Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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LE CLERC, French adventurer, born in Tirles Moutiers, near Mezieres, France, about 1750; died in Mezieres in 1817. Although he was generally known by the name of Le Clerc, his real name seems to have been Milfort. Having killed a servant of the king's household in a duel, according to his own story, he took refuge in the United States, and went to the country of the Creek Indians, whose friendship he gained by adopting their customs. He fought at the head of these savages in the wars against the frontier settlements, and was named by them Tastanegy, or "great warrior." Hearing of the changes that the revolution had wrought in France, he went to Paris and offered his services and those of his adopted tribe in strengthening the French possessions in North America. He was well received by the Directory, but the sale of Louisiana to the United States in 1803 rendered his mission useless. It was feared that he might make a bad use of his influence among the Indians if he returned to this country, and he was therefore ordered to remain in France, where he was given the commission of general of brigade. He lived quietly in France until the invasion of 1814, during which he performed various exploits. He published "Memoires, ou coup d'oeil rapide sur rues voyages en Louisiane, et mon sejour dans la nation Creeke" (Paris, 1802). These memoirs are interesting; but they could not have been written by Le Clerc, who was quite illiterate, and had almost forgotten his native language in the course of his travels.
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