1671-1678—French Plans Of Conquest. La Salle's Letters Patent, Etc.
The success of the French in their plan of colonizing was so great, and the trade with the savages, exchanging fineries, guns, knives, and more than all, spirituous liquors for valuable furs, yielded such exorbitant profits that an impetus was given to still greater enterprises. 
They involved no less than the hemming in of the British Colonies to the Atlantic coast.
These purposes are boldly avowed in a letter of M. Talon, the King's enterprising Intendant at Quebec, in 1671, to the great Colbert at Paris. 
The letter is as follows:
Says Talon: "I am no Courtier, and assert, not through a mere desire to please the King, nor without just reason, that this portion of the French Monarchy will become something grand.' 
'What I discover around me causes me to foresee this, and these colonies of various nations so long settled on the seaboard already tremble with affright in view of what his Majesty has accomplished here in the interior within seven years. 
Measures adopted to confine them within narrow limits by taking possession, which I have caused to be effected do not allow them to spread, without subjecting themselves at the same time to be treated as usurpers and to have war waged against them, and this truth is what by all their acts they seem to greatly fear. 
They already know that your name is spread abroad among the savages throughout all those countries and that he alone is there regarded by them, [the savages], as the arbitrator of peace and war. 
All detach themselves insensibly from other Europeans and excepting the Iroquois, of whom I am not as yet assured, we may safely promise ourselves to make the others take up arms whenever we please."
It is not the purpose of the Editor here to detail the earlier life of Robert Cavalier, later ennobled as the Sieur de la Salle. 
It is sufficient to refer only to so much of it as relates to the Northwest, to Illinois and the Mississippi Valley.
The French had a decayed wooden fort near the present City of Kingston, Canada. 
It was named Fort Frontenac and at the time here referred to, it was on the frontier of Canada. 
La Salle had been put in charge of it. 
It was a check against the forays of the Iroquois nation upon the settled parts of Canada and its Indian allies. 
And in 1674 La Salle returned to France and petitioned the King to grant him the Seigniory of Fort Frontenac, together with four leagues of country along the border of Lake Frontenac, [Lake Ontario], and the adjacent islands and inlets, with the usual rights and privileges, that pertained to those who held lands in this country in Seigniory.
  1.  In consideration of this he agreed to repair and maintain said fort in a better state of defense; to have a garrison there equal to that at Montreal, and as many as fifteen to twenty laborers during the first two years to clear and till the land, to provide it, [the fort], with necessary artillery, arms and ammunition so long as he should command there in his Majesty's name. 
  2. To repay Count de Frontenac, his Majesty's Governor and Lieutenant General in Canada, the expense he incurred for the establishment of said fort amounting to the sum of twelve to thirteen thousand livres as proved by the statements thereof prepared. 
  3. To make grants of land to all those willing to settle there in the manner usual in said country; to allow them the trade when the settlement would be in the condition required by the edicts and regulations of the Soverign Counsel of said country. 
  4. To attract thither the greatest number possible o' Indians; to grant them land for villages and tillage: to teach them trades and induce them to lead lives more conformable to ours, as the said La Salle had begun to do with some success when he commanded there. 
  5. To build a church when there would be one hundred persons; meanwhile to entertain from this very moment one or two Recollet Friars to perform devout services and administer the sacraments there. 
  6. If his Majesty so accepts these proposals he is very humbly supplicated to grant to La Salle letters of Nobility, in consideration of the voyages and discoveries which he made in that country at his own expense during the seven years he has continually lived there, the services he rendered in the country, and those he will continue to render; and all other letters necessary to serve him in the possessary titles to said Seigniory.
La Salle's petition was granted fully.
Later on La Salle replaced the wooden structure with an enlarged Fort made of stone.
La Salle again sailed for Paris, where he and Colbert matured their plan for La Salle to make further discoveries. 
Agreeably to his petition the King granted him a permit, of May 12th, 1678, "to find a port for the King's vessels in the Gulf of Mexico, to discover the western parts of New France and find a way to penetrate Mexico."
Nothing is said about finding a passage to the South Sea, or discovering where the Mississippi river empties its waters. 
The explorations of Jolliet and Marquette had settled that geographical problem beyond all cavil. 
La Salle was further authorized to make new discoveries, construct forts at such places as he thought proper and to enjoy the same monopoly in those places as at Fort Frontenac. 
All this was on condition that the enterprise should be at his expense, to be completed within five years, and that he should not trade with the savages about the outlets of Lake Superior, or other nations who came there to carry their peltries and beavers to Montreal. 
Instead, he and his associates were given the privilege of an exclusive trade in Cibola skins. (Cibola was the Spanish name for the American buffalo.)
The above is condensed from La Salle's license of May 12th, 1678.
Before leaving France the Prince de Conti introduced his friend, Henri de Tonty to La Salle. 
Being out of employment Tonty, at the instance of the Prince entered the services of La Salle, and suffered the privations with him and became an important historian of his adventures.
Ready and alert, patient and of great courage, quiet and prudent he furthered all of La Salle's plans, followed and defended him under the most dangerous trials with an unselfish fidelity rarely known.
With power thus enlarged La Salle, with Tonty and thirty men, among whom were pilots, sailors, carpenters and other mechanics, with a supply of material necessary for the intended expedition, left France for Quebec. 
Here the party were joined by some Canadians and was sent forward to Fort Frontenac.
Here he met Louis Hennepin, a Franciscan Friar, whom it seems had been sent thither along with Fathers Gabriel de la Ribourde and Zenobius Membre, all of the same religious order and chosen to accompany La Salle's expedition.
These Fathers were of a religious order of the Roman Catholic Church. 
They also were known as grey friars, or grey gowns because their robes were all of that color. 
They were also known in France, Belgium and Holland as Recollets. 
Like the Jesuit Fathers they were prominent in the missionary work of Canada, and the Mississippi: and their writings form an important part of their first known history.
Father Hennepin became the historian of this expedition of La Salle's as far as the Editor here deems it pertinent to bring it before the reader for the purpose of this volume. 
Indeed, we would not know of many of the details of La Salle's voyage from Fort Frontenac through the lakes, their connecting rivers or straits and on the Illinois River, but for the account Hennepin has given.
Hennepin wrote three volumes, at as many different times, of his voyage. 
The first was issued in 1683 at Paris; the second at Utrecht by William Broedelet in 1697; and the third at the same place by Antoine Schouten in 1698. 
The same year the two last named volumes were translated into English and published at London. 
The first publication of Hennepin which is styled "Description de la Louisiane" of 1683 remained in the original French for nearly two hundred years, when it was translated into English in 1880 by the late Dr. John Gilmary Shea, with many references or foot notes by that most eminent scholar and learned historian.
Without entering upon the controversy as to the plagiarisms and falsehoods in Hennepin's later volumes, his statements in the first are regarded as substantially true. 
He was vain, loquacious and inclined to exaggerate, and would often portray himself as the principal in affairs where he took only a subordinate part. 
With this explanation we quote from Hennepin as follows:
1679-1680—Hennepin's Narrative From His "la Louisiane" of 1683.
Hennepin's Narrative From His "la Louisiane" of 1683
Our boat being in the water out of reach of insult, I proceeded to the fort by Lake Frontenac, in the little brigantine in order to rejoin our Recollects who resided there, in order to enjoy spiritual consolation with them, obtain wine for the celebration of masses, and make the Sieur de la Salle a report of affairs, and we proceeded with him, we three Recollect missionaries, to Niagara, in the beginning of the month of August in the same year, 1679. 
He found his bark ready to sail, but his people told him that they had not been able to make it ascend beyond the entrance of Lake Conty, [Erie] not having been able to stem with sails the strong current of Niagara River. 
For example, while at Upper Peoria Lake, the Sioux came there clamoring to La Salle for traders. 
He put Michel Accan and another trusted voyager, in charge of a canoe full of suitable goods, to go down the Illinois and thence on, up the Mississippi to those savages. 
Hennepin, sent along as a missionary, assumes that he was the principal in the expedition.—The Editor.
We embarked to the number of thirty-two persons, with our two Recollect Fathers who had come to join me, our people having laid in a good supply of arms, merchandise, and seven small iron cannon.
At last, contrary to the pilot's opinion, we succeeded in ascending Niagara River. 
He made his bark advance by sails when the wind was strong enough, and he had it towed in the most difficult places, and thus we happily reached the entrance of Lake Conty (Lake Erie).
We made sail the 7th of the month of August, in the same year 1679, steering west by south. 
After the "Te Deum" we fired all the cannon and wall pieces, in presence of several Iroquois warriors who were bringing in prisoners from the nations on the prairies, situated more than five hundred leagues from their country, and these savages did not neglect to give a description of the size of our vessel to the Dutch of New York, with whom the Iroquois carry on a great trade in furs, which they carry to them in order to obtain fire arms and goods to clothe themselves.
Our voyage was so fortunate that on the morning of the tenth day, the feast of Saint Lawrence, we reached the entrance of the Detroit [strait] by which Lake Orleans (Lake Huron) empties into Lake Conty, and which is one hundred leagues from Niagara River. 
This strait is thirty leagues long and almost everywhere a league wide, except in the middle where it expands and forms a lake of circular form, and ten leagues in diameter, which we called Lake St. Clare, on account of our passing through it, on that Saint's day.
The country on both sides of this beautiful strait is adorned with fine open plains, and you can see numbers of stags, does, deer, bears, by no means fierce, and very good to eat, poules d'inde, and all kinds of game, swans in abundance. 
Our guys were loaded and decked with several wild animals cut up, which our Indian and our Frenchmen killed. 
The rest of the strait is covered with forests, fruit trees like walnuts, chestnuts, plum and apple trees, wild vines loaded with grapes, of which we made some little wine. 
There is timber fit for building. 
It is the place in which deer most delight.
We found the current at the entrance of this strait as strong as the tide is before Rouen. 
We ascended it, nevertheless, steering north and northeast, as far as Lake Orleans. 
There is little depth as you enter and leave Lake St. Clare, especially as you leave it. 
The discharge from Lake Orleans divides at this place into several small channels, almost all barred by sandbanks. 
We were obliged to sound them all, and at last discovered a very fine one, with a depth of at least two or three fathoms of water, and almost a league wide at all points. 
Our bark was detained here several days by head winds, and this difficulty having been surmounted, we encountered a still greater one at the entrance of Lake Orleans. 
The north wind which had been blowing some time rather violently, and which drives the waters of the three great lakes into the strait, had so increased the ordinary current there, that it was as furious as the bore is before Caudebec. 
We could not stem it under sail, although we were then aided by a strong south wind; but as the shore was very fine, we landed twelve of our men who towed it along the beach for half a quarter of an hour, at the end of which we entered Lake Orleans on the 23rd of the month of August, and for the second time we chanted “Te Deum” in thanksgiving, blessing God, who here brought us in sight of a great bay in this lake, where our ancient Recollects had resided to instruct the Hurons in the faith, in the first landing of the French in Canada, and these Indians once very numerous have been for the most part destroyed by the Iroquois.
The same day the bark ran along the east coast of the lake, with a fair wind, heading north by east, till evening when the wind having shifted to southwest with great violence, we headed northwest, and the next day we found ourselves in sight of land, having crossed by night a great bay, called Sakinam, which sets in, more than thirty leagues.
On the 24th we continued to head northwest till evening, when we were becalmed among some islands, where there was only a fathom and a half or two fathoms of water. 
We kept on with the lower sails a part of the night to seek an anchorage, but finding none where there was a good bottom, and the wind beginning to blow from the west, we headed north, so as to gain deep water and wait for day, and we spent the night in sounding before the bark, because we had noticed that our pilot was very negligent, and we continued to watch in this way during the rest of the voyage.
On the 25th the calm continued till noon, and we pursued our course to the northwest, favored by a good southerly wind, which soon changed to southwest. 
At midnight we were compelled to head north on account of a great Point which jutted out into the lake; but we had scarcely doubled it, when we were surprised by a furious: gale, which forced us to ply to windward with mainsail and foresail, then to “lie to”, till daylight.
On the 26th the violence of the wind obliged us to lower the topmasts, to fasten the yards at the clew, to remain broadside to the shore. 
At noon the waves running too high, and the sea too rough, we were forced to seek a port in the evening, but found no anchorage or shelter. 
At this crisis, the Sieur de la Salle entered the cabin, and quite disheartened told us that he commended his enterprise to God. 
We had been accustomed all the voyage to induce all to say morning and evening prayers together on our knees, all singing some hymns of the church, but as we could not stay on the deck of the vessel, on account of the storm, all contented themselves with making an act of contrition. 
There was no one but our pilot alone, whom we were never able to persuade.
At this time the Sieur de la Salle adopted, in union with us, Saint Anthony of Padua as the protector of our enterprise, and he promised God if he did us the grace to deliver us from the tempest, that the first chapel he should erect in Louisiana should be dedicated to that great Saint.
The wind having fallen a little we lay to, all the night, and we drifted only a league or two at most.
