Francis Parkman.

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NiVL'-S.TY
CAL.FOftrf
SAN D(EC




presented to the
UNIVERSITY LIBRARY
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
SAN DIEGO

by



Mrs. Townsend



yo3 0.



THE WORKS OF
FRANCIS PARKMAN

t
erntenats "Station

LA SALLE AND THE DISCOVERY
OF THE GREAT WEST



THE WORKS OF FRANCIS PARKMAN


€entenats ISIiition




Pioneers of France in the New World


I vol.


The Jesuits in North America


I vol.


La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West . .


I vol.


The Old Regime in Canada


1 vol.


Count Frontenac and New France under Louis XTV


I vol.


A Half-Century of Conflict


2 vols.


Montcalm and Wolfe


2 vols.


The Conspiracy of Pontiac and the Indian War after


the Conquest of Canada


2 vols.


The Oregon Trail


I vol.
I vol.


Life of Parkman. By Charles Haight Farnham . .




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Oouftl&Cra,



Assassination of La Salle



LA SALLE



AND THE



DISCOVERY OF THE GREAT WEST.



FRANCE AND ENGLAND IN
NORTH AMERICA.

Paet Third.



BY

FRANCIS PABKMAN.



BOSTON

LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY

192T



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1869, by

Francis Pakrmam,

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1879, by

Francis Parkman,
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

Copyright, 1897,
Bt Little, Brown, and Compaht.



Copyright, 1897,
By Grace P. Coffin and Katharine S. Coolidqb.



Copyriqht, 1907, 1911, 1921,
By Grace P. Coffin.



PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA



TO

THE CLASS OF 1844,

THIS BOOK IS CORDIALLY DEDICATED
BY ONE OF THEIR NUMBER.



PREFACE OF THE ELEVENTH EDITION.



When the earlier editions of this book were
published, I was aware of the existence of a col-
lection of documents relating to La Salle, and
containing important material to which I had
not succeeded in gaining access. This collection
was in possession of M. Pierre Margry, director
of the Archives of the Marine and Colonies at
Paris, and was the result of more than thirty
years of research. With rare assiduity and zeal,
M. Margry had explored not only the vast de-
pository with which he has been officially con-
nected from youth, and of which he is now the
chief, but also the other public archives of
France, and many private collections in Paris
and the provinces. The object of his search
was to throw light on the career and achieve-
ments of French explorers, and, above all, of La
Salle. A collection of extraordinary richness
grew gradually upon his hands. In the course



Viii PREFACE OF THE ELEVENTH EDITION.

of my own inquiries, I owed much to his friendly
aid ; but his collections, as a whole, remained
inaccessible, since he naturally wished to be the
first to make known the results of his labors.
An attempt to induce Congress to furnish him
with the means of printing documents so inter-
esting to American history was made in 1870
and 1871, by Henry Harrisse, Esq., aided by the
American minister at Paris ; but it unfortu-
nately failed.

In the summer and autumn of 1872, I had
numerous interviews with M. Margry, and at his
desire undertook to try to induce some Ameri-
can bookseller to publish the collection. On re-
turning to the United States, I accordingly made
an arrangement with Messrs. Little, Brown &
Co., of Boston, by which they agreed to print
the papers if a certain number of subscriptions
should first be obtained. The condition proved
very difficult ; and it became clear that the best
hope of success lay in another appeal to Con-
gress. This was made in the following winter,
in conjunction with Hon. E. B. Washburne;
Colonel Charles Whittlesey, of Cleveland ; 0. H.
Marshall, Esq., of Buffalo ; and other gentlemen
interested in early American history. The at-
tempt succeeded. Congress made an appropria-



PREFACE OF THE ELEVENTH EDITION, ix

tion for the purchase of five hundred copies of
the work, to be printed at Paris, under direction
of M. Margry ; and the three volumes devoted
to La Salle are at length before the public.

