Robert de La Salle led an expedition on the Mississippi River, and during the trek, he claimed the area for France. In 1679, he left Fort Frotenac in Ontario, Canada, searching for a water route to the Pacific, only to end up on the Mississippi River.
Robert de La Salle's full name was René-Robert Cavelier de La Salle. Unlike his contemporaries, he was an incompetent explorer. He could not speak Algonquian or Iroquoian and his travelers claimed that he seemed to have no clue where he was going. On his first expedition in 1669, which led him to Lake Erie, La Salle claimed he was going back to Montreal and was not seen again until 1670. La Salle built three forts on his journey down the Mississippi, Fort Crèvecoeur, Fort Miami and Fort Prud’homme.
La Salle died in 1687 in what is now Texas while attempting to claim parts of Mexico for France. He was murdered by his own men who were angry and hungry.