, also known as Louis Joliet
with only one L
– 1700), was a French Canadian explorer
. Jolliet is important for his discoveries in North America
. Jolliet and missionary
Father Jacques Marquette
, a Catholic priest, were the first white men to explore and map the Mississippi River
Jolliet married Claire-Francoise Bissot, who was Canadian. In 1680 he was granted the Island of Anticosti
, where he erected a fort and had some soldiers. In 1693 he was appointed "Royal Hydrographer", and on April 30
, he was granted the seigneury (fiefdom) of Jolliet, southwest of Quebec City, making him a minor "lord", roughly the colonial equivalent of a hereditary baronet
with the title of "Sieur Jolliet" (Sir Jolliet). Louis Jolliet died some time in the month of May, 1700, being lost on a trip to one of his land holdings, he then was never found.
Jolliet was one of the first people of European descent born in North America to be remembered for significant discoveries. Jolliet is a relatively familiar historical figure in both the United States and Canada. Though no authentic period portrait is known to exist Jolliet is often portrayed wearing either typical frontiersman garb consisting of Davy Crockett style buckskins and fur hat or in sharp contrast, ensconced in the European nobleman's accoutrement his personal wealth and prestige would have commanded when living in colonial society.
As is the case with Jacques Marquette, Governor General Frontenac and La Salle
, Louis Jolliet's legacy is most tangible in the Midwest (US) and Quebec (Canada), mostly through geographical names. Most notable among these include the cities of Joliet, Illinois
, Joliet, Montana
and Joliette, Quebec
which was founded by one of Jolliet's descendants, Barthélemy Joliette
. Discrepancies in the spelling of the original name of "Jolliet" reflect interpretations based on pronunciation at times when illiteracy was common.
Louis Jolliet died at an unknown location in Canada while on a trip to one of his land holdings. His remains were never found. His descendants live throughout Canada and the United States.