Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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DU POISSON, missionary, born in France about 1695" died in Louisiana in 1729. He came to this country in 1726, with other Jesuits, in answer to an invitation from the Mississippi Company, and descended the Mississippi, accompanied by Father Souel. He described the dangers he encountered in a letter that was published shortly afterward. They rested for some time among the Tonicas, reached Natchez on 13 June and embarked with Father Dumas in a boat for the Yazoos. After a stay of three days he set out for the Arkansas Indians, to wholn he had been specially commissioned. He was well received, and as the boat drew near the village all the people came out to welcome him.
He next went to the village of the Santhouis, one of the Arkansas tribes, where there were some French settlers; the chief welcomed him, and explained his mission to the assembled people through an interpreter. He found that they were much demoralized by their intercourse with the French traders, and devoted him to the latter till he could learn the language of the natives. His labets among the Indians were at first not very successful, but after several months he was enabled to fix their attention by some engravings, and he converted several. He continued his labors here for two years, and, as his tribe was obliged to come down to the banks of the Mississippi during the winter of 1729, he resolved to visit Perrier, governor of New Orleans. He reached Natchez on 26 November and was preparing to embark two days later, when the Indians, who had received some injuries at the hands of the French, attacked and killed him.
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