Europe's expansion into the New World during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries was a story of power alignment and cultural transmission as well as dramatic individual effort. Spain had her conquistadores, France her coureurs de bois, and England her sea dogs. Isolated from the authority of home governments, tempted by the abundance of gold, fur, and fish in the New World, these adventurers so vital to national policies of expansion developed their own personal creeds of conquest and colonization. Their individual exploits not only represent a humanistic theme essential in Europe's movement westward but heighten the analyses of cultural institutions of the era. It is within such a multidisciplinary light that one can experience the Gulf Coast adventures of Pierre LeMoyne d'Iberville.
Pierre LeMoyne d'Iberville, born in Canada about 1661, fought against the English in King William's War. In 1697 Iberville was selected to complete explorations of the Mississippi Valley begun by Jean Cavalier LaSalle, and the journals presented here record his service from 1699 to 1702.
Richebourg Gaillard McWilliams (1901-1986) served as head of the Department of English at Birmingham-Southern College and Professor of English at the University of South Alabama. He was a recognized scholar both in history and the French language.
Tennant S. McWilliams is Dean of the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, The University of Alabama at Birmingham.