Francis Parkman.

La Salle and the discovery of the great West. France and England in North America. Part third (Volume 2) online

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SOUTHERN 1


EGIONALLIBRAR


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Y FACILITY


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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
AT LOS ANGELES

BROWSING ROOM




GIFT OF

SEELEY W. MUDD

and

GEORGE I. COCHRAN MEYER ELSASSER

DR.JOHNR. HAYNES WILLIAM L. HONNOLD

JAMES R. MARTIN MRS. JOSEPH F. SARTORI

to the

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA

SOUTHERN BRANCH




JOHN FISKE



EDITION DE LUXE.



THE WORKS



FRANCIS PARKMAN.



VOLUME VI.



Eight Copies of the Edition de Luxe of Frayicis Parkmans
Works have been printed for presentation.



Ho



.1..




"•jpstruhl.^Sjf, by XuUa. Brown. Sc^



Caw:/ ^- C9 Parts.



Louis XIl^.



LA SALLE AND THE DISCOV-
ERY OF THE GREAT WEST ^
FRANCE AND ENGLAND IN
NORTH AMERICA • Part Third
BY FRANCIS PARKMAN J' J- ^ J-



IN TWO VOLUMES
Vol. II.




BOSTON ^ LITTLE • BROWN
AND • COMPANY ^MDCCCXCVII



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

Francis Pakkman,

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

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

Fkancis Parkman,
In the Ottice of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

Copi/riffht, 1897,
By Littlk, Brown, and Company.



Hnibcrsitg ^Prrss:
John Wilson and Son, CAMBrinoE, U. S. A.



f^



F



CONTENTS.



CHAPTER XVIII.

1680, 1681.

hennepin aaiong the sioux.

Page
Signs 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 Civilization . 3

CHAPTER XIX.
1681.

LA SALLE 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 . . 27

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.

— Louis XIV. proclaimed Sovereign of the Great West . . 39



17'4:(i«f)



vi CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XXI.

1682, 1683.

st. louis of the illinois.

Page

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 53

CHAPTER XXIL

1680-1683.

LA SALLE PAINTED BY HIMSELF.

Difficulty of knowing him ; 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 72

CHAPTER XXIIL

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 87

CHAPTER XXrV.

1C84, 1685.

THE VOYAGE.

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

— A Vain Search and a Fatal Error 110



CONTENTS. Vii

CHAPTER XXV.

1685.

la salle in texas.

Page
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
Discovery 122

CHAPTER XXVI.

168.5-1687.

ST. LCCIS OF TEXAS.

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 . . . 135

CHAPTER XXVII.

1687.

ASSASSINATION OF LA SALLE.

His Followers. — Prairie Travelling. — A Hunters' Quarrel. —
The Murder of Moranget. — The Conspiracy. — Death of La
Salle: his Character 164

CHAPTER XXVm.

1687, 1688.

THE INNOCENT AND THE GUILTY.

Triumph of the Murderers. — Danger of Joutel. — Jontel 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 France ... 179



viii CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XXIX.

1688-1689.

fate of the texan colony.

Pack
Tonty attempts to rescue the Colonists : his Difficulties and
Hardships. — Spanish Hostility. — Expedition of Alonzo de
Leon : he reaches Fort St. Louis. — A Scene of Havoc. —
Destruction of the French. —The End 208



APPENDIX.



T. Early Unpublished Maps of the Mississippi and the Great

Lakes 219

II. The Eldorado of Mathieu Sagean 229



INDEX 237



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

VOLUME TWO.
Louis XIV Frontispiece

From the original painting by Jean Gamier, in the Versailles Gallery.
TONTY OFFEREl> PRESENTS TO THE ChIEF OF THE

Taensas . Page 46

From the drawing by Adrieu Moreau.

La Salle's Expedition to Louisiana " 50

From the original painting by Gudin, in the Versailles Gallery.

La Salle's Colony on the Illinois " 69

Marquis de Seignelay " 99

Prom the original painting by Claude Lefebvre, in the Versailles Gallery.

Assassination of La Salle "173

From the drawing by Howard Pyle.



LA SALLE



DISCOVERY OF THE GREAT WEST.



