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Bill Thayer

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This webpage reproduces an appendix to
Early History of Illinois

Sidney Breese

published by E. B. Myers & Company,
Chicago, 1884

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
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This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

 p271  B

Letters Patent Granted by the King of France
to the Sieur de la Salle, on the 12th of May, 1678.

Louis, by the grace of God, King of France and of Navarre.

To our dear and beloved Robert Covelin, Sieur de la Salle, greeting:

We have received with favor the very humble petition which has been presented to us in your name, to permit you to endeavor to discover the western part of our country of New France, and we have consented to this proposal the more willingly, because there is nothing we have more at heart than the discovery of this country, through which it is probable that a passage may be found to Mexico; and because your diligence in clearing the lands which we granted to you by the decree of our council of the 13th of May, 1675, and by letters-patent of the same date, to form habitations upon the same lands and to put Fort Frontenac in a good state of defense, the seignory and government whereof we likewise granted to you, affords us every reason to hope that you will succeed to our satisfaction, and to the advantage of our subjects of the said country. For these reasons and others thereunto moving us, we have permitted and do hereby permit you by these presents, signed by our hand, to endeavor to discover the western part of our country  p272 of New France, and for the execution of this enterprise, to construct forts wherever you shall deem it necessary; which it is our will that you shall hold on the same terms and conditions as Fort Frontenac, agreeably and conformably to our said letters-patent of the 13th of May, 1675, which we have confirmed, as far as is needful, and hereby confirm by these presents. And it is our pleasure that they be executed according to their form and tenor.

To accomplish this, and every thing above mentioned, we give you full powers, on condition, however, that you shall finish this enterprise within five years, in default of which these presents shall be void and of none effect; that you carry on no trade whatever with the savages called Outaouac, and others who bring their beaver skins and other peltries to Montreal; and that the whole shall be done at your expense, and that of your company to which we have granted the privilege of the trade in buffalo skins, and we call on the Sieur de Frontenac, our governor and lieutenant-general, and on the Sieur de Chesneau, intendant of justice, police and finance, and on the officers who compose the supreme council in the said country, to affix their signatures to those presents; for such is our pleasure.

Given at St. Germain en Laye, this 12th day of May, 1678, and of our reign the thirty-fifth.


By the King.

And sealed with the great Seal of yellow wax.

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Page updated: 11 Sep 16