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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 264 pages of information about Pathfinders of the West.

In the face of this, what is to be said of the historian who calls Radisson’s adventures “a fabrication”?  Such misrepresentation betrays about equal amounts of impudence and ignorance.

[4] From Charlevoix to modern writers mention is made of the death of these two explorers.  Different names are given as the places where they died.  This is all pure supposition.  Therefore I do not quote.  No records exist to prove where Radisson and Groseillers died.

[5] See Appendix.

[6] State Papers record payment of money to her because she was in want.

[7] Dr. George Bryce, who is really the only scholar who has tried to unravel the mystery of Radisson’s last days, supplies new facts about his dealings with the Company to 1710.

[8] Marquis de Denonville ordered the arrest of Radisson wherever he might be found.

[9] Appendix; see State Papers.

PART II

THE SEARCH FOR THE WESTERN SEA:  BEING AN ACCOUNT OF THE DISCOVERY OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS, THE MISSOURI UPLANDS, AND THE VALLEY OF THE SASKATCHEWAN

CHAPTER VIII

1730-1750

THE SEARCH FOR THE WESTERN SEA[1]

M. de la Verendrye continues the Exploration of the Great Northwest by establishing a Chain of Fur Posts across the Continent—­Privations of the Explorers and the Massacre of Twenty Followers—­His Sons visit the Mandans and discover the Rockies—­The Valley of the Saskatchewan is next explored, but Jealousy thwarts the Explorer, and he dies in Poverty

I

1731-1736

A curious paradox is that the men who have done the most for North America did not intend to do so.  They set out on the far quest of a crack-brained idealist’s dream.  They pulled up at a foreshortened purpose; but the unaccomplished aim did more for humanity than the idealist’s dream.

Columbus set out to find Asia.  He discovered America.  Jacques Cartier sought a mythical passage to the Orient.  He found a northern empire.  La Salle thought to reach China.  He succeeded only in exploring the valley of the Mississippi, but the new continent so explored has done more for humanity than Asia from time immemorial.  Of all crack-brained dreams that led to far-reaching results, none was wilder than the search for the Western Sea.  Marquette, Jolliet, and La Salle had followed the trail that Radisson had blazed and explored the valley of the Mississippi; but like a will-o’-the-wisp beckoning ever westward was that undiscovered myth, the Western Sea, thought to lie like a narrow strait between America and Japan.

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