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MICHIGAN AS A PROVINCE 1 - 5


So far as known this is the first record of a visit to this locality. In all probability others had passed through the strait—the Recollet and Jesuit missionaries, Joliet, and possibly Champlain himself— but none had mentioned it specifically. The Sulpitians passed on their course up the lakes and on the 25th of May arrived at the Sault de Ste Marie. Here they found Marquette and other Jesuits who had established a mission there, erected a chapel, and cleared a tract of land for agricultural purposes. After a short visit there they returned to Montreal by the Nipissing and Ottawa route. The year 1678 found La Salle in Paris busied with preparations for still further explorations in New France. He secured sufficient backing in men and means. Among his adherents was Henri de Tonty, an Italian officer of repute, who had lost a hand in war and had substituted for it an iron hand which he kept gloved. On arrival at Quebec the party was joined by Louis Hennepin, a Recollet missionary. The latter in company with La Motte de Lussiere in charge, embarked on a vessel of ten tons burden from Fort Frontenac with sixteen men, in November, 1678, and sailed along the north shore of Ontario and so on to the mouth of the Niagara river which they entered. They proceeded up the river as far as possible and then debarked and climbed the heights at Queenstown, from which they traveled to the great cataract, the first Europeans to behold the spectacle. Hennepin describes the fall, though with some exaggeration as to its height. They passed on up the Niagara and near the entrance to Lake Erie, La Motte began the erection of Fort Niagara and Hennepin started the building of a chapel. La Salle and Tonty had followed with another vessel, supplies and men to join La Motte. They landed at the mouth of the Genessee and proceeded thence overland.

MICHIGAN


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