February '24 Trivia Time!
Let's talk about the French in the Ohio River Valley
Hello, beautiful people. It’s trivia time again!
Those who read my last newsletter reviewing David McCullough’s book about settling the Ohio Territory will remember that the first white settlement on the Ohio River was named Marietta. In a prior quiz, we revealed that Marietta was named for Queen Marie Antoinette, whom Revolutionary veterans thought had done more than anyone else (even Ben Franklin) to convince King Louis XVI to support their effort. So let’s explore more of the French influence in the Ohio River Valley this month, shall we?
What’s the name of the county where Marietta, Ohio, is the county seat:1
The French named the state of Illinois after:2
An Indian name for warriors plus the French adjective ending “ois”
An Indian name for the Devil’s Kitchen Lake
It’s a combination of ILLegitimate and the French adjective ending “ois.” Together, referring to an illegitimate claim on the area by Spain
Terre Haute, Indiana, got its name from the French phrase terre haute meaning “high land.” French-Canadian explorers and fur trappers named it in the early 18th century to describe the unique location above the Wabash River. At the time of its founding, the area was claimed by both the French and British, making it the border between:3
Canada and Louisiana
Illinois and Indiana
France and Spain
Napoleon Bonaparte sold the Louisiana Territory to fund:4
A wedding dowry for his step-daughter Hortense Eugénie Cécile Bonaparte so she could become Queen of Holland by marrying Napoléon’s brother, Louis Bonaparte
A war with the British
In the 1740s, French officials in Canada were concerned over British encroachment into the Ohio Country, which they claimed to be part of New France. They built a series of forts in the 1750s to create a permanent French presence. Their fort, built in what’s now Pittsburgh, was named for the governor general of Canada. What was the name of that fort?5
Name the French marquis who fought in the Continental Army against the British in the Revolutionary War. If you’ve seen the musical Hamilton, you already have the answer. The same man became the first foreign citizen to address the U.S. House of Representatives on December 10, 1824. Citizens named dozens of cities across the country in his honor.6
Which American helped Lafayette write the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen for the French? It inspired the French Revolution.7
The French were famous for building their North American empire on the fur trade. Traders bartered marten, fox, otter, and mink, but beaver became the main staple of the fur trade. The silk hat replaced the beaver hat after a certain member of the British royal family began wearing one in the mid-1800s. Name this man.8
Which city is home to the first Catholic university in the Northwest Territory? Hint: Founders named it for the “first and greatest Jesuit missionary.”9
Louisville, Kentucky took its name from King Louis XVI of France in appreciation for his help during the Revolutionary War. The city was founded by the brother of either Meriweather Lewis or William Clark, leaders of the Lewis & Clark Expedition of 1804–1806. Was the founder of Louisville a Lewis or a Clark10
Last year I wrote about Tecumseh and the outdoor drama that tells his story in Chillicothe, Ohio. Here’s a podcast about the Ohio-born Shawnee chief from “Ohio Mysteries,” written and narrated by Paula Schleis. Enjoy!
You might enjoy this article I wrote about the transformative power of travel.
Washington. The settlers loved Marie Antoinette, but couldn’t let the French monarchs have all the credit.
Canada and Louisiana. It’s complicated. Canada was owned by the British, and Indiana was then part of the French-owned Louisiana Territory Source.
Fort Duquesne was named for the new governor general of Canada, Ange Duquesne de Menneville, Marquis Duquesne. It was replaced by the British Fort Pitt. Source.
It’s a mouthful. If you said Lafayette you get credit, but you could have said Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roch-Gilbert du Motier, or simply, marquis de La Fayette. Source. Fun fact: Lafayette is credited with designing the French tricolor flag, inspired by the American red, white, and blue.
Thomas Jefferson. Source. It was one of the basic charters of human liberties, containing the principles that inspired the French Revolution.
Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the husband of Queen Victoria.
In Cincinnati. It is Xavier University.