Étienne Brûlé was a Frenchman who would become the most famous of the Coureur de bois – or “Runner of woods.” The Coureur de bois were woodsmen who were critical to the early exploration of Canada and parts of the United States.
Étienne Brûlé – the original Coureur de bois
Étienne Brûlé, the most famous of the Coureur de bois, or “Runner of woods,” explores the lands around the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes in the early 1600s, becoming the first white man to visit Lake Superior and Lake Ontario, as well as venture into modern-day Pennsylvania.
Download this episode or listen online.
There is not a lot about Étienne Brûlé, but here is a list of some of the better online resources available:
- History of Brûlé’s discoveries and explorations, 1610-1626 – this is an old (1898) biography of Brûlé by Consul Willshire Butterfield. It’s dated, but still quite a good read. And it’s free – so enjoy.
- Canadian Museum of History
- Dictionary of Canadian Biography – one of the more complete online biographies of Brûlé
- History of the Great Lakes
- Wikipedia – Étienne Brûlé
- Wikipedia – Coureur de bois – learn about the famed early frontiersmen