Voyages of Samuel de Champlain, Vol. 1
Samuel de Champlain

Part 1 out of 5

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Transcriber's Notes:

The footnotes in the main portion of the original text, which are lengthy
and numerous, have been converted to endnotes that appear at the end of
each chapter. Their numeration is the same as in the original.

The original spelling remains unaltered, with the following exceptions:

1. This text was originally printed with tall-s. They have been replaced
here with ordinary 's.'

2. Some quotations from the 17th-century French reproduce manuscript
abbreviation marks (macrons over vowels). These represent 'n' or 'm' and
have been expanded.

3. In the transcription of some words of the Algonquian languages, the
original text of this edition uses a character that resembles an
infinity sign. This is taken from the old system that the Jesuits used
to record these languages, and represents a long, nasalized, unrounded
'o'. It is here represented with an '8'.


[Illustration: Champlain (Samuel De) d'apres un portrait grave par






VOL. I. 1567-1635




The labors and achievements of the navigators and explorers, who visited
our coasts between the last years of the fifteenth and the early years of
the seventeenth centuries, were naturally enough not fully appreciated by
their contemporaries, nor were their relations to the future growth of
European interests and races on this continent comprehended in the age in
which they lived. Numberless events in which they were actors, and personal
characteristics which might have illustrated and enriched their history,
were therefore never placed upon record. In intimate connection with the
career of Cabot, Cartier, Roberval, Ribaut, Laudonnière, Gosnold, Pring,
and Smith, there were vast domains of personal incident and interesting
fact over which the waves of oblivion have passed forever. Nor has
Champlain been more fortunate than the rest. In studying his life and
character, we are constantly finding ourselves longing to know much where
we are permitted to know but little. His early years, the processes of his
education, his home virtues, his filial affection and duty, his social and
domestic habits and mode of life, we know imperfectly; gathering only a few
rays of light here and there in numerous directions, as we follow him along
his lengthened career. The reader will therefore fail to find very much
that he might well desire to know, and that I should have been but too
happy to embody in this work. In the positive absence of knowledge, this
want could only be supplied from the field of pure imagination. To draw
from this source would have been alien both to my judgment and to my taste.

But the essential and important events of Champlain's public career are
happily embalmed in imperishable records. To gather these up and weave them
into an impartial and truthful narrative has been the simple purpose of my
present attempt. If I have succeeded in marshalling the authentic deeds and
purposes of his life into a complete whole, giving to each undertaking and
event its true value and importance, so that the historian may more easily
comprehend the fulness of that life which Champlain consecrated to the
progress of geographical knowledge, to the aggrandizement of France, and to
the dissemination of the Christian faith in the church of which he was a
member, I shall feel that my aim has been fully achieved.

The annotations which accompany Dr. Otis's faithful and scholarly
translation are intended to give to the reader such information as he may
need for a full understanding of the text, and which he could not otherwise
obtain without the inconvenience of troublesome, and, in many instances, of
difficult and perplexing investigations. The sources of my information are
so fully given in connection with the notes that no further reference to
them in this place is required.

In the progress of the work, I have found myself under great obligations to
numerous friends for the loan of rare books, and for valuable suggestions
and assistance. The readiness with which historical scholars and the
custodians of our great depositories of learning have responded to my
inquiries, and the cordiality and courtesy with which they have uniformly
proffered their assistance, have awakened my deepest gratitude. I take this
opportunity to tender my cordial thanks to those who have thus obliged and
aided me. And, while I cannot spread the names of all upon these pages, I
hasten to mention, first of all, my friend, Dr. Otis, with whom I have been
so closely associated, and whose courteous manner and kindly suggestions
have rendered my task always an agreeable one. I desire, likewise, to
mention Mr. George Lamb, of Boston, who has gratuitously executed and
contributed a map, illustrating the explorations of Champlain; Mr. Justin
Winsor, of the Library of Harvard College; Mr. Charles A. Cutter, of the
Boston Athenaeum; Mr. John Ward Dean, of the Library of the New England
Historic Genealogical Society; Mrs. John Carter Brown, of Providence,
R. I.; Miss S. E. Dorr, of Boston; Monsieur L. Delisle, Directeur Général
de la Bibliothèque Nationale, of Paris; M. Meschinet De Richemond,
Archiviste de la Charente Inférieure, La Rochelle, France; the Hon. Charles
H. Bell, of Exeter, N. H.; Francis Parkman, LL.D., of Boston; the Abbé H.
R. Casgrain, of Rivière Ouelle, Canada; John G. Shea, LL.D., of New York;
Mr. James M. LeMoine, of Quebec; and Mr. George Prince, of Bath, Maine.

I take this occasion to state for the information of the members of the
Prince Society, that some important facts contained in the Memoir had not
been received when the text and notes of the second volume were ready for
the press, and, to prevent any delay in the completion of the whole work,
Vol. II. was issued before Vol. I., as will appear by the dates on their
respective title-pages.

E. F. S.

BOSTON, 14 ARLINGTON STREET, November 10, 1880.




MONCORNET BY E. RONJAT, _heliotype_.
CARTE DE LA NOVVELLE FRANCE, 1632, _heliotype_.





Champlain was descended from an ancestry whose names are not recorded among
the renowned families of France. He was the son of Antoine de Champlain, a
captain in the marine, and his wife Marguerite LeRoy. They lived in the
little village of Brouage, in the ancient province of Saintonge. Of their
son Samuel, no contemporaneous record is known to exist indicating either
the day or year of his birth. The period at which we find him engaged in
active and responsible duties, such as are usually assigned to mature
manhood, leads to the conjecture that he was born about the year 1567. Of
his youth little is known. The forces that contributed to the formation of
his character are mostly to be inferred from the abode of his early years,
the occupations of those by whom he was surrounded, and the temper and
spirit of the times in which he lived.

Brouage is situated in a low, marshy region, on the southern bank of an
inlet or arm of the sea, on the southwestern shores of France, opposite to
that part of the Island of Oleron where it is separated from the mainland
only by a narrow channel. Although this little town can boast a great
antiquity, it never at any time had a large population. It is mentioned by
local historians as early as the middle of the eleventh century. It was a
seigniory of the family of Pons. The village was founded by Jacques de
Pons, after whose proper name it was for a time called Jacopolis, but soon
resumed its ancient appellation of Brouage.

An old chronicler of the sixteenth century informs us that in his time it
was a port of great importance, and the theatre of a large foreign
commerce. Its harbor, capable of receiving large ships, was excellent,
regarded, indeed, as the finest in the kingdom of France. [1] It was a
favorite idea of Charles VIII. to have at all times several war-ships in
this harbor, ready against any sudden invasion of this part of the coast.

At the period of Champlain's boyhood, the village of Brouage had two
absorbing interests. First, it had then recently become a military post of
importance; and second, it was the centre of a large manufacture of salt.
To these two interests, the whole population gave their thoughts, their
energy, and their enterprise.

In the reign of Charles IX., a short time before or perhaps a little after
the birth of Champlain, the town was fortified, and distinguished Italian
engineers were employed to design and execute the work. [2] To prevent a
sudden attack, it was surrounded by a capacious moat. At the four angles
formed by the moat were elevated structures of earth and wood planted upon
piles, with bastions and projecting angles, and the usual devices of
military architecture for the attainment of strength and facility of
defence. [3]

During the civil wars, stretching over nearly forty years of the last half
of the sixteenth century, with only brief and fitful periods of peace, this
little fortified town was a post ardently coveted by both of the contending
parties. Situated on the same coast, and only a few miles from Rochelle,
the stronghold of the Huguenots, it was obviously exceedingly important to
them that it should be in their possession, both as the key to the commerce
of the surrounding country and from the very great annoyance which an enemy
holding it could offer to them in numberless ways. Notwithstanding its
strong defences, it was nevertheless taken and retaken several times during
the struggles of that period. It was surrendered to the Huguenots in 1570,
but was immediately restored on the peace that presently followed. The king
of Navarre [4] took it by strategy in 1576, placed a strong garrison in it,
repaired and strengthened its fortifications; but the next year it was
forced to surrender to the royal army commanded by the duke of Mayenne. [5]
In 1585, the Huguenots made another attempt to gain possession of the town.
The Prince of Condé encamped with a strong force on the road leading to
Marennes, the only avenue to Brouage by land, while the inhabitants of
Rochelle co-operated by sending down a fleet which completely blocked up
the harbor. [6] While the siege was in successful progress, the prince
unwisely drew off a part of his command for the relief of the castle of
Angiers; [7] and a month later the siege was abandoned and the Huguenot
forces were badly cut to pieces by de Saint Luc, [8] the military governor
of Brouage, who pursued them in their retreat.

The next year, 1586, the town was again threatened by the Prince of Condé,
who, having collected another army, was met by De Saint Luc near the island
of Oleron, who sallied forth from Brouage with a strong force; and a
conflict ensued, lasting the whole day, with equal loss on both sides, but
with no decisive results.

Thus until 1589, when the King of Navarre, the leader of the Huguenots,
entered into a truce with Henry III., from Champlain's birth through the
whole period of his youth and until he entered upon his manhood, the little
town within whose walls he was reared was the fitful scene of war and
peace, of alarm and conflict.

But in the intervals, when the waves of civil strife settled into the calm
of a temporary peace, the citizens returned with alacrity to their usual
employment, the manufacture of salt, which was the absorbing article of
commerce in their port.

This manufacture was carried on more extensively in Saintonge than in any
other part of France. The salt was obtained by subjecting water drawn from
the ocean to solar evaporation. The low marsh-lands which were very
extensive about Brouage, on the south towards Marennes and on the north
towards Rochefort, were eminently adapted to this purpose. The whole of
this vast region was cut up into salt basins, generally in the form of
parallelograms, excavated at different depths, the earth and rubbish
scooped out and thrown on the sides, forming a platform or path leading
from basin to basin, the whole presenting to the eye the appearance of a
vast chess-board. The argillaceous earth at the bottom of the pans was made
hard to prevent the escape of the water by percolation. This was done in
the larger ones by leading horses over the surface, until, says an old
chronicler, the basins "would hold water as if they were brass." The water
was introduced from the sea, through sluices and sieves of pierced planks,
passing over broad surfaces in shallow currents, furnishing an opportunity
for evaporation from the moment it left the ocean until it found its way
into the numerous salt-basins covering the whole expanse of the marshy
plains. The water once in the basins, the process of evaporation was
carried on by the sun and the wind, assisted by the workmen, who agitated
the water to hasten the process. The first formation of salt was on the
surface, having a white, creamy appearance, exhaling an agreeable perfume,
resembling that of violets. This was the finest and most delicate salt,
while that precipitated, or falling to the bottom of the basin, was of a
darker hue.

