Griffon

Griffon, the first ship to sail the Upper Great Lakes.

La Salle, René-Robert Cavelier de
His one claim to fame is his descent of the Mississippi, upon which French claims to Louisiana were to be based (courtesy Library and Archives Canada/C-1843).

Griffon, the first ship to sail the Upper Great Lakes, was launched at Cayuga Creek on the Niagara R, 7 Aug 1679. A small barque, armed with 7 cannon, it sailed under the command of La Salle to Michilimackinac and Green Bay. Loaded with furs, the Griffon was lost on the return voyage, likely in the storms of Lake Michigan.