The Renegade

Etienne Brulé was one of the great explorers—the first white man to see Lakes Ontario, Erie, and Superior, the first to set foot in Michigan. Why have you never heard of him?

Growing up in the Great Lakes region of North America, I developed an early appreciation for the European explorers who had long ago traveled the waterways of my home. I read all the books I could find about adventurers like Champlain, Jolliet, Marquette, and Nicolet, and they defined what I thought I should be as a young man: tough, brave, single-minded, and born a couple of hundred years earlier. When I got older, though, I realized that my affection for these men was not shared by everyone.Read more »