On the morning of the 27th we sailed northwest with a south-west wind, which changed towards evening into a light south-east trade wind, by favor of which we arrived on the same day at Missilimakinac, where we anchored in six fathoms of water in a bay, where there was a good bottom of potter's clay. 
This bay is sheltered from southwest to north, a sand bank covers it a little on the northeast, but it is exposed to the south which is very violent.
Missilimakinac ["Point Ignace"] is a point of land at the entrance and north of the strait, by which Lake Dauphin (Lake Michigan) empties into Lake Orleans. 
This strait is a league wide and three long, and runs west, north-west. 
Fifteen leagues east of Missilimakinac you find another point which is at the entrance of the channel by which Lake Conde empties into Lake Orleans. 
This channel has an opening of five leagues, and is fifteen in length. 
It is interspersed with several islands, and gradually narrows in, down to Sault Sainte Marie, which is a rapid full of rocks, by which the waters of Lake Conde are discharged, and are precipitated in a violent manner. 
Nevertheless they succeed in poling canoes up one side near the land, but for greater security a portage is made of the canoe and the goods which they take to sell to the nations north of Lake Conde.
There are Indian villages in these two places; those who, are settled at Missilimakinac, on the day of our arrival, which was August 26, 1678 [1679], were all amazed to see a ship in their country, and the sound of the cannon caused an extraordinary alarm.
We went to the Outtaouactz to say mass, and during the service, the Sieur de la Salle, very well dressed in his scarlet cloak trimmed with gold lace, ordered the arms to be stacked along the chapel, and the sergeant left a sentry there to guard them. 
The chiefs of the Outtauoactz paid us their civility in their fashion, on coming out of the church. 
And in this bay where the Griffiin was riding at anchor, we looked with pleasure at this large, well equipped vessel, amid a hundred or a hundred and twenty bark canoes, coming and going from taking white fish, which these Indians catch with nets, which they stretch sometimes in fifteen or twenty fathoms of water, and without which they could not subsist.
The Hurons who have their village surrounded by palisades twenty-five feet high and situated near a great point of land opposite the island of Missilimakinac, proved the next day that they were more French than the Outtaouactz, but it was in show, for they gave a salute by discharging all their guns, and they all have them, and renewed it three times, to do honor to our ship, and to the French, but this salute had been suggested to them by some Frenchmen, who come there, and who often carry on a very considerable trade with these nations, and who designed to gain the Sieur de la Salle by this show, as he gave umbrage to them, only in order better to play their parts subsequently by making it known that the bark was going to be the cause of destruction to individuals, in order to render the one who had built her, odious to the people.
The Hurons and the Outtaouactz form alliances with one another in order to oppose with one accord the fury of the Iroquois, their sworn enemy. 
They cultivate Indian corn on which they live all the year, with the fish which they take to season their sagamity. 
This they make of water and meal of their corn which they crush with a pestle in a trunk of a tree hollowed out by fire.
The Indians of Sainte Marie du Long Sault are called by us the Saulteurs on account of the place of their abode, which is near the Sault, and where they subsist by hunting stags, moose or elk, and some beaver, and by the fishing of white fish, which is very good, and is found there in great abundance, but this fishery is very difficult to all but these Indians who are trained to it from childhood. 
These latter do not plant any Indian corn as their soil is not adapted to it, and the fogs on Lake Conde which are very frequent, stifle all the corn that they might be able to plant.
Sault St. Marie and Missilimakinac are the two most important passes for all the Indians of the west and north who go to carry all their furs to the French settlements, and to trade every year at Montreal, with more than two hundred loaded canoes.
During our stay at Missilimakinac, we were extremely surprised to find there the greater part of the men whom the Sieur de la Salle had sent on ahead to the number of fifteen, and whom he believed to be long since at the Illinois. 
Those whom he had known as the most faithful, reported to him that they had been stopped by the statements made to them on their way, at Missilimakinac; that they had been told that his enterprise was only chimerical, that the bark would never reach Missilimakinac, that he was sending them to certain destruction, and several other things of the kind, which had discouraged and seduced most of their comrades, and that they had been unable to induce them to continue their voyage; that six of them had even deserted and carried off more than 3,000 livres worth of goods, under the pretext of paying themselves, saying that they would restore the surplus over what was due them, and that the others had stupidly wasted more than twelve hundred livres worth, or spent it for their support at Missilimakinac, where they had been detained, and where provisions are very dear.
The Sieur de la Salle was all the more provoked at this conduct of his men, as he had treated them well, and made some advances to all, among the rest having paid on account of one of them [La Rousseliere] 1200 livres that he owed various persons at Montreal. 
He had four of the most guilty arrested, without giving them any harsher treatment. 
Having learned that two of the six deserters [La Rousseliere and Hunaut] were at Sault Sainte Marie he detached the Sieur de Tonty with six men arrested them and seized all the goods which they had in their hands, but he could not obtain any justice as to the others. 
The high winds at this season long retarded the return of the Sieur de Tonty, who did not reach Missilimakinac till the month of November, so that we were dreading the approach of winter and resolved to set out without waiting till he arrived.
On the 2nd of the month of September, from Missilimakinac we entered Lake Dauphin, [Lake Michigan] and arrived at an island situated at the entrance of the Lake, or Bay of the Puants, forty leagues from Missilimakinac, and which is inhabited by Indians of the Poutowatami nation. 
[Still called Pottawattomie Island, being one in the chain of several that stretch across the outlet of Green Bay. 
Here was the chief town.— The Editor.]  St. Croix, Minlme. Le Barbier. Poupart, Hunaut, Roussel dit la Rousseliere.
We found some Frenchmen there, who had been sent among the Illinois in previous years, and who had brought back to the Sieur de la Salle a pretty fair amount of furs.
The chief of this nation ["On-an-ghis-se," or him with a medal] who had all possible affection for the Count de Frontenac, who had entertained him at Montreal, received us as well as he could, had the calumet danced to the Sieur de la Salle by his warriors; and during four days' storm while our vessel was anchored thirty paces from the bay shore, this Indian chief believing that our bark was going to be stranded, came to join us in a canoe at the risk of his life and in spite of the increasing waves, we hoisted him with his canoe into our vessel. 
He told us in a martial tone that he was ready and wished to perish with the children of Onnontio, the Governor of the French, his good father and friend.
Contrary to our opinion, the Sieur de la Salle, who never took any one's advice, resolved to send back his bark from this place, to continue his route by canoe, but as he had only four, he was obliged to leave considerable merchandise in the bark, a quantity of utensils and tools. 
He ordered the pilot to discharge everything at Missilimakinac, where he could take them again on his return. 
He also put all the peltries in the bark with a clerk and five good sailors. 
Their orders were to proceed to the great fall of Niagara, where they were to leave the furs, and take on board other goods which another bark from Fort Frontenac, which awaited them near Fort Conty, was to bring them, and that as soon as possible thereafter, they should sail back to Missilimakinac, where they would find instructions as to the place to which they should bring the bark to winter.
They set sail on the 18th of September, with a very favorable light west wind, making their adieu by firing a single cannon; and we were never afterwards able to learn what course they had taken, and though there is no doubt but that she perished, we were never able to learn any other circumstances of their shipwreck than the following: 
“The bark having anchored in the north of Lake Dauphin, the pilot against the opinion of some Indians, who assured him that there was a great storm in the middle of the lake, resolved to continue his voyage, without considering that the sheltered position where he lay, prevented his knowing the force of the wind. 
He had scarcely sailed a quarter of a league from the coast, when these Indians saw the bark tossing in an extraordinary manner, unable to resist the tempest, so that in a short time they lost sight of her, and they believe that she was either driven on some sandbank, or that she foundered.”
We did not learn all this till next year, and it is certain that the loss of this bark costs more than 40,000 livres in goods, tools and peltries, as well as men and rigging, which he had imported into Canada from France and transported from Montreal to Fort Frontenac in bark canoes. 
This would appear impossible to those who know the weakness of this kind of craft, and the weight of anchors and cables, on which he paid eleven livres per hundred pounds.
We set out the next day, September 19th, with fourteen persons in four canoes, I directing the smallest, loaded with five hundred pounds, with a carpenter just arrived from France, who did not know how to avoid the waves, during rough weather. 
I had every difficulty to manage this little craft. 
These four bark canoes were loaded with a forge and all its appurtenances, carpenters, jointers and pit sawyer's tools, arms and merchandise.
We took our course southerly towards the mainland four good leagues distant from the island of the Poutouatamis. 
In the middle of the traverse and amid the most beautiful calm in the world, a storm arose which endangered our lives, and which made us fear for the bark, and more for ourselves. 
We completed this great passage amid the darkness of the night, calling to one another so as not to part company. 
The water often entered our canoes, and the impetuous wind lasted four days with a fury like the greatest tempests of ocean. 
We nevertheless reached the shore in a little sandy bay, and stayed five days, waiting for the lake to grow calm. 
During this stay, the Indian hunter who accompanied us killed, while hunting, only a single porcupine which served to season our squashes and the Indian corn that we had.
On the 25th we continued our route all day, and a part of the night favored by the moon, along the western shore of Lake Dauphin, but the wind coming up a little too strong, we were forced to land on a bare rock, on which we endured the rain and snow for two days, sheltered by our blankets, and near a little fire which we fed with wood that the waves drove ashore.
On the 28th, after the celebration of mass, we kept on until far into the night, and until a whirlwind forced us to land on a rocky point covered with bushes. 
We remained there two days, and consumed the rest of our provisions, that is to say, the Indian corn and squashes that we had bought of the Poutouatamis and of which we had been unable to lay in a greater supply, because our canoes were too heavily laden, and because we hoped to find some on our route.
We set out the first of October, and after making twelve leagues fasting, arrived near another village of the Poutouatamies. 
These Indians all flocked to the lake shore to receive us and to haul us in from the waves, which rose to an extraordinary height. 
The Sieur de la Salle fearing that his men would desert, and that some of them would carelessly waste some of the goods, pushed on and we ,were obliged to follow him three leagues beyond the village of the Indians, notwithstanding the evident peril, and he saw no other alternative to take in order to land in safety than to leap into the water with his three canoemen, and all together take hold of the canoe and its load and drag it ashore, in spite of the waves which sometimes covered them over their heads.
He then came to meet the canoe, which I guided with this man who had no experience in this work, and jumping waist high into the water, we carried our little craft all at once, and went to receive the other two canoes in the same manner as the former. 
And as the waves breaking on the shore formed a kind of undertow, wherein drags out into the lake those who think they are safe, I made a powerful effort and took on my shoulders our good old Recollect who accompanied us, and this amiable missionary, of Saint Francis, seeing himself out of danger, all drenched as he was with water, never failed to display an extraordinary cheerfulness.
As we had no acquaintance with the Indians of this village, the Commandant first ordered all the arms to be got ready, and posted himself on an eminence where it was difficult to surprise us, and whence he could with a, small force defend himself against a greater number. 
He then sent three of his men to buy provisions in the village, under the protection of the calumet of peace which the Poutouatamis of the Island had given the Sieur de la Salle, and which they had previously accompanied with their dances and ceremonies, which they use in their feasts and public solemnities.
This calumet is a kind of large pipe for smoking, the head of which is of a fine red stone well-polished, and the stem two feet and a half long, is a pretty stout cane adorned with feathers of all sorts of colors, very neatly mingled and arranged, with several tresses of woman's hair, braided in various ways, with two wings, such as are usually represented on the Caduceus of Mercury, each nation embellishing it according to its especial usage. 
A calumet of this kind is a sure passport among all the allies of those who have given it; and they are convinced that great misfortunes would befall them, if they violated the faith of the calumet. 
And all their enterprises in war and peace and most important ceremonies are sealed and attested by the calumet, which they make all smoke with whom they conclude any matter of consequence.
These three men with this safeguard and their arms, arrived at the little village of the Indians three leagues distant from the landing, but they found no one. 
(The league originally referred to the distance a person could walk in an hour, or approximately 3 miles. A fathom is six feet.)
These Indians, at the sight of our canoes, perceiving that we had not landed, on passing them, had taken fright and abandoned their village. 
Accordingly these men after using all endeavors in vain to speak to some of these Indians, took what Indian corn they could carry from their cabins, and left goods there in place of what they appropriated; and then took the road to return to us.
Meanwhile twenty of these Indians armed with guns, axes, bows, arrows and clubs which are called casse-tetes, [skull breakers], approached the place where we were. 
The Sieur de la Salle advanced to accost them with four of his men armed with guns, pistols and sabres. 
He asked them what they wished; seeing that they appeared perplexed, he told them to come on, for fear his men, who, he pretended were out hunting, might kill them, if they found them out of the way. 
He made them sit down at the foot of the rising ground on which we had camped, and from which we could watch all their movements. 
We began to occupy them with different things, to amuse them till our three men got back from the village. 
These men appearing some time afterwards, as soon as the Indians perceived the peace calumet which one of our men carried, they rose uttering a great cry of joy, and began to dance after their fashion. 
Far from being angry about the Indian corn which they saw, and which had been taken from them, they on the contrary sent to the village to bring more, and gave us some also the next day, as much as we could conveniently put in our canoes.
