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Table of contents :
Preface 1-2
Introduction. Editorial 3-7
Voyages and Discoveries of Father James Marquette in the
Mississippi Valley. Part of John G. Shea's translation,
with explanatory notes 8-40
French Plans of Conquest, La Salle's Letters Patent, etc. Editorial
41-46
Hennepin's Narrative, from his "La Louisiane" of 1683 46-105
La Salle's Voyage down the Mississippi.
The Proces Verbal 106-113
Will of La Salle 114
Memoir of the Sieur de La Salle 115-125
La Salle's Letters Patent from the King of France. .126-127
Memoir of Henry de Tonty, of 1693 128-164
The Aubry Manuscript, and explanatory notes. 165-170
George Rogers Clark's Conquest of the Illnois, with explanatory
notes 171-289
Letters from the Canadian Archives 290-457
Appendix Clark's account of old Fort Gage 458-463
Index to Marquette's Narrative, and explanatory notes
thereto 466
Index to Hennepin's Narrative, and explanatory notes thereto 477
Index to the "Proces Verbal," and explanatory notes thereto. . 495
Index to the Will of La Salle 500
Index to La Salle's Letters Patent, and explanatory notes
thereto 505
Index to Memoir of Henry de Tonty, and explanatory notes
thereto 506
Index to the Aubry Manuscript, and explanatory notes thereto 528
Index to Gen. George Rogers Clark's Conquest of the Illinois,
and explanatory notes thereto; to the Letters from the
Canadian Archives; and to the Appendix, with explanatory
notes 533
General Index . 610
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RICHARD YATES, Governor of the State of

Illinois,

1901-1905.

2

COLLECTIONS

Illinois

State

Historical

VOLU ME

Library

I.

EDITED AND ANNOTATED BY

H. W.

BECKWITH,

PBESIDENT or THE BOABD OF TEUSTEES.

BOAED OF TEUSTEES OT THE ILLINOIS STATE HISTOBICAL LIBBAEY,

HIRAM W, BECKWITH,

EDMUND

J,

JAMES, PH,

GEORGE

THE

H.

N,

D,,

BLACK,

SPRINGFIELD. ILL.: W. ROKKEU Co., PRINTERS AND BINDERS.

1903.

THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, Two

Cepie* Received

SEP

It

F 536

J903

Cvpyngnt Entry

CUSS

CL/

CPY

Copyright,

By

XXo. Me.

A.

1903,

the Board of Trustees of the Illinois State Historical Library.

CONTENTS. 1-2

Preface Editorial

Introduction.

3-7

Voyages and Discoveries of Father James Marquette in the Mississippi Valley. Part of John G. Shea's translation, with explanatory notes

French Plans of Conquest, La

8-40

Salle's Letters Patent, etc.

41-46

itorial

Hennepin's Narrative, from his "La Louisiane"

La

Ed-

Voyage down the The Proces Verbal

Salle's

Will of

La

of 1683

46-105

Mississippi.

106-113 114 115-125

Salle

Memoir of the Sieur de La Salle La Salle's Letters Patent from the King Memoir of Henry de Tonty, of 1693 The Aubry Manuscript, and explanatory

of France. .126-127

notes.

128-164 165-170

George Rogers Clark's Conquest of the Illnois, with explana171-289 tory notes Letters from the Canadian Archives

Appendix

290-457

Clark's account of old Fort

Index to Marquette's

Narrative,

Gage and explanatory

458-463

notes

thereto

466

Index to Hennepin's Narrative, and explanatory notes thereto 477 Index to the "Proces Verbal," and explanatory notes thereto. 495 .

Index to the Will of La Salle

500

Index to La Salle's Letters Patent, and explanatory notes thereto

505

Index to Memoir of Henry de Tonty, and explanatory notes thereto

Index

to the

506

Aubry Manuscript, and explanatory notes thereto 528

Index to Gen. George Rogers Clark's Conquest of the Illinois, and explanatory notes thereto; to the Letters from the Canadian Archives; and to the Appendix, with explanatory notes

General Index

533 .

610

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. Richard Yates, Governor of the State of

Board of Trustees of the

Illinois, 1901-1905.

Illinois State Historical Library. ...

Jean Baptiste Talon

Rene Robert, Sieur de La

3

106 115

Salle

Gen. George Rogers Clark

171

at Williamsburgh,

Va

187

Old Court House at Williamsburgh,

Va

190

Powder Magazine

Earthwork Lines

of old Fort

Gage opposite Kaskaskia

Kaskaskia, and the old Fort across the river.

Six views. .200-201

Plan of Fort Sackville, Vincennes

Map

of the country

from the Wabash River

197

131 to

Vincennes

242

Gen. John Edgar's house at Kaskaskia, LaFayette entertained there 415

The Old Jesuit House, or State House, Kaskaskia

463

PREFACE T

the session of our legislature in 1901, Hon. George

W.

