Friday, March 1, 2013

General Clark And The Sanscraintes

What did Eugenia J. "Jackie" Soncrant have to do with George Rogers Clark and the Sanscraintes mentioned in Henry Hamilton's Journal?  Jackie, of Oscoda, who passed away October 10, 2012 (age 84), was the person who first schooled me on the saga of George Rogers Clark and his quest to wrest the west from British control.   The story she told me was fascinating.  It is summed up here in Hamilton's Journal:

When the prisoners were brought in, Bosseron the Villain...levelld his piece at Serjeant Sanscrainte, whose father (who had come with Clarke from the Illinois) at that instant stepping up raised the muzzle and obtained his son's life by applying to Col. Clarke 

The senior Sanscrainte (Jackie knew this story because her husband was a descendant of these Sanscraintes) was with the Americans and G.R. Clark; his (Sanscrainte's) son was with the British and saved his son's life.  Talk about being in the right place at the right time!

Other entries from Hamilton's Journal that mention the Soncrainte's:

23. Lieutt. F. de Quindre, Mr: McBeth the Surgeon, and Serjt. Sanscrainte joind from Detroit --”We lay this night en bas des prairies--”

February 1st. The two Ottawa Chiefs Egushewai & Chamintawa with the Peoria chief came with 10 Warriors, designing to go to the falls of Ohio, & begged to have Serjeants Robert and Sanscrainte of Captain La Mothe's Company to go with them  Note: Jean Baptiste Romain dit Sanscrainte was probably the younger man of that name. J. Robert was listed as belonging to La Mothe's Volunteers. James, Clark Papers, I, 111. 

Jackie Soncrant was the best genealogy buddy one could have.  The drive from Oscoda to the Family History Center in West Branch started with a stop at the Mickey D's in Tawas for breakfast and then  it was an hour (plus) drive filled with anticipation, theories, new found knowledge, helpful hints, triumphs and disappointments.  I moved from Oscoda several years ago and lost contact with Jackie, but am grateful to this day for the time spent with her.

Note: Lochry's Defeat, which involved one of my ancestor's, threw a wrench into General George Rogers Clark's plans for Detroit and the "west."  Both of our families were affected by Clark's decisions.

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