For two years the wretched little colony struggled for life. La Salle was in sore distress. He knew he had many enemies among his men who would gladly take his life, but he hoped for help from France. No help came. It was plain to La Salle that he could save the suffering colony only by making his way to Canada. He therefore started out on January 12, 1687, with a party of seventeen men and five horses, on another long and dangerous journey through the dense forests—this time from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada.
Travelling north, the party crossed the Brazos River and toiled onward to the Trinity River. But La Salle's men were tired of travelling through the forests, and some of them were thirsting for his blood. They were waiting only for a suitable opportunity to carry out their murderous purpose. On the morning of March 19th they lay in ambush, and shot him dead as he approached, probably not far from the Trinity River.