Cadieux, Jean, legendary French Canadian VOYAGEUR of the 18th century who lived in the Ottawa River region. When his cabin was attacked by Indians, he sent his family down the rapids in his canoe and stayed behind to prevent pursuit. The Virgin Mary is supposed to have guided the canoe through the rapids, which were generally portaged. Pursued by the Indians through the forest, Cadieux gradually weakened; he dug his own grave, erected a cross above it and composed a ballad about his misfortune, which he wrote in blood on birchbark; it was found by those who came to look for him. The ballad is well known in French Canadian tradition.