LA DEMOISELLE Biography - Royalty, Rulers & leaders


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Name: Memeskia                                                                           
Born: 1695                                                                               
Died: 21 June 1752                                                                       
Memeskia (c. 1695 - June 21, 1752), known by the British as "Old Briton" and by           
the French as "La Demoiselle", was an eighteenth century Piankashaw chieftain             
who fought against the French in 1747.                                                   
A prominent member of the Piankashaw tribe, Memeskia was one of the earliest             
opponents of the increasing French presence in North America regarding their             
dominance and monopoly over the fur trade in the western Great Lakes region. In           
1747, Old Briton (as he was now known), led a rebellion with a confederation of           
local tribes, against local French settlements successfully attacking Fort Miami         
at Long Portage/Kekionga. With British settlers from Pennsylvania, Old Briton             
later opened a trading post at his village of Pickawillany in the Ohio Country (later     
Piqua, Ohio) in 1750, trading with the British in defiance of French claims to           
the region.                                                                               
However rival tribes, under Metis chieftain Charles Langlade, attacked                   
Pickawillany in June 1752 and, with a force consisting of around 240 Ottawa and           
Ojibwa, eventually captured Memeskia and ritually cannibalized him. Langlade's           
raid on Pickawillany, which drove British traders out of the Ohio Country, was           
one of the events leading up to the French and Indian War.