Clement Cardinal and Marguerita Perreault

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Clement Cardinal was born in the village of St. Ours, Quebec Canada. His birth certificate shows April 30; his grave marker shows March 31 as the date of his birth. He is the son of Pierre Leroux (Cardinal) and Marie Ann Dupre's (Pichet). Clement dropped Leroux when he immigrated to the US in 1850. He left St. Ours when he was 13 to join his brother, Pierre, who was 10 years older and had preceded him 4 years earlier at Lake Como, Ramsey County, MN. The 1850 Minnesota Territorial Census mentions Clement Cardinal's name, but gives no other information.
Clement soon thereafter moved to the present site of Henderson, MN in Sibley County and assisted in making the first clearing with Major Joseph R. Brown. On August 23, 1852, Major Brown, a prominent figure in Minnesota history (famed as a soldier, fur trader, lumberman, townsite promoter, Indian agent, politician, editor and inventor) came to the present site of Henderson with two or three other men (one who is thought to be Clement Cardinal) for the purpose of founding the town. This town was to be the halfway mark on a road which he had the contract to build between St. Paul and Fort Ridgeley. They built two or three cabins that fall and within the next few years, Henderson grew rapidly.
Clement then moved to Traverse des Sioux, just north of St. Peter in Nicollet Co. He was employed in the fur trade with the Indians, staying for five years, the last three being in business by himself. He was then employed by a fur company located in Renville County, but after two more years he quit to start farming.
Clement probably met Marguerita Perreault, born in 1840 or 41, daughter of Pierre and Elizabeth Perreault, while her family was living in Traverse des Sioux, in Nicollet County. At the time of the 1857 census, Marguerita's family was located in Township 111, Range 26 which is located in the northeast section of Nicollet County, near the river, north of the present site of St. Peter. One other note in the Minnesota 1857 census is that Peter Cardinelle, brother of Clement was in Centerville, MN settling there in section 21 in 1851 or 52. Peter Cardinelle was preceded in Centerville, Anoka Co. only by Frenchmen named Lamotte and Lavallee.
The 1858 Treaty of Traverse des Sioux was an important event in the lives of the Cardinals and Perraults. They were probably not only there for this occasion but it enabled them to move to and buy property formerly reserved for the Dakota Indians. In 1851, the Indians had ceded to the US their land in southern and western MN, part of Iowa and the Dakotas, amounting to 24,000,000 acres, so that this land could be legally opened to white settlement. The 1851 treaty left about 7,000 Indians on two reservations bordering the upper Minnesota River, but in 1858 at Traverse des Sioux the Indians agreed to give up the strip of land north of the river. Then those Indians who wanted to settle the land and farm would be able to do so. So another million acres came available to the settlers and it was shortly after that the Cardinals and Perreaults moved from Nicollet Co. to Renville Co. They moved just across the river from the Lower Sioux Agency which was an administrative center established by the federal government.
On February 23, 1858, Clement and Marguerita were married in Mankato, Blue Earth County, MN at St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church. According to the church records, both Marguerita and her husband Clement Cardinal, 20, were from Traverse des Sioux. Witnesses to the marriage were Marguerita's father, Pierre Perreault and a William Boyd of Nicollet County.
By the time of the 1860 census in June of that year, Clement and Marguerita had moved to Beaver Creek in Renville County where they claimed land there opposite the Lower Sioux Agency.
The Beaver Creek (Falls) area was very prosperous at this time. It was the county seat of Renville County from about 1860-1900. It had a hotel, flour mill, blacksmith shop, merchandise store, bank, school, saloon, implement and hardware store, lumber sawmill, lumberyard and brewery.
On May 26, 1862, Clement bought 80 acres of land from Francis LaBath of the Lower Sioux Agency for $100. The legal description is the south half of the northeast quarter of section 29 in township 113, north of range number 34 west. This is just northeast of the present site of Morton, MN. This land was within a half mile of the Indian battleground at Birch Coolee.
The Indians during this time were having problems of their own. They were not getting paid for the land the government had gotten from them. They were not able to hunt and fish throughout the land as they did previously and they were starving. The Indians did not adapt well to farming. Confined to the reservations along the Minnesota River, Chief Big Eagle later remarked that it seemed too sudden to make such a change. Unhappy with the whole situation, the Indians in August 1862 made an intense effort to drive the settlers off the land. On August 18, 1862, the Indians attacked the Lower Sioux Agency and it wasn't long before they crossed the river and preceded to loot, kill and burn buildings on the north side.
At the onset of the Sioux uprising of 1862 there were close to 20 families, mostly French Canadians and half bloods, living in the Birch-LaCroix area of Renville County, directly across the Minnesota River from the Lower Sioux Agency. In the 1860 census, Clement Cardinal was shown as having $300 worth of real estate and $175 worth of personal estate. The residents of this area were in the process of officially organizing Renville County and in the local elections of the summer of 1862; Clement Cardinal was elected an official, exactly what his office was to be is not known as everything was completely destroyed in the Sioux Uprising and the settlers left the area.