Of the papers contained in them which I had
not before examined, the most interesting are
the letters of La Salle, found in the original by
M. Margry, among the immense accumulations
of the Archives of the Marine and Colonies and
the Bibliotheque Nationale. The narrative of
La Salle's companion, Joutel, far more copious
than the abstract printed in 1713, under the
title of " Journal Historique," also deserves
special mention. These, with other fresh mate-
rial in these three volumes, while they add new
facts and throw new light on the character of
La Salle, confirm nearly every statement made
in the first edition of the Discovery of the Great
West. The only exception of consequence re-
lates to the causes of La Salle's failure to find
the mouth of the Mississippi in 1684, and to the
conduct, on that occasion, of the naval com-
mander, Beaujeu.

This edition is revised throughout, and in part
rewritten with large additions. A map of the
country traversed by the explorers is also added.
The name of La Salle is placed on the titlepage,



X PREFACE OF THE ELEVENTH EDITION.

as seems to be demanded by his increased promi-
nence in the narrative of which he is the central
figure.

Boston, 10 December, 1878.



Note. — The title of M. Margry's printed collection is " D§cou-

vertes et Etablissements des Franyais dans I'Ouest et dans le Sud
de TAmerique Septentrionale (1614-1754), Memoires et Documents
originaux." I., II., III. Besides the three volumes relating to La
Salle, there will be two others, relating to other explorers. In ac-
cordance with the agreement with Congress, an independent edition
will appear in France, with an introduction setting forth the cir-
cumstances of the publication.



PREFACE OF THE FIRST EDITION.



The discovery of the " Great West," or the
valleys of the Mississippi and the Lakes, is a
portion of our history hitherto very obscure.
Those magnificent regions were revealed to the
world through a series of daring enterprises,
of which the motives and even the incidents
have been but partially and superficially known.
The chief actor in them wrote much, but printed
nothing ; and the published writings of his asso-
ciates stand wofully in need of interpretation
from the unpublished documents which exist,
but which have not heretofore been used as
material for history.

This volume attempts to supply the defect.
Of the large amount of wholly new material
employed in it, by far the greater part is drawn
from the various public archives of France, and
the rest from private sources. The discovery of
many of these documents is due to the indefati-
gable research of M. Pierre Margry, assistant



Xii PREFACE OF THE FIRST EDITION.

director of the Archives of the Marine and Colo*
nies at Paris, whose labors as an investigator of
the maritime and colonial history of France can
be appreciated only by those who have seen their
results. In the department of American colo-
nial history, these results have been invaluable ;
for, besides several private collections made by
him, he rendered important service in the collec-
tion of the French portion of the Brodhead doc-
uments, selected and arranged the two great
series of colonial papers ordered by the Canadian
government, and prepared with vast labor ana-
lytical indexes of these and of supplementary
documents in the French archives, as well as a
copious index of the mass of papers relating to
Louisiana. It is to be hoped that the valuable
publications on the maritime history of France
which have appeared from his pen are an earn-
est of more extended contributions in future.

The late President Sparks, some time after the
publication of his Life of La Salle, caused a
collection to be made of documents relating to
that explorer, with the intention of incorporat-
ing them in a future edition. This intention
was never carried into effect, and the documents
were never used. With the liberality which
always distinguished him, he placed them at my



PREFACE OF THE FIRST EDITION. xiii

disposal, and this privilege has been kindly con-
tinued by Mrs. Sparks.

Abbe Faillon, the learned author of " La Colo-
nic Fran9aise en Canada," has sent me copies
of various documents found by him, including
family papers of La Salle. Among others who
in various ways have aided my inquiries are Dr.
John Paul, of Ottawa, 111. ; Count Adolphe de
Circourt, and M. Jules Marcou, of Paris ; M. A.
Gerin Lajoie, Assistant Librarian of the Cana-
dian Parliament ; M. J. M. Le Moine, of Que-
bec ; General Dix, Minister of the United States
at the Court of France ; 0. H. Marshall, of Buf-
falo ; J. G. Shea, of New York ; Buckingham
Smith, of St. Augustine ; and Colonel Thomas
Aspinwall, of Boston.

The smaller map contained in the book is a
portion of the manuscript map of Franquelin, of
which an account will be found in the Appendix.

The next volume of the series will be devoted
to the efforts of Monarchy and Feudalism under
Louis XIV. to establish a permanent power on
this continent, and to the stormy career of Louis
de Buade, Count of Frontenac.

Boston, 16 September, 1869



COISTTEJ^TTS.



