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FIRST EXPEDITION OF LA SALLE AND TONTY.
Mississippi. He engaged the services of Chevalier Henri de Tonty, an Italian soldier, as his lieutenant, and of La Motte de Lussière. He then returned to Frontenac, where he was joined by the Récollet, Father Louis Hennepin. Constructing a small bark, the party ascended the Niagara River to the foot of the rapids below the falls. Above the rapids, near the shore of Lake Erie, they began the construction of the first rigged vessel that ever sailed upon the western waters. This was a little bark of 60 tons named the Griffon.t
Accompanied by Tonty and a band of missionaries and fur traders, La Salle traversed Lake Erie, passed through Detroit, or "the strait " which separates it from Lake St. Clair, and crossing Lake Huron and passing through the straits of Mackinaw, into Lake Michigan, he at length came to anchor in Green Bay, in August, 1679.|| Supplies now began to run low and La Salle sent back for more, but he and his associates,
*The patent is given in Parkman's La Salle,
pp. 112-113; N. Y. Col. Docs., vol. ix., p. 127; French, Historical Collections of Louisiana, vol. i., pp. 35-36.
† Hennepin published a sketch of the falls in his
Nouvelle Découverte d'un Grand Pays Situé dans
l'Amérique (Utrecht, 1697), a reproduction of
which will be found in Winsor's Narrative and Critical History, vol. iv., p. 248.
+ See O. H. Marshall, The Building and Voyage of the Griffon, in Historical Writings, pp. 73-121, and in Publications of the Buffalo Historical Society, no. i.; Cyrus K. Remington, The Shipyard of the Griffon (Buffalo, 1891).
|| Moore, The Northwest Under Three Flags, pp. 27-35.
instead of awaiting the return of the party, proceeded on across Lake Michigan to the the mouth of St. Joseph's River where Allouez had established a station and to which was now added a trading post called the Fort of the Miamis.* The Griffon, however, did not return, as she had been wrecked on the way back, and after awaiting her arrival in vain, La Salle and Tonty with a few followers crossed over to the Illinois River where, some distance below Peoria, they erected another fort. Still the expected tidings of the missing vessel were not received, and to proceed without supplies was impossible; in addition, his followers had become disheartened and discontented and had begun to threaten revolt. La Salle therefore detached Tonty and Hennepin to continue their explorations, and having named the new fort La Salle in March, 1680, set out with Crèvecœur, in memory of his trials, a few followers on the return journey to Frontenac. It was reported that he had been killed, but his arrival dissipated such reports, and after a few weeks he was enabled to get together fresh material for the purpose of again engaging in his enterprise.† Meanwhile Hennepin and Tonty were engaged in carrying out the instructions given them by La Salle. Hennepin explored the Mississippi to the Falls
* Bartlett and Lyon, La Salle in the Valley of the St. Joseph (South Bend, 1899).
Jacob P. Dunn, Jr., Indiana: A Redemption from Slavery, p. 26 et seq.
of St. Anthony, and subsequently returned to France where he published an account of his travels.* Tonty was less fortunate. He had been ordered to go among the Illinois, but, because of the hostility of the Iroquois, was obliged to take refuge in Green Bay.† La Salle now having secured the necessary supplies and reinforcements, collected his scattered party, and having constructed a capacious barge, descended the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico. Erecting a cross bearing the arms of Louis the Great, and reading aloud the formal act by which he took possession of the whole country, including not only all the lands already explored by the French and all the tributaries of the Mis
*Mr. Sparks has clearly shown that Hennepin is not to be relied on. After mentioning several things, he says: "These facts added to others are perfectly conclusive, and must convict Father Hennepin of having palmed upon the world a pretended discovery and a fictitious narrative. *** Notwithstanding this gross imposition, we must allow him justice on other points. There seems no good reason to doubt the general, accuracy of his first book, nor of his second, previously to his departure from Fort Crèvecœur."- Life of De La Salle, p. 91. Parkman, in his La Salle, p. 123, says that "this reverend father was the most impudent of liars; and the narrative of which he speaks is a rare monument of brazen mendacity." See also Shea, Discovery of the Mississippi; Johnson, French Pathfinders, pp. 289-309; and Winsor's Narrative and Critical History, vol. iv. Father Hennepin's accounts will be found in his New Discovery in North America; his Description of Louisiana; and his Curious Voyage.
