Louis Joliet (or Jolliet ) was born on September 21, 1645 near Quebec in the French colony of Canada, the son of the coach -maker Jean Joliet. The age of ten he came to the Jesuit College in Quebec City, where he studied for the priesthood. 1667, he renounced but a ministry. Instead, he began with his brother Adrien in the unexplored hinterland of Canada to trade with the Indians trade. The capital needed for a career as a " Ranger " made him Bishop Laval of Quebec are available. However, the first trip to the Great Lakes region undertook Adrien.
On June 4, 1671 he held himself still in that region, for he was one of the signatories of Sault Ste. Marie submitted statement that France possession of the area of the Great Lakes and of the countries that took to the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and Hudson Bay. In the local Jesuit mission Joliet met probably the Jesuit Father Jacques Marquette, which he arranged an expedition to find the Mississippi River, the existence of which they had heard of Indians. They hoped to find either in this way a connection to the Gulf of Mexico or the Pacific Ocean and to open in this way a connection to China. Although the two were able to win the support of the Governor Frontenac, but did not receive any financial assistance from the crown.
Joliet and Marquette journeyed along with five other Frenchmen on 17 May in 1673. They followed Lake Michigan to Green Bay, took the canoe up the Fox River, changed from this to the Wisconsin River and followed this down river to the Mississippi, where they arrived on 17 June. Although they were increasingly convinced that the river empties into the Gulf of Mexico and not in the Pacific, they followed him to about the height of the Arkansas River. When they were informed by the Indians of the vicinity to the sea and warned against hostile tribes and watched Spanish trade goods, they turned back, so as not to fall into the hands of the Spaniards, who used to take action against intruders in their colonies with hardness. During his return to Canada in the summer of 1674 Joliet canoe capsized in the Lachine rapids. He was rescued after four hours in the water by fishermen, but his diaries and cards were lost and had to be reconstructed from memory.
1674 Joliet married and settled in Quebec, but did not lose his interest in the fur trade. In 1676 he founded a trading company for the north shore of the St. Lawrence River. Three years later he received lands on the Mingan Peninsula and Anticosti Island in 1680. 1679 Joliet traveled on behalf of the Governor over land to the Hudson Bay, to get an idea of the local British presence and the fur trade.
Around 1690 Joliet was not only in Canada but also in France and even in England a celebrity, including those based on his information maps of the Mississippi and the St. Lawrence River had significantly contributed. This fame he enlarged in 1694 with an expedition to explore the coast of Labrador, where he came up to the 65 ° latitude and the first accurate maps of this region anfertigte as well as news about the country and people with brought back. On April 13, 1697, he was appointed in Quebec professor of hydrography. He died at a not exactly known time from May to October in 1700, probably on one of his possessions on the St. Lawrence River.