Faob
IntrOOVOTIOX 3

CHAPTER I.
1643-1669.

CAVBLIER DE LA SALLB.

The Youth of La Salle : his Connection with the Jesuits ; he
goes to Canada ; his Character ; his Schemes ; his Seigniory
at La Chine ; his Expedition in Search of a Western Passage
to India 7

CHAPTER IL
1669-1671.

lA SALLE AND THE SULPITIAN8.

The French in Western New York. — Louis Joliet. — The Sulpi-
tians on Lake Erie; at Detroit; at Saut Ste. Marie. — The
Mystery of La Salle: he discovers the Ohio; lie descends
the Illinois ; did he reach the Mississippi ? 19

CHAPTER IIL

1670-1672.

THE JESUITS ON THE LAKES.

The Old Missions and the New. — A Change of Spirit. — Labs
Superior and the Copper-mines. — Ste. Marie. — La Pointe. —
Michilimackinac. — Jesuits on Lake Michigan. — Allouez
and Dablon. — The Jesuit Eur-trade 36



xn CONTENTS.

CHAPTER IV.

1667-1672.

france takes possession of the west.

Page
Talon. — Saint-Lusson. — Perrot. — The Ceremony at Saut Ste.

Marie. — The Speech of Allouez. — Count Frontenac ... 48

CHAPTER V.
1672-1675.

the DISCOVERT OF THE HIS8I8SIFPI.

Joliet sent to find the Mississippi. — Jacques Marquette. — De-
parture. — Green Bay. — The Wisconsin. — The Mississippi.
— Indians. — Manitous. — The Arkansas. — The Illinois. —
Joliet's Misfortune. — Marquette at Chicago : his Illness ;
his Death 67

CHAPTER VL
1673-1678.

LA SALLE AND FRONTENAC.

Objects of La Salle. — Frontenac favors him. — Projects of Fron-
tenac. — Cataraqui. — Frontenac on Lake Ontario. — Fort
Frontenac. — La SaUe and Fe'nelon. — Success of La Salle:
his Enemies 83

CHAPTER VIL
1678.

PARTY STRIFE.

La Salle and his Reporter. — Jesuit Ascendency. — The Missioni
and the Fur-trade. — Female Inquisitors. — Plots against La
Salle: his Brother the Priest. — Intrigues of the Jesuits. —
La Salle poisoned : he exculpates the Jesuits. — Renewed
Intrigues 106



^CONTENTS. xvii

CHAPTER Vni.

1677, 1678.

the grand enterprise.

Pagh
La Salle at Fort Frontenac. — La Salle at Court : his Memo-
rial. — Approval of the King. — Money and Means. — Henri
de Tonty. — Return to Canada 120

CHAPTER IX.
1678-1679.

LA SALLE AT NIAGARA.

Father Louis Hennepin : his Past Life ; his Character. — Em-
harkation. — Niagara Falls. — Indian Jealousy. — La Motte
and the Senecas. — A Disaster. — La Salle and his Followera 131

CHAPTER X.
1679.

THE LAUNCH OF THE " GRIFFIN."

The Niagara Portage. — A Vessel on the Stocks. — Suffering
and Discontent. — La Salle's Winter Journey. — The Vessel
launched. — Fresh Disasters .144

CHAPTER XL
1679.

LA SALLE ON THE UPPER LAKES.

The Voyage of the " Griffin." — Detroit. — A Storm. — St. Ignace
of Michilimackinac. — Rivals and Enemies. — Lake Mich-
igan. — Hardships. — A Threatened Fight. — Fort MiamL —
Tonty's Misfortunes. — Forebodings . 151

CHAPTER XIL
1679, 1680.

LA SALLE ON THE ILLINOIS.

The St. Joseph. — Adventure of La Salle. — The Prairies. —
Famine. — The Great Town of the Illinois. — Indians. — In-
trigues. — Difficulties. — Policy of La Salle. — Desertion. —
Another Attempt to poison La Salle 164



xviu CONTENTS.

CHAPTER ynr.

1680.

FORT CRilVECtEUR.

Page

Building of the Fort. — Loss of the " Griffin." — A Bold Resoln-
tion. — Another Vessel. — Hennepin sent to the Mississippi.

