Family tree of René-Robert CAVELIER DE LA SALLE

Explorer - 16th-18th century

FrenchBorn René-Robert CAVELIER DE LA SALLE

French explorer and fur trader in North America

Born on November 21, 1643 in Rouen , France

Died on March 19, 1697 in Navasota, Nouvelle-France , Canada

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He explored the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada, the Mississippi River, and the Gulf of Mexico. He is best known for an early 1682 expedition in which he canoed the lower Mississippi River from the mouth of the Illinois River to the Gulf of Mexico and claimed the entire Mississippi River basin for France.

La Salle is often credited with being the first European to traverse the Ohio River, and sometimes the Mississippi as well. It has now been established that Joliet and Marquette preceded him on the Mississippi in their journey of 1673–74, and the existing historical evidence does not indicate that La Salle ever reached the Ohio/Allegheny Valley.


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Geographical origins

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