The French Colony at Fort Stephenson During the War of 1812: Francis “Hutro” Navarre Emerges from the Shadows

Guest blogger Patrick M. Tucker sheds further light on the role of the Navarre family on the Battle of Frenchtown and its aftermath. This article originally appeared in Northwest Ohio History, vol. 83, no. 1 (Autumn 2015).

by Patrick M. Tucker

Department of Sociology and Anthropology,

University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio



The French colony at Fort Stephenson, now Fremont (Ohio), on the Sandusky River during the War of 1812 was originally from the mixed Odawa (Ottawa) and French village of Presque Isle (now Oregon, Ohio) at the mouth of the Maumee River established in 1807 or 1808 and abandoned in 1836. After 1836, most of the Odawa were removed by the U.S. government to Kansas Territory. Some took the initiative to travel to Walpole Island in Canada to join relatives.[1] And a few, who refused to go to Kansas or Walpole Island, remained in northwest Ohio having moved east to the marshy, wetlands of the Lucas County – Ottawa County border area, out of the path of white settlement. Those French who settled at Presque Isle came predominantly from Frenchtown on the River Raisin and a few from Detroit in the Michigan Territory.


The French colony that moved to Fort Stephenson in the winter of 1813 did so to escape the violence and military action of the War of 1812 in the western basin of Lake Erie between Great Britain in Canada, their Indian allies, and the United States. So it is somewhat ironic that during their stay at the fort, their welfare was threatened by Indian hostilities while under the protection of the American government and the Ohio militia stationed at the fort. It is also ironic that they were rescued, not by the Ohio militia, but by Francis “Hutro” Navarre (1759-1840+),[2] a fellow Frenchman, who emerged from the shadows of the fort to save the day. After the war, some of these French families returned to the Maumee River including Francis “Hutro” Navarre and his family, but many others settled below Fort Stephenson to become the first, permanent, white settlers of Sandusky County, Ohio. Navarre and his family who reoccupied their land at Presque Isle became the most famous of the early French pioneers of Toledo, Ohio.

American settlers, both English and French-speaking, living in the Maumee rapids region of Ohio found themselves in a terrible dilemma when Detroit fell to the British and Indians on August 16 during the War of 1812. Faced with fight or take flight most fled the region while few remained. Frenchtown (now Monroe, Michigan) on the River Raisin surrendered to a detachment of British and Indians on August 20, 1812 followed by Port Miami the next day on August 21.[3] While many Canadiens of Frenchtown and Port Miami remained, most of the English-speaking, American settlers, and some Canadiens, managed to escape east to the Quaker settlement on the Huron River (now Milan, Ohio) and Fort Stephenson on the Sandusky River (now Fremont, Ohio), and south to Urbana, Ohio.[4]

River Raisin Battlefield, Monroe, Michigan

For those few settlers and traders who remained, the situation became desperate when the battles and massacre at Frenchtown on the River Raisin, from January 18 to 23 in 1813, resulted in the loss of Major-General William H. Harrison’s left wing of the Northwest Army.[5] Some 880 Kentucky regulars and militia under command of Brigadier-General James Winchester met a vastly, superior British and Indian force of 1,800. Some 800 American soldiers (522 captured, 148 killed and missing, 65 seriously wounded, and 33 who escaped) were lost compared to British losses of 24 killed and 158 wounded of some 522 British soldiers and unknown Indian losses.[6] After this battle, civilian non-combatants evacuated the region in record numbers.

One particular evacuation of civilian inhabitants was that of Presque’ Isle, a mixed Odawa and Canadien village, at the mouth of the Maumee River. This was the Indian village of Pontiac’s followers who moved from Missionary Island (Indianola Island) after 1769 and settled at the mouth of the Maumee River by 1795. In 1808, the village situated on a grassy plat contained some 60 log houses (cabins), hewed and white-washed, laid-out in two rows which presented a “cheerful and pleasant appearance” according to Hutro’s son Peter Navarre (1790-1874), the famous War of 1812 scout.[7] The French families, many related by marriage, migrated south from Frenchtown (now Monroe, Michigan) to the Maumee River about 1807 or 1808. Among those fur traders who resided in the village were those of the Navarre, Cavalier, O’Dett de La Point, DeMars, Bissonet, three Momeny (Mominee), Minor (Menard), Gagnier, Druyor (Droulliard), Fountaine (LaFontaine) families, five Devoir brothers, the widow of Steven Jacob and her daughters Julie, Ann, and Monique.[8] Others probably at Presque Isle in January of 1813 were the Jocks or Jacks (Jaquot) and Jeremy (Jereaume) families.[9] Hutro Navarre had moved his family in 1799 from Frenchtown to Presque Isle.[10]

fort stephenson

(Fort Stephenson in 1813 (Created by John Hibbler of Fremont, Ohio. In “Ohio in the War of 1812,” Past Times, vol. 12, March, Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center 2013).