On Tonty's career, see Henry E. Legler, Chevalier Henry de Tonty: His Exploits in The Valley of the Mississippi; Parkman Club Publications, no. 3 (Milwaukee, 1896). See also A. A. Graham, The Story of Starved Rock on the Illinois, in Magazine of Western History, vol. i., pp. 213-230.
sissippi, but also the Gulf coast as far as the River of Palms, La Salle, on April 9, 1682, proclaimed the territory under the sovereignty of France. Thus it acquired the name of Louisiana.*
Being now possessed of a desire to colonize the fertile region through which he had passed, La Salle returned to France, and in 1683 got together an expedition consisting of a frigate and three other ships, on board of which were 280 persons in all-ecclesiastics, soldiers, mechanics and emigrants and as speedily as possible set out (July 24, 1684) to plant a colony at the mouth of the Mississippi.† The enterprise, however, was unsuccessful from the very beginning. Quarrels and disputes occurred between La Salle and the
*Parkman, La Salle, pp. 72-321, gives all details. See also Albert Phelps, Louisiana: A Record of Expansion, p. 15; Fiske, New France and New England, pp. 124-132; Winsor, Cartier to Frontenac, pp. 257–297; Johnson, French Pathfinders, pp. 225-257; the account of the voyage down the Mississippi by Father Membré in Shea, Discovery and Exploration of the Mississippi Valley, pp. 165-184; Monette, History of the Valley of the Mississippi; Bancroft, vol. ii., pp. 159-168; Thomas Falconer, On the Discovery of the Mississippi; Ogg, Opening of the Mississippi, p. 81 et seq.; Gabriel Gravier, Nouvelle étude sur Cavelier de La Salle (Rouen, 1885); Parkman, Cavelier de La Salle, in North American Review, vol. cxxv., pp. 427-438; The Relation of the Discoveries and Voyages of Cavelier de La Salle from 1679 to 1681, trans, by Melville B. Anderson and pub. by the Caxton Club of Chicago; Joseph Wallace, Illinois and Louisiana Under French Rule; Berthold Fernow, The Ohio Valley in Colonial Days; French, Historical Collections of Louisiana, vol. i.
His commission is in N. Y. Col. Docs., vol. ix.,
THE SEARCH FOR TONTY; LA SALLE MURDERED.
Sieur de Beaujeu, who was in com-
* Phelps, Louisiana, p. 17.
Sparks, Life of Robert Cavelier De la Salle, p. 158. See also Parkman, La Salle, pp. 322-409; VOL. I.-28
Gayarré says, "La Salle died some-
La Salle's murderers eventually
Morris, Discoveries and Explorers of America,
Gayarré, History of Louisiana, vol. i., p. 28. On the fate of the murderers and the other companions of La Salle and of the colony in Texas, see Parkman, La Salle, pp. 410-446; Winsor, Cartier to Frontenac, p. 322 et seq.; French,
brilliant prospects of success, La Salle's colony came to an untimely end.*
While La Salle was making his memorable explorations on the lower Mississippi, Hennepin and others were exploring the regions around the sources of that great river. Before narrating the story of Hennepin's journey, we must go back to 1678 and relate the journey of another important personage, Daniel Greysolon du Lhut (or Duluth), a cousin of Tonty, who secured permission from Frontenac to explore the region inhabited by the Sioux and Assineboines in northern and central Minnesota. On September 1, 1678, this forest wanderer, accompanied by three Frenchmen and three Indians, set out from Montreal for Lake Superior; wintered in the vicinity of Lake Huron, and in the following spring continued the journey past Mackinaw in the direction of Sault Ste. Marie. On July 2, 1679, he planted the French arms and took formal pos
Historical Collections of Louisiana, vol. i., pp. 145-174.
