Jolliet and Marquette
A New History of the 1673 Expedition
by Mark Walczynski
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Pub Date 01 Aug 2023 | Archive Date 26 Sep 2023
University of Illinois Press, 3 Fields Books
Broadening our view of the explorers, their travels, and their time
Often viewed in isolation, the Jolliet and Marquette expedition in fact took place against a sprawling backdrop that encompassed everything from ancient Native American cities to French colonial machinations. Mark Walczynski draws on a wealth of original research to place the explorers and their journey within seventeenth-century North America. His account takes readers among the region’s diverse Native American peoples and into a vanished natural world of treacherous waterways and native flora and fauna. Walczynski also charts the little-known exploits of the French-Canadian officials, explorers, traders, soldiers, and missionaries who created the political and religious environment that formed Jolliet and Marquette and shaped European colonization of the heartland.
A multifaceted voyage into the past, Jolliet and Marquette expands and updates the oft-told story of a pivotal event in American history.
Mark Walczynski is a retired faculty member at Illinois Valley Community College and the Park Historian for the Starved Rock Foundation. He is the author of The History of Starved Rock.
“An authoritative and long-overdue treatment of the historic Jolliet-Marquette voyage of discovery. Walczynski reaffirms and explains what is good in past scholarship while demonstrating where the established histories went off the track. The guiding of the reader up the Illinois River on Marquette and Jolliet’s return trip is unparalleled and priceless.”--Michael McCafferty, author of Native American Place-Names of Indiana
“This is a good read, and also a handy one in the 'old school' form of reliable regional history. The author writes about much more than the voyage. He contextualizes and discusses the earliest years of French interest in establishing a colony, and delves into the political mechanisms that drove early French colonial settlement in the Midwest. Walczynski also provides a welcome detailed description of the Illinois River Valley as it was during the seventeenth century.”--Robert F. Mazrim, author of At Home in the Illinois Country: French Colonial Domestic Site Archaeology in the Midwest, 1730–1800
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 7 members
this was a event in history that I really didn't know anything about and I'm so glad I got to read this. I could tell that Mark Walczynski had a passion about and that I was never bored when reading this. I enjoyed what I read and am excited to read more from Mark Walczynski.
Jolliet and Marquette is an important book for understanding the history of North America. Walczynski skillfully details what happened before, during, and after the titular expedition. I learned a few things while reading it that made the book especially enjoyable for me. They are why the French speaking population of Canada is mostly concentrated in a certain area, why the Catholic Church uses visual images that seem to contradict Judeo-Christian teachings, and what eventually happened to one of the main subjects of the book, the Illinois people.
Walczynski did an excellent job presenting this event. It’s clearly a scholarly study but I love that the language was easy to read. This was my first time learning about Marquette or Louis Jolliet so I don’t have anything to compare the information to. As a history lover, I found it all very interesting.
One thing I truly appreciated about the book was the detailed timeline at the end. It was a nice addition and quite helpful to reference.
Well researched. I enjoyed the read and in depth coverage of their story.. it was almost too all enompassing. I had a little trouble keeping track of the participants
Walcyznski brings the seventeenth-century Jolliet and Marquette expedition to life in this recent nonfiction text. Walcyznski brings fantastic primary sources and documentation into the pages of his latest book, adding to the depth, complexity, and detail in his investigation of this expedition. Placing it in the context of French colonization in North America and the global circumstances, Walczynski highlights the region’s unique qualities in geography, flora, fauna, and natural features. Walczynski also emphasizes the presence and significance of local Indigenous nations, the role they played in the Jolliet and Marquette expedition, and their interactions with French Canadian settlers during the seventeenth century. Bringing such a niche yet fascinating expedition to light, Walczynski investigates a unique period of discovery and exploration in the larger context of North American colonization and settlement while presenting a larger, completer narrative that also focuses on the Indigenous nations and their settlements in modern-day Illinois and along the Mississippi River. This book is an engaging, interesting insight into an overlooked historical event tied to Canadian and Indigenous history, and Walczynski’s prose style is easy-to-read yet full of information and fascinating historical documents and images.
This fascinating narrative is full of meticulous documentation/research into the history of the area of the Northwest Territory from the early French period onward and includes a variety of archaeological verifications. As a long term resident of Wisconsin with ties to other parts of the region I was delighted to have this to read and review. There is also an appropriate assortment of old photographs as well as a basic description of how cartography progressed from the 17th century onward.
I requested and received an EARC from University of Illinois Press/3 Fields Books via NetGalley. Thank you!