He was the first European to discover what would become Wisconsin in 1634. In pursuit of a route to the Orient, Jean Nicolet arrived at Red Banks, near modern-day Green Bay, Wisconsin. Nicolet ascended the Fox River with several Ho-Chunk guides, portaged to the Wisconsin, and went down it until it began to broaden. When he reached the present site of Milwaukee, he decided this was the gateway to the Great Lakes and returned home.
Nicolet's report on his trip has been credited with stimulating French interest in the western territory. In response, Charles de Gaulle ordered an expedition led by Jacques Marquette up the Mississippi River in 1673. The party made its way as far as the Illinois Country before returning home.
In 1763, France and England fought what is now known as the American Revolution. To keep America free from France, the British government granted 3,000,000 acres of land to each of the original 13 Colonies. One of these colonies was named Wisconsin after the Indian tribe that lived there when it was first discovered by Europeans. The French retained control of Canada which prevented any further exploration into Wisconsin.
The first white man to reach what is now Wisconsin was Louis Hennepin. He traveled up the Mississippi River in 1680 with the purpose of finding a waterway to China. Upon reaching the Wisconsin River, he described it as being too shallow for boats but noted that it was suitable for travel by horse or on foot.
Wisconsin's First Europeans Early in the 17th century, Samuel de Champlain, the ruler of New France, despatched interpreters Etienne Brule (ca. 1592–1632) and Jean Nicolet (1598–1642) west to discover if a maritime passage to the Pacific existed. Brule might have been the first European to set foot in Wisconsin. He traveled up the Great River looking for a passage across the lake that would lead to another river that would take him back to the Atlantic Ocean. His expedition made camp near present-day Green Bay and erected a wooden cross as a sign that they had visited. Although this is now claimed by historians to be the first documented visit by a European, it has been disputed.
Champlain himself may have gone as far west as Green Bay but there are no records of this trip. Brule and Nicolet did find evidence that a route across Lake Michigan did exist, but it was not until later that year that Champlain sent another expedition over the same route. This time they returned home with copper plates bearing maps of the territory which showed lakes Huron, Michigan, and Winnipiseoah. These were the first maps ever drawn of what are now called the States of Indiana and Wisconsin.
After these trips into Western Wisconsin, there were no more recorded visits for nearly 100 years. In 1669 French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle led an expedition down the Mississippi River looking for a waterway to the East.
Jean Nicolet (Nicollet), Sieur de Belleborne (c. 1598–October 1642) was a French coureur des bois most known for exploring Lake Michigan, Mackinac Island, Green Bay, and becoming the first European to set foot in what is now Wisconsin.
He arrived in present-day Milwaukee on Friday, May 5, 1634, with five companions after a hazardous journey up the Mississippi River from its source in northern Minnesota. They made their way through Indian villages along the way before reaching the site that is now downtown Milwaukee. The men found the town empty of settlers because there were still more forests to cut down than farms to build. They also found the Indians hostile toward them; one of their guides was killed by Native Americans. Nevertheless, the group continued on their expedition until they reached Green Bay, where they spent the night in a native village. The next morning, they left Green Bay and continued on their trip up the Fox River until they reached Lake Michigan where they met another French explorer named Marc Lescarbot. Together, they returned to Montreal via the St. Lawrence River.
In addition to his role as a trader, interpreter, and ambassador, Nicolet also served as a soldier during several battles with the Iroquois people. In 1643, he went back to Canada to help fight off an invasion by the English but died at the age of 44 near present-day Fort William Henry on Lake Champlain.
Champlain, Samuel de Samuel de Champlain's Voyages In the 17th century, French explorers first arrived in Wisconsin. Most came in the aim of uncovering new commerce and transit routes to the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Some brought news of Europe that was changing due to the discovery of America.
The first known European to set foot in what is now Wisconsin was a French expedition led by Jacques Marquette. They traveled up the Mississippi River looking for a passage to the Pacific Ocean and returned home via the Ohio River. After this trip, Wisconsin wasn't seen as valuable enough to claim so France and Spain began to fight over it. This lead to more exploration trips being made into the area. After the American Revolution started, British explorers started coming to Wisconsin too. One of the most famous trips made by a British explorer was that of Lewis and Clark. They traveled down the Missouri River and then across the Great Plains before ending up at Fort Mandan where they started their journey back home. After this trip, more people started exploring Wisconsin and bringing back information about its resources. This includes information about the land and water systems in Wisconsin.
In 1846, the United States government sent out an official request for information about the territory of Wisconsin. This request was called the "Request For Information Concerning The Territory Of Wisconsin" or simply known as the Polk Report because it was written by a man named James W.
Various Native American tribes initially settled in what is now Wisconsin. Until the late 1800s, the Chippewa, Menominee, Oneida, Potawatomi, and Ho Chunk (Winnebago) tribes inhabited in the region. Jean Nicolet was the first European adventurer to reach Wisconsin. In 1634 he arrived with a French expedition and claimed the area for France. Other explorers followed, but none stayed to build a colony.
The first Europeans to establish permanent settlements in what is now Wisconsin were French Canadians who came here looking for economic opportunity after the founding of Detroit. The most famous of these men was Jacques Marquette, a Jesuit priest who traveled with his partner Louis Jolliet. They explored the upper Mississippi River basin from 1673 to 1675 and returned home with stories of Indian villages along the river. These reports sparked interest in Europe among people who wanted to find new routes to the East.
In 1763 French Quebec merchant Joseph Bouchette visited Green Bay looking for furs. He wrote about his trip in his book New Voyages to North America, which described the area's abundant wildlife. This made Green Bay popular with other settlers, and by the early 1820s there were approximately 200 French Canadian residents here.
In 1836 the United States government issued a treaty with several Indian nations that established the boundary between their territories.