When the crystallization was completed, the salt was gathered up, drained,
and piled in conical heaps on the platforms or paths along the sides of the
basins. At the height of the season, which began in May and ended in
September, when the whole marsh region was covered with countless white
cones of salt, it presented an interesting picture, not unlike the tented
camp of a vast army.

The salt was carried from the marshes on pack-horses, equipped each with a
white canvas bag, led by boys either to the quay, where large vessels were
lying, or to small barques which could be brought at high tide, by natural
or artificial inlets, into the very heart of the marsh-fields.

When the period for removing the salt came, no time was to be lost, as a
sudden fall of rain might destroy in an hour the products of a month. A
small quantity only could be transported at a time, and consequently great
numbers of animals were employed, which were made to hasten over the
sinuous and angulated paths at their highest speed. On reaching the ships,
the burden was taken by men stationed for the purpose, the boys mounted in
haste, and galloped back for another.

The scene presented in the labyrinth of an extensive salt-marsh was lively
and entertaining. The picturesque dress of the workmen, with their clean
white frocks and linen tights; the horses in great numbers mantled in their
showy salt-bags, winding their way on the narrow platforms, moving in all
directions, turning now to the right hand and now to the left, doubling
almost numberless angles, here advancing and again retreating, often going
two leagues to make the distance of one, maintaining order in apparent
confusion, altogether presented to the distant observer the aspect of a
grand equestrian masquerade.

The extent of the works and the labor and capital invested in them were
doubtless large for that period. A contemporary of Champlain informs us
that the wood employed in the construction of the works, in the form of
gigantic sluices, bridges, beam-partitions, and sieves, was so vast in
quantity that, if it were destroyed, the forests of Guienne would not
suffice to replace it. He also adds that no one who had seen the salt works
of Saintonge would estimate the expense of forming them less than that of
building the city of Paris itself.

The port of Brouage was the busy mart from which the salt of Saintonge was
distributed not only along the coast of France, but in London and Antwerp,
and we know not what other markets on the continent of Europe. [9]

The early years of Champlain were of necessity intimately associated with
the stirring scenes thus presented in this prosperous little seaport. As we
know that he was a careful observer, endowed by nature with an active
temperament and an unusual degree of practical sense we are sure that no
event escaped his attention, and that no mystery was permitted to go
unsolved. The military and commercial enterprise of the place brought him
into daily contact with men of the highest character in their departments.
The salt-factors of Brouage were persons of experience and activity, who
knew their business, its methods, and the markets at home and abroad. The
fortress was commanded by distinguished officers of the French army, and
was a rendezvous of the young nobility; like other similar places, a
training-school for military command. In this association, whether near or
remote, young Champlain, with his eagle eye and quick ear, was receiving
lessons and influences which were daily shaping his unfolding capacities,
and gradually compacting and crystallizing them into the firmness and
strength of character which he so largely displayed in after years. His
education, such as it was, was of course obtained during this period. He
has himself given us no intimation of its character or extent. A careful
examination of his numerous writings will, however, render it obvious that
it was limited and rudimentary, scarcely extending beyond the fundamental
branches which were then regarded as necessary in the ordinary transactions
of business. As the result of instruction or association with educated men,
he attained to a good general knowledge of the French language, but was
never nicely accurate or eminently skilful in its use. He evidently gave
some attention in his early years to the study and practice of drawing.
While the specimens of his work that have come down to us are marked by
grave defects, he appears nevertheless to have acquired facility and some
skill in the art, which he made exceedingly useful in the illustration of
his discoveries in the new world.

During Champlain's youth and the earlier years of his manhood, he appears
to have been engaged in practical navigation. In his address to the Queen
[10] he says, "this is the art which in my early years won my love, and has
induced me to expose myself almost all my life to the impetuous waves of
the ocean." That he began the practice of navigation at an early period may
likewise be inferred from the fact that in 1599 he was put in command of a
large French ship of 500 tons, which had been chartered by the Spanish
authorities for a voyage to the West Indies, of which we shall speak more
particularly in the sequel. It is obvious that he could not have been
intrusted with a command so difficult and of so great responsibility
without practical experience in navigation; and, as it will appear
hereafter that he was in the army several years during the civil war,
probably from 1592 to 1598, his experience in navigation must have been
obtained anterior to that, in the years of his youth and early manhood.

Brouage offered an excellent opportunity for such an employment. Its port
was open to the commerce of foreign nations, and a large number of vessels,
as we have already seen, was employed in the yearly distribution of the
salt of Saintonge, not only in the seaport towns of France, but in England
and on the Continent. In these coasting expeditions, Champlain was
acquiring skill in navigation which was to be of very great service to him
in his future career, and likewise gathering up rich stores of experience,
coming in contact with a great variety of men, observing their manners and
customs, and quickening and strengthening his natural taste for travel and
adventure. It is not unlikely that he was, at least during some of these
years, employed in the national marine, which was fully employed in
guarding the coast against foreign invasion, and in restraining the power
of the Huguenots, who were firmly seated at Rochelle with a sufficient
naval force to give annoyance to their enemies along the whole western
coast of France.

In 1592, or soon after that date, Champlain was appointed quarter-master in
the royal army in Brittany, discharging the office several years, until, by
the peace of Vervins, in 1598, the authority of Henry IV. was firmly
established throughout the kingdom. This war in Brittany constituted the
closing scene of that mighty struggle which had been agitating the nation,
wasting its resources and its best blood for more than half a century. It
began in its incipient stages as far back as a decade following 1530, when
the preaching of Calvin in the Kingdom of Navarre began to make known his
transcendent power. The new faith, which was making rapid strides in other
countries, easily awakened the warm heart and active temperament of the
French. The principle of private judgment which lies at the foundation of
Protestant teaching, its spontaneity as opposed to a faith imposed by
authority, commended it especially to the learned and thoughtful, while the
same principle awakened the quick and impulsive nature of the masses. The
effort to put down the movement by the extermination of those engaged in
it, proved not only unsuccessful, but recoiled, as usual in such cases,
upon the hand that struck the blow. Confiscations, imprisonments, and the
stake daily increased the number of those which these severe measures were
intended to diminish. It was impossible to mark its progress. When at
intervals all was calm and placid on the surface, at the same time, down
beneath, where the eye of the detective could not penetrate, in the closet
of the scholar and at the fireside of the artisan and the peasant, the new
gospel, silently and without observation, was spreading like an
all-pervading leaven. [11]

In 1562, the repressed forces of the Huguenots could no longer be
restrained, and, bursting forth, assumed the form of organized civil war.
With the exception of temporary lulls, originating in policy or exhaustion,
there was no cessation of arms until 1598. Although it is usually and
perhaps best described as a religious war, the struggle was not altogether
between the Catholic and the Huguenot or Protestant. There were many other
elements that came in to give their coloring to the contest, and especially
to determine the course and policy of individuals.

The ultra-Catholic desired to maintain the old faith with all its ancient
prestige and power, and to crush out and exclude every other. With this
party were found the court, certain ambitious and powerful families, and
nearly all the officials of the church. In close alliance with it were the
Roman Pontiff, the King of Spain, and the Catholic princes of Germany.

The Huguenots desired what is commonly known as liberty of conscience;
or, in other words, freedom to worship God according to their own views
of the truth, without interference or restriction. And in close alliance
with them were the Queen of England and the Protestant princes of

Personal motives, irrespective of principle, united many persons and
families with either of these great parties which seemed most likely to
subserve their private ambitions. The feudal system was nearly extinct in
form, but its spirit was still alive. The nobles who had long held sway in
some of the provinces of France desired to hold them as distinct and
separate governments, and to transmit them as an inheritance to their
children. This motive often determined their political association.

During the most of the period of this long civil war, Catherine de Médicis
[12] was either regent or in the exercise of a controlling influence in the
government of France. She was a woman of commanding person and
extraordinary ability, skilful in intrigue, without conscience and without
personal religion. She hesitated at no crime, however black, if through it
she could attain the objects of her ambition. Neither of her three sons,
Francis, Charles, and Henry, who came successively to the throne, left any
legal heir to succeed him. The succession became, therefore, at an early
period, a question of great interest. If not the potent cause, it was
nevertheless intimately connected with most of the bloodshed of that bloody

A solemn league was entered into by a large number of the ultra-Catholic
nobles to secure two avowed objects, the succession of a Catholic prince to
the throne, and the utter extermination of the Huguenots. Henry, King of
Navarre, afterwards Henry IV. of France, admitted to be the legal heir to
the throne, was a Protestant, and therefore by the decree of the League
disqualified to succeed. Around his standard, the Huguenots rallied in
great numbers. With him were associated the princes of Condé, of royal
blood, and many other distinguished nobles. They contended for the double
purpose of securing the throne to its rightful heir and of emancipating and
establishing the Protestant faith.

But there was another class, acting indeed with one or the other of these
two great parties, nevertheless influenced by very different motives. It
was composed of moderate Catholics, who cared little for the political
schemes and civil power of the Roman Pontiff, who dreaded the encroachments
of the King of Spain, who were firmly patriotic and desired the
aggrandizement and glory of France.

The ultra-Catholic party was, for a long period, by far the most numerous
and the more powerful; but the Huguenots were sufficiently strong to keep
up the struggle with varying success for nearly forty years.

After the alliance of Henry of Navarre with Henry III. against the League,
the moderate Catholics and the Huguenots were united and fought together
under the royal standard until the close of the war in 1598.

Champlain was personally engaged in the war in Brittany for several years.
This province on the western coast of France, constituting a tongue of land
jutting out as it were into the sea, isolated and remote from the great
centres of the war, was among the last to surrender to the arms of Henry
IV. The Huguenots had made but little progress within its borders. The Duke
de Mercoeur [13] had been its governor for sixteen years, and had bent all
his energies to separate it from France, organize it into a distinct
kingdom, and transmit its sceptre to his own family.

