Hennepin, Louis(hĕn`əpĭn), 1640–1701?, French cleric and explorer in North America. A Franciscan Recollect friar, Hennepin came to Canada in 1675, meeting on the journey La SalleLa Salle, Robert Cavelier, sieur de
, 1643–87, French explorer in North America, one of the most celebrated explorers and builders of New France.
He entered a Jesuit novitiate as a boy but later left the religious life.
..... Click the link for more information. , who made him chaplain of his proposed Western expedition in 1678. After some time spent at Fort Frontenac the party sailed (1679) in the Griffon, the first ship on the Great Lakes, for Green Bay. La Salle crossed to the Mississippi by the Illinois route and from there sent Hennepin with the expedition, led by Michel AcoAco or Accault, Michel
, fl. 1680–1702, French explorer. He became La Salle's lieutenant, being favored by that explorer because of his courage, prudence, and wide acquaintance with Native American languages.
..... Click the link for more information. , which was the first to explore the upper Mississippi valley. They ascended the river to Minnesota, where they were captured by the Sioux. In the course of his captivity Hennepin first saw and named the Falls of St. Anthony, where Minneapolis was located afterward. He was rescued by DuluthDuluth or Du Lhut, Daniel Greysolon, sieur
, 1636–1710, French explorer in Canada. He went to Canada with his younger brother c.1672.
..... Click the link for more information. . After returning to France, Hennepin claimed in his Description de la Louisiane (1682) the leadership and all the credit for the upper Mississippi expedition. Later, in his Nouveau Voyage (1696) and Nouvelle Découverte (1697), he falsely claimed to have descended the Mississippi to its mouth. His narratives, however, have undeniable charm and importance. He was the first to describe such parts of America as the upper Mississippi and Niagara Falls. R. G. Thwaite's translation, Hennepin's New Discovery (1903, repr. 1972) contains a biography and bibliography.
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