Stubblefield, the Senator

ty,

introduced

whereby $2,500 was

' '

a

bill,

from McLean Coun-

approved

May

1901,

10,

appropriated for the purpose of pro-

curing documents, papers, materials and publications relating to the Northwest and the State of Illinois, and [for]

Which was "to be expended by

publishing the same."

the Trustees of the State Historical Library," for that

purpose, "with the sanction of the Governor."

Under

this act the

Board

of Trustees of the Library

named, with the sanction of Governor Richard Yates, ordered material of the kind required, to be gathered

such publication.

This work and the editing of

it

for-

was;

H. W. Beckwith by his associate trustees. In touch with them he has accordingly collected, arranged, assigned to

edited

and annotated the matter, provided the

cuts,

and

supervised the printing of the matter in this volume.

While the material herein

is

original

and authentic,

the Editor, as well for himself as for his associate trustees,

says that they are not responsible for statements as

to facts as they

appear in any of the historical documents,

herein published.

To keep within the Board of Trustees was carefully curtail

appropriation,

the

required, not only to glean

and

limit

of

its

from a mass of matter

at their

PREFACE

2

mand, while

at the

same time they deemed

give the several sections of the

representation in the

they imply outside matter to

little

but right to

a fair share of

volume.

The documents herein follow

stood.

State

it

a

general rule, in that

make them

rightly under-

Taken by themselves alone the novice would gain knowledge, if not more likely to be misled by them.

Hence the explanatory

edits

and annotations of the

original

text have been prepared with the hope of aiding the aver-

age reader in acquiring a knowledge which he could otherwise gain only at an outlay of means, time and research in which very few persons

Where matter appears

would care

in the

in brackets [thus], the Editor

is

to indulge.

body of the text enclosed responsible for the same.

H. W. BECKWITH, E. J. JAMES,

GEORGE N. BLACK,

Board of Trustees of

the Illinois

State Historical Library.

GRORGK

X.

H. W.

BLACK

*Photo Copyright

1903,

BECKWJTH K. J.

Board of Trustees of the by

J.

Illinois State Historical Library.

E. Purdy, Boston.

JAMKS

INTRODUCTION EDITORIAL. JOLIET AND FATHER MARQUETTE THEIR JOURNALS AND MAPS OF THEIR VOYAGE ON THE ILLINOIS AND MISSISSIPPI.

fact of the Mississippi was known to the French and their missionaries several years before it was duly

THE

Early in his appointment as the "King's Councilor and Intendant of Justice, of Police and Finances of New France," Jean Talon writes from Quebec to Jean Colbert, "the King's Prime Minister," as follows: explored.

is of such a vast extent that I know not of on the north, they are so great a distance from us; and on the south there is nothing to prevent his Majesty's name and arms being carried as far as Flor-

"Canada

its

limits

ida,

New

Sweden,

that through the

NPW

first

Netherlands,

New England; and

of these countries access can be

had

All this country is diversely watered the Saint Lawrence, and the beautiful rivers that flow by into it latterly, that communicate with divers Indian Na-

even to Mexico.

more northern of them. can also The southern nations be reached by way of Lake Ontario, if the portages [beyond] with which we are not

tions rich in furs, especially the

yet acquainted, are not very difficult, though this may be overcome. If these southern nations do not abound in peltries as those of the north, they

may have more

pre-

4

INTRODUCTION

cious commodities.

And

if

we do not know

of these last

because our enemies, the Iroquois, intervene between us and the countries that produce them.* it

is

In the Jesuit Relations, etc., for 1668-9, Chapter IX, Father James Marquette, writing from the Mission of the Holy Ghost at La Point, Lake Superior, says :

"When the Illinois come [to trade at] the Point they pass a "great river which is almost a league in width. It flows from north to south and to so great a distance that the Illinois, who know nothing of the use of the canoe, have never as yet heard of

its

mouth,

etc.

It is

hardly probably

[probable] that this great river discharges itself [into the we are more inclined to believe Atlantic] in Virginia ;

that

it

has

its

mouth

in

[the Gulf of California], etc." to "visit the na-

The zealous Father hoped for the means

who dwell along" its shores, way many of our Fathers, who tions

to

in order to

open the

for a long time have

This discovery will give us a of the sea either to the south or to perfect knowledge the west," etc.

awaited this happiness.

One other fact thus early known is that the stream " " in question was called the vide, references Miss-i-sipi, Its meaning in the in the Relations from 1666 to 1671. "great river," the name more genin their "Relations" above used the missionaries by erally Illinois dialect is the

referred

to.

and "seebee"

It

is

a

[river]

compound from "Mechah" [bigj Ojebway or Chippewa lan-

of the

guage, the purest and most classical speech of ern Algonquin tribes.

all

the west-

The interest grew apace until finally in 1672, Talon, the Intendant, forestalled the missionaries and ordered the matter to be made one of official inquiry. On a conferTalon, Intendant, etc., Quebec, Oct. 4, 1665, to the Prime Minister at Paris, where the original is found in the archives of the "Department of the Marine and Colonies." '

INTRODUCTION

5

ence with Count de Frontenac, the Governor, they chose Louis Joliet to make the exploration. He had been in the west, long an Indian trader, and was an expert topog^-

A

rapher. prime purpose of the French was to make the savages of New France, Christians, and agreeably to

a custom for this purpose, Claude F. Dablon, the Father Superior of the Jesuit Missions, was notified, and he with rare good judgment appointed the Reverend Father James Marquette to go with Joliet. In this way the most ardent

wish of the saintly Marquette was finally

Some two years

later

gratified.

