René Robert Cavelier La Salle, Sieur de

(1643—1687) French explorer

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French explorer in North America. He went to Canada in 1666 and in 1682, after exploring the Great Lakes, descended the Mississippi River to its mouth. He took possession of the whole valley, and named it Louisiana in honour of his king, Louis XIV. On his return to Paris he was appointed Viceroy of North America and given authority to govern the whole region between Lake Michigan and the Gulf of Mexico. He set out with four ships for the Gulf but could not find the mouth of the Mississippi. The ships separated and he and his men landed on the Texas shore and attempted to find the way overland. Eventually the men became mutinous and murdered him. It was another twelve years before the French established a settlement in Louisiana.

Subjects: World History.

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