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CHARLEVOIX, Pierre François Xavier de
Histoire et description générale de la Nouvelle France, avec le journal historique d'un voyage fait par ordre du roi dans l'Amérique septentrionale.
Paris: Rolin fils, 1744. First edition."Jesuit missionary (1682-1761) and explorer of Canada and the Great Lakes. Born at St. Quentin, he entered the Society in 1698 and in 1705 was sent to Canada, where he remained for four years as a professor at Québec. In 1720 Charlevoix was sent back to Canada by the French government to collect information about the country to the west of the Great Lakes, and to determine whether an easy river route existed to the Pacific. He embarked at La Rochelle and was in Canada by the autumn of 1720. During the course of his travels he visited Niagara, Detroit, and Michilimackinac, and in 1721-22 descended the Mississippi to its delta. En route he questioned the Sioux and traders he found returning to the Mississippi via the Missouri River. Convinced that the ascent of the Missouri represented the only possibility of a route to the Pacific, he continued to Florida and wrote up his first memoirs in 1723, his major publication, the Histoire générale de la Nouvelle France...not appearing until 1744... Although one of the most descriptive historians of North America, he held firmly to the belief of the existence of a great interior sea, the Mer de L'Ouest, which was to become the obsession of French explorers for some time to come. His work is particularly useful in shedding light on the state of the Jesuit missions of the period" (Howgego).This travel account is particulalry important For Rohan's involvement in the 7 years' war which eventually led to the loss of Canada to French crown.
Bookseller: Librairie Clavreuil [France]
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