Famed explorer of the New World who encountered the Chickasaw people

Robert de La Salle was born in 1643 in Rouen, France. He was an avid explorer when he was younger, fascinated with science and nature.

He traveled in the late 1660s for North America as a colonialist and explorer. Once he arrived he issued land grants, set up a village and began to learn the languages of the natives. He also wanted to find a western passage to China. Thinking he could find this route by following the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, he traveled south.

On his journey he encountered several different Native American tribes, one of which was the Chickasaw. Once La Salle reached the Gulf of Mexico, he claimed the Mississippi River and the lands around it for France.

Even with this French minority in Chickasaw lands, the tribe remained allies with the English. This created certain problems, but nothing to the extent of battle or war. As La Salle continued on his journeys, he happened upon bad times, and his own men murdered him.


  • Claimed the Mississippi Valley for France