There is trinity of J's juxtaposed in this monument to the French explorer, the Rene-Robert Cavalier, Sieur de La Salle -- jabot, Joseph. Jesuit. First, around LaSalle's neck is a jabot, a piece of lace or cloth, very popular in the 17th and 18th centuries. Second is Joseph, as in St. Joseph, the patron saint of New France and the name of the town where this bronze plaque is joined to a glacial boulder found in the river of the same name. And last is Jesuit. For LaSalle had left the Jesuit order to travel to New France, marry, and become famous as an explorer. About that jabot -- did he wear it as he sailed through the St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes and down the St. Joseph River.
This monument is on the shores of Lake Michigan, just a couple blocks south of the St. Joseph River which divides the two towns of St. Joseph and Benton Harbor in the southwest corner of Michigan. The river also flows through Three Rivers in the county of St. Joseph where there is a monument to a Jesuit Mission in the 17th century. LaSalle continued down the St. Joseph River to what is now South Bend, Indiana, on his way to the Kankakee River and the Mississippi.
Find more jovial, jaundiced and/or juicy explorations of J at ABC Wednesday.