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CHAPTER LXVI.

Discoveries in the West.-The Mississippi and its branches explored by Joliet and Marquette.-Explorations of La Salle and Father Hennepin.

1. It is time now to attend to the history of the Great West. The

LA SALLE ON HIS EXPLORING EXPEDITION.

travels of Ferdi-nand de So'-to have been mentioned. He saw and crossed the great Mississippi; but the French, under Joliet and Marquette [market'], two Canadians, first explored it, together with some of

its principal branches, such as the Fox, Wiscon'-sin, Ar-kan'

[graphic]

sas, and Illinois. This was a little before the time of Philip's war. 2. A few years later, that is, in 1679, M. de La Salle, a French Canadian officer, equipped a small vessel at the lower end of Lake Erie, nearly opposite where Buffalo now stands, and, in company with Louis Hen'-ne-pin, a friar, and thirty-four other persons, explored ti shores of several of the northern lakes, and, having built a small fort wintered near the mouth of the Mau-mee' River.

3. The next spring they set out again, and travelled among the Il-linois' Indians. Their travels, the year before, had given them much knowledge of the Indian character. They crossed the wilderness to the Illinois River, a journey of a few days, with their canoes and provisions upon their shoulders, and then descended it.

4. In passing along, down the river, they came to an Indian village of five hundred huts, but without inhabitants. Going on about one hundred miles further, they suddenly found themselves in the midst

CHAP. LXVI.--1. Where did Ferdinand de Soto travel? 2. What was done by La Salie in 1679 8,4 Describe the journey of La Salle and his companions among the Indians.

MAP OF THE MISSISSIPPI VALLEY.

145

of a host of Indian warriors, on both sides of the river, who offered them battle. The company made signs of peace, however, and soon quieted their fears.

5. The strangers conducted in such a manner that not only was the curiosity of the Indians awakened, but their friendship secured; and

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NOTE.-In looking at a map of the Western country, representing it as it now is, we see that the valley of the Mississippi and the region of the Great Lakes are occupied by several states and territories. This whole region, comprising nearly three-fourths of the present territory of the United States, was almost entirely unsettled until about the period of the Revolutionary war.

The teacher will here put such questions as he thinks proper.

our travellers concluded to remain among them for a time. Accord ingly, they built a small fort and made it their residence. But the men grew weary of the place, and not only weary but mutinous against Lå Salle. They even attempted to excite the prejudices of the Indians against him.

6. La Salle, indeed, found it easier to regain the confidence of the savages than that of his own men. They were still dissatisfied, and at length laid a plan to destroy him and some of his friends, by mixing poison with their food. The poisoned food, in fact, made them very ill but they all recovered.

7. Early in the spring of 1680, La Salle set out again on his journey down the river. On reaching its mouth, they sailed up the Mississippi almost to its source. The voyage occupied them many months. On the 8th of November he set out for home.

8. In returning, however, they passed through the country where they had seen the deserted Indian village. While in this region, they met with new troubles, on account of the hostility of the Ir'-o-quois tribe of Indians, and Father Hennepin came near losing his life. They escaped, finally, without any injury.

9. In 1683, La Salle sailed down the Illinois River the second time, and also down the Mississippi. Here he encountered many dangers, and had many hairbreadth escapes, especially from the Natchez tribe of Indians. They reached the mouth of the river on the 7th of April. La Salle is supposed to have been the first white man who ever navigated the Mississippi for any considerable distance.

10. Standing together on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico, at the end of a voyage of two thousand miles, in small open boats, on an unknown stream, whose banks were lined with savages, the party united in thanking God for their preservation, and in singing a hymn together, after which they prepared for themselves a temporary shelter.

11. On the 11th of April they set out on their return up the river, visiting the Indians as they passed along. They reached Michilimackinac in the month of September, soon after which La Salle sailed for Quebec, and thence to France, to make a report of his discoveries to the king.

12. He returned once more to America, but not to the north. He undertook to explore the country about the mouth of the Mississippi, where, after many curious adventures and not a few discoveries, he was basely murdered, about the year 1686, by one of his companions.

