The first documented interaction between Chickasaws and Europeans since de Soto

La Salle's 1682 voyage down the Mississippi River represents the first clearly documented official European exploration party interaction with the Chickasaws since their encounter with de Soto in 1540.

In the spring of 1682, La Salle fell ill at the Chickasaw Bluffs, near present-day Memphis. His crew built a small fort, Fort Prudhomme, on Chickasaw soil as a depot. Months later, La Salle became the first European to navigate the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico, claiming the entire basin for France and naming it for his King, Louis XIV.