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Memorable Manitobans: Louis-Joseph Gaultierde La Vérendrye (1717-1761)


Born at Île aux Vaches, Canada, son of Pierre Gaultier De Varennes La Vérendrye, he was sent to Quebec by his father, to learn mathematics and drawing in preparation for exploration. He was sent west in 1735 and was probably responsible for the La Vérendrye map of the West drawn in 1737. He travelled as far south as the Missouri River in 1737-38, and in 1739 was sent by his father to explore the region west of Lake Winnipeg. He assumed command of Fort Saint-Charles (Lake of the Woods) in 1740 and then spent the winter of 1741-42 at Fort la Reine (Portage la Prairie). In April 1742 he headed west with a party of Indians, reaching far enough in that direction to see the mountains. On his return trip east, he buried a lead plaque near present-day Pierre, South Dakota, in March 1743. He remained in the West when his father retired, but was eventually shut out of the West by the group headed by Intendant Bigot in 1750. Louis-Joseph returned to the western fur trade in 1752. He was dispatched with Indian allies in July 1759 to aid in the defence of Lake Champlain, and he died on a voyage to France in 1761.

See also:

The Search for the Western Sea by L. J. Burpee (1908).

Les La Vérendrye: Nouvelles Études sur les La Vérendrye by Antoine Champagne (1971).

Louis-Joseph Gaultierde La Vérendrye, Dictionary of Canadian Biography III, 241-44.


Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 12 March 2011

Memorable Manitobans

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