Louis Jolliet

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Louis Jolliet
Louis Jolliet.JPG
Alfred Laliberté's Louis Jolliet sculpture in front of Parliament Building (Quebec)
Born(1645-09-21)September 21, 1645
near Quebec City, Canada
Died1700 (aged 5455)
en route from Quebec to Anticosti Island
AllegianceNew France (Canada)
AwardsJolliet was granted land south of Quebec in return for his favours
RelationsJacque Jolliet: Father
Other workCanadian explorer
Signature Louis Jolliet Signature.svg

Louis Jolliet (September 21, 1645 last seen May 1700) was a French Canadian explorer known for his discoveries in North America. [1] Jolliet and Jesuit Father Jacques Marquette, a Catholic priest and missionary, were the first non-Natives to explore and map the Mississippi River in 1673.

North America Continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere

North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere; it is also considered by some to be a northern subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, and to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea.

Jacques Marquette French Jesuit and explorer

Father Jacques Marquette S.J., sometimes known as Père Marquette or James Marquette, was a French Jesuit missionary who founded Michigan's first European settlement, Sault Ste. Marie, and later founded St. Ignace, Michigan. In 1673, Father Marquette and Louis Jolliet were the first Europeans to explore and map the northern portion of the Mississippi River Valley.

Missionary member of a religious group sent into an area to do evangelism

A missionary is a member of a religious group sent into an area to proselytize or perform ministries of service, such as education, literacy, social justice, health care, and economic development. The word "mission" originates from 1598 when the Jesuits sent members abroad, derived from the Latin missionem, meaning "act of sending" or mittere, meaning "to send". The word was used in light of its biblical usage; in the Latin translation of the Bible, Christ uses the word when sending the disciples to preach The gospel in his name. The term is most commonly used for Christian missions, but can be used for any creed or ideology.

Contents

Early life

Jolliet was born in 1645 in Beaupré, a French settlement near Quebec City. [2] When he was seven years old, his father died; his mother then married a successful merchant. Jolliet's stepfather owned land on the Ile d'Orleans, an island in the Saint Lawrence River in Quebec that was home to First Nations. Jolliet spent much time on Ile d'Orleans, so it was likely that he began speaking Indigenous languages of the Americas at a young age. During his childhood, Quebec was the center of the French fur trade. The Natives were part of day-to-day life in Quebec, and Joliet grew up knowing a lot about them. He entered a Jesuit school as a child and focused on philosophical and religious studies, aiming for priesthood. He also studied music, becoming a skilled harpsichordist and church organist. Yet he decided to leave the seminary as an adult and pursued fur trading instead.

Beaupré, Quebec City in Quebec, Canada

Beaupré is a ville in the Canadian province of Quebec, located in La Côte-de-Beaupré Regional County Municipality. The town is along the Saint Lawrence River and Route 138 at the mouth of the Sainte-Anne-du-Nord River.

New France Area colonized by France in North America

New France was the area colonized by France in North America during a period beginning with the exploration of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence by Jacques Cartier in 1534 and ending with the cession of New France to Great Britain and Spain in 1763 under the Treaty of Paris (1763).

Quebec City Provincial capital city in Quebec, Canada

Quebec City, officially Québec, is the capital city of the Canadian province of Quebec. The city had a population estimate of 531,902 in July 2016, and the metropolitan area had a population of 800,296 in July 2016, making it the second largest city in Quebec after Montreal, and the seventh largest metropolitan area and eleventh largest city in the country.

Jolliet attended a Jesuit school in Quebec and received minor orders in 1662, but abandoned his plans to become a priest in 1667. [3] He spoke French, English, and Spanish.

Priest person authorized to lead the sacred rituals of a religion (for a minister use Q1423891)

A priest or priestess is a religious leader authorized to perform the sacred rituals of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and one or more deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities. Their office or position is the priesthood, a term which also may apply to such persons collectively.

Exploration of the Upper Mississippi

Ca. 1681 map of Marquette and Jolliet's 1673 expedition. Marquette and jolliet map 1681.jpg
Ca. 1681 map of Marquette and Jolliet's 1673 expedition.

While Hernando de Soto was the first European to make official note of the Mississippi River by discovering its southern entrance in 1541, Jolliet and Marquette were the first to locate its upper reaches, and travel most of its length, about 130 years later. De Soto had named the river Rio del Espiritu Santo, but tribes along its length called it variations of "Mississippi".

Hernando de Soto Spanish explorer and conquistador

Hernando de Soto was a Spanish explorer and conquistador who was involved in expeditions in Nicaragua and the Yucatan Peninsula, and played an important role in Pizarro's conquest of the Inca Empire in Peru, but is best known for leading the first Spanish and European expedition deep into the territory of the modern-day United States. He is the first European documented as having crossed the Mississippi River.

On May 17, 1673, Jolliet and Marquette departed from St. Ignace Michigan with two canoes and five other voyageurs of French-Indian ancestry (today's Métis). The group followed Lake Michigan to the end of Green Bay. They then paddled upstream (but southward) on the Fox River to the site now known as Portage, Wisconsin. There, they portaged (carried their canoes and gear) a distance of slightly less than two miles through marsh and oak forest to the Wisconsin River. Europeans eventually built a trading post at that shortest convenient portage between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins. On June 17, the canoeists ventured onto the Mississippi River near present-day Prairie du Chien.

Michigan State of the United States of America

Michigan is a state in the Great Lakes and Midwestern regions of the United States. The state's name, Michigan, originates from the Ojibwe word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake". With a population of about 10 million, Michigan is the tenth most populous of the 50 United States, with the 11th most extensive total area, and is the largest state by total area east of the Mississippi River. Its capital is Lansing, and its largest city is Detroit. Metro Detroit is among the nation's most populous and largest metropolitan economies.

Voyageurs French Canadians who engaged in the transporting of furs by canoe during the fur trade years

The voyageurs were French Canadians who engaged in the transporting of furs by canoe during the fur trade years. The emblematic meaning of the term applies to places and times where transportation of materials was mainly over long distances.

Métis Indigenous ethnic group

The Métis are members of ethnic groups native to Canada and parts of the United States that trace their descent to both indigenous North Americans and European settlers. Originally the term applied to French-speaking mixed-race families, especially in the Red River area of what became Manitoba, Canada; in the late 19th century in Canada, those of mixed English descent were classified separately as Mixed Bloods.

The Jolliet-Marquette expedition traveled down the Mississippi to within 435 miles (700 km) of the Gulf of Mexico. They turned back north at the mouth of the Arkansas River. By this point, they had encountered natives carrying European goods, and worried about a possible hostile encounter with explorers or colonists from Spain. [4] The voyageurs then followed the Mississippi back to the mouth of the Illinois River, which friendly natives told them was a shorter route back to the Great Lakes. Following the Illinois river upstream, they then turned up its tributary the Des Plaines River near modern-day Joliet, Illinois. They then continued up the Des Plaines river, and portaged their canoes and gear at the Chicago Portage. They then followed the Chicago River downstream until they reached Lake Michigan near the location of modern-day Chicago. Father Marquette stayed at the mission of St. Francis Xavier at the southern end of Green Bay, which they reached in August. Joliet returned to Quebec to relate the news of their discoveries.

Gulf of Mexico An Atlantic Ocean basin extending into southern North America

The Gulf of Mexico is an ocean basin and a marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean, largely surrounded by the North American continent. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. The U.S. states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida border the Gulf on the north, which are often referred to as the "Third Coast", in comparison with the U.S. Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

Arkansas River major tributary of the Mississippi River, United States

The Arkansas River is a major tributary of the Mississippi River. It generally flows to the east and southeast as it traverses the U.S. states of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. The river's source basin lies in the western United States in Colorado, specifically the Arkansas River Valley, where the headwaters derive from the snowpack in the Sawatch and Mosquito mountain ranges. It then flows east into the Midwest via Kansas, and finally into the South through Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Spain Kingdom in Southwest Europe

Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain, is a country mostly located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula. Its territory also includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country (Morocco). Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are also part of Spanish territory. The country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar; to the north and northeast by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west and northwest by Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean.

Marquette returned to what later became the Illinois Country in late 1674. He became the first Europeans to winter over in what would become the city of Chicago. [5]

Later years

Jolliet married Claire-Francoise Byssot de la Valtrie, who was Canadian. She was a daughter of Francois Byssot de la Riviere and his wife Marie Couillard. Claire Francoise was also a sister of Louise Byssot de la Valtrie, wife of Seraphin de Margane, Seigneur de la Valtrie. In 1680, Jolliet was granted the Island of Antwhere where he created a fort and maintained soldiers. In 1693, he was appointed "Royal Hydrographer", and on April 30, 1697, he was granted a seigneury southwest of Quebec City which he named Jolliest.

In 1694, he sailed from the Gulf of St. Lawrence north along the coast of Labrador as far north as Zoar, a voyage of five and a half months. He recorded details of the country, navigation, the Inuit and their customs. His journal ("Journal de Louis Jolliet allant à la descouverte de Labrador, 1694,") is the earliest known detailed survey of the Labrador coast from the Strait of Belle Isle to Zoar.

In May 1700, Louis Jolliet left for Anticosti Island and was presumed to have died. A mass for his soul was said on September 15, 1700. His body was never found, and the place and date of his death remain unknown. [6]

Jolliet was one of the first people of European descent born in North America to be remembered for significant discoveries. Though no authentic period portrait is known to exist, Jolliet is often portrayed wearing either typical frontiersman garb such as a fur hat or in sharp contrast, ensconced in the European nobleman's style that his personal wealth and prestige would have commanded although living in colonial society.

Legacy

Plaque commemorating Jolliet in Chicago. Marquette-jolliet-chicago-bridge.jpg
Plaque commemorating Jolliet in Chicago.
Monument commemorating Jolliet in Quebec City. Louis Jolliet monument Quebec City.jpg
Monument commemorating Jolliet in Quebec City.

Jolliet's main legacy is most tangible in the Midwestern United States and Quebec, mostly through geographical names, including the cities of Joliet, Illinois; Joliet, Montana; and Joliette, Quebec (founded by one of Jolliet's descendants, Barthélemy Joliette).

The several variations in the spelling of the name "Jolliet" reflect spelling that occurred at times when illiteracy or poor literacy was common, and spelling was still highly unstandardized. [7] Jolliet's descendants live throughout eastern Canada and the United States. The Louis Jolliet rose, developed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, was named in his honor. [8]

The Jolliet Squadron of cadets at the Royal Military College Saint-Jean in the Province of Quebec was named in his honor. Joliet Junior College in Joliet, Illinois is named after the explorer, as are numerous high schools in North America.

A cruise ship sailing out of Quebec City is also named in his honour.

See also

Notes

  1. Tanya Larkin (2003). Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet: Explorers of the Mississippi. The Rosen Publishing Group. p. 6. ISBN   978-0-8239-3625-0 . Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  2. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Louis-Jolliet
  3. Wilson, James Grant & Fiske, John (Eds.). Appleton's Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton and Company (1887), Vol. III, p. 461.
  4. Cotton, Bruce (1984). Michigan: A History, p. 14. W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN   0-393-30175-3.
  5. Wisconsin Historical Society
  6. Slater, Renée (2003), "Marquette, Jacques (1637–1675), and Louis Jolliette (1645–1700)", in Speake, Jennifer, Literature of Travel and Exploration: an Encyclopedia, 2, Taylor & Francis, p. 771, ISBN   978-1-57958-424-5
  7. Joliet, Louis
  8. Louis Jolliet rose

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