Baron Lahontan describes his visit to Wisconsin in 1688.

New voyages to North-America: Containing an account of the several nations of that vast continent...the several attempts of the English and French to dispossess one another...and the various adventures between the French, and the Iroquese confederates of England, from 1683 to 1694...

Baron Lahontan's description of Wisconsin is in Letter XVI, starting on page 167 of this edition. He left Mackinac in September, 1688, coasted along the northwest shore of Lake Michigan, visited the Sauk, Potawatomi, and Menominee villages on Green Bay, ascended the Fox River, made the mile-and-a-half portage to the Wisconsin October 16-19, and arrived at the Mississippi four days later. His descriptions of Wisconsin are clear and accurate. But after reaching the Mississippi in his narrative he introduced a fictional trip to imaginary lands populated by romantic Indians. Although this was probably meant to be a satire on European morals and customs like Swift's Gulliver's Travels, readers for 200 years took it as a malicious and deceitful fabrication, undermining his credibility elsewhere in the book. His accounts of what he actually saw with his own eyes, however, remain one of the most vibrant and accurate sources of information on early Wisconsin.

Related Topics: Explorers, Traders, and Settlers
The French Fur Trade
Colonialism Transforms Indian Life
Creator: Lahontan, Louis Armand de Lom d'Arce, baron de, 1666-1715?
Pub Data: Edited by Reuben Gold Thwaites; Chicago: A.C. McClurg, 1905, from the 1703 London edition.
Citation: Lahontan, Louis Armand de Lom d'Arce, baron de. New Voyages to North America... edited by Reuben Gold Thwaites, vol. I (Chicago: A.C. McClurg, 1905). Online facsimile at:; Visited on: 4/24/2024