Shortly after the American disaster at Frenchtown, about twenty French families at Presque Isle packed their belongings and formed a train of horse sleighs with wooden runners, sleds, and some wagons and headed for Fort Stephenson on the lower Sandusky River some 30-35 miles away.[11] The party was led by Peter Malosh or Maltosh, an Indian trader and American army scout, who knew the Sandusky River territory well, which is now Ottawa and Sandusky Counties (Ohio).[12] While Hutro and his family joined the French migrants to Lower Sandusky; his sons Peter, Robert, James, and Alexis had already joined Winchester’s Kentucky brigade as spies (scouts). Having managed to escape the battles of Frenchtown, the boys joined General Harrison’s Northwest Army, assigned to Captain Gratiot’s company of spies.

The ground well covered with heavy ice and snow made easy and excellent traveling conditions for the sleighs and sleds to avoid the woods and Indians, but not for the wagons. Their first stop on the journey was Locust Point which they made the first day. The following day was particularly hard on the horses as the snow was very deep. The train kept close together with the order of sleighs being frequently changed so that the lead horses that became weary, breaking the way, were rested in the rear. Upon arrival at the Portage (now Port Clinton, Ohio), the horses were exhausted. The following morning Malosh directed the train to follow his tracks, as he pushed on ahead to Lower Sandusky to procure fresh horses for his party. Meanwhile the train proceeded on its third day with reluctant horses stiffened by two days of travel through deep snow crossing the head of Sandusky Bay and entering the river. The weary travelers, and no doubt horses, were delighted to meet Malosh with fresh horses at the mouth of Muskellunge Creek. From here, the French colony made the rapids of Lower Sandusky and the safety of Fort Stephenson. The French families settled in the government barracks at Fort Stephenson, later moving into cabins outside of, but near the fort in the spring of 1813 to plant corn and potatoes on the rich bottomlands of the Sandusky River and adjoining creeks.[13]

During the spring and summer of 1813, the forest and woods near Fort Stephenson were full of hostile Indians. A signal from the fort had been arranged to warn French and English farm families of impending Indian attacks so they could retreat into the picketed garrison for protection by the Ohio militia stationed there.[14]

A war party of Indians lead by an Ottawa chief departed British Fort Malden on the north shore of Lake Erie in bark canoes and landed at the mouth of the Portage River in Ohio on June 1, 1813. They traveled across Marblehead Peninsula and Sandusky Bay to American settlements on Cold Creek in Erie County, Ohio. After traveling a short distance by land up the creek, they attacked three cabins of white families whose men were off working in the fields on June 2. They captured one man and twelve women and children. Traveling back to the canoes it was discovered that one of the women could not keep up due to pregnancy. She was tomahawked, stripped naked, and her womb ripped open and the child taken out. Additionally, three of the children were also butchered for not keeping up with the war party. Upon arrival back at Fort Malden, two or three of the prisoners were ransomed to Colonel Matthew Elliott, and the others by the citizens of Detroit.[15]

John E. Hunt recalled this Ottawa war party returning to Detroit, where he was residing at his brother’s place at the time. He stated:

…one morning I was standing on the porch of his house, when I heard the scalp whoop of Indians coming up the river bank. It proved to be a party of Ottawa Indians. They came up to where I was standing, and to my horror, I saw they had with them a whole family of children from the age of two years to eighteen, the two eldest were girls, in all nine of them. And the scalp they had upon a pole was that of the mother of these children. Owing to her being in a delicate situation, she was unable to travel and keep pace with them, and two young Indians were chosen by Parchan, the Chief of the party, to kill her; which they did, leaving the body stretched upon a log in a horridly mutilated state, when it was afterwards so found by a party of white men, about five miles from Cole Creek [Cold Creek], in Huron County, Ohio, not far from Clyde.[16]

