« AnteriorContinuar »
to act unless in pressing danger. Presently we heard a drum beat in the village, and the cries and howlings with which these barbarians are accustomed to make attacks. We waited three or four hours, and, as we could not encamp in this marsh, and seeing no one, and no longer hearing anything, we embarked.
An hour afterwards, we came to the village of Maheouala, lately destroyed, and containing dead bodies and marks of blood. Two leagues below this place we encamped. We continued our voyage till the 6th, when we discovered three channels by which the River Colbert discharges itself into the sea. We landed on the bank of the most western channel, about three leagues from its mouth. On the 7th, M. de la Salle went to reconnoitre the shores of the neighboring sea, and M. de Tonty likewise examined the great middle channel. They found these two outlets beautiful, large, and deep. On the 8th, we reascended the river, a little above its confluence with the sea, to find a dry place, beyond the reach of inundations. The elevation of the North Pole was here about twentyseven degrees. Here we prepared a column and a cross, and to the said column were affixed the arms of France, with this inscription;
LOUIS LE GRAND, ROI DE FRANCE ET DE NA
VARRE, RÈGNE; LE NEUVIÈME AVRIL, 1682.
The whole party, under arms, chanted the Te Deum, the Exaudiat, the Domine salvum fac Regem; and then, after a salute of firearms and cries of Vive le Roi, the column was erected by M. de la Salle, who, standing near it, said, with a loud voice, in French;
“In the name of the most high, mighty, invincible, and victorious Prince, Louis the Great, by the Grace of God King of France and of Navarre, Fourteenth of that name, this ninth day of April, one thousand six hundred and eighty-two, I, in virtue of the commission of his Majesty which I hold in my hand, and
be seen by all whom it may concern, have taken, and do now take, in the name of his Majesty and of his successors to the crown, possession of this country of Louisiana, the seas, harbors, ports, bays, adjacent straits; and all the nations, people, provinces, cities, towns, villages, mines, minerals, fisheries, streams, and rivers, comprised in the extent of the said Louisiana, from the mouth of the great river St. Louis, on the eastern side, otherwise called Ohio, Alighin, Sipore, or Chukagona, and this with the consent of the Chaouanons, Chikachas, and other people dwelling therein, with whom we have made alliance; as also along the River Colbert, or Missis. sippi, and rivers which discharge themselves therein, from its source beyond the country of the Kious or Nadouessious, and this with their consent, and with the consent of the Motantees, Ilinois, Mesigameas, Natches, Koroas, which are the most considerable nations dwelling therein, with whom also we have made alliance either by ourselves, or by others in our behalf;* as far as its mouth at the sea, or
* There is an obscurity in this enumeration of places and Indian nations, which may be ascribed to an ignorance of the geography of the country; but it seems to be the design of the Sieur de la Salle to take possession of the whole territory watered by the Mississippi from its mouth to its source, and by the streams flowing into it on both sides.
Gulf of Mexico, about the twenty-seventh degree of the elevation of the North Pole, and also to the mouth of the River of Palms; upon the assurance, which we have received from all these nations, that we are the first Europeans who have descended or ascended the said River Colbert ; hereby protesting against all those, who may in future undertake to invade any or all of these countries, people, or lands, above described, to the prejudice of the right of his Majesty, acquired by the consent of the nations herein named. Of which, and of all that can be needed, I hereby take to witness those who hear me, and demand an act of the Notary, as required by law."
To which the whole assembly responded with shouts of Vive le Roi, and with salutes of firearms. Moreover, the said Sieur de la Salle caused to be buried at the foot of the tree, to which the cross was attached, a leaden plate, on one side of which were engraved the arms of France, and the following Latin inscription.
LVDOVICVS MAGNVS REGNAT.
NONO APRILIS CIO IOC LXXXII. ROBERTVS CAVELIER, CVM DOMINO DE TONTY, LEGATO, R. P. ZENOBIO MEMBRÉ, RECOLLECTO, ET VIGINTI GALLIS, PRIMVS HOC FLVMEN, INDE AB ILINEORVM PAGO, ENAVIGAVIT, EJVSQVE OSTIVM FECIT PERVIVM, NONO APRILIS ANNI CIO 1°C LXXXII.
After which, the Sieur de la Salle said, that his Majesty, as eldest son of the Church, would annex no country to his crown, without making it his chief care to establish the Christian religion therein, and that its symbol must now be planted; which was accordingly done at once by erecting a cross, before which the Vexilla and the Domine salvum fac Regem were sung. Whereupon the ceremony was concluded with cries of Vive le Roi.
Of all and every of the above, the said Sieur de la Salle having required of us an instrument, we have delivered to him the same, signed by us, and by the undersigned witnesses, this ninth day of April, one thousand six hundred and eighty-two.
Notary. DE LA SALLE. P. ZENOBE, Recollect, Missionary. HENRY DE Tonty. FRANÇOIS DE BOISRONDET. JEAN BOURDON. SIEUR D'AUTRAY. JAQUES CauchOIS. PIERRE You. GILLES MEUCRET. JEAN MICHEL, Surgeon. JEAN Mas. JEAN DULIGNON. NICOLAS DE LA SALLE.
OF THE CHEVALIER DE TONTY TO THE COUNT DE
PONTCHARTRAIN, MINISTER OF MARINE.
MONSEIGNEUR, HENRY DE TOnty humbly represents to your Highness, that he entered the military service as a cadet, and was employed in that capacity in the years 1668 and 1669; and that he afterwards served as a midshipman four years, at Marseilles and Toulon, and made seven campaigns, that is, four on board ships of war, and three in the galleys. While at Messina, he was made a captain, and, in the interval, lieutenant of the first company of a regiment of horse. When the enemy attacked the post of Libisso, his right hand was shot away by a grenade, and he was taken prisoner, and conducted to Metasse, where he was detained six months, and then exchanged for the sons of the governor of that place. He then went to France, to obtain some favor from his Majesty, and the King granted him three hundred livres. He returned to the service in Sicily, made the campaign as a volunteer in the galleys, and, when the troops were discharged, being unable to obtain the employment he solicited at court, on account of the general
* This paper is translated from the original, deposited in the archives of the Marine Department at Paris. It is without date, but was probably written at Quebec in the year 1690. Frontenac was at that time Governor-General of Canada.