Champlain informs us that he was quarter-master in the army of the king
under Marshal d'Aumont, de Saint Luc, and Marshal de Brissac, distinguished
officers of the French army, who had been successively in command in that
province for the purpose of reducing it into obedience to Henry IV.

Marshal d'Aumont [14] took command of the army in Brittany in 1592. He was
then seventy years of age, an able and patriotic officer, a moderate
Catholic, and an uncompromising foe of the League. He had expressed his
sympathy for Henry IV. a long time before the death of Henry III., and when
that event occurred he immediately espoused the cause of the new monarch,
and was at once appointed to the command of one of the three great
divisions of the French army. He received a wound at the siege of the
Château de Camper, in Brittany, of which he died on the 19th of August,

De Saint Luc, already in the service in Brittany, as lieutenant-general
under D'Aumont, continued, after the death of that officer, in sole
command. [15] He raised the siege of the Château de Camper after the death
of his superior, and proceeded to capture several other posts, marching
through the lower part of the province, repressing the license of the
soldiery, and introducing order and discipline. On the 5th of September,
1596, he was appointed grand-master of the artillery of France, which
terminated his special service in Brittany.

The king immediately appointed in his place Marshal de Brissac, [16] an
officer of broad experience, who added other great qualities to those of an
able soldier. No distinguished battles signalized the remaining months of
the civil war in this province. The exhausted resources and faltering
courage of the people could no longer be sustained by the flatteries or
promises of the Duke de Mercoeur. Wherever the squadrons of the marshal
made their appearance the flag of truce was raised, and town, city, and
fortress vied with each other in their haste to bring their ensigns and lay
them at his feet.

On the seventh of June, 1598, the peace of Vervins was published in Paris,
and the kingdom of France was a unit, with the general satisfaction of all
parties, under the able, wise, and catholic sovereign, Henry the Fourth.


1. The following from Marshal de Montluc refers to Brouage in 1568.
Speaking of the Huguenots he says:--"Or ils n'en pouvoient choisir un
plus à leur advantage, que celui de la Rochelle, duquel dépend celui de
Brouage, qui est le plus beau port de mer de la France." _Commentaires_,
Paris, 1760, Tom. III., p. 340.

2. "La Riviere Puitaillé qui en étoit Gouverneur, fut chargé de faire
travailler aux fortifications. Belarmat, Bephano, Castritio d'Urbin, &
le Cavalier Orlogio, tous Ingénieurs Italiens, présiderent aux
travaux."--_Histoire La Rochelle_, par Arcere, à la Rochelle, 1756, Tom.
I., p. 121.

3. _Histioire de la Saintonge et de l'Aunis_, 1152-1548, par M. D. Massion,
Paris. 1838, Vol. II., p. 406.

4. The King of Navarre "sent for Monsieur _de Mirabeau_ under colour of
treating with him concerning other businesses, and forced him to deliver
up Brouage into his hands, a Fort of great importance, as well for that
it lies upon the Coast of the Ocean-sea, as because it abounds with such
store of salt-pits, which yeeld a great and constant revenue; he made
the Sieur de Montaut Governour, and put into it a strong Garrison of his
dependents, furnishing it with ammunition, and fortifying it with
exceeding diligence."--_His. Civ. Warres of France_, by Henrico Caterino
Davila, London, 1647, p. 455.

5. "The Duke of Mayenne, having without difficulty taken Thone-Charente,
and Marans, had laid siege to Brouage, a place, for situation, strength,
and the profit of the salt-pits, of very great importance; when the
Prince of Condé, having tryed all possible means to relieve the
besieged, the Hugonots after some difficulty were brought into such a
condition, that about the end of August they delivered it up, saving
only the lives of the Souldiers and inhabitants, which agreement the
Duke punctually observed."--_His. Civ. Warres_, by Davila, London, 1647,
p. 472. See also _Memoirs of Sully_, Phila., 1817, Vol. I., p. 69.

"_Le Jeudi_ XXVIII _Mars_. Fut tenu Conseil au Cabinet de la Royne mère
du Roy [pour] aviser ce que M. du _Maine_ avoit à faire, & j'ai mis en
avant l'enterprise de _Brouage_."--_Journal de Henri III_., Paris, 1744,
Tom. III., p. 220.

6. "The Prince of Condé resolved to besiege Brouage, wherein was the Sieur
_de St. Luc_, one of the League, with no contemptible number of infantry
and some other gentlemen of the Country. The Rochellers consented to
this Enterprise, both for their profit, and reputation which redounded
by it; and having sent a great many Ships thither, besieged the Fortress
by Sea, whilst the Prince having possessed that passage which is the
only way to Brouage by land, and having shut up the Defendants within
the circuit of their walls, straightned the Siege very closely on that
side."--_Davila_, p. 582. See also, _Histoire de Thou_, à Londres, 1734,
Tom. IX., p. 383.

The blocking up the harbor at this time appears to have been more
effective than convenient. Twenty boats or rafts filled with earth and
stone were sunk with a purpose of destroying the harbor. De Saint Luc,
the governor, succeeded in removing only four or five. The entrance for
vessels afterward remained difficult except at high tide. Subsequently
Cardinal de Richelieu expended a hundred thousand francs to remove the
rest, but did not succeed in removing one of them.--_Vide Histoire de La
Rochelle_, par Arcere, Tom I. p. 121.

7. The Prince of Condé. "Leaving Monsieur de St. Mesmes with the Infantry
and Artillery at the Siege of Brouage, and giving order that the Fleet
should continue to block it up by sea, he departed upon the eight of
October to relieve the Castle of Angiers with 800 Gentlemen and 1400
Harquebuziers on horseback."--_Davila_, p. 583. See also _Memoirs of
Sully_, Phila., 1817, Vol. I., p 123; _Histoire de Thou_, à Londres,
1734, Tom. IX, p. 385.

8. "_St. Luc_ sallying out of Brouage, and following those that were
scattered severall wayes, made a great slaughter of them in many places;
whereupon the Commander, despairing to rally the Army any more, got away
as well as they could possibly, to secure their own strong holds."--
_His. Civ. Warres of France_, by Henrico Caterino Davila, London, 1647,
p 588.

9. An old writer gives us some idea of the vast quantities of salt exported
from France by the amount sent to a single country.

"Important denique sexies mille vel circiter centenarios salis, quorum
singuli constant centenis modiis, ducentenas ut minimum & vicenas
quinas, vel & tricenas, pro salis ipsius candore puritateque, libras
pondo pendentibus, sena igitur libras centenariorum millia, computatis
in singulos aureis nummis tricenis, centum & octoginta reserunt aureorum
millia."--_Belguae Descrtptio_, a Lud. Gvicciardino, Amstelodami, 1652,
p. 244.

TRANSLATION.--They import in fine 6000 centenarii of salt, each one of
which contains 100 bushels, weighing at least 225 or 230 pounds,
according to the purity and whiteness of the salt; therefore six
thousand centenarii, computing each at thirty golden nummi, amount to
180,000 aurei.

It may not be easy to determine the value of this importation in money,
since the value of gold is constantly changing, but the quantity
imported may be readily determined, which was according to the above
statement, 67,500 tons.

A treaty of April 30, 1527, between Francis I. of France and Henry VIII.
of England, provided as follows:--"And, besides, should furnish unto the
said _Henry_, as long as hee lived, yearly, of the Salt of _Brouage_,
the value of fifteene thousand Crownes."--_Life and Raigne of Henry
VIII._, by Lord Herbert of Cherbury, London, 1649, p. 206.

Saintonge continued for a long time to be the source of large exports of
salt. De Witt, writing about the year 1658, says they received in
Holland of "salt, yearly, the lading of 500 or 600 ships, exported from
Rochel, Maran, Brouage, the Island of Oleron, and Ree."--_Republick of
Holland_, by John De Witt, London, 1702, p. 271. But it no longer holds
the pre-eminence which it did three centuries ago. Saintonge long since
yielded the palm to Brittany.

10. Vide _Oeuvres de Champlain_, Quebec ed, Tom. III. p. v.

11. In 1558, it was estimated that there were already 400,000 persons in
France who were declared adherents of the Reformation.--_Ranke's Civil
Wars in France_, Vol. I., p. 234.

"Although our assemblies were most frequently held in the depth of
midnight, and our enemies very often heard us passing through the
street, yet so it was, that God bridled them in such manner that we
were preserved under His protection."--_Bernard Palissy_, 1580. Vide
_Morlay's Life of Palissy_, Vol. II., p. 274.

When Henry IV. besieged Paris, its population was more than 200,000.--

12. "Catherine de Médicis was of a large and, at the same time, firm and
powerful figure, her countenance had an olive tint, and her prominent
eyes and curled lip reminded the spectator of her great uncle, Leo X"
--_Civil Wars in France_, by Leopold Ranke, London, 1852, p 28.

13. Philippe Emanuel de Lorraine, Duc de Mercoeur, born at Nomény,
September 9, 1558, was the son of Nicolas, Count de Vaudemont, by his
second wife, Jeanne de Savoy, and was half-brother of Queen Louise, the
wife of Henry III. He was made governor of Brittany in 1582. He
embraced the party of the League before the death of Henry III.,
entered into an alliance with Philip II., and gave the Spaniards
possession of the port of Blavet in 1591. He made his submission to
Henry IV. in 1598, on which occasion his only daughter Françoise,
probably the richest heiress in the kingdom, was contracted in marriage
to César, Duc de Vendôme, the illegitimate son of Henry IV. by
Gabrielle d'Estrées, the Duchess de Beaufort. The Duc de Mercoeur died
at Nuremburg, February 19, 1602.--_Vide Birch's Memoirs of Queen
Elizabeth_, Vol. I., p. 82; _Davila's His. Civil Warres of France_, p.