E. What did the travellers conclude to do? 6. What plan was formed against La Salle! 7 What was done in 1680? 8. What troubles did the party of La Salle encounter? 9. What took place in 1683? What is said of La Salle? 19. What did the travellers do on the snores of the Gulf of Mexico? 11. When did they return home? 12. What was the

fate o. La Salle?

SETTLEMENTS IN THE SOUTH AND WEST. 147

CHAPTER LXVII.

Settlements in the South and West; at Kaskaskia, in Illi nois; in Louisiana; in Florida; in Michigan; at Natchez, on the Mississippi; on the Mobile River, in Alabama.--Troubles between the Ohio Company and the French Governor of Canada.

1. FATHER HENNEPIN resumed his travels in the West after La Salle's death, but made no permanent settlements. La Salle and he had, however, paved the way for other explorers, and also for

[graphic]

SETTLEMENT AT KASKASKIA.

fur-traders, and ul

timately for emigrants. The French claimed the country on both sides of the Mississippi, and in fact all the way from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada.

2. The first permanent settlement in the great Mississippi Valley, as it is now called, was at Kas-kas'-kia, in Illinois-perhaps about 1688 or 1690; for the year is not exactly known. There were, indeed, military forts there as early as 1687; and one also where St. Louis now stands.

3. The second known white settlement in the South-west-the first in the Lou-is-i-an'-a country-was made by D'I'-ber-ville, of Canada, in May, 1699, with forty or fifty men, at the bay of Biloxi. It did not flourish, but led the way to better things. Pen-sa-co'-la, in Florida, was begun about the same time. De-troit', in Mich'-i-gan, was settled in June, 1701. A settlement was made on the Mobile River, in 1702, and at New Or'-leans in 1717.

CHAP. LXVII.-1. What of Father Hennepin? What did the French claim? 2 What settlement was made at Kaskaskia? What of St Louis? 3. What settlement was med by D'Iberville? What settlement was made in 1701? In 1702? In 1717?

4. The settlements in the Mississippi Valley received a terrible check in the year 1729. The warlike tribe of Indians called the Natchez, having become excited against the French, seized their opportunity, and murdered all the settlers they could find. Of seven hundred or more, scarcely enough survived to carry the tidings to New Orleans.

5. But, instead of giving up the country, the French troops in New Orleans and the vicinity only meditated revenge. They pursued the Natchez, till they had driven them to their villages and forts, where they fell upon them and cut them to pieces. The few who survived were made slaves of, and the tribe perished.

6. From the preceding statement, it will be perceived that the great valley of the Mississippi was first explored and settled by the French. In fact, about the year 1730, they had a line of forts and settlements all the way from New Orleans to Quebec. They had even ascended the Ohio, and built a fort where Pittsburg now stands, which they called Fort du Quesne [kane]. The English colonists to the east, along the Atlantic, were jealous of their movements, and their jealousy at length ripened into hostility, as we shall hereafter see.

7. A trading company, called the Ohio Company, was formed in the year 1749, consisting of English and Virginia merchants, whose object it was to trade with the Indians for furs. They had obtained a grant of six hundred thousand acres of land, near the river Ohio. This, in turn, raised the jealousy of the governor of Canada, and he ordered the traders to be seized.

8. He also opened a line of communication between Presque [presk] Isle, as it was then called, on Lake Erie, where the town of Erie now stands, and Fort du Quesne, at the head of the Ohio, and stationed troops and built fortifications along this line. His object, in short, was to break up the trade of the Ohio Company, and hold the country. 9. The Ohio Company complained of the French to Governor Dinwid'-die, of Virginia, who laid the subject before the General Assembly. They ordered a messenger to be sent to the French commander, to inquire into the cause of the measures he had pursued, and to ask that the forts might be evacuated and the troops removed.

4. What took place in 1729? 5. WP was done by the French troops? 6. Who first discovered and settled the valley of the Mississippi? What possessions had the French in this quarter in 1780? What fort had the French built where Pittsburg now stands ? What effect had the French settlements on the English colonists? 7 What trading company was formed in the year 1749? 8. What was done by the governor of Canada? 9. What was done by the Ohio Compa The General Assembly of Virginia?

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