Posted by on Mar 6, 2014 in Florence Bird Sculpture | 0 comments

Louis Joliet (AKA Jolliet) was born in about 1645 in the area of Quebec. His early life consisted of musical studies and preparations for the Catholic priesthood in the Jesuit tradition. He did not enter the priesthood but left seminary work to pursue fur trading and geographic scholarship. His name is often associated with Jacques Marquette during their missionary explorations of the Mississippi (derived from Native Mesipi) River. Their expedition, among other things, was intended to discover water routes that might connect the Gulf of Mexico with a northern route to the Pacific and thereby to the Orient. While this was not accomplished, the routes that were discovered provided for connection of the Mississippi River to the Great Lakes via Lake Michigan. Even without a Northwest Passage to the Pacific, this route was a nonetheless economic turning point for European conquest of the American continent.  

Joliet was an astute diarist and map maker. Unfortunately, he had a canoe accident shortly after parting ways with Marquette in 1674. This resulted in the loss of his maps and notebooks. While he made an effort to re-create some of the writings, the historical record of the partners’ travels together came to rely more upon the works of Marquette.

After the Marquette-Joliet expeditions, Joliet outlived Marquette by about 25 years, continued his geographical studies, traded fur, and married. He became a professor and, within his lifetime, famous for his travels. He died in 1700.



Louis Joliette Maquette

Louis Joliette Maquette


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  1. Jacques Marquette | Florence Bird Studio LLC - […] is often mentioned along with his traveling companion Louis Joliet, who will be another subject of this sculpture series.…
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