Daniel Greysolon Duluth
Duluth or Du Lhut, Daniel Greysolon was born in 1636, in St. Germaine-en-Laye, France. He served in the King's guard before migrating to Canada. He went to Canada in 1672, and he settled in Montreal.
In 1678 Daniel Greysolon Duluth set out to explore Lake Superior in the hope of discovering a route to the western ocean. He succeeded in establishing peace between the Sioux and Chippewa, and in 1679 made an alliance with the Siouan Confederacy which gave France possession of their territory and made the region much safer for traders.
In 1680 Duluth ascended the Brule River, portaged to Upper St. Croix Lake, and descended the St. Croix River to the Mississippi, he became thus the first white man to utilize this route. Going as far as the Ojibwa village at Mille Lacs Lake in Minnesota, he claimed the upper Mississippi region for France. He returned to Mackinac by the Wisconsin and Fox Rivers and, at Mackinac, learned that his enemies, namely Cavelier de LaSalle had accused him of being an unlicensed trader and cooperating with the English.
He returned to France to defend himself and he was freed of the charge and received a commission to traffic with the Sioux by way of the Wisconsin River. Duluth spent the remainder of his life exploring and conducting a profitable Indian trade.
He helped to protect the Wisconsin area against raids of the Iroquois and in generally retaining the loyalty of France's Indian allies; in so doing, he promoted French ascendancy throughout the Northwest.
About 1695 he retired from active trading and lived in Montreal until his death in 1710. The city of Duluth, Minnesota, US, is named after this brave man.