La Salle the Explorer


Sieur de La Salle played an important role in the early history of the French acquisition of the Great Lakes region from about 1673 to 1687. In explorations west and south from existing Canadian settlements, he established forts on the Great Lakes and on the Ohio, Illinois and Mississippi rivers. On his last assignment for the King of France, from 1684 to 1687, he tried to establish a colony on the coast of Texas while he searched for the mouth of the Mississippi River. He was unsuccessful and died in the attempt.

Here’s a Wikipedia entry for René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle


Click on the page name to open it in a new tab, and you’ll find the recommended works there. They are listed alphabetically, by author.
For tips on reading online and downloading, see the note at the bottom of this page.


Non-Fiction


Great Lakes General History page

Schlarman, J. H., From Quebec to New Orleans: The Story of the French in America. Illustrated (1929)
La Salle’s exploits are covered on pages 79-109.

Wallace, Joseph, The History of Illinois and Louisiana Under the French Rule (1893)
La Salle is covered on pages 71-153.


Explorers and Travelers in Great Lakes History

Cox, Isaac J., editor, The Journeys of Réné Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle As Related By His Faithful Lieutenant Henri de Tonty (1922)

Joutel, Henri, Joutel’s Journal of La Salle’s Last Voyage, 1684-7 (1906)

Parkman, Francis, La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West (1901)


Navigation on the Great Lakes & the Region’s Rivers

Channing, Edward and Marion Florence Lansing, The Story of the Great Lakes (1909)
Pages 49-72.


Historical Fiction


Great Lakes Novels and Historical Fiction

Van Zile, Edward S., With Sword and Crucifix: Being an Account of the Strange Adventures of Count Louis de Sancerre, Companion of Sieur de la Salle, on the Lower Mississippi in the Year of Grace 1682 (1900)


Michigan Novels and Historical Fiction

Orcutt, William Dana, Robert Cavelier: the Romance of the Sieur de La Salle and his Discovery of the Mississippi River (1904)

Parker, Gilbert, The Power and the Glory: a Romance of the Great La Salle (1925)


Tips for Reading Online and Downloading

More than half the books on our website at History of the Great Lakes States are hosted by Internet Archive or Open Library. They are sister organizations and use the same online viewer application. In most cases this viewer will give you nearly perfect text if you;

1. switch from the double-page to the single-page view by using the icons in the bottom right corner, and;

2. Keep zooming in until the text snaps into a clear focus.

Using the single-page view allows you to scroll pages down with your mouse wheel.

You can download books from these two sites by clicking on the book name at the top-left corner of the page (in the viewer) to get to the download menu.


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