La Salle builds the Griffon

March 20, 2017

The building of the Griffon

The building of the Griffon. Library and Archives Canada, C-001225


René-Robert Cavelier de La Salle, a seigneur at Montréal and then Cataracoui (Kingston), may have been the first French traveller to see the Mississippi River. On one of his journeys inland, at the mouth of the Niagara River, La Salle ordered the building of a boat armed with seven cannons. The Griffon was the first European vessel on the Great Lakes and had sailed for less than a year when, loaded with a cargo of furs, it sank.

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