Hi! Welcome to our wiki about Jean Nicolet. Jean Nicolet was a french explorer. He was the first Europeans to discover Lake Michigan and what is now called Wisconsin.

Nicolet was born in Cherbuorg-Octeville, France, in 1598. Jean Nicolet's dad, Thomas Nicollet, was a dispatch carrier (messenger). They were members of the Roman Catholic Church. When Nicolet was 20 years old he went to New France (now called Canada) to see his good friend Samuel De Champlain. He lived with a friendly Indian tribe, learned their language, and helped with negotiations with the Iroquois. In 1620, he went to Quebec and was sent to live with the Nipissing tribe and in 1624 he became their interpreter. In early 1634, Nicolet joined a group that was traveling west. He took a canoe and journeyed from Lake Huron to the Strait of Mackinac and discovered Lake Michigan. The lake was not the Pacific Ocean he thought but he sailed on to Green Bay instead. He explored what is now known as Wisconsin for a little while and then returned to Quebec. He went back to being an interpreter and treated well by the local Indian tribes and French explorers.

On November 1, 1642, Nicolet drowend when his boat capsized during a storm on the St. Lawrence River. The city of Nicolet, Quebec was named after Jean Nicolet.

external image Nicolletmap.GIF

external image 800px-Jean_Nicolet.jpg

1910 painting of Nicolet's arrival in Wisconsin

Nicolet Timeline

1598 - Nicolet born
1618 - Nicolet went to New France/Canada
1620 - Nicolet went to Quebec to live with Indian tribe
1624 - Nicolet became an interpreter
1634 - Nicolet discovered Lake Michigan and Wisconsin
1642 - Nicolet died


Encyclopedia Britannica