Louis Hennepin

Franciscan explorer, born Ath, Belgium, c.1640; died probably Rome, Italy, 1701. After engaging in missionary work in Flanders and Holland, and braving the dangers of the Franco-Spanish war, he was sent to the Canadian mission in 1675, where for four years he labored in Quebec. He then proceeded to the Iroquois station at Catarokouy, now Kingston, Ontario, and in 1679 joined La Salle's expedition to the West. Leaving the Niagara River, he journeyed to the Detroit, up Lake Huron, through the Straits of Mackinac, and on to Green Bay, thence finally by the Kankakee and Illinois to Fort Crevecreur. From there La Salle returned to Quebec; and Hennepin with two companions explored the upper Mississippi; near Mille Lacs they were captured by the Issati Sioux, who took them on their wanderings to Rum River, and Saint Anthony's Falls, Minnesota. A few months later they were rescued by the explorer Du Lhut and returned by the Wisconsin to Saint Ignace, and on to Quebec. On proceeding to Europe, Hennepin wrote two works descriptive of his travels in which he made the claim, not undisputed, of having visited the lower regions of the Mississippi.

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