Nicolet, Jean (zhäN nēkôlāˈ) [key], 1598?–1642, French explorer in the Old Northwest. He came to New France with Samuel de Champlain in 1618. In 1634, under the direction of Champlain, he took a notable voyage west in search of the Northwest Passage, exploring Lake Michigan, Green Bay, and the Fox River. He was drowned on a trip to Trois Rivières.
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