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see what Georgia has become, and better still, see its probable future, he would feel that he could not have chosen more wisely.
130. Summary. — Georgia, the last of the thirteen colonies, and one of the richest in its natural advantages, was settled by English emigrants brought over by General Oglethorpe, as a work of charity. One chief object of the colony was the raising of silk. That, however, was unsuccessful. In the outset the settlers had no power of self-government, and the land laws caused much discontent. Slavery and the importation of spirituous liquors were forbidden, but later, both were allowed, the people got the management of the colony, in considerable measure, and Georgia opened a large trade with the West Indies.
THE FRENCH EXPLORATION OF THE WEST.
131. French Exploration of the Great Lakes and the Mississippi Valley; the Jesuit Missionaries. — But while the English colonists had been getting firm possession of the coast from Maine to Georgia, the French in Canada' had not been sitting still. In fact, it was they, and not the English, who were the explorers of the West. The first Europeans who dared to push their way into the wilderness were Jesuit missionaries, who had come here to convert the Indians. In their zeal for this work they braved all dangers — enduring hunger, cold, and torture without a murmur. Long before William Penn's emigrants had felled the first tree for the first log cabin in Philadelphia, the Jesuits had reached the western shore of Lake Michigan (1669),
1 See Paragraph 50.
2 Jesuit missionaries: missionaries belonging to the Roman Catholic order of the Jesuits, or “Company of Jesus." The order was founded in 1540, for the double purpose of checking the spread of Protestantism, and of carrying the Catholic faith to the heathen. The French Jesuits accomplished a great work among the Indians of Canada and the West, but made but little impression on the ferocious Iroquois, who captured several of the missionaries and put them to death with horrible tortures.
3 Dates so enclosed need not be committed to memory.
JOLIET AND MARQUETTE.
and had planted missions among the Indians at Mackinaw, Sault Ste. Marie, and Green Bay.
132. Joliet and Marquette on the Mississippi. — A few years later (1673) Joliet, a famous French explorer and furtrader, and Father Marquette, a Jesuit priest, set out from Mackinaw to find a great river which the Indians told them lay west of Lake Michigan. Making their way in birch-bark canoes to the head of Green Bay, they paddled up the Fox River to a place which they called Portage," — now Portage City,— then carrying their canoes across, a distance of less than two miles, they embarked on the Wisconsin River. Borne by the current, they dropped down the Wisconsin until, on a beautiful day in June, they floated out on the broad, shining bosom of the upper Mississippi. The sight of it was enough: they knew that they had found that mighty stream which the Indians called the “Father of Waters' - at the point where the voyagers reached it, it is full two miles from bank to bank. Turning their canoes southward, they let the river bear them where it would. Day after day they kept on their silent journey; now gliding by castle-shaped cliffs, now coming into the sunlight of open prairies, now entering the long shadow cast by miles of unbroken forest. Thus they drifted on, past the muddy torrent of the Missouri, past the mouth of the beautiful Ohio. In about three weeks the explorers came to the spot where De Soto had crossed the river more than a hundred years before; then pushing on, they reached the mouth of the Arkansas. There the Frenchmen stopped and feasted with friendly Indians. The Indians warned them not to go further south, telling them that the tribes below were hostile to strangers. Joliet and Marquette took their advice, and after resting for some time with the hospitable red men, they got into their canoes and patiently paddled their way back. It was a tremendous piece of up-hill work, that battling for hundreds of miles against the powerful current, but they felt fully repaid for the labor. They had not followed the Mississippi to the Gulf, as they intended; but who will say that they had not made a good beginning?
1 Mackinaw, Michigan, at the northwestern extremity of Lake Huron. Here is Fort Mackinaw. Sault Ste. Marie (usually pronounced Soo Sent Mā'ry), on the river of that name, about fourteen miles from the outlet of Lake Superior. Green Bay, Wisconsin, on western shore of Lake Michigan. See Map, page 126.
2 Joliet (pronounced in the United States, Joʻle-et): Marquette (Mar-ket') : both names frequently occur in the West, especially in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois, where counties, cities, and towns have been named for the French explorers.
3 See Paragraph 36. 4 Portage: a French word, meaning a carrying-place, because at such points canoes or goods were carried across from one stream to another. See Map, page 126.
5 See Paragraph 22, page 29.
133. La Salle reaches the Mouth of the Mississippi. Six years later (1679) La Salle, the greatest of the French explorers, a man of active brain and iron will, set out from Montreal to complete the work of Joliet and Marquette. He had already explored a good part of the Ohio, and he now started with high hopes on this still more important expedition. On the shore of Lake Erie, not far above Niagara, he built the first sailing-vessel ever launched on the Great Lakes. In her he sailed to Mackinaw ; then, sending the vessel back for supplies, La Salle and his companions went in canoes to the St. Joseph River, near the southeastern corner of Lake Michigan. There they built a fort; then, crossing over to the head waters of the Kankakee, a tributary of the Illinois, they descended that river to the point where Peoria now stands. There they built a second fort. Leaving a small garrison to hold this position, La Salle, though it was in the depth of winter, went back on foot to Canada 5 a journey of a thousand miles — to get the supplies which had failed to reach
1 They worked their way up the river to the Illinois, then up that river and across to Lake Michigan.
2 La Salle (Lah Sal'). 3 La Salle went from Mackinaw to Green Bay, and then crossed over to the St. Joseph River, Michigan.
4 La Salle called the second fort Crèvecour, the Broken Heart, a name generally supposed to refer to his misfortunes there.
5 He went back to Fort Frontenac (now Kingston), on the Canada shore of Lake Ontario.