SUMMER SPEAKERS’ SERIES June 25 and June 26
Historians Share Their Research on the La Verendrye and Father Aulneau Story
Tuesday, June 25 - Wednesday, June 26 | 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
As two unique components in the overall La Verendrye history, historians David Malaher and David Fuller, will describe the Roseau River route and the biographical details of Father Aulneau’s early life over two evenings. This is modern, original work. Malaher and Fuller are pleased to bring this new material to public attention for the first time at the Lake of the Woods Museum on June 25 and 26. Although they are speaking separately and on two different days, it is a joint, combined story.
A presentation of new La Verendrye information will include historical maps by La Verendrye and recent photographs of his route from Lake Winnipeg up the Red River past The Forks to the Roseau River near Letellier, and up the Roseau to Lake of the Woods, ending at Fort St. Charles on the NorthWest Angle Inlet.
In 2016 an exploration party of five historians traveled overland, parallel to the Roseau River, to examine its hydrological and geographical features which were encountered by La Verendyre’s fur trading and exploring company in the 1730-40 period.
The presentation will cover the Roseau River through the 200-year period from La Verendrye in the 1730s, to Lord Selkirk’s des Meuron army in 1817, and farming settlers in the early 1900s, plus an update on the current condition of the Roseau River valley in Manitoba and Minnesota.
This presentation will offer insight into the Jesuit priest Jean-Pierre Aulneau and his homeland in western France. Aulneau’s name is recognized by, among other things, its connection to the peninsula in Lake of the Woods and the story of his death with 20 other Frenchmen on a small island relatively close to Fort St. Charles. Not much is known, however, about the life he led in his homeland before travelling on his fateful mission to North America.
Some interesting details of his early life and accompanying photographs taken on a recent trip to France offer a revealing portrait of this interesting individual. Images of his hometown, church and various locations where he lived and studied will supplement the presentation. A highlight of the trip was a visit to a direct descendent who supervises the private archives and letters of Aulneau. Images of the April 30, 1736 letter, the only existing letter written from Fort St. Charles, will be shared and discussed. Questions and comments will, of course, be encouraged and welcomed.
David Malaher has a summer home on Lake of the Woods. He is a retired engineer, former Chair of the Board of Governors of the University of Manitoba and member of the Centre for Rupert’s Land Studies. He pursues an interest in the history of international boundaries, particularly the boundary for Canada and the United States. Local travel on Lake of the Woods and the Roseau River in Manitoba and Minnesota during the 1730s by La Verendrye and other French explorers are current topics in David’s research.
David Fuller is President Emeritus and retired professor of English from Minot State University. Earning a doctorate from the University of Iowa, he taught literature for many years. He was also active in the scholarship of the American writer Henry David Thoreau. He and his wife spend half of the year on a small island a few miles from the site of Fort St. Charles on Lake of the Woods. He continues his research into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of the 21 Frenchmen in June 1736.