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France and England in North America, a Series of Historical Narratives, Part Third by Francis Parkman

Part 6 out of 6

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one accord, they fell on their knees, and raised their hands to Heaven in
thanksgiving. Two men, in European dress, issued from the door of the
house, and fired their guns to salute the excited travellers, who, on
their part, replied with a volley. Canoes put out from the farther shore,
and ferried them to the town, where they were welcomed by Couture and De
Launay, two of Tonty's followers.

That brave, loyal, and generous man, always vigilant and always active,
beloved and feared alike by white men and by red, [Footnote: _Journal de
St. Cosme_, 1699, MS. This journal has been printed by Mr. Shea, from the
copy in my possession. St. Cosme, who knew Tonty well, speaks of him in
the warmest terms of praise.] had been ejected, as we have seen, by the
agent of the Governor, La Barre, from the command of Fort St. Louis of the
Illinois. An order from the king had reinstated him; and he no sooner
heard the news of La Salle's landing on the shores of the Gulf, and of the
disastrous beginnings of his colony, [Footnote: In the autumn of 1685,
Tonty made a journey from the Illinois to Michillimackinac, to seek news
of La Salle. He there learned, by a letter of the new Governor,
Denonville, just arrived from France, of the landing of La Salle, and the
loss of the "Aimable," as recounted by Beaujeu on his return. He
immediately went back on foot to Fort St. Louis of the Illinois, and
prepared to descend the Mississippi; "dans l'espérance de lui donner
secours."--_Lettre de Tonty au Ministre, 24 Aoust, 1686, and Mémoire de
Tonty, MS._] than he prepared, on his own responsibility, and at his own
cost, to go to his assistance. He collected twenty-five Frenchmen, and
five Indians, and set out from his fortified rock on the thirteenth of
February, 1686; [Footnote: The date is from the letter cited above. In the
Mémoire, hastily written, long after, he falls into errors of date.]
descended the Mississippi, and reached its mouth in Holy Week. All was
solitude, a voiceless desolation of river, marsh, and sea. He despatched
canoes to the east and to the west; searching the coast for some thirty
leagues on either side. Finding no trace of his friend, who at that moment
was ranging the prairies of Texas in no less fruitless search of his
"fatal river," Tonty wrote for him a letter, which he left in the charge
of an Indian chief, who preserved it with reverential care, and gave it,
fourteen years after, to Iberville, the founder of Louisiana. [Footnote:
Iberville sent it to France, and Charlevoix gives a portion of it.--
_Histoire de la Nouvelle France,_ ii. 259. Singularly enough, the date, as
printed by him, is erroneous, being 20 April, 1685, instead of 1686. There
is no doubt, whatever, from its relations with concurrent events, that
this journey was in the latter year.] Deeply disappointed at his failure,
Tonty retraced his course, and ascended the Mississippi to the villages of
the Arkansas, where some of his men volunteered to remain. He left six of
them; and of this number were Couture and De Launay. [Footnote: Tonty,
_Mémoire,_ MS.; _Ibid., Lettre à Monseigneur de Ponchartraint,_ 1690, MS.;
Joutel, 301.]

Cavelier and his companions, followed by a crowd of Indians, some carrying
their baggage, some struggling for a view of the white strangers, entered
the log cabin of their two hosts. Rude as it was, they found in it an
earnest of peace and safety, and a foretaste of home. Couture and De
Launay were moved even to tears by the story of their disasters, and of
the catastrophe that crowned them. La Salle's death was carefully
concealed from the Indians, many of whom had seen him on his descent of
the Mississippi, and who regarded him with a prodigious respect. They
lavished all their hospitality on his followers; feasted them on corn-
bread, dried buffalo-meat, and watermelons, and danced the calumet before
them, the most august of all their ceremonies. On this occasion,
Cavelier's patience failed him again; and pretending, as before, to be
ill, he called on his nephew to take his place. There were solemn dances,
too, in which the warriors--some bedaubed with white clay, some with red,
and some with both; some wearing feathers, and some the horns of buffalo;
some naked, and some in painted shirts of deer-skin fringed with scalp-
locks, insomuch, says Joutel, that they looked like a troop of devils--
leaped, stamped, and howled from sunset till dawn. All this was partly to
do the travellers honor, and partly to extort presents. They made
objections, however, when asked to furnish guides; and it was only by dint
of great offers, that four were at length procured. With these, the
travellers resumed their journey in a wooden canoe, about the first of
August, [Footnote: Joutel says that the Parisian boy Barthelemy was left
behind. It was this youth who afterwards uttered the ridiculous defamation
of La Salle mentioned in a preceding note (see _ante_, p. 367). The
account of the death of La Salle, taken from the lips of Couture
(_ibid_.), was received by him from Cavelier and his companions during
their stay at the Arkansas. Couture was by trade a carpenter, and was a
native of Rouen.] descended the Arkansas, and soon reached the dark and
inexorable river, so long the object of their search, rolling like a
destiny through its realms of solitude and shade. They launched forth on
its turbid bosom, plied their oars against the current, and slowly won
their way upward, following the writhings of this watery monster through
cane-brake, swamp, and fen. It was a hard and toilsome journey under the
sweltering sun of August. now on the water, now knee-deep in mud, dragging
their canoe through the unwholesome jungle. On the nineteenth, they passed
the mouth of the Ohio; and their Indian guides made it an offering of
buffalo-meat. On the first of September, they passed the Missouri, and
soon after saw Marquette's pictured rock, and the line of craggy heights
on the east shore, marked on old French maps as "the Ruined Castles."
Then, with a sense of relief, they turned from the great river into the
peaceful current of the Illinois. They were eleven days in ascending it,
in their large and heavy wooden canoe, when, at length, on the afternoon
of the fourteenth of September, they saw, towering above the forest and
the river, the cliff crowned with the palisades of Fort St. Louis of the
Illinois. As they drew near, a troop of Indians, headed by a Frenchman,
descended from the rock, and fired their guns to salute them. They landed,
and followed the forest path that led towards the fort, when they were met
by Boisrondet, Tonty's comrade in the Iroquois war, and two other
Frenchmen, who no sooner saw them than they called out, demanding where
was La Salle. Cavelier, fearing lest he and his party would lose the
advantages which they might derive from his character of representative of
his brother, was determined to conceal his death; and Joutel, as he
himself confesses, took part in the deceit. Substituting equivocation for
falsehood, they replied that he had been with them nearly as far as the
Cenis villages, and that, when they parted, he was in good health. This,
so far as they were concerned, was, literally speaking, true; but Douay
and Teissier, the one a witness and the other a sharer in his death, could
not have said so much, without a square falsehood, and therefore evaded
the inquiry.

