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Étienne Brulé

Brulé, Étienne (ātyĕnˈ brülāˈ) [key], c.1592–1632, French explorer in North America. He arrived (1608) in the New World with Samuel de Champlain, who sent him (1610) into the wilderness to learn about Native Americans and the land. He lived with the Huron and accompanied (c.1612) a group of them to Georgian Bay of Lake Huron. In 1612 he guided Champlain to that lake, and on the return journey they were, so far as is known, the first Europeans to see Lake Ontario. Brulé was then sent to the headwaters of the Susquehanna River and followed it to Chesapeake Bay. On his way back he was captured by the Iroquois and tortured, but he escaped (1618). He lived with the Huron once again, making many explorations of which no definite record remains. He probably visited Lake Superior and thus saw all the Great Lakes except Lake Michigan, being the first European to do so. In 1629 he piloted the English vessels that captured Quebec and his old commander, Champlain. Then he retired to live an increasingly dissolute life among the Huron. He was killed in a quarrel.

See C. W. Butterfield, History of Brulé's Discoveries and Explorations, 1610–1626 (1898).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Canadian History: Biographies


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