This is one panel from a set of four bas-relief panels. It illustrates incidents in the life and death of Father Jacques Marquette, over the doors of the main entrance of the Marquette Building and the northwest corner of Adams and Dearborn Streets.
The bas-relief depicts Father Jacques Marquette (seated in canoe), the French Jesuit priest and explorer, arriving in Chicago on December 4, 1674. He was a French Jesuit missionary who founded Michigan's first European settlement, Sault Ste. Marie, and later founded St. Ignace, Michigan. In 1673 Father Marquette and Louis Joliet were the first Europeans to explore and map the northern portion of the Mississippi River.
The panel commemorates the early exploration of Chicago by Europeans and depicts the arrival of Father Jacques Marquette (seated in canoe), a French Jesuit priest and explorer, in Chicago on December 4, 1674. The previous year, he Marquette had passed through Chicago with Louis Joliet, a fur trader, on their return from the lower Mississippi River. During this trip, Marquette was forced to remain several months in temporary shelter because of a harsh winter and poor health before traveling to Kaskaskia to preach to Illinois Indians. Father Marquette died of an intestinal infection on May 16, 1675, near the present site of Ludington, Michigan.