Threading the forest path, and circling to the rear of the rock, they
climbed the rugged height and reached the top. Here they saw an area,
encircled by the palisades that fenced the brink of the cliff, and by
several dwellings, a storehouse, and a chapel. There were Indian lodges,
too; for some of the red allies of the French made their abode with, them.
[Footnote: The condition of Fort St. Louis at this time may be gathered
from several passages of Joutel. The houses, he says, were built at the
brink of the cliff, forming, with the palisades, the circle of defence.
The Indians lived in the area.] Tonty was absent, fighting the Iroquois;
but his lieutenant, Bellefontaine, received the travellers, and his little
garrison of bush-rangers greeted them with a salute of musketry, mingled
with the whooping of the Indians. A _Te Deum_ followed at the chapel;
"and, with all our hearts," says Joutel, "we gave thanks to God who had
preserved and guided us." At length, the tired travellers were among
countrymen and friends. Bellefontaine found a room for the two priests;
while Joutel, Teissier, and young Cavelier were lodged in the storehouse.

The Jesuit Allouez was lying ill at the fort; and Joutel, Cavelier, and
Douay went to visit him. He showed great anxiety when told that La Salle
was alive, and on his way to the Illinois; asked many questions, and could
not hide his agitation. When, some time after, he had partially recovered,
he left St. Louis, as if to shun a meeting with the object of his alarm.
[Footnote: Joutel adds that this was occasioned by "une espèce de
conspiration qu'on a voulu faire contre les interests de Monsieur de la

La Salle always saw the influence of the Jesuits in the disasters that
befell him. His repeated assertion, that they wished to establish
themselves in the Valley of the Mississippi, receives confirmation from, a
document entitled, _Mémoire sur la proposition à faire parles R. Pères
Jésuites pour la découverte des environs de la rivière du Mississipi et
pour voir si elle est navigable jusqu'à la mer_. It is a memorandum of
propositions to be made to the minister Seignelay, and was apparently put
forward as a feeler, before making the propositions in form. It was
written after the return of Beaujeu to France, and before La Salle's death
became known. It intimates that the Jesuits were entitled to precedence in
the Valley of the Mississippi, as having first explored it. It affirms
that _La Salle had made a blunder and landed his colony, not at the mouth
of the river, but at another place,_ and it asks permission to continue
the work in which he has failed. To this end it petitions for means to
build a vessel at St. Louis of the Illinois, together with canoes, arms,
tents, tools, provisions, and merchandise for the Indians; and it also
asks for La Salle's maps and papers, and for those of Beaujeu. On their
part, it pursues, the Jesuits will engage to make a complete survey of the
river, and return an exact account of its inhabitants, its plants, and its
other productions.

How did the Jesuits learn that La Salle had missed the mouths of the
Mississippi? He himself did not know it when Beaujeu left him; for he
dated his last letter to the minister from the "Western Mouth of the
Mississippi." I have given the proof that Beaujeu, after leaving him,
found the true mouth of the river, and made a map of it (_ante,_ p. 380,
_note_). Now Beaujeu was in close relations with the Jesuits, for he
mentions in one of his letters that his wife was devotedly attached to
them. These circumstances, taken together, may justify the suspicion that
Jesuit influence had some connection with Beaujeu's treacherous desertion
of La Salle; and that this complicity had some connection with the
uneasiness of Allouez when told that La Salle was on his way to the
Illinois.] Once before, in 1679, Allouez had fled from the Illinois on
hearing of the approach of La Salle.

The season was late, and they were eager to hasten forward that they might
reach Quebec in time to return, to France in the autumn ships. There was
not a day to lose. They bade farewell to Bellefontaine, from whom, as from
all others, they had concealed the death of La Salle, and made their way
across the country to Chicago. Here they were detained a week by a storm;
and when at length they embarked in a canoe furnished by Bellefontaine,
the tempest soon forced them to put back. On this, they abandoned their
design, and returned to Fort St. Louis, to the astonishment of its

It was October when they arrived; and, meanwhile, Tonty had returned from
the Iroquois war, where he had borne a conspicuous part in the famous
attack on the Senecas, by the Marquis de Denonville. [Footnote: Tonty, Du
Laut, and Durantaye came to the aid of Denonville with hundred and seventy
Frenchmen, chiefly coureurs de bois, and three hundred Indians from the
upper country. Their services were highly appreciated, and Tonty
especially is mentioned in the despatches of Denonville with great
praise.] He listened with deep interest to the mournful story of his
guests. Cavelier knew him well. He knew, so far as he was capable of
knowing, his generous and disinterested character, his long and faithful
attachment to La Salle, and the invaluable services he had rendered him.
Tonty had every claim on his confidence and affection. Yet he did not
hesitate to practise on him the same deceit which he had practised on
Bellefontaine. He told him that he had left his brother in good health on
the Gulf of Mexico; and, adding fraud to meanness, drew upon him in La
Salle's name for an amount stated by Joutel at about four thousand livres,
in furs, besides a canoe and a quantity of other goods, all of which were
delivered to him by the unsuspecting victim. [Footnote: "Monsieur Tonty,
croyant M. de la Salle vivant, ne fit pas de diffiulté de Luy donner pour
environ quatre mille liv. de pelleterie, de castors, loutres, un canot, et
autres effets."--Joutel, 349.

Tonty himself does not make the amount so great: "Sur ce qu'ils
m'assuroient qu'il étoit resté au golfe de Mexique en bonne santé, je les
recus comme si ç'avoit esté lui mesmo et luy prestay (_à Cavelier_) plus
de 700 francs."--Tonty, _Mémoire._

Cavelier must have known that La Salle was insolvent. Tonty had long
served without pay. Douay says that he made the stay of the party at the
fort very agreeable, and speaks of him, with some apparent compunction, as
"ce brave Gentilhomme, toujours inséparablement attaché aux intérêts du
sieur de la Salle, doet nous luy avons caché la déplorable destinée."

Couture, from the Arkansas, brought word to Tonty, several months after,
of La Salle's death, adding that Cavelier had concealed it, with no other
purpose than that of gaining money or supplies from him (Tonty), in his
brother's name.]