As the terror spread as a result of the Indian uprising, Marguerita's father, Pierre, was one of those killed and her brother in law, Eusebi Picard, was also killed. Her mother, brothers and sisters managed to escape and they made their way 13 miles down the river to Fort Ridgeley, a military post. Marguerita, however, was captured by the Indians, along with her young child, Clement Jr., and her niece, Elizabeth Picard. They were not killed because the Indian's had some superstition about red hair and the children were redheads. The captives were taken upstream to Camp Release near Montevido where they were kept in tents and where they nearly starved to death.
While being held captive, Marguerita was raped by an Indian named Tehe do ne cha (meaning "one who forbids his tent"). There were 269 captives being held mostly women and children. Their existence was miserable, with a minimum of food and clothing, until their release on September 26, 1862. Two days later, the Indian trials began and the Indian that raped Marguerita was the second to be tried. Marguerita charged Tehe do ne cha with raping her on the third day of her captivity. He confessed and was found guilty of ravishing women. He was one of the 39 Indians who were hung in Mankato, MN on December 26, 1862. Over 300 had been convicted, but after reviewing the matter, President Lincoln approved death sentences of only 39- those who had raped or been involved in the more serious crimes. Only two were convicted of raping.
Clement, in the meantime, had been wounded by the Indians, but dragged himself to a hiding place until they were gone. He escaped to Fort Ridgeley and was one of the men there who was given arms to protect the fort. His name appears on the monument at Fort Ridgeley. The names of Marguerita's mother, Elizabeth Perreault; her sister, Elizabeth Picard, and her brother Joseph Perreault are also engraved on the monument. It is likely that Clement was among those soldiers and volunteers under Colonel Sibley's command who were there to demand the release of captives on September 26, 1862.
In the late fall of 1862, Clement and his family, after spending about 10 years in the Minnesota River Valley, left to join his brother, Pierre (Peter) in Centerville, MN. Peter had married Sophia LaVallee, august 16, 1847, in St. Ours, Quebec. In 1863, Clement purchased his own farm, just south of Centerville, from Ira Bidwell. Clement Cardinal's great grandson, Andrew (and his sons) still farm a portion of that land at 6657 Centerville Road.
Centerville (named for its central location between the St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers), White Bear Lake and Little Canada were being settled by French Canadians who had left the valley. Farming became their main livelihood. Clement and Marguerita never left Centerville. On January 30, 1868, Clement sold his 80 acres in Renville County to Michael Brazel for $450.
We do not know if Clement and Marguerita had any children between 1859-1862. According to the article that appeared in the Anoka, Minnesota Herald on August 23, 1907 (following Clem's death) there were 11 children born to the marriage. Clem Jr. was an infant at the time of the Sioux Uprising in August 1862.
Marguerita's mother died October 14, 1872 due to consumption (Tuberculosis). Her sister, Elizabeth, remarried in 1863 and became Mrs. Joseph Reneau; her sister Genevieve was married in 1865 and became Mrs. Theaulon Luce. The following are the children we know of Marguerita Perrault and Clement Cardinal:
Clement Jr.: red hair, born 1862, married Delina Bibeau on 8-29-1881 in a double wedding with Auxilliane.
Auxilliane: born 5-10-1864, married her cousin, Eusibi Picard 8-29-1881 (son of Elizabeth Perrault). She died in 1940- St. Genevieve's Cemetery, Centerville.
Louis: red hair, born 8-12-1866. Married an Indian, lived in Two Harbors, MN.
Dolphis: born 8-9-1868, married his cousin, Isabelle Luce (Genevieve Perrault's daughter) on 2-16-1892. Witnesses to the wedding were Adolph Luce and Julius Cardinal (do not know the relationship of Julius). Stayed on farm- buried in St. Genevieve's, Centerville.
Ausona/Hosanna (male) born 7-30-1871 and was living in Two Harbors, MN in 1907. Came to St. Paul, buried in Centerville.
Julienne: born 11-29-1873, married Edward LeCuyer, they lived in Minneapolis.
Pierre/Peter: red hair, born 10-28-1876. Ran a beer tavern in St. Paul.
Louiseana/Alosia: born 7-20-1879. Married her cousin, Sylvan Cardinal, lived in St. Paul.
Marguerita: born 5-22-1881, married Joseph Nedeau, lived in Cass Lake, MN.
George: born 4-28-1883. died in 1885 at age 2 from Diptheria; buried with his parents in St. Genevieve's.
Joseph Cezaire: born 7-15-1887, died 1-15-1913 from Tuberculosis. Single, was a saloon keeper in Minneapolis.
Marguerita Perreault Cardinal died July 15, 1893 at 52 years of age. Marguerita and 12 year old Margaret and 6 year old Joseph were waiting on a horse drawn wagon for Clement to join them when the horse or horses got scared and Marguerita was thrown from the wagon and killed. Clement Cardinal died August 12, 1907 at 70 years of age from heart disease. They are both buried at St. Genevieve's Cemetery in Centerville, MN.

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