Jean Baptiste Bottineau (Boutineau), a French-Chippewa, mixed blood, successful fur-trader, surveyor, real estate broker, lawyer, justice of the peace. United States and State timber agent, sutler in the U. S. military service, and counsel and representative at Washington, D. C, of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewas, was born in the Territory of Dakota on the 3rd day of May, 1837-38, and after a long illness died on December 1st, 1911, at his home, 212 A Street, N. E., Washington, D C.
He was the son of M. Pierre Bottineau, the noted guide and civil and military scout, of the
Northwest, and Genevieve Larance. On the 17th day of November, 1862, Mr Bottineau married Miss Marie Renville, the daughter of Mr Francois Renville and Mrs Margueritte Dumas Renville. The children of this union were three daughters, Marie Louise, Lillian Ann, and Alvina Clementa, the last of whom died in infancy.
Mr Bottineau was a man of great force of character, of superior intellectual ability and of a broad humanitarian spirit. He was generous to a fault, and delighted in aiding the oppressed and afflicted; he was a successful business man and in the fur trade and the real estate business he accumulated two good fortunes, which he later lost through his devotion to the interests of his tribe. The events at the close of the civil war also contributed to the loss of his funds, for he had with his uncle Mr Charles Bottineau invested all his money in the fur business. Together they lost about $80,000.
His early life as a citizen was spent at St. Anthony's Falls, now Minneapolis, where he studied and practiced law, and held the office of justice of the peace for a number of years.
About twenty years ago he took up his residence in Washington, D. C, for the purpose of representing his tribe, the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa of North Dakota, and to prosecute the claim of this tribe against the government. He spent many thousands of dollars out of his own pocket in the prosecution of these claims, for which he was never renumerated.
He was a strong and consistent advocate of a liberal education for the Indian of today, — industrial, technical, professional, and moral. He strongly approved and supported the policy of the U. S. Indian Office in maintaining such schools for the education of the Indian as that at Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He was in earlier years a great reader, and had dipped into books on liberal thought and on mysticism. He died in the faith of the Roman Catholic Church.
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