This was at the end of the winter, when the old priest and his companions
had been living for months on Tonty's hospitality. They set out for Canada
on the twenty-first of March, reached Chicago on the twenty-ninth, and
thence proceeded to Michillimackinac. Here Cavelier sold some of Tonty's
furs to a merchant, who gave him in payment a draft on Montreal, thus
putting him in funds for his voyage home. The party continued their
journey in canoes by way of French River and the Ottawa, and safely
reached Montreal on the seventeenth of July. Here they procured the
clothing of which they were wofully in need, and then descended the river
to Quebec, where they took lodging, some with the Récollet friars, and
some with the priests of the Seminary, in order to escape the questions of
the curious. At the end of August, they embarked for France, and early in
October arrived safely at Rochelle. None of the party were men of especial
energy or force of character; and yet, under the spur of a dire necessity,
they had achieved one of the most adventurous journeys on record.

Now, at length, they disburdened themselves of their gloomy secret; but
the sole result seems to have been an order from the king for the arrest
of the murderers, should they appear in Canada. [Footnote: _Lettre du Roy
à Dénonville_, 1 _Mai_, 1689, MS. Joutel must have been a young man at the
time of the Mississippi expedition, for Charlevoix saw him at Rouen,
thirty-five years after. He speaks of him with emphatic praise, but it
must be admitted that his connivance in the deception practised by
Cavelier on Tonty leaves a shade on his character as well as on that of
Douay. In other respects, every thing that appears concerning him is
highly favorable, which is not the case with Douay, who, on one or two
occasions, makes wilful misstatements.

Douay says that the elder Cavelier made a report of the expedition to the
minister Seignelay. This report remained unknown in an English collection
of autographs and old manuscripts, whence I obtained it by purchase, in
1854, both the buyer and seller being at the time ignorant of its exact
character. It proved, on examination, to be a portion of the first draft
of Cavelier's report to Seignelay. It consists of twenty-six small folio
pages, closely written in a clear hand, though in a few places obscured by
the fading of the ink, as well as by occasional erasures and
interlineations of the writer. It is, as already stated, confused and
unsatisfactory in its statements; and all the latter part has been lost.

Soon after reaching France, Cavelier addressed to the king a memorial on
the importance of keeping possession of the Illinois. It closes with an
earnest petition for money, in compensation for his losses, as, according
to his own statement, he was completely _épuisé._ It is affirmed in a
memorial of the heirs of his cousin, Francois Plet, that he concealed the
death of La Salle some time after his return to France, in order to get
possession of property which would otherwise have been seized by the
creditors of the deceased. The prudent Abbé died rich and very old, at the
house of a relative, having inherited a large estate after his return from
America. Apparently, this did not satisfy him; for there is before me the
copy of a petition, written about 1717, in which he asks, jointly with one
of his nephews, to be given possession of the seignorial property held by
La Salle in America. The petition was refused.

Young Cavelier, La Salle's nephew, died some years after, an officer in a
regiment. He has been erroneously supposed to be the same with one De la
Salle, whose name is appended to a letter giving an account of Louisiana,
and dated at Toulon, 3 Sept. 1698. This person was the son of a naval
official at Toulon, and was not related to the Caveliers.] The wretched
exiles of Texas were thought, it may be, already beyond the reach of



Henri de Tonty, on his rock of St. Louis, was visited in September by
Couture, and two Indians from the Arkansas. Then, for the first time, he
heard with grief and indignation of the death of La Salle, and the deceit
practised by Cavelier. The chief whom he had served so well was beyond his
help; but might not the unhappy colonists left on the shores of Texas
still be rescued from destruction? Couture had confirmed what Cavelier and
his party had already told him, that the tribes south of the Arkansas were
eager to join the French in an invasion of northern Mexico; and he soon
after received from the Governor, Denonville, a letter informing
him that war had again been declared against Spain. As bold and
enterprising as La Salle himself, he resolved on an effort to learn the
condition of the few Frenchmen left on the borders of the Gulf, relieve
their necessities, and, should it prove practicable, make them the nucleus
of a war-party to cross the Rio Grande, and add a new province to the
domain of France. It was the revival, on a small scale, of La Salle's
scheme of Mexican invasion; and there is no doubt that, with a score of
French musketeers, he could have gathered a formidable party of savage
allies from the tribes of Red River, the Sabine, and the Trinity. This
daring adventure and the rescue of his suffering countrymen divided his
thoughts, and he prepared at once to execute the double purpose.
[Footnote: Tonty, _Mémoire_, MS.]

He left Fort St. Louis of the Illinois early in December, in a pirogue, or
wooden canoe, with five Frenchmen, a Shawanoe warrior, and two Indian
slaves; and, after a long and painful journey, reached the villages of the
Caddoes on Red River on the twenty-eighth of March. Here he was told that
Hiens and his companions were at a village eighty leagues distant, and
thither he was preparing to go in search of them, when all his men,
excepting the Shawanoe and one Frenchman, declared themselves disgusted
with the journey, and refused to follow him. Persuasion was useless, and
there was no means of enforcing obedience. He found himself abandoned; but
he still pushed on, with the two who remained faithful. A few days after,
they lost nearly all their ammunition in crossing a river. Undeterred by
this accident, Tonty made his way to the village where Hiens and those who
had remained with him were said to be: but no trace of them appeared; and
the demeanor of the Indians, when he inquired for them, convinced him that
they had been put to death. He charged them with having killed the
Frenchmen, whereupon the women of the village raised a wail of
lamentation; "and I saw," he says, "that what I had said to them was
true." They refused to give him guides; and this, with the loss of his
ammunition, compelled him to forego his purpose of making his way to the
colonists on the Bay of St. Louis. With bitter disappointment, he and his
two companions retraced their course, and at length approached Red River.
Here they found the whole country flooded. Sometimes they waded to the
knees, sometimes to the neck, sometimes pushed their slow way on rafts.
Night and day, it rained without ceasing. They slept on logs placed side
by side to raise them above the mud and water, and fought their way with
hatchets through the inundated cane-brakes. They found no game but a bear,
which had taken refuge on an island in the flood; and they were forced to
eat their dogs. "I never in my life," writes Tonty, "suffered so much." In
judging these intrepid exertions, it is to be remembered that he was not,
at least in appearance, of a robust constitution, and that he had but one
hand. They reached the Mississippi on the eleventh of July, and the
Arkansas villages on the thirty-first. Here Tonty was detained by an
attack of fever. He resumed his journey when it began to abate, and
reached his fort of the Illinois in September. [Footnote: Two causes have
contributed to detract, most unjustly, from Tonty's reputation: the
publication, under his name, but without his authority, of a perverted
account of the enterprises in which he took part; and the confounding him
with his brother, Alphonse de Tonty, who long commanded at Detroit, where
charges of peculation were brought against him. There are very few names
in French-American history mentioned with such unanimity of praise as that
of Henri de Tonty. Hennepin finds some fault with him, but his censure is
commendation. The despatches of the Governor, Denonville, speak in strong
terms of his services in the Iroquois war, praise his character, and
declare that he is fit for any bold enterprise, adding that he deserves
reward from the king. The missionary, St. Cosme, who travelled under his
escort in 1699, says of him: "He is beloved by all the _voyageurs_." ...
"It was with deep regret that we parted from him: ... he is the man who
best knows the country: ... he is loved and feared everywhere.... Your
grace will, I doubt not, take pleasure in acknowledging the obligations we
owe him."

