Fagot is the Villain, It Turns Out

I already made the Juggalos joke about his name, but in case you didn’t believe me that it’s pronounced Faygo, believe Andrew Jackson, who misspells it Fargo.

Okay, so Fagot was a merchant out of St. Louis and he’s apparently, from what I can tell, pretty much got the trade set up between St. Louis and New Orleans. But then the French give that territory to the Spanish and things seem to not have really gelled for Fagot and the Spaniards. Meanwhile, the U.S.ians are pushing into Indian territory from the east. Fagot decides that he’s going to be the guy who runs the “bringing things from Nashville to New Orleans” trade, so he’s got to reestablish good ties with the Spanish, convince the U.S.ians he’s the man, and somehow appease the Indians who seem to not be as fond of the Spanish as they were of the French.

So, he goes to Jackson and Jackson hears him out and writes a letter of introduction to someone else, whose name I’ve forgotten, which is a shame because he’s kind of important. Dude I forgot is all “Okay, fine, we’ll help protect you from the Indians if you can help us get our goods to New Orleans.”

But then Fagot goes back to the Spanish and is all “You guys totally need me because the U.S.ians along the Cumberland totally want to ditch the U.S. and come be a part of Spain. And only I can set that up.”

So, Spain writes a letter to dude whose name I forget: “Dear Nashville, I heard from Fagot that you kind of dug me and you know, I kind of dig you. You want to come snuggle with me?” And Nashville’s all like “What? No, dude, Spain, I totally only like you as a friend. I don’t know why Fagot gave you that idea. What a dick.”

Spain is, of course, “yeah, what a total dick.” But you know, in the back of Spain’s mind, Spain is all “What a fucking psycho Nashville is. Playing all ‘oh I love you’ and then ‘oh, wait, I don’t.'”

That’s in the late 1780s. I forget the exact date.

But then we come to 1792 and Fagot is in some financial trouble with Spain and Spain still thinks he’s kind of a dick and, obviously, Nashville thinks he’s kind of a dick. In fact, that may be why he had to hire Deraque and send him to Nashville, but that’s just speculation on my part. But now Fagot’s got a new story for Spain all about how Nashville is going to attack the parts of Spain along the Mississippi from it in order to control that part of the river.

And Spain is like “You’re a dick, but, yeah, Nashville is psycho so let me get my buddies who also hate Nashville to take Nashville out–and not in the fun way.”

Let’s all give the stink-eye to Fagot.


2 thoughts on “Fagot is the Villain, It Turns Out

  1. Did you get a first name for this Mr. Fagot? The family had been in Ste. Genevieve and Kaskaskia from the 1660s, and one branch was in St. Louis by the 1770s. By the 1820s they were prominent in St. Louis (judges, landowners) but they weren’t part of the original party of settlers who came with Pierre Laclede and Marie Chouteau. But some of them do show up in the records, so if you care about the guy and have a given name you might be able to pin him down some.

  2. I found a footnote calling him Anthony Fagot.

    I also found that some folks–like say Robertson–were indeed negotiating with Spain to join them (and thus relieve the Indian attacks) so Fagot may not be a terrible villain, just a guy who was trying to seize opportunities with only mixed success.

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