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incursion, the Miamies had sided with the Iroquois, and it was the effort of La Salle to break the bond of this connection, and to unite in an alliance all the neighboring tribes in that region against so formidable an enemy, who had no good will for any of them, whose policy was to divide and conquer, and who, by sowing dissensions among them, designed only to subdue them all in detail, and then to plunder and destroy their towns. He sent a message likewise to the Illinois, advising them to commit no hostilities against the Miamies, but to join in this league of peace and self-defence. All parties listened with apparent acquiescence to his counsels; and, whatever may have been the result, it was evidently the most politic scheme he could adopt, for his future operations would be obstructed, perhaps defeated, by hostilities between the tribes through which he must pass.
It being impossible to execute his plan with the small force now under his command, it was necessary again to seek new recruits and resources in Canada. Towards the end of May, 1681, he left the Miamis River, and, after a prosperous voyage, entered the harbor of Mackinac about the middle of June. We need not describe the joy that was mutually felt, when Tonty and his companions here met their commander They recounted to each other the
strange events, disasters, and dangers, that had thronged around them since their separation; and La Salle, in particular, set before them, in melancholy array, the dark catalogue of misfortunes and disappointments, which had assailed him at every step ; yet, says Father Zenobe, with all the calmness and indifference of a man who relates only ordinary occurrences, and with the same tone of firmness and self-reliance, of hope and confidence in the future, that he had expressed at the beginning of his enterprise. The experience, which he had so dearly bought, seemed only to impart a new impulse to his resolution and ardor.
As there was no occasion for delay at this place, they all embarked in a few days for Fort Frontenac
Hennepin's Voyage up the Mississippi.--His pretended Discovery of the Mouth of that River.
Grounds for disbelieving his Account. Sources whence he drew his Materials.
We will now interrupt the thread of our narrative to say a word of Father Hennepin, whom
we left with his two Frenchmen, Picard du Gay and Michel Ako, in a canoe at Fort Crèveceur, departing on a voyage of discovery. His instructions from the Sieur de la Salle were, that he should ascend the Mississippi, and explore the sources of that river.
On the seventh day, he found himself at the mouth of the Illinois, and, after waiting a short time for the Mississippi to become clear of floating ice, he turned his course northward. No incident worthy of remark is related till the 11th of April, when he was somewhere in the vicinity of the Wisconsin, probably above the mouth of that river. Here he was surprised by the sudden appearance of a large body of natives, in thirty-three canoes, who came fiercely down upon him, and took him and his two men prisoners. They were treated rudely at first, and some of their goods were seized; but the calumet was smoked the next day, and from that time they appear to have met with as good usage as the savages were accustomed to bestow upon uninvited guests. They all returned up the river, and in nineteen days the grand cataract opened upon their sight, now seen for the first time by European eyes, and named by Hennepin, in honor of his patron saint, the Falls of St. Anthony. Proceeding thence by land about one hundred and eighty
miles up the River St. Francis, which was likewise named by him in honor of the patron saint of his order, they came to the villages inhabited by these Indians, whom he calls the Issati and Nadouessioux, since known as the Sioux.
Many adventures are related as having happened during his residence with these wild tribes, showing their manners and habits of life. He speaks of himself and his comrades as being in captivity, but he does not inform us wherein their liberty was restrained. He was permitted to be absent for several weeks with one of his men, on a voyage
down the river to the Wisconsin, and Picard was allowed to retain his sword, pistols, and powder. There is no evidence that they could not have gone away when they pleased, at least after the first few days of their captivity; no complaint that they were deprived of food or raiment, or compelled to endure greater hardships than the Indians themselves. They remained in the villages, and in wandering with the savages, about three months, when they were agreeably surprised by meeting a party of five Frenchmen, under the command of the Sieur du Luth, who had come into the country by the way of Lake Superior.
Luth was a
man of courage and enterprise, who had penetrated
these remote regions for the purpose rather of trade than of discovery. He prevailed on Hennepin, Picard, and Ako, to go with him to the villages, where they all stayed till near the end of September, 1680; and then they set off together on their return to Canada, being nine persons in company.
Descending the Mississippi to the Wisconsin, they took the route, that was then well known, up the Wisconsin and down the Fox River to Green Bay, and arrived at Mackinac in the early part of November, about eight months from the date of Hennepin's departure from Fort Crèvecaur. If they had arrived a few weeks earlier, they would have met the Sieur de la Salle at Mackinac, on his way to the Illinois country. Hennepin went to Quebec, and sailed for France, where he published, three or four years afterwards, an account of his travels and discoveries, under the title of a Description of Louisiana.*
Such is the substance of his narrative, as contained in this first work. It is singularly deficient
* This work was written and printed some time before its publication. The license is dated September 10th, 1682; the printing was completed January 5th, 1683; and, in his preface to the Nouvelle Découverte, he says it was published in 1684, though some copies bear the date of the year preceding