Tonty held the commission of captain; but, by a memoir which he addressed
to Ponchartrain, in 1690, it appears that he had never received any pay.
Count Frontenac certifies the truth of the statement, and adds a
recommendation of the writer. In consequence, probably, of this, the
proprietorship of Fort St. Louis of the Illinois was granted in the same
year to Tonty, jointly with La Forest, formerly La Salle's lieutenant.

Here they carried on a trade in furs. In 1699, a royal declaration was
launched against the _coureurs de bois_; but an express provision was
added in favor of Tonty and La Forest, who were empowered to send up the
country yearly two canoes, with twelve men, for the maintenance of this
fort. With such a limitation, this fort and the trade carried on at it
must have been very small. In 1702, we find a royal order to the effect
that La Forest is henceforth to reside in Canada, and Tonty on the
Mississippi; and that the establishment at the Illinois is to be
discontinued. In the same year, Tonty joined D'Iberville in Lower
Louisiana, and was sent by that officer from Mobile to secure the
Chickasaws in the French interest. His subsequent career and the time of
his death do not appear. He seems never to have received the reward which
his great merit deserved. Those intimate with the late lamented Dr. Sparks
will remember his often-expressed wish that justice should be done to the
memory of Tonty.

Fort St. Louis of the Illinois was afterwards reoccupied by the French. In
1718, a number of them, chiefly traders, were living here; but, three
years later, it was again deserted, and Charlevoix, passing the spot, saw
only the remains of its palisades.]

While the king of France abandoned the exiles of Texas to their fate, a
power dark, ruthless, and terrible, was hovering around the feeble colony
on the Bay of St. Louis, searching with pitiless eye to discover and tear
out that dying germ of civilization from, the bosom of the wilderness in
whose savage immensity it lay hidden. Spain claimed the Gulf of Mexico and
all its coasts as her own of unanswerable right, and the viceroys of
Mexico were strenuous to enforce her claim. The capture of one of La
Salle's four vessels at St. Domingo had made known his designs, and, in
the course of the three succeeding years, no less than four expeditions
were sent out from Vera Cruz to find and destroy him. They scoured the
whole extent of the coast, and found the wrecks of the "Aimable" and the
"Belle;" but the colony of St. Louis, [Footnote: Fort St. Louis of Texas
is net to be confounded with Fort St. Louis of the Illinois.] inland and
secluded, escaped their search. For a time, the jealousy of the Spaniards
was lulled to sleep. They rested in the assurance that the intruders had
perished, when fresh advices from the frontier province of New Leon caused
the Viceroy, Galve, to order a strong force, under Alonzo de Leon, to
march from Coahuila, and cross the Rio Grande. Guided by a French
prisoner, probably one of the deserters from La Salle, they pushed their
way across wild and arid plains, rivers, prairies, and forests, till at
length they approached the Bay of St. Louis, and descried, far off, the
harboring-place of the French. [Footnote: After crossing the Del Norte,
they crossed in turn the Upper Nueces, the Hondo (Rio Frio), the De Leon
(San Antonio), and the Guadalupe, and then, turning southward, descended
to the Bay of St. Bernard.--Manuscript map of "Route que firent les
Espagnols, pour venir enlever les Français restez à la Baye St. Bernard ou
St. Louis, après la perte du vaisseau de Mr. de la Salle, en 1689."--
Margry's collection.] As they drew near, no banner was displayed, no
sentry challenged; and the silence of death reigned over the shattered
palisades and neglected dwellings. The Spaniards spurred their reluctant
horses through the gateway, and a scene of desolation met their sight. No
living thing was stirring. Doors were torn from their hinges; broken
boxes, staved barrels, and rusty kettles, mingled with a great number of
stocks of arquebuses and muskets, were scattered about in confusion. Here,
too, trampled in mud and soaked with rain, they saw more than two hundred
books, many of which still retained the traces of costly bindings. On the
adjacent prairie lay three dead bodies, one of which, from fragments of
dress still clinging to the wasted remains, they saw to be that of a
woman. It was in vain to question the imperturbable savages, who, wrapped
to the throat in their buffalo-robes, stood gazing on the scene with looks
of wooden immobility. Two strangers, however, at length arrived.
[Footnote: May 1st. The Spaniards reached the fort April 22d.] Their faces
were smeared with paint, and they were wrapped in buffalo-robes like the
rest; yet these seeming Indians were L'Archevêque, the tool of La Salle's
murderer, Duhaut, and Grollet, the companion of the white savage, Ruter.
The Spanish commander, learning that these two men were in the district of
the tribe called Texas, [Footnote: This is the first instance in which the
name occurs. In a letter written by a member of De Leon's party, the Texan
Indians are mentioned several times.--See _Coleccion de Varios
Documentos,_ 25. They are described as an agricultural tribe, and were, to
all appearance, identical with the Cenis. The name Tejas, or Texas, was
first applied as a local designation to a spot on the River Neches, in the
Cenis territory, whence it extended to the whole country,--See Yoakum,
_History of Texas,_ 52.] had sent to invite them to his camp under a
pledge of good treatment; and they had resolved to trust Spanish clemency
rather than endure longer a life that had become intolerable. From them,
the Spaniards learned nearly all that is known of the fate of Barbier,
Zenobe Membré, and their companions. Three months before, a large band of
Indians had approached the fort, the inmates of which had suffered
severely from the ravages of the small-pox. From fear of treachery, they
refused to admit their visitors, but received them at a cabin without the
palisades. Here the French began a trade with them; when suddenly a band
of warriors, yelling the war-whoop, rushed from an ambuscade under the
bank of the river, and butchered the greater number. The children of one
Talon, together with an Italian and a young man from Paris, named Breman,
were saved by the Indian women, who carried them off on their backs.
L'Archevêque and Grollet, who, with others of their stamp, were
domesticated in the Indian villages, came to the scene of slaughter, and,
as they affirmed, buried fourteen dead bodies. [Footnote: _Derrotero de la
Jornada que hizo el General Alonso de Leon para el descubrimiento de la
Bahia del Esplritu Santo, y poblacion de Franceses. Año de_ 1689, MS. This
is the official journal of the expedition., signed by Alonzo de Leon. I am
indebted to Colonel Thomas Aspinwall for the opportunity of examining it.
The name of Espiritu Santo was, as before mentioned, given by the
Spaniards to St. Louis or Matagorda Bay, as well as to two other bays of
the Gulf of Mexico.

