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Louis Hennepin

HENNEPIN, Louis, - A Stan Klos Biography

HENNEPIN, Louis, explorer, born in Ath, Belgium, about 1640; died in Holland after 1701. He entered the order of Recollets of St. Francis, and his fondness for traveling led him to Italy, where he remained several years. He was then sent to preach at Halles, in Hainault, and afterward passed into a convent in Artois. He was employed by his brethren to solicit alms at different places, among others in Dunkirk and Calais, where the stories related by old sailors stimulated his desire to visit distant countries.  

At the battle of Senef, between the Prince of Conde and William of Orange, he was present as regimental chaplain, and in 1673 he was ordered to Canada. After preaching at Quebec for a time, he went in 1676 to Fort Frontenac, where he founded a convent. When La Salle undertook his expedition to the west, he solicited Recollet fathers as chaplains of the posts that he intended to establish. Among those assigned to him was Father Hennepin.  

The latter accompanied the Sieur de la Motte in a brigantine, reached the outlet of Niagara River, 6 December, 1678, and chanted a Te Deum in thanksgiving. Leaving the vessel, he went in a canoe to the mountain-ridge, where a rock still bears his name, and after ascending the heights of Lewiston came in sight of the cataract. He then went with his companions to Chippewa creek in search of land suitable for a colony, and, returning the next morning, was the first to offer mass on the Niagara. He then began the erection of a bark house and chapel at the Great Rock on the east side, where La Motte was building Fort de Conty.  

He then traveled through the great lakes as far as Mackinaw, where he arrived, 26 August, 1679. After reaching Peoria, on the Illinois river, where La Salle built Fort Crevecoeur, Hennepin, by his orders, set out with two men in a canoe, 29 February, 1680, to ascend the Mississippi river. He descended the Illinois to its mouth, and, after sailing up the Mississippi till 11 April, fell into the hands of a large party of Sioux, who carried him and his companions to their country. Here he discovered and named the falls of St. Anthony. He spent eight months among the savages, when he was rescued by Daniel Greysolon du Lhut (q. v.), who enabled him to reach Green Bay by way of Wisconsin River. He passed the winter at Mackinaw and returned to Quebec 5 April, 1682.  

There is reason to suppose that before this time he was invited by some Roman Catholics in Albany to become their pastor.  

On his return to Europe he was named guardian of the convent of Renty in Artois. He refused to return to this country, and, having had several quarrels with his superiors, withdrew to Holland in 1697 with their permission. Here he gained protectors at the court of William III. Although he abandoned the religious dress in order to travel in Holland without exciting attention, he did not renounce his vows, and always signed himself Recollet missionary and notary apostolic.  

His first work was "Description de la Louisiane nouvellement découverte au sud-ouest de la Nouvelle France, avec la carte du pays, les moeurs et la manière de vivre des sauvages," (Paris, 1685: Italian translation, Bologna, 1686; German translation, Nuremberg, 1689; English translation, by John G. Shea, New York, 1880). It was dedicated to Louis XIV, and contains a narrative of La Salle's first expedition, and Hennepin's own exploration. In his "Nouvelle decouverte d'un tres-grand pays situe dans l'Amerique, entre le Nouveau-Mexique et la mer Glaciale" (Utrecht, 1697; Amsterdam, 1698), Hennepin asserts that he descended to the mouth of the Mississippi, and explains that he did not treat his travels with sufficient detail in the first volume, because he did not wish to annoy La Salle or take from him during his life the glory of discovering the Mississippi.  

His last work is "Nouveau voyage dans un pays plus grand que l'Europe, entre la mer Glaciale et le Nouveau-Mexique, depuis 1679 jusqu'en 1682, avec les reflexions sur les entreprises du sieur La Salle" (Utrecht, 1698). Both this work and the preceding are dedicated to William III. In his preface he replies to those who doubted the possibility of his having sailed down and up the Mississippi in the time he mentions. The most interesting thing in the books of this missionary is his picture of savage life. He knew the Indians well and paints their manners vividly.  

Hennepin's story of his voyage down the Mississippi obtained general evidence, notwithstanding the difficulty of reconciling its dates, until the publication of Jared Sparks's "Life of La Salle," since which it has been much doubted. A " Bibliography of Hennepin's Works" has been published by John G. Shea (New York, 1880).

