Minnesota Historical Society M-Flame Logo

 Back to top

Greysolon, Daniel, Sieur du Lhut (c.1639–1710)

  • Cite
  • Share
  • Correct
  • Comment
  • Print
Painting depicting Daniel Greysolon Sieur Dulhut at the Head of the Lakes in 1679.

"Daniel Greysolon Sieur Dulhut at the Head of the Lakes - 1679." Painted by artist Francis Lee Jaques, c.1922.

Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Lhut (also known as du Luth), was born in Lyons, France around 1639. Greysolon was a nobleman, and quickly rose to prominence in the French royal court. He traveled to New France (Quebec, Canada) in 1674 at the age of thirty-eight to command the French marines in Montreal.

Greysolon and the marines were sent to Montreal because of King Louis XIV's efforts to expand French influence and control in North America. Louis reorganized the governorship of New France and tightened his grip on the region. This reorganization was inspired in part by unauthorized French trading voyages farther west and south into North America. In 1656, Pierre-Esprit Radisson and Médard Chouart, Sieur Des Groseilliers, traded with Indians in these regions without permission from the French king. They were criticized for their actions when they returned to Montreal. Dissatisfied with this reaction, Radisson and Groseilliers eventually traveled to England where they helped to establish the Hudson's Bay Company.

Daniel Greysolon left Montreal in 1678 for Lake Superior. He was the first European to explore that region since Radisson and Groseillers' expedition over twenty years before. Greysolon's purpose was to negotiate a truce between the competing American Indian groups in the area.

Du Lhut arrived at Fond du Lac at the far western tip of Lake Superior in spring, 1679. The peace meetings he held with the Dakota and Ojibwe (Anishinaabe) were successful. After they ended, he followed a group of Dakota to their primary settlement, Izatys (Isanti) at Mille Lacs Lake.

In July, 1679, Greysolon claimed all Dakota lands in the name of Louis XIV, and raised the French standard at Izatys. This was a symbolic expression of French power and control. From there, Greysolon traveled south, lured by tales of a great salt water sea (most likely the Great Salt Lake in Utah) to the far west. He hoped to find a northwest passage to the Pacific Ocean.

During his time with the Dakota, Greysolon learned of a French party detained by another Dakota band. The leader of the French group was Father Louis Hennepin, a Belgian priest. Greysolon was able to get Hennepin and his men released, and then employed Hennepin as a guide. Father Hennepin had already explored much of the region and his services proved useful.

From the Mississippi and St. Croix River valleys, Greysolon returned to Fond du Lac to arrange another peace; this time between the Dakota and Assiniboine. Although he was successful at forging peaceful relations among the regions' Indians, Greysolon also incurred allegations of unlicensed trading and profiteering with them from fellow French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle. Du Lhut returned to France to defend his actions and was later acquitted.

During their Lake Superior expedition, Du Lhut and his party established the first permanent European posts along the lake, including Fort La Tourette at Lake Nipigon in Ontario, and Fort Kaministiquia, near the modern site of Fort William at Thunder Bay, Ontario. Fort Kaministiquia was Du Lhut's base of operations in the Lake Superior region until 1688.

In 1688, Du Lhut returned to Montreal to fight the Iroquois, who were in conflict with the French at that time. He died in 1710 and was buried in Montreal. Although he never discovered a route to the Pacific, Daniel Greysolon is credited with opening the Lake Superior region to the French fur trade. His legacy is preserved by the city that bears his name, Duluth.

  • Cite
  • Share
  • Correct
  • Comment
  • Print
© Minnesota Historical Society
  • Bibliography
  • Related Resources

Dolin, Eric Jay. Fur, Fortune, & Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2010.

Lass, William E. Minnesota: A History. 2nd ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1998.

Neill, Edward Duffield, "Sieur Du Luth: The Explorer Between Mille Lacs & Lake Superior." Collections of the Minnesota Historical Society, vol. 1, 1872 (1850-56), 314–318.

Risjord, Norman K. A Popular History of Minnesota. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2005.

Risjord, Norman K. Shining Big Sea Water: The Story of Lake Superior. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2008.

Walters, Thomas F. The Superior North Shore: A Natural History of Lake Superior's Northern Lands & Waters. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987.

Related Images

Painting depicting Daniel Greysolon Sieur Dulhut at the Head of the Lakes in 1679.
Painting depicting Daniel Greysolon Sieur Dulhut at the Head of the Lakes in 1679.

Turning Point

In 1678, Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Lhut (or du Luth), leads the first official French expedition to the Lake Superior region. His purpose is to forge a peace with the region's American Indians and to open the way for the expansion of French influence and control in the North American interior.



Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Lhut (or du Luth), is born in Saint-Germain-Laval near Lyon, France


Greysolon arrives in Montreal, New France to take a military command.


Du Lhut and his party depart Montreal for Lake Superior.


Du Lhut meets with Dakota and Ojibwe (Anishinaabe) at Fond du Lac.


Greysolon claims the Mississippi River valley for Louis XIV and raises the French standard at Izatys, on Mille Lacs Lake.


Greysolon rescues Father Louis Hennepin and a group of Frenchmen from a band of Dakota.


Du Lhut negotiates peace with the Assiniboine at Fond du Lac.


Du Lhut returns to France to defend himself against allegations of unlicensed trading.


Greysolon returns to Montreal to fight Iroquois.


Daniel Greysolon dies and is laid to rest in Montreal.



Partner with affordable search engine optimization company and see how your business becomes a international company. https://www.minds.com/blog/view/490756577221943296/great-remedies-for-allergies
homepage here

I found your this post while searching for information about blog-related research ... https://www.razoo.com/story/Stylish-Glass-Shop-Front sign for shop front

you know this is where to download music so that you can enjoy unlimited music downloads on your player. http://invested.in/P6853/medical-marijuana-online
mmj doctors

I just wish to give an enormous thumbs up for the nice info you’ve got right here on this post. http://www.edocr.com/user/ShawnCollins
transfer bench

The only products on the marketplace that use living cells are skin products, says Anderson-Cunanan.. http://www.2shared.com/document/E1Dq9sLU/Amazon_Seller_Software_by_AMZ_.html
asset inventory software

You know this is where to download music so that you can enjoy unlimited music downloads on your player.
fairfield county architects http://www.convertmxffiles.com

I have never seen a more wonderful post than this one. You've really made my day today with this. <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Want-to-Have-a-Relaxing-Space/" target="_blank">awnings</a>

manager/ instructor, and Rollins attended the ceremony with the participating students
tahta sabo terlik
Buy Real Instagram Likes

I sometimes read some new articles if I find them interesting. And I found this one pretty fascinating and it should go into my collection. Very good work! http://www.storeboard.com/blogs/business/how-and-where-to-find-a-reliable-bag-like-minaal-backpack/540774
travel backpacks

Radisson and Groseilliers eventually traveled to England where they helped to establish the Hudson's Bay Company.

Es gribēju pajautāt, kur var redzēt cikos sākas katra nodarbība? Cik ievēroju, pie attiecīgās nodarbības ir minēta tikai auditorija. https://zooppa.com/en-us/users/williewood
medical marijuana doctors in california

seemingly endless red tape you need to deal along with.
cccam server

I was wondering your situation; many of us have developed some nice methods and we are looking to exchange strategies with others, why not shoot me an e-mail if interested. http://www.storeboard.com/blogs/business/unusual-treatments-that-really-work/539205
medical pot