Vérendrye, Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, sieur de la
Pierre Gaultier de Varennes Vérendrye, sieur de la (pyĕr gōtyā´ də värĕn´ syör də lä vāräNdrē´), 1685–1749, explorer in W Canada and the United States, b. Trois Rivières (Three Rivers), Que. His father was the sieur de Varennes, for a time governor of Trois Rivières. Vérendrye entered the French colonial army and served in Queen Anne's War and for a time (1707–11) in its European counterpart, the War of the Spanish Succession.
In 1727–28 Vérendrye was a prominent figure in the extension of New France on its far frontiers and in the search for an overland Northwest Passage to the Western Sea, serving as commander of the trading posts on Lake Nipigon. In 1729 he returned to Quebec and sought to secure official permission and aid in an expedition to search for the Western Sea. Obtaining a monopoly of the fur trade in the West, but no financial support, he entered into partnership with some Montreal merchants and set out in 1731 with three of his sons, Jean Baptiste, Pierre, and François, and a nephew, La Jeremaye. The party founded a number of posts—one on Rainy Lake; Fort St. Charles on the Lake of the Woods; and Fort Maurepas, which was at first on Red River and later on Lake Winnipeg. He returned to Quebec in 1734 but went back to the West with still another son, Louis Joseph.
In the years that followed the Vérendryes continued to explore in the hope of reaching the Western Sea. The eldest of the sons, Jean Baptiste, was killed (1736) by the Sioux. In 1738, Vérendrye made his memorable journey from the Assiniboine River to the Missouri River, where he visited the Mandans. He then returned to Fort La Reine on the Assiniboine, and it is said that he discovered Lake Manitoba in 1739. The most-discussed voyage undertaken by the Vérendryes was that of 1742–43, which was accomplished by two of the sons, probably Louis Joseph (who is generally agreed to have been the son known as the Chevalier) and François. They made a fairly long journey westward, but because of the difficulty of identifying places and Native American tribes, there is no certainty at all as to their route. The earlier hypotheses were shaken when in 1913 some school children discovered near Pierre, S.Dak., the lead plate that had been buried by the explorers when they reached the Missouri on their return. Chiefly because of this discovery, it is now generally thought that the journey did not extend farther west than the Black Hills. The elder Vérendrye sent out next an expedition that went to the Saskatchewan River and also founded two forts, Dauphin and Bourbon, on Lake Winnipegosis, probably in 1741. How far the explorers in this region went it is impossible to say; they may have entered present-day Wyoming.
In 1744, Vérendrye was retired and replaced as commander in the West. In 1749 he was again appointed to that post and was given the Cross of St. Louis. He died before he could accomplish anything further in exploration. His sons wished to continue the work but received no government aid.
The Journals and Letters of Pierre Gaultier de Varennes de la Vérendrye and His Sons were edited by L. J. Burpee for the Champlain Society (1927). See also Burpee, Pathfinders of the Great Plains (1914); biography by N. M. Crouse (1972).
"Vérendrye, Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, sieur de la." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Mar. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.
"Vérendrye, Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, sieur de la." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (March 22, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/verendrye-pierre-gaultier-de-varennes-sieur-de-la
"Vérendrye, Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, sieur de la." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved March 22, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/verendrye-pierre-gaultier-de-varennes-sieur-de-la
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.