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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NICOLET, Jean, French explorer, lived in the 17th century. He was a trader, living in Quebec, dealt with the Indians, and in the course of his travels made his way as far west as the Green bay of Michigan. According to Father Vimont, who wrote in 1640, the date of his visit was about 1634. Nicolet was therefore the first white man to set foot in what is now the state of Wisconsin. He is also believed by Bancroft to be the first European who saw the prairies of Illinois and the site of the city of Chicago. His stories, on his return to Quebec, to the effect that he had been on a river that would have taken him to the sea had he kept on three days longer, led the Jesuits to believe themselves on the eve of discovery of the long-sought outlet to India. A county of Quebec, and a town, the seat of Nicolet institution, bear his name.
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