14. Jean d'Aumont, born in 1522, a Marshal of France who served under
six kings, Francis I., Henry II., Francis II., Charles IX., Henry
III., and Henry IV. He distinguished himself at the battles of
Dreux, Saint-Denis, Montcontour, and in the famous siege of
Rochelle in 1573. After the death of Henry III., he was the first
to recognize Henry IV., whom he served with the same zeal as he
had his five predecessors He took part in the brilliant battle of
Arques in 1589. In the following year, he so distinguished himself
at Ivry that Henry IV., inviting him to sup with him after this
memorable battle, addressed to him these flattering words, "Il est
juste que vous soyez du festin, après m'avoir si bien servi à mes
noces." At the siege of the Château de Camper, in Upper Brittany,
he received a musket shot which fractured his arm, and died of the
wound on the 19th of August, 1595, at the age of seventy-three
years. "Ce grand capitaine qui avoit si bien mérité du Roi et de
la nation, emporta dans le tombeau les regrets des Officiers & des
soldats, qui pleurerent amérement la perte de leur Général. La
Bretagne qui le regardoit comme son père, le Roi, tout le Royaume
enfin, furent extrêmement touchez de sa mort. Malgré la haine
mutuelle des factions qui divisoient la France, il étoit si estimé
dans les deux partis, que s'il se fût agi de trouver un chevalier
François sans reproche, tel que nos peres en ont autrefois eu,
tout le monde auroit jette les yeux sur d'Aumont."--_Histoire
Universelle de Jacque-Auguste de Thou_, à Londres, 1734,
Tom. XII., p. 446--_Vide_ also, _Larousse; Camden's His. Queen
Elizabeth_, London, 1675 pp 486,487, _Memoirs of Sully_,
Philadelphia, 1817, pp. 122, 210; _Oeuvres de Brantôme_, Tom. IV.,
pp. 46-49; _Histoire de Bretagne_, par M. Daru, Paris, 1826,
Vol. III. p. 319; _Freer's His. Henry IV._, Vol. II, p. 70.

15. François d'Espinay de Saint-Luc, sometimes called _Le Brave Saint
Luc_, was born in 1554, and was killed at the battle of Amiens on
the 8th of September, 1597. He was early appointed governor of
Saintonge, and of the Fortress of Brouage, which he successfully
defended in 1585 against the attack of the King of Navarre and the
Prince de Condé. He assisted at the battle of Coutras in 1587. He
served as a lieutenant-general in Brittany from 1592 to 1596. In
1594, he planned with Brissac, his brother-in-law, then governor
of Paris for the League, for the surrender of Paris to Henry
IV. For this he was offered the baton of a Marshal of France by
the king, which he modestly declined, and begged that it might be
given to Brissac. In 1578, through the influence or authority of
Henry III., he married the heiress, Jeanne de Cosse-Brissac,
sister of Charles de Cosse-Brissac, _postea_, a lady of no
personal attractions, but of excellent understanding and
character. --_Vide Courcelle's Histoire Généalogique des Pairs de
France_, Vol. II.; _Birch's Memoirs of Queen Elizabeth_, Vol. I.,
pp. 163, 191; _Freer's Henry III._, p. 162; _De Mezeray's
His. France_, 1683, p. 861.

16. Charles de Cosse-Brissac, a Marshal of France and governor of Angiers.
He was a member of the League as early as 1585. He conceived the idea
of making France a republic after the model of ancient Rome. He laid
his views before the chief Leaguers but none of them approved his plan.
He delivered up Paris, of which he was governor, to Henry IV. in 1594,
for which he received the Marshal's baton. He died in 1621, at the
siege of Saint Jean d'Angely.--_Vide Davila_, pp. 538, 584, 585;
_Sully_, Philadelphia, 1817, V. 61. Vol. I., p. 420; _Brantôme_, Vol.
III., p. 84; _His. Collections_, London, 1598, p. 35; _De Thou_, à
Londres, 1724, Tome XII., p. 449.

17. "By the Articles of this Treaty the king was to restore the County of
_Charolois_ to the king of _Spain_, to be by him held of the Crown of
_France_; who in exchange restor'd the towns of _Calice, Ardres,
Montbulin, Dourlens, la Capelle_, and _le Catelet_ in _Picardy_, and
_Blavet_ in Britanny: which Articles were Ratifi'd and Sign'd by his
Majesty the eleventh of June [1598]; who in his gayety of humour, at so
happy a conclusion, told the Duke of _Espernon, That with one dash of
his Pen he had done greater things, than he could of a long time have
perform'd with the best Swords of his Kingdom."--Life of the Duke of
Espernon_, London, 1670, p. 203; _Histoire du Roy Henry le Grand_, par
Préfixe, Paris, 1681, p. 243.



The service of Champlain as quarter-master in the war in Brittany commenced
probably with the appointment of Marshal d'Aumont to the command of the
army in 1592, and, if we are right in this conjecture, it covered a period
of not far from six years. The activity of the army, and the difficulty of
obtaining supplies in the general destitution of the province, imposed upon
him constant and perplexing duty. But in the midst of his embarrassments he
was gathering up valuable experience, not only relating to the conduct of
war, but to the transactions of business under a great variety of forms. He
was brought into close and intimate relations with men of character,
standing, and influence. The knowledge, discipline, and self-control of
which he was daily becoming master were unconsciously fitting him for a
career, humble though it might seem in its several stages, but nevertheless
noble and potent in its relations to other generations.

At the close of the war, the army which it had called into existence
was disbanded, the soldiers departed to their homes, the office of
quarter-master was of necessity vacated, and Champlain was left
without employment.

Casting about for some new occupation, following his instinctive love of
travel and adventure, he conceived the idea of attempting an exploration of
the Spanish West Indies, with the purpose of bringing back a report that
should be useful to France. But this was an enterprise not easy either to
inaugurate or carry out. The colonial establishments of Spain were at that
time hermetically sealed against all intercourse with foreign nations.
Armed ships, like watch-dogs, were ever on the alert, and foreign
merchantmen entered their ports only at the peril of confiscation. It was
necessary for Spain to send out annually a fleet, under a convoy of ships
of war, for the transportation of merchandise and supplies for the
colonies, returning laden with cargoes of almost priceless value.
Champlain, fertile in expedient, proposed to himself to visit Spain, and
there form such acquaintances and obtain such influence as would secure to
him in some way a passage to the Indies in this annual expedition.

The Spanish forces, allies of the League in the late war, had not yet
departed from the coast of France. He hastened to the port of Blavet, [18]
where they were about to embark, and learned to his surprise and
gratification that several French ships had been chartered, and that his
uncle, a distinguished French mariner, commonly known as the _Provençal
Cappitaine_, had received orders from Marshal de Brissac to conduct the
fleet, on which the garrison of Blavet was embarked, to Cadiz in Spain.
Champlain easily arranged to accompany his uncle, who was in command of the
"St. Julian," a strong, well-built ship of five hundred tons.

Having arrived at Cadiz, and the object of the voyage having been
accomplished, the French ships were dismissed, with the exception of the
"St. Julian," which was retained, with the Provincial Captain, who had
accepted the office of pilot-general for that year, in the service of the
King of Spain.

After lingering a month at Cadiz, they proceeded to St. Lucar de Barameda,
where Champlain remained three months, agreeably occupied in making
observations and drawings of both city and country, including a visit to
Seville, some fifty miles in the interior.

In the mean time, the fleet for the annual visit to the West Indies, to
which we have already alluded, was fitting out at Saint Lucar, and about to
sail under the command of Don Francisco Colombo, who, attracted by the size
and good sailing qualities of the "Saint Julian," chartered her for the
voyage. The services of the pilot-general were required in another
direction, and, with the approbation of Colombo, he gave the command of the
"Saint Julian" to Champlain. Nothing could have been more gratifying than
this appointment, which assured to Champlain a visit to the more important
Spanish colonies under the most favorable circumstances.

He accordingly set sail with the fleet, which left Saint Lucar at the
beginning of January, 1599.

Passing the Canaries, in two months and six days they sighted the little
island of Deseada, [19] the _vestibule_ of the great Caribbean
archipelago, touched at Guadaloupe, wound their way among the group called
the Virgins, turning to the south made for Margarita, [20] then famous for
its pearl fisheries, and from thence sailed to St. Juan de Porto-rico. Here
the fleet was divided into three squadrons. One was to go to Porto-bello,
on the Isthmus of Panama, another to the coast of South America, then
called Terra Firma, and the third to Mexico, then known as New Spain. This
latter squadron, to which Champlain was attached, coasted along the
northern shore of the island of Saint Domingo, otherwise Hispaniola,
touching at Porto Platte, Mancenilla, Mosquitoes, Monte Christo, and Saint
Nicholas. Skirting the southern coast of Cuba, reconnoitring the Caymans,
[21] they at length cast anchor in the harbor of San Juan d'Ulloa, the
island fortress near Vera Cruz. While here, Champlain made an inland
journey to the City of Mexico, where he remained a month. He also sailed in
a _patache_, or advice-boat, to Porto-bello, when, after a month, he
returned again to San Juan d'Ulloa. The squadron then sailed for Havana,
from which place Champlain was commissioned to visit, on public business,
Cartagena, within the present limits of New Grenada, on the coast of South
America. The whole _armada_ was finally collected together at Havana,
and from thence took its departure for Spain, passing through the channel
of Bahama, or Gulf of Florida, sighting Bermuda and the Azores, reaching
Saint Lucar early in March, 1601, after an absence from that port of two
years and two months. [22]

On Champlain's return to France, he prepared an elaborate report of his
observations and discoveries, luminous with sixty-two illustrations
sketched by his own hand. As it was his avowed purpose in making the voyage
to procure information that should be valuable to his government, he
undoubtedly communicated it in some form to Henry IV. The document remained
in manuscript two hundred and fifty-seven years, when it was first printed
at London in an English translation by the Hakluyt Society, in 1859. It is
an exceedingly interesting and valuable tract, containing a lucid
description of the peculiarities, manners, and customs of the people, the
soil, mountains, and rivers, the trees, fruits, and plants, the animals,
birds, and fishes, the rich mines found at different points, with frequent
allusions to the system of colonial management, together with the character
and sources of the vast wealth which these settlements were annually
yielding to the Spanish crown.

The reader of this little treatise will not fail to see the drift and
tendency of Champlain's mind and character unfolded on nearly every page.
His indomitable perseverance, his careful observation, his honest purpose
and amiable spirit are at all times apparent. Although a Frenchman, a
foreigner, and an entire stranger in the Spanish fleet, he had won the
confidence of the commander so completely, that he was allowed by special
permission to visit the City of Mexico, the Isthmus of Panama, and the
coast of South America, all of which were prominent and important centres
of interest, but nevertheless lying beyond the circuit made by the squadron
to which he was attached.

