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(China,) a name attesting his expectations and disappcintment. Be. coming possessed with an equally fallacious idea that the Missouri, flowing from the westward, might lead him to the desired region, he offered his services to Count Frontenac, who advised him to apply for aid at the court of France. Accordingly, he repaired thither, and, by the favour of Colbert and the Prince de Conti, obtained of Louis the desired equipment. The command of Fort Frontenac, and a monopoly of the fur-trade in that region, were likewise granted to him, and with the Chevalier Tonti, a brave Italian officer, with only one arm, he repaired to Quebec.

Having put the fort in a state of defence, the adventurer employed himself in building a vessel and in making explorations. In September, 1679, the two associates went on board of her, at Lake Erie, taking forty-four men-among them, “the Reverend Father Hennepin, famous for his discoveries, and notorious for his lies and impositions.” At the river St. Joseph, on Lake Michigan, La Salle built a fort, and thence passed to the Illinois, which he descended. The country proved fertile and populous, no less than five hundred houses being found in one village, and the savages were friendly and hospitable. The treason of some of his followers, for the time, disconcerted this promising enterprise, and nearly resulted in the destruction of all concerned. Averse to proceeding, they first attempted to excite opposition among the Indians, by insinuating that La Salle was a spy of their enemies, the Iroquois; and this device proving of no avail, these wretches administered poison to him and his chief adherents, at a Christmas dinner. By the timely aid of remedies, the sufferers recovered, and their intended murderers fled into the wilderness, beyond the reach of pursuit. Compelled, by this reduction of his force, to return to his posts for recruits, La Salle left Tonti in command of a small fort on the Illinois, and dispatched Father Hennepin, with four companions, to ascend the Mississippi.

That enterprising priest succeeded in exploring the river upward for a great distance, and discovered the Falls of St. Antony. After enduring great sufferings, and being detained a captive among the Sioux Indians, he finally made his way back to Canada, where he published an account of his explorations. Years afterwards, when La Salle, the true surveyor of the Mississippi, was dead, he put forth another version of the affair, in which he claimed that he had explored that river, on this occasion, to its outlet, but the falsity of

VOL. III.-28

which is sufficiently proved, by the fact that he pretends to have ascended it from the Gulf of Mexico to the Illinois river, in a canoe, with only two men, in twenty-two days. So notorious, indeed, was his bad faith in these transactions, that his common epithet in Canada, we are told, was " Le Grand Menteur" (the Great Liar). "By this impudent fabrication, he secured to himself a reputation somewhat like that of Vespucius, whose fraudulent attempt (or that of his admirers) to wrest the glory from a true discoverer, obscures the renown of his real and meritorious achievements."

La Salle, having collected twenty men at his posts, resumed his enterprise, and on the 2d of February, 1682, embarked on the Mississippi. He passed the Missouri and the Ohio, as well as the Arkansas, the termination of the voyage of Marquette. The river seemed interminable in its windings, yet he kept on, and was kindly received by the powerful tribe of the Natchez. On the 27th of March he passed the mouth of Red River, and on the 7th of April arrived at that strange region, neither land nor water, where, through many channels, the turbid torrent of the Mississippi mingles with the gulf. “The country immediately around the outlet of this vast stream was desolate and uninteresting. Far as the eye could reach. swampy flats and inundated morasses filled the dreary prospect. Under the ardent rays of the tropical sun, noisome vapours exhaled from the rank soil and sluggish waters, poisoning the breezes from the southern seas, and corrupting them with the breath of pestilence. Masses of floating trees, whose large branches were scathed by months of alternate immersion and exposure, during hundreds of leagues of travel, choked up many of the numerous outlets of the river, and, cemented together by the alluvial deposits of the muddy stream, gradually became fixed and solid, throwing up a rank vegetation."*

The discoverer, exulting in the completion of his achievement, proceeded to take formal possession of the vast regions watered by the river he had explored—bestowing on them, in honour of nis sovereign, the name of Louisiana. From the top of a high tree a cross was suspended; a shield, bearing the arms of France, was set up; and a solemn Te Deum was chanted, in gratitude to Heaven for the success of this memorable enterprise. The more important operation of attempting to ascertain the latitude, produced a result en tirely fallacious.

* Warburton—“Conquest of Canada."

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