The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 49, July 1945 - April, 1946 Page: 482
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Turning from the West to the Southward, there appear'd other Plains
adorn'd with little Woods of several Sorts of Trees. Towards the South
and East was the Bay, and the Plains that hem it in from the East; to the
Northward, was the River running along by a little Hill, beyond which
there were other large Plains, with some little Tufts of Wood at small
Distances, terminating in a Border of Wood, which seem'd to us to be
... the place where the fort stands is somewhat sandy; everywhere
else the ground is good. On every side we saw prairies on which the
grass is, at all seasons of the year, higher than wheat with us. Every
two or three leagues is a river skirted with oaks, thorn, mulberry, and
other trees. ...
The fort is built on a little eminence which runs north and south; it
has the sea on the southwest [southeast], vast prairies to the west, and
on the southwest two small lakes, and woods a league in circuit; a river
flows at its foot."4
The above recordings make possible a good mental picture
of the site of Fort St. Louis and its surroundings. It is possible
to view the same landscape today and see the same topographic
objects that Joutel and Douay saw and described in the years
1685-1686. The evidence seems to lead to the conclusion that the
site of Fort St. Louis was on Dimmitt's Point, a little hill run-
ning north and south situated between Venada and Menefee
bayous on the west side of the Lavaca River in southern Jackson
County. Additional facts substantiating this holding will be
Early in 1687 La Salle left Fort St. Louis on another long
journey in search of the Mississippi. This was to be his last
We set out the 12th of January, in the Year 1687, being seventeen in
Number ... We went that Day to the Place we call'd le Boucon, because
there, we had often dry'd Flesh ... This place was not far from our
The 13th, we cross'd a Plain about two Leagues over, ... We met with
Marshy Lands [the Menefee Lakes region], ... and came to a Wood ...
across which, runs a Branch of a River, full of Reeds, by Monsieur de la
Sale call'd the Princess's River. That Branch joins the other, and they
both fell together into the Bay of St. Lewis.'5
This river, which Joutel designated as a branch of a river,
is the upper portion of present Lavaca River above its junction
14Father Anastasius Douay, "Narrative of La Salle's Attempt to Ascend
the Mississippi in 1687," in B. F. French (ed.), Historical Collections of
Louisiana, IV, 207. Cited hereafter as Douay, Narrative.
15Joutel, Journal, 116-117.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 49, July 1945 - April, 1946, periodical, 1946; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146056/m1/563/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.