It was nevertheless deemed prudent to fell the trees around and to command our men to pass the night under arms, for fear of any surprise. 
About ten o'clock the next day, the old men of the village arrived with their peace calumet and feasted all the French. 
The Sieur de la Salle thanked them by a present of some axes, knives and some masses of beads for their women's adornment, and left them very well satisfied.
We set out the same day, October 2nd, and we sailed for four days along the shore. 
It was bordered by great hills running abruptly down to the lake, where there was scarcely place to land.
We were even forced every evening to climb to the summit, and carry up there our canoes and cargoes, so as not to leave them exposed by night to the waves that beat the foot. 
We were also obliged by too violent headwinds, during these four days and very frequently afterwards, to land with the greatest hardship. 
To embark, it required that two men should go waist high into the water, and hold the canoe head on to the wave, pushing it ahead or drawing it back as the wave rolled in or ran out from land, until it was loaded. 
Then it was pushed out to wait till the others were loaded in the same way: and we had almost as much trouble at the other landings. 
The Indian corn, that we ate very sparingly, and provisions failing us, our good old Recollect had several times fainting fits. 
I twice brought him to, with a little confection of hyacinth, which I preserved preciously. 
For twenty-four hours we ate only a handful of Indian corn cooked under the ashes or merely boiled in water, and during all the time we were obliged to keep on towards a good country and to paddle with all our strength, whole days. 
Our men frequently ran for little haws and wild fruit, which they ate with great avidity. 
Several fell sick who thought that these fruits had poisoned them. 
The more we suffered, the more God seemed to give me, especially, strength, and I often outstripped in paddling our other canoes. 
During this scarcity, He who cares for the smallest birds, allowed us to see several crows and eagles, which were on the lake shore. 
Plying our paddles with redoubled zeal towards these carnivorous birds, we found there half a very fat deer which the wolves had killed and half eaten. 
We recruited ourselves on the flesh of this animal, blessing Providence which had sent us such timely aid.
Thus our little fleet advanced toward the South where we found the country always finer and more temperate.
On the 16th of October [1679] we began to find a great abundance of game, and our Indian, a very excellent hunter, killed stags and deer, and our Frenchmen very fat poules d'inde [wild turkeys]. 
And at last on the 28th of the month of October we reached the extremity or southern trend of Lake Dauphin, where the heavy wind forced us to land.
We went out to scout, as we were accustomed to do, in the woods and prairies. 
We found very good ripe grapes, the berries of which were as large as damson plums. 
To get this fruit we had to cut down the trees on which the vines ran.
We made some wine which lasted us nearly three months and a half and which we kept in gourds. 
These we put every day in the sand to prevent the wine from souring, and in order to make it last longer, we said mass only on holidays and Sundays, one after the other. 
All the woods were full of vines which grow wild. 
We ate this fruit to make the meat palatable, which we were forced to eat without bread.
Fresh footprints of men were noticed at this place. 
This forced the Sieur de la Salle to keep his men on their guard, and without making any noise. 
All our men obeyed for a time, but one of them having perceived a bear, could not restrain himself from firing his gun at it, which killed the animal and sent it rolling from the top of the mountain to the bottom, to the very foot of our cabins.
This noise revealed to us a hundred and twenty-five Indians of the nation of the Outouagamis, [Fox Indians] who live near the extremity of the Bay of the Puants who were cabined in our vicinity. 
The Sieur de la Salle was very uneasy about the trails we had seen. 
He blamed our men for their lack of prudence, and then to prevent surprises, he placed a sentinel near the canoes, under which all the goods were placed to protect them from the rain.
This precaution did not prevent thirty Outouagamis under cover of the rain which was falling in torrents, and through the negligence of the sentinel who was on duty, from gliding by night with their usual dexterity, along the hill where our canoes were, and lying on their bellies near one another, succeeding in stealing the coat of the Sieur de la Salle's lackey, and a part of what was under, which was passed from hand to hand. 
Our sentinel hearing some noise and rousing us, each one ran to arms. 
These Indians seeing themselves thus discovered, their chief called out that he was a friend. 
He was told in answer, that it was an unseasonable hour, and that people did not come in that way by night except to steal, or kill those who were not on their guard.
He replied that in truth, the shot that had been fired, had made his countrymen all think that it was a party of Iroquois, their enemies, as the other Indians, their neighbors, did not use such fire-arms, and that they had accordingly advanced with the intent of killing them, but having discovered that they were Frenchmen whom they regarded as their brethren, the impatience which they felt to see them, had prevented their waiting for daylight to visit us and to smoke in our calumet with us. 
This is the ordinary compliment of these Indians, and their greatest marks of affection.
We pretended to credit these reasons, and they were told to approach to the number of four or five only, because their young men were given to stealing, and that our Frenchmen were in no humor to put up with it. 
Four or five old men having advanced we endeavored to entertain them till daylight; when day came we left them at liberty to retire.
After their departure, our ship carpenters perceived that they had been robbed, and as we knew perfectly the disposition of the Indians, and we knew that they would form similar enterprises every night, if we dissembled on this occasion, we resolved to insist on redress. 
The Sieur de la Salle at the head of our men ascended an eminence of peninsular form; he tried in person to find some Indian off by himself; he had scarcely marched three hundred paces, when he found the fresh trail of a hunter. 
He followed him, pistol in hand, and having overtaken him soon after opposite a hill, where I was gathering grapes with Father Gabriel, he called me and begged me to follow him. 
He seized and put him under guard of his men, after having learned from him all the circumstances of the theft. 
He again took the field with two of his men, and having arrested one of the most important Indians of his nation, he showed him at a distance the one he already held as a prisoner, and sent him back to tell his people, that he would kill their comrade, if they did not bring back all that they had stolen during the night.
This proposition embarrassed these savages, because they had cut the lackey's coat in pieces, and taken some goods with the buttons to divide them among them. 
Thus unable to restore them whole, and not knowing by what means to deliver their comrade, as they have a strong friendship for one another, they resolved to rescue him by force.
The next morning, 30th of the month of October, they all advanced arms in hand to begin the attack. 
The peninsula, where we were encamped, was separated from the wood where the Indians appeared by a long sandy plain two gun shots wide. 
At the end of this plain towards the wood we noticed that there were several small mounds, and that the one nearest to us commanded the others. 
This the Sieur de la Salle occupied and commanded five men who carried their blankets half rolled around the left arm, to shield themselves against the arrows of the Indians. 
He followed his men immediately after, to support the former, but the youngest of the Indians, seeing the French approach to charge on them, drew off and took to cover under a large tree on the hill. 
This did not prevent their chiefs from continuing to remain near us.
There were only seven or eight who had guns, the others had bows and arrows only; and during all these manoeuvres on both sides, we three Recollets were there saying our office, and as I was the one of the three who had seen most in matters of war, having served as King's chaplain under the direction of the Very Rev. Father Hayacinth le Fevre, I came out of our cabin to see what figure our men made under arms and to encourage two of the youngest whom I saw grow pale, and who nevertheless made for all that a show of being brave and haughty as much as their leader. 
I approached in the direction of the oldest Indian, and as they saw that I was unarmed, they readily inferred that I approached them with a view to part the combatants and to become the mediator of their differences. 
One of our men seeing a band of red stuff, which served as a head band to one of these Indians, went and tore it off his head, giving him to understand that he had stolen it from us.
This bold act of eleven armed Frenchmen against a hundred and twenty-five Indians, so intimidated these savages that two of their old men near whom I was, presented the peace calumet, and having advanced on the assurance given that they could do so without any fear, they said that they had not resorted to this extreme course, except from the inability they were in to restore what they had stolen from us, in the condition in which they had taken it; that they were ready to restore what was whole, and to pay for the rest. 
At the same time they presented some beaver robes to the Sieur de la Salle to dispose his mind to peace, excusing themselves for the small value of their present, as the season was too far advanced. 
We contented ourselves with their excuses, they fulfilled what they had promised, and thus peace was restored.
The next day was spent in dances, in feasts and speeches, and the head chief of these Indians turning towards the Recollects, said: 
"See, the Grey Gowns, for whom we feel great esteem! they go bare-footed like us, they despise the beaver robes which we wish to give them, without any hope of return; they have no arms to kill us; they natter and caress our little children, and give them beads for nothing, and those of our nation who have carried furs to the villages of the French have told us that the Onnotio, the great chief of the French, loves them, because they have come and visit us, and to remain with us. 
You are the chief of those who are here, arrange so as to make one of the Gray Gowns remain with us. 
We will give them part of all we have to eat, and we will take them to our village after we have killed some buffalo; and you who are the master, arrange so as to stay here also with us; do not go to the lslinois, for we know that they wish to massacre all the French. 
It will be impossible for you to resist that numerous nation. 
He added that since an Iroquois, whom the lslinois had burned, had assured them that the war which the Iroquois made on them had been advised by the French, who hated the lslinois. 
They added several like reasons which alarmed almost all our Frenchmen, and greatly disquieted the Sieur de la Salle, because all the Indians whom he had met on our whole route, had told him pretty nearly the same thing.
Nevertheless as he knew that these reasons might have been inspired by those who opposed our enterprise and by the jealousy of the Indians to whom the lslinois were formidable by their valor, and who feared that they might become still more haughty, when by means of the French they had acquired the use of fire arms, we resolved to pursue our course, taking all necessary precautions for our safety.
He accordingly answering the Outouagamis, told them that he thanked them for the information which they gave us, but that the French who are spirits [the Indians so style us, saying that they are only men, but that we are spirits] did not fear the lslinois, and that we would bring them to reason by friendship or by force.
The next day, the first of the month of November, we all re-embarked and we arrived at the rendezvous, which we had arranged with twenty other Frenchmen who were to come and meet us by the other side of the lake. 
It was at the mouth of the river of Miamis, [the Saint Joseph of Lake Michigan], which coming from the south empties into Lake Dauphin.
We were surprised to find no one there, because the French whom we expected, had had a much shorter route to make than we had, and their canoes were not heavily laden.
We had resolved to make the Sieur de la Salle see that he ought not to expose us unseasonably and not to wait for winter, to conduct us to the Islinois, because during that season these nations, in order to hunt more conveniently, break up into families or bands of two or three hundred persons each, and that the longer we lingered in that spot, the greater difficulty we should find in getting there. 
That as the hunting began to fail where we were, his whole party ran a risk of starving to death, and that among the Islinois we should find Indian corn for our food, and that we should live better, being only fourteen men by our route, than if we were thirty-two; that if the rivers should freeze over, we would not be able of ourselves to carry all the equipage, for a hundred leagues. 
He answered us that when the twenty men whom he expected had joined us, he would be able without danger to make himself known to the first band of Islinois whom he should find hunting, and gain them by kind treatment, and by presents, learning some tincture of the Islinois language, and that by this means he would easily form alliance with the rest of the nation.
We understood by similar remarks, that he regarded his own will alone as reason; and he told us that if all his men deserted he would remain with our Indian hunter, and that he would easily find means by hunting to enable the three Recollect missionaries to live.
In this thought, he availed himself of the delay of the Frenchmen whom he expected; he told his men that he was resolved to wait, and to amuse them by some useful occupation, he proposed to them to build a fort, and a house for the security of the bark and of the goods which she was to bring, in order to serve us as a refuge in case of need.
There was at the mouth of the river of the Miamis [on the north side as Hennepin's and other maps place the fort] an eminence with a kind of platform on top and naturally fortified. 
It was high and steep, of triangular figure, formed on two sides by the river, and on the other by a deep ravine. 
He felled the trees by which it was covered and cleared away the underbrush for two gun shots in the direction of the woods. 
Then he began a redoubt forty feet long by eighty broad, fortified by squared beams and joists, and musket proof, laid one on another; his design being to put inclined palisades around the two sides facing the river. 
He cut down palisades which he wished to plant, en tenaille twenty-five feet high on the land side.
The month of November was spent in these works, during which time we ate nothing but bear meat that our hunter killed. 
There were at this place many of these animals, that were attracted to it by the great quantities of grapes growing everywhere there; but our people seeing the Sieur de la Salle all unmanned by the fear he entertained of the loss of his bark, and utterly annoyed also at the delay of his men, whom the Sieur de Tonty was to bring us, the rigorous setting in of winter as a climax disheartening them, the mechanics worked only reluctantly, storming against the fat bear meat, and at their being deprived of liberty to go and kill deer to eat with the bear fat, but their aim all tended to desertion.
We made a bark cabin during this halt, in order to say mass more conveniently, and on holidays and Sundays Father Gabriel and I preached alternately, choosing the most impressive matters to exhort our men to patience and perseverance.
From the commencement of the same month we had examined the mouth of the river. 
We had marked a sand bank there, and to facilitate the entrance of the bark, in case it arrived, the channel was marked out by two tall poles planted on either side of the entrance, with bear skin pendants, and buoys all along. 
We had, moreover, sent to Missilimakinac two of our men, informed of all things, to serve as guides to Luke, the pilot.