Hunt also recalled, after Harrison’s army reoccupied Detroit, these Native Americans made their appearance with a flag of truce to sue for peace. Parchan, their leader, was with them and among the spectators was a Mr. Snow, the father of the captive family, who joined the army to avenge the death of his pregnant wife. Some soldiers were placed as a guard around Snow to prevent his killing some of the Indians.[17]

greer farm
Geer Farm

Another Indian war party was sent later in June of that year from Fort Malden, this time to the lower Sandusky River near Fort Stephenson . Here, they murdered a white, farm family of four, possibly the Geer family, which consisted of a husband, wife, son, and daughter.[18] Albert R. Cavalier (1806-1895),[19] who made the winter trip with his family as part of the French colony, was in Fort Stephenson at the time as a young boy, when this second war party searched the woods for isolated, American farm families and gathered intelligence on Fort Stephenson for the British. While there Cavalier’s father and mother died and were buried on a farm known today as “The French Burial Grounds,” which was located down the hill from Fort Stephenson in.[20] His recollection of the Indian hostilities adds amazing details not found in Harrison’s letter to British General Vincent in November of 1813, and the whimsical item reported in the Historical Register of the United States.[21]

On that day, June 29th or 30th in 1813, George Shannon, the son-in-law of Elizabeth Whitaker, and a man named Pomeroy were at work on the flats below the fort gathering some vegetables. Isaac Futy kept guard as a lookout for Indians. The work party was startled when they heard the crack of two rifle shots, fired almost as one, by Indians which wounded both Shannon and Pomeroy. Instantly, Futy returned fire as the three made for cover on the Sandusky River bank. The Indians then proceeded to a house near the place, where an American family named Geer resided. This family consisted of two elderly people and a son and daughter. On hearing the alarm, the son and daughter fled into a cornfield nearby to hide, but were met and killed by the Indians. The Indians then followed the father and mother to the river and killed them just as they were getting into a small boat or scow to escape by crossing over the river.[22]

Francis Navarre, after hearing the first shot by the Indians, scaled the pickets of Fort Stephenson, rifle in hand, and ran down the river toward the scene of the trouble. Navarre discovered two Indians chasing an Ohio militia soldier who was running for the fort. He fired and killed the closest Indian, squatted out of sight, reloaded and shot the other Indian. Upon returning to the Fort, Navarre, who was familiar with Indian habits and culture, told the Ohio militia detachment and other spectators that if they would send a party down the river, they would not find the bodies of the Indians. Instead, the packs of the two Indians would be found with his rifle balls in them. Navarre shot them in such a manner that the balls passed through their breasts and lodged in the blankets they carried on their backs. He further stated that the military detachment would find that the farm family had all been killed.[23]

The detachment sent from the fort found Navarre’s words to be true. They found the family and two soldiers murdered and scalped. Shannon, Pomeroy, and Futy were discovered in their hiding places under the river bank which was then bordered by thick brush. Shannon survived, but it appeared that Pomeroy and Futy died of their wounds, as their bodies were brought back to the Fort. Cavalier learned these facts at the time by talk among the men and women in the fort. He saw six persons killed and scalped when they were brought into the fort. The alarm and sight of the mutilated bodies made an indelible impression on Cavalier that he could never forget.

One week before the battle at Fort Stephenson on August 01-02, 1813, the French colony and other civilians were moved by government wagons to Upper Sandusky, and remained there until peace was declared in 1814, then returned to Fort Stephenson and the lower Sandusky River. The French families who did not return to the Maumee River after the War of 1812 settled below the fort in what would become Rice Township, Sandusky County, Ohio. Many of their descendants still live in Sandusky and Ottawa Counties of Ohio today.[24]

peter navarre
Peter Navarre, famous scout, and one of Francois Navarre’s sons. Monroe County Historical Society

François “Hutro” Navarre was a most extraordinary, French, fur trader and hunter in Upper Canada and the American Old Northwest Territory of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. He is little known in the region’s history, unlike his son Peter Navarre the famous War of 1812 scout, who is proclaimed the founding-father of Toledo (Ohio) and the first president of the Maumee Valley Pioneer and Historical Association.[25] He witnessed the transition of the frontier during colonial, territorial, and state periods of history in his eight decades of life. He chose, or was forced to choose, the life of a frontier trader, hunter, and trapper despite his birth in a wealthy and politically-important French Catholic family of Detroit, whose fortune steadily declined under British rule after 1760. Navarre was a tough, frontier back-woodsman. His actions at Fort Stephenson and with the assault and battery of a Monroe County deputy sheriff in 1820, almost killing him, suggests he was a man not to be trifled with.[26] His disposing of dead Indian bodies after shooting them in a specific and precise manner leaving a musket ball in their back-packs was his signature and warning on the frontier, at least to Native Americans, that he was in the area and they should leave immediately or suffer the consequences.