The Mississippi, however, was soon stantly travelled by the adventurous trader, and still more adventurous missionary. A Spanish vessel, under Andrew de Pes, entered the mouth soon after; but, on the second of March, 1699, the Canadian Iberville, more fortunate than La Salle, entered it with Father Anastasius Douay, who had accompanied that unfortunate adventurer on his last voyage. Missionaries from Canada soon came to greet him, and La Sueur ascended the Mississippi to St. Peter's River, and built a log fort on its blue-earth tributary. Henceforward all was progress," etc.-Shea, Discovery and Exploration of the Mississippi Valley, p. xxxix.
session of the country in the name of France.* On September 15 he arranged a meeting of the Sioux and Assineboines for the purpose of settling the quarrels between the two tribes, and in this he was entirely successful.†
In the summer of 1680 Duluth attempted to reach the Sioux villages by a water route. With five others, he went up the Bois Brulé River, in Wisconsin, and, reaching its headwaters, the party carried their canoes to the upper Lake St. Croix, whence they passed into the St. Croix River. Passing down this, they came to the Mississippi at Hastings, Minnesota, a short distance below St. Paul. Upon reaching the Sioux villages Duluth learned that there were some other Europeans in the vicinity who had gone on a hunting trip down the river with a party of Sioux warriors. Not knowing who they were, Duluth determined to gain some knowledge of them and their purposes, and therefore started off in pursuit.‡
It will be remembered that La Salle, upon his journey back to Frontenac, had despatched side expeditions for purposes of exploration and that one of these was under Michel Accau, who was accompanied by Antoine Angel (generally known as Picard du Gay) and Father Hennepin, the expedition
*N. Y. Col. Docs., vol. ix., p. 795; Duluth's memoir in Shea, Hennepin's Description of Louisiana, p. 375.
Shea's Hennepin, p. 375; Winsor, Narrative and Critical History, vol. iv., p. 182.
Winsor, Cartier to Frontenac, p. 274.
HENNEPIN'S WANDERINGS IN THE MISSISSIPPI VALLEY. 431
being generally associated with the name of the latter. Leaving Fort Crèvecœur February 1, 1680, the party descended the Illinois River, reaching its mouth about March 8; then passed northward on the Mississippi; and on April 11, when near the mouth of the Black River, were captured by a party of 120 Sioux warriors. They were then taken as prisoners for a distance of about 250 leagues up the river, until they reached the site of the present city of St. Paul, when the land journey was begun. Passing through the valley of the Rum River in the direction of Mille Lacs, the prisoners were compelled to keep pace with their more agile captors on pain of death, and in a few days reached the chief village of the Sioux, in southern Minnesota. There the three white men were distributed to three chiefs, heads of families who had lost children in war, and being thus adopted were carried off to the separate abodes of the latter, for the next three months seeing but little of each other.
In July, 1680, however, the three men met at an Indian buffalo hunt down the river, and Du Gay and Hennepin were allowed to make their way ahead down the Mississippi to the mouth of the Wisconsin. They floated down the river for some days until they came to the falls near Minneapolis, which Hennepin called St. Anthony of Padua's. Carrying their canoe around the falls, the two Frenchmen continued down the river
to Lake Pepin until, on July 11, they were overtaken by a band of Sioux hunters, among whom was Hennepin's chief or foster father. The latter was friendly, however, and allowed Hennepin and Du Gay to continue down the river.
A few days afterward the Indians reported that a party of white men had been seen at Lake Superior and were coming to meet them. Hennepin therefore retraced his steps, and on July 25 encountered the white men, who proved to be Duluth and his party, thus solving the problem on both sides. Hennepin and his two companions then joined Duluth's party and all returned to Michillimackinac or Mackinaw. In May, 1681, Duluth reached Quebec where he was immediately arrested by the intendant Duchesneau, on the ground that he had carried on an illicit trade in furs with the Indians in other words, was a coureur de bois, against whom there were stringent laws. He was subsequently pardoned, and in 1682 departed for France. Hennepin meanwhile also went east from Mackinaw and in 1681, after spending a few weeks at Frontenac, Montreal and Quebec, set sail for France, where in the next few years he published the narrative concerning which there has been so much dispute.*
* See Parkman, La Salle, chaps. xvii. and xviii. ; Duluth, Mémoire sur la Découverte du Pays des Nadoussioux dans le Canada, a translation of which is in J. G. Shea, Hennepin's Descriptions of Louisiana, pp. 374-377; Edward D. Neill, History of the Minnesota Valley, chaps. iv.-v.; Winsor,