On the 20th of November, the Sieur de Tonty arrived with two canoes loaded with several stags. 
This revived a little the drooping spirits of our workmen, but as he brought us only half of the men whom we expected, and had left the rest at liberty three days from our works, this gave the Sieur de la Salle some uneasiness; our newcomers said that the bark had not touched at Missilimakinac, and that they had heard no tidings of her from the Indians, coming from all sides of the lakes, nor from the two men who had been sent to Missilimakinac and whom they had met on the way. 
He feared, and with reason, that his bark had been wrecked. 
Nevertheless he kept his men working at the Fort of the Miamis, as he called it, and not seeing her appear after waiting so long, he resolved to set out, for fear of being stopped by the ice, which began to close the river, and which broke up at the first light rain. 
Nevertheless we had to wait for the rest of the men whom the Sieur de Tonty had left behind, and to repair the fault that he had committed, he retraced his steps to make them come on and join us at once. 
On the way he wished to hold a little, and resist the high wind, against the opinion of Sieur Dantray and his other canoe-man, and as he had only one hand and could not help his two men the waves made them yaw, and threw them broadside on the lake shore, where they lost their guns and their little baggage. 
This obliged them to come back to us, and fortunately the rest of our men followed soon after them, except two whom we most mistrusted and who, we believed, had deserted.
We embarked on the 3rd of December with thirty men in eight canoes and ascended the river of the Miamis, [to near South Bend, Indiana] taking our course to the southeast for about twenty-five leagues. 
We could not make out the portage which we were to take with our canoes and all our equipage, in order to go and embark at the source of the River Seignelay [Kankakee] and as we had gone higher up in a canoe without discerning the place where we were to march by land to take this other river, which runs to the Islinois, we halted to wait for the Sieur de la Salle, who had gone exploring on land, and as he did not return, we did not know what course to pursue. 
I begged two of our most alert men to penetrate into the woods and fire off their guns so as to give him notice of the spot where we were waiting for him. 
Two others ascended the river but to no purpose, for the night obliged them to retrace their steps.
The next day I took two of our men on a lightened canoe, to make greater expedition, and to seek him by ascending the river, but in vain, and at four o'clock in the afternoon we perceived him at a distance, his hands and face all black with the coals and the wood that he had lighted during the night which was cold. 
He had two animals [opossums] of the size of muskrats, hanging at his belt, which had a very beautiful skin, like a kind of ermine, which he killed with blows of a stick, without these little animals taking flight, and which often let themselves hang by the tail from branches of trees, and as they were very fat, our canoe-men feasted on them. 
He told us that the marshes he met with obliged him to make a wide sweep, and as moreover he was hindered by the snow which was falling rapidly, he was unable to reach the bank of the river before two o'clock at night. 
He fired two gun shots to notify us, and no one having answered him, he thought that the canoes had gone on ahead of him, and kept on his way, along and up the river. 
After marching in this way more than three hours, he saw fire on a mound, which he ascended brusquely, and after calling two or three times, but instead of finding us asleep as he expected, he saw only a little fire among some brush, and under an oak tree, the spot where a man had been lying down on dry herbs, and who had apparently gone off at the noise which he had heard. 
It was some Indian who had gone there in ambush to surprise and kill some of his enemies along the river. 
He called him in two or three languages, and at last to show him that he did not fear him, he cried that he was going to sleep in his place. 
He renewed the fire and after warming himself well, he took steps to guarantee himself against surprise, by cutting down around him a quantity of bushes, which falling across among those that remained standing, blocked the way, so that no one could approach him without making considerable noise, and awakening him. 
He then extinguished his fire and slept, although it snowed all night.
Father Gabriel and I begged the Sieur de la Salle not to leave his party as he had done showing him that the whole success of our voyage depended on his presence.
Our Indian had remained behind us to hunt, and not finding us at the portage, he went higher up, and came to tell us that we would have to descend the river. 
All our canoes were sent with him, and I remained with the Sieur de la Salle, who was very much fatigued, and as our cabin was composed only of flag mats, it took fire at night and would have burnt us had I not promptly thrown off the mat which served as a door to our little quarters, and which was all in flames.
We rejoined our party the next day, at the portage where Father Gabriel had made several crosses on the trees, that we might recognize it. 
We found there a number of buffalo horns and the carcasses of those animals, and some canoes that the Indians had made, of Buffalo skins, to cross the river with their load of meat.
This place is situated on the edge of a great plain, at the extremity of which on the western side is a village of Miamis, Mascoutens and Oiatinon gathered together.
The river Seignelay which flows to the Islinois [Indians] rises in a plain in the midst of much boggy land, over which it is not easy to walk. 
This river is only a league and a half distant from that of the Miamis, and thus we transported all our equipage and our canoes by a road which we marked for the benefit of those who might come after us, after leaving at the portage of the Miami river as well as at the fort which we had built at its mouth, letters to serve as a guide to those who were to come and join us by the bark to the number of twenty-five.
The river Seignelay [Kankakee] is navigable for canoes to within a hundred paces of its source, and it increases to such an extent in a short time, that it is almost as broad, and deeper than the Marne. 
It takes its course through vast marshes, where it winds about so, though its current is pretty strong, that after sailing on it for a whole day, we sometimes found that we had not advanced more than two leagues in a straight line. 
As far as the eye could reach nothing was to be seen but marshes full of flags and alders. 
For more than forty leagues of the way, we could not have found a camping ground, except for some hummocks of frozen earth on which we slept and lit our fire. 
Our provisions ran out and we could find no game after passing these marshes, as we hoped to do, because there are only great open plains, where nothing grows except tall grass, which is dry at this season, and which the Miamis had burned while hunting buffalo, and with all the address we employed to kill some deer, our hunters took nothing; for more than sixty leagues journey, they killed only a lean stag, a small deer, some swans, and two wild geese for the subsistence of thirty-two men. 
If our canoe-men had found a chance, they would infallibly have all abandoned us, to strike inland and join the Indians whom we discerned by the flames of the prairies to which they had set fire in order to kill the buffalo more easily.
These animals are ordinarily in great numbers there, as is easy to judge by the bones, the horns and skulls that we saw on all sides. 
The Miamis hunt them at the end of autumn in the following manner:
When they see a herd, they gather in great numbers, and set fire to the grass everywhere around these animals, except some passage which they leave on purpose, and where they take post with their bows and arrows. 
The buffalo, seeking to escape the fire, are thus compelled to pass near these Indians, who sometimes kill as many as a hundred and twenty in a day, all of which they distribute according to the wants of the families: and these Indians all triumph over the massacre of so many animals, come to notify their women, who at once proceed to bring in the meat. 
Some of them at times take on their backs three hundred pounds weight, and also throw their children on top of their load which does not seem to burthen them more than a soldier's sword at his side.
These animals have very fine wool instead of hair, and the females have it longer than the males. 
Their horns are almost all black, much thicker than those of cattle in Europe, but not quite so long. 
Their head is of monstrous size; the neck is very short, but very thick, and sometimes six hands broad. 
They have a hump or slight elevation between the two shoulders. Their legs are very thick and short, covered with a very long wool. 
On the head and between the horns they have long, black hair, which falls over their eyes and gives them a fearful look. 
The meat of these animals is very succulent. 
They are very fat in autumn, because all the summer they are up to their necks in the grass. 
These vast countries are so full of prairies, that it seems this is the element and the country of the buffalo. 
There are at near intervals some woods where these animals retire to ruminate, and to get out of the heat of the sun. 
These wild cattle or bulls change country according to the season and the diversity of climate. 
When they approach the northern lands and begin to feel the beginning of winter, they pass to the southern lands. 
They follow one another on the way sometimes for a league. 
They all lie down in the same place, and their resting ground is often full of wild purslain, which we have sometimes eaten. 
The paths by which they have passed are beaten like our great roads in Europe, and no grass grows there. 
They cross rivers and streams. 
The wild cows go to the islands to prevent the wolves from eating their calves; and even when the calves can run, the wolves would not venture to approach them, as the cows would exterminate them. 
The Indians have this forecast not to drive these animals entirely from their countries, to pursue only those who are wounded by arrows, and the others that escape, they suffer to go at liberty without pursuing them further in order not to alarm them too much. 
And although these Indians of these vast continents are naturally given to destroy the animals, they have never been able to exterminate these wild cattle, for however much they hunt them these beasts multiply so that they return in still greater numbers the following year.
The Indian women spin on the distaff the wool of these cattle, out of which they make bags to carry the meat, boucanned and sometimes dried in the sun, which these women keep frequently for three or four months of the year, and although they have no salt, they dry it so well that the meat undergoes no corruption. 
Four months after they have thus dressed this meat, one would say on eating it that the animals had just been killed, and we drank the broth with them instead of water which is the ordinary drink of all the nations of America, who have no intercourse with Europeans.
The ordinary skins of these wild cattle weigh from one hundred to a hundred and twenty pounds. 
The Indians cut off the back and the neck part which is the thickest part of the skin, and they take only the thinnest part of the belly, which they dress very neatly, with the brains of all kinds of animals, by means of which they render it as supple as our chamois skins dressed with oil. 
They paint it with different colors, trim it with white and red porcupine quills, and make robes of it to parade in their feasts. 
In winter they use them to cover themselves especially at night. 
Their robes which are full of curly wool have a very pleasing appearance.
When the Indians have killed any cows, the little calves follow the hunters, and go and lick their hands or fingers, [and] these Indians sometimes take them to their children and after they have played with them they knock them on the head to eat them. 
They preserve the hoofs of all these little animals, dry them and fasten them to rods,, and in their dances they shake and rattle them, according to the various postures and motions of the singers and dancers. 
This machine somewhat resembles a tambour.
These little animals might easily be domesticated and used to plough the land.
These wild cattle subsist in all seasons of the year. 
When they are surprised by winter and cannot reach in time the southern land and the warm country, and the ground is all covered with snow, they have the tact to turn up and throw aside the snow, to crop the grass hidden beneath. 
They are heard lowing, but not as commonly as in Europe.
These wild cattle are much larger in body than ours in Europe, especially in the forepart. 
This great bulk, however, does not prevent their moving very fast, so that there are very few Indians who can run them down. 
These bulls often kill those who have wounded them. 
In the season you see herds of two and even four hundred.
Many other kinds of animals are found in these vast plains of Louisiana, stags, deer, beaver and otter are common there, geese, swans, turtles, poules d'inde, parrots, partridges, and many other birds swarm there, the fishery is very abundant, and the fertility of the soil is extraordinary. 
There are boundless prairies interspersed with forests of tall trees, where there are all sorts of building timber, and among the rest excellent oak, full like that in France and very different from that in Canada. 
The trees are of prodigious girth and height, and you could find the finest pieces in the world for ship building which can be carried on upon the spot, and wood could be brought as ballast in the ships to build all the vessels of France, which would be a great saving to the State and would give the trees in our nearly exhausted forests time to grow again.
Several kinds of fruit trees are also to be seen in the forests, and wild grape vines which produce clusters about a foot and a half long which ripen perfectly, and of which very good wine can be made. 
There are also to be seen fields covered with very good hemp, which grows there naturally to a height of six or seven feet. 
To conclude, by the experiments that we have made among the Islinois and the Isati, we are convinced that the soil is capable of producing all kinds of fruits, herbs and grain, and in greater abundance than the best lands in Europe. 
The air there is very temperate and healthy, the country is watered by countless lakes, rivers and streams, most of which are navigable. 
One is scarcely troubled at all by musquitoes or other noxious creatures, and by cultivating the ground, people could subsist there from the second year, independent of provisions from Europe.
This vast continent will be able in a short time to supply all our West India islands with bread, wine and meat, and our French buccaneers and filibusters will be able to kill wild cattle in greater abundance in Louisiana than in all the rest of the islands which they occupy.
There are mines of coal, slate, iron and the lumps of pure red copper, which are found in various places, indicate that there are mines and perhaps other metals and minerals, which will one day be discovered, inasmuch as a salt and alum spring has already been found among the Iroquois.
We continued our route on the river Seignelay during the rest of the month of December; and at last, after having sailed for a hundred and twenty or a hundred and thirty leagues from Lake Dauphin on the River Seignelay, we arrived at the village of the Illinois towards the close of the month of December, 1679. 
We killed on the river bank only a single buffalo, and some poules d'inde, because the Indians having set fire to the dry grass of all the prairies on our route, the deer had taken fright, and with all the skill adopted in hunting, we subsisted only by a pure Providence of God, who gives strength at one time that he does not at another, and by the greatest happiness in the world, when we had nothing any more to eat, we found an enormous buffalo mired on the bank of the river, that twelve of our men had difficulty in dragging to solid ground with a cable.
This Islinois village is situated at forty degrees of latitude [along the shallows below Ottawa, Ill.] in a somewhat marshy plain, and on the right [or north] bank of a river as broad as the Seine before Paris, which is divided by very beautiful islands. 
It contains four hundred and sixty cabins, made like long arbors and covered with double mats of flat flags, so well sewed, that they are never penetrated by the wind, snow or rain. 
