University of Illinois Extension

Sieur de LaSalle

LaSalleHe was sent by King Louis XIV to travel south from Canada and sail down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico. In 1682, he was the first European explorer to travel the entire length of the Mississippi River. He established fur trading routes along the river. He named the area at the Mississippi basin Louisiana in honor of King Louis XIV and claimed it for France on April 9, 1682.