January, 1682: Rene-Robert Cavalier, Sieur de La Salle navigates Mississippi River to its mouth and claims all lands drained by river for France

He was commissioned by King Louis XIV to explore New France and find a route to Mexico in return for a trade monopoly. He established the site for Fort Prudhomme—not a real fort—at a location he encountered Chickasaw hunters on the third or fourth Chickasaw Bluffs at or north of Memphis.  He established and claimed Louisiane, or the entire Mississippi Valley and lands drained by its tributaries, for New France.

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