René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle played an important role in the early history of the French acquisition of the Great Lakes region from about 1673 to 1687. In explorations west and south from existing Canadian settlements, he established forts on the Great Lakes and on the Ohio, Illinois and Mississippi rivers. On his last assignment for the King of France, from 1684 to 1687, he tried to establish a colony on the coast of Texas while he searched for the mouth of the Mississippi River. He was unsuccessful and died in the attempt.
Here’s a Wikipedia entry for René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle. Below are a number of works that can be found on various pages of this website.
Great Lakes General History page
Schlarman, J. H., From Quebec to New Orleans: The Story of the French in America. Illustrated (1929)
La Salle’s exploits are covered on pages 79-109.
Wallace, Joseph, The History of Illinois and Louisiana Under the French Rule (1893)
La Salle is covered on pages 71-153.
Explorers and Travelers in Great Lakes History
Cox, Isaac J., editor, The Journeys of Réné Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle As Related By His Faithful Lieutenant Henri de Tonty (1922)
Joutel, Henri, Joutel’s Journal of La Salle’s Last Voyage, 1684-7 (1906)
Parkman, Francis, La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West (1901)
Navigation on the Great Lakes & the Region’s Rivers
Channing, Edward and Marion Florence Lansing, The Story of the Great Lakes (1909)
Great Lakes Novels and Historical Fiction
Van Zile, Edward S., With Sword and Crucifix: Being an Account of the Strange Adventures of Count Louis de Sancerre, Companion of Sieur de la Salle, on the Lower Mississippi in the Year of Grace 1682 (1900)
Michigan Novels and Historical Fiction
Orcutt, William Dana, Robert Cavelier: the Romance of the Sieur de La Salle and his Discovery of the Mississippi River (1904)
Parker, Gilbert, The Power and the Glory: a Romance of the Great La Salle (1925)