Louis Joliet

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Louis Joliet
Louis Joliet - Explorer (1645 - 1700)

Louis Joliet (also known as Jolliet) was a Jesuit educated Canadian fur trapper who went on to become an explorer. He was present at Sault Ste. Marie when the great lakes area was claimed for France, and headed expeditions to explore the Mississippi River and the Labrador Coastline. He also assessed the extent of English trading in the Hudson Bay area.

This page details facts about Louis Joliet's life and the events that shaped his history.

Louis Joliet the Explorer - Fun Facts for Kids !
Louis Joliet Fact   1: Louis Joliet (also spelled Jolliet) was born in Quebec, Canada, sometime before 21st September 1645, which was the day of his christening.
Louis Joliet Fact   2: He was the son of a wagon maker, Jean Joliet, and his wife Marie D’abancourt.
Louis Joliet Fact   3: At the age of 10 Louis Joliet was sent to the Jesuit College in Quebec where he was educated until he left in 1667.
Louis Joliet Fact   4: He became a fur trader at the age of 23, dealing with the Native Indians.
Louis Joliet Fact   5: On 4th June 1671 Simon Daumont de Saint-Lusson, a military officer from New France, claimed the lands of the great lakes area for France. The ceremony in Sault Ste. Marie was attended by many of the local Indian nations and Louis Jolliet was one of the declaration’s signatories.
Louis Joliet Fact   6: Louis de Buade Frontenac, the French Governor of Quebec, Commissioned Louis Joliet to explore the Mississippi River with Father Jacques Marquette, a Jesuit Priest.
Louis Joliet Fact   7: In October 1672 Louis Joliet, Father Jacques Marquette and five others men left Quebec and headed for the St. Ignace mission in Michigan. They arrived in December and began making their preparations for the expedition.
Louis Joliet Fact   8: On 17 May 1673 Louis Joliet and his party left St. Ignace in two birch bark canoes. They headed for Green Bay on Lake Michigan before traveling along the Fox River and, after a portage (carrying water craft overland), they arrived at the Wisconsin River. Louis Joliet eventually reached the Mississippi River in June 1673.
Louis Joliet Fact   9: Believing that the river would flow into the Pacific, Louis Joliet and Father Jacques Marquette explored the Mississippi writing notes and drawing maps along the way. After reaching an Indian village near present day Arkansas, Louis Joliet was able to conclude that the Mississippi would flow into the Gulf of Mexico rather that into the Pacific.
Louis Joliet Fact 10: The friendly Indians in this village warned Louis Joliet and his party of the danger from hostile Indians further down the river. Taking into account this warning and the danger of running into the Spanish near the Gulf of Mexico, they decided to turn round and head back to Quebec.
Louis Joliet Fact 11: Louis Joliet returned via the Illinois River and Green Bay, where, in 1674, Father Jacques Marquette decided to leave him and remain at the Saint Francis Xavier mission.
Louis Joliet Fact 12: While traveling through the Lachine Rapids on the Saint Lawrence River, his canoe was capsized and he lost all of his maps and journals. He was rescued by fishermen and continued on to Quebec where, after traveling 2500 miles, he arrived in 1674.
Louis Joliet Fact 13: Louis Joliet reported their discoveries to the French Governor Louis de Buade Frontenac, and went on to rewrite some of his journals from memory. However, the notes written my Marquette were relied on as being the more accurate resource.
Louis Joliet Fact 14: On 7th October 1675 Louis Joliet married Canadian Claire-Francoise Bissot and had one child, Jean-Baptiste. He returned to fur trading in 1676.
Louis Joliet Fact 15: In 1679 the presence of the English in the Hudson Bay area was proving a worry to the French Colony, so Louis Joliet was sent over to assess the situation. Together with seven others he left on 7th April 1679 and traveled via Saguenay, Lake St. John, Lake Mistassini and Rupert River to James Bay. The English invited him to join them, however he declined and made his way back to Quebec. He reported that the English control over Hudson Bay was a threat to Canadian trade as the area was the richest source of furs in the country.
Louis Joliet Fact 16: In March 1680 King Louis XIV of France granted Louis Joliet the island of Anticosti, in the mouth of the Saint Lawrence River.
Louis Joliet Fact 17: In 1681 he built a fort on the island and settled there. In the winter of 1690 the fort was briefly captured and occupied by the English.
Louis Joliet Fact 18: Louis Joliet undertook an expedition sponsored by a merchant, François Viennay-Pachot, to explore the Labrador Coastline. He set off in the spring of 1694 sailing through the Strait of Belle Isle and Eskimo Bay to Zoar. He kept a journal and made notes and sketches of the people he met.
Louis Joliet Fact 19: He was appointed professor of hydrography at Quebec College on 13th April 1697.
Louis Joliet Fact 20: Louis Joliet died in 1700 sometime between May and October. The exact place of his death is unclear although it is generally believed to have been on the island of Anticosti.
Louis Joliet the Explorer (1645 - 1700) Fun Facts Info for Kids !

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