Chicago - City of Broad Shoulders

This course is about Chicago, We will cover the history of the city and region, the politics, corruption, arts, plans, neighborhoods, humor, achievements and the future of the City.

Marquette & Joliet 1673

Ca. 1681 map of Marquette
and Jolliet's 1673 expedition
Louis Jolliet and Jesuit Father Jacques Marquette, a Catholic priest and missionary, were the first Europeans to explore and map much of the Mississippi River in 1673. 

Plaque commemorating Jolliet in Chicago.

May 18, 1673, Jolliet and Marquette departed from St. Ignace with two canoes and five other voyageurs of French-Indian ancestry. They followed Lake Michigan to Green Bay (Lake Michigan). They then sailed up the Fox River (Wisconsin) to a distance of slightly less than two miles through marsh and oak plains to the Wisconsin River. At that point Europeans eventually built a trading post, Portage, named for its location. From there, they ventured on and entered the Mississippi River near present-day Prairie du Chien on June 17.

The Jollies-Marquette expedition traveled down the Mississippi to within 435 miles (700 km) of the Gulf of Mexico, but they turned back north at the mouth of the Arkansas River. By this point, they had encountered natives carrying European goods, and they were concerned about an encounter with explorers or colonists from Spain. They followed the Mississippi back to the mouth of the Illinois River, which they learned from natives was a shorter route back to the Great Lakes. Following the Illinois and the Des Plaines rivers, via the Chicago Portage, they reached Lake Michigan near the location of modern-day Chicago. Marquette stopped at the mission of St. Francis Xavier in Green Bay, Wisc., in August, while Jolliet returned to Quebec to relate the news of their discoveries.

The party returned to the Illinois Territory in late 1674, becoming the first Europeans to winter over in what would become the city of Chicago. As welcomed guests of the Illinois Confederation, the explorers were feasted en route and developed trading relationships.

Statue of Jolliet in Quebec
Photo by: Jeangagnon Creative Commons

  1. Images for marquette and joliet


  2. Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet - PBS

    Two young men, Louis Joliet, a fur trader, and Jacques Marquette, a Jesuit missionary, were chosen to lead an expedition from a mission at the northeast corner ...

  3. Marquette and Jolliet - Library

    LOUIS JOLLIET(sometimes spelled Joliet) (1645-1700). Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet searched together and found the waters of the Mississippi River.

  4. Marquette & Joliet - Wisconsin Historical Society

    Marquette & Joliet. Wisconsin Historical Museum Painting Collection. On a May morning more than 300 years ago, two unlikely explorers set out on a four-month ...

  5. Marquette-Joliet Expedition - Encyclopedia of Arkansas › Browse

    Jul 29, 2009 – In 1673, Father Jacques Marquette, a Jesuit missionary, and LouisJoliet, a fur trader, undertook an expedition to explore the unsettled territory ...

  6. Louis Jolliet - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Jolliet and Jesuit Father Jacques Marquette, a Catholic priest and missionary, ... of Jolliet's descendants, Barthélemy Joliette); and the Joliet Junior College in ...

  7. Who were Marquette and Joliet? Route/Expedition of Marquette ...

    In 1672, Marquette and Joliet were ordered by Governor Frontenac of New France, which is today known as Canada, to search for a path to the Pacific Oc.

  8. Marquette and Joliet Explore the Mississippi River

    Jan 27, 2013 – The Governor had been hearing tales of a mighty river to the south, and it was this river that Marquette and Joliet were being sent to find.

  9. Marquette & Joliet

    Sep 29, 2000 – Welcome to our Jacques Marquette & Louis Joliet Background: Jacques Marquette was born on June 10, 1637 in Laon, ...

  10. The Mississippi Voyage of Jolliet and Marquette - American Journeys › AJ-051 Document Page

    French officials commissioned Louis Joliet and Father Marquette to explore the region and to claim that vast stretch of land for the French Crown. Count de ...