— Departure of La Salle 180

CHAPTER XrV.
1680.

HARDIHOOD OF LA SALLE.

The Winter Journey. — The Deserted Town. — Starved Rock. —
Lake Michigan. — The Wilderness. — War Parties. — La
Salle's Men give out. — 111 Tidings. — Mutiny. — Chastise-
ment of the Mutineers 189

CHAPTER XV.
1680.

INDIAN CONQUERORS.

The Enterprise renewed. — Attempt to rescue Tonty. — Buffalo.

— A Frightful Discovery. — Iroquois Fury. — The Ruined
Town. — A Night of Horror. — Traces of the Invaders. —

No News of Tonty 203

CHAPTER XVL

168

TONTT AND THE IROQUOIS.

The Deserters. — The Iroquois War. — The Great Town of the
Illinois. — The Alarm. — Onset of the Iroquois. — Peril of
Tonty. — A Treacherous Truce. — Intrepidity of Tonty. —
Murder of Ribourde. — War upon the Dead 216

CHAPTER XVIL
1680.

THE ADVENTURES OF HENKEPIN.

Hennepin an Impostor: his Pretended Discovery; his Actual

Discovery ; captured by the Sioux. — The L^pper Mississippi 242



CONTENTS. xnc

CHAPTER XVin.

1680, 1681.

hewnepin among the sioux.

Paob
fiigns of Danger. — Adoption. — Hennepin and his Indian Rela-
tives. — The Hunting Party. — The Sioux Camp. — Falls of
St. Anthony. — A Vagabond Friar : his Adventures on the
Mississippi. — Greysolon Du Lhut. — Return to CivilizatioQ . 259

CHAPTER XIX.
1681.

LA 8ALLB BEGINS ANEW.

His Constancy ; his Plans ; his Savage Allies ; he becomes Snow-
blind. — Negotiations. — Grand CounciL — La Salle's Ora-
tory. — Meeting with Tonty. — Preparation. — Departure. . 283

CHAPTER XX.
1681-1682.

SUCCESS OF LA SALLE.

His Followers. — The Chicago Portage. — Descent of the Missis-
sippi. — The Lost Hunter. — The Arkansas. — The Taensas.
^The Natchez. — Hostility. — The Mouth of the Mississippi.
— I/oma XIV. proclaimed Sovereign of the Great West . . 295

CHAPTER XXI.

1682, 1683.

ST. LOUIS OF THE ILLINOIS.

Louisiana. — Illness of La Salle: his Colony on the Illinois. —
Fort St. Louis. — Recall of Frontenac. — Le Febvre de la
Barre. — Critical Position of La Salle. — Hostility of the New
Governor. — Triumph of the Adverse Faction. — La Salle
sails for France 309



XX CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XXIL

1680-1683.

la salle painted bt himself.

Page
Difficulty of knowing hira ; his Detractors ; his Letters ; vexa-
tions of his Position ; his Unfitness for Trade ; risks of Corre-
spondence ; his Reported Marriage ; alleged Ostentation ; mo-
tives of Action ; charges of Harshness ; intrigues against
him ; unpopular Manners ; a Strange Confession ; his Strength
and his Weakness ; contrasts of his Character 328

CHAPTER XXm.

1684.

A NEW ENTERPRISE.

La Salle at Court : his Proposals. — Occupation of Louisiana.

— Invasion of Mexico. — Royal Favor. — Preparation. — A
Divided Command. — Beaujeu and La Salle. — Mental Condi-
tion of La Salle : his Farewell to his Mother 343

CHAPTER XXIV.

1684, 1685.

THE TOYAGE.

Disputes with Beaujen. — St. Domingo. — La Salle attacked
with Fever : his Desperate Condition. — The Gulf of Mexico.

— A Vain Search and a Fatal Error . . , 366

CHAPTER XXV.
1685.

LA SALLE IN TEXAS.

A Party of Exploration. — Wreck of the " Aimable." — Landing
of the Colonists. — A Forlorn Position. — Indian Neighbors.

— Friendly Advances of Beaujeu : his Departure. — A Fatal
Diicovery 378



CONTENTS. xxi

CHAPTER XXVI.

1685-1687.