The few historical records on Hutro suggest he was illiterate and spoke only the French language and various Algonquian-Indian dialects. A loner unto himself and his family, Navarre left one of the faintest footprints traceable in the history of the region. He was truly a shadowy figure occasionally fading-in and fading-out of the historical record. His life is like a kaleidoscope of still pictures leaving those who encounter him wondering who he was. Navarre was part of that great mass of humanity called the “common man” (including woman) who lacked historicity, the ability to become immortal via the historical record.


Special thanks and appreciation to Nan Card, Archivist, Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential

Center, Fremont, Ohio and G. William Cutcher and his son Glenn Cutcher both of Vermilion, Ohio. The Cutchers are descendants of the Couture family on their father’s side and the Rivard dit Lacourière family on their mother’s side originally from Frenchtown on the River Raisin.


[1] The Ottawa relinquished their last two land reserves at the mouth of the Maumee River with the Treaty of February 18, 1833 at the mouth of the Maumee River. Several individual allotments or grants were made to individual Ottawa who decided to remain and become part of the local white population. By 1836, these individuals were selling their land grants and moving to Kansas Territory. Charles J. Kappler, “Treaty with the Ottawa, February 18, 1833,” in Indian Affairs, Laws and Treaties. 2 vols. Senate Document 319, 58th Congress, 2nd Session (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1904), vol. 2, 392-94; William E. Peters, Ohio Lands and Their Subdivisions. 3rd Edition (Athens, OH: The Lawhead Press, 1930), 336-37. 

[2] Hutro was born François-Marie Navarre, one of nine children of Robert Navarre (1701-1791) and Marie Lothman-Barrois (1719-1799), and reportedly a descendant of Anthony of Bourbon, Duke of Vendome, who became King of Navarre in 1554. Anthony’s son, Henry III of Navarre, was crowned Henry IV, King of France. Robert Navarre was born in the parish of Villeroy, diocese of Meaux, and province of Brittany in France, and was the first French Sub-Intendant and Royal Notary of Fort Ponchartrain (Detroit) in New France appointed in 1729. Hutro married either Marie-Louise Gouet or Godet dit Marentette born in Sandwich (Windsor, Canada) or Marie-Louise Panât Campeau born in Vincennes, Indiana on February 26, 1781. Together they had twelve children between 1782 and 1806. See Christian Denissen, Genealogy of the French Families of the Detroit River Region, 1701-1936, ed. By Harold Frederic Powell and Robert L. Pilon, 2 vols. (Detroit: Detroit Society for Genealogical Research, 1987), vol. 1, 845-46; Christian Denissen, comp., Navarre, or Researches After the Descendants of Robert Navarre, Whose Ancestors are the Noble Bourbons of France and Some Historical Notes on the Families Who Intermarried with Navarres (Detroit: F. Ebry & Co., 1897), 9-10; Cyprien Tanguay, Dictionaire généalogique des familles canadiennes depuis de la foundation de la colonie jusqu’ã nos jours (Québec, Canada: Eusèbe Senécal, 1871-1890), vol. 6, sect. 1, 141; Peter Navarre, Peter Navarre Memoirs, small manuscripts collection no. 16, Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, Toledo, Ohio; and Dennis M. Au (personal communication, December 31, 2008).

[3] “Extract from an Original Journal of Charles Askin in the Canadian Archives,” in Documents Related to the Invasion of Canada and the Surrender of Detroit 1812, ed. by E. A. Cruikshank, (Ottawa, Canada: Government Printing Bureau, 1912), 243-47; “Return of Arms and Stores found at the River au Raisin, August 20, 1812,” in Cruikshank, Documents Related to the Invasion of Canada, 176; “Deposition of Antoine Saintecomb, February 22, 1858,” “Deposition of Antoine Saintcomb, February 22, 1858, Frenchtown, Monroe County, Michigan,” Alexander D. Anderson, Administrator of John Anderson vs. The United States, in Reports of the Court of Claims, Submitted to the House of Representatives, During the Second Session of the Thirty-Seventh Congress 1861-62, 2 vols. (Washington City: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1862), vol. 1, Report no. 278, 3-4. ; Sandy Antal, A Wampum Denied: Procter’s War of 1812 (Ottawa, Canada: Carleton University Press, 1998), 112-13, 140; “Lewis Bond’s Journal of the War of 1812,” in Document Transcriptions of the War of 1812 in the Northwest, ed. by Richard C. Knopf, 10 vols. (Columbus, OH: Anthony Wayne Parkway Board, 1957-1962), vol. 10, part 1, 188.

