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Dupratz, Antoine Simon Le Page (1695–1758), pioneer and historian, was probably born in the Netherlands, according to some nineteenth-century historians. He considered himself French, however, once calling France “ma patrie.” He was a member of a regiment of dragoons fighting under Louis XIV of France in the German campaigns during the War of the Spanish Succession, which ended in 1713. By 1718 he had studied architecture, hydraulic engineering, and mathematics and was eager to seek adventure in the New World. He joined the Compagnie de la Louisiane ou d’Occident (also called the Company of the West and the Mississippi Company), which had been founded in 1717 by John Law—a Scottish economist and financier under Louis XV of France—for the purpose of extending the French empire into Louisiana....

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Kinzie, Juliette Augusta Magill (11 September 1806–15 September 1870), historian, writer, and early Illinois settler, was born in Middletown, Connecticut, the daughter of Arthur William Magill, a banker, and Frances Wolcott. She received a richer and more complete education than that usually available to young women. She attended a boarding school in New Haven, Connecticut; was tutored by her uncle, Alexander Wolcott, in Latin and other languages while he was a student at Yale; and spent time at ...