_Carta en que se da noticia de un viaje hecho à la Bahia de Espiritu Santo
y de la poblacion que tenian ahi Jos Franceses. Coleccion de Varios
Documentos para la Historia de la Florida_, 25.

This is a letter from a person accompanying the expedition of De Leon. It
is dated May 18,1689, and agrees closely with the journal cited above,
though evidently by another hand. Compare Barcia, _Ensayo Cronoldgico,_
294. Barcia's story has been doubted; but these authentic documents prove
the correctness of his principal statements, though on minor points he
seems to have indulged his fancy.

The viceroy of New Spain, in a report to the king, 1690, says that in
order to keep the Texas and other Indians of that region in obedience to
his Majesty, he has resolved to establish eight missions among them. He
adds that he has appointed as governor, or commander, in that province,
Don Domingo Teran de los Rios, who will make a thorough exploration of it,
carry out what De Leon has begun, prevent the farther intrusion of
foreigners like La Salle, and go in pursuit of the remnant of the French,
who are said still to remain among the tribes of Red River. I owe this
document to the kindness of Mr. Buckingham Smith.]

L'Archevêque and Grollet were sent to Spain, where, in spite of the pledge
given them, they were thrown into prison, with the intention of sending
them back to labor in the mines. The Indians, some time after De Leon's
expedition, gave up their captives to the Spaniards. The Italian was
imprisoned at Vera Cruz. Breman's fate is unknown. Pierre and Jean
Baptiste Talon, who were now old enough to bear arms, were enrolled in the
Spanish navy, and, being captured in 1696 by a French ship of war,
regained their liberty; while their younger brothers and their sister were
carried to Spain by the Viceroy. [Footnote: _Mémoire sur lequel on a
interroge les deux Canadiens (Pierre et Jean Baptiste Talon) qui sont
soldats dans la Compagnie de Feuguerolles, A Brest, 14 Fevrier,_ 1698, MS.

_Interrogations faites à Pierre et Jean Baptiste Talon à leur arrivee de
la Veracrux,_ MS. This paper, which differs in some of its details from
the preceding, was sent by D'Iberville, the founder of Louisiana, to the
Abbé Cavelier. Appended to it is a letter from D'Iberville, written in
May, 1704, in which he confirms the chief statements of the Talons, by
information obtained by him from a Spanish officer at Pensacola.] With
respect to the ruffian companions of Hiens, the conviction of Tonty that
they had been put to death by the Indians may have been well founded; but
the buccaneer himself is said to have been killed in a quarrel with his
accomplice, Ruter, the white savage; and thus in ignominy and darkness
died the last embers of the doomed colony of La Salle.

Here ends the wild and mournful story of the explorers of the Mississippi.
Of all their toil and sacrifice, no fruit remained but a great
geographical discovery, and a grand type of incarnate energy and will.
Where La Salle had ploughed, others were to sow the seed; and on the path
which the undespairing Norman had hewn out, the Canadian D'Iberville was
to win for France a vast though a transient dominion.




Most of the maps described below are to be found in the Dépôt des Cartes
of the Marine and Colonies, at Paris. Taken together, they exhibit the
progress of western discovery, and illustrate the records of the


This map has a double title: _Carte du Canada et des Terres découvertes
vers le lac Derié_, and _Carte du Lac Ontario et des habitations qui
l'enuironnent ensemble le pays que Messrs. Dolier et Galinée,
missionnaires du seminaire de St. Sulpice, ont parcouru_. It professes to
represent only the country actually visited by the two missionaries (see
p. 19, _note_). Beginning with Montreal, it gives the course of the Upper
St. Lawrence and the shores of Lake Ontario, the River Niagara, the north
shore of Lake Erie, the Strait of Detroit, and the eastern and northern
shores of Lake Huron. Galinée did not know the existence of the peninsula
of Michigan, and merges Lakes Huron and Michigan into one, under the name
of "Michigané, ou Mer Douce des Hurons." He was also entirely ignorant of
the south shore of Lake Erie. He represents the outlet of Lake Superior as
far as the Saut Ste. Marie, and lays down the River Ottawa in great
detail, having descended it on his return. The Falls of the Genessee are
indicated, as also the Falls of Niagara, with the inscription, "Sault qui
tombe au rapport des sauvages de plus de 200 pieds de haut." Had the
Jesuits been disposed to aid him, they could have given him much
additional information, and corrected his most serious errors; as, for
example, the omission of the peninsula of Michigan. The first attempt to
map out the Great Lakes was that of Champlain, in 1632. This of Galinée
may be called the second.

The map of Lake Superior, published in the Jesuit Relation of 1670, 1671,
was made at about the same time with Galinée's map. Lake Superior is here
styled "Lac Tracy, on Supérieur." Though not so exact as it has been
represented, this map indicates that the Jesuits had explored every part
of this fresh-water ocean, and that they had a thorough knowledge of the
straits connecting the three Upper Lakes, and of the adjacent bays,
inlets, and shores. The peninsula of Michigan, ignored by Galinée, is
represented in its proper place.

