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Peter Navarre
Posted by: Deborah Brownfield - Stanley (ID *****1616) Date: June 11, 2003 at 22:20:02
  of 1621


No name is more prominent among the early settlers of the Maumee valley than is that of PETER NAVARRE. He was said to be a grandson of a French army officer, who visited this section in 1745. Peter was born at Detroit in 1785, where his father before him was born. In 1807, with his brother Robert, he erected a cabin near the mouth of the Maumee (east side), which continued to be his residence while he lived. Besides Canadian French he could speak the Pottawatomie Indian dialect,and partially those of other tribes. In woodcraft and Indian methods he was very skillful, while his bearing was ever that of "born gentleman." For several years he was employed by a Detroit house in buying furs of the Miamis near Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he made the acquaintance and friendship of chief Little Turtle. The war of 1812-15 closed the fur trade, when PETER and his three brothers--ROBERT, ALEXIS AND JAQU0T (JAMES)--tendered their services to General Hull. He also besought General Hull to accept the servicesof the Miamis, which were declined, and they afterwards took part with the British. Before seeing active service, the NAVARRES were included in the surrender of General Hull, and paroled, although they denied te right to treat him as a prisoner of war and at once took an active part for the United States; whereupon General Proctor, the British commander, offered a reward of $1000 for PETER'S head or scalp.

Until the close of the war he acted as scout for General Harrison. He used to say that the worst night he ever spent was as a bearer of a despatch from General Harrison, than at Fort Meigs, to Fort Stephenson (now Fremont). Amid a thundestorm of great fury and fall of water, he made the trip of over thirty miles through unbroken wilderness, and the morning following delivered to General Harrison a reply. Because his name was not on an enlistment roll, the law provided no pension for his geat service, but by special act of Congress his last days were made more comfortable by pecuniary relief. At the close of the war he returned to his home, near the mouth of the Maumee river, where he spent the balance of his life, dying in East Toledo, March 20, 1874, in his eighty-ninth year. For serveral years previous to his death he served as President of the Maumee Valley Pioneer Association.

Henry Howe's History of Ohio




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