Early French Explorers Visit Iowa

Time Frame: 1673

Although the area wasn't called Iowa at the time, in 1673 two French explorers named Marquette and Joliet reached Iowa as they navigated the Mississippi River.
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“The Tall Grass Whispers,” The Iowa Heritage: Program # 2, Iowa Public Television, 1978.

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(singing) It was the year of 1673 when the woods along the great Mississippi River heard a sound they had never heard before. The white man had come to Iowa. (singing) It is hardly possible to put into words the sites we saw as we glided down the Great River. The Bluffs rose above us making us seem small and insignificant. The land all about us terrifyingly beautiful. Its spender beckons us onward its utter alieness forbids our going further. We can do nothing, but let the river take us where it will. Alert to it’s danger, drunk on it’s beauty. Louis Jolliet leader of this exposition into the uncharted wilderness of the Mississippi River Valley. He was seeking the fabled river, which lead to the South Seas and China. Father Jacques Marquette, a Jesuit priest and missionary.


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