Jean Baptiste Ducoigne:
Of Du Quoins real origin, little is known for a certainty. However, the truth would seem to be that the original settlement at what is now known as "Old DuQuoin", some five miles to the southeast of the present city, originated at or near the crossing of the Little Muddy River, by the Shawneetown-Kaskaskia Road. As this road was laid out about 1816, following the old Indian trail, this is as good an approximate date as can be set.
The name, a corrupt spelling, is that of Jean Baptiste Ducoigne, historic chief of the Kaskaskia Indians, who aided George Rogers CLARK after the capture of Kaskaskia in the Revolutionary Army, for a time under LaFAYETTE in Virginia.
He knew many of the notables of the period, including George WASHINGTON, Thomas JEFFERSON, William Henry HARRISON and Arthur St. CLAIR, as well as all the notable figures of Illinois of the period from around Revolutionary War days, until his death in the year 1811.
He was certainly not a full blooded Indian, and there is more than a little reason to believe that he may have had more French than Indian blood.
As he died in the year 1811, there is a chance that the earliest settlers in the old town that took his name, never knew him at all, but the chief whom they knew was Louis Jefferson DUCOIGNE, his son and successor.
In 1778, LaFAYETTE gave Chief Jean BAPTISTE a sort of letter of recommendation and of praise for bravery while in his service.
In 1825, when LaFAYETTE visited the country, and came to Kaskaskia, he made inquiry for DUCOIGNE. The chief had died, but a daughter was living not so very far from Kaskaskia. She came to see LaFAYETTE and to identify herself, produced the letter that LaFAYETTE had written in 1778, and which she informed him had been worn by her father in a buckskin bag, suspended from his neck.
Jean Baptiste DUCOIGNE had two sons, Louis and John, who lived through this section of the country for some time after the death of their father. But there seems to be no information as to what finally became of the family.
The reasons for giving the name to the settlement are not clear, the most plausible being that the Kaskaskias had a winter camp near the place where the early whites settled. Because of..........[the rest is missing].....
In the History of Randolph, Monroe and Perry Counties, page 308...notation is given on Louis Duquoin, as follows:
" In a stone house east of the old convent site an Indian chief, Louis Duquoin, lived for many years. On his death, he was buried in the Catholic Cemetery.
This Catholic Cemetery in mention, was located on Kaskaskia grounds. The Convent was abandoned after the flood of 1844.
This "stone house" (photo on website) east of the old Convent site in Old Kaskaskia was built by the government for use of Jean Baptiste Ducoigne, Chief of the Kaskaskias. It was afterward occupied by his son, Louis Jefferson Ducoigne, who was known to the earliest settlers in "Old Du Quoin". It was for this Chief that Du Quoin was named...."
Created by: Bev
Record added: Sep 18, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 76703193
Added: Aug. 20, 2012