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Facts about Robert LaSalle for kids


René-Robert Cavelier was born on November 21, 1643, in Rouen, France. René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, or Robert de La Salle was a French explorer. He explored the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada, the Mississippi River, and the Gulf of Mexico.

  • La Salle led an expedition in 1669 in which he is alleged to have reached the Ohio River and followed it downstream to as far as what is now Louisville, Kentucky.
  • The Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online states that when the La Salle party met with a group of Seneca Indians south of present-day Rochester, New York, they were discouraged by the Senecas from continuing into their territory.
  • Consequently the party continued along Lake Ontario to Burlington Bay, where they met Adrien, the brother of Louis Jolliet, returning from a fur trading expedition on the Great Lakes.
  • On July 12, 1673, the Governor of New France, Louis de Buade de Frontenac, arrived at the mouth of the Cataraqui River to meet with leaders of the Five Nations of the Iroquois to encourage them to trade with the French.
  • Originally the fort was named Fort Cataraqui but was later renamed Fort Frontenac by de La Salle in honor of La Salle’s patron.
  • The fort was also meant to be a bulwark against the English and Dutch, who were competing with the French for control of the fur trade.
  • The storehouse and stockade were used to shift supplies from Fort Frontenac into smaller boats, (canoes or bateaux) so they could continue up the lower shallow and swiftly flowing Niagara River to what is now the location of Lewiston, New York.
  • Le Griffon, a seven-cannon, 45-ton barque, was constructed on the upper Niagara River at or near Cayuga Creek and launched on August 7, 1679.
  • There they waited for Tonti and his party, who had crossed the peninsula on foot.
  • There they built Fort Crèvecoeur, which later led to the development of present-day Peoria, Illinois.
  • They founded Fort Saint Louis, on Garcitas Creek in Victoria County, Texas.
  • During another search for the Mississippi River, La Salle’s remaining 36 men mutinied, near the site of present Navasota, Texas.
  • Many places were named in La Salle’s honor, as was the LaSalle automobile brand.