Claiming the land

On April 9, 1682, a cross was erected, and the company's record-keeper noted the christening of the new colony, named "Louisiane" in honor of the king.

Account of Cavelier de La Salle's taking possession of Louisiana 
CAOM, C13C 3, f° 28, 9 avril 1682 Account of Cavelier de La Salle's taking possession of Louisiana 
CAOM, C13C 3, f° 28, 9 avril 1682
Account of Cavelier de La Salle's taking possession of Louisiana
CAOM, C13C 3, f° 28, 9 avril 1682

The explorer returned to France, where Louis XIV gave him a warm welcome. Using his own funds, La Salle returned to America to found a colony in Louisiana, sailing in four ships that the king had given him.

Jean Boudriot, Reconstitution ofthe Belle, one of Cavelier de la Salle's ships that was lost in Matagorda Bay in February 1686 
Private collection
Jean Boudriot, Reconstitution ofthe Belle, one of Cavelier de la Salle's ships that was lost in Matagorda Bay in February 1686
Private collection

In 1685, after a stopover in Santa Domingo, La Salle was unable to find the mouth of the Mississippi. He became lost in Galveston Bay, and then in Matagorda Bay in Texas, where two of his ships foundered. La Salle landed and established a log fort, named Saint Louis, at the mouth of the Trinity River.

The murder of de La Salle
© Public domain.  Credit : National Archives of Canada/C-001225
Source: National Archives of Canada.  Taken from the National Library of Canada web site (www.nlc-bnc.ca) In early 1686, leading an expedition north on foot, he accidentally came upon the Mississippi River. Returning to Saint Louis, La Salle was killed by two of his men. The mutineers and their accomplices remained at the fort, while those faithful to La Salle made their way up the Mississippi to New France. Those who remained at Saint Louis were massacred by Indians; one survivor made it to the Spanish territories. He returned in April 1698 to find Fort "Saint Louis du Texas" abandoned.
The murder of de La Salle
© Public domain. Credit : National Archives of Canada/C-001225
Source: National Archives of Canada. Taken from the National Library of Canada web site (www.nlc-bnc.ca)


some of the first travels