Charlevoix, Pierre François Xavier de (pyĕr fräNswäˈ zävyāˈ də shärləvwäˈ) [key], 1682–1761, French Jesuit traveler and historian. He taught at the Jesuit college in Quebec and at the Collège Louis le Grand in Paris. In 1720 he journeyed to America to explore the West and visit the Jesuit missions. Voyaging up the St. Lawrence, through the Great Lakes, and along the Illinois River, he reached the Mississippi and descended it to New Orleans. After a shipwreck in the Gulf of Mexico he returned to France. In 1744 he issued his Histoire de la Nouvelle France (tr., 6 vol., 1900), which in a valuable appendix contains a detailed journal of his trip, the only full description of the interior of America in the first third of the 18th cent.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.