Marquette & Joliet

Welcome to our Jacques Marquette & Louis Joliet Webpage!

Personal Background:

Jacques Marquette was born on June 10, 1637 in Laon, an old French province. He became a Jesuit novitiate, a kind of priest, when he was seventeen. Then he founded many church outposts to convert the natives to Christianity. He met up with Joilet and went on a mission with him. He finally died of a illness in 1675 at the age of thirty-eight.

Louis Joliet was born in 1645 in Quebec, Canada. He studied in Europe, and later returned to Canada to search for copper. He was a trader and trapper for several years, then he became an expert cartographer.

Country Represented: France

Goals of the Explorer: To convert the Indians to Christianity, and to find out if the area would be suitable to establish a trading post in.

Goals of the Explorer’s Patron: To build an empire in the New World, for France, that would control the main trading routes and to find out if the Mississippi River flowed into the Atlantic Ocean.

Ships/Supplies: They used two birch bark canoes, and brought many various items from France to trade with the Indians. They also brought some salted meat and bisquits.

Route: They started in Fort St. Ignace on Lake Michigan, then down the Mississippi river until they came to where the Arkansas met the Mississippi. They stopped there because they were told by a native tribe that there was a Spanish settlement farther on and they didnt want to risk being captured. On their way back to Canada, they traveled the Illinois River.

Hardships: Marquette became ill on the return journey and later died of that illness. They also had a canoe tip over and spill its contents of cargo, including people, into the river where Marquette and the men in his boat waited for four hours to be rescued.

Contact with Indians: Most of the contact they had with Indians, including the Akensae, was friendly because they had never come into contact with many white men and still thought that they were friendly. Most of the tribes traded with the explorers, gave them information about the river, and one tribe even helped the explorers carry their canoes for a short while.

Time Frame: 1673-1675 on their first voyage

Results: They learned the whereabouts of some Spanish colonies and mapped out a major portion of the Mississippi River. They also met their patorn’s goal!


Jacques Marquette, St., Kevin Knight, 1999

The Explorers, Museum of New France, 9-29-00

Jacques Marquette, Michigan Historical Center,12-28-99

Louis Joliet, Richard E. Bohlander, 1999

Office of the Curator1-15-97

Created by: Kyle & Alyssa

Date Created: 9-29-00

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