La Salle is one of the best-known but least-understood explorers of human history. Celebrated for following the Mississippi to its mouth in present-day Louisiana, he was also berated for failing to relocate that same area when he came by sea. Justly known as the greatest of the canoe-carrying and paddle-wielding Frenchmen of his time, he was a failure when it came to colonization and conquest. There was greatness within him, including a powerful will to succeed, but there was also sheer stubbornness, which cost him when he attempted to create a French colony in what is now Texas. In Robert de La Salle , read about a man whose journeys encouraged explorers from other European nations to survey the southeastern United States.