[4] John Anderson, A Short History of the Life of John Anderson, transcribed from the Michigan Historical Collections by Richard C. Knopf (Columbus, OH: The Anthony Wayne Parkway Board, n.d.), 35; Hezekiel L. Hosmer, “Amos Spafford, Perrysburg, April 11th, 1843.” in Early History of Cleveland, Ohio with Biographical Notices of the Pioneers and Surveyors, by Col. Charles Whittlesey (Cleveland: Fairbanks, Benedict & Co., 1867), 347-352; Hezekiel L. Hosmer, Early History of the Maumee Valley (Toledo: Hosmer and Harris, 1850), 26-27; Emily Foster, ed., The Ohio Frontier: An Anthology of Early Writings (Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 1996), 133-35.

[5] “Battle of Frenchtown,” Weekly Register 4, no. 83 (April 3, 1813): 81; Antal, A Wampum Denied, 161-83; Ralph Naveaux, Invaded on All Sides (Marceline, MO: Walsworth Publishing Company, 2008), 106-259; G. Glenn Clift, Remember the Rasin! (Baltimore: Reprinted by Clearfield Co., Inc., 2002 [1961], 62-91; Dennis M. Au, War on the Raisin: A Narrative Account of the War of 1812 in the River Raisin Settlement, Michigan Territory (Monroe, MI: Monroe County Historical Commission, 1999[1981]), 46-112.

[6] “Winchester to the Secretary of War, Malden, January 23, 1813,” and “British Official Account, Adjutant General’s Office, Quebec, February 8, 1813,” both in  Weekly Register 4, no. 79 (March 6, 1813): 9; Weekly Register 4, no. 83 (April 3, 1813): 81. Only fifty-eight names of dead Kentucky soldiers are recorded for January 22 in claims filed against the U.S. government for various reasons by their heirs (“Kentucky Troops Killed at the River Raisin, Jan. 22, 1813,” Manning Collection Series, Record Group 217).

[7] Hosmer, Early History of the Maumee Valley, 4.

[8] C. W. Evers and M. A. Leeson, Commemorative, Historical and Biographical Record of Wood County, Ohio. 2 vols. (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1897), vol. 1, 363; Ottawa County Genealogical Society (Ohio), The History of Ottawa County, Ohio and Its Families (Marceline, MO: Wadsworth Press, Inc., 1985), 230; François LaFontaine, Detroit to Jean-Baptiste Beaugrand, Foot of the Rapids [Maumee River], June 21, 1810,” Beaugrand Family Papers, box 1, folder 1, Rawson Family Collection LH 115, Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center, Fremont, Ohio. Don Sorby, Sorby/Simmons and Relevant Families, at <RootsWeb,> accessed October 18, 2014.

Both Hutro Navarre and his sons received 800 acres and Albert R. Cavalier and Joseph Le Cavalier dit Ranjard (deceased) received 80 acres as individual allotments of land at the mouth of the Maumee River based on the Treaty of February 18, 1833.

[9] G. William Cutcher, 1812-1813 Refugees from Frenchtown, n.d.; Mrs. A. D. Elwell, History of Erie Township [Ottawa County, Ohio], read before the Ottawa County (Ohio) Horticultural Society, n.d.

[10] Martin Nadauts [Nadeau], Monroe, Michigan to Lewis Cass, Secretary of War, Washington City, December 24, 1833,” in Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs (1824-1881), Microcopy 234, Michigan Superintendency (1824-1851), Roll 421 (1832-1835) (U.S. National Archives, Washington, DC, 1959). Frames 0272-0274.

[11] The Two Miles Square Reserve, located on both sides of the Sandusky River at the rapids and now within the city limits of Fremont (Ohio), was a strategic location reserved to the United States at the Treaty of Greenville in 1795. During the War of 1812, Americans built Fort Stephenson in June of 1812 on an acre of land on the river’s west side. In August of 1813, a youthful Major George Croghan and his badly outnumbered troops successfully defended the fort against a British and Indian force of about 1,300 men. See George W. Knepper, The Official Ohio Lands Book (Columbus, OH: The Auditor of State, 2002), 55; Fort Stephenson,” Touring Ohio at <> accessed Nov. 1, 2014.