For the most part, Champlain's narrative of what he saw and of what he
learned from others is given in simple terms, without inference or comment.

His views are, however, clearly apparent in his description of the Spanish
method of converting the Indians by the Inquisition, reducing them to
slavery or the horrors of a cruel death, together with the retaliation
practised by their surviving comrades, resulting in a milder method. This
treatment of the poor savages by their more savage masters Champlain
illustrates by a graphic drawing, in which two stolid Spaniards are
guarding half a dozen poor wretches who are burning for their faith. In
another drawing he represents a miserable victim receiving, under the eye
and direction of the priest, the blows of an uplifted baton, as a penalty
for not attending church.

Champlain's forecast and fertility of mind may be clearly seen in his
suggestion that a ship-canal across the Isthmus of Panama would be a work
of great practical utility, saving, in the voyage to the Pacific side of
the Isthmus, a distance of more than fifteen hundred leagues. [23]

As it was the policy of Spain to withhold as much as possible all knowledge
of her colonial system and wealth in the West Indies, we may add, that
there is probably no work extant, on this subject, written at that period,
so full, impartial, and truthful as this tract by Champlain. It was
undoubtedly written out from notes and sketches made on the spot, and
probably occupied the early part of the two years that followed his return
from this expedition, during which period we are not aware that he entered
upon any other important enterprise. [24]

This tour among the Spanish colonies, and the description which Champlain
gave of them, information so much desired and yet so difficult to obtain,
appear to have made a strong and favorable impression upon the mind of
Henry IV., whose quick comprehension of the character of men was one of the
great qualities of this distinguished sovereign. He clearly saw that
Champlain's character was made up of those elements which are indispensable
in the servants of the executive will. He accordingly assigned him a
pension to enable him to reside near his person, and probably at the same
time honored him with a place within the charmed circle of the nobility.

While Champlain was residing at court, rejoicing doubtless in his new
honors and full of the marvels of his recent travels, he formed the
acquaintance, or perhaps renewed an old one, with Commander de Chastes,
[26] for many years governor of Dieppe, who had given a long life to the
service of his country, both by sea [27] and by land, and was a warm and
attached friend of Henry IV. The enthusiasm of the young voyager and the
long experience of the old commander made their interviews mutually
instructive and entertaining. De Chastes had observed and studied with
great interest the recent efforts at colonization on the coast of North
America. His zeal had been kindled and his ardor deepened doubtless by the
glowing recitals of his young friend. It was easy for him to believe that
France, as well as Spain, might gather in the golden fruits of
colonization. The territory claimed by France was farther to the north, in
climate and in sources of wealth widely different, and would require a
different management. He had determined, therefore, to send out an
expedition for the purpose of obtaining more definite information than he
already possessed, with the view to surrender subsequently his government
of Dieppe, take up his abode in the new world, and there dedicate his
remaining years to the service of God and his king. He accordingly obtained
a commission from the king, associating with himself some of the principal
merchants of Rouen and other cities, and made preparations for despatching
a pioneer fleet to reconnoitre and fix upon a proper place for settlement,
and to determine what equipment would be necessary for the convenience and
comfort of the colony. He secured the services of Pont Gravé, [28] a
distinguished merchant and Canadian fur-trader, to conduct the expedition.
Having laid his views open fully to Champlain, he invited him also to join
the exploring party, as he desired the opinion and advice of so careful an
observer as to a proper plan of future operations.

No proposition could have been more agreeable to Champlain than this, and
he expressed himself quite ready for the enterprise, provided De Chastes
would secure the consent of the king, to whom he was under very great
obligations. De Chastes readily obtained the desired permission, coupled,
however, with an order from the king to Champlain to bring back to him a
faithful report of the voyage. Leaving Paris, Champlain hastened to
Honfleur, armed with a letter of instructions from M. de Gesures, the
secretary of the king, to Pont Gravé, directing him to receive Champlain
and afford him every facility for seeing and exploring the country which
they were about to visit. They sailed for the shores of the New World on
the 15th of March, 1603.

The reader should here observe that anterior to this date no colonial
settlement had been made on the northern coasts of America. These regions
had, however, been frequented by European fishermen at a very early period,
certainly within the decade after its discovery by John Cabot in 1497. But
the Basques, Bretons, and Normans, [29] who visited these coasts, were
intent upon their employment, and consequently brought home only meagre
information of the country from whose shores they yearly bore away rich
cargoes of fish.

The first voyage made by the French for the purpose of discovery in our
northern waters of which we have any authentic record was by Jacques
Cartier in 1534, and another was made for the same purpose by this
distinguished navigator in 1535. In the former, he coasted along the shores
of Newfoundland, entered and gave its present name to the Bay of Chaleur,
and at Gaspé took formal possession of the country in the name of the king.
In the second, he ascended the St. Lawrence as far as Montreal, then an
Indian village known by the aborigines as Hochelaga, situated on an island
at the base of an eminence which they named _Mont-Royal_, from which the
present commercial metropolis of the Dominion derives its name. After a
winter of great suffering, which they passed on the St. Charles, near
Quebec, and the death of many of his company, Cartier returned to France
early in the summer of 1536. In 1541, he made a third voyage, under the
patronage of François de la Roque, Lord de Roberval, a nobleman of Picardy.
He sailed up the St. Lawrence, anchoring probably at the mouth of the river
Cap Rouge, about four leagues above Quebec, where he built a fort which he
named _Charlesbourg-Royal_. Here he passed another dreary and disheartening
winter, and returned to France in the spring of 1542. His patron, De
Roberval, who had failed to fulfil his intention to accompany him the
preceding year, met him at St. John, Newfoundland. In vain Roberval urged
and commanded him to retrace his course; but the resolute old navigator had
too recent an experience and saw too clearly the inevitable obstacles to
success in their undertaking to be diverted from his purpose. Roberval
proceeded up the Saint Lawrence, apparently to the fort just abandoned by
Cartier, which he repaired and occupied the next winter, naming it
_Roy-Francois_; [30] but the disasters which followed, the sickness and
death of many of his company, soon forced him, likewise, to abandon the
enterprise and return to France.

Of these voyages, Cartier, or rather his pilot-general, has left full and
elaborate reports, giving interesting and detailed accounts of the mode of
life among the aborigines, and of the character and products of the

The entire want of success in all these attempts, and the absorbing and
wasting civil wars in France, paralyzed the zeal and put to rest all
aspirations for colonial adventure for more than half a century.

But in 1598, when peace again began to dawn upon the nation, the spirit of
colonization revived, and the Marquis de la Roche, a nobleman of Brittany,
obtained a royal commission with extraordinary and exclusive powers of
government and trade, identical with those granted to Roberval nearly sixty
years before. Having fitted out a vessel and placed on board forty convicts
gathered out of the prisons of France, he embarked for the northern coasts
of America. The first land he made was Sable Island, a most forlorn
sand-heap rising out of the Atlantic Ocean, some thirty leagues southeast
of Cape Breton. Here he left these wretched criminals to be the strength
and hope, the bone and sinew of the little kingdom which, in his fancy, he
pictured to himself rising under his fostering care in the New World. While
reconnoitring the mainland, probably some part of Nova Scotia, for the
purpose of selecting a suitable location for his intended settlement, a
furious gale swept him from the coast, and, either from necessity or
inclination, he returned to France, leaving his hopeful colonists to a fate
hardly surpassed by that of Selkirk himself, and at the same time
dismissing the bright visions that had so long haunted his mind, of
personal aggrandizement at the head of a colonial establishment.

The next year, 1599, Sieur de Saint Chauvin, of Normandy, a captain in the
royal marine, at the suggestion of Pont Gravé, of Saint Malo, an
experienced fur-trader, to whom we have already referred, and who had made
several voyages to the northwest anterior to this, obtained a commission
sufficiently comprehensive, amply providing for a colonial settlement and
the propagation of the Christian faith, with, indeed, all the privileges
accorded by that of the Marquis de la Roche. But the chief and present
object which Chauvin and Pont Gravé hoped to attain was the monopoly of the
fur trade, which they had good reason to believe they could at that time
conduct with success. Under this commission, an expedition was accordingly
fitted out and sailed for Tadoussac. Successful in its main object, with a
full cargo of valuable furs, they returned to France in the autumn,
leaving, however, sixteen men, some of whom perished during the winter,
while the rest were rescued from the same fate by the charity of the
Indians. In the year 1600, Chauvin made another voyage, which was equally
remunerative, and a third had been projected on a much broader scale, when
his death intervened and prevented its execution.

The death of Sieur de Chauvin appears to have vacated his commission, at
least practically, opening the way for another, which was obtained by the
Commander de Chastes, whose expedition, accompanied by Champlain, as we
have already seen, left Honfleur on the 15th of March, 1603. It consisted
of two barques of twelve or fifteen tons, one commanded by Pont Gravé, and
the other by Sieur Prevert, of Saint Malo, and was probably accompanied by
one or more advice-boats. They took with them two Indians who had been in
France some time, doubtless brought over by De Chauvin on his last voyage.
With favoring winds, they soon reached the banks of Newfoundland, sighted
Cape Ray, the northern point of the Island of Cape Breton, Anticosti and
Gaspé, coasting along the southern side of the river Saint Lawrence as far
as the Bic, where, crossing over to the northern shore, they anchored in
the harbor of Tadoussac. After reconnoitring the Saguenay twelve or fifteen
leagues, leaving their vessels at Tadoussac, where an active fur trade was
in progress with the Indians, they proceeded up the St. Lawrence in a light
boat, passed Quebec, the Three Rivers, Lake St. Peter, the Richelieu, which
they called the river of the Iroquois, making an excursion up this stream
five or six leagues, and then, continuing their course, passing Montreal,
they finally cast anchor on the northern side, at the foot of the Falls of
St. Louis, not being able to proceed further in their boat.

