Black and white sketch of Henri De Tonti, including biographical narrative.


Founder of the first settlement

Henri De Tonti

De Tonti who founded the first white settlement in the Arkansas wilderness was an Italian by birth.. While serving in the French Army in Sicily, he lost a hand.. He wore an iron hook in place of the hand and became known as "The man with the iron hand.".. De Tonti accompanied La Salle when the latter sailed from France in 1678..

In 1682 La Salle and De Tonti, with 23 Frenchmen and 18 Indians, made their famous journey down the Mississippi and took possession of the country in the name of the king of France.. In 1686 De Tonti made another journey to the mouth of the Mississippi.. Returning up the river he gave six of his men permission to settle on the Arkansas River.. The post of Arkansas was established in 1686.... De Tonti sepnt the remainder of his life exploring the Louisiana Territory.. He died at Mobile in 1704...

Physical Description

Document, 11" x 14"




MS.000379, Image 62

Resource Type



Walter J. Lemke drawings collection: biographical sketches, MS.000379


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

Henri De Tonti, Walter J. Lemke drawings collection: biographical sketches, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


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United States History


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