Questions about the western extremities of New France

Discussion in 'French & Indian War' started by hyuzu, Sep 17, 2019.

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  1. Sep 17, 2019 #1

    hyuzu

    hyuzu

    hyuzu

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    I'm still somewhat of a beginner to the history of New France, so apologies in advance for my ignorance.

    First question, how far west (prior to 1763) had the French reached in North America? Looking at this map, it seems that the westernmost French forts during this period would have been Fort La Biche and Fort La Jonquiere. I have heard of the La Verendrye brothers and their expedition during the 1740s which took them within sight of the Rockies; were there any expeditions from these forts (or elsewhere) that penetrated farther westward before the end of New France?

    Also, is there any demographic info from any of the westernmost French forts which has survived? I'd be very curious to know anything about what sort of people, and how many, came out to inhabit those fringe outposts, as well as any records which might have survived of their daily lives.
     
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  2. Sep 18, 2019 #2

    Einsiedler

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  3. Sep 18, 2019 #3

    DaveC

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    I have it that some French traders were going up and down the Arkansas River... Not sure about how regularly.
     
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  4. Sep 18, 2019 #4

    Einsiedler

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    Not unbelievable DaveC. Henri de Tonti’s Arkansas Post was at the mouth of the Arkansas. But he died early on. An interesting fellow worth a study. It was hard to keep any of those Frenchmen out of Spanish territory. We have a name of one who frequented the upper Red and I’m sure the Canadian river was not unknown to him. One Jean Baptiste le Gros.

    He was the trader who returned the stolen sacrements from the Mission San Saba raid (1757) to the French garrison commander at Poste des Nachitos. He recognized what they were and traded for them from the Taovayas at their large village on the Red. (These fellows were known to fly the Bourbon flag at their village).
     
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  5. Sep 18, 2019 #5

    Einsiedler

    Einsiedler

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    A quick overview of de Tonti for those who care!

    https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fto19

    Edit,

    Thought I would post a little something about this fellow too. Survivor of the La Salle expedition. While not in the service of the French any longer he did see the rockies and much more before meeting up with the Pawnee during the Villasur expedition 1720.

    https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/flabc

    Again I would mention the Villasur expedition against the Pawnee. Further reading on it might be something in which you would find interesting!

    Bonne chance!
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
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  6. Sep 18, 2019 #6

    hyuzu

    hyuzu

    hyuzu

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    Merci beaucoup @Einsiedler . I have some research to do... ;)
     
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  7. Sep 18, 2019 #7

    Einsiedler

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    I hope those names stear you on a straight course to what you seek! Good hunting!
     
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  8. Sep 22, 2019 #8

    tenngun

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    While exploring where to go the French are known to have penetrated pretty deep pretty early. I don’t have a copy any more, so this is an I think reference, but in ‘men to match my mountains’ the author referenced the French trading with Mandan about 1650, and a party of Mandan coming to Montreal a few years later.
    However in if you can get beaver in Michigan or Tennessee how far west would you go to get some more?
    A real life Jubal Sakett May have wanted to see the other side of the mountain. But why drive down town when you can buy the milk you need at the 7/11 on the corner.
     
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  9. Oct 13, 2019 at 3:16 PM #9

    Einsiedler

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    Some of de la Harpe’s journal has been dispelled a "artistic license" by some historians today, but there are some portions that do ring true and are in all liklihood factual.

    At one point they ran upon an Osage hunting party somewhere on the Canadian river. Most likely present day central Oklahoma. They asked the Osage if the river ever had more water in it. They replied that they hardly ever saw anymore water in it.

    But my fav story is when they reached the Nasoni Caddo village on the Red River, the Nasonis had prepared them a feast of "unicorn"!!!! As they had a whole one spitted and roasting over a fire!!! (Most today believe this was in all liklihood an elk). Why mention a unicorn???? Because the then governor of Louisiana (Bienville or Ponchitrain, I can’t remember which), told de la Harpe he had heard a rumor of their existence in those environs and to keep and eye out for them!!!! Gotta keep the Gov happy and tell him what he wants to hear! LOL!
     
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