Gibault, Pierre (pyĕr zhēbōˈ) [key], 1737–1804, Roman Catholic missionary priest in America, patriot in the American Revolution, b. Montreal. He was sent (1768) to the Illinois country. When Kaskaskia (in his parish) was captured by George Rogers Clark in 1778, the priest and the frontier soldier became friends, and Father Gibault swore allegiance to the commonwealth of Virginia. He was of tremendous assistance to Clark in winning the people of Vincennes to the patriot cause and in raising a force for the recapture of Vincennes in 1779. Gibault later resided in Vincennes (1785–89) and Cahokia (1789–90), then, after the government had refused to grant land for a seminary, moved to New Madrid (now in Missouri) in Spanish territory.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches: General Biographies