An influential figure in the development of French-Canadian towns near Bourbonnais was Charles Télesphore Chiniquy. Born in Quebec in 1809, Chiniquy courted controversy as a Roman Catholic priest by delivering sermons in French and preaching temperance. In 1851, he transferred to the Diocese of Chicago to form a new parish for the growing numbers of French Canadians in Illinois. By 1853, 920 families had followed him to the new town of St. Anne. This exhibit traces the emigration of French Canadian populations to the Midwest. It looks at the influence French Canadians like Father Chiniquy had over time and how French Canadian settlements took root and flourished in the Midwest throughout the Nineteenth century.
The gallery exhibition was on view at the Newberry from January 11 to March 12, 2011.