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9 April 2008

On this day in history: Louisiana claimed for France, 1682

On 9th April, 1682, René-Robert Cavelier claimed the Mississippi basin in the name of the France by erecting a cross and a column, and by burying a inscribed copper plate. He named the region, la Lousiane (Lousiana), in honour of King Louis XIV.

Cavelier, a destitute ex-Jesuit, had travelled in search of a new life in the Americas in 1667. He became an explorer based in what is now Canada and journeyed extensively throughout North America. He was murdered whilst on an expedition in Texas on 19th March, 1687, by mutinous members of his party.

You can read more about Cavelier in his biography on the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online site.