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Pierre Navarre

Updated on December 1, 2016

Pierre Navarre born in Detroit, Michigan, March 28, 1790, was an American fur trader and scout in the War of 1812

When Navarre was a child his family moved to the River Raisin country, and about the year 1807 he and his elder brother Robert built' the cabin near the mouth of the Maumee (not far from the site of the future city of Toledo, Ohio) which was his home in his declining years. A frontiersman by family tradition and skilled in Indian' ways, Pierre became a fur trader while still a boy. He is said to have struck up his friendship with Chief Little Turtle when trading with the Miamis at Fort Wayne.

The War of 1812 disrupted the fur trade, and Pierre with three of his brothers joined the army of General William Hull. They were among the American forces which surrendered to the British general Sir Isaac Brock at Detroit. Paroled, the Navarre brothers proceeded to the River Raisin where they served as scouts for General James Winchester. Pierre escaped the massacre of January 1813, and became a scout for General William Henry Harrison's army.

His adventures in the Northwest border conflicts became legendary. He participated in the battle of the Thames and asserted that he had personally witnessed the death of Tecumseh and was one of the soldiers detailed to bury the great chief of the Shawnees who held a British commission as brigadier general. After the war he returned to the fur trade, finding employment as a trader in the Kankakee Outfit of the American Fur Company and later with another branch of the same company near Terre Haute, Ind. In his old age he retired to his farm.

A special bill in Congress granting him a pension of eight dollars pet month was reported adversely in the Senate committee in 1864, but the pension was later granted and helped to swell his scanty income. He was held in high esteem in Toledo as one of the oldest settlers and a veteran of the War of 1812, and served for some time as president of the Maumee Valley Pioneer Association. He was twice married and had several children. Two of his sons served in the Civil War.

Pierre Navarre died near Toledo, Ohio, in March 20, 1874.

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