Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum
Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum
|Creator||Père Jacques Marquette|
|Context||In 1673, Marquette participated in a French party's exploration of the Mississippi River.|
|Audience||Reverend Father Claude Dablon, Superior of the Missions|
|Purpose||To expand knowledge of the area and to show himself in a favorable light|
Father Jacques Marquette was one of many Jesuit priests to play a key role in France's expansion into North America's interior. Unusually adept at learning Indian languages, he was stationed on Lake Superior when he learned of the Mississippi River from some visiting Illinois Indians.
In the spring of 1673, Marquette left the Great Lakes area with Louis Joliet and a party of Frenchmen. They hoped to find the mouth of the Mississippi and to challenge Spanish claims further South and West. From Green Bay, they paddled up the Fox River and then down the Wisconsin River to the Mississippi, which they followed to the mouth of the Arkansas River, where they were obliged to turn back.
Marquette kept a diary, rewriting passages from memory after the original was lost when his canoe capsized. In this excerpt, Marquette explains why the expedition turned backï¿½and reveals the web of political relations between various Native American groups and Europeans.