Each cabin has four or five fires, and each fire has one or two families, who all live together in a good understanding.
As we had foreseen, we found the village empty, all the Indians having gone to pass the winter hunting in various places according to their custom. 
Their absence, nevertheless, put us in great embarrassment; provisions failed and we durst not take the Indian corn which the Islinois hide in trenches underground to preserve it, and use on their return from the hunt for planting and subsistence till harvest. 
This stock is extremely precious in their eyes, and you could not give them greater offense than by touching it in their absence. 
Nevertheless, as there was no possibility of our risking a further descent without food, and the fire that had been set to the prairies had driven off all the animals, the Sieur de la Salle resolved to take twenty bushels of Indian corn, hoping that he would be able to appease the Islinois by some means.
The same day we re-embarked with this new supply, and for four days we descended the same river, which runs south by west.
On the first day of the year 1679 [1680], discovering one of our deserters, of whom I have heretofore spoken, and that he had returned to us, only to seduce our men, who moreover, were disposed to abandon us, through the fear they had of suffering hunger during the winter, I made an exhortation after the mass, wishing a happy New Year to the Sieur de la Salle and all our party, and after the most touching words, I begged all our malcontents to arm themselves with patience, representing to them that God would provide for all our wants, and that if we lived in concert, He would raise up means to enable us to subsist. 
Father Gabriel, Father Zenobius and I embraced them with the most affectionate sentiments, encouraging them to continue so important a discovery.
Towards the end of the fourth day, while crossing a little lake [upper Peoria Lake], formed by the river, we observed smoke, which showed us that the Indians were cabined near there. 
In fact, on the fifth, about nine o'clock in the morning, we saw on both sides of the river a number of parrakeets [pirogues or wooden canoes] and about eighty cabins full of Indians, who did not perceive our canoes, until we doubled a point, behind which the Islinois were camped within half gun shot. 
We were in eight canoes, abreast, all our men arms in hand, and allowing ourselves to go with the current of the river.
We first gave the cry according to the custom of these nations, as though to ask whether they wished peace or war, because it was very important to show resolution at the outset. 
At first the old men, the women and children took flight across the woods by which the river is bordered, the warriors ran to arms, but with so much confusion, that before they recovered themselves, our canoes had touched land. 
The Sieur de la Stile was the first to leap ashore.
The Indians might have been routed in the disorder they were in; but as this was not our design, we halted in order to give the Islinois time to regain confidence. 
One of their chiefs who was on the other side of the river and who had observed that we had refrained from firing on seven or eight Indians whom we might easily have killed, began a harangue to stop the young men who were preparing to discharge arrows across the river. 
Those who were encamped on the side where we had landed, and who had taken flight at first, having understood the situation, sent two of the chief men among them to present the calumet from the top of a hill; soon after those who were on the other side did the same thing and then we gave them to understand that we accepted the peace; and at the same time I proceeded in haste with Father Zenobius in the direction of the Indians who had taken flight, taking their children by the hand, who were all trembling with fear; we manifested much affection for them, entering with the old men and the mothers into the cabins, taking compassion on these souls, which are going to destruction, being deprived of the word of God and lacking missionaries. 
The joy of both was as great as their fear had been violent; that of some having been such that it was two days before they returned from the places to which they had gone to hide.
After the rejoicings, the dances and feasts to which they devoted the day, we assembled the chiefs of the villages, which were on both sides of the river; we made known by our interpreter that we, Recollects, had not come among them to gather beaver, but to give them a knowledge of the great Master of Life, and to instruct their children; that we lad left our country, which was beyond the sea, to come and dwell among them, and to be of the number of their greatest friends.
We heard a great chorus of voices, Tepatoui Nicka, which means: 
"See what is good my brother; you have a mind well made to conceive this thought," and at the same time they rubbed our legs down to the sole of the feet near the fire with bear's oil and buffalo grease to relieve our fatigue. 
They put the first three morsels of meat in our mouth with extraordinary marks of friendship.
Immediately after, the Sieur de la Salle made them a present of tobacco and some axes. 
He told them that he had convoked them to treat of an affair which he wished to explain to them, before he spoke to them of any other; that he knew how necessary corn was to them; that nevertheless, the want of provisions in which he found himself on arriving at their village, and the impossibility of finding any game on the prairies, had obliged him to take a certain quantity of Indian corn, which he had in his canoes, and which he had not yet touched; that if they were willing to leave it in his hands, he would give them in exchange axes and other things which they needed, and that if they could not spare it they were free to take it back; but that if they could not supply him the provisions necessary for his subsistence and that of his men, he would go to their neighbors the Osages, who would furnish him some on paying for it, and that in return he would leave with them the blacksmith whom he had brought to mend their axes and other instruments.
He spoke to them in this manner, because he was well aware that the Islinois would not fail to be jealous of the advantages that the French might give their neighbors, and especially that they would derive from a blacksmith, of whom they were themselves excessively in need. 
They accordingly accepted with great demonstrations of joy the payment that he offered them for their Indian corn. 
They even gave more and earnestly begged us to settle among them.
We answered that we would do so willingly, but that as the Iroquois were subjects of the king and consequently our brethren, we could not make war on them; that for this reason we exhorted them to make peace with that nation, that we would aid then) to do so, and that if in spite of our remonstrances, that haughty nation came to attack them, we would defend them provided they permitted us to build a fort, in which we could make head against the Iroquois with the few Frenchmen that we had; that we would even furnish them arms and ammunition, provided they used them only to repel their enemies, and did not employ [them] against the nations that lived under the protection of the king whom the Indians call the Great Chief who is beyond the great lake.
We then added that we also intended to bring over other Frenchmen who would protect them from the attacks of all their enemies and would furnish all that they needed; that we were hindered only by the length and difficulty of the way. 
That to surmount this obstacle, we had resolved to build a great wooden canoe to sail down to the sea, and bring them all kinds of merchandise by that shorter and more easy way. 
But as this enterprise required a great outlay, we wished to learn whether their river was navigable to the sea, and whether other Europeans dwelt near its mouth.
The Islinois replied that they accepted all our proposals, and that they would assist us as far as they could. 
Then they gave a description of the river Colbert or Meschasipi; they told us wonders of its width and beauty, and they assured us that the navigation was free and easy, and that there were no Europeans near its mouth; but what most convinced us that this river was navigable, is that they named four nations to us, of whom there is mention in the Relation of the Voyage of Ferdinand Soto, in Florida; these are the Tula, Casquin, Cicaca and Daminoia. 
They added that prisoners whom they had taken in war in the direction of the sea said that they had seen ships far out which made discharges that resembled thunder, but that they were not settled on the coast, because if they were there they [the Indians] would not neglect to go and trade with them, the sea being distant only twenty days in their canoes.
The day passed in this way to our mutual satisfaction, but things did not remain long in this state.
The next day one of the chiefs of the Miamis, named Monso, arrived accompanied by five or six others loaded with kettles, axes and knives, in order by these presents to prepare the mind of the Islinois to believe what he was to say to them. 
He secretly assembled the sachems and assured them that we intended to go and join their enemies, who lived beyond the great river Colbert, that we would furnish them arms and ammunition and that after having assembled them we would join the Iroquois, and hem them in on all sides to exterminate them entirely; that we were friends of the Iroquois, that the French had a fort in the midst of the Iroquois country, that we would furnish them arms and powder, and that there was no other means of avoiding their ruin than by preventing our voyage, or at least delaying it, because a part of our men would soon abandon us, and that they should not believe anything we .might tell them.
After having said many things of the kind, the Miami chief returned by night with as much secrecy as he came, lest we might discover all this mystery.
Nevertheless one of the Islinois chiefs named Omaouha, whom we had gained on arriving by a present of two axes and three knives, came to see us the next morning and secretly informed us of all that had passed. 
We thanked him, and to induce him to keep us informed of all that went on, we made him a new present of powder and lead, easily judging that this Miamis had been sent and instructed by other Frenchmen, jealous of our success, because this Monso did not know us, and had not even been within four hundred leagues of Fort Frontenac, and that nevertheless, he had spoken of our affairs with as much detail and circumstantiality as though he had known us all his life.
This affair gave us all the more uneasiness, because we knew that Indians are naturally suspicious, and because many bad impressions had already been made on our men to induce them to desert, as six of their comrades had already done at one stroke.
In the afternoon of the same day, Nicanape, brother of Chassagouasse, the most important of the Islinois chiefs, who was then absent, invited us all to a feast, and when all were seated in the cabin, Nicanape took the word, and made us an address very different from those which the sachems had made us at his arrival, saying that he had not invited us, so much to give us good cheer as to cure our mind of the disease which we had, wishing to descend the great river, which no one had ever yet done without perishing there; that its banks were inhabited by an infinite number of barbarous nations, who would overwhelm the French by their numbers, whatever arms and whatever valor they might possess; that this river was full of monsters, tritons, crocodiles and serpents, and even if the size of our canoe should protect us from this danger, there was another and inevitable one, that the lower part of the river was full of falls and precipices with a current above them so evident that men go down helplessly, and that all these precipices ended in a gulf where the river was lost underground, without any one's knowing whither it went. 
He added to this so many circumstances and pronounced his address so seriously with so many marks of good will, that our men who were not at all accustomed to the manners of the Indians, and two of whom understood the language, were shaken by it.
We marked their apprehension in their faces, but as it is not the custom to interrupt Indians, and by doing so we would only have increased the suspicion of our men, we let him finish his speech in peace, and then we replied without any emotion, that we were very much obliged to him for the information he gave us, and that we should acquire all the more glory if we found difficulties to overcome; that we all served the great Master of the life of men, and him who was the greatest of all the chiefs who commanded beyond the sea; that we esteemed ourselves happy to die while bearing the name of both to the very end of the earth; but that we feared that all he had told us was only an invention of his friendship to prevent our leaving his nation, or rather that it was only an artifice of some evil spirit who had given them some distrust of our plans, although they were full of sincerity; that if the Islinois had any real friendship for us they should not dissemble the grounds of their uneasiness, from which we should endeavor to deliver them, that otherwise we should have reason to believe that the friendship they manifested for us on our arrival was only on their lips.
Nicanape remained unable to reply, and presenting us food changed his discourse.
After the meal our interpreter took up the word again and told him that we were not surprised that their neighbors became jealous of the advantages that they would receive from the trade which they were going to have with the French, nor that they should spread reports to our damage, but that he was astonished to see them so easy to give them credence, and that they concealed them from the French, who had so frankly revealed to them all their designs.
"We were not asleep, brother," he added, addressing Nicanape, "when Monso spoke to you in secret at night to the prejudice of the French, whom he depicted to you as spies of the Iroquois. 
The presents that he made you to convince you of his lies are still secreted in this cabin. 
Why did he take flight immediately afterwards? 
Why did he not show himself by day if he had only truth to tell? 
Have you not seen that at our arrival we might have killed your nephews, and that in the confusion prevailing among them, we might have done alone what they wish to persuade you we will execute with the help of the Iroquois, after we are settled among you, and have formed a friendship with your nation?
"At this moment that I am addressing you, could not our French kill all of you, old men that you are, while your young men are off at the hunt? Do you not know that the Iroquois, whom you fear, have experienced the valor of the French and that consequently we should not need their help if we intended to make war on you?
"But to cure your mind entirely, run after this imposter, whom we will wait here to convict and confound. 
How does he know us since he has never seen us, and how can he know the plots which he says we have formed with the Iroquois, whom he knows as little as he does us? 
Look at our stores; they are only tools and goods that can but serve us to do you good, and which are not suited either for attacking or for retreating."
These words influenced them and induced them to dispatch runners after Monso to bring him back, but the heavy snow that fell by night before and which covered his tracks, prevented their overtaking him. 
Nevertheless, our Frenchmen, who had been alarmed already, were not relieved of their false fears. 
Six of them who were on guard, and among them two pit-sawyers, without whom we could not make a bark to go to sea, fled the next night, after having carried off whatever they thought likely to be necessary to them, and exposed themselves to a danger of perishing and dying of hunger much more certain than that which they sought to avoid.
The Sieur de la Salle having gone out of his cabin in the morning and finding no one on duty, he entered the cabins of his men, and found one where there was only a single man left, whom his comrades had not notified, because he was suspected by them. 
He called them all together and asked for information in regard to these deserters. 
Then he expressed his displeasure that they should have deserted against the King's orders, and all justice, and abandon him at the time when they were most necessary to him, after he had done everything for them. 
To counteract the bad impression that this desertion might produce in the mind of the Islinois he ordered them to say that their comrades had gone off by his order, and said that he was well able to pursue and punish them as an example, but that he did not wish to let the Indians know how little fidelity there was among the French.
He exhorted them to be more faithful to him than these runaways, and not to go to such extremes through fear of the dangers which Nicanape had falsely exaggerated to them; that he did not intend to take with him any but those who would wish to accompany him willingly, and that he would give them his word to leave the others at liberty in the spring to return to Canada, whither they might go without risk and by canoe, whereas they could not then undertake it, but with evident peril of their lives, and with the disgrace of having basely abandoned him, by a conspiracy which could not remain unpunished on their arrival in Canada.
