Aco, Michel

Aco or Accault, Michel

(both: mēshĕl` äkō`), fl. 1680–1702, French explorer. He became La Salle's lieutenant, being favored by that explorer because of his courage, prudence, and wide acquaintance with Native American languages. When La SalleLa Salle, Robert Cavelier, sieur de
, 1643–87, French explorer in North America, one of the most celebrated explorers and builders of New France.

He entered a Jesuit novitiate as a boy but later left the religious life.
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 reached the mouth of the Illinois River on his famous voyage down the Mississippi, he sent Aco with two companions to explore the upper reaches of the Mississippi. One of the companions was Father Louis HennepinHennepin, Louis
, 1640–1701?, French cleric and explorer in North America. A Franciscan Recollect friar, Hennepin came to Canada in 1675, meeting on the journey La Salle, who made him chaplain of his proposed Western expedition in 1678.
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, who in his Nouvelle Decouverte made himself the hero of the expedition. Near the Falls of St. Anthony, which they were the first Europeans to see, the three were captured by members of the SiouxSioux
or Dakota,
confederation of Native North American tribes, the dominant group of the Hokan-Siouan linguistic stock, which is divided into several separate branches (see Native American languages).
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 tribe and were released only through the energy and influence of Daniel Greysolon DuluthDuluth or Du Lhut, Daniel Greysolon, sieur
, 1636–1710, French explorer in Canada. He went to Canada with his younger brother c.1672.
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. Little is known of Aco's subsequent life except that he was a trader on the Illinois for many years and that in 1693 he married the daughter of a Kaskaskia chief. His name also appears as Ako.
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