8t. louis of texas.

Page

The Fort. — Misery and Dejection. — Energy of La Salle: his
Journey of Exploration. — Adventures and Accidents. — The
Buffalo. — Duhaut. — Indian Massacre. — Return of La Salle.
— A New Calamity. — A Desperate Resolution. — Departure
for Canada. — Wreck of the "Belle." — Marriage. — Sedi-
tion. — Adventures of La Salle's Party. — The Cenis. — The
Camanches. — The Only Hope. — The Last Farewell ... 391

CHAPTER XXVIL
1687.

ASSASSINATION OF LA SALLE. '

His Followers. — Prairie Travelling. — A Hunters' Quarrel. —
The Murder of Moranget. — The Conspiracy. — Death of La
Salle : his Character 420

CHAPTER XXVIIL
1687, 1688.

THE INNOCENT AND THE GUILTT.

Triumph of the Murderers. — Danger of Joutel. — Joutel among
the Cenis. — White Savages. — Insolence of Duhaut and his
Accomplices. — Murder of Duhaut and Liotot. — Hiens, the
Buccaneer. — Joutel and his Party: their Escape; they
reach the Arkansas. — Bravery and Devotion of Tonty. —
The Fugitives reach the Illinois. — Unworthy Conduct of
Cavelier. — He and his Companions return to Franco . . . 435

CHAPTER XXIX.
1688-1689.

FATE OF THE TEXAN COLONT.

Tonty attempts to rescue the Colonists : his DifBcnlties ana
Hardships. — Spanish Hostility — Expedition of Alonzo de
Leon : he reaches Fort St. Louis. — A Scene of Havoc. —
Destruction of the French. — The End 464



xxii CONTENTS.

APPENDIX.

Paob

I. Early Unpublished Maps of the Mississippi and the Great

Lakes 475

11. The Eldorado of Mathieu Sagean 485

LNDEX , . 481



i



LA SALLE



DISCOVERY OF THE GREAT WEST.




c



LA SALLE



DISCOYERY OF THE GREAT WEST.



INTRODUCTION.

The Spaniards discovered the Mississippi. De
Soto was buried beneath its waters ; and it was down
its muddy current that his followers fled from the
Eldorado of their dreams, transformed to a wilderness
of misery and death. The discovery was never used,
and was well-nigh forgotten. On early Spanish
maps, the Mississippi is often indistinguishable from
other affluents of the Gulf. A century passed after
De Soto's journeyings in the South, before a French
explorer reached a northern tributary of the great
river.

This was Jean Nicollet, interpreter at Three Rivers
on the St. Lawrence. He had been some twenty
years in Canada, had lived among the savage
Algonquins of AUumette Island, and spent eight or
nine years among the Nipissings, on the lake which
bears their name. Here he became an Indian in all



4 INTRODUCTION.

his habits, but remained, nevertheless, a zealoua
Catholic, and returned to civilization at last because
he could not live without the sacraments. Strange
stories were current among the Nipissings of a people
without hair or beard, who came from the West to
trade with a tribe beyond the Great Lakes. Who
could doubt that these strangers were Chinese or
Japanese? Such tales may well have excited
Nicollet's curiosity; and when, in 1635, or possibly
in 1638, he was sent as an ambassador to the tribe
in question, he would not have been surprised if on
arriving he had found a party of mandarins among
them. Perhaps it was with a view to such a contin-
gency that he provided himself, as a dress of cere-
mony, with a robe of Cliinese damask embroidered
with birds and flowers. The tribe to which he was
sent was that of the Winnebagoes, living near the
head of the Green Bay of Lake Michigan. They
had come to blows with the Hurons, allies of the
French; and Nicollet was charged to negotiate a
peace. When he approached the Winnebago town,
he sent one of his Indian attendants to announce his
coming, put on his robe of damask, and advanced to
meet the expectant crowd with a pistol in each hand.
The squaws and children fled, screaming that it was
a manito, or spirit, armed with thunder and light-
ning; but the chiefs and warriors regaled him with
80 bountiful a hospitality that a hundred and twenty
beavers were devoured at a single feast. From the
Winnebagoes, he passed westward, ascended Fox



INTRODUCTION. 6

River, crossed to the Wisconsin, and descended it
BO far that, as he reported on his return, in three
days more he would have reached the sea. The truth
seems to be that he mistook the meaning of his Indian
guides, and that the "great water" to which he was
so near was not the sea, but the Mississippi.

