Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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JOUTEL, Henry, French explorer, born in Rouen, France, late in the 17th century; died there early in the 18th. He was a soldier in early life. When La Salle was commissioned in 1684 to reconnoitre the mouth of the Mississippi by sea, Joutel accompanied him as intendant. In 1685 he was appointed by La Salle to finish Fort St. Louis, which the latter had begun. After the departure of La Salle on his expedition two of the colonists formed a plot to murder Joutel, but he discovered it in time, and, having received an order on 14 July to join La Salle with all his force, he delivered the criminals to the latter. In October, Joutel was again made commander of Fort St. Louis with 34 men under him. and was again disturbed by plots to kill him or deprive him of his office. He set out for the Illinois on 12 January, 1687, with La Salle, and, after the assassination of the latter on 19 March, Joutel's death was also decided on, but his life was finally spared. Not long afterward he set out for the Illinois accompanied by six other Frenchmen, and after various adventures reached Fort St. Louis on 14 September, and arrived in Mackinaw on 10 May. Joutel went to Montreal and Quebec shortly afterward and embarked for Rouen, where he appears to have spent the rest of his life. Charlevoix says he saw and conversed with him in 1723. He speaks of Joutel as being a very upright man and the only one of La Salle's party on whom that explorer could rely. He also says that Joutel's account of the last expedition of La Salle is the only trustworthy one. This work of Joutel, in which the author gives an account of his own travels after the death of La Salle, is entitled "Journal historique du dernier voyage, que feu M. de la Salle fit dans le Golfe de Mexique, pour trouver l'embouchure & le cours de la Riviere de Missicipi, nomm5 '£ present la Riviere de Saint Louis, qui traverse 1a Louisiane. Ou l'on volt l'histoire tragique de sa mort & plusieurs choses curieuses du nouveau monde, par Monsieur Joutel, l'un des compagnons de ce voyage, redige & mis en ordre par Monsieur de Michel" (Paris, 1713).
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