Louis Jolliet had considered joining the priesthood early on in his life. As a child, he had enrolled in a Jesuit school where he concentrated on studying philosophy and religion, and he also studied music. After becoming an adult, he elected to become a fur trader.
Jolliet was also an explorer. He was born in 1645 near Quebec City. He and missionary Jacques Marquette set out on an expedition together in 1673. The men traveled by canoe along what would later be known as the Mississippi River. In 1694, he went on to explore the Labrador Coast. He taught hydrography at the University of Quebec.