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Under this favorable change of af- day, they were greeted by richer scefairs, missionary efforts were renewed. nery and by a different climate; they Allouez coasted Lake Superior, and were fanned by the soft breezes and two years afterward, in company with delighted by the luxuriant vegetation Dablon and Marquette, established the of the south; the sombre vines of the mission of St. Mary, the first settlement Canadian forests were exchanged for
of white men within the limits the cotton wood and palmetto of the
of our north western States. Va tropics, and they began to suffer from rious missions were established and ex- the heat and the mosquitoes. Marplorations made. Fired by the rumors quette, satisfied that the river must of a great river in the west, Mar- empty into the Gulf of Mexico, and fearquette was presently sent by the inten- ful of falling into the hands of dant Talon to search it out. Accompa- the Spaniards, reluctantly turned nied by Joliet, a merchant of Quebec, his steps back again towards Canada. with five Frenchmen, and two Algon- Leaving Marquette at Green Bay, at quin guides, they ascended on the 10th his missionary work, Joliet carried the of June, 1673, to the head of Fox River, news to Quebec. Marquette's health and carrying their canoes across the soon after gave way, and while enintervening ground which separates the gaged in missionary efforts among the eastern from the western streams, they Illinois, he died, May 18th, 1675, at launched them again upon the waters the early age of thirty-eight.* of the Wisconsin, where their Indian Robert Cavalier De La Salle, an enconductors, fearful of advancing any ergetic young French adventurer, who farther, left them to make their way had evinced unusual sagacity and met alone. For seven days they floated with great success in his explorations down the stream, when at length, to on Lakes Ontario and Erie, was roused
their great joy, they emerged by the news of the discovery of the
upon the mighty waters of the "great river." Leaving his fur trade, MISSISSIPPI, that “great river" — for his fields, and his many advantages in so its name imports--rolling through connection with Fort Frontenac-rat vast verdant prairies dotted with herds the outlet of Ontario-La Salle hurried of buffalo, and its banks overhung with to France, and received from Colbert primitive forests. With the feelings of a commission to proceed with men who have discovered a new world, further discoveries on the Misthey passed the mouths of the Des sissippi. Accompanied by the CheMoines, the Illinois, the Missouri, and valier Tonti, a veteran Italian, as his the Ohio, keeping on as far as the lieutenant, he returned to Frontenac, Arkansas. They landed to visit the as- built a small bark, with which he astonished Indians upon the shores, who cended the Niagara River to the foot of received them with hospitality, and invited them to form a permanent set
work," Discovery and Exploration of the Mississippi tlement. As they floated on day after | Valley,” p. Ixxi.
* See Mr. J. G. Shea's interesting and valuable
the rapids, below the great fall; and nac, where, though reported dead, he above them, near the shore of Lake gathered fresh materials for the proseErie, began the construction of the cution of his enterprise. His agents, first rigged vessel that ever sailed upon meanwhile, were engaged in carrying the western waters. In this little bark out his instructions.
out his instructions. Hennepin exof sixty tons, called the “Griffin,” ac-plored the Mississippi to the Falls of companied by Tonti and a band of mis- St. Anthony, and returning afterwards sionaries and fur traders, La Salle tra- to France, published there an account versed Lake Erie, and passed through of his travels. * Tonti
, less fortunate, Detroit, or “the strait" which separates who had been directed to establish it from the limpid sheet to which he himself among the Illinois, was driven gave the appropriate name of St. Clair, thence by the hostility of the Iroquois,
and sailing across Lake Huron, and was obliged to take refuge at
and by the straits of Mackinaw, Green Bay. Their indefatigable leader into Lake Michigan, at length came to at length returned with provisions and an anchor in Green Bay.
