René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, or Robert de La Salle (November 21, 1643 – March 19, 1687) was a French explorer. He explored the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada, the Mississippi River, and the Gulf of Mexico. La Salle claimed the entire Mississippi River basin for France.
René-Robert Cavelier was born on November 21, 1643, in Rouen, France. When Cavelier was younger he enjoyed science and nature. As a man, he studied with the Jesuit religious order and became a member after taking initial vows in 1660. At his request on March 27, 1667, after he was in Canada, he was released from the Society of Jesus after citing "moral weaknesses." Although he left the order, never took final vows in it, and later became hostile to it, historians sometimes described him incorrectly as a priest or a cleric.
La Salle never married. He had an older brother named Jean who was a Sulpician priest.
Required to reject his father's legacy when he joined the Jesuits, La Salle was nearly destitute when he traveled as a prospective colonist to North America. He sailed for New France in the spring of 1666. His brother Jean, a Sulpician priest, had moved there the year before. La Salle was granted a seigneurie on land at the western end of the Island of Montreal, which became known as Lachine. (This was apparently from the French la Chine, meaning China. Some sources say the name referred to La Salle's desire to find a route to China, though the evidence for this claim is unclear and has been disputed).
La Salle immediately began to issue land grants, set up a village and learn the languages of the native peoples, mostly Mohawk in this area. The Mohawk told him of a great river, called the Ohio, which flowed into the Mississippi River. Thinking the river flowed into the Gulf of Mexico, La Salle began to plan for expeditions to find a western passage to China. He sought and received permission from Governor Daniel Courcelle and Intendant Jean Talon to embark on the enterprise. He sold his interests in Lachine to finance the venture.
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Few men achieve the critical eminence that has shaped the course of history or that will shape the future. Robert LaSalle is one of those men.
Born in Rouen, France on November 21,1643, LaSalle was 17 when he became a member of the Jesuits(a strict Roman Catholic religious order) but was removed after only 7 years because of moral decrepitude. By this time, LaSalle was 23 and broke. That's when he decided to leave France in hopes of becoming a colonist in the North American territory. LaSalle set sail for Canada ( at that time called "New France").
LaSalle's brother Jean, who was a priest in the territory helped LaSalle gain a fief (land held in exchange for service during the middle ages) at the Island of Montreal later known as LaChine( "China") due to LaSalle's desire to find a western water route to China.
LaSalle governed this territory. He issued land grants, set up villages, and learned the customs and languages of the Indians. These Indians told LaSalle about great rivers and passages that flowed into the Gulf of Mexico.
LaSalle began dreaming of expeditions that would establish a western passageway to China. He asked for and received permission to pursue this venture. Soon, he sold everything he owned and set off on his journey into the unknown.
READ THE REST HERE: Robert LaSalle by: PATRICIA HARTKEMEYER of examiner.com