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Robert de La Salle
Transcript of Robert de La Salle
1643 - 1687
La Salle's men grew fustrated and tired with his leadership and had enough of his bossiness and stubbornness. On March, 19, 1687 in Texas two of his men ambushed and shot him dead. The two men that had killed him (one unknown but one went by the name of Pierre Duhaut) claimed that they had no choice and that La Salle was selfish and demanding. However, this wasn't the first time that someone had tried to kill La Salle, he had been poisoned by some of his men, and even by some jealous fur traders, but he carried with him a native remedy that saved his life.
La Salle's death occurred right here.
First of all, Robert de La Salle did not travel to the blob in the right corner!
La Salle was one of the great explorers of the New World,
a seigneur and a fur trader all in one.
Here is a portrait of the great explorer
Robert de La Salle
His Birth and Early Life
Robert de La Salle was born on November 22, 1643, in Rouen, France. He was born to an incredibly rich family with an estate of his own, Robert de La Salle was given the nick-name Sieur de La Salle because of his large estate (Sieur de La Salle means: the gentleman from La Salle). When La Salle was young, he went to a school run by Catholic priests. He studied religion, science, mathematics and languages. At the age of 17 he gave up all his money and property to study to become a priest. After a few years he decided not to become a priest. He wanted to explore the world. La Salle sailed to New France in 1666.
Wilson, W. R. (n.d.). Early Canada Historical Narratives -- LA SALLE. Retrieved from http://www.uppercanadahistory.ca/finna/finna3a.html
LOZIER J., Ph.D.,. (n.d.). The Explorers. Retrieved from http://www.historymuseum.ca/virtual-museum-of-new-france/the-explorers/rene-robert-cavelier-de-la-salle-1670-1687/ Canada © Canadian Museum of History
O'Brien, C. (n.d.). Explore with Sieur de la Salle.
Englar, M. (2005). Sieur de la Salle. Mankato, MN: Capstone Press.
The Four Season, Spring by: Antonio Vivaldi
On July, 6, 1669 La Salle set off for his first journey to the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. This voyage among all of La Salle's voyages was possibly the easiest in terms of travel. Years before this expedition La Salle had left the Jesuits and his life in France behind to be with his brother in Montreal, who was a seigneur at the time and who had offered La Salle a large amount of land to watch over. He also claimed Louisiana for France on this voyage, which he had named after King Louis xiv (14th). In 1683 La Salle returned to France, ending his first voyage. On July, 24, 1684, he left for his last expedition. La Salle got lost on his last expedition and missed the mouth of the Mississippi River by more than 400 miles and landed in an area best known today as Texas.
His Years of Expedition
Like many French explorers, La Salle wanted to obtain more land for France and help it to finally become wealthy, but he also had some goals of his own. At the time, France was always trying to one-up Britain and Spain. La Salle led the King to believe that, through the Mississippi River the French would be able to strike a blow at the Spanish; he even had fake maps drawn that portrayed the Mississippi close to New Spain (Mexico). La Salle hoped that the river joined the Pacific Ocean, which would give him access to the trade goods of China, such as silks and spices through the Mississippi River, not The New World, what a lie-or! La Salle was very strong willed when it came to his goals and constantly tried to convince the King to let him explore China, sadly he died before he could do this.
His Motivation and Goals
Although La Salle was an explorer, he did not exactly have the required expertise in the navigational areas of his job, and thusly had to rely on the more skilled members of his crew to guide him when using the latest advances in navigational technology. One of these advances was the widely used compass, which used a rotating magnetized needle to show which way is north. Another instrument of navigation was the astrolabe, using the altitude of the sun or the stars, explorers could find out their position and where they needed to go. The final means of navigational technology was the mathematical table, not much is known about this method but we can infer that it was used somewhat like a map to calculate the coordinates of the ship.
As with all early explorers, La Salle experienced many hardships and challenges on his voyages. One of them was the threat of Native Americans who were protecting their land from explorers trying to take it. On top that, La Salle's ships could have sunk, get destroyed by a storm or ran aground. There were dangers on deck as well, crew members were at risk of dying of starvation, scurvy or other diseases. Scurvy is a disease caused by a lack of Vitamin C in one's diet.
His Hardships and Challenges
La Salle only made a total of two voyages in his life, all which were funded by King Louis xiv and the government of France, but with them he did accomplish many great things. Numerous areas of Canada and the U.S. were named after, or by La Salle such as La Salle in Montreal, La Salle in Illinois, Louisiana named after King Louis xiv or La Salle in Ontario. His first voyage was to the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario, from which he discovered the Ohio River this voyage lasted from 1669-1682, when he returned to France to ask the King for permission to travel to the Gulf of Mexico. His second and final voyage was to Texas and Matagorda Bay. He was trying to find the Mississippi River again when he lost his way and stumbled upon the Matagorda. He had planned to take his men until they got to the Mississippi again, but in 1687 his plans were cut short.
La Salle had a relatively positive relationship with the natives and he tried to make peace with them wherever and whenever he could. La Salle's early education of the languages of Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, Spanish, Latin and Italian helped him forge good relations with the Seneca by leaning their language. They told him about the land, they showed him how to hunt, paddle a canoe and walk in deep snow with snowshoes, they also accompanied him on his travels. However, their relationship went downhill after he had made a trade with the Seneca. He had made the mistake of giving the natives some brandy, which made them very violent. This led to a brief battle with a neighboring tribe resulting in the capture and torture of a prisoner, to which La Salle and his men were invited by the Seneca to watch.
His Perceptions of The Natives
Fur trade was very important during La Salle's lifetime. La Salle had established many trading posts and sought to encourage even more trade with the natives. It seemed that he wanted to control the fur trade and ultimately, America (the New World) through trade. Many opposing fur traders grew incredibly jealous of his success, and some even tried to poison him once. His main objective with the fur trade may have been to become the best fur trader in the New World. This seems to be how he had such a good relationship with the natives, through trade. In his life La Salle built a total of four forts in the New World each covering an impressive amount of land, this is how he got to be so successful at trading furs and fund his voyages.
His Contribution to the Fur Trade
La Salle and his men were the first Europeans to travel all the way from the Great Lakes to the mouth of the Mississippi River. La Salle claimed all the land and rivers that touched the Mississippi River. He named this land Louisiana in honor of King Louis xiv of France. La Salle helped strengthen French and Native connections. By establishing several trading posts, he encouraged more trading and creating more development of villages and settlements. I can infer that he may have boosted Canada's early economy through the fur trade. La Salle did not really have a negative impact on Canada, except possibly for contributing to the exhaustion of the beavers though the fur trade. He may have also caused some small battles with the Natives and Europeans, weakening the connection that he had helped to build between the two groups.
His Positive and Negative Impacts
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I hope you enjoyed my
Robert de La Salle.
Here is a map of La Salles first and second voyages.
Here is a picture of a Seneca Native Person