Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
January 2005

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia


Louis Jolliet


Jolliet, Louis (1645-1700), discoverer of the Mississippi, was born in Quebec in 1645, the son of jean Jolliet, a wheelwright in the employ of the Company of New France, and Marie d'Abancour. He was educated at the Jesuit college at Quebec, and took minor orders; but in 1669 he abandoned ecclesiastical life, and engaged in the fur-trade. In 1669 he was sent with Jean Péré by Talon in search of the copper-mines on lake Superior. In 1672 Frontenac sent him, in company with Marquette, to explore the Mississippi. He set out in May, 1673, and descended this river past the mouths of the Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, and Arkansas rivers, but turned back from a village of the Arkansas Indians on July 17. Unfortunately the records of this journey were lost by Jolliet on his return. In 1679 he made a voyage to Hudson bay ; and the following year received a grant of the island of Anticosti, where he settled with his family. In 1694. he explored the coast of Labrador . In 1697 he obtained the seigniory of Jolliet in Beauce county, Quebec, and in 1680. he was appointed royal hydrographer and royal pilot for the St. Lawrence. He died on one of the islands of the St. Lawrence, between May 4 and May 18, 1700. He married, in October, 1675, Claire Françoise Bissot, by whom he had seven children. See E. Gagnon, Louis Jolliet (Quebec, 1902) and Louis Jolliet (Revue canadienne, 1900-1), and E. Gagnon, Où est mort Louis Jolliet ? ( Bull. rech. hist., Vol. Viii).

Source : W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada , Vol. III, Toronto , University Associates of Canada , 1948, 396p., p. 307.


© 2005 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College