Charles De Langlade

Before a historical discussion of Langlade County is undertaken it will not be amiss to give an account of the exploits of Augustin De Langlade and his illustrious son, Charles, in honor of whom Langlade County bears its name. Augustin De Langlade was born about 1695. While still a young man, lured to the unconquered and unexplored northwest of the new world he settled near Mackinaw (Michigan) and traded with the Ottawa
Indians. He became very friendly with the Ottawa's and married a sister of King Nis-so-wa-quet of that famous tribe. After this union he gained wonderful restage over the Ottawa's.
Charles De Langlade was the second child and was born in 1724 at Vackinaw. At the age of twenty-five he moved with his parents and their younger children to the settlement at Green Bay. Here Sieur De Langlade continued as a trader among the Indians, living a peaceful life which ended when he was 16 years old in 1771. Sieur Charles De Langlade married Charlotte Bourassa, the daughter of Rene Bourassa, a retired voyageur, who then lived at Mackinaw, August 12, 1754. The ceremony, performed by Father M. L. Le Franc, Roman Catholic priest, was vouched for by M. Herbin, then leader and commandant of the Green Bay post. Mme. De Langlade moved to Green Bay from Mackinaw six years after her marriage. It was at the Green Bay settlement that De Langlade's hardy, noble, impulsive, but dangerous career began.
Sieur Charles De Langlade gained a reputation for bravery and strategy second to none. Before the out- break of the French-Indian war in 1754 he had led a force against the Sac Indian nation and succeeded in pushing them back from their holdings in the Fox river valley to the banks of the Wisconsin river. Because of his knowledge of the Indian tribes of the northwest, his winning personality, intelligence and wonderful influence over the Red Men, Marquis Vau- dreuii, Governor-General of New France and Louisiana- , selected De Langlade to recruit a powerful force from the ten Indian nations, Ottawa's (to whom he was personally related) , Chippewa's, Menominee's, Huron's, Winnebagoes and others. 1 The force of Indians was merged with a body of French frontier The fearless young warrior of just thirty years proceeded at once to Fort Du Quesne 2 where a defense against the British was planned. General Braddock, vainly attempting to take Fort Du Quesne with his picked soldiery, was decisively defeated. The victory of the French and Indians was due to the persistent appeals of De Langlade to induce De Beaujeu, French commandant, to commence the attack. Beaujeu, after repeated requests refused to give the order to commence battle. De Langlade then called a council of the Indian chiefs and they demanded that Beaujeu give
the order to fight while the British were feasting or before they crossed the river (Ohio). The French commandant, disheartened and fearing that he faced defeat, yielded to De Langlade and gave orders to battle. Beaujeu, brave, but pessimistic, was killed in the affray. Braddock lost twenty-six officers and 714 of his men were killed or wounded. George Washington, young Colonial leader, saved the retreating troops by his masterly conduct. The force under Beaujeu and De Langlade lost but three officers and thirty men. Dumais, Commandant of Du Quesne, then ordered De Langlade to proceed with his force on August 9,1756 to strike at Ft. Cumberland and obtain information about the movements of the British in the Ohio river valley. In 1757 De Langlade participated in battles in Canada under the brave and beloved Montcalm. De Langlade aided in the capture of Ft. William Henry at the head of Lake George. September 8, 1757, Governor General Vaudreuil ordered De Langlade to start from Montreal for the post of Michilimackinac to serve as second in command under orders of M. De Beaujeu, post commandant. A year later he returned to Canada, fought at Ticonderoga with the French-Indian force against General Abercrombie, British leader, who suffered severe reverses in killed and wounded. After the battle at Ticonderoga, De Langlade went back to Ft. Du Quesne, then threatened by the enemy. The gallant George Washington drew near the fort. Rather than face disaster the defenders set fire to it. In November 1758 the Dragon of St. George took the place of the Lilies of France and floated over the Ohio river valley unmolested. De Langlade returned to the post at Green Bay.
Here De Langlade proved himself a faithful servant of France. He could see that the power of the French was slipping, but he rendered faithful and efficient services until the end. In the battle for possession of Quebec, when both Montcalm and Wolfe were mortally wounded, De Langlade fought furiously, coming out of the conflict wounded. Two of his brothers fell on the plains of Abraham. In 1760 he was commissioned a Lieutenant by the
King of France and received instructions to return the Indians under his command to their respective villages and he to locate at Mackinac. The French-Indian war ended with the tri-color of France hauled down and De Langlade was given an appointment as Superintendent of Indians at Green Bay. While he did not actively participate in the Revolutionary War. his moral assistance alone, was worth much to the English. However he received valuable grants of land and an annuity from the British for his services in the Revolution. He passed away in January, 1800, at the advanced age of 75 years and was laid to rest beside his father.


("From History of Langlade County Wisconsin")
By Robert M. Dessureau
Member of Wisconsin Archeological Society
Langlade County Historical Society
Copyright 1922