Having previously constructed a skiff for the purpose, Pont Gravé and
Champlain, with five sailors and two Indians with a canoe, attempted to
pass the falls. But after a long and persevering trial, exploring the
shores on foot for some miles, they found any further progress quite
impossible with their present equipment. They accordingly abandoned the
undertaking and set out on their return to Tadoussac. They made short stops
at various points, enabling Champlain to pursue his investigations with
thoroughness and deliberation. He interrogated the Indians as to the course
and extent of the St. Lawrence, as well as that of the other large rivers,
the location of the lakes and falls, and the outlines and general features
of the country, making rude drawings or maps to illustrate what the Indians
found difficult otherwise to explain. [31]

The savages also exhibited to them specimens of native copper, which they
represented as having been obtained from the distant north, doubtless from
the neighborhood of Lake Superior. On reaching Tadoussac, they made another
excursion in one of the barques as far as Gaspé, observing the rivers,
bays, and coves along the route. When they had completed their trade with
the Indians and had secured from them a valuable collection of furs, they
commenced their return voyage to France, touching at several important
points, and obtaining from the natives some general hints in regard to the
existence of certain mines about the head waters of the Bay of Fundy.

Before leaving, one of the Sagamores placed his son in charge of Pont
Gravé, that he might see the wonders of France, thus exhibiting a
commendable appreciation of the advantages of foreign travel. They also
obtained the gift of an Iroquois woman, who had been taken in war, and was
soon to be immolated as one of the victims at a cannibal feast. Besides
these, they took with them also four other natives, a man from the coast of
La Cadie, and a woman and two boys from Canada.

The two little barques left Gaspé on the 24th of August; on the 5th of
September they were at the fishing stations on the Grand Banks, and on the
20th of the same month arrived at Havre de Grâce, having been absent six
months and six days.

Champlain received on his arrival the painful intelligence that the
Commander de Chastes, his friend and patron, under whose auspices the late
expedition had been conducted, had died on the 13th of May preceding. This
event was a personal grief as well as a serious calamity to him, as it
deprived him of an intimate and valued friend, and cast a cloud over the
bright visions that floated before him of discoveries and colonies in the
New World. He lost no time in repairing to the court, where he laid before
his sovereign, Henry IV., a map constructed by his own hand of the regions
which he had just visited, together with a very particular narrative of the

This "petit discours," as Champlain calls it, is a clear, compact,
well-drawn paper, containing an account of the character and products of
the country, its trees, plants, fruits, and vines, with a description of
the native inhabitants, their mode of living, their clothing, food and its
preparation, their banquets, religion, and method of burying their dead,
with many other interesting particulars relating to their habits and

Henry IV. manifested a deep interest in Champlain's narrative. He listened
to its recital with great apparent satisfaction, and by way of
encouragement promised not to abandon the undertaking, but to continue to
bestow upon it his royal favor and patronage.

There chanced at this time to be residing at court, a Huguenot gentleman
who had been a faithful adherent of Henry IV. in the late war, Pierre du
Guast, Sieur de Monts, gentleman ordinary to the king's chamber, and
governor of Pons in Saintonge. This nobleman had made a trip for pleasure
or recreation to Canada with De Chauvin, several years before, and had
learned something of the country, and especially of the advantages of the
fur trade with the Indians. He was quite ready, on the death of De Chastes,
to take up the enterprise which, by this event, had been brought to a
sudden and disastrous termination. He immediately devised a scheme for the
establishment of a colony under the patronage of a company to be composed
of merchants of Rouen, Rochelle, and of other places, their contributions
for covering the expense of the enterprise to be supplemented, if not
rendered entirely unnecessary, by a trade in furs and peltry to be
conducted by the company.

In less than two months after the return of the last expedition, De Monts
had obtained from Henry IV., though contrary to the advice of his most
influential minister, [32] a charter constituting him the king's lieutenant
in La Cadie, with all necessary and desirable powers for a colonial
settlement. The grant included the whole territory lying between the 4Oth
and 46th degrees of north latitude. Its southern boundary was on a parallel
of Philadelphia, while its northern was on a line extended due west from
the most easterly point of the Island of Cape Breton, cutting New Brunswick
on a parallel near Fredericton, and Canada near the junction of the river
Richelieu and the St. Lawrence. It will be observed that the parts of New
France at that time best known were not included in this grant, viz., Lake
St. Peter, Three Rivers, Quebec, Tadoussac, Gaspé, and the Bay Chaleur.
These were points of great importance, and had doubtless been left out of
the charter by an oversight arising from an almost total want of a definite
geographical knowledge of our northern coast. Justly apprehending that the
places above mentioned might not be included within the limits of his
grant, De Monts obtained, the next month, an extension of the bounds of his
exclusive right of trade, so that it should comprehend the whole region of
the gulf and river of St. Lawrence. [33]

The following winter, 1603-4, was devoted by De Monts to organizing his
company, the collection of a suitable band of colonists, and the necessary
preparations for the voyage. His commission authorized him to seize any
idlers in the city or country, or even convicts condemned to
transportation, to make up the bone and sinew of the colony. To what extent
he resorted to this method of filling his ranks, we know not. Early in
April he had gathered together about a hundred and twenty artisans of all
trades, laborers, and soldiers, who were embarked upon two ships, one of
120 tons, under the direction of Sieur de Pont Gravé, commanded, however,
by Captain Morel, of Honfleur; another of 150 tons, on which De Monts
himself embarked with several noblemen and gentlemen, having Captain
Timothée, of Havre de Grâce, as commander.

De Monts extended to Champlain an invitation to join the expedition, which
he readily accepted, but, nevertheless, on the condition, as in the
previous voyage, of the king's assent, which was freely granted,
nevertheless with the command that he should prepare a faithful report of
his observations and discoveries.


18. Blavet was situated at the mouth of the River Blavet, on the southern
coast of Brittany. Its occupation had been granted to the Spanish by
the Duke de Mercoeur during the civil war, and, with other places held
by the Spanish, was surrendered by the treaty of Vervins, in June,
1598. It was rebuilt and fortified by Louis XIII, and is now known as
Port Louis.

19. _Deseada_, signifying in Spanish the desired land.

20. _Margarita_, a Spanish word from the Greek [Greek: margaritaes],
signifying a pearl. The following account by an eye-witness will not be
uninteresting: "Especially it yieldeth store of pearls, those gems
which the Latin writers call _Uniones_, because _nulli duo reperiuntur
discreti_, they always are found to grow in couples. In this Island
there are many rich Merchants who have thirty, forty, fifty _Blackmore_
slaves only to fish out of the sea about the rocks these pearls....
They are let down in baskets into the Sea, and so long continue under
the water, until by pulling the rope by which they are let down, they
make their sign to be taken up.... From _Margarita_ are all the Pearls
sent to be refined and bored to _Carthagena_, where is a fair and
goodly street of no other shops then of these Pearl dressers. Commonly
in the month of _July_ there is a ship or two at most ready in the
Island to carry the King's revenue, and the Merchant's pearls to
_Carthagena_. One of these ships is valued commonly at three score
thousand or four score thousand ducats and sometimes more, and
therefore are reasonable well manned; for that the _Spaniards_ much
fear our _English_ and the _Holland_ ships."--_Vide New Survey of the
West Indies_, by Thomas Gage, London, 1677, p. 174.

21. _Caymans_, Crocodiles.

22. For an interesting Account of the best route to and from the West
Indies in order to avoid the vigilant French and English corsairs, see
_Notes on Giovanni da Verrazano_, by J. C. Brevoort, New York, 1874, p.

23. At the time that Champlain was at the isthmus, in 1599-1601, the gold
and silver of Peru were brought to Panama, then transported on mules a
distance of about four leagues to a river, known as the Rio Chagres,
whence they were conveyed by water first to Chagres. and thence along
the coast to Porto-bello, and there shipped to Spain.

Champlain refers to a ship-canal in the following words: "One might
judge, if the territory four leagues in extent lying between Panama and
this river were cut through, he could pass from the south sea to that
on the other side, and thus shorten the route by more than fifteen
hundred leagues. From Panama to the Straits of Magellan would
constitute an island, and from Panama to New Foundland another, so that
the whole of America would be in two islands."--_Vide Brief Discours
des Choses Plus Rémarquables_, par Sammuel Champlain de Brovage, 1599,
Quebec ed., Vol. I. p 141. This project of a ship canal across the
isthmus thus suggested by Champlain two hundred and eighty years ago is
now attracting the public attention both in this country and in Europe.
Several schemes are on foot for bringing it to pass, and it will
undoubtedly be accomplished, if it shall be found after the most
careful and thorough investigation to be within the scope of human
power, and to offer adequate commercial advantages.

Some of the difficulties to be overcome are suggested by Mr. Marsh in
the following excerpt--

"The most colossal project of canalization ever suggested, whether we
consider the physical difficulties of its execution, the magnitude and
importance of the waters proposed to be united, or the distance which
would be saved in navigation, is that of a channel between the Gulf of
Mexico and the Pacific, across the Isthmus of Darien. I do not now
speak of a lock-canal, by way of the Lake of Nicaragua, or any other
route,--for such a work would not differ essentially from other canals
and would scarcely possess a geographical character,--but of an open
cut between the two seas. The late survey by Captain Selfridge, showing
that the lowest point on the dividing ridge is 763 feet above the
sea-level, must be considered as determining in the negative the
question of the possibility of such a cut, by any means now at the
control of man; and both the sanguine expectations of benefits, and the
dreary suggestions of danger from the realization of this great dream,
may now be dismissed as equally chimerical."--_Vide The Earth as
Modified by Human Action_, by George P. Marsh, New York, 1874, p. 612.

24. A translation of Champlain's Voyage to the West Indies and Mexico was
made by Alice Wilmere, edited by Norton Shaw, and published by the
Hakluyt Society, London, 1859.

25. No positive evidence is known to exist as to the time when Champlain
was ennobled. It seems most likely to have been in acknowledgment of
his valuable report made to Henry IV. after his visit to the West

26. Amyar de Chastes died on the 13th of May, 1603, greatly respected and
beloved by his fellow-citizens. He was charged by his government with
many important and responsible duties. In 1583, he was sent by Henry
III., or rather by Catherine de Médicis, to the Azores with a military
force to sustain the claims of Antonio, the Prior of Crato, to the
throne of Portugal. He was a warm friend and supporter of Henry IV.,
and took an active part in the battles of Ivry and Arques. He commanded
the French fleet on the coasts of Brittany; and, during the long
struggle of this monarch with internal enemies and external foes, he
was in frequent communication with the English to secure their
co-operation, particularly against the Spanish. He accompanied the Duke
de Boullon, the distinguished Huguenot nobleman, to England, to be
present and witness the oath of Queen Elizabeth to the treaty made with

On this occasion he received a valuable jewel as a present from the
English queen. He afterwards directed the ceremonies and entertainment
of the Earl of Shrewsbury, who was deputed to receive the ratification
of the before-mentioned treaty by Henry IV. _Vide Busk's His. Spain and
Portugal_, London, 1833, p. 129 _et passim_; _Denis' His. Portugal_,
Paris, 1846, p. 296; _Freer's Life of Henry IV._, Vol. I. p. 121, _et
passim_; _Memoirs of Sully_, Philadelphia, 1817, Vol. I. p. 204;
_Birch's Memoirs Queen Elizabeth_, London, 1754, Vol. II. pp. 121, 145,
151, 154, 155; _Asselini MSS. Chron._, cited by Shaw in _Nar Voyage to
West Ind. and Mexico_, Hakluyt Soc., 1859, p. xv.