It has been affirmed that one Colonel Wood, of
Virginia, reached a branch of the Mississippi as early
as the year 1654, and that about 1670 a certain
Captain Bolton penetrated to the river itself. Neither
statement is sustained by sufficient evidence. It is
further affirmed that, in 1678, a party from New
England crossed the Mississippi, reached New
Mexico, and, returning, reported their discoveries to
the authorities of Boston, — a story without proof or
probability. ISIeanwhile, French Jesuits and fur-
traders pushed deeper and deejDcr into the wilder-
ness of the northern lakes. In 1641, Jogues and
Raymbault preached the Faith to a concourse of
Indians at the outlet of Lake Superior. Then came
the havoc and desolation of the Iroquois war, and for
years farther exploration was arrested. In 1658-59
Pierre Esprit Radisson, a Frenchman of St. Malo,
and his brother-in-law, M^dard Chouart des Groseil-
liers, penetrated the regions beyond Lake Superior,
and roamed westward till, as Radisson declares, they
reached what was called the Forked River, " because
it has two branches, the one towards the west, the
other towards the south, which, we believe, runs
towards Mexico," — which seems to point to the



6 INTRODUCTION.

Mississippi and its great confluent the Missouri.
Two years later, the aged Jesuit Menard attempted
to plant a mission on the southern shore of Lake
Superior, but perished in the forest by famine or the
tomahawk. Allouez succeeded him, explored a part
of Lake Superior, and heard, in his turn, of the
Sioux and their great river the "Messipi." More
and more, the thoughts of the Jesuits — and not of
the Jesuits alone — dwelt on this mysterious stream.
Through what regions did it flow; and whither
would it lead them, — to the South Sea or the
" Sea of Virginia ; " to Mexico, Japan, or China ?
The problem was soon to be solved, and the mystery
revealed.



CHAPTER L

1643-1669.

CAVELIER DE LA SALLE.

Thb Youth of La Salle: his Connection with thb Jesuits;
HE GOES TO Canada ; his Chaeactek; his Schemes; his Seign-
iory AT La Chine ; his Expedition in Search of a Western
Passage to India.

Among the burghers of Rouen was the old and rich
family of the Caveliers. Though citizens and not
nobles, some of their connections held high diplo-
matic posts and honorable employments at Court.
They were destined to find a better claim to distinc-
tion. In 1643 was born at Rouen Robert Cavelier,
better known by the designation of La Salle. ^ His
father Jean and his uncle Henri were wealthy mer-

1 The following is the acte de naissance, discovered by Margry in
the registres de I'etat civil, Paroisse St. Herbland, Rouen : " Le vingt-
deuxi^me jour de novembre, 1643, a e'te' baptise Robert Cavelier, fils
de honorable homme Jean Cavelier et de Catherine Geest ; ses par-
rain et marraine honorables personnes Nicolas Geest et Marguerite
Morice."

La Salle's name in full was Re'ne-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la
Salle. La Salle was the name of an estate near Rouen, belonging
to the Caveliers. The wealthy French burghers often distinguished
the various members of their families by designations borrowed
from landed estates. Thus, Francois Marie Arouet, son of an
ex-notary, received the nnme of Voltaire, which he made famous.



8 CAVELIER DE LA SALLE. [1606.

chants, living more like nobles than like burghers ;
and the boy received an education answering to the
marked traits of intellect and character which he soon
began to display. He showed an inclination for the
exact sciences, and especially for the mathematics, in
which he made great proficiency. At an early age,
it is said, he became connected with the Jesuits;
and, though doubt has been expressed of the state-
ment, it is probably true.'

La Salle was always an earnest Catholic ; and yet,
judging by the qualities which his after-life evinced,
he was not very liable to religious enthusiasm. It is
nevertheless clear that the Society of Jesus may have
had a powerful attraction for his youthful imagina-



Online LibraryFrancis ParkmanLa Salle and the discovery of the great West. France and England in North America, part third → online text (page 1 of 36)