MARQUETTE, JACQUES (1637-1675). French Jesuit missionary to Canada. Born in France, Marquette entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1654. In 1665 he was assigned to go to Canada and arrived in 1666 in Quebec, where he studied Montagnais and other Indian languages with Gabriel Druillettes.
By 1673, he was fluent in six languages. He learned the dialects sufficiently for him to start missionary work among the Algonquian tribes dwelling around Lake Superior.
In 1669 he moved to Chequamegon Bay, the western end of Lake Superior, which he abandoned in 1671 because of fear of Sioux attacks. He moved Ottawas and Hurons to Mackinac Island where he built Saint Ignace.
In 1673 he got permission to go with Louis Jolliet to explore the territory southwest of his station. During the journey, Marquette and Jolliet established contacts with Illinois, Missouri, Potawatomis, Quapaws and other peoples.
On his return voyage, Marquette re-established contact with the Illinois and founded a mission at Kaskaskia village in 1675. He preached among them but died soon after.
Scholars debate whether Marquette authored Recit about the 1673 expedition as well as whether or not he was ever ordained a priest.
Although he has been commemorated by monuments, and a university, railroad, river, cities and avenues bear his name, some scholars maintain his place has been exaggerated in history.