Who was Marie Rouensa?

Marie Marie Rouensa, daughter of Rouensa, chief of the Kaskaskia, was an important, even famous woman in the village of Kaskaskia. She was converted to Christianity as a young woman. Her faith nearly prevented her first marriage to Michel Accault. As Father Jacques Gravier related in his mission journal of February 15, 1694:
"Many struggles were needed before she could be induced to consent to the marriage, for she had resolved never to marry, in order that she might belong wholly to Jesus Christ. She answered her father and mother, when they brought her to me in company with the Frenchman whom they wished to have for a son-in-law, that she did not wish to marry; that she had already given all her heart to God, and did not wish to share it. Such were her very words, which had never yet been heard in this barbarism."
As quoted by Natalia Belting, Kaskaskia Under the French Regime, New Orleans: Polyanthos, 1975:14.
Chief Rouensa threw Marie out of his home in a terrible rage for he had offered his daughter to Accault to forge an alliance between his tribe and the French. Marie agreed to marry Accault as a sign of her love for God. Michel Accault and Marie had two sons, Pierre and Michel. The fate of Accault is unknown; but in 1703, Marie married Michel Philippe with whom she had six more children. In 1725, Marie's eight children ranged in age from 4 years old to 28 years old.


Illinois State Museum 31-Dec-96