The La Salle Expedition to Texas: The Journal of Henri Joutel, 1684-1687 Page: 25
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The Landing of Cavelier de la Salle in Texas by Roger Casse, C. 1936. After the painting by
Theodore Gudin in the Muse National de Versailles. Courtesy Dallas Historical Society.
exchange clothes. Mason Wade, the editor of TheJournals of Francis Parkman, sug-
gests thatJoutel may have been born in I64 and that he died in I735.s4
Joutel was not an accomplished author, but his attention to detail, his disci-
pline, and his ability to record events accurately are reflected in the observations
found in his chronicle of the journey. Joutel may have developed his ability to
make precise observations and the discipline to record them carefully, capabilities
required of a good diarist or journalist, during his years in military service. But
Joutel was far more than an alert military man-he was an intelligent and sensitive
writer who respected the truth over church or temporal authority and who appre-
ciated the significance of recording for the future with scientific precision the cul-
tural details of native life and the natural history of the flora and fauna he observed.
Some of these traits later became identified with the Age of Enlightenment. His
account does not attempt to portray his respected leader La Salle as an unim-
peachable French nobleman or to expound on the glories of such authorities as the
French nation or the Catholic church. At times he is critical of each. He concen-
trated on the daily details of settlement life; on the itinerary and a close account of
4 Mason Wade (ed.), The Journals of Francis Parkman (2 vols.; New York: Harper, 1947), II, 655, n. 4.
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Joutel, Henri, 1640?-1735. The La Salle Expedition to Texas: The Journal of Henri Joutel, 1684-1687, book, 1998; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth296849/m1/36/?q=Espejo-Beltr%C3%A1n%20expedition: accessed February 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.