La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West by Francis Parkman

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René-Robert Cavelier de La Salle (1643-1687), one of the most legendary explorers of the New World, is best known for claiming the entire Louisiana Territory for France in 1682. Two years later, he was given the order to colonize and govern the great expanse of territory between Lake Michigan and the Gulf of Mexico. He set out from France with four ships but never reached his destination. Landing somewhere in East Texas, he and his men were ravaged by disease, weakened by hard labor, even gored by buffalo as they tried to locate the mouth of the Mississippi River, which was obscured by the sandy sameness of the Gulf coastline. In 1687, on a third attempt to locate the river by an overland route, La Salle was murdered by his own men in the desolate country between the Trinity and Brazos rivers. His body was never found.

First published in 1869, La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West is the vivid, richly detailed story of that final grim expedition, told by America's foremost historian.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Francis Parkman

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Early in his youth, this Boston-born historian was infected with what he called (in language offensive to today's readers) "Injuns on the brain." For the rest of his life, he dedicated himself to writing what he had called at the age of 18 "a history of the American forest." In 1846, following the completion of his studies at Harvard College, he set out in company with a cousin on an expedition from St. Louis over the Oregon Trail to Fort Laramie, Wyoming, a journey that brought him into close contact with the Lakota Indians. Back in Boston, he turned the journal that he had kept on the trail into a series of sketches that were published in the Knickerbocker Magazine and afterwards as a book, The California and Oregon Trail, Being Sketches of Prairie and Rocky Mountain Life (1849), now better known by the abbreviated title of a later revised edition, The Oregon Trail. By this time, Parkman had well underway the historical work that would occupy him during the rest of his life, an account of the French and English in North America, the first installment of which was his History of the Conspiracy of Pontiac and the War of the North American Tribes against the English Colonies, published in 1851.
Published October 31, 2000 by Modern Library. 353 pages
Genres: History, Biographies & Memoirs, Education & Reference, Travel, Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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