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René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de Las Salle

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1 René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de Las Salle
North American Explorer

2 Who Was La Salle? René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle was born in 1643 and died in He was a French explorer. La Salle was sent by King Louis XIV (14th) to travel south from Canada and sail down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico. He was the 1st European to travel the length of the Mississippi River in 1682.

3 La Salle’s Mission His mission was to explore and establish fur-trade routes along the river. Las Salle named the entire Mississippi River basin Louisiana, in honor of the King, and claimed it for France on April 9, 1682. He explored the Great Lakes area. He also tried to start a settlement in the southern Mississippi River Valley but was unsuccessful.

4 La Salle’s Route This map shows several trips that La Salle and his men made. They explored the Great Lakes area as well as the entire Mississippi River.

5 Exploring North America
La Salle had become a fur trader in Canada trading with the Indians. The Indians told him about 2 great rivers which they thought went to the ocean. La Salle wanted to explore these rivers to find the Northwest Passage from North America to Europe across the Pacific Ocean.

6 La Salle made many trips from Canada across the Great Lakes area between 1672 – 1673.
He then requested permission to explore the area between Florida, Mexico and Canada. He returned to Canada and built a ship called the Griffon which he and his friend used to explore the Great Lakes.

7 In 1681, he took 40 men and headed to the Mississippi River
In 1681, he took 40 men and headed to the Mississippi River. They followed it in canoes. They reached the Gulf of Mexico in They claimed all the land along the Mississippi River for France. Their return home was made difficult by illness and Indian attacks.

8 A Second Effort to Settle
La Salle returned to France in 1683 but returned to the New World again in 1684 with four ships. He intended to start a colony in the Mississippi River Valley. The expedition lost a vital ship along the way and the rest of the group landed near what is now Houston, Texas.

9 La Salle and his men had to fight off Indians who tried to take their supplies.
Another of their ships returned to France when it’s crew became frustrated with their difficulties. They built a fort and explored the area with their 20 remaining men. They were trying to locate the Mississippi River.

10 Most of the men in this expedition died, only 8 survived
Most of the men in this expedition died, only 8 survived. They returned to the French fort in Canada in 1686. La Salle made one last attempt with 17 men. A few months into the journey, a small part of their group turned against La Salle. This small group shot and killed La Salle on March 19th, 1687.

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