The French Come to Louisiana Chapter 5 – 1
French Louisiana Chapter 5
The French established their 1st trading posts not on the Gulf Coast but in the cold Canadian north. • Canadian traders wanted to expand their trading area by finding a river that would take them to China or to the Indies. This water route is known as the NW Passage.
A. Hernando De Soto • De Soto and approximately 600 men landed in Florida to search for gold. • They wandered across the southeastern United States and treated Indians brutally as they hunted for riches. • De Soto discovered the Mississippi River, crossed into Arkansas, discovered Hot Springs, and then traveled down the Ouachita River. • De Soto died from fever in southeast Arkansas. • Few of his men survived, and they had no gold or riches. • Europeans did not send another expedition for over 100 years.
Joliet and Marquette set out to explore the MS River. • Their determination took them as far down the Mississippi as the mouth of the Arkansas River. • There, at an Indian village, they learned that traveling further downriver could be dangerous. • Unwilling to risk an encounter w/ armed Indians or Spanish soldiers, the French exploring party returned N.
Robert La Salle had long dreamed of finding a water route to China. In search of this water route, he joined forces w/ Henri Tonti. • Tonti had lost his hand in a battle. B/c of this, he was a hero among the Indians. • The Indians called him Iron Hand • LaSalle and Tonti set out from Canada into the upper MS River. Eventually, they reached the mouth of the MS River.
Henri Tonti Robert La Salle
La Salle claimed all the land drained by the MS River for his king, Louis XIV. He honored the king by naming the land Louisiana, which means, “land of Louis.” • The king rewarded him w/ a small fleet of ships and 300 colonists and directed him to establish a new colony.
La Salle’s return trip, however, was not a successful one. After sailing into the Gulf of Mexico, La Salle missed the mouth of the MS River and ended up in TX. • The colonists were frightened and frustrated. Many died at sea and more died in TX. The journey was difficult and ended horribly when some of the colonist murdered La Salle.
La Salle did not establish the 1st French colony on the Gulf Coast. However, his claim in the name of France set off a chain of events that led to the first French colony. • When Spain and Britain learned of French’s claim, they reacted immediately. • Both Spain and Britain rushed to build forts near the mouth of the MS River.
When Louis XIV heard of these plans, he quickly wanted to establish a fort near the mouth of the MS River. • The king chose Iberville to establish this fort and set up the 1st French colony on the Gulf Coast. Iberville chose his brother, Bienville to accompany him on the expedition.
The king charged Iberville w/ establishing a base from which to control the mouth of the Mississippi River. • He 1st had to explore the land near the river and choose a location for his headquarters. • When Iberville sailed into the Gulf, he found that the Spanish held the best harbor near the MS River. As a result, he continued to sail westward.
They built a few huts for a temporary camp then set out to find the mouth of the Mississippi River. • Iberville and Bienville discovered what they had believed to be the mouth of the Mississippi River but wasn’t too sure. • To make sure that this was the Mississippi, the brothers questioned the local Indians. The Indians gave the brothers a letter Tonti left La Salle, but he never returned to receive it. The brothers had found the mouth of the river.
The mouth of the river, however, was a poor location for the fort. The Gulf Coast had better harbors and land for a colony. • The brothers built the fort near Biloxi and named it Fort Maurepas.
Fort Maurepas • http://www.louisiana101.com/rr_fortmaurepas.html • What problems do you think existed at Fort Maurepas?
C. Baton Rouge and Pontchartrain • Iberville and a group of Indian guides who were helping him found a red pole sticking out of the ground. • Iberville called the area Baton Rouge, or “red stick.” • Iberville and his guides also found a shortcut to the Gulf and the largest lake he had ever seen. Iberville named the lake Pontchartrain after his superior, Count Pontchartrain. • Iberville named the smaller lake after his son, Count Maurepas, and established Fort Maurepas, the first French settlement in Louisiane. • Twice, Iberville had to return to France for supplies.
An Uneasy Time • When the fort was finished, Iberville returned to France for more supplies, soldiers, and settlers. While he was gone, the fort lacked food and supplies. The settlers were also afraid of a Chickasaw attack, who were friends of the British. • While Iberville was in France, Bienville explored the river.
While on the trip, a British ship approached his tiny ship and informed him that they were there to establish a colony on the Mississippi River. • Bienville informed him that France controlled the Mississippi region and hinted that he would attack if the British did not leave peacefully. Also, he informed them that further up the river were many French ships ready to attack invaders. The British believed Bienville’s bluff and turned around and went home.
This has come to be known as the English Turn and it’s located S. of New Orleans. Bienville’s action prevented the British from establishing a colony. • The local Indians also presented a challenge to the French. The Indians were very friendly to the French; however, the French conquered them and made them their slaves.
Coureurs de Bois • Coureurs de bois, means runners of the woods. • These men were hunters and traders who depended on the Indians to keep them alive. • Many coureurs de bois dressed like Indians, followed their customs, and married their women.
Voyageurs • Voyageurs made their livings paddling canoes and other boas for explorers and traders. • These men were mostly Canadians and were very strong. • Voyageurs dressed much like pirates and were rowdy colorful characters.
C. The Pelican Girls • The Pelican Girls were 23 young women sent from Paris to marry the early explorers and help the population grow.
Chp. 5-1 Activity • Use the U.S. map & markers to draw the routes of the early explorers (Desoto, Joliet & Marquette, LaSalle & Iberville) • Use the LA map & markers to draw the routes of Iberville. P. 102-103 • Homework: Create a pyramid on an explorer & list accomplishments of Iberville & Bienville
Louisiana as a Proprietorship Chapter 5 – 2
Mercantilism • During Louisiana’s colonial period, its economy was based of the economic theory of mercantilism. • Mercantilism is when a colony provided raw materials to the mother country and in turn, that country made products and sold it back to the colony. • For many years, it was actually against the law for people in Louisiana to trade with other countries.
In reality, however, mercantilism never worked very well in Louisiana. • Many colonists realized it was easier and cheaper to trade illegally with the Spanish. • This illegal trading was known as smuggling.
Antoine Crozat • France had just fought a war w/ Spain and was almost bankrupt and could not really afford LA. However, France needed the colony as a buffer against Britain. • France could keep the colony if a new source of funding could be found. King Louis XIV decided to try the proprietary plan. • A proprietary colony is when a person or group control the colony but they had to follow the laws of that country they received the land from.
The French gov’t gave the proprietorship of LA to Antoine Crozat. Crozat selected Cadillac as the new governor of LA. He was famous for finding Detroit. • Cadillac had difficulties as a leader: • Offended Indians • Did not have a personality • Could not handle conflicts w/ gov’t officials • Cadillac did, however, establish the Superior Council. The Superior Council was a group that helped govern the colony. Also, he suggest they make money by selling indigo and tobacco.
Another of Cadillac’s positive actions was selecting St. Denis to establish Natchitoches.
**Marie Therese Coin Coin (Related to Mrs. Metoyer’s husband.Read more about it on page 108) Melrose Plantation