Rene-Robert Cavalier, Sieur de la Salle (1643-1687) was the first man to navigate—with extreme difficulty—the Mississippi River from the Great Lakes region to the Gulf of Mexico, thereby establishing France's claim on a swath of the North American continent equal to half the size of Europe, which La Salle named Louisiana. Johnson's new biography of the dauntless explorer provides a detailed panorama of the European nations' efforts to control North America, and the results these endeavors had on the future of the continent. Johnson also makes use of new information regarding La Salle's final expedition, in which he was killed by his own men after a failed attempt to reach the mouth of the Mississippi from the Caribbean. How this veteran explorer ended up hundreds of miles off course, for centuries a mystery among historians, is explained here in convincing detail.
Biographies-Memoirs, Historical, United-States,