Searching for the Passage, settler explorers “discover” the portage.

Great Lakes Map

Searching for the Passage, settler explorers “discover” the portage.

In 1673, a missionary and a trader, Marquette and Joliet, set off in search of the Northwest Passage. They travel from Green Bay, on the Fox River, then the Wisconsin River and down the Mississippi. On the way back from their failed venture, Illinois Indians guide them to a watery shortcut connecting the Mississippi watershed to Lake Michigan across a short portage: a shallow swampy area where canoes would be carried across the continental divide. Instead of the Passage, they “discovered” the portage.
Anonymous (attributed to Claude Bernou)
Lac Tracy ou Supérior, Lac des Ilinois, Lac des Hurons, Rivière Colbert ; 1695

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