About two years after Galinée made the map mentioned above, another,
indicating a greatly increased knowledge of the country, was made by some
person whose name does not appear, but who seems to have been La Salle
himself. This map, which is somewhat more than four feet long and about
two feet and a half wide, has no title. All the Great Lakes, through their
entire extent, are laid down on it with considerable accuracy. Lake
Ontario is called "Lac Ontario, ou de Frontenac." Fort Frontenac is
indicated, as well as the Iroquois colonies of the north shore. Niagara is
"Chute haute de 120 toises par où le Lac Erié tombe dans le Lac
Frontenac." Lake Erie is "Lac Teiocha-rontiong, dit communément Lac Erié."
Lake St. Glair is "Tsiketo, ou Lac de la Chaudière." Lake Huron is "Lac
Huron, ou Mer Douce des Hurons." Lake Superior is "Lac Supérieur." Lake
Michigan is "Lac Mitchiganong, ou des Illinois." On Lake Michigan,
immediately opposite the site of Chicago, are written the words, of which
the following is the literal translation: "The largest vessels can come to
this place from the outlet of Lake Erie, where it discharges into Lake
Frontenac (Ontario); and from this marsh into which they can enter, there
is only a distance of a thousand paces to the River La Divine (Des
Plaines), which can lead them to the River Colbert (Mississippi), and
thence to the Gulf of Mexico." This map was evidently made before the
voyage of Joliet and Marquette, and after that voyage of La Salle, in
which he discovered the Illinois, or at least the Des Plaines branch of
it. It shows that the Mississippi was known to discharge itself into the
Gulf before Joliet had explored it. The whole length of the Ohio is laid
down with the inscription, "River Ohio, so called by the Iroquois on
account of its beauty, which the Sieur de la Salle descended." (_Ante_, p.
23, _note_.)

We now come to the map of Marquette, which is a rude sketch of a portion
of Lakes Superior and Michigan, and of the route pursued by him and Joliet
up the Fox River of Green Bay, down the Wisconsin, and thence down the
Mississippi as far as the Arkansas. The River Illinois is also laid down,
as it was by this course that he returned to Lake Michigan after his
memorable voyage. He gives no name to the Wisconsin. The Mississippi is
called "Rivière de la Conception;" the Missouri, the Pekitanoui; and the
Ohio, the Ouabouskiaou, though La Salle, its discoverer, had previously
given it its present name, borrowed from the Iroquois. The Illinois is
nameless, like the Wisconsin. At the mouth of a river, perhaps the Des
Moines, Marquette places the three villages of the Peoria Indians visited
by him. These, with the Kaskaskias, Maroas, and others, on the map, were
merely sub-tribes of the aggregation of savages, known as the Illinois. On
or near the Missouri, he places the Ouchage (Osages), the Oumessourit
(Missouris), the Kansa (Kanzas), the Paniassa (Pawnees), the Maha
(Omahas), and the Pahoutet (Pah-Utahs?). The names of many other tribes,
"esloignées dans les terres," are also given along the course of the
Arkansas, a river which is nameless on the map. Most of these tribes are
now indistinguishable. This map has recently been engraved and published.

Not long after Marquette's return from the Mississippi, another map was
made by the Jesuits, with the following title: _Carte de la nouvelle
decouverie que les peres Jesuites ont fait en l'année 1672, et continuée
par le P. Jacques Marquette de la mesme Compagnie accompagné de quelques
francois en l'année_ 1673, _qu'on pourra nommer en françois la
Manitoumie._ This title is very elaborately decorated with figures drawn
with a pen, and representing Jesuits instructing Indians. The map is the
same published by Thevenot, not without considerable variations, in 1681.
It represents the Mississippi from a little above the Wisconsin to the
Gulf of Mexico, the part below the Arkansas being drawn from conjecture.
The river is named "Mitchisipi, ou grande Rivière." The Wisconsin, the
Illinois, the Ohio, the Des Moines (?), the Missouri, and the Arkansas,
are all represented, but in a very rude manner. Marquette's route, in
going and returning, is marked by lines; but the return route is
incorrect. The whole map is so crude and careless, and based on
information so inexact, that it is of little interest.

The Jesuits made also another map, without title, of the four Upper Lakes
and the Mississippi to a little below the Arkansas. The Mississippi is
called "Riuuiere Colbert." The map is remarkable as including the earliest
representation of the Upper Mississippi, based, perhaps, on the reports of
Indians. The Falls of St. Anthony are indicated by the word "Saut." It is
possible that the map may be of later date than at first appears, and that
it may have been drawn in the interval between the return of Hennepin from
the Upper Mississippi and that of La Salle from his discovery of the mouth
of the river. The various temporary and permanent stations of the Jesuits
are marked by crosses.

Of far greater interest is the small map of Louis Joliet, made and
presented to Count Frontenac immediately after the discoverer's return
from the Mississippi. It is entitled _Carte de la decouuerte du Sr.
Jolliet ou l'on voit La Communication du fleuue St. Laurens auec les lacs
frontenac, Erié, Lac des Hurons et Ilinois._ Then succeeds the following,
written in the same antiquated French, as if it were a part of the title:
"Lake Frontenac [Ontario], is separated by a fall of half a league from
Lake Erie, from which one enters that of the Hurons, and by the same
navigation, into that of the Illinois [Michigan], from the head of which
one crosses to the Divine River (Rivière Divine; i.e., the Des Plaines
branch of the River Illinois), by a portage of a thousand paces. This
river falls into the River Colbert [Mississippi], which discharges itself
into the Gulf of Mexico." A part of this map is based on the Jesuit map of
Lake Superior, the legends being here for the most part identical, though
the shape of the lake is better given by Joliet. The Mississippi, or
"Riuiere Colbert," is made to flow from three lakes in latitude 47°, and
it ends in latitude 37°, a little below the mouth of the Ohio, the rest
being apparently cut off to make room for Joliet's letter to Frontenac
(_ante_, p. 66), which is written on the lower part of the map. The valley
of the Mississippi is called on the map "Colbertie, ou Amerique
Occidentale." The Missouri is represented without name, and against it is
a legend, of which the following is the literal translation: "By one of
these great rivers which come from the west and discharge themselves into
the River Colbert, one will find a way to enter the Vermilion Sea (Gulf of
California). I have seen a village which was not more than twenty days'
journey by land from a nation which has commerce with those of California.
If I had come two days sooner, I should have spoken with those who had
come from thence, and had brought four hatchets as a present." The Ohio
has no name, but a legend over it states that La Salle had descended it.
(See _ante_, p. 23, _note_.)

