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French Pathfinders in North America   By: (1845-1907)

Book cover

First Page:

[Frontispiece: Jacques Cartier]

French Pathfinders

in

North America

By

William Henry Johnson

Author of "The World's Discoverers," "Pioneer Spaniards in North America," etc.

With Seven Full Page Plates

Boston

Little, Brown, and Company

1912

Copyright, 1905,

BY LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY.

All rights reserved

{v}

FOREWORD

The compiler of the following sketches does not make any claim to originality. He has dealt with material that has been used often and again. Still there has seemed to him to be a place for a book which should outline the story of the great French explorers in such simple, direct fashion as might attract young readers. Trying to meet this need, he has sought to add to the usefulness of the volume by introductory chapters, simple in language, but drawn from the best authorities and carefully considered, giving a view of Indian society; also, by inserting numerous notes on Indian tribal connections, customs, and the like subjects.

By selecting a portion of Radisson's journal for publication he does not by any means range himself on the side of the scholarly and gifted writer who has come forward as the champion of that picturesque scoundrel, and seriously proposes {vi} him as the real hero of the Northwest, to whom, we are told, is due the honor which we have mistakenly lavished on such commonplace persons as Champlain, Joliet, Marquette, and La Salle.

While the present writer is not qualified to express a critical opinion as to the merits of the controversy about Radisson, a careful reading of his journal has given him an impression that the greatest part is so vague, so wanting in verifiable details, as to be worthless for historical purposes. One portion, however, seems unquestionably valuable, besides being exceedingly interesting. It is that which recounts his experiences on Lake Superior. It bears the plainest marks of truth and authenticity, and it is accepted as historical by the eminent critic, Dr. Reuben G. Thwaites. Therefore it is reproduced here, in abridged form; and on the strength of it Radisson is assigned a place among the Pathfinders.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER PAGE

I. THE ORIGIN AND DISTRIBUTION OF THE INDIAN RACE . . . 3 II. SOMETHING ABOUT INDIAN SOCIAL LIFE . . . . . . . . . 15 III. THE IROQUOIS LEAGUE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 IV. ACHIEVEMENTS OF FRENCHMEN IN THE NORTH OF AMERICA . . 45 V. JACQUES CARTIER, THE DISCOVERER OF CANADA . . . . . . 53 VI. JEAN RIBAUT: THE FRENCH AT PORT ROYAL, IN SOUTH CAROLINA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 VII. RENÉ DE LAUDONNIÈRE: PLANTING A COLONY ON THE ST. JOHN'S RIVER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 VIII. SAMUEL DE CHAMPLAIN IN NOVA SCOTIA . . . . . . . . . 101 IX. SAMUEL DE CHAMPLAIN ( continued ): THE FRENCH ON THE ST. LAWRENCE AND THE GREAT LAKES . . . . . . . 119 X. JESUIT MISSIONARY PIONEERS . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147 XI. JEAN NICOLLET, LOUIS JOLIET, AND FATHER JACQUES MARQUETTE; THE DISCOVERERS OF THE MISSISSIPPI . . . . 169 XII. PIERRE ESPRIT RADISSON AND MÉDARD CHOUART EXPLORE LAKE SUPERIOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187 XIII. ROBERT CAVELIER, SIEUR DE LA SALLE, THE FIRST EXPLORER OF THE LOWER MISSISSIPPI . . . . . . . . . . 225 XIV. LA SALLE AND THE FOUNDING OF LOUISIANA . . . . . . . 26l [SUPPLEMENT: THE EXECUTION OF HIS PLAN BY BIENVILLE] 278 XV. FATHER LOUIS HENNEPIN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 289 XVI. THE VÉRENDRYES DISCOVER THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS . . . . . 313

BOOKS FOR REFERENCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 329

INDEX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 335

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

JACQUES CARTIER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Frontispiece From the original painting by P. Riis in the Town Hall of St. Malo, France

Indian Family Tree . . . . . ... Continue reading book >>




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