Arrival of the First Europeans

The first European to visit Wisconsin may have been interpreter Etienne Brule (ca. 1592-1632). In 1622 or 1623 he traveled around Lake Superior, but the account of his trip was only written down from hearsay after his death by Gabriel Sagard-Theodat. Unique information about Wisconsin also appears on Samuel de Champlain's map of New France published in 1632 -- two years before Jean Nicolet reached Wisconsin, and is presumed to have come to Champlain from Brule. We give both documents here so you can decide for yourself whether you think Brule was the first European to set eyes on our... more...

Original Documents and Other Primary Sources

Link to article: Father Marquette's diary of his 1673 trip with JolietFather Marquette's diary of his 1673 trip with Joliet
Link to article: The Ho-Chunk recall meeting Europeans for the first time.The Ho-Chunk recall meeting Europeans for the first time.
Link to article: Mining in the lead region, 1670-1829Mining in the lead region, 1670-1829
Link to article: The Menominee recall meeting Europeans for the first time.The Menominee recall meeting Europeans for the first time.
Link to book: A priest journeys to a Wisconsin village of exiled Hurons in 1661.A priest journeys to a Wisconsin village of exiled Hurons in 1661.
Link to book: A young interpreter skirts the shores of Lake Superior about 1622.A young interpreter skirts the shores of Lake Superior about 1622.
Link to book: Marquette and Joliet's 1673 voyage is leaked to the world.Marquette and Joliet's 1673 voyage is leaked to the world.
Link to book: A local historian chats about Prairie du Chien (vol. 2)A local historian chats about Prairie du Chien (vol. 2)
Link to book: Two traders nearly starve in the northwoods during the winter of 1659-60.Two traders nearly starve in the northwoods during the winter of 1659-60.
Link to book: A local historian chats about Prairie du Chien (vol. 1)A local historian chats about Prairie du Chien (vol. 1)
Link to book: A primer of the Mohawk language, 1777A primer of the Mohawk language, 1777
Link to book: Report on the Menominee at Termination, 1958Report on the Menominee at Termination, 1958
Link to book: An 1875 history of the Chippewa ValleyAn 1875 history of the Chippewa Valley
Link to book: The history and traditions of the Chippewa ValleyThe history and traditions of the Chippewa Valley
Link to images: Nicolet's 1634 landfall in Wisconsin (1904)Nicolet's 1634 landfall in Wisconsin (1904)
Link to manuscript: Joliet is interviewed on his trip down the Mississippi in 1673.Joliet is interviewed on his trip down the Mississippi in 1673.
Link to map: The Wisconsin portion of Champlain's 1632 map.The Wisconsin portion of Champlain's 1632 map.
Link to map: The first map of the entire Mississippi River, published in 1681.The first map of the entire Mississippi River, published in 1681.
Link to map: Fr. Marquette's hand-drawn map of his 1673 journey with Louis Joliet.Fr. Marquette's hand-drawn map of his 1673 journey with Louis Joliet.
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