The Journeys of Rene Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, Volume 1 Page: 8 of 330
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upon the uncertain regions west of the Mississippi.
The placing of this wedge and
the peculiar initial impulse which made its
force felt in the distant viceroyalty of New
Spain constituted the principal task of La
Salle. The ultimate success of this great
movement of colonial physics in pushing
undersirable rivals out of the fairest portion
of the American Continent depended
upon the energy with which the French
government followed up this initial impulse.
The fact that it did not adequately do so
should not in any measure detract from the
genius of the man who conceived the proper
force and who, despite almost insuperable
obstacles, had the courage to apply it.
It is but fitting, then, that in The Trail
Makers the life-work of La Salle should
form the closing volumes devoted to the
great French and Spanish inland explorers.
De Vaca skirted the southern edge of the
Mississippi Valley, De Soto entered it from
the east, and Coronado approached it from
the west. Champlain almost solved the
problem of reaching it from the north; but
it was left for La Salle, from an uncertain
base and with vastly more slender resources
than the two great Spaniards, to demonviii
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Cox, Isaac Joslin. The Journeys of Rene Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, Volume 1, book, 1922; New York. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6104/m1/8/: accessed January 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.