Died about in Wisconsin, United States [uncertain]
Profile last modified 21 Feb 2020
| Created 28 Sep 2019
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Said to be 16 years old in 1839, making her date of birth 1823. (Waggoner, 44b)
In 1832, the Manaigres were living at Fort Winnebago, and Jane was being schooled briefly by Juliette Kinzie, wife of the Indian sub-agent, and famous author of Wau Bun. However, this experiment in schooling the local kids fell through, and she and her sister Jane were sent back to Green Bay for their education. (Kinzie, 274-275)
Her early life was spent on the frontier, first in Green Bay, then for a time at Ft. Winnebago at the Portage in Wisconsin. It appears that she spoke only French, but an attempt was made by Mrs. Juliette Kinzie to set up an informal school at the fort which she attended, as it says in her book:
A very short time after we were settled in our new
home at the Agency, we attempted the commencement
of a little Sunday School. Edwin, Harry and Josette,
were our most reliable scholars, but besides them, there
were the two little Manaigres, Therese Paquette, and her
mother's half sister, Florence Courville, a pretty young
girl of fifteen. None of these girls had even learned their
letters. They spoke only French, or rather, the Canadian
patois and it was exceedingly difficult to give them
at once the sound of the words, and their signification,
which they were careful to inquire. Besides this, there
was the task of correcting the false ideas, and remedying
the ignorance and superstition which presented so formid-
able an obstacle to rational improvement. We did our
best, however, and had the satisfaction of seeing them,
after a time, making really respectable progress with their
spelling-book, and what was still more encouraging,
acquiring a degree of light and knowledge in regard
to better things. ... After a time Manaigre was induced to
send his children to Mr. Cadle's mission-school at Green Bay.
As to her experiences in Mr. Cadle's school or how long she continued on there, it's clear from Rueben Gold Thwaites' observations, that it may not have been pleasant:
"The Indians were either indifferent to the scheme or bitterly
opposed to it, objecting to rigid discipline being applied to their
children. The French also disliked the enterprise, both because it was
a Protestant mission and because it did not accord with their notions
of the fitness of things." (Kinzie, 398 nt. 20)
In 1839, when depositions were taken with respect to the settlement of the 1837 treaty with the Winnebago, the Manaigre family was living in Green Bay again. (Waggoner, 44-45) By 1839, Josette had married John Baptiste Benway. (Waggoner, 45a) In 1850, she and her family were living at Ft. Winnebago, in Columbia County, Wisconsin. (1850 Census)
Linda M. Waggoner (ed.), “Neither White Men Nor Indians: Affidavits from the Winnebago Mixed-blood Claim Commissions, Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin, 1838-1839” (Roseville, Minnesota: Park Genealogical Books, 2002). Extracted from Territorial Papers of the United States, Wisconsin, 1836-1848. M236. “Special Files of the Office of Indian Affairs,” 1836- 46. “Special File 161” (Roll 41). “Special File 190” (Roll 42). National Archives, Washington D.C., Documents on Microfilm, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (Record Group 75).
Juliette Augusta McGill Kinzie, Wau-Bun, The "Early Day" in the North-west (Chicago & New York: Rand, McNally & Company, 1873 ).
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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Josette by comparing test results with other carriers of her ancestors' mitochondrial DNA.
However, there are no known mtDNA test-takers in her direct maternal line.
It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Josette: