European discovery, exploration, and settlement of the Mississippi and Missouri valleys were accomplished by French trappers, traders, and missionaries. In 1673 explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet boated down the Mississippi River and charted it past the mouth of the Missouri. René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, claimed the entire Mississippi drainage area, including the Missouri Valley, for France in 1682, naming it Louisiane (in English, Louisiana). By 1700 the mission of Saint Francis Xavier was established on the site of modern St. Louis. In 1714 Étienne Véniard de Bourgmont explored the Missouri River, and nine years later he built Fort Orleans near the mouth of the Grand.
Antoine de La Mothe, Sieur de Cadillac, governor of Louisiana, explored the lead region of southeastern Missouri in 1715, and Captain Charles Claude du Tisne made an overland journey into Osage territory in 1719.
The lead deposits led the French to found Sainte Genevieve, the first permanent white settlement in Missouri, about 1750. In 1763 the Maxent and Laclède Company of New Orleans obtained a monopoly of the fur trade in the Missouri Valley. Pierre Laclède and his party, including 14-year-old René Auguste Chouteau, selected the site of St. Louis for their trading post. Early in 1764, under Chouteau’s guidance, settlers began clearing land for the village. A few months later, news arrived that France had ceded Louisiana to Spain. Don Pedro Piernas, the first Spanish governor, reached St. Louis in 1770 and made it the capital of the district of Upper Louisiana. "Missouri" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
Photos of European countries to visit
Photos of Asian countries to visit
Photos of America