The once and future Minnesota (and Wisconsin)
Louis Hennepin. A new discovery of a vast country in America, extending above four thousand miles, between New France and New Mexico. With a description of the Great lakes, cataracts, rivers, plants, and animals: also, the manners, customs, and languages, of the several native Indians; and the advantage of commerce with those different nations. With a continuation: giving an account of the attempts of the Sieur de la Salle upon the mines of St. Barbe, &c. The taking of Quebec by the English; with the advantages of a shorter cut to China and Japan. Both parts illustrated with maps and figures, and dedicated to his Majesty K. William. London, Printed for M. Bentley, J. Tonson, H. Bonwick, T. Goodwin, and S. Manship, 1698.
Father Louis Hennepin, OFM (1626-1705), traveled into Wisconsin and Minnesota in the 1670’s as an extension of the peregrinations of René Robert Cavalier, Sieur de La Salle. Father Hennepin first gave an account of these explorations in French (1683), which were later translated into Italian, Dutch, German, and eventually even English. His report of the St. Anthony Falls was the first printed reference to this natural landmark. Here we see the earliest map (1698) of the Upper Midwest in the Saint John’s University collections.
Mapping the Midwest
Jonathan Carver. Travels through the interior parts of North America, in the years 1766, 1767, and 1768. London: C. Dilly, 1781.
Jonathan Carver (1710-1780), a colonist from Massachusetts, traveled into Wisconsin and Minnesota in the 1760’s to search for a Northwest Passage to the Pacific. While he provided vastly improved maps of the river systems in Minnesota and Wisconsin, a disgreement led him to London in his final years, seeking payment from the English king. The third edition is the first to appear after Carver’s death, and its editor (John Coakley Lettsom) included the unusual assertion that two chiefs of the Naudoissies signed over much of Minnesota and Wisconsin to Carver.
Saint John’s University Rare Book Collection. Gift of the family of T.R. and LaJean Anderson