Excerpts from Scions of Cloquet by Jean-Michel Cloquet (1946, out of print)
“In 1820, when he was 17 years old, the Frenchman Pierre Cloquet boarded a packet ship in Le Havre and sailed across the Atlantic Ocean. He was trying to escape his father, like many of us try to do, perhaps all of us. He just wanted a little peace and quiet. By a certain measure, he found it in the territory eventually known as Minnesota. Pierre (or Grandpère Cloquet as my brother and I refer to him) became a legendary voyageur and fur trader 20 miles southwest of Duluth, trapping, hunting, and occasionally bear-wrestling. Over two decades of working for the American Fur Company, he built his own trading post where metal tools shipped in and beaver pelts shipped out. He gradually adopted native dress, and he married into a Black-Ojibwe family out of Michigan, sought-after guides and translators. And, right around the collapse of the beaver pelt industry in 1843, he inadvertently founded the town of Cloquet.