Joseph Renville I (1754 - abt.1795)
He was the son of Jean Bte.Rainville & Marie-Francoise Haines/Hains, born in Quebec. Joseph married Miniyuhe, (the sister of Mdewakanton Chief Little Crow - Big Thunder), at Green Bay in 1775 [there was a Jean Bte.de Rainville (1722-1760), son of Rene de Rainville & Anne-Celeste Carpentier, who married Marie-Josephte Duteau at Sorel in 1754 - is this Jean also the father of Joseph ?]. Joseph & Miniyuhe had sons Victor (Ohiya) Renville & Joseph (Akipa) Renville (1779-1846).
Joseph was thought to have been educated in France and settled for a time at Green Bay, trading to the west. In 1779 he was near the mouth of the Minnesota River.
Joseph Renville II (abt.1779 - 1846)
He was born to Joseph & Miniyehe, at either the Kaposia village or below Mt. Trempeauleau. Joseph II married Marie (Tonkanne) Little Crow (daughter of the sister of Chief Little Crow) and their children were: Joseph III (abt.1807-1856) (m.1st. to Marie & m.2nd.to Tenosia Armatender/Ermatinger?), Antoine (abt.1810-1884) (m.1st.to Elizabeth & m.2nd.to Madeline), Angelique (b.abt.1813) (m. Hypolite Dupuis 1837/42), Agathe (b.abt.1815), Francois (b.abt.1815) (m. Marguerite Bellegarde), Madeline (b.abt.1823), Michel (1822-1899) (m. Margaret-a Wahpaton woman abt.1848), Rosalie (b.1823), Marguerite (b.abt.1825), Jean Bte. (abt.1831-1903) & Gabriel (adopted) (1818/25-1892).
He was educated in Canada, then sent for in 1795 to mourn the loss of his father. From 1795 he lived with the Gens du Large (Sioux of the Prairie). In 1805 he left Prairie du Chien with the Pike expedition up the Mississippi R. (as interpreter) to determine & purchase a site for a U.S. fort and to explore the Mississippi to its source. During the War of 1812 he served as an officer in the British Indian Dept. recruiting Native-Americans for the British cause and commanding Dakota warriors at the seige of Ft. Meige. After the war he traded for the Hudson Bay Co. at the headwaters of the Minnesota River (River St. Peters). After the union of the Hudson Bay Co. & the Northwest Fur Co. he help establish the Columbia Fur Co., in parnership with Dickson, Mackenzie, Laidlow, Lamont & Tilton, with its headquarters on Lake Traverse.
In July of 1823, Joseph joined the U.S. expedition (led by Mj.Stephen H.Long) as interpreter/guide, at Ft.Snelling. He is spoken of in William H.Keating's, "Narrative of an Expedition to the Source of St.Peter's River", "...Joseph Renville, a half-breed of the Dacota nation,...the very manner in which he performed these duties...requires that something should be stated of this man, whose influence among the Sioux appears to be very great...son of a French trader on the Mississippi,...mother being a Sioux resident at the village of the Petit Corbeaux, he was brought up amoung the Indians and deprived of all education excepting such as his powerful mind enabled him to acquire...We have met with few men that appeared to us to be gifted with a more inquiring and discerning mind or with more force and penetration..at the commencement of the late war, the British government determined to use the Indians as auxilliaries, Col.Dickson, to whom the chief direction of this force had been entrusted, sellected Renville as the man upon whom he could place most dependence: to him, therefore, was the command of the Sioux given, with the rank, pay and emoluments of a captain in the British army...to him the Americans, are, we doubt not, indebted for the comparatively few injuries done by the Sioux; he repressed their depredations and prevented them from sharing in those bloody and disgusting transactions which disgraced the conduct of the Chippewas, the Potawatomis, Miamis, Ottowas, ...".
By the time the American Fur Co. bought the CFCo. in 1827, Joseph had firmly establish himself at Lac Qui Parle, by building a stockade (Ft. Renville/Adams) and maintaining an army of warriors called Tokadantee or Prairie dogs.
Joseph N.Nicollet, explorer/scientist who addressed the U.S.Congress after his travels (1836) in the region, said of the Renville's, "...may stop a while to say, that the residence of the Renville family, for a number of years back, afforded the only retreat for travelers to be found between St.Peter (Minnesota River) and the British Posts, a distance of 700 miles. The liberal and untiring hospitality dispensed by this respectable family, the great influence exercised by it over the Indians of the country, in the maintenance of peace and the protection of travelers, should demand cesides special gratitude, some special acknowledgment of the U.S. and also from the Hudson Bay Company..."
Joseph died at Lac Qui Parle on 18 march, 1846 and was buried on a hilltop overlooking his stockade.
Victor (Ohiya) Renville: (? - 1833)
He was the the son of Joseph & Miniyehe, born at Kaposia. Victor was married to the grand daughter of Walking Buffalo (Red Wing) whose name was Winona Crawford (she was the daughter of fur trader). Their son was Gabriel (Tiwakan) (b.1825) (m. Mary Brown).
Victor was killed by the Ojibwe, near Little Falls, while leading a Dakota war party against the Ojibway in 1833. In August of 1836, Joseph N.Nicollet (from his Journal) arrived at a 8-10' cliff (1/4mi., below the rapids of Little Falls) on the Mississippi with hieroglyphics which an Ojibwe (Chagobay), who was traveling with them, interpreted them "...markings refer to is that of the death of Rainville...so and so on his way back from St.Peter found abandoned on the shore of the river the body of a Sioux he recognized as Rainville's; that he took its hair and drew these signs on the rock to tell the Sioux he only took it on the third day and also to tell them what cowards they must be for not having rescued the body of their chief for so long a time...they held dances for several days at Leech Lake when the head of hair was brought there...". Nicolet also relays "...the brother of [Joseph] Renneville, the trader of Lac qui Parle, a Sioux half-breed, was killed by a Chippewa ambushed in the brush overlooking the river..."
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