OTD: Robert de La Salle’s ship Le Griffon lost at sea

On today’s date in 1679, famed French explorer Rene-Robert Cavelier (also known as Robert de La Salle) left his ship Le Griffon, which wouldn’t be seen again for more than 300 years.

Cavelier abandoned his ship before traveling via canoe along the western shore of Lake Michigan, near present-day Green Bay, Wisc., towards Niagara.

In 1966, Canada Post issued a five-cent blue-green stamp (Scott #446) to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Le Salle’s arrival in Canada. Designed by Brigdens Limited, a Toronto graphic arts firm, the stamp was steel line intaglio engraved by the Canadian Bank Note Company in tones of green. It measures 37 millimetres by 25 millimetres (vertical) and had a print run of 25,160,000 stamps.

In 2014, two divers announced the discovery of Le Griffon, which they claimed to have found in 2011, although this has yet to be substantiated.

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