[12] Paul Cavalier, personal communication, July 13, 2000. Peter Malosh or Maltosh was probably Pierre Meloche, a member of the Jean-Baptiste Meloche (1741-1820) family of Detroit and Sandwich (now Windsor, Canada).

[13] “Narrative of Albert Cavalier, Sept. 5, 1878,” Rutherford B. Hayes Papers (2 vols,), vol. 1 – Lower Sandusky (1810-1814), 4 pp., Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center, Fremont, Ohio; “Narrative of Albert Cavalier, Sept. 6, 1878,” in History of Sandusky County, Ohio with Portraits and Biographies, by Homer Everett (Cleveland, OH: H. Z. Williams & Bro., 1882), 119-20, 569-70; “The French Train and Its Harrowing Journey Across Frozen Lake Erie,” Local History of Northwest Ohio Research Files, Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center, Fremont, Ohio; and Evers and Leeson, 363.

[14] “Narrative of Albert Cavalier, September 5, 1878,” 1; Everett, History of Sandusky County, Ohio, 119-20, 569-70.

[15] “General [William H.] Harrison, Headquarters, Fort George to Maj. Gen. Vincent, Commanding the British Forces at Burlington Heights, November 3, 1813,” in Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collections, 40 vols. (Lansing, MI: Wynkoop Hallenbeck Crawford Co. State Printers, 1874-1929), vol. 15, 437; Erminie Wheeler-Voegelin, “An Ethnohistorical Report on the Wyandot, Potawatomi, Ottawa, and Chippewa of Northwest Ohio.” in Indians of Northwest Ohio, comp. and ed. by David A. Horr, (New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1974), 305; W. W. Williams, ed., History of the Firelands (Cleveland: Leader Printing Co., 1879), 492-93. The cabins were located on Pickerel Creek where access was gained through Cold Creek. The pregnant woman tomahawked was a Mrs. Snow.

[16] Thomas Dunlap, “General John E. Hunt’s Reminiscences,” Transactions at the Annual Meeting  of the Maumee Valley Pioneer and Historical Association, held at Toledo, February 22, 1877 (Toledo, OH: Blade Printers and Paper Co., 1877), 33; Richard J. Wright, ed., The John Hunt Memoirs, Early Years of the Maumee Basin, 1812-1835 (Maumee, OH: Maumee Valley Historical Society, [1978]), 26-27.

[17] Dunlap, General John E. Hunt’s Reminiscences, 33; Wright, The John Hunt Memoirs, 27. According to Hunt, Parchan died a most miserable death, having fallen into a fire in a “drunken scrape”, and burned his right arm so badly that he died a lingering death at Tonedoganie’s Village, about 12 miles above Maumee City (Ohio).

[18] “Annals of America, Part 6,” The Historical Register of the United States (1812-1814), vol. 2 (August 1, 1813):113; Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collections, vol. 15 (1909):437.

[19] Albert R. Cavalier was born October 8, 1806 on the River Raisin in the Michigan Territory. His parents were Joseph Le Cavalier dit Ranjard/Rangeard (ca. 1782-1813) and Marie-Louise DeMars (ca.1785-1813). He was christened February 25, 1807 at St. Antoine Church. After the death of his parents in 1813, Albert lived with Mrs. Jacob or Jaco, an aunt, at Fort Seneca until he was 15 years old, when she married Jacob-Gabriel O’Dett de La Point, who settled on a farm eight miles below Fremont, Ohio. He then lived with Thomas DeMars, Sr., until he was age 19. Albert married November 24, 1828 to Mary-Louisa (Eliza) Momeny (1811-1881) in Portage Township, Sandusky County, Ohio. They lived along Big Mud Creek north of Fremont, Ohio, where they raised ten children – six sons and four daughters. Eliza died in 1881 and Albert remarried to Mary Ziegler Alpool and lived in Oak Harbor, Ohio. Later they moved to Bowling Green, Ohio. Albert died Aug 23, 1895 at Bowling Green, Wood County, Ohio, and his funeral service was in Oak Harbor (Ohio) and burial was August 25, 1895, in the family plot in Brier Hill Cemetery, Rice Township, Sandusky County, Ohio. See “Narrative of Albert Cavalier, Sept. 5, 1878,” 1; Paul Cavalier, Les Cavaliers: The Genealogy of the Cavaliers and Their Related Families 1600-1984 (Unpublished manuscript, Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library, Fremont, Ohio, n.d.), 7; “Albert R. Cavalier,”, Find a Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database online], Provo, Utah, USA.).

