Vanished Worlds, Enduring People
Louis Armand de Lom d’Arce, Baron de Lahontan. New Voyages to North-America. London: H. Bonwicke, 1703. [view]
Lahontan was a French military officer who served in Canada from 1683 to 1692, spending much of his time in the area of Lake Ontario. Familiar with the Iroquois, he also led an expedition to the upper Mississippi, by way of the Wisconsin River, ending up in Minnesota. His admiration for the Iroquois and other groups helped to counter the image of Native Americans expounded by French missionaries and others. While his work has been criticized as fanciful, Armand’s account of the simple delights of life in the wilderness was very influential in the subsequent growth of primitivism in France and England. The plate shown here shows the important role the beaver played in French-Indian interactions.