SOME DECENDANTS [DESCENDANTS] OF JEAN BAPTISTE IMBEAU
Jean Baptiste Imbeau, Sr. born ca. 1735, was in the Little Rock area
by 1769 (1). Josiah Shinn's book, published in 1908, Pioneers and
Makers of Arkansas lists Jean Baptiste there in 1763, and the same
year Joseph Bartholomew locating about 40 miles above the Post.
He later moved to the Little Rock area next to Imbeau. Imbeau held a
Spanish Land Grant below the Arkansas Post at the site of the old
Spanish garrison, but he always lived in the Little Rock area (2).
He first lived on the south side of the river, 3/4 mile from the
"Point of Rocks" in Quapaw territory. He sold his land in 1816 to
William Russell, a land speculator from St. Louis, who was in the
area buying as much land or pre-emption rights as possible.
Several manuscripts and newspaper articles describe Jean Baptiste
as part Indian and from a large family. The large family has not
been found. The Indian myth was dispelled by Dorothy Core's article
GPHS Bulletin, October 1984 (4). He had married Catherine Martin from
New Orleans in 1758, and those children who are documented in the
Catholic Register were of this union. Catherine had deceased
sometime before 1793 when son Joseph and Marie Bolton's marriage
took place (5). Perhaps Jean Baptiste had married by Quapaw ceremony
an Indian after her death. (No record has been found, or likely to be
found). Perhaps he was thus described because of his living on
Quapaw territory in a French-Quapaw settlement which was "illegal"
for "whites" after the Louisanna [Louisiana] Purchase. Perhaps he had adopted
the Quapaw way of life. For whatever reasons, two of his sons, Jean
Baptiste II and Frances received land in the Quapaw Treaty of 1824
as "Indian by decent" [descent?]. This was the way of the United States government
dealing with individual land within the Quapaw territory.