You are Urbain , a slave of Louis Turpin , captain of the militia. You have traveled many times down the river to New Orleans as an oarsman for the convoy. Turpin depends on you to trade goods with other slaves who trade fresh meats and vegetables at the markets in New Orleans. You must get supplies of food for the return voyage to Kaskaskia.
Each trip you view with fear. Will the convoy be attacked by the dangerous Fox and Sauk Indians? Will the convoy be caught in the terrible autumn storms on its return trip to Kaskaskia from New Orleans? Will you make it back by the first frost? It is such a hard life, with little reward.
Every time you leave Kaskaskia, you leave your wife Marianne , also a slave of Louis Turpin. You often wonder if you will see her again. You were not born in the Illinois country but in the French West Indies, and sold to Turpin when you were a young man.
In New Orleans you will see other African men and women and search for faces that seem familiar, wondering where they came from and if they speak your native language. You are certain that one day you will find another slave from the same sugar plantation where you were born. This person will surely have news of your family.What will the trip on the convoy be like?
© Illinois State Museum 31-Dec-96