The discovery and exploration of the Northwest–the region of the upper Great Lakes and the northeastern part of the Mississippi Valley–was accomplished by the French, who, by the 17th century, had begun populating the St. Lawrence Valley. Gifted with imperial imaginations, dauntless spirit, and adventurous dispositions, French explorers befriended the native Indian tribes and accompanied them on voyages into the vast hinterland that is now the heart of America. This volume contains narratives of the voyages of these discoverers and founders of the French empire in North America–narratives that capture the explorers’ bravery, endurance, enthusiasm, and achievements, as well as provide illuminating studies of Native American life and customs. The journals and memoirs contained herein cover the voyages of Jolliet and Marquette, La Salle, Nicolet, Perrot, Radisson, Tonty, and other pioneers in the Great Lakes and Mississippi area. With the exception of Radisson’s journal, all were originally written in French.