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MONSIEUR DE LA SALLE'S
EXPEDITION AND DISCOVERIES
Presented to the French King, and published by the Chevalier Tonti, Governour of Fort
St. Louis, in the Province of the Islinois. Made English from the Paris Original.
Truth and sincerity being the chief qualities which make a book of this nature valuable, the author of this promises himself, upon that account, a favourable reception from the publick : and therefore thinks it would be superfluous to make a longer Preface.
Monsieur Cavelier de la Salle, a native of Roan in Normandy, the chief undertaker of the discoveries in the Northern America, which make the subject-matter of this book, was a man of extraordinary parts, and undaunted courage. He was the first that formed the design of travelling from the lake of Frontenac in Canada, to the gulph of Mexico, through a vast unknown country, in order to bring the inhabitants to the knowledge of the Christian religion, and extend the dominions of the king of France.
This gentleman having duly weighed all the difficulties that were like to cross so noble a design, came to court to acquaint his Majesty with it, who was pleased not only to approve his enterprize, but also to encourage it, by the liberal assistance, and the power he gave to M. La Salle, to dispose of his new discoveries as he should think fit.
I was then at the Court of France to sollicit some employment, having served his Majesty both by sea and land, and lost one hand in Sicily by a granado, and as M. La Salle was upon his departure, the prince of Conti was pleased to recommend me to him, as fit to accompany him in his undertaking, whereupon I was easily admitted, the patronage of his Highness having been very useful to M. La Salle. Every thing being ready for our departure, we set sail from Rochel, July 14, 1678, to the number of thirty men, amongst whom were pilots, carpenters, smiths, and other useful artists, and arrived at Quebec upon the 15th of September following; we remained there some days, after which having taken our leave of Count Fronte, , Governor-General of Canada, we sailed up the river St. Laurence to fort Frontenac, where we landed.
That fort lyes within 120 leagues from Quebec, about the 44th degree of latitude, on the mouth of a lake called likewise Frontenac or Ontario, which is near 300 leagues about, and has a communication with four other lakes, much of the same extent. All those lakes are navigable, and plentifully stored with fish; the mouth, or entrance of this lake, is defended by a fort with four large bastions, which might protect a great number of vessels against the attempts of any enemy. As M. La Salle had erected this fort, the king had given hiin the propriety thereof, and of all the lakes thereabouts with their dependencies. The country about it is so charming, that it is impossible to describe its beauties: the vast meadows are intermixed with woods and forests, full of all sorts of fruit-trees, and watered with fine brooks and rivers.
It was in this place that we prepared our selves for our great voyage, and glorious undertaking, of which no body, I am sure, can give a better account than my self, not only because I accompanied the said M. La Salle, but also because the chief care and burthen of that perilous, tho' glorious enterprize, feil upon me by the untimely death of that gentleman. The account which I offer now to the