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Jean Marie Cardinell Chapter NSDAR

Des Moines, Iowa

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Jean Marie Cardinell Chapter History

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The Jean Marie Cardinell Chapter was organized November 4, 1941, under Mrs. Hazel Wheeler Whitmore, regent. There was a need at that time for a chapter that met to accommodate the working woman, so two meetings were held in the evening and two on Saturday. Today, Saturday is the regular meeting day.

The name of the chapter was chosen to honor Jean Marie Cardinell, an Indian trader on the upper Mississippi River. He is believed to be the first white man to permanently reside on Iowa land by 1754. Jean Marie was a hunter, trapper, trader, and miner of the lead mines of Spain on the West Bank of the Mississippi River (now Dubuque County, Iowa). To fulfill his religious duties, he brought his Indian wife to the newly erected church in St. Louis to have his marriage blessed and to have his children baptized.

He escaped the British attack at the Fox Village on Catfish Creek on May 2, 1780, raced down the river to St. Louis in time to give warning, and joined the forces of liberty that defeated the British and Indian attack on May 26, 1780. He died from wounds suffered in that attack. Jean Marie Cardinell is the only known Iowa resident to give his life to the cause of American independence, and there is a memorial window to Jean Marie at St. Ambrose Cathedral in Des Moines, Iowa.

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Last Updated: 7 October 2021
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