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The explorers saw the upper reaches of the river on June 17th and found that it flowed south and not west as they had hoped. The explorers met Native Americans at the mouth of the Arkansas River who told them the river emptied into the Gulf of Mexico.
Fearing contact with Spanish authorities in the region, the explorers headed northward toward the present site of Chicago. Jolliet's canoe later capsized on the St. Lawrence River, but he was able to reconstruct some of the lost maps from memory. The expedition lasted five months.
"The Explorers," Virtual Museum of New France. Online: http://www.historymuseum.ca/virtual-museum-of-new-france/the-explorers/louis-jolliet-1673-1694/