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The Last Monster

“Finally (they warned us) that the Heat was so excessive In those countries that it would Inevitably Cause Our death.”

Joliet and Marquette continue down the Mississippi to the mouth of the Arkansas River where they are welcomed by a large village named “Akamsea”.  The natives there tell them the sea is ten days downstream, but on the way down the river there are hostile Indians armed with European guns.

“Monsieur Jolliet and I held another Council, to deliberate upon what we should do — whether we should push on, or remain content with the discovery which we had made. After attentively considering that we were not far from the gulf of Mexico, the basin of which is at the latitude of 31 degrees 60 minutes, while we were at 33 degrees 40 minutes, we judged that we could not be more than 2 or 3 days' journey from it; and that, beyond a doubt, the Missisipi river discharges into the florida or Mexican gulf”

More dangerous than the hostile tribe between Akamsea and Gulf, were the Spanish who held the entire Gulf coast from Florida, past the mouth of the Mississippi River and west down the coast of Texas to Mexico. 

“We further considered that we exposed ourselves to the risk of losing the results of this voyage, of which we could give no information if we proceeded to fling ourselves into the hands of the Spaniards who, without doubt, would at least have detained us as captives.”

So on July 17th the party begins its long journey home to New France.

“We therefore reascend the Missisipi which gives us much trouble in breasting its Currents. It is true that we leave it, at about the 38th degree, to enter another river, which greatly shortens our road, and takes us with but little effort to the lake of the Ilinois”

Next page: The Illinois River