LA SALLE



DISCOVERY OF THE GREAT WEST.



CHAPTER XVHL

1680, 1681.

HENNEPIN AMONG THE SIOUX.

Signs 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. — Gbeysolon du Lhut. — Return to Civilization.

As Hennepin entered the village, he beheld a sight
which caused him to invoke Saint Anthony of Padua.
In front of the lodges were certain stakes, to which
were attached bundles of straw, intended, as he sup-
posed, for burning him and his friends alive. His
concern was redoubled when he saw the condition of
the Picard Du Gay, whose hair and face had been
painted with divers colors, and whose head was
decorated with a tuft of white feathers. In this
guise he was entering the village, followed by a



4 HENNEPIN AMONG THE SIOUX. [1680.

crowd of Sioux, who compelled him to sing and keep
time to his own music by rattling a dried gourd
containing a number of pebbles. The omens, indeed,
were exceedingly threatening; for treatment like
this was usually followed by the speedy immolation
of the captive. Hennepin ascribes it to the effect of
his invocations, that, being led into one of the lodges,
among a throng of staring squaws and childi-en, he
and his companions were seated on the ground, and
presented with large dishes of birch-bark, containing
a mess of wild rice boiled with dried whortleberries,
— a repast which he declares to have been the best
that had fallen to his lot since the day of his
captivity.^

1 The Sioux, or Dacotah, as they call themselves, were a numer-
ous people, separated into three great divisions, which were again
subdivided into bands. Those among whom Hennepin was a pris-
oner belonged to the division known as the Issanti, Issanyati, or, as
he writes it, Issati, of which the principal band was the Meddewa-
kantonwan. The other great divisions, the Yanktons and the Tin-
tonwans, or Tetons, lived west of the Mississippi, extending beyond
the Missouri, and ranging as far as the Eocky Mountains. The
Issanti cultivated the soil ; but the extreme western bands subsisted
on the buffalo alone. The former had two kinds of dwelling,—
the teepee, or skin-lodge, and the bark-lodge. The teepee, which
was used by all the Sioux, consists of a covering of dressed buffalo-
hide, stretched on a conical stack of poles. The bark-lodge was
peculiar to the Eastern Sioux; and examples of it might be seen,
until within a few years, among the bands on the St. Peter's. In
its general character, it was like the Huron and Iroquois houses,
but was inferior in construction. It had a ridge roof, framed of
poles, extending from the posts which formed the sides ; and the
whole was covered with elm-bark. The lodges in the villages to
which Hennepin was conducted were probably of this kind.

The name Sioux is an abbreviation of Nadouessioux, an Ojibwa



1680.] THE SIOUX. 5

This soothed his fears ; but, as he allayed his fam-
ished appetite, he listened with anxious interest to
the vehement jargon of the chiefs and warriors, who
were disputing among themselves to whom the three
captives should respectively belong; for it seems
that, as far as related to them, the question of distri-
bution had not yet been definitely settled. The
debate ended in the assigning of Hennepin to his old
enemy Aquipaguetin, who, however, far from persist-
ing in his evil designs, adopted him on the spot as
his son. The three companions must now part com-
pany. Du Gay, not yet quite reassured of his safety,
hastened to confess himself to Hennepin ; but Accau
proved refractory, and refused the offices of religion,
which did not prevent the friar from embracing them
both, as he says, with an extreme tenderness. Tired
as he was, he was forced to set out with his self-
styled father to his village, which was fortunately

word, meaning " enemies." The Ojibwas used it to designate this
people, and occasionally also the Iroquois, being at deadly war
with both.

Rev. Stephen R. Riggs, for many years a missionary among the
Issanti Sioux, says that this division consists of four distinct bands.
They ceded all their lands east of the Mississippi to the United
States in 1837, and lived on the St. Peter's till driven thence in con-
sequence of the massacres of 1862, 1863. The Yankton Sioux con-
sist of two bands, which are again subdivided. The Assiniboins, or
Hohays, are an offshoot from the Yanktons, with whom they are
now at war. The Tintonwan, or Teton Sioux, forming the most
western division and the largest, comprise seven bands, and arc
among the bravest and fiercest tenants of the prairie.