He endeavored to reassure them in this way, but knowing their inconstancy, and dissembling the chagrin he felt at their lack of resolution, he resolved to remove them from the Indians, to preclude any new subornations, and in order to make them consent without murmuring, he told them that they were not in security among the Islinois; that moreover such a stay exposed them to the arms of the Iroquois, who perhaps might come before winter to attack the village, that the Islinois were not capable of making any resistance to them, that apparently they would take flight at the first shock, and that the Iroquois would not be able to overtake them, because the Islinois run much faster than they do; they would vent their rage on the French, whose small number would be incapable of making head against these savages; that there was only one remedy, and that was to fortify themselves in some post easy of defense; that he had found one of this kind near the village, where they would be proof against the insults of the Islinois and the arms of the Iroquois, who would not be able to storm them there, and who for this reason would not undertake to attack them.
These reasons and some others of that kind which I made them, persuaded them, and brought all to work with a good grace in building a fort which was called Crevecoeur, situated four days' journey from the great village of the Islinois, descending towards the river Colbert,
A great thaw having set in on the 15th of January and rendered the river free below the village, the Sieur de la Salle begged me to accompany him, and we proceeded with one of our canoes to the place which we were going to select to work at this little fort. 
[Hennepin and Membre's maps show it to be on the easterly side of the river.—H. W. B.] 
It was a little mound about two hundred paces distant from the bank of the river which in the season of the rains, extends to the foot; of it; two broad, deep ravines protected two ether sides and a part of the fourth, which we completely entrenched by a ditch which united the two ravines. 
Their exterior slope, which served as a counterscarp, was fortified, we made chevaux de frise and cut this eminence down steep on all sides, and the earth was supported as much as was necessary with strong pieces of timber, with thick planks, and for fear of any surprise we planted a stockade around, the timbers of which were twenty-five feet long and a foot thick.
The summit of the mound was left in its natural figure, which formed an irregular square, and we contented ourselves with putting on the edge a good parapet of earth capable of covering all our force, whose barracks were placed in two of the angles of this fort, in order that they might be always ready in case of attack.
Fathers Gabriel, Zenoble and I lodged in a cabin covered with boards, which we adjusted with the help of our workmen and in which we retired after work, our people for evening and morning prayer, and where, being unable any longer to say mass, the wine which we had made from the large grapes of the country having just failed us, we contented ourselves with singing Vespers on holidays and Sundays and preaching after morning prayers.
The forge was set up along the curtain which faced the wood. 
The Sieur de la Salle posted himself in the middle with the Sieur de Tonty; and wood was cut down to make charcoal for the blacksmith.
While they were engaged at this work, we were thinking constantly only of our exploration, and we saw that the building of a bark would be very difficult on account of the desertion of the pit-sawyers. 
It occurred to us one day to tell our people that if there was a man of good will among them, who was willing to try and make sheathing planks there was hope of succeeding, with a little more labor and time, and that at the worst we should after all only spoil a few.
Immediately two of our men offered to work at it. 
The trial was made and they succeeded pretty well, although they had never before undertaken a similar piece of work. 
We began a bark of forty-two feet keel, and only twelve broad. 
We pushed on the work with so much care, that notwithstanding the building of Fort Crevecoeur, the sheathing was sawed, all the wood of the bark ready and curved, in the first of the month of March.
It is to be remarked that in the country of the Islinois, the winter is not more severe than in Provence, but that of the years 1679 [and 1680], the snow lasted more than twenty days, which was an extraordinary surprise to the Indians, who had not yet experienced so severe a winter, so that the Sieur de la Salle and I saw ourselves exposed to new hardships, which will perhaps appear incredible to those who have no experience in great voyages and new discoveries.
Fort Crevecoeur was almost completed, all the wood had been prepared to complete the bark, but we had neither rigging nor sails, nor iron enough; we heard no tidings of the bark which we had left on Lake Dauphin nor of the men who had been sent to learn what bad become of her. 
Meanwhile the Sieur de la Salle saw that summer was approaching, and that if he waited uselessly some months more, our enterprise would be retarded a year, and perhaps two or three, because being so far from Canada, he could not put his affairs in any order or cause the things he needed to be forwarded.
In this extremity we both adopted a resolution, as extraordinary as it was difficult to carry out, I to go with two men into unknown countries, where one is at every moment in a great danger for his life, and he to proceed on foot to Fort Frontenac, itself a distance of more than five hundred leagues.
We were then at the close of winter which had been, as we have said, as severe in America as in France, the ground was still covered with snow which was neither melted nor able to bear a man in snow shoes. 
It was necessary to load ourselves with the usual equipage on these occasions, that is to say, a blanket, a kettle, an axe, a gun, powder, and lead, dressed skins to make Indian shoes, which often last only a day, those which are worn in France being of no use in these western countries. 
Besides this he must resolve to push through bushes, to walk in marshes, and melting snow, sometimes waist high, and that for whole days, sometimes even with nothing to eat; because he, and three others who accompanied him, could not carry provisions, being compelled to depend for all their subsistence on what they might shoot, and expect to drink only the water they might find on the way.
To conclude, he was exposed every day and especially night to be surprised by four or five nations which made war on each other, with this difference, that these nations where he was to pass, all know the French, and that those where I was going had never seen Europeans. 
Nevertheless all these difficulties did not astonish him any more than they did me. 
Our only trouble was to find among our force some men robust enough to go with us, and to prevent the others, already greatly fluctuating, from all deserting after our departure.
Some days after we fortunately found means to disabuse our people of the false impressions which the Islinois had produced on them at the instigation of Monso, chief of the Miamis. 
Some Indians arrived at the village of the Islinois from these remote nations, and one of them assured us of the beauty of the great River Colbert or Meschasipi.
We were confirmed in it by the report of several Indians, and by a private Islinois, who told us in secret on our arrival that it was navigable. 
Nevertheless this account did not suffice to disabuse our people and completely reassure them. 
We wished to make the Islinois themselves avow it, although we had learned that they had resolved in council always to tell us the same thing. 
Soon after a favorable occasion presented itself.
A young Islinois warrior who had taken some prisoners in the direction of the south and who had come on ahead of his comrades, passed to our shipyard. 
They gave him some Indian corn to eat. 
As he was returning from the lower part of the River Colbert, of which we pretended to have some knowledge, this young man traced for us with coal, a pretty exact map, assuring us that he had been everywhere in his periagua; that there was not down to the sea, which the Indians call the great lake, either falls or rapids.
But that as this river became very broad, there were in some places sand banks and mud which barred a part of it. 
He also told us the name of the nations that lived on its bank, and of the rivers which it receives. 
I wrote them down and I will be able to give an account thereof in a second volume of our Discovery.
We thanked him by a small present, for having revealed to us the truth, which the chief men of his Islinois nation had disguised from us. 
He begged us not to tell them, and an axe was given him to close his mouth, after the fashion of the Indians when they wish to enjoin secrecy.
The next morning after our public prayers, we went to the village where we found the Islinois assembled in the cabin of one of the most important who was giving a bear feast, which is a meat that they esteem highly.
They made place for us among them on a fine mat of flags, which they spread for us. 
We told them through one of their men, who knew the language, that we wished to make known to them, that He who has made all, whom we call the Great Master of Life, takes a particular care of the French, that He had done us the favor to instruct us as to the condition of the great river, called by us Colbert, as to which we had difficulty in ascertaining the truth, since they had rendered it impossible for us to navigate, and then we informed them what we had learned the day before.
These savages thought that we had learned all these things by some extraordinary way; and after having closed the mouth with their hand, which is a way that they often employ to express their surprise, they told us that it was only the desire which they had to retain our chief with the Greygowns or Bare Feet [as all the Indians of America call our Religious of Saint Francis] to remain with them, had obliged them to conceal the truth. 
They confirmed all that we had learned from the young warrior, and have since always persisted in the same opinion.
This affair greatly diminished the fears of our Frenchmen, and they were entirely delivered from them by the arrival of several Osages, Ciccaca and Akansa, who had come from the southward in order to see the French and to buy axes.
They all bore witness that the river was navigable to the sea, and that as the coming of the French was made known, all the nations of the lower part of the River Colbert would come to dance the Calumet of Peace to us, in order to maintain a good understanding, and trade with the French nation.
The Miamis came at the same time to dance the calumet to the Islinois, and made an alliance with them against the Iroquois, their common enemy. 
The Sieur de la Salle made some presents to unite these two nations more firmly together.
Seeing that we were three Recollect missionaries with the few Frenchmen whom we had at Fort Crevecoeur, and having no more wine to say mass, Father Gabriel, who had need of relief at his advanced age, declared that he would willingly remain alone at the fort with our Frenchmen.
Father Zenoble who had desired to have the great mission of the Islinois, composed of about seven or eight thousand souls, began to weary of it, finding it difficult to adapt himself to the importunate manners of the Indians, with whom he dwelt. 
We spoke about it to the Sieur de la Salle, who made a present of three axes to the father's host, by name Oumahouha [Omaha], that is to say, the Wolf, who was the chief of a family or tribe, in order that he might take care to maintain the Father, whom this chief called his son, and who lodged him and considered him as one of his children.
This Father who was only half a league from the fort, came to explain to us the subject of his troubles, telling us, that he was not yet accustomed to the ideas of the Indians, that nevertheless he already knew a part of their language. 
I offered to take his mission, provided he would go in my place to the remote nations of whom we had as yet no knowledge, as that which the Indians had given us was only superficial. 
This set the father thinking, and he preferred to remain with the Islinois, of whom he had some knowledge, rather than expose himself to go among unknown nations.
The Sieur de la Salle left in Fort Crevecoeur the Sieur de Tonty as commandant, with some soldiers and the carpenters who were employed building the bark intended for the attempt to descend to the sea by the River Colbert, in order to be, by this means, protected from the arrows of the Indians in this vessel. 
He left him powder and lead, a blacksmith, guns and other arms to defend themselves, in case they were attacked by the Iroquois.
He gave him instructions to remain in his fort, and before returning to Fort Frontenac, to go and get a reinforcement, cables and rigging for the last bark, which he left built up to the ribband. 
He begged me to consent to take the pains to go and explore in advance the route which he would have to take to the River Colbert [and to the Sioux on the Upper Mississippi.—H. W. B.], on his return from Canada, but as I had an abscess in the mouth, which suppurated continually, and which had continued for a year and a half, I manifested to him my repugnance, and told him that I needed to return to Canada to have it treated. 
He replied that if I refused this voyage, that he would write to my superiors, that I would be the cause of the want of success of our new missions.
The Reverend Father Gabriel de la Ribourde, who had been my Father Master in the Novitiate, begged me to proceed, saying that if I died of this infirmity, God would be one day glorified by my apostolic labors. 
"It is true, my son,'' said this venerable old man to me, who had whitened more than forty years in the austerity of penance, "that you will have many monsters to overcome, and precipices to pass in this enterprise, which demands the strength of the most robust. 
You do not know a word of the language of these nations, whom you are going to try and gain to God, but courage, you will gain as many victories as combats.''
Considering that this Father had at his age volunteered to come and aid me in my second year of our new discovery, in the view that he had to announce Jesus Christ to the unknown nations, and that this aged man was the only male child and heir of his father's house, who was a gentleman of Burgundy, I offered to undertake this voyage to endeavor to go and form an acquaintance with the nations among whom I hoped soon to settle in order to preach the faith. 
The Sieur de la Salle told me that I gratified him.
He gave me a peace calumet and a canoe with two men, one of whom was called the Picard du Gay, who is now in Paris, and the other Michael Ako. 
He entrusted this latter with some goods intended to make presents, which were worth a thousand or twelve hundred livres, and he gave me ten knives, twelve awls, a small roll of tobacco, to give the Indians, about two pounds of black and white beads, and a small package of needles, assuring me that he would have given me more if he had been able. 
In fact he is very liberal to his friends.
Having received the blessing of the Reverend Father Gabriel and leave from the Sieur de la Salle, and after having embraced all our men who came to escort us to our place of embarking, Father Gabriel finishing his adieus by these words: 
'' Viriliter age et confortetur cor tuum.'' 
We set out from Fort Crevecoeur the 29th of February, 1680, and toward evening, while descending the river Seignelay, we met on our way several parties of Islinois returning to their village in their periaguas [pirogues or wooden canoes] or gondolas, loaded with meat.
They would have obliged us to return, our two boatmen were strongly influenced, but as they would have had to pass by Fort Crevecoeur, where our Frenchmen would have stopped them, we pursued our way the next day, and my two men afterward confessed the design which they had entertained.
The river Seignelay [Illinois] on which we were sailing, is as deep and broad as the Seine at Paris, and in two or three places widens out to a quarter of a league. 
It is skirted by hills, whose sides are covered with fine large trees. 
Some of these hills are half a league apart, leaving between them a marshy strip, often inundated, especially in the autumn and spring, but producing, nevertheless, very large trees.
On ascending these hills, you discover prairies further than the eye can reach, studded, at intervals, with groves of tall trees, apparently planted there intentionally. 
