Radisson, Pierre Esprit, c.1632-1710, French explorer and fur trader in North America. He arrived in Canada in 1651. His journals, first published as the Voyages of Peter Esprit Radisson (1885), are confusing documents, often leaving great doubt as to the location of places and the time of events. The first journal tells of his capture (1652-53) by the Iroquois. Another asserts that he made (1655-56) a trip to the West with his brother-in-law, Médard Chouart, sieur des Groseilliers, his companion on the later trips; it is probable, however, that only Groseilliers undertook the journey mentioned in this journal. On the second trip (1659-60) the two men entered Lake Superior and went as far west as the Sioux villages near Isanti Lake, the first white men to enter the region that is now Minnesota. They returned with an immense cargo of furs, which were confiscated at Montreal because they had traded without a license. This episode led Radisson and Groseilliers to transfer their allegiance to the English, and, backed by Prince Rupert, they set sail in 1668 for Hudson Bay. Radisson's ship was turned back but Groseillers's continued, and he established Fort Charles at the mouth of Rupert River in James Bay. He returned to England with furs, and in 1670 both men were back at Hudson Bay, Radisson establishing Port Nelson on the Nelson River. It was thus largely because of their efforts and Radisson's stories of the wealth of the north in furs that the Hudson's Bay Company was formed. Later Radisson returned to the French and led a plundering expedition against the English forts on Hudson Bay. He finally (1684) joined the English again and after a long lawsuit was pensioned by the Hudson's Bay Company in his old age.

See G. L. Nute, Caesars of the Wilderness (1943, repr. 1969).

Radisson is a village in Sawyer County, Wisconsin, United States, along the Couderay River. The population was 222 at the 2000 census. The village is located within the Town of Radisson and was named in honor of the early French explorer, Pierre-Esprit Radisson (c.1636-1710).


Radisson is located at (45.768484, -91.218889).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 0.4 square miles (1.0 km²), all land.


As of the census of 2000, there were 222 people, 98 households, and 58 families residing in the village. The population density was 553.2 people per square mile (214.3/km²). There were 131 housing units at an average density of 326.4/sq mi (126.4/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 89.19% White, 0.45% Black or African American, 9.01% Native American, 0.90% from other races, and 0.45% from two or more races. 2.70% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 98 households out of which 28.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.9% were married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.8% were non-families. 31.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.84.

In the village the population was spread out with 24.3% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 25.7% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 21.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 89.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.0 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $25,625, and the median income for a family was $38,500. Males had a median income of $37,813 versus $18,750 for females. The per capita income for the village was $16,122. About 8.9% of families and 16.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.1% of those under the age of eighteen and 14.0% of those sixty five or over.


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