Marquette and Joliet in Arkansas

Jacques Marquette, a French Jesuit priest, had made expeditions along the Northern lakes, proselyting among the Indian tribes. He had conceived the idea that there was a great western river leading to China and Japan. He was joined in his ambition to find this route, and the tribes along it, by Joliet, a man fired with the ambition and daring of the bold explorer. These two men, with five employees, started on their great adventure May 17, 1673. They found the Upper Mississippi River and came down that to the mouth of the Arkansas River, thence proceeding up some distance, it is supposed to near where is Arkansas Post. Thus the feet of the white man pressed once more the soil of this State, but it was after the lapse of many years from the time of De Soto’ s visit. Marquette carried into the newly discovered country the cross of Christ, while Joliet planted in the wilderness the tri-colors of France. France and Christianity stood together in the heart of the great Mississippi Valley; the discoverers, founders and possessors of the greatest spiritual and temporal empire on earth. From here the voyagers retraced their course to the Northern lakes and the St. Lawrence, and published a report of their discoveries.

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