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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LA RIBOURDE, Gabriel de, French missionary, born in Burgundy in 1610; died on the banks of the Illinois, 9 September, 1680. He was the last survivor of a noble Burgundian family, and entered the order of St. Francis in 1640. He was appointed master of novices at Bethune, and held successively the highest offices in the order. He came to Canada in l670, and was soon afterward made superior of the Recollet Franciscans in the colony. Later he was sent to Fort Frontenac, where he built a rude chapel and began a mission. He was induced by Hennepin to join La Salle's party, reached the mouth of St. Joseph's river in November, 1679, and with two other Recollets built a bark cabin, the first Roman Catholic church in the lower peninsula of Michigan Leaving this post in December, the Recollets reached the country of the Illinois Indians and raised a cabin for a chapel at Fort Crevecoeur, near the present city of Peoria. Here he was adopted by the Illinois chief, Asapista, and followed the tribe in their summer hunts. He had hardly any success in converting the Indians. In September, 1680, the Illinois were attacked by the Iroquois, and fled. Father Gabriel and his two companions set out to reach Green Bay in a bark canoe without any provisions. The boat began to leak, and they were forced to land. While his companions were repairing it, Father Gabriel retired to the shade of a neighboring grove to recite his breviary. It was supposed that, tempted by the beauty of the scenery, he took a walk along the banks of the river. When his companions sought him in the evening no trace of him could be found. It was learned afterward that he had come upon some Kicknpoos, who killed him and threw his body into a hole. An account of his death is given in llennepin's "Nouvelle decouverte."
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