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1673

Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet exploring the Mississippi River in 1673
The Historic New Orleans Collection
Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet explored the Mississippi River in 1673, reaching as far south as the mouth of the Arkansas River near present-day Rosedale, Mississippi, but they never set foot on Mississippi soil.
[News] Realizing the Mississippi River would be a convenient waterway connecting French colonies in the Caribbean (Santo Domingo, Martinique, Guadeloupe, and Tortuga) with northern lands on the continent, the governor of New France (present-day Canada) sends men to explore the Mississippi River. While exploring Illinois, Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet find the headwaters of the Illinois River, which lead them to the Mississippi. In their journey south they go as far as the large Indian village Akansea, probably near the present-day Rosedale in Bolivar County, Mississippi, but fearing they were getting too close to hostile Spanish territory, they turn back toward New France.
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