Joliet, at about the same time, made another map, larger than that just
mentioned, but not essentially different. The letter to Frontenac is
written upon both. There is a third map, bearing his name, of which the
following is the title: _Carte generalle de la France septentrionale
contenant la descouuerte du pays des Illinois, faite par le Sr. Jolliet_.
This map, which is inscribed with a dedication by the Intendant Duchesneau
to the minister Colbert, was made some time after the voyage of Joliet and
Marquette. It is an elaborate piece of work, but very inaccurate. It
represents the continent from Hudson's Strait to Mexico and California,
with the whole of the Atlantic and a part of the Pacific coast. An open
sea is made to extend from Hudson's Strait westward to the Pacific. The
St. Lawrence and all the Great Lakes are laid down with tolerable
correctness, as also is the Gulf of Mexico. The Mississippi, called
"Messasipi," flows into the Gulf, from which it extends northward nearly
to the "Mer du Nord." Along its course, above the Wisconsin, which is
called "Miskous," is a long list of Indian tribes, most of which cannot
now be recognized, though several are clearly sub-tribes of the Sioux. The
Ohio is called "Ouaboustikou." The whole map is decorated with numerous
figures of animals, natives of the country, or supposed to be so. Among
them are camels, ostriches, and a giraffe, which are placed on the plains
west of the Mississippi. But the most curious figure is that which
represents one of the monsters seen by Joliet and Marquette, painted on a
rock by the Indians. It corresponds with Marquette's description (_ante,_
p. 59). This map, if really the work of Joliet, does more credit to his
skill as a designer than to his geographical knowledge, which appears in
some respects behind his time.

A map made by Raudin, Count Frontenac's engineer, may be mentioned here.
He calls the Mississippi "Riviere de Buade," from the family name of his
patron, and christens all the adjoining region "Frontenacie," or

In the Bibliothèque Impériale is the rude map of the Jesuit Raffeix, made
at about the same time. It is chiefly interesting as marking out the
course of Du Lhut on his journeys from the head of Lake Superior to the
Mississippi, and as confirming a part of the narrative of Hennepin, who,
Raffeix says in a note, was rescued by Du Lhut. It also marks out the
journeys of La Salle in 1679, '80.

We now come to the great map of Franquelin, the most remarkable of all the
early maps of the interior of North America, though hitherto completely
ignored by both American and Canadian writers. It is entitled _"Carte de
la Louisiane ou des Voyages du St de la Salle et des pays qu'il a
découverts depuis la Nouvelle France jusqu'au Golfe Mexique les années
1679, 80, 81 et 82. par Jean Baptiste Louis Franquelin. l'an 1684. Paris."_
Franquelin was a young engineer, who held the post of hydrographer to the
king, at Quebec, in which Joliet succeeded him. Several of his maps are
preserved, including one made in 1681, in which he lays down the course of
the Mississippi,--the lower part from conjecture,--making it discharge
itself into Mobile Bay. It appears from a letter of the Governor, La
Barre, that Franquelin was at Quebec in 1683, engaged on a map which was
probably that of which the title is given above, though, had La Barre
known that it was to be called a map of the journeys of his victim La
Salle, he would have been more sparing of his praises. "He" (Franquelin),
writes the Governor, "is as skilful as any in France, but extremely poor
and in need of a little aid from his Majesty as an Engineer: he is at work
on a very correct map of the country which I shall send you next year in
his name; meanwhile, I shall support him with some little assistance."--
_Colonial Documents of New York_, ix. 205.

The map is very elaborately executed, and is six feet long and four and a
half wide. It exhibits the political divisions of the continent, as the
French then understood them; that is to say, all the regions drained by
streams flowing into the St. Lawrence and the Mississippi are claimed as
belonging to France, and this vast domain is separated into two grand
divisions, La Nouvelle France and La Louisiane. The boundary line of the
former, New France, is drawn from the Penobscot to the southern extremity
of Lake Champlain, and thence to the Mohawk, which it crosses a little
above Schenectady, in order to make French subjects of the Mohawk Indians.
Thence it passes by the sources of the Susquehanna and the Alleghany,
along the southern shore of Lake Erie, across Southern Michigan, and by
the head of Lake Michigan, whence it sweeps north-westward to the sources
of the Mississippi. Louisiana includes the entire valley of the
Mississippi and the Ohio, besides the whole of Texas. The Spanish province
of Florida comprises the peninsula and the country east of the Bay of
Mobile, drained by streams flowing into the Gulf; while Carolina,
Virginia, and the other English provinces, form a narrow strip between the
Alleghanies and the Atlantic.

The Mississippi is called "Missisipi, ou Rivière Colbert;" the Missouri,
"Grande Rivière des Emissourittes, ou Missourits;" the Illinois, "Rivière
des Ilinois, ou Macopins;" the Ohio, which La Salle had before called by
its present name, "Fleuve St. Louis, ou Chucagoa, ou Casquinampogamou;"
one of its principal branches is "Ohio, ou Olighin" (Alleghany); the
Arkansas, "Rivière des Acansea;" the Red River, "Rivière Seignelay," a
name which had once been given to the Illinois. Many smaller streams are
designated by names which have been entirely forgotten.

The nomenclature differs materially from that of Coronelli's map,
published four years later. Here the whole of the French territory is laid
down as "Canada, ou La Nouvelle France," of which "La Louisiane" forms an
integral part. The map of Homannus, like that of Franquelin, makes two
distinct provinces, of which one is styled "Canada" and the other "La
Louisiane" the latter including Michigan and the greater part of New York.
Franquelin gives the shape of Hudson's Bay, and of all the Great Lakes,
with remarkable accuracy. He makes the Mississippi bend much too far to
the West. The peculiar sinuosities of its course are indicated; and some
of its bends, as, for example, that at New Orleans, are easily recognized.
Its mouths are represented with great minuteness; and it may be inferred
from the map that, since La Salle's time, they have advanced considerably
into the sea.

Perhaps the most interesting feature in Franquelin's map is his sketch of
La Salle's evanescent colony on the Illinois, engraved for this volume. He
reproduced the map in 1688, for presentation to the king, with the title
_Carte de l'Amerique Septentrionale, depuis le 25 jusq'au 65 degré de
latitude et environ 140 et 235 degrés de longitude, etc._ In this map
Franquelin corrects various errors in that which preceded. One of these
corrections consists in the removal of a branch of the River Illinois
which he had marked on his first map,--as will be seen by referring to the
portion of it in this book,--but which does not in fact exist. On this
second map La Salle's colony appears in much diminished proportions, his
Indian settlements having in good measure dispersed.

The remarkable manuscript map of the Upper Mississippi, by Le Sueur,
belongs to a period subsequent to the close of this narrative.



