A Belgian, Hennepin joined the Récollet Franciscans and went to North America in 1675. He worked in Quebec and then accompanied LaSalle on explorations that took him into parts of the future states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois. His description of Niagara Falls, which appears in his account of his travels (linked below), is often considered the first from the hand of a European (a claim disputed by advocates of Paul Ragineau). A county in Minnesota and a township in Illinois took their names from him. His final years were spent in Rome.