Ruler in French Inches from La Belle
Measuring tool critical to colony building
Measure twice, cut once. Any good builder knows that old saying. When René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, sailed his ship La Belle to North America in 1684, he probably thought this ruler would come in handy in designing and building structures for his new French colony at the mouth of the Mississippi River. Although that particular mission failed, La Salle did establish Fort St. Louis in 1685, located near present-day Victoria, Texas. This ruler, which measures French inches—approximately 1.066 English inches—was discovered in the hold of La Belle during the 1996 Matagorda Bay excavation.
Property of France from the collection of the Musée National de la Marine on loan from the Texas Historical Commission
Time Period: 1519 - 1689
Exhibit: La Belle
This artifact is not on view.