The French explorer Duluth (Duluth, Daniel Greysolon) declared a great expanse of Minnesota (New France) and surrounding areas for the King of France in 1660 , when he planted the French flag on the shores of Mille Lacs.
French trappers traded with the Native Americans, trading good for furs, for European markets. Furs were scarce, fashionable and warm. These isolated trappers were solitary rugged individuals, accomplished woodsmen, and they left little mark on the Minnesota landscape.
In the 1860s, according to local Minnetonka lore (Picturesque Minnetonka), settlers along the northern Minnetonka shores were surprised to unearth an old French flintlock pistol root-bound in a century old tree.
The abandoned Flint lock pistol was thought to be a remnant of a French trapper who met with an untimely fate. The black powder pistol held one shot, and perhaps that was not enough - often kept for last ditch efforts against human or animal attacks, ... but surely a human adversary would have taken the pistol as a prize.