This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page . (Learn how and when to remove these template messages)(Learn how and when to remove this template message)
A 19th-century engraving of Cavelier de La Salle
|Died||March 19, 1687 43) (aged|
|Known for||exploring the Great Lakes,|
and the Gulf of Mexico
René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle // (November 22, 1643 – March 19, 1687) was a 17th-century French explorer and fur trader in North America. He explored the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada, the Mississippi River, and the Gulf of Mexico. He is best known for an early 1682 expedition in which he canoed the lower Mississippi River from the mouth of the Illinois River to the Gulf of Mexico and claimed the entire Mississippi River basin for France.
La Salle is often credited with being the first European to traverse the Ohio River, and sometimes the Mississippi as well. It has now been established that Joliet and Marquette preceded him on the Mississippi in their journey of 1673–74, and the existing historical evidence does not indicate that La Salle ever reached the Ohio/Allegheny Valley.
Sieur de La Salle is a French title roughly translating to "Lord of the manor", from the old French sal(e) (modern salle), "hall", a manor house.[ citation needed ] Sieur is a French title of nobility, similar to the English "Sir," but under the French signeurial system, the title is purchased rather than earned, and does not imply military duty. Robert Cavelier received the title with his signeurial purchase of Lachine from the Sulpician order at Ville Marie around 1667.[ citation needed ] However, the phrase La Salle has become iconic, and associated with the person as if it were his name; he is therefore often called Robert La Salle, or simply "La Salle".
Robert Cavelier was born on November 22, 1643, into a comfortably well-off family in Rouen, France, in the parish Saint-Herbland. [ citation needed ]When he was young, he enjoyed science and nature. In his teens, he studied with the Jesuit religious order and became a member after taking initial vows in 1660. At his request on March 27, 1667, after he was in Canada, he was released from the Society of Jesus after citing "moral weaknesses". Although he left the order, never took final vows in it, and later became hostile to it, historians sometimes described him incorrectly as a priest or a leader.
La Salle never married,but has been linked to Madeleine de Roybon d'Allonne, an early settler of New France. His older brother, Jean Cavelier, was a Sulpician priest. His parents were Jean Cavelier and Catherine Geest.
Required to reject his father's legacy when he joined the Jesuits, La Salle was nearly destitute when he traveled as a prospective colonist to North America. He sailed for New France in the spring of 1666.His brother Jean, a Sulpician priest, had moved there the year before. La Salle was granted a seigneurie on land at the western end of the Island of Montreal, which became known as Lachine. La Salle immediately began to issue land grants, set up a village and learn the languages of the native people, several tribes of Iroquois in this area.
This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. The specific problem is: The sources for the footnotes and other information in this section are unclear. (April 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
The Seneca told La Salle of a great river, called the Ohio, which flowed into the sea, the "Vermilion Sea".He began to plan for expeditions to find a western passage to China. He sought and received permission from Governor Daniel Courcelle and Intendant Jean Talon to embark on the enterprise. He sold his interests in Lachine to finance the venture.
La Salle left Lachine by the St. Lawrence on July 6, 1669, with a flotilla of nine canoes and 24 men, plus their Seneca Indian guides: himself and 14 hired men in four canoes, the two Sulpicians Dollier de Casson and Abbé René de Bréhan de Galinée with seven new recruits in three canoes, and two canoes of Indians. There they went up the St. Lawrence and across Lake Ontario. After 35 days, they arrived at what is called today Irondequoit Bay on the southern shore of Lake Ontario at the mouth of Irondequoit Creek, a place now commemorated as La Salle's Landing.
There they were greeted by a party of Indians, who escorted them starting the next day to a village some leagues distant, a journey of a few days. At the village, the Seneca vehemently attempted to dissuade the party from proceeding into the lands of their enemies, the Algonquins, telling of the dire fate awaiting them. The necessity of securing guides for the further part of the journey, and the obstinacy of the Seneca to provide them, delayed the expedition a month. A fortuitous capture by the Indians in the lands to the south of a Dutchman who spoke Iroquois well but French ill, and was to be burned at the stake for transgressions unknown, provided an opportunity to obtain a guide. The Dutchman's freedom was purchased by the party in exchange for wampum.
While at the Indian village in Sept. 1669, La Salle was seized with a violent feverand expressed the intention of returning to Ville Marie.
At this juncture, he parted from his company and the narrative of the Jesuits, who continued on to upper Lake Erie. The missionaries continued on to the upper lakes, to the land of the Potawatomies. Other accounts have it that some of La Salle's men soon returned to New Holland or Ville Marie.
Beyond that, the factual record of La Salle's first expedition ends, and what prevails is obscurity and fabrication. It is likely that he spent the winter in Ville Marie.The next confirmed sighting of La Salle was by Nicolas Perrot on the Ottawa River near the Rapide des Chats in early summer, 1670, hunting with a party of Iroquois. That would be 700 miles as the crow flies from the Falls of the Ohio, the point supposed by some that he reached on the Ohio River.
La Salle's own journal of the expedition was lost in 1756.Two indirect historical accounts exist. The one, Récit d’un ami de l’abbé de Galliné, purported to be a recitation by La Salle himself to an unknown writer during his visit to Paris in 1678, and the other Mémoire sur le projet du sieur de la Salle pour la descouverte de la partie occidentale de l’Amérique septentrionale entre la Nouvelle-France, la Floride et le Mexique. A letter from Madeleine Cavelier, his now elderly niece, written in 1746, commenting on the journal of La Salle in her possession may also shed some light on the issue.
La Salle himself never claimed to have discovered the Ohio River.In a letter to the intendent Talon in 1677, he claimed discovery of a river, the Baudrane, flowing southwesterly with its mouth on Lake Erie and emptying into the Saint Louis (i.e. the Mississippi), a hydrography which was non-existent. In those days, maps as well as descriptions were based part on observation and part on hearsay, of necessity. This confounded courses, mouths and confluences among the rivers. At various times, La Salle invented such rivers as the Chucagoa, Baudrane, Louisiane (Anglicized "Saint Louis"), and Ouabanchi-Aramoni. These included segments of those he'd actually traversed, which were earlier the Illinois and Kankakee, St. Joseph's of Lake Michigan, probably the Ouabache (Wabash) and possibly the upper Allegheny and later, the Chicago and lower Mississippi. He also correctly described the Missouri, though it was hearsay - he'd never been on it.
Confounding fact with fiction started with publication in 1876 of Margry's Découvertes et Établissements des Français. Margry was a French archivist and partisan who had private access to the French archives. He came to be the agent of the American historian Francis Parkman. Margry's work, a massive nine volumes, encompassed an assemblage of documents some previously published, but many not. In it, he sometimes published a reproduction of the whole document, and sometimes only an extract, or summary, not distinguishing the one from the other. He also used in some cases one or another copies of original documents previously edited, extracted or altered by others, without specifying which transcriptions were original, and which were copies, or whether the copy was dated earlier or later. Reproductions were scattered in fragments across chapters, so that it was impossible to ascertain the integrity of the document from its fragments. Chapter headings were oblique and sensational, so as to obfuscate the content therein. English and American scholars were immediately skeptical of the work, since full and faithful publication of some of the original documents had previously existed. The situation was so fraught with doubt, that the United States Congress appropriated $10,000 in 1873, which Margry wanted as an advance, to have the original documents photostated, witnessed by uninvolved parties as to veracity.
If La Salle is excused from discovering the two great rivers of the midwest, history does not leave a void. On May 8, 1541, south of present-day Memphis, Tennessee, Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto reached the Mississippi River, which the Spanish called the Rio Grande for its immense size. [ citation needed ] It is uncontested that Louis Joliet and Jacques Marquette were the first Europeans to traverse the upper Mississippi in 1673, and that Father Louis Hennepin and Antonine Augalle visited the Falls of St. Anthony on the upper Mississippi in spring, 1680, in advance of La Salle's own excursion in early 1682.He was the first European to document and cross the river, though not traverse it.
Credit for discovery of the Ohio River is provisionally given to two obscure early English explorers, Thomas Batts and Robert Fallam from Virginia who visited Wood's River (today called the New River), a tributary of the Ohio via the Kanawha, in what is today West Virginia in Sept. 1671. –74 circumnavigated the southeast finally traversing Shawnee villages along the Ohio. The lower Ohio River first began appearing on French maps about 1674 in approximately its correct hydrography, and in its relation to the Mississippi, though diagrammed more northerly, approaching Lake Erie from the west and may have been confounded with the Maumee portage route. A memoir by M. de Denonville in 1688, recites that the lower Ohio, at least from its confluence with the Wabash to the Mississippi, was a familiar trade route. In 1692, Arnout Viele, a Dutchman from New York, traversed the length of the Ohio from the headwaters of the Allegheny in Pennsylvania to its mouth on the Mississippi, though the hydrography of the Allegheny remained opaque for at least several decades thereafter.Other scholars declaim that this short (one month) expedition did not penetrate to the Ohio to the west, but elect instead Virginia Englishmen James Needham and Gabriel Arthur who in 1673
On July 12, 1673, the Governor of New France, Louis de Buade de Frontenac, arrived at the mouth of the Cataraqui River to meet with leaders of the Five Nations of the Iroquois to encourage them to trade with the French. While the groups met and exchanged gifts, Frontenac's men, led by La Salle, hastily constructed a rough wooden palisade on a point of land by a shallow, sheltered bay. Originally the fort was named Fort Cataraqui but was later renamed Fort Frontenac by La Salle in honor of his patron. The purpose of Fort Frontenac was to control the lucrative fur trade in the Great Lakes Basin to the west. The fort was also meant to be a bulwark against the English and Dutch, who were competing with the French for control of the fur trade.La Salle was left in command of the fort in 1673.
Thanks to his powerful protector, the discoverer managed, during a voyage to France in 1674–75, to secure for himself the grant of Fort Cataraqui and acquired letters of nobility for himself and his descendants.With Frontenac's support, he received not only a fur trade concession, with permission to establish frontier forts, but also a title of nobility. He returned and rebuilt Frontenac in stone. An Ontario Heritage Trust plaque describes La Salle at Cataraqui as "[a] major figure in the expansion of the French fur trade into the Lake Ontario region, Using the fort as a base, he undertook expeditions to the west and southwest in the interest of developing a vast fur-trading empire." Henri de Tonti joined his explorations as his lieutenant.
In early 1679, La Salle's expedition built Fort Conti at the mouth of the Niagara River on Lake Ontario. There they loaded supplies from Fort Frontenac into smaller boats (canoes or bateaux), so they could continue up the shallow and swiftly flowing lower Niagara River to what is now the location of Lewiston, New York. There the Iroquois had a well-established portage route which bypassed the rapids and the cataract later known as Niagara Falls.
The first ship built by La Salle, called the Frontenac, a 10-ton single-decked brigantine or barque was lost in Lake Ontario, on January 8, 1679. Afterward, La Salle built Le Griffon , a seven-cannon, 45-ton barque, on the upper Niagara River at or near Cayuga Creek. She was launched on August 7, 1679.
La Salle sailed in Le Griffon up Lake Erie to Lake Huron, then up Huron to Michilimackinac and on to present-day Green Bay, Wisconsin. Le Griffon left for Niagara with a load of furs, but was never seen again. He continued with his men in canoes down the western shore of Lake Michigan, rounding the southern end to the mouth of the Miami River (now St. Joseph River), where they built a stockade in January 1680. They called it Fort Miami (now known as St. Joseph, Michigan). There they waited for Tonti and his party, who had crossed the Lower Michigan peninsula on foot.
Tonti arrived on November 20; on December 3, the entire party set off up the St. Joseph, which they followed until they had to take a portage at present-day South Bend, Indiana. They crossed to the Kankakee River and followed it to the Illinois River. There they built Fort Crèvecoeur, which later led to the development of present-day Peoria, Illinois. La Salle set off on foot for Fort Frontenac for supplies. While he was gone, the soldiers at Ft. Crevecoeur, led by Martin Chartier, mutinied, destroyed the fort, and exiled Tonti, whom he had left in charge. [ who? ] later captured most of the mutineers on Lake Ontario, before rendezvousing with Tonti at St. Ignace, Michigan.He
This article is missing information about The trip didn't start at Fort Crevecoeur which didn't exist in 1682; it started at Fort Frontenac, and that's a lot of ground to cover.January 2019)(
La Salle reassembled a party for another major expedition. In 1682 he departed Fort Crevecoeur [ disputed ] with a group of Frenchmen and Indians and canoed down the Mississippi River. He named the Mississippi basin La Louisiane [ failed verification ] in honor of Louis XIV and claimed it for France. Near what later became the site of Memphis, Tennessee, he built the small Fort Prudhomme to provide shelter during the search for a member of the expedition who got lost at a stop while hunting. It was used by the expedition for only ten days. Fort Prudhomme was the first structure built by the French in Tennessee. On April 9, 1682, at the mouth of the Mississippi River near modern Venice, Louisiana, he buried an engraved plate and a cross, claiming the territory for France.
In 1683, on his return voyage, La Salle established Fort Saint-Louis of Illinois, at Starved Rock on the Illinois River, to replace Fort Crevecoeur. He appointed Tonti to command the fort while he traveled to France for supplies.
On July 24, 1684,he departed France and returned to America with a large expedition designed to establish a French colony on the Gulf of Mexico, at the mouth of the Mississippi River. They had four ships and 300 colonists. The expedition was plagued by pirates, hostile Indians, and poor navigation. One ship was lost to pirates in the West Indies, a second sank in the inlets of Matagorda Bay. They founded a settlement, near the bay which they called the Bay of Saint Louis, on Garcitas Creek in the vicinity of present-day Victoria, Texas. La Salle led a group eastward on foot on three occasions to try to locate the mouth of the Mississippi. In the meantime, the flagship La Belle, the only remaining ship, ran aground and sank into the mud, stranding the colony on the Texas coast.
During a final search for the Mississippi River, some of La Salle's remaining 36 men mutinied, near the site of present Navasota, Texas.On March 19, 1687, he was slain by Pierre Duhaut during an ambush while talking to Duhaut's decoy, Jean L'Archevêque. They were "six leagues" from the westernmost village of the Hasinai (Tejas) Indians. Duhaut was killed to avenge La Salle. The remaining men in the party, afraid of retribution, killed each other, except for two.
The colony lasted only until 1688, when Karankawa-speaking Native Americans killed the 20 remaining adults and took five children as captives. Tonti sent out search missions in 1689 when he learned of the settlers' fate, but failed to find survivors.The children of the colony were later recovered by the Spanish.
In addition to the forts, which also served as authorized agencies for the extensive fur trade, La Salle's visits to Illinois and other Indians cemented the French policy of alliance with Indians in the common causes of containing both Iroquois influence and Anglo-American settlement. He also gave the name Louisiana to the interior North American territory he claimed for France, which lives on in the name of a US state.
In 1995, La Salle's primary ship La Belle was discovered in the muck of Matagorda Bay. It has been the subject of archeological research.Through an international treaty, the artifacts excavated from La Belle are owned by France and held in trust by the Texas Historical Commission. The collection is held by the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History. Artifacts from La Belle are shown at nine museums across Texas. The wreckage of his ship L'Aimable has yet to be located.
The possible remains of Le Griffon were found in 1898 by lighthouse keeper Albert Cullis, on a beach on the western edge of Manitoulin Island in northern Lake Huron. Results of testing some of the artifacts were disputed. Many of the recovered artifacts were lost and the wreck was washed away in 1942.A possible shipwreck of Le Griffon near Poverty Island at the entrance to Green Bay in northern Lake Michigan was located by Steve Libert of the Great Lakes Exploration Group in 2001. The organization prevailed in a lawsuit against the state of Michigan over ownership of artifacts in 2012, and in 2013 was issued a permit to excavate the wreck. Only one artifact, a wood pole, was recovered, and it is indeterminate whether it was from a shipwreck.
Many places, streets, parks, buildings and other things were named in La Salle's honor:
Counties and towns
Parks and streets
Buildings and other
The French colonization of the Americas began in the 17th century, and continued on into the following centuries as France established a colonial empire in the Western Hemisphere. France founded colonies in much of eastern North America, on a number of Caribbean islands, and in South America. Most colonies were developed to export products such as fish, rice, sugar, and furs.
Father Louis Hennepin, O.F.M. baptized Antoine, was a Belgian Roman Catholic priest and missionary of the Franciscan Recollet order and an explorer of the interior of North America.
Henri de Tonti, sometimes spelled as Tonty, a.k.a. "Thunder Arm", was an Italian soldier, explorer, and colonizer who assisted René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle with North American exploration and colonization from 1678–1686. Tonti was one of the first explorers to navigate and sail the upper great lakes of North America. Tonti also sailed both the Illinois river which led to the establishment of Fort St. Louis, as well as the Mississippi river to its mouth and claimed it for France. Tonti later established the first permanent European settlement in the lower Mississippi valley, known as Poste aux Arkansas or Arkansas Post, making him the "father of Arkansas".
Le Griffon was a sailing vessel built by René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle in 1679.
Fort Frontenac was a French trading post and military fort built in July 1673 at the mouth of the Cataraqui River where the St. Lawrence River leaves Lake Ontario, in a location traditionally known as Cataraqui. It is the present-day location of Kingston, Ontario, Canada. The original fort, a crude, wooden palisade structure, was called Fort Cataraqui but was later named for Louis de Buade de Frontenac, Governor of New France who was responsible for building the fort. It was abandoned and razed in 1689, then rebuilt in 1695.
Joseph-Antoine le Fèbvre, sieur de La Barre was a French lawyer and administrator best known for his disastrous three years term as governor of the colony of New France (Quebec).
Fort Conti was built in early 1679 at the mouth of the Niagara River on Lake Ontario as a post for the French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle. Because of the fort's location, the French hoped to control the fur trade in the lower Great Lakes. The fort was named after Louis Armand I, Prince of Conti, the patron of La Salle's lieutenant, Henri de Tonti.
The Chickasaw Bluff is the high ground rising about 50 to 200 feet (20–60 m) above the Mississippi River flood plain between Fulton in Lauderdale County, Tennessee and Memphis in Shelby County, Tennessee.
Jean de Lamberville was a Jesuit priest who arrived in New France from France in 1669. He was the older brother of Jacques de Lamberville. Jean became a missionary to the Onondagas and had success in converting their chief, Garakontie. He also was well known for his knowledge in the medical treatments of his time.
The French colonization of Texas began with the establishment of a fort in present-day southeastern Texas. It was established in 1685 near Arenosa Creek and Matagorda Bay by explorer Robert Cavelier de La Salle. He intended to found the colony at the mouth of the Mississippi River, but inaccurate maps and navigational errors caused his ships to anchor instead 400 miles (640 km) to the west, off the coast of Texas. The colony survived until 1688. The present-day town of Inez is near the fort's site. The colony faced numerous difficulties during its brief existence, including Native American raids, epidemics, and harsh conditions. From that base, La Salle led several expeditions to find the Mississippi River. These did not succeed, but La Salle did explore much of the Rio Grande and parts of east Texas.
Barthélemy,, a young man from France, was part of René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle's final expedition in 1687.
Fort Chécagou, or Fort Chicago, was a purported seventeenth-century fort that may have been located in what is now northeastern Illinois. The name has become associated with a myth that the French continuously maintained a military garrison at a fort near the mouth of the Chicago River, and the future site of the city of Chicago on the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan. Some sources mention that the fort was built in 1685, and that Henri de Tonti sent his aide, Pierre-Charles de Liette, as commander of the fort through 1702. Although this fort was marked on a number of eighteenth century maps of the area, there is no evidence that it ever existed at the described location, but may have instead actually been located at the mouth of the St. Joseph River, on the southeastern shore of Lake Michigan.
Louis-Henri de Baugy, Chevalier de Baugy was from a noble family of France and came to New France as a member of the party of Joseph-Antoine de La Barre, who was replacing Buade de Frontenac as Governor General.
Fort Crevecoeur was the first public building erected by Europeans within the boundaries of the modern state of Illinois and the first fort built in the West by the French. It was founded on the east bank of the Illinois River, in the Illinois Country near the present site of Creve Coeur, a suburb of Peoria, Illinois, in January 1680. It was destroyed on 16 April of that same year by members of La Salle's expedition, who were fearful of being attacked by the Iroquois as the Beaver Wars extended into the area.
Fort Prudhomme, or Prud'homme, was a simple stockade fortification, constructed in late Feb. 1682 on one of the Chickasaw Bluffs of the Mississippi River in West Tennessee by Cavelier de La Salle's French canoe expedition of the Mississippi River Basin. The fortification was intended to provide shelter during the search for a member of the expedition who got lost at a stop while hunting, it was used by the expedition for only ten days. Fort Prudhomme was the first structure built by the French in Tennessee; its exact location is not known.
The La Salle Causeway is a causeway that allows Highway 2 to cross the Cataraqui River at Kingston, Ontario. The causeway separates Kingston's inner and outer harbours. Construction of the causeway was completed on April 15, 1917.
Queen of the Lakes is the unofficial but widely recognized title given to the longest vessel active on the Great Lakes of the United States and Canada. A number of vessels, mostly lake freighters, have been known by the title.
Henri Joutel, a French explorer and soldier, is known for his eyewitness history of the last North American expedition of René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle.
Ganneious, also spelled Ganneous, is a former village, first settled by the Oneida, located on the North Shore of Lake Ontario near the present site of Napanee, Ontario, Canada. Starting in 1696, it was occupied by the Mississauga.:10
Martin Chartier was a French-Canadian explorer, a glove maker, and then a "white Indian", living much of his life amongst the Shawnee Native Americans.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to René Robert Cavelier de La Salle .|