Edited Appletons Encyclopedia by John Looby, Copyright © 2001 VirtualologyTM

 

HENNEPIN, Louis, explorer, born in Ath, Belgium, about 1640; died in Holland after 1701. He entered the order of Recollets of St. Francis, and his fondness for travelling led him to Italy, where he remained several years. He was then sent to preach at Halles, in Hainault, and afterward passed into a convent in Artois. He was employed by his brethren to solicit alms at different places, among others in Dunkirk and Calais, where the stories related by old sailors stimulated his desire to visit distant countries. At the battle of Senef, between the Prince of Conde and William of Orange, he was present as regimental chaplain, and in 1673 he was ordered to Canada. After preaching at Quebec for a time, he went in 1676 to Fort Frontenac, where he founded a convent. When La Salle undertook his expedition to the west, he solicited Recollet fathers as chaplains of the posts that he intended to establish. Among those assigned to him was Father Hennepin. The latter accompanied the Sieur de la Motte in a brigantine, reached the outlet of Niagara river, 6 December, 1678, and chanted a Te Deum in thanksgiving. Leaving the vessel, he went in a canoe to the mountain-ridge, where a rock still bears his name, and after ascending the heights of Lewiston came in sight of the cataract. He then went with his companions to Chippewa creek in search of land suitable for a colony, and, returning the next morning, was the first to offer mass on the Niagara. He then began the erection of a bark house and chapel at the Great Rock on the east side, where La Motte was building Fort de Conty. He then travelled through the great lakes as far as Mackinaw, where he arrived, 26 August, 1679. After reaching Peoria, on the Illinois river, where La Salle built Fort Crevecceur, Hennepin, by his orders, set out with two men in a canoe, 29 February, 1680, to ascend the Mississippi river. He descended the Illinois to its mouth, and, after sailing up the Mississippi till 11 April, fell into the hands of a large party of Sioux, who carried him and his companions to their country. Here he discovered and named the falls of St. Anthony. He spent eight months among the savages, when he was rescued by Daniel Greysolon du Lhut (q. v.), who enabled him to reach Green Bay by way of Wisconsin river. He passed the winter at Mackinaw and returned to Quebec 5 April, 1682. There is reason to suppose that before this time he was invited by some Roman Catholics in Albany to become their pastor. On his return to Europe he was named guardian of the convent of Renty in Artois. He refused to return to this country, and, having had several quarrels with his superiors, withdrew to Holland in 1697 with their permission. Here he gained protectors at the court of William III. Although he abandoned the religious dress in order to travel in Holland without exciting attention, he did not renounce his vows, and always signed himself Recollet missionary and notary apostolic. His first work was "Description de la Louisiane nouvellement decouverte au sud-ouest de la Nouvelle France, avec la carte du pays, les mceurs et la ma-niere de vivre des sauvages" (Paris, 1685: Italian translation, Bologna, 1686; German translation, Nuremberg, 1689; English translation, by John G. Shea, New York, 1880). It was dedicated to Louis XIV., and contains a narrative of La Salle's first expedition, and Hennepin's own exploration. In his "Nouvelle decouverte d'un tres-grand pays situe dans l'Amerique, entre le Nouveau-Mexique et la mer Glaciale" (Utrecht, 1697; Amsterdam, 1698), Hennepin asserts that he descended to the mouth of the Mississippi, and explains that he did not treat his travels with sufficient detail in the first volume, because he did not wish to annoy La Salle or take from him during his life the glory of discovering the Mississippi. His last work is "Nouveau voyage darts un pays plus grand que l'Europe, entre lamer Glaciale et le Nouveau-Mexique, de-puis 1679 jusqu'en 1682, avec les reflexions sur les entreprises du sieur La Salle" (Utrecht, 1698). Both this work and the preceding are dedicated to William III. In his preface he replies to those who doubted the possibility of his having sailed down and up the Mississippi in the time he mentions. The most interesting thing in the books of this missionary is his picture of savage life. He knew the Indians well and paints their manners vividly. Hennepin's story of his voyage down the Mississippi obtained general evidence, notwithstanding the difficulty of reconciling its dates, until the publication of Jared Sparks's "Life of La Salle," since which it has been much doubted. A " Bibliography of Hennepin's Works" has been published by John G. Shea (New York, 1880).

Edited Appletons Encyclopedia, Copyright © 2001 VirtualologyTM

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