The current of the river is not perceptible, except in time of great rains; it is at all times navigable for large barks about a hundred leagues, from its mouth to the Islinois village, whence its course almost always runs south by west.
On the 7th of March we found, about two leagues from its mouth, a nation called Tamaroa, or Maroa, composed of two hundred families. 
They would have taken us to their village lying west of the river Colbert [Mississippi], six or seven leagues below the mouth of the river Seignelay, but our two canoemen, in hopes of still greater gain, preferred to pass on [as they were required by La Salle to do. —H. W. B.], according to the advice I then gave them.
These last Indians seeing that we carried iron and arms to their enemies, and unable to overtake us in their periaguas, which are wooden canoes, much heavier than our [birch] bark one, which went much faster than their boats, despatched some of their young men after us by land, to pierce us with their arrows at some narrow part of the river, but in vain; for soon after discovering the fire made by these warriors at their ambuscade, we promptly crossed the river, gained the other side and encamped in an island, leaving our canoe loaded and our little dog to wake us, so as to embark more expeditiously should the Indians attempt to surprise us by swimming across.
Soon after leaving these Indians, we came to the mouth of the river Seignelay, fifty leagues distant from Fort Crevecoeur, and about a hundred leagues from the great Islinois village. 
It lies between 36 degrees and 37 degrees north latitude, and consequently one hundred and twenty or thirty leagues from the Gulf of Mexico.
In the angle formed on the south by this river [at Grafton], at its mouth, is a flat precipitous rock, about forty feet high, very well suited for building a fort. 
On the northern side, opposite the rock, and on the west side beyond 'the river, are fields of black earth, the end of which you cannot see, all ready for cultivation, which would be very advantageous for the existence of a colony.
The ice which floated down from the north kept us in this place till the 12th of March, whence we continued our route, traversing the river and sounding on all sides to see whether it was navigable. 
There are, indeed, three islets in the middle, near the mouth of the river Seignelay, which stop the floating wood and trees from the north, and form several large sand bars, yet the channels are deep enough, and there is sufficient water for barks,—large flat-boats can pass there at all times.
The river Colbert runs south-southwest, and comes from the north and northwest; it runs between two chains of mountains, very small here, which wind with the river, and in some places are pretty far from the banks, so that between the mountains and the river, there are large prairies, where you often see herds of wild cattle browsing. 
In other places these eminences leave semi-circular spots covered with grass or wood. 
Beyond these mountains you discover vast plains, but the more we approach the northern side ascending, the earth did not appear to us so fertile, nor the woods so beautiful as in the Islinois country.
This great river is almost everywhere a short league in width, and in some places, two leagues; it is divided by a number of islands covered with trees, interlaced with so many vines as to be almost impassable. 
It receives no considerable river on the western side except that of the Otontenta, and another, which comes from the west north-west, seven or eight leagues from the Falls of St. Anthony of Padua.
On the eastern side you meet first an inconsiderable river, and then further on another, called by the Indians, Onisconsin, or Misconsin [Wisconsin], which comes from the east and east north-east. 
Sixty leagues up you leave it, and make a portage of half a league to reach the Bay of the Puans by another river which, near its source, meanders most curiously. 
It is almost as broad as the river Seignelay, or Islinois, and empties into the river Colbert, a hundred leagues above the river Seignelay.
Twenty-four leagues above, you come to the Black river called by the Nadouessious, or Islati, and the Chabadeba, or Chabaoudeba, it seems inconsiderable. 
Thirty leagues higher up you find the Lake of Tears, Lake Pepin, which we so named because the Indians who had taken us, wishing to kill us, some of them wept the whole night to induce others to consent to our death. 
This lake, which is formed by the river Colbert, is seven leagues long, and about four wide; there is no considerable current in the middle that we could perceive, but only at its entrance and exit. 
Half a league below the Lake of Tears, on the south side, is Buffalo River, full of turtles. 
It is so called by the Indians on account of the number of Buffalo found there. 
We followed it for ten or twelve leagues; it empties with rapidity into the river Colbert, but as you ascend it, it is always gentle and free from rapids. 
It is skirted by mountains far enough in some places to form prairies. 
The mouth is wooded on both sides and is full as wide as that of the Seignelay.
Forty leagues above is a river [the St. Croix], full of rapids, by which, striking northwest, you can proceed to Lake Conde [Superior], as far as Nimissakouat River, which empties into that lake. 
This first river is called Tomb River because the Isati left there the body of one of their warriors killed by a rattlesnake, on whom, according to their custom, I put a blanket. 
This act of humanity gained me much importance by the gratitude displayed by the men of the deceased's tribe, in a great banquet which they gave me in their country, and to which more than a hundred Indians were invited.
Continuing to ascend this river ten or twelve leagues more, the navigation is interrupted by a cataract which I called the Falls of St. Anthony of Padua, in gratitude for the favors done me by the Almighty through the intercession of that great saint, whom we had chosen patron and protector of all our enterprises.
This cataract is forty or fifty feet high, divided in the middle of its fall by a rocky island of pyramidal form. 
The high mountains which skirt the river Colbert last only as far as the river Onisconsin, about one hundred and twenty leagues. 
At this place it begins to flow from the west and northwest without our having been able to learn from the Indians, who have ascended it very far, the spot where this river rises.
They merely told us that twenty or thirty leagues below, there is a second fall, at the foot of which are some villages of the prairie people, called Thinthonha, who live there a part of the year.
Eight leagues above St. Anthony of Padua falls, on the right you find the river of the Issati or Nadoussion with a very narrow mouth, which you can ascend to the north for about seventy leagues to Lake Buade [Mille lake], or of the Issati where it rises. 
We gave this river [Rum River] the name of St. Francis. 
This last lake spreads out into great marshes, producing wild rice, like many other places, down to the extremity of the Bay of the Puans. 
This kind of grain grows in marshy places without anyone sowing it; it resembles oats, but tastes better, and the stalks are longer as well as the ear. 
The Indians gather it in due season. 
The women tie several ears together with white wood bark to prevent its being all devoured by the flocks of duck and teal found there. 
The Indians lay in stock for part of the year, and to eat out of the hunting season.
Lake Buade, or Lake of the Issati, is situated about seventy leagues west of Lake Conde; it is impossible to go from one to the other by land on account of the marshy and quaggy nature of the ground; you might go, though with difficulty on the snow in snowshoes; by water there are many portages, and it is a hundred and fifty leagues, on account of the many turns to be made.
From Lake Conde, to go conveniently in canoe, you must pass by Tomb River, where we found only the skeleton of the Indian whom I mentioned above, the bears having eaten the flesh, and pulled up poles which the deceased's relatives had planted in form of a monument. 
One of our boatmen found a war calumet beside the grave, and an earthen pot upset, in which the Indians had left fat buffalo meat, to assist the departed, as they say, in making his journey to the land of souls.
In the neighborhood of Lake Buade are many other lakes, whence issue several rivers, on the banks of which live the Issati, Nadouessans, Tinthonha [which means prairie-men], Ouadebathon, River People, Chongaskethon, Dog, or Wolf tribe [for chonga among these nations means dog or wolf], and other tribes, all of which we comprise under the name of Nadonession. 
These Indians number eight or nine thousand warriors, very brave, great runners, and very good bowmen. 
It was by a part of these tribes that I and our two canoemen were taken in the following way:
We scrupulously said our morning and evening prayers every day on embarking, and the Angelus at noon, adding some paraphrases on the Response of St. Bonaventure, Cardinal, in honor of St. Anthony of Padua. 
In this way we begged of God to meet these Indians by day, for when they discover people at night they kill them as enemies, to rob those whom they murder secretly of some axes or knives which they value more than we do gold and silver; they even kill their own allies, when they can conceal their death, so as afterward to boast of having killed men, and thus pass for soldiers.
We had considered the river Colbert with great pleasure, and without hindrance, to know whether it was navigable up and down; we were loaded with seven or eight large turkeys, which multiply of themselves in these parts. 
We wanted neither buffalo nor deer, nor beaver, nor fish, nor hear meat, for we killed those animals as they swam across the river.
Our prayers were heard, when, on the 11th of April, 1680, at two o'clock in the afternoon, we suddenly perceived thirty-three bark canoes, manned by a hundred and twenty Indians, coming down with extraordinary speed to make war on the Miamis, Islinois and Maroha. 
These Indians surrounded us, and while at a distance, discharged some arrows at us, but as they approached our canoe, the old men seeing us with the calumet of peace in our hands, prevented the young men from killing us.
These brutal men, leaping from their canoes, some on land, others into the water with frightful cries and yells, approached us, and as we made no resistance, being only three against so great a number, one of them wrenched our calumet from our hands, while our canoe and theirs were made fast to the shore. 
We first presented them a piece of Petun or French tobacco, better for smoking than theirs, and the eldest among them uttered these words, "Miamiha, Miamiha.''
As we did not understand their language, we took a little stick and by signs which we made on the sand, showed them that their enemies, the Miamis, whom they sought, had fled across the river Colbert to join the Islinois; when they saw themselves discovered and unable to surprise their enemies, three or four old men, laying their hands on my head, wept in a lugubrious tone, and I, with a wretched handkerchief I had left, wiped away their tears.
These savages would not smoke our peace-calumet. 
They made us cross the river with great cries, which all shouted together with tears in their eyes; they made us paddle before them, and we heard yells capable of striking the most resolute with terror. 
After landing our canoe and our goods, some part of which they had already stolen, we made a fire to boil our kettle; we gave them two large wild turkeys that we killed.
These savages having called their assembly to deliberate on what they were to do with us, the two head chiefs of the party approaching showed us, by signs that the warriors wished to tomahawk us.
This compelled me to go to the war chiefs with one of my men, leaving the other by our property, and throw into their midst six axes, fifteen knives, and six fathom of our black tobacco, then bowing down my head, I showed them, with an axe that they might tomahawk us, if they thought proper.
This present appeased several individuals among them, who gave us some beaver to eat, putting the three first morsels in our mouth according to the custom of the country, and blowing on the meat, which was too hot, before putting their bark dish before us, to let us eat as we liked. 
We spent the night in anxiety because, before retiring at night, they had returned us our peace-calumet.
Our two canoe men were, however, resolved to sell their lives dearly, and to resist if attacked; they kept their arms and swords ready. 
As for my part, I determined to allow myself to be killed without any resistance, as I was going to announce to them a God who had been falsely accused, unjustly condemned, and cruelly crucified, without showing the least aversion to those who put Him to death. 
In our uncertainty we watched one after the other, so as not to be surprised asleep.
In the morning, April 12th, one of their captains named Narrhetoba, with his face and bare body smeared with paint, asked me for our peace-calumet, filled it with tobacco of his country, made all his band smoke first, and then all the others who plotted our ruin. 
He then gave us to understand that we must go with them to their country, and they all turned back with us; having thus broken off their voyage.
I was not sorry in this conjuncture to continue our discoveries with these people. 
But the greatest trouble I had was, that I found it difficult to say my office before these savages, many of whom seeing me move my lips said, in a fierce tone, Ouackanche; and as we did not know a word of their language, we believed that they were angry at it.
Michael Ako, all out of countenance, told me, that if I continued to say my breviary we should all three be killed and the Picard [a nickname for Anthony Auguel] begged me at least to conceal myself for my devotions, so as not to provoke them further. 
I followed the latter's advice, but the more I concealed myself, the more I had the Indians at my heels, for when I entered the wood, they thought I was going to hide some goods underground, so I knew not on what side to turn to pray, for they never let me out of sight.
This obliged me to beg pardon of my two canoe men, assuring them that I ought not dispense with saying my office, that if we were massacred for that, I should be the innocent cause of their death, as well as of my own. 
By the word Ouakanche, these savages meant that the book I was reading was a spirit; but by their gesture they nevertheless showed a kind of aversion, so that to accustom them to it, I chanted the Litany of the Blessed Virgin in the canoe with my book open. 
They thought that the breviary was a spirit which taught me to sing for their diversion, for these people are naturally fond of singing.
The outrages done us by these Indians during our whole route were incredible, for seeing that our canoe was much larger and more heavily laden than theirs [for they have only a quiver full of arrows, a bow and a wretched dressed skin, to serve two as a blanket during the night, which was still pretty cold at that season, always going north], and that we could not go faster than they, they put some warriors with us to help us row to oblige us to follow them.
These Indians sometimes make thirty or forty leagues by water, when at war and pressed for time, or anxious to surprise some enemy. 
Those who had taken us were of different villages and of different opinions as to us; we cabined every night by the young chief who had asked for our peace calumet, and put ourselves under his protection; but jealousy arose among these Indians, so that the chief of the party named Aquipaguetin, one of whose sons had been killed by the Miamis, seeing that he could not avenge his death on that nation which he sought, turned all his rage on us.
He wept through almost every night for him he had lost in war, to oblige those who had come out to avenge him, to kill us and seize all we had, so as to be able to pursue his enemies; but those who liked European goods were much disposed to preserve us, so as to attract other Frenchmen there and get iron, which is extremely precious in their eyes; but of which they knew the great utility only when they saw one of our French canoe men kill three or four wild geese or turkeys at a single gunshot, while they can scarcely kill even one with an arrow. 