The earliest French writers estimate the total number of the
Sioux at forty thousand ; but this is little better than conjecture.
Mr. Riggs, in 1852, placed it at about twenty-five thousand.



6 HENNEPIN AMONG THE SIOUX. [1680.

not far off. An unpleasant walk of a few miles
through woods and marshes brought them to the
borders of a sheet of water, apparently Lake Buade,
where five of Aquipaguetin's wives received the
party in three canoes, and ferried them to an island
on which the village stood.

At the entrance of the chief's lodge, Hennepin was
met by a decrepit old Indian, withered with age, who
offered him the peace-pipe, and placed him on a bear-
skin which was spread by the fire. Here, to relieve
his fatigue, — for he was well-nigh spent, — a small
boy anointed his limbs with the fat of a wild-cat,
supposed to be sovereign in these cases by reason of
the great agility of that animal. His new father
gave him a bark-platter of fish, covered him with a
buffalo-robe, and showed him six or seven of his
wives, who were thenceforth, he was told, to regard
him as a son. The chief's household was numerous ;
and his allies and relatives formed a considerable
clan, of which the missionary found himself an invol-
untary member. He was scandalized when he saw
one of his adopted brothers carrying on his back the
bones of a deceased friend, wrapped in the chasuble
of brocade which they had taken with other vest-
ments from his box.

Seeing their new relative so enfeebled that he
could scarcely stand, the Indians made for him one
of their sweating baths, ^ where they immersed him

^ These baths consist of a small hut, covered closely with buffalo-
skins, into which the patient and his friends enter, carefully closing



1680.] HENNEPIN AS A MISSIONARY. 7

in steam three times a week, — a process from which
he thinks he derived great benefit. His strength
gradually returned, in spite of his meagre fare; for
there was a dearth of food, and the squaws were less
attentive to his wants than to those of their children.
They respected him, however, as a person endowed
with occult powers, and stood in no little awe of a
pocket compass which he had with him, as well as of
a small metal pot with feet moulded after the face of
a lion. This last seemed in their eyes a "medicine "
of the most formidable nature, and they would not
touch it without first wrapping it in a beaver-skin.
For the rest, Hennepin made himself useful in
various ways. He shaved the heads of the children,
as was the custom of the tribe ; bled certain asthmatic
persons, and dosed others with orvietan, the famous
panacea of his time, of which he had brought with
him a good supply. With respect to his missionary
functions, he seems to have given himself little
trouble, unless his attempt to make a Sioux vocabu-
lary is to be regarded as preparatory to a future
apostleship. "I could gain nothing over them," he
says, "in the way of their salvation, by reason of
their natural stupidity." Nevertheless, on one occa-
sion, he baptized a sick child, naming it Antoinette
in honor of Saint Anthony of Padua. It seemed to
revive after the rite, but soon relapsed and presently

every aperture. A pile of heated stones is placed in the middle,
and water is poured upon them, raising a dense vapor. They are
still (1868) in use among the Sioux and some other tribes.



8 HENNEPIN AMONG THE SIOUX. [1680.

died, "which," he writes, "gave me great joy and
satisfaction." In this he was like the Jesuits, who
could find nothing but consolation in the death of a
newly baptized infant, since it was thus assured of a
paradise which, had it lived, it would probably have
forfeited by sharing in the superstitions of its
parents.

With respect to Hennepin and his Indian father,
there seems to have been little love on either side ;
but Ouasicoud^, the principal chief of the Sioux of
this region, was the fast friend of the three white
men. He was angry that they had been robbed,
which he had been unable to prevent, as the Sioux
had no laws, and their chiefs little power; but he
spoke his mind freely, and told Aquipaguetin and
the rest, in full council, that they were like a dog
who steals a piece of meat from a dish and runs away
with it. When Hennepin complained of hunger, the
Indians had always promised him that early in the
summer he should go with them on a buffalo hunt,
and have food in abundance. The time at length
came, and the inhabitants of all the neighboring
villages prepared for departure. To each band was
assigned its special hunting-ground, and he was
expected to accompany his Indian father. To this
he demurred ; for he feared lest Aquipaguetin, angry
at the words of the great chief, might take this
opportunity to revenge the insult put upon him. He
therefore gave out that he expected a party of
" Spirits " — that is to say. Frenchmen — to meet him



1680.] CAMP OF SAVAGES. 9

at the mouth of the Wisconsin, bringing a supply of
goods for the Indians ; and he declares that La Salle
had in fact promised to send traders to that place.
Be this as it may, the Indians believed him; and,
true or false, the assertion, as will be seen, answered
the purpose for which it was made.

