La Hontan, Louis-Armand de Lom d'Arce, baron de


La Hontan, Louis-Armand de Lom d'Arce, baron de
born June 9, 1666, Mont-de-Marsan, France
died 1715, Hannover, Hanover

French army officer and explorer.

He served in New France (1683–93), commanded Ft.-St.-Joseph (now Niles, Mich.), and explored territory along the Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers (1688–89). In 1692 he stopped at Newfoundland and defended the French colonists at Plaisance against the English; after the governor there accused him of insubordination, he fled to Portugal in 1693 and thereafter remained in Europe. His New Voyages to North-America (1703) influenced the works of Montesquieu, Voltaire, and Jonathan Swift.

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▪ French soldier
La Hontan also spelled  Lahontan  
born June 9, 1666, Mont-de-Marsan, Fr.

died 1715, Hannover, Hanover [Germany]
      French soldier and writer who explored parts of what are now Canada and the United States and who prepared valuable accounts of his travels in the New World.

      La Hontan went to Canada in 1683 as a marine lieutenant. He participated in an unsuccessful campaign against the Iroquois Indians on Lake Ontario in 1684 and commanded Fort-Saint-Joseph (now Niles, Mich.) in 1687. In 1688–89 he explored territory along the Wisconsin and the Mississippi rivers.

      On a return trip to France in 1692 with a plan for a fleet on the Great Lakes, La Hontan, now a captain, stopped at Newfoundland and defended the French colonists at Plaisance against the English. For this action he was made king's lieutenant at Plaisance but when the governor there accused him of insubordination, he fled to Portugal in 1693 and thereafter remained in Europe.

      In 1703 La Hontan published Nouveaux Voyages de Mr. le Baron de Lahontan dans l'Amérique septentrionale, 2 vol. (New Voyages to North-America), considered the best 17th-century work on New France. The New Voyages also contained a series of dialogues describing the philosophy of the primitive way of life that influenced a subsequent growth of primitivism in France and England, as reflected in the works of Montesquieu, Voltaire, Jonathan Swift, and others.

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Universalium. 2010.

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