Father Hennepin had among his contemporaries two rivals in the fabrication
of new discoveries. The first was the noted La Hontan, whose book, like
his own, had a wide circulation and proved a great success. La Hontan had
seen much, and portions of his story have a substantial value; but his
account of his pretended voyage up the "Long River" is a sheer
fabrication. His "Long River" corresponds in position with the St. Peter,
but it corresponds in nothing else; and the populous nations whom he found
on it, the Eokoros, the Esanapes, and the Gnacsitares, no less than their
neighbors the Mozeemlek and the Tahuglauk, are as real as the nations
visited by Captain Gulliver. But La Hontan did not, like Hennepin, add
slander and plagiarism to mendacity, or seek to appropriate to himself the
credit of genuine discoveries made by others.

Mathieu Sâgean is a personage less known than Hennepin or La Hontan; for,
though he surpassed them both in fertility of invention, he was
illiterate, and never made a book. In 1701, being then a soldier in a
company of marines at Brest, he revealed a secret which he declared that
he had locked within his breast for twenty years, having been unwilling to
impart it to the Dutch and English, in whose service he had been during
the whole period. His story was written down from his dictation, and sent
to the minister Ponchartrain. It is preserved in he Bibliothèque
Impériale, and in 1863 it was printed by Mr. Shea. Sâgean underwent an
examination, which resulted in his being sent to Biloxi, near the mouth of
the Mississippi, with instructions from the minister that he should be
supplied with the means of conducting a party of Canadians to the
wonderful country which he had discovered; but, on his arrival, the
officers in command, becoming satisfied that he was an impostor, suffered
the order to remain unexecuted. His story was as follows:--

He was born at La Chine in Canada, and engaged in the service of La Salle
about twenty years before the revelation of his secret; that is, in 1681.
Hence, he would have been at the utmost, only fourteen years old, as La
Chine did not exist before 1667. He was with La Salle at the building of
Fort St. Louis of the Illinois, and was left here as one of a hundred men
under command of Tonty. Tonty, it is to be observed, had but a small
fraction of this number; and Sâgean describes the fort in a manner which
shows that he never saw it. Being desirous of making some new discovery,
he obtained leave from Tonty, and set out with eleven other Frenchmen and
two Mohegan Indians. They ascended the Mississippi a hundred and fifty
leagues, carried their canoes by a cataract, went forty leagues farther,
and stopped a month to hunt. While thus employed, they found another
river, fourteen leagues distant, flowing south-south-west. They carried
their canoes thither, meeting on the way many lions, leopards, and tigers,
which did them no harm; then they embarked, paddled a hundred and fifty
leagues farther, and found themselves in the midst of the great nation of
the Acanibas, dwelling in many fortified towns, and governed by King
Hagaren, who claimed descent from Montezuma. The king, like his subjects,
was clothed with the skins of men. Nevertheless, he and they were
civilized and polished in their manners. They worshipped certain frightful
idols of gold in the royal palace. One of them represented the ancestor of
their monarch armed with lance, bow, and quiver, and in the act of
mounting his horse; while in his mouth he held a jewel as large as a
goose's egg, which shone like fire, and which, in the opinion of Sâgean,
was a carbuncle. Another of these images was that of a woman mounted on a
golden unicorn, with a horn more than a fathom long. After passing,
pursues the story, between these idols, which stand on platforms of gold,
each thirty feet square, one enters a magnificent vestibule, conducting to
the apartment of the king. At the four corners of this vestibule are
stationed bands of music, which, to the taste of Sâgean, was of very poor
quality. The palace is of vast extent, and the private apartment of the
king is twenty-eight or thirty feet square; the walls, to the height of
eighteen feet, being of bricks of solid gold, and the pavement of the
same. Here the king dwells alone, served only by his wives, of whom he
takes a new one every day. The Frenchmen alone had the privilege of
entering, and were graciously received.

These people carry on a great trade in gold with a nation, believed by
Sâgean to be the Japanese, as the journey to them lasts six months. He saw
the departure of one of the caravans, which consisted of more than three
thousand oxen, laden with gold, and an equal number of horsemen, armed
with lances, bows, and daggers. They receive iron and steel in exchange
for their gold. The king has an army of a hundred thousand men, of whom
three-fourths are cavalry. They have golden trumpets, with which they make
very indifferent music; and also golden drums, which, as well as the
drummer, are carried on the backs of oxen. The troops are practised once a
week in shooting at a target with arrows; and the king rewards the victor
with one of his wives, or with some honorable employment.

These people are of a dark complexion and hideous to look upon, because
their faces are made long and narrow by pressing their heads between two
boards in infancy. The women, however, are as fair as in Europe; though,
in common with the men, their ears are enormously large. All persons of
distinction among the Acanibas, wear their finger-nails very long. They
are polygamists, and each man takes as many wives as he wants. They are of
a joyous disposition, moderate drinkers, but great smokers. They
entertained Sâgean and his followers during five months with the fat of
the land; and any woman who refused a Frenchman was ordered to be killed.
Six girls were put to death with daggers for this breach of hospitality.
The king, being anxious to retain his visitors in his service, offered
Sâgean one of his daughters, aged fourteen years, in marriage; and, when
he saw him resolved to depart, promised to keep her for him till he should

The climate is delightful, and summer reigns throughout the year. The
plains are full of birds and animals of all kinds, among which are many
parrots and monkeys, besides the wild cattle, with humps like camels,
which these people use as beasts of burden.

King Hagaren would not let the Frenchmen go till they had sworn by the
sky, which is the customary oath of the Acanibas, that they would return
in thirty-six moons, and bring him a supply of beads and other trinkets
from Canada. As gold was to be had for the asking, each of the eleven
Frenchmen took away with him sixty small bars, weighing about four pounds
each. The king ordered two hundred horsemen to escort them, and carry the
gold to their canoes; which they did, and then bade them farewell with
terrific howlings, meant, doubtless, to do them honor.

After many adventures, wherein nearly all his companions came to a bloody
end, Sâgean, and the few others who survived, had the ill luck to be
captured by English pirates, at the mouth of the St. Lawrence. He spent
many years among them in the East and West Indies, but would not reveal
the secret of his Eldorado to these heretical foreigners.

Such was the story, which so far imposed on the credulity of the Minister
Ponchartrain as to persuade him that the matter was worth serious
examination. Accordingly, Sâgean was sent to Louisiana, then in its
earliest infancy as a French colony. Here he met various persons who had
known him in Canada, who denied that he had ever been on the Mississippi,
and contradicted his account of his parentage. Nevertheless, he held fast
to his story, and declared that the gold mines of the Acanibas could be
reached without difficulty by the River Missouri. But Sauvolle and
Bieuville, chiefs of the colony, were obstinate in their unbelief; and
Sâgean and his King Hagaren lapsed alike into oblivion.

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