Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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VIGO, Francis, fur-trader, born in Nondovi, Sardinia, in 1747; died near Vincennes, Indiana, 22 March, t 1835. He entered the Spanish army as a private and served at Havana and New Orleans. He left the army and went to St. Louis when he was about twenty-five years old, and engaged in the fur-trade with the Indians, with whom he was on very friendly terms. When Colonel George Rogers Clark, with his scantily supplied army, visited Kaskaskia, Vigo furnished them with food and clothing to the value of $20,000, taking his pay in Virginia Continental money. By the depreciation of the latter and the confiscation of his property by order of Governor Hamilton, the British commandant, he became poor. When Colonel Clark was at Kaskaskia. Governor Hamilton left Detroit with the purpose of capturing him and his army. They proceeded as far as Vincennes and were quartered at Fort Sackville. Clark determined to capture Hamilton, and sent Vigo, accompanied by one man, to reconnoitre the fort. Vigo was arrested as a spy when he was within seven miles of it, but, being a Spanish subject, was discharged, returned to St. Louis, and rejoined Clark, who soon afterward took the fort. In 1786, Vigo employed Pierre Menard, afterward the first lieutenant-governor of Illinois, as an Indian-trader. They became great friends, and in 1789 both visited General Washington at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and consulted him in reference to the best means of defending the country.
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