27. "Au même tems les nouvelles vinrent.... que le Commandeur de Chastes
dressoit une grande Armée de Mer en Bretagne."--_Journal de Henri III._
(1586), Paris, 1744, Tom. III. p. 279.

28. Du Pont Gravé was a merchant of St Malo. He had been associated with
Chauvin in the Canada trade, and continued to visit the St Lawrence for
this purpose almost yearly for thirty years.

He was greatly respected by Champlain, and was closely associated with
him till 1629. After the English captured Quebec, he appears to have
retired, forced to do so by the infirmities of age.

29. Jean Parmentier, of Dieppe, author of the _Discorso d'un gran capitano_
in Ramusio, Vol. III., p. 423, wrote in the year 1539, and he says the
Bretons and Normans were in our northern waters thirty-five years
before, which would be in 1504. _Vide_ Mr. Parkman's learned note and
citations in _Pioneers of France in the New World_, pp. 171, 172. The
above is doubtless the authority on which the early writers, such as
Pierre Biard, Champlain, and others, make the year 1504 the period when
the French voyages for fishing commenced.

30. _Vide Voyage of Iohn Alphonse of Xanctoigne_, Hakluyt, Vol. III., p.

31. Compare the result of these inquiries as stated by Champlain, p.252 of
this vol and _New Voyages_, by Baron La Hontan, 1684, ed. 1735, Vol I.
p. 30.

32. The Duke of Sully's disapprobation is expressed in the following words:
"The colony that was sent to Canada this year, was among the number of
those things that had not my approbation; there was no kind of riches
to be expected from all those countries of the new world, which are
beyond the fortieth degree of latitude. His majesty gave the conduct of
this expedition to the Sieur du Mont."--_Memoirs of Sully_,
Philadelphia, 1817, Vol. III. p. 185.

33. "Frequenter, négocier, et communiquer durant ledit temps de dix ans,
depuis le Cap de Raze jusques au quarantième degré, comprenant toute la
côte de la Cadie, terre et Cap Breton, Bayes de Sainct-Cler, de
Chaleur, Ile Percée, Gachepé, Chinschedec, Mesamichi, Lesquemin,
Tadoussac, et la rivière de Canada, tant d'un côté que d'aurre, et
toutes les Bayes et rivières qui entrent au dedans désdites côtes."--
Extract of Commission, _Histoire de la Nouvelle-France_, par Lescarbot,
Paris, 1866, Vol. II. p. 416.



De Monts, with Champlain and the other noblemen, left Havre de Grâce on the
7th April, 1604, while Pont Gravé, with the other vessel, followed three
days later, to rendezvous at Canseau.

Taking a more southerly course than he had originally intended, De Monts
came in sight of La Hève on the 8th of May, and on the 12th entered
Liverpool harbor, where he found Captain Rossignol, of Havre de Grâce,
carrying on a contraband trade in furs with the Indians, whom he arrested,
and confiscated his vessel.

The next day they anchored at Port Mouton, where they lingered three or
four weeks, awaiting news from Pont Gravé, who had in the mean time arrived
at Canseau, the rendezvous agreed upon before leaving France. Pont Gravé
had there discovered several Basque ships engaged in the fur-trade. Taking
possession of them, he sent their masters to De Monts. The ships were
subsequently confiscated and sent to Rochelle.

Captain Fouques was despatched to Canseau in the vessel which had been
taken from Rossignol, to bring forward the supplies which had been brought
over by Pont Gravé. Having transshipped the provisions intended for the
colony, Pont Gravé proceeded through the Straits of Canseau up the St.
Lawrence, to trade with the Indians, upon the profits of which the company
relied largely for replenishing their treasury.

In the mean time Champlain was sent in a barque of eight tons, with the
secretary Sieur Ralleau, Mr. Simon, the miner, and ten men, to reconnoitre
the coast towards the west. Sailing along the shore, touching at numerous
points, doubling Cape Sable, he entered the Bay of Fundy, and after
exploring St. Mary's Bay, and discovering several mines of both Silver and
iron, returned to Port Mouton and made to De Monts a minute and careful

De Monts immediately weighed anchor and sailed for the Bay of St. Mary,
where he left his vessel, and, with Champlain, the miner, and some others,
proceeded to explore the Bay of Fundy. They entered and examined Annapolis
harbor, coasted along the western shores of Nova Scotia, touching at the
Bay of Mines, passing over to New Brunswick, skirting its whole
southeastern coast, entering the harbor of St. John, and finally
penetrating Passamaquoddy Bay as far as the mouth of the river St. Croix,
and fixed upon De Monts's Island [34] as the seat of their colony. The
vessel at St. Mary's with the colonists was ordered to join them, and
immediately active measures were taken for laying out gardens, erecting
dwellings and storehouses, and all the necessary preparations for the
coming winter. Champlain was commissioned to design and lay out the town,
if so it could be called.

When the work was somewhat advanced, he was sent in a barque of five or six
tons, manned with nine sailors, to search for a mine of pure copper, which
an Indian named Messamoüet had assured them he could point out to them on
the coast towards the river St. John. Some twenty-five miles from the river
St. Croix, they found a mine yielding eighteen per cent, as estimated by
the miner; but they did not discover any pure copper, as they had hoped.

On the last day of August, 1604, the vessel which had brought out the
colony, together with that which had been taken from Rossignol, took their
departure for the shores of France. In it sailed Poutrincourt, Ralleau the
secretary of De Monts, and Captain Rossignol.

From the moment of his arrival on the coast of America, Champlain employed
his leisure hours in making sketches and drawings of the most important
rivers, harbors, and Indian settlements which they had visited.

While the little colony at De Monts's Island was active in getting its
appointments arranged and settled, De Monts wisely determined, though he
could not accompany it himself, nevertheless to send out an expedition
during the mild days of autumn, to explore the region still further to the
south, then called by the Indians Norumbegue. Greatly to the satisfaction
of Champlain, he was personally charged, with this important expedition. He
set out on the 2d of September, in a barque of seventeen or eighteen tons,
with twelve sailors and two Indian guides. The inevitable fogs of that
region detained them nearly a fortnight before they were able to leave the
banks of Passamaquoddy. Passing along the rugged shores of Maine, with its
endless chain of islands rising one after another into view, which they
called the Ranges, they at length came to the ancient Pemetiq, lying close
in to the shore, having the appearance at sea of seven or eight mountains
drawn together and springing from the same base. This Champlain named
_Monts Déserts_, which we have anglicized into Mount Desert, [35] an
appellation which has survived the vicissitudes of two hundred and
seventy-five years, and now that the island, with its salubrious air and
cool shades, its bold and picturesque scenery, is attracting thousands from
the great cities during the heats of summer, the name is likely to abide
far down into a distant and indefinite future.

Leaving Mount Desert, winding their way among numerous islands, taking a
northerly direction, they soon entered the Penobscot, [36] known by the
early navigators as the river Norumbegue. They proceeded up the river as
far as the mouth of an affluent now known as the Kenduskeag, [37] which was
then called, or rather the place where it made a junction with the
Penobscot was called by the natives, _Kadesquit_, situated at the head of
tide-water, near the present site of the city of Bangor. The falls above
the city intercepted their further progress. The river-banks about the
harbor were fringed with a luxurious growth of forest trees. On one side,
lofty pines reared their gray trunks, forming a natural palisade along the
shore. On the other, massive oaks alone were to be seen, lifting their
sturdy branches to the skies, gathered into clumps or stretching out into
long lines, as if a landscape gardener had planted them to please the eye
and gratify the taste. An exploration revealed the whole surrounding region
clothed in a similar wild and primitive beauty.

After a leisurely survey of the country, they returned to the mouth of the
river. Contrary to what might have been expected, Champlain found scarcely
any inhabitants dwelling on the borders of the Penobscot. Here and there
they saw a few deserted wigwams, which were the only marks of human
occupation. At the mouth of the river, on the borders of Penobscot Bay, the
native inhabitants were numerous. They were of a friendly disposition, and
gave their visitors a cordial welcome, readily entered into negotiations
for the sale of beaver-skins, and the two parties mutually agreed to
maintain a friendly intercourse in the future.

Having obtained from the Indians some valuable information as to the source
of the Penobscot, and observed their mode of life, which did not differ
from that which they had seen still further east, Champlain departed on the
20th of September, directing his course towards the Kennebec. But,
encountering bad weather, he found it necessary to take shelter under the
lee of the island of Monhegan.

After sailing three or four leagues farther, finding that his provisions
would not warrant the continuance of the voyage, he determined, on the 23d
of September, to return to the settlement at Saint Croix, or what is now
known as De Monts's Island, where they arrived on the 2d day of October,

De Monts's Island, having an area of not more than six or seven acres, is
situated in the river Saint Croix, midway between its opposite shores,
directly upon the dividing line between the townships of Calais and
Robinston in the State of Maine. At the northern end of the island, the
buildings of the settlement were clustered together in the form of a
quadrangle with an open court in the centre. First came the magazine and
lodgings of the soldiers, then the mansion of the governor, De Monts,
surmounted by the colors of France. Houses for Champlain and the other
gentlemen, [38] for the curé, the artisans and workmen, filled up and
completed the quadrangle. Below the houses, gardens were laid out for the
several gentlemen, and at the southern extremity of the island cannon were
mounted for protection against a sudden assault.

