Sheldon Aubut's Duluth History
The Naming of Lake Superior
From the Duluth Minnesotian, 1869
The naming of Lake Superior has an interesting story. The Franciscans first named it "The Upper Lake" (Superior) or "Lake Conde'" after a bureaucrat in the court of King Louis XIV. The Jesuits, who traveled and explored the region, named it "The Upper Lake" or "Lake D'Tracy" after the Marquis de Alexandre de Prouville Tracy. He was a very famous General in the Thirty Years War who was responsible for the French victories over the Spanish and the Swedes and the settlement of the Peace of Westphalia. He later became the commander of the French forces in New France after 1871. The lake was sometimes also referred to as "Grand Lac", "Gitchee Gumee" (Big Water) or sometimes "Lake Algoma." The French politicians, fearing the wrath of the Franciscans and the Jesuits, and because D'Tracy was a Huguenot (Protestant), compromised and just called it the "Upper Lake" (Lake Superior).
From the files of Ray Marshall -- email@example.com
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January 15, 2011
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