceeded unmolested to New Orleans . A journey of four hundred leagues through a hostile country had been accomplished. Shortly after, Father Doutreleau became chaplain of the French troops in Louisiana, and in this capacity accompanied them on one expedition. At his own request he was sent back to the Illinois Indians, but how long he remained is uncertain. He was at one time chaplain of the hospital at New Orleans . In 1747 he returned to France after labouring as a missionary in the Mississippi Valley for twenty years.

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