Wednesday, February 9

Discovery Stirs Controversy

A recent discovery by anthropologist Joseph Scott is causing an uproar in Minnesota. According to Scott, recently uncovered documents show that the Minnesota region now occupied by Duluth is still technically owned by France.

“Per European custom, land that was ‘discovered’ and claimed by a European explorer became the property of whichever monarch backed the expedition,” explained Scott. In 1679, Daniel Greysolon, Sieur de Du Lhut originally of Saint-Germain-Laval, France, was selected by French authorities in Quebec to travel the shores of the St. Louis Bay. He reached, or ‘discovered’, the area where present day Duluth stands. Thus, technically, this area became the property of France. Scott’s discoveries show that this land was never properly transferred, and therefore, remains French territory.

U.S. and Minnesota officials went on the offensive and attacked the validity of Scott’s discovery. Some officials have even begun attacking France for not renouncing the theory. Said one, “This is downright offensive. For France to allow these rumors to continue is insulting. The United States government takes great offense.”

In response, a French official is quoted as saying “Il n’y a que la verite qui blesse.”

Lawyers at the Department of Justice and State Department have been instructed to search for possible loopholes or technicalities to maintain the status quo. Many theories have been advanced, though international legal scholars are critical of their validity. French legal historian Sylvain Bouquet has characterized the American theories as flimsy and desperate, noting, “Avec des si et des mais, on mettrait Paris en bouteille.”

A resolution is unlikely to be reached any time soon.

Daniel Greysolon, Sieur de Du Lhut died in Montreal of gout in 1710.