Robert de La Salle Fact Sheet: Who was Robert de La Salle? The following short biography and fact sheet provides interesting facts about the life, times and history of Robert de La Salle.
Robert de La Salle Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1643 - 1687 *** Full Name: Robert de La Salle *** Occupation: French Explorer *** Date of Birth: Robert de La Salle was born on November 21st, 1643 *** Place of Birth: Robert de La Salle was born in Rouen, Normandy, France *** Family background: His father was Jean Cavelier and his mother was Catherine Geest. The family were very comfortably well off and he also had a brother Jean who became a Sulpician priest *** Early life and childhood: He grew up in France *** Education: Robert de La Salle was very keen on science and nature and was educated in the Jesuit religious order ***
Robert de La Salle Fact 1: Robert de La Salle was born on November 21st 1643 and during the 17th century period in history when Europeans began to colonize the Americaís in earnest, the Ming Dynasty began to collapse, in the Near East, the Persian, Ottoman and Mughal empires were on the rise and many innovations were being made in science, medicine, technology and industry.
Robert de La Salle Fact 2: As a result of his choice of religion he was forced to reject the legacy of his father as a result of joining the Jesuits.
Robert de La Salle Fact 3: He was almost destitute as he travelled as a prospective colonist to North America.
Robert de La Salle Fact 4: He set out from France in 1666 heading for New France with the intention of joining his brother Jean who had made the journey the year before.
Robert de La Salle Fact 5: Prior to his departure he had been granted a seigneurie on land on the Island of Montreal in the West which would become known as Lachine.
Robert de La Salle Fact 6: Once he arrived he began to issue grants for land.
Robert de La Salle Fact 7: He set up a village and also started to learn the languages of the indigenous people, mainly the Mohawk in his immediate area.
Robert de La Salle Fact 8: Once able to communicate with the Mohawk they told him about a great river which they called the Ohio and which was said to flow in the Mississippi River.
Robert de La Salle Fact 9: He began planning his expedition and also thought the river would flow into the Gulf of Mexico, he anticipated being able to find a western passage route to China.
Robert de La Salle Fact 10: He arranged to see the Governor, Daniel Courcelle and the Intendant, Jean Talon to get permission to go ahead with his plans.
Robert de La Salle Fact 11: In order to raise the capital for his venture, he sold his land and interest in Lachine.
Robert de La Salle Fact 12: He would name the area Louisiana in honor of King Louis XIV of France in 1682.
Robert de La Salle Fact 13: In July of the following year Louis de Buade de Frontenac, the Governor of New France and travelled to the mouth of the Cataraqui River. His intention was to meet the leaders of the Five Nations of the Iroquois in the hopes of encouraging trade between them.
Robert de La Salle Fact 14: Having exchanged gifts La Salle led Frontenacís men in constructing a rough wooden palisade. The reason for the structure was so that they could control the very lucrative fur trade in the western area of the Great Lakes Basin. The fort was also to safeguard against the Dutch and English who were in completion with the French for the control over the fur trade.
Robert de La Salle Fact 15: Due to the fact he had such powerful friends he had been able to secure letters of nobility not only for him but for his descendants as well.
Robert de La Salle Fact 16: Together with support from Frontenac he was able to secure not only fur trade concessions with permission to develop frontier outposts but also, with the title of nobility, he was afforded more privileges.
Robert de La Salle Fact 17: In 1682 he assembled a expedition party and set off from Fort Crevecoeur with a crew of Indians and Frenchmen who canoed down the Mississippi River. He would name the basin of Mississippi La Louisiane in honor of Louise XIV.
Robert de La Salle Fact 18: He was able to establish another stronghold he called Fort Prudhomme on what would become Memphis, Tennessee in 1682. The following year following the same route he established Fort Saint Louis.
Robert de La Salle Fact 19: Robert de La Salle was killed on March 19th 1687 while searching for the Mississippi River. His body was not recovered.
Influence & Legacy of Robert de La Salle: His greatest legacy was in the network of fortifications he managed to establish along the great lakes, Illinois, Ohio and the Mississippi rivers that would also come to define the French territories.