The Indians set out in a body to the number of
two hundred and fifty warriors, with their women
and children. The three Frenchmen, who though in
different villages had occasionally met during the two
months of their captivity, were all of the party.
They descended Rum River, which forms the outlet
of Mille Lac, and which is called the St. Francis by
Hennepin. None of the Indians had offered to give
him passage ; and, fearing lest he should be abandoned,
he stood on the bank, hailing the passing canoes and
begging to be taken in. Accau and Du Gay presently
appeared, paddling a small canoe which the Indians
had given them; but they would not listen to the
missionary's call, and Accau, who had no love for
him, cried out that he had paddled him long enough
already. Two Indians, however, took pity on him,
and brought him to the place of encampment, where
Du Gay tried to excuse himself for his conduct; but
Accau was sullen, and kept aloof.

After reaching the Mississippi, the whole party
encamped together opposite to the mouth of Rum
River, pitching their tents of skin, or building their
bark-huts, on the slope of a hill by the side of the
water. It was a wild scene, this camp of savages



10 HENNEPIN AMONG THE SIOUX. [1680.

among whom as yet no traders had come and no
handiwork of civilization had found its way, — the
tall warriors, some nearly naked, some wrapped in
buffalo-robes, and some in shirts of dressed deer-skin
fringed with hair and embroidered with dyed porcu-
pine quills, war-clubs of stone in their hands, and
quivers at their backs filled with stone-headed arrows ;
the squaws, cutting smoke-dried meat with knives
of flint, and boiling it in rude earthen pots of their
own making, driving away, meanwhile, with shrill
cries, the ti'oops of lean dogs, which disputed the
meal with a crew of hungry children. The whole
camp, indeed, was threatened with starvation. The
three white men could get no food but unripe berries,
— from the effects of which Hennepin thinks they
might all have died, but for timely doses of his
orvietan.

Being tired of the Indians, he became anxious to
set out for the Wisconsin to find the party of French-
men, real or imaginary, who were to meet him at that
place. That he was pennitted to do so was due to
the influence of the great cliief Ouasicoud^, who
always befriended him, and who had soundly berated
his two companions for refusing him a seat in their
canoe. Du Gay wished to go with him ; but Accau,
who liked the Indian life as much as he disliked
Hennepin, preferred to remain with the hunters. A
small birch-canoe was given to the two adventurers,
together with an earthen pot; and they had also
between them a gun, a knife, and a robe of beaver-



1680.] FALLS OF ST. ANTHONY. 11

skin. Thus equipped, they began their journey, and
soon approached the Falls of St. Anthony, so named
by Hennepin in honor of the inevitable Saint Anthony
of Padua. ^ As they were carrying their canoe by
the cataract, they saw five or six Indians, who had
gone before, and one of whom had climbed into an
oak-tree beside the principal fall, whence in a loud
and lamentable voice he was haranguing the spirit of
the waters, as a sacrifice to whom he had just hung a
robe of beaver-skin among the branches. ^ Their
attention was soon engrossed by another object.
Looking over the edge of the cliff which overhung
the river below the falls, Hennepin saw a snake,

1 Hennepin's notice of the Falls of St. Anthony, though brief, is
sufficiently accurate. He says, in his first edition, that they are
forty or fifty feet high, but adds ten feet more in the edition of
1697. In 1821, according to Schoolcraft, the perpendicular fall
measured forty feet. Great changes, however, have taken place
here, and are still in progress. The rock is a very soft, friable
sandstone, overlaid by a stratum of limestone ; and it is crumbling
with such rapidity under the action of the water that the cataract
will soon be little more than a rapid. Other changes equally disas-
trous, in an artistic point of view, are going on even more quickly.
Beside the falls stands a city, which, by an ingenious combination
of the Greek and Sioux languages, has received the name of Min-
neapolis, or City of the Waters, and which in 1867 contained ten
thousand inhabitants, two national banks, and an opera-liouse ;
while its rival city of St. Anthony, immediately opposite, boasted a
gigantic water-cure and a State university. In short, tlie great
natural beauty of the place is utterly spoiled.