reinforcements, collected his scattered From this point, after sending back men, and constructed a capacious barge, the vessel for fresh supplies, La Salle in which he descended the Mississippi and his associates proceeded in canoes to the Gulf of Mexico. Formal posacross Lake Michigan to the mouth session of the mouth of the river was of the St. Joseph's River, where Al- taken for France, April 9th, 1682, and louez had established a station, and to the name LOUISIANA was conferred upwhich was now added a trading post, on the newly acquired territory. called the Fort of the Miamis. Await
La Salle having returned to France ing in vain the return of the “Griffin," speedily aroused an ardent desire to which had been wrecked on her way colonize the fertile region which back, La Salle and Tonti, with a body he had discovered. Accordingly of their followers, crossed over to the he soon got together an expedition, Illinois River, where, some distance consisting of a frigate and three other below Peoria, he erected another fort. ships, on board of which were two hunThere were still no tidings of the miss-dred and eighty persons in all, ing vessel, and to proceed without sup- ecclesiastics, soldiers, mechanics plies was impossible; murmurs arose and emigrants, and as speedily as posamong his disheartened followers, and
* Mr. Sparks has clearly shown that Hennepin is detaching Tonti and the Recollect Hennepin to continue their explorations, things, he says :-“These facts added to others are and having named his new fort “Crève- perfectly conclusive, and must convict Father Hencour," in memory of his deep and bitter nepin of having palmed upon the world a pretended
discovery and a fictitious narrative... Notwithstandvexations, La Salle set out with ing this gross imposition, we must allow him justice
only three followers, making his way back across the vast wilderness doubt the general accuracy of his first book, nor of which spread between him and Fronte-Crèvecaur.”—“ Life of De La Salle,” p. 91.
not to be relied on.
After mentioning several
on other points. There seems no good reason to
his second, previously to his departure from Fort
THE MURDER OF DE LA SALLE.
sible got under way to plant a colony zation consecrated with his blood the at the mouth of the Mississippi. But future land of liberty. no success attended the enterprise. La The murderers of La Salle, quarrelSalle, falling into serious disputes and ling over the spoils of their leader, met even quarrels with Beaujeu, who had themselves with the same retributive command of the fleet under him, missed fate at the hands of some of their assothe entrance of the river, and in Feb- ciates, of whom Joutel, the narrator of ruary, 1685, was compelled to land his these dismal events, with no more than dispirited and despairing company at five others, made their way to the banks some point on the coast of Texas. In of the Mississippi, where they fell in the midst of disaffection and treachery with two Frenchmen, left there by and death, La Salle did not lose heart : Toriti
, on his return from a vain search with characteristic intrepidity, in April, after his old commander. The twenty 1686, he set out with twenty men to men left behind at the fort which had find the Illinois, where Tonti was await- been built by La Salle, also perished; ing him, but without avail: he was com- and thus, after the most indefatigable pelled to return to the fort in Octo- efforts, and the most brilliant prospects ber. Yet as his only hope lay in ex- of success, the colony of La Salle came tricating himself and his followers-- to an untimely end-sad termination to less than forty—by an overland pas- the career of its energetic and gallant
sage, early in January he set founder.f
out again with seventeen men Affairs in Canada, meanwhile, had beon this forlorn enterprise. Three of come very much embroiled. Disputes the party conspired to commit mur- having arisen between Frontenac the der ; they slaughtered Moragnet, Nika governor and the Intendant, De la and Saget, and when La Salle came to Barre was sent out in 1682 to succeed inquire after the missing men, Duhaut Frontenac. Dongan, the governor of discharged his musket from ambush New York, although charged by and shot the unhappy commander James II. to maintain a good unthrough the head. This was on the derstanding with the French, used his 19th of March, 1687. Good Father influence secretly to inflame the dissenAnastase dug his grave, buried him, and erected a cross over his remains.* La
* Gayarré's “ History of Louisiana," vol i., p. 28.
† The Mississippi, however, Salle 6 died some where about the spot travelled by the adventurous trader, and still more where now stands the town of Washing- adventurous missionary. A Spanish vessel, under ton,” says Mr. Gayarré, “which town
on the second of March, 1699, the Canadian Iberowes its foundation to some of that race
ville, more fortunate than La Salle, entered it with to which belonged his avenger, and Father Anastasius Douay, who had accompanied that the star spangled banner now proudly unfortunate adventurer on his last voyage. Mission
aries from Canada soon came to greet him, and La waves where the first pioneer of civili
Sueur ascended the Mississippi to St. Peter's River,
and built a log fort on its blue-earth tributary. Hence* Sparks's “Life of Robert Cavalier De La Salle," forward all was progress," etc.--Shea's " Discovery
and Exploration of the Mississippi Valley," p. xxxix.
