was vital to France and few people were trusted to be given the right to trap and trade in its colonies. Many trappers worked without permission and developed friendly relationships with . Fur traders bought furs at and sailed them to Quebec by canoe. In 1701, a French trading post started in what is now , and in the 1770s a trading post was built in what is now Chicago.
In 1682, when claimed the Mississippi Valley, he renamed it Louisiana for Louis XIV of France. In 1684, La Salle sailed there with 300 colonists, but ended up in . Hit by disease, only 36 colonists survived. In 1699, the first French settlement, Fort Maurepas, was built. The French continued to form many settlements, and in 1718, was founded.