^ Oanktayhee, the principal deity of the Sioux, was supposed to
live under these falls, though he manifested himself in the form of
a buffalo. It was he who created the earth, like the Algonquin
Manabozho, from mud brought to him in the paws of a musk-rat.
Carver, in 1766, saw an Indian throw everything he had about him
into the cataract as an offering to this deity.



12 HENNEPIN AMONG THE SIOUX. [1680.

which, as he avers, was six feet long,i writhing
upward towards the holes of the swallows in the face
of the precipice, in order to devour their young. He
pointed him out to Du Gay, and they pelted him
with stones till he fell into the river, but not before
his contortions and the darting of his forked tongue
had so affected the Picard's imagination that he
was haunted that night with a terrific incubus.

They paddled sixty leagues down the river in the
heats of July, and killed no large game but a single
deer, the meat of which soon spoiled. Their main
resource was the turtles, whose shyness and watch-
fulness caused them frequent disappointments and
many involuntary fasts. They once captured one of
more than common size; and, as they were endeav-
oring to cut off his head, he was near avenging him-
self by snapping off Hennepin's finger. There was
a herd of buffalo in sight on the neighboring prairie ;
and Du Gay went with his gun in pursuit of them,
leaving the turtle in Hennepin's custody. Scarcely
was he gone when the friar, raising his eyes, saw
that their canoe, which they had left at the edge of
the water, had floated out into the current. Hastily
turning the turtle on his back, he covered him with
his habit of St. Francis, on which, for greater
security, he laid a number of stones, and then, being
a good swimmer, struck out in pursuit of the canoe,

1 In the edition of 1683. In that of 1697 he had grown to seven
or eight feet. The bank-swallows still make their nests in these
cliffs, boring easily into the soft sandstone.



1680.] ADVENTURES. 13

which he at length overtook. Finding that it would
overset if he tried to climb into it, he pushed it
before him to the shore, and then paddled towards
the place, at some distance above, where he had left
the turtle. He had no sooner reached it than he
heard a strange sound, and beheld a long file of
buffalo — bulls, cows, and calves — entering the
water not far off, to cross to the western bank. Hav-
ing no gun, as became his apostolic vocation, he
shouted to Du Gay, who presently appeared, running
in all haste, and they both paddled in pursuit of the
game. Du Gay aimed at a young cow, and shot her
in the head. She fell in shallow water near an
island, where some of the herd had landed ; and being
unable to drag her out, they waded into the water
and butchered her where she lay. It was forty-eight
hours since they had tasted food. Hennepin made a
fire, while Du Gay cut up the meat. They feasted
so bountifully that they both fell ill, and were forced
to remain two days on the island, taking doses of
orvietan, before they were able to resume their
journey.

Apparently they were not sufficiently versed in
woodcraft to smoke the meat of the cow ; and the hot
sun soon robbed them of it. They had a few fish-
hooks, but were not always successful in the use of
them. On one occasion, being nearly famished, they
set their line, and lay watching it, uttering prayers
in turn. Su.ddenly, there was a great turmoil in the
water. Du Gay ran to the line, and, with the help



14 HENNEPIN AMONG THE SIOUX. [1680.

of Hennepin, drew in two large cat-fish.^ The eagles,
or fish-hawks, now and then dropped a newly caught
fish, of which they gladly took possession ; and once
they found a purveyor in an otter which they saw by
the bank, devouring some object of an appearance so
wonderful that Du Gay cried out that he had a devil
between his paws. They scared him from his prey,
which proved to be a spade-fish, or, as Hennepin
correctly describes it, a species of sturgeon, with a
bony projection from his snout in the shape of a
paddle. They broke their fast upon him, undeterred
by this eccentric appendage.

If Hennepin had had an eye for scenery, he would


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