Personal Explorations




Asked Louis XIV for authorization to explore the western parts of New France.

First Explorations

1679 - 1680

La Salle led a group that explored the Great Lakes and helped to establish French forts in the area.

Continued exploration


La Salle traveled down the Illinois River to the Mississippi and continued all the way south to the Gulf of Mexico.

Louisiana Territory

April 9, 1682

Claims the Mississippi River Basin, which he called the Louisiana Territory, (named after King Louis)for France.

Last Expeditions

1684 - 1687

La Salle led an expedition to extend the southern end of Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico but was complicated. La Salle was very ill, and many of his men deserted him.


March 20, 1687

La Salle was assassinated in Texas by three of his own men.