[20] Don Sorby, “Sorby, Simmons, and Relevant Families: Pierre Momeny (1785-1836), June 25, 2012, at <;.

[21] This incident was told by Cavalier in a written statement on September 5, 1878, found in the archives of the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont, Ohio. Cavalier’s interview with local historian Homer Everett is dated September 6, 1878 and reprinted in his History of Sandusky County, Ohio published in 1882. Both versions are essentially the same with the exception of some minor editing by Everett in the published version.

[22] “Narrative of Albert Cavalier, September 5, 1878,“2; Indian Murders in the Vicinity of Fort Stephenson Previous to the Battle, which Demonstrates the Dangers to the Early Settlers Along the Sandusky River, at the Time,” Sept. 6, 1878,” in Everett, History of Sandusky County, Ohio, 119-20. The location of the farm was where the Lake Erie & Louisville Railroad shops stood in 1882. In 1821, Shannon was a grand juror for the May term of the Sandusky County Court in Ohio, and in 1822 appeared on a tax duplicate for Sandusky Township.

James Whitaker (1756-1804) was made a white prisoner of the Indians in 1774 or 1778 in western Pennsylvania and Elizabeth (Foulke or Foulkes) Whitaker was captured in 1776 or 1780 near Fort Pitt (now Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), both were brought to the Wyandot Town at Sandusky where they remained living as adopted Wyandot. James bought Elizabeth from the Wyandot for a keg of rum and they were married in 1781 at Detroit. Upon their return to Sandusky, they were given 1,200 acres on the Sandusky River below Fremont, Ohio, as a wedding present. The Whitakers established a chain of trade stores or trade posts throughout northwest Ohio. James Whitaker died of accidental poisoning in 1804 at Upper Sandusky (Ohio). See the Sandusky Star-Journal (Sandusky, Ohio), vol. 12., no. 15, p. 2, December 15, 1920; The Sheboygan Press (Sheboygan, Wisconsin), Mar. 23, 1967, p. 20.

[23] Ibid.

[24] At Mud Creek, north of Fremont in Ottawa County, La Prairie Church was built and some French from this colony are buried in the church cemetery. In later years, La Prairie Cemetery was abandoned, and to this day Bay Township has no cemetery (Ottawa County Genealogical Society, The History of Ottawa County, Ohio, 230.

[25] On the notoriety and fame of Peter Navarre, see Alfred A. Cave, “Pierre Navarre,” American National Biography (New York: Oxford University Press, USA, 1999), N:B251-A252; William Bridgewater, “Pierre Navarre,” Dictionary of American Biography, vol. 6, ed. by Dumas Malone (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1933), 395-96; Dan L. Thrapp, “Pierre Navarre,” Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography (Glendale, CA: The Arthur H. Clark Co., 1988); John Sugden, Tecumseh’s Last Stand (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1985); Au, War on the Raisin; Ralph Naveaux, Invaded on All Sides: The Story of Michigan’s Greatest Battlefield Scene of the Engagements at Frenchtown and the River Raisin in the War of 1812 (Marceline, MO: Walsworth Publishing Co., 2008); Maumee Valley Pioneer and Historical Association, Prospectus of the Maumee Valley (Toledo, OH: Vrooman and Anderson Printers, 1905); Benson J. Lossing, Pictorial Field Book of War of 1812 (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1868); Larry R. Michaels and Robyn Hage, Peter Navarre, War of 1812 Scout: The Man Behind the Legend (Toledo, OH: Bihl House Publishing, 2002); Hosmer, Early History of the Maumee Valley; John M. Bulkley, History of Monroe County, Michigan: A Narrative Account of its Historical Progress, its People, and its Principal Interest (New York: Lewis Publishing Co., 1913); and Clark Waggoner, History of the City of Toledo and Lucas County, Ohio (New York: Munsell & Co., 1888).

[26] Patrick M. Tucker, “Criminal Cases of the Michigan Territorial Courts, 1796-1836: The United States of America v. Francis “Hutro” Navarre in 1820,” Northwest Ohio History 81(1) (Fall 2013):40-52.

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