Colin Cavelier was born about 1674, probably in Rouen, France. He was a nephew of René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, evidently the son of La Salle's brother Nicolas, a lawyer who died quite young. Colin is said to have been about ten years old when he embarked with his uncle for the Gulf of Mexico in 1684 to establish a colony on the lower Mississippi River but landed instead at Matagorda Bay in Texas. When La Salle left Fort St. Louis the last time to seek his post on the Illinois river, Colin was among the group of seventeen who accompanied him, as were La Salle's brother, Abbé Jean Cavelier, and another nephew, Crevel de Moranget. After the murder of La Salle, Crevel de Moranger, and several others, Colin continued the journey to the Illinois and thence to Canada and to France with his uncle, the abbé.
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Paul Chesnel, History of Cavelier de La Salle, 1643–1687, trans. Andrée Chesnel Meany (New York: Putnam, 1932). Robert S. Weddle et al., eds., La Salle, the Mississippi, and the Gulf: Three Primary Documents (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1987).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Robert S. Weddle,
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 16, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
December 1, 1994
Most Recent Revision Date:
April 8, 2020
This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: