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MICHIGAN AS A PROVINCE 1 - 5


He was well educated and his vision extended beyond the horizon line of his frontier mission. Talon had been advised from Paris that the king was firmly impressed with the idea that nothing was more important for New France than the discovery of a passage to the South sea, and urged that immediate steps be taken to explore the country to the westward of Lake Michigan, then commonly known as the lake of the Illinois. Talon being obliged by failing health to return to France communicated his plans to Count Frontenac, the newly arrived governor. Accordingly Joliet was dispatched upon the westward expedition and at Michilimackinac he found Marquette who had been instructed to accompany him. As the season was then far advanced further movements were delayed until the following spring.
On the 17th day of May, 1673, the ice being out of the strait, the two explorers set forth from St. Ignace in two bark canoes with five French oarsmen and a supply of provisions. The party coasted along the lower shores of Lake Michigan to1 Green bay. Thence they pushed on by the way of the Fox river to Lake Winne-bago and thence by Wolf river to its upper waters, from a point upon which they crossed over the divide which separates the waters which flow into the Gulf of St. Lawrence from those which flow into th'e Mexican gulf. They were soon embarked upon the Wisconsin river. Down this stream they floated until they found themselves upon the broad expanse of the Mississippi.
They navigated the "Father of Waters" past the outlet of the Missouri and the Ohio and as far south as the mouth of the Arkansas. Up to this time there had been uncertainty whether the Mississippi flowed into the Gulf of California or into the Gulf of Mexico. From this exploration Marquette rightly concluded that the latter was the true solution. After friendly conference with the natives and resting for a few days the two explorers set out upon their return, two months having already elapsed since they left Michilimackinac.

MICHIGAN


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