Father Jacques Marquette
Born in Laos, France. Marquette was a French Jesuit missionary. In 1666 he was sent to Quebec. In 1672 Louis Jolliet arrived with orders for Marquette to join him on an expedition to the upper Mississippi. They became the first white men to visit this area. At the time is was not known if the Mississippi flowed into the Pacific Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico. Their expedition left in May 1673. Marquette became ill with exhaustion and never fully recovered. He died near the present town of Ludington, Michigan.
Congress honored Marquette with a medal in commemoration of the 300th anniversary of his explorations. Date of the bill was November 4, 1967. The medal (Turner 24) was designed by Barney Brienza. Mintage was five in gold, 200 in silver and 4000 in bronze.
bio: DAB; Drake; NCAB 12; WAB; WWWA-HSource credit: Pete Smith, American Numismatic Biographies