In consequence, as we afterward learned, that the words Manza Ouackange, mean "iron that has understanding," and so these nations called a gun which breaks a man's bones, while their arrows only glance through the flesh they pierce, rarely breaking the bones of those whom they strike, and consequently producing wounds more easily cured than those made by our European guns, which often cripple those whom they wound.
Explanatory Note By The Editor.
Hennepin's captors, in the fall of 1680, took him and his comrades down the Mississippi towards the Wisconsin, on a buffalo hunt. 
Here they were rescued by Daniel Greysolon Du Lhut, or Duluth, a veteran trader of the Lake Superior region. 
Coming by way of the River St. Croix he heard of these captives, and continued down the Mississippi and obtained their release. 
Hennepin, with Du Gay or Antoine Auguel, took the route of Joliet and Marquette by way of the Wisconsin, and down Green Bay to Mackinac, where they remained until spring. 
The next year they continued on to France, where Hennepin published his "La Louisiane" in 1683, from whence the foregoing pages were taken. 
He never returned to America.
Michel Accau remained, and in 1695, was married at the Peoria Mission to an Indian girl. H. W. B.
La Salle's Voyage Down The Mississippi—"the Proces Verbal"—Taking Possession Of All The Country Drained By That River For The King Of France— La Salle's Will, Etc.
1682—"of The Taking Possession Of Louisiana, At The Mouth Of The Mississippi, 
By The Sieur De La Salle, On The 9th Of April, 1682.
"AQUES DE LA METAIRIE, Notary of Fort Frontenac in New France, commissioned to exercise the said function of notary during the voyage to Louisiana, in North America by M. de la Salle, Governor of Fort Frontenac for the King, and commandant of the said discovery by the commission of his Majesty given at St. Germain, on the 12th day of May, 1678.
"To all those to whom these presents shall come, greeting: 
Know, that having been requested by the said Sieur de la Salle to deliver to him an act, signed by us and by the witnesses therein named, of possession by him taken of the country of Louisiana, near the three mouths of the River Colbert, in the Gulf of Mexico, on the 9th of April, 1682.
"In the name of the most high, mighty, invincible, and victorious Prince, Louis the Great, by the Grace of God,
 This curious and important historical document has never been printed. 
The translation here given is made from the original, contained in the archives of the Marine Department at Paris. 
The proper names remain precisely as they are found in the manuscript, although the orthography of several of them is different from that which was afterwards adopted.
—Note by Mr. Sparks on its publication at Boston in 1844, Falconer. 
It appears corrected to correspond with the original manuscript in Falconer's Discovery of the Mississippi, and also in French's Hist. Col. of Louisiana, Part 1.—H. W. B.
King of France and of Navarre, Fourteenth of that name, and of his heirs, and the successor of his crown, we, the aforesaid notary, have delivered the said act to the said Sieur de la Salle, the tenor whereof follows:
"On the 27th of December, 1681, M. de la Salle departed on foot to join M. de Tonty, who had preceded him with his followers and all his equipage 40 leagues into the Miamis country, where the ice on the River Chekagon in the country of the Mascoutens, had arrested his progress, and where, when the ice became stronger, they used sledges to drag the baggage, the canoes, and a wounded Frenchman, through the whole length of this river, and on the Illinois, a distance of 70 leagues.
"At length, all the French being together, on the 25th of January, 1682, we came to Pimiteoui [Upper Peoria Lake]. 
From that place, the river being frozen only in some parts, we continued our route to the River Colbert, 60 leagues, or thereabouts, from Pimiteoui, and 90 leagues, or thereabouts, from the village of Illinois. 
We reached the banks of the River Colbert on the 6th of February, and remained there until the 13th, waiting for the savages, whose progress had been impeded by the ice. 
On the 13th, all having assembled, we renewed our voyage, being 22 French, carrying arms, accompanied by the Reverend Father Zenobe Membre, one of the Recollet Missionaries, and followed by 18 New England savages, and several women, Ilgonquines, Otchipoises, and Huronnes.
"On the 14th, we arrived at the village of Maroa, consisting of a hundred cabins, without inhabitants. 
Proceeding about a hundred leagues down the River Colbert, we went ashore to hunt on the 26th of February. 
A Frenchman was lost in the woods, and it was reported to M. de la Salle, that a large number of savages had been seen in the vicinity. 
Thinking that they might have seized the Frenchman, and in order to observe these savages, he marched through the woods during two days, but without finding them, because they had all been frightened by the guns which they had heard, and had fled.
* Later and now called the Desplanes. 
In earlier reference the present so named Chicago River was regarded as an inlet of the lake. 
And as late as 1812 the Desplanes from the Chicago portage to the Illinois was known as the river Chicago. 
See Edwards' History of Illinois. P. 98.—H. W. B.
''Returning to camp, he sent in every direction French and savages on the search, with orders, if they fell in with savages, to take them alive without injury, that he might gain from them intelligence of this Frenchman. 
Gabriel Barbie, with two savages, having met five of the Chikacha nation, captured two of them. 
They were received with all possible kindness, and, after he had explained to them that he was anxious about a Frenchmen who had been lost, and that he only detained them that he might rescue him from their hands, if he was really among them, and afterwards make with them an advantageous peace [the French doing good to everybody], they assured him that they had not seen the man whom we sought, but that peace would be received with the greatest satisfaction. 
Presents were then given to them, and, as they had signified that one of their villages was not more than half a day's journey distant, M. de la Salle set out the next day to go thither; but, after travelling till night, and having remarked that they often contradicted themselves in their discourse, he declined going further, without more provisions. 
Having pressed them to tell the truth, they confessed that, it was yet four days' journey to their villages; and, perceiving that M. de la Salle was angry at having been deceived, they proposed that one of them should remain with him, while the other carried the news to the village, whence the elders would come and join them four days' journey below that place. 
The said Sieur de la Salle returned to the camp with one of these Chikachas; and the Frenchman, whom we sought, having been found, he continued his voyage, and passed the river of the Chepontias, and the village of the Metsigmeas. 
The fog, which was very thick, prevented his finding the passage which led to the rendezvous proposed by the Chikachas.
On the 12th of March, we arrived at the Kapaha village of Akansa. 
Having established a peace there, and taken possession, we passed, on the 15th, another of their villages, situate on the border of the river, and also two others, farther off in the depth of the forest, and arrived at that of Imaha, the largest village in this nation, where peace was confirmed, and where the chief acknowledged that the village belonged to his Majesty. 
Two Akansas embarked with M. de la Salle to conduct him to the Talusas, their allies, about 50 leagues distant, who inhabit eight villages upon the borders of a little lake. 
On the 19th, we passed the village of Tourika, Jason, and Kouera; but, as they did not border on the river, and were hostile to the Akansas and Taensas, we did not stop there.
"On the 20th, we arrived at the Taensas, by whom we were exceedingly well received, and supplied with a large quantity of provisions. 
M. de Tonty passed a night at one of their villages, where there were about 700 men carrying arms, assembled in the place. 
Here again a peace was concluded. 
A peace was also made with the Koroas, whose chief came there from the principal village of the Koroas, two leagues distant from that of the Natches. 
The two chiefs accompanied M. de la Salle to the banks of the river. 
Here the Korea chief embarked with him to conduct him to his village, where peace was again concluded with this nation, which, besides the five other villages of which it is composed, is allied to nearly 40 others. 
On the 31st, we passed the village of the Oumas without knowing it, on account of the fog, and its distance from the river.
"On the 3rd of April, at about 10 o'clock in the morning, we saw among the canes 13 or 14 canoes. 
M. de la Salle landed, with several of his people. 
Footprints were seen, and also savages, a little lower down, who were fishing, and who fled precipitately as soon as they discovered us. 
Others of our party then went ashore on the borders of a marsh formed by the inundation of the river. 
M. de la Salle sent two Frenchmen, and then two savages, to reconnoitre, who reported that there was a village not far off, but that the whole of this marsh, covered with canes, must be crossed to reach it: that they had been assailed with a shower of arrows by the inhabitants of the town, who had not dared to engage with them in the marsh, but who had then withdrawn, although neither the French nor the savages with them had fired, on account of the orders they had received not to act unless in pressing danger. 
Presently we heard a drum beat in the village, and the cries and howlings with which these barbarians are accustomed to make attacks. 
We waited three or four hours, and, as we could not encamp in this marsh, and seeing no one, and no longer hearing anything, we embarked.
"An hour afterwards, we came to the village of Maheouala, lately destroyed, and containing dead bodies and marks of blood. 
Two leagues below this place we encamped. 
We continued our voyage till the 6th, when we discovered three channels by which the River Colbert discharges itself into the sea. 
We landed on the bank of the most western channel, about three leagues from its mouth. 
On the 7th, M. de la Salle went to reconnoitre the shores of the neighboring sea, and M. de Tonty likewise examined the great middle channel. 
They found these two outlets beautiful, large and deep. 
On the 8th, we re-ascended the river, a little above its confluence with the sea, to find a dry place, beyond the reach of inundations. 
The elevation of the North Pole was here about 27 degrees. 
Here we prepared a column and a cross, and to the said column were affixed the arms of France, with this inscription:
Louis Le Grand, Roi De France Et De Navarre, Regne; Le Neuvieme, Avril, 1682.
'' The whole party, under arms, chanted the Te Deum, the Exaudiat, the Domine salvum fac Regem; and then, after a salute of firearms and cries of Vive le Roi, the column was erected by M. de la Salle, who, standing near it, said, with a loud voice, in French: 
"In the name of the most high, mighty, invincible, and victorious Prince, Louis the Great, by the Grace of God, King of France and of Navarre, Fourteenth of that name, this ninth day of April, one thousand six hundred and eighty-two, I, in virtue of the commission of his Majesty which I hold in my hand, and which may be seen by all whom it may concern, have taken, and do now take, in the name of his Majesty and of his successors to the crown, possession of this country of Louisiana, the seas, harbours, ports, bays, adjacent straits; and all the nations, people, provinces, cities, towns, villages, mines, minerals, fisheries, streams, and rivers, comprised in the extent of the said Louisiana, from the mouth of the great river St. Louis on the eastern side, otherwise called Ohio, Alighin, Sipore, or Chikachas, and this with the consent of the Chaouanons, Chikachas, and other people dwelling therein, with whom we have made alliance; as also along the River Colbert, or Mississipi, and rivers which discharge themselves therein, from its source beyond the country of the Kious or Nadouessious, and this with their consent, and with the consent of the Motantees, Ilinois, Mesigameas, Natches, Koroas, which are the most considerable nations dwelling therein, with whom also we have made alliance, either by ourselves or by others in our behalf; as far as its mouth at the sea, or Gulf of Mexico, about the 27th degree of the elevation of the North Pole, and also to the mouth of River of Palms; upon the assurance which we have received from all these nations, that we are the first Europeans who have descended or ascended the said River Colbert; hereby protesting against all those who may in future undertake to invade any or all of these countries, people, or lands, above described, to the prejudice of the right of his Majesty, acquired by the consent of the nations herein named. 
Of which, and of all that can be needed, I hereby take to witness those who hear me, and demand an act of the Notary, as required by law.
"To which the whole assembly responded with shouts of Vive le Roi, and with salutes of firearms. 
Moreover, the said Sieur de la Salle caused to be buried at the foot of the tree, to which the cross was attached, a leaden plate, on one side of which were engraved the arms of France, and the following Latin inscription:
"After which the Sieur de la Salle said, that his Majesty, as eldest son of the Church, would annex no country to his crown, without making it his chief care to establish the Christian religion therein, and that its symbol must now be planted; which was accordingly done at once by erecting a cross, before which the Vexilla and the Domine salvum fac Regem were sung. 
Note.—The following is a translation of the Latin inscription on the leaden plate referred to: Louis the Great reigns. 
Robert Cavalier, with Lord Tonti as Lieutenant, R. P. Zenobe. 
Membre Recollect, and twenty Frenchmen, first navigated this stream from the country of the Illinois, and also passed through its mouth on the 9th day of April, 1682.
—H. W. B.
Whereupon the ceremony was concluded with cries of Vive le Roi.
"Of all and every of the above, the said Sieur de la Salle having required of us an instrument, we have delivered to him the same, signed by us, and by the undersigned witnesses, this ninth day of April, one thousand six hundred and eighty-two.
"La Metairie, Notary. 
"De La Salle.
"P. Zenobe, Recollet. Missionary.
"Henry De Tonty.
"Francois De Boisrondet.
"Jean Bourdon,* )
"Sieur D'autry,* j
"Jaques Cauchois.
"Pierre You.
"Jean Michel, Surgeon.
"Jean Mas.
"Jean Dulignon.
"Nicolas De La Salle." 
Note.  The above is reprinted from Mr. Sparks's "Life of La Salle," published at Boston, Massachusetts, in 1844. 
The original document, in French, has not been published.