Frontenac writes the Prime Min-

that the "Sieur Joliet, whom Monsieur Talon advised me, on my arrival from France, to dispatch for the discovery of the South sea [or Pacific Ocean], has returned ister

three months ago, and discovered some very fine counand a navigation so easy through the beautiful rivers he has found, that a person can go from Lake Ontario and

tries

Fort Frontenac [at Kingston, Canada] in a bark to the Gulf of Mexico, there being only one carrying place around Niagara Falls] of half a league in length where Lake Ontario connects with Lake Erie. A settlement could be made at this point and another bark built on Lake [

(

Erie."

Thus early do we

see the

foreshadowing of La Salle's

later discoveries.

Continuing, Governor Frontenac says that "Joliet has been within ten days' journey of the Gulf of Mexico and believes that water

communications could be found lead[i. e., the Gulf of

ing to the Vermilion and California seas

California], by means of the river [Missouri] that flows from the west into the Grand River [Mississippi] that he has discovered, and which last runs from north to south

and

is

as large as the Saint

send you by

my

secretary the

Lawrence before Quebec. I map he has made of it, and

INTRODUCTION

6

the observations he has been able to recollect, as he lost all his minutes and journals in the shipwreck he suffered in sight of [and just above] Montreal [at the rapids of La Chine where La Salle afterwards had his first trading post]

.

"Joliet left with the Fathers at Sault Ste. Marie, of Lake Superior copies of his journals. cannot get these

We

before next year. You will glean from them additional particulars of this discovery, in which he has very well acquitted himself."*

seems to the Editor here that a copy of these journals and the map referred to of Joliet were gotten by Melchiseds It

Thevenot, a book printer at Paris and published by him, with the map referred to by Frontenac produced in 1681. f

The volume liet 's

is

very rare.

journal and

An

abridged translation of JoSparks, President of Har-

map by Jared

vard University, appears in his "Life of Father Marquette" issued in 1844. The entire text was translated by Benjamin F. French and is found in his "Historical Collections of Louisiana."! The journal seems like his work or is

by him [Thevenot] and Joliet jointly. Be was meant and should stand for Joliet 's

this as it official

may,

report

of his voyage.

Meanwhile Father Marquette made and sent on

his re-

port to his superior, Father Claude F. Dablon, at Quebec, and the original manuscript was edited and prepared for publication

by him

made map

of his and Joliet 's voyage, lay

in 1678.

It,

with Marquette 's pen-

unknown

for

more than 150 years when they were unearthed in St. Mary's College at Montreal by Prof. Benjamin F. French, who wished to publish them in his Historical Collections of Frontenac to the Minister. Quebec Nov, 14, 1674. his volume titled Recueil DeVoyages De M. Thevenot Dedie au Roi A. Paris MDCLXXXI Avec Privilege du Roy. j-In

JPart

II.

Philadelphia

1850.

INTRODUCTION Louisiana.

Instead, the

7

document and map were turned

over to and translated by the late John Gilmary Shea and annotated by him and Mr. French jointly.

The text so arranged was published in Shea's "Discovand Explorations of the Mississippi" in 1852, some

eries

of the volumes appearing as "part IV" of French's Historical Collections. Both of these being out of print are

now

classed as rare Americana.

The small map drawn up by Joliet on his return to Quebec for Frontenac and sent by his secretary to ColThe late Francis Parkman who bert, is quite instructive. was conversant with the original, says that on its marginal address to Frontenac "Joliet says 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 that of tbe Illinois [Michigan] from the head of which one crosses to the river Divine, i. e., the Des Plaines branch of the River Illinois, by a portage of a thousand paces.

This [last named] river falls into the

River Colbert

Hence

it

is

which discharges

itself

into

not to be confused with Joliet 's later

map

[Mississippi] the Gulf of Mexico."

tenac, Joliet leaves out all that is said above relative to

of 1674, Avhereon, in his marginal address to Count Fronthe Chicago portage and Desplaines river and inserts matter about the forest, fruits, game, Indian corn, crops,

and

of the savages along the Mississippi. Father Marquette's account as translated by Doctor

large canoes,

etc.,

Shea, so pertinent to the history of the northwest and is substantially like that of Joliet and

especially to Illinois,

reproduced by the editor here, first because it beyond doubt, and second because it is fuller in is

is

authentic

detail.

The

Editor follows Shea's divisions of the matter as to introduction, head-lines, chapters

WITH.

and

sections.

H.

AY.

BECK-

CHAPTER 1673

!.