Cerré, Jean Gabriel (zhäN gäbrēĕlˈ sĕrāˈ) [key], 1734–1805, frontiersman and trader in the American Midwest, b. Montreal, Canada. By 1755 he had established a fur-trading post at Kaskaskia, Ill., where for many years he was a prominent and powerful figure. He outfitted many traders and hunters for the Missouri region and maintained close relations with the Native Americans. The British made efforts to gain his support in the American Revolution, but he allied himself with the patriots and gave George Rogers Clark provisions and financial aid. Later he moved to St. Louis, where his influence was maintained until his death.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.