A New Discovery of a Vast Country in America

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Author: Louis Hennepin (1626-1704) edited by Reuben Gold Thwaites

Year: 1903

Publisher: A C MCClurg & Company

Place: Chicago


2 volumes. lxiv+[2 blank]+353 pages with frontispiece, folding map and facsimiles. [354]-711 pages with frontispiece folding map, facsimiles, illustrations and index. Octavo (8 1/2" x 6") bound in quarter brown cloth with gilt lettering to spine over beige boards. reprinted from the second London issue of 1698. Introduction, notes and index by Reuben Gold Thwaites. First edition of this publication.

Louis Hennepin was a Belgian Roman Catholic priest and missionary of the Franciscan and an explorer of the interior of North America. At the request of Louis XIV, the Récollets sent four missionaries to New France in May 1675, including Hennepin, accompanied by René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle. In 1676 Hennepin went to the Indian mission at Fort Frontenac, and from there to the Mohawks. In 1678, Hennepin was ordered by his provincial superior to accompany La Salle on an expedition to explore the western part of New France. Hennepin departed in 1679 with La Salle from Quebec City to construct the 45-ton barque Le Griffon, sail through the Great Lakes, and explore the unknown West.

Hennepin was with La Salle at the construction of Fort Crevecoeur (near present-day Peoria, Illinois) in January 1680. In February, La Salle sent Hennepin and two others as an advance party to search for the Mississippi River. The party followed the Illinois River to its junction with the Mississippi. Shortly thereafter, Hennepin was captured by a Sioux war party and carried off for a time into what is now the state of Minnesota. In September 1680, thanks to Daniel Greysolon, Sieur Du Lhut, Hennepin and the others were given canoes and allowed to leave, eventually returning to Quebec. Hennepin returned to France and was never allowed by his order to return to North America.

Two great waterfalls were brought to Europe's attention by Hennepin: Niagara Falls, with the most voluminous flow of any in North America, and the Saint Anthony Falls in what is now Minneapolis, the only natural waterfall on the Mississippi River. In 1683, he published a book about Niagara Falls called A New Discovery. (Wikipedia)


Boards scuffed, corners gently bumped else very good.

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