was soon constantly
Andrew de Pes, entered the mouth soon after; but,
sions between them and their enemies. other than your people. Hear, OnonDe la Barre, after convoking an as- dio —what I say is the voice of all the sembly to take into consideration the Five Nations. When they buried the perilous condition of the province, hatchet in the middle of the fort, they and after making some abortive at planted the tree of peace in the same tempts at negotiation, marched to place, that instead of a retreat for solattack the Iroquois at the head of diers, it might be a meeting-place for a considerable force; but on the way merchants. Take care that your solhis troops were so reduced and weak- diers do not choke the tree of peace, ened by sickness, arising from the mias- and prevent it from covering your ma of the marshes and forests, that he country and ours with its branches. I was compelled to conclude a humilia- tell you that our warriors shall dance ting peace with the foes over whom he under its leaves, and never dig up the had anticipated a signal triumph. At hatchet to cut it down, till their brother his desire the chiefs of the Five Nations Onondio or Corlear shall invade the repaired to his camp, but his endeavor country which the Great Spirit has to overawe them met with no success given to our ancestors.” whatever. On the contrary one of The Marquis de Denonville succeeded these fierce warriors is represented as De la Barre in 1684, and brought with having broken out in the following spi- him some five or six hundred rited speech, personifying De la Barre soldiers. A fort was built at as Onondio, and the English governor Niagara to cover the route from Canada as Corlear:—“Hear, Onondio, I am not through Lake Erie, and also as a check asleep, my eyes are open, and the sun upon the hostile Iroquois, a measure which enlightens me discloses to me a which helped to increase the jealousy great captain who speaks as if he were and ill will of the English. An expedidreaming. He says that he only came tion was undertaken by Denonto smoke the pipe of peace with the ville against the Senecas; but Onondagas. But Garrangula says that although they penetrated and ravaged he sees the contrary, that it was to the country, yet the Iroquois in turn knock them on the head, if sickness had threatening invasion, the French were not weakened the arms of the French. glad to purchase peace by giving We carried the English to our lakes to up their fort and promising to trade with the Utawawas, as the Adir- return the captives they had treachondacks brought the French to our erously got into their power. A short forts to carry on a trade which the interval only of peace followed. The English say is theirs. We are born Iroquois advanced on Montreal, free; we neither depend on Onondio killed many, and made prisoners nor Corlear. We may go where we of many more, and spread terror even please, and buy and sell what we please. as far as Quebec. If your allies are your slaves, use them On the whole, Canada could not be as such—command them to receive no said to have flourished. Although the
FRENCH AND ENGLISH COLONIAL SUCCESS.
French had done wonders in the way istic of their rivals in the New World.* of exploration, and in contending with At this date, according to Mr. BanIndian ferocity and valor, greatly be- croft, the twelve oldest States of our yond anything to which the English Union “contained not very many behad been exposed, yet the climate and yond two hundred thousand inhabisoil were unfavorable, the government tants, of whom Massachusetts, with was a military despotism, the people Plymouth and Maine, may have had had no share in public affairs, and the forty-four thousand; New Hampshire population at most did not exceed and Rhode Island, with Providence, twelve thousand. Acadie was even still each six thousand; Connecticut, from more feeble, the total of its inhabitants seventeen to twenty thousand ; that is, being less probably than three thou- in all New England, seventy-five thousand. Yet, seeing that the eastern In- sand souls; New York, not less than dians, both those of the peninsula and twenty thousand; New Jersey, half those of the main land, were wholly as many; Pennsylvania and Delaware, under French influence, it added ma- perhaps twelve thousand ; Maryland terially to the strength of the French twenty-five thousand; Virginia, fifty in that vicinity.
thousand or more; and the two CaroThe contrast between New France linas, which then included the soil of and the English colonies was at this Georgia, probably not less than eight date quite striking; for the latter oc- thousand souls.”+ cupying territory more favorably situate Such was the condition and state of along the coast, and every year devel affairs when William III. mounted the oping new energies and stimulated to English throne, and the American colonew enterprises, were steadily advan. nies were involved in the war that soon cing in prosperity and ability to under- raged between France and England. . stand and maintain their just rights. The French, on the other hand, though * This contrast is eloquently set forth by Mr. Parkever brave and chivalrous, had not in
man, "History of the Conspiracy of Pontiac," p. 41, their colonies the elements of strength
† Bancroft's “ History of the United States," vol. and permanency which were character- ii., p. 450.