The significance of the French influence on Indiana is that Sieur de Vincennes was commissioned to build a trading post on the Wabash River. About 1730 he found a perfect place where many Indians crossed the river, the old buffalo trace. This area became increasingly important to New France in keeping their connection to Louisiana open and keeping the British and their Indian allies out.
The Piankeshaw Indians also followed Sieur de Vincennes down the Wabash River and lived next to his trading post. The fort that surrounded his house and barracks was completed in 1732. His first daughter was also born that year making them the first family of this post. Sieur de Vincennes is also responsible for the first European settlers coming here to settle. The first Catholic parish in 1734.
The Fort he built was the beginning of the city that would be named in his honor. The city of Vincennes, would become the site of Fort Sackville where Hamilton surrendered and where the George Rogers Clark Memorial is today.
A local group is raising funds to erect a statue in honor of Sieur de Vincennes. Postcards like the photo above and prints of the early Wabash River are being sold at the Visitors Bureau and other locations. Individuals wishing to make a donation should be made payable to the VHAS-Statue and mailed to the Vincennes Historical and Antiquarian Society, P.O. Box 487, Vincennes.