La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West (Modern Library Exploration)
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current of the Des Plaines, by naked woods and spongy, saturated prairies, till they reached its junction with the main stream of the Illinois, which they descended to their destination, the Indian town which Marquette calls Kaskaskia. Here, as we are told, he was received “like an angel from Heaven.” He passed from wigwam to wigwam, telling the listening crowds of God and the Virgin, Paradise and Hell, angels and demons; and, when he thought their minds prepared, he summoned them all to a grand
enough for their journey to Michillimackinac. At the same instant, the stream began to rise, and in a few moments encircled the grave of the Jesuit, which formed, thenceforth, an islet in the waters. The tradition adds, that an Indian battle afterwards took place on the banks of this stream, between Christians and infidels; and that the former gained the victory, in consequence of invoking the name of Marquette. This story bears the attestation of the priest of the Two Mountains that it is a
were too few and too poor to support a priest, and hailed the arrival of the friar with delight. He said Mass, exhorted a little, as was his custom, and on one occasion baptized a child. At length, he reached Montreal, where the enemies of the enterprise enticed away his two canoe-men. He succeeded in finding two others, with whom he continued his voyage, passed the rapids of the upper St. Lawrence, and reached Fort Frontenac at eleven o’clock at night, of the second of November, where his
Indian. Each was armed with two guns, a pistol, and a sword; and a number of hatchets and other goods were placed in the canoe, as presents for Indians whom they might meet. Several leagues below the village, they found, on their right hand, close to the river, a sort of island, made inaccessible by the marshes and water which surrounded it. Here the flying Illinois had sought refuge with their women and children, and the place was full of their deserted huts. On the left bank, exactly opposite,
on the eleventh, having left the mouth of the river on the seventh. 3 This was the Great Comet of 1680.” Dr. B. A. Gould writes me: It appeared in December, 1680, and was visible until the latter part of February, 1681, being especially brilliant in January.” It was said to be the largest ever seen. By observations upon it, Newton demonstrated the regular revolutions of comets around the sun. “No comet,” it is said, “has threatened the earth with a nearer approach than that of 1680.” Winthrop on