In the ample forests of Maine or New Brunswick, rich in oak and maple and
pine, abounding in deer, partridge, and other wild game, watered by crystal
fountains springing from every acre of the soil, we naturally picture for
our colonists a winter of robust health, physical comfort, and social
enjoyment. The little island which they had chosen was indeed a charming
spot in a summer's day, but we can hardly comprehend in what view it could
have been regarded as suitable for a colonial plantation. In space it was
wholly inadequate; it was destitute of wood and fresh water, and its soil
was sandy and unproductive. In fixing the location of their settlement and
in the construction of their houses, it is obvious that they had entirely
misapprehended the character of the climate. While the latitude was nearly
the same, the temperature was far more rigorous than that of the sunny
France which they had left. The snow began to fall on the 6th of October.
On the 3d of December the ice was seen floating on the surface of the
water. As the season advanced, and the tide came and went, huge floes of
ice, day after day, swept by the island, rendering it impracticable to
navigate the river or pass over to the mainland. They were therefore
imprisoned in their own home. Thus cut off from the game with which the
neighboring forests abounded, they were compelled to subsist almost
exclusively upon salted meats. Nearly all the forest trees on the island
had been used in the construction of their houses, and they had
consequently but a meagre supply of fuel to resist the chilling winds and
penetrating frosts. For fresh water, their only reliance was upon melted
snow and ice. Their store-house had not been furnished with a cellar, and
the frost left nothing untouched; even cider was dispensed in solid blocks.
To crown the gloom and wretchedness of their situation, the colony was
visited with disease of a virulent and fatal character. As the malady was
beyond the knowledge, so it baffled the skill of the surgeons. They called
it _mal de la terre_. Of the seventy-nine persons, composing the whole
number of the colony, thirty-five died, and twenty others were brought to
the verge of the grave. In May, having been liberated from the baleful
influence of their winter prison and revived by the genial warmth of the
vernal sun and by the fresh meats obtained from the savages, the disease
abated, and the survivors gradually regained their strength.

Disheartened by the bitter experiences of the winter, the governor, having
fully determined to abandon his present establishment, ordered two boats to
be constructed, one of fifteen and the other of seven tons, in which to
transport his colony to Gaspé, in case he received no supplies from France,
with the hope of obtaining a passage home in some of the fishing vessels on
that coast. But from this disagreeable alternative he was happily relieved.
On the 15th of June, 1605, Pont Gravé arrived, to the great joy of the
little colony, with all needed supplies. The purpose of returning to France
was at once abandoned, and, as no time was to be lost, on the 18th of the
same month, De Monts, Champlain, several gentlemen, twenty sailors, two
Indians, Panounias and his wife, set sail for the purpose of discovering a
more eligible site for his colony somewhere on the shores of the present
New England. Passing slowly along the coast, with which Champlain was
already familiar, and consequently without extensive explorations, they at
length reached the waters of the Kennebec, [39] where the survey of the
previous year had terminated and that of the present was about to begin.

On the 5th of July, they entered the Kennebec, and, bearing to the right,
passed through Back River, [40] grazing their barque on the rocks in the
narrow channel, and then sweeping down round the southern point of
Jerremisquam Island, or Westport, they ascended along its eastern shores
till they came near the present site of Wiscasset, from whence they
returned on the western side of the island, through Monseag Bay, and
threading the narrow passage between Arrowsick and Woolwich, called the
Upper Hell-gate, and again entering the Kennebec, they finally reached
Merrymeeting Bay. Lingering here but a short time, they returned through
the Sagadahock, or lower Kennebec, to the mouth of the river.

This exploration did not yield to the voyagers any very interesting or
important results. Several friendly interviews were held with the savages
at different points along the route. Near the head waters of the Sheepscot,
probably in Wiscasset Bay, they had an interview, an interesting and joyous
meeting, with the chief Manthomerme and twenty-five or thirty followers,
with whom they exchanged tokens of friendship. Along the shores of the
Sheepscot their attention was attracted by several pleasant streams and
fine expanses of meadow; but the soil observed on this expedition
generally, and especially on the Sagadahock, [41] or lower Kennebec, was
rough and barren, and offered, in the judgment of De Monts and Champlain,
no eligible site for a new settlement.

Proceeding, therefore, on their voyage, they struck directly across Casco
Bay, not attempting, in their ignorance, to enter the fine harbor of

On the 9th of July, they made the bay that stretches from Cape Elizabeth to
Fletcher's Neck, and anchored under the lee of Stratton Island, directly in
sight of Old Orchard Beach, now a famous watering place during the summer

The savages having seen the little French barque approaching in the
distance, had built sires to attract its attention, and came down upon the
shore at Prout's Neck, formerly known as Black Point, in large numbers,
indicating their friendliness by lively demonstrations of joy. From this
anchorage, while awaiting the influx of the tide to enable them to pass
over the bar and enter a river which they saw flowing into the bay, De
Monts paid a visit to Richmond's Island, about four miles distant, which he
was greatly delighted, as he found it richly studded with oak and hickory,
whose bending branches were wreathed with luxuriant grapevines loaded with
green clusters of unripe fruit. In honor of the god of wine, they gave to
the island the classic name of Bacchus. [42] At full tide they passed over
the bar and cast anchor within the channel of the Saco.

The Indians whom they found here were called Almouchiquois, and differed in
many respects from any which they had seen before, from the Sourequois of
Nova Scotia and the Etechemins of the northern part of Maine and New
Brunswick. They spoke a different language, and, unlike their neighbors on
the east, did not subsist mainly by the chase, but upon the products of the
soil, supplemented by fish, which were plentiful and of excellent quality,
and which they took with facility about the mouth of the river. De Monts
and Champlain made an excursion upon the shore, where their eyes were
refreshed by fields of waving corn, and gardens of squashes, beans, and
pumpkins, which were then bursting into flower. [43] Here they saw in
cultivation the rank narcotic _petun_, or tobacco, [44] just beginning to
spread out its broad velvet leaves to the sun, the sole luxury of savage
life. The forests were thinly wooded, but were nevertheless rich in
primitive oak, in lofty ash and elm, and in the more humble and sturdy
beech. As on Richmond's Island so here, along the bank of the river they
found grapes in luxurious growth, from which the sailors busied themselves
in making verjuice, a delicious beverage in the meridian heats of a July
sun. The natives were gentle and amiable, graceful in figure, agile in
movement, and exhibited unusual taste, dressing their hair in a variety of
twists and braids, intertwined with ornamental feathers.

Champlain observed their method of cultivating Indian corn, which the
experience of two hundred and seventy-five years has in no essential point
improved or even changed. They planted three or four seeds in hills three
feet apart, and heaped the earth about them, and kept the soil clear of
weeds. Such is the method of the successful New England farmer to-day. The
experience of the savage had taught him how many individuals of the rank
plant could occupy prolifically a given area, how the soil must be gathered
about the roots to sustain the heavy stock, and that there must be no rival
near it to draw away the nutriment on which the voracious plant feeds and
grows. Civilization has invented implements to facilitate the processes of
culture, but the observation of the savage had led him to a knowledge of
all that is absolutely necessary to ensure a prolific harvest.

After lingering two days at Saco, our explorers proceeded on their voyage.
When they had advanced not more than twenty miles, driven by a fierce wind,
they were forced to cast anchor near the salt marshes of Wells. Having been
driven by Cape Porpoise, on the subsidence of the wind, they returned to
it, reconnoitred its harbor and adjacent islands, together with Little
River, a few miles still further to the east. The shores were lined all
along with nut-trees and grape-vines. The islands about Cape Porpoise were
matted all over with wild currants, so that the eye could scarcely discern
any thing else. Attracted doubtless by this fruit, clouds of wild pigeons
had assembled there, and were having a midsummer's festival, fearless of
the treacherous snare or the hunter's deadly aim. Large numbers of them
were taken, which added a coveted luxury to the not over-stocked larder of
the little French barque.

On the 15th of July, De Monts and his party left Cape Porpoise,
keeping in and following closely the sinuosities of the shore. They
saw no savages during the day, nor any evidences of any, except a
rising smoke, which they approached, but found to be a lone beacon,
without any surroundings of human life. Those who had kindled the fire
had doubtless concealed themselves, or had fled in dismay. Possibly
they had never seen a ship under sail. The fishermen who frequented
our northern coast rarely came into these waters, and the little craft
of our voyagers, moving without oars or any apparent human aid, seemed
doubtless to them a monster gliding upon the wings of the wind. At the
setting of the sun, they were near the flat and sandy coast, now known
as Wallace's Sands. They fought in vain for a roadstead where they
might anchor safely for the night. When they were opposite to Little
Boar's Head, with the Isles of Shoals directly east of them, and the
reflected rays of the sun were still throwing their light upon the
waters, they saw in the distance the dim outline of Cape Anne, whither
they directed their course, and, before morning, came to anchor near
its eastern extremity, in sixteen fathoms of water. Near them were the
three well-known islands at the apex of the cape, covered with
forest-trees, and the woodless cluster of rocks, now called the
Savages, a little further from the shore.

The next morning five or six Indians timidly approached them in a canoe,
and then retired and set up a dance on the shore, as a token of friendly
greeting. Armed with crayon and drawing-paper, Champlain was despatched to
seek from the natives some important geographical information. Dispensing
knives and biscuit as a friendly invitation, the savages gathered about
him, assured by their gifts, when he proceeded to impart to them their
first lesson in topographical drawing. He pictured to them the bay on the
north side of Cape Anne, which he had just traversed, and signifying to
them that he desired to know the course of the shore on the south, they
immediately gave him an example of their apt scholarship by drawing with
the same crayon an accurate outline of Massachusetts Bay, and finished up
Champlain's own sketch by introducing the Merrimac River, which, not having
been seen, owing to the presence of Plum Island, which stretches like a
curtain before its mouth, he had omitted to portray. The intelligent
natives volunteered a bit of history. By placing six pebbles at equal
distances, they intimated that Massachusetts Bay was occupied by six
tribes, and governed by as many chiefs. [45] He learned from them,
likewise, that the inhabitants of this region subsisted by agriculture, as
did those at the mouth of the Saco, and that they were very numerous.

Leaving Cape Anne on Saturday the 16th of July, De Monts entered
Massachusetts Bay, sailed into Boston harbor, and anchored on the western
side of Noddle's Island, now better known as East Boston. In passing into
the bay, they observed large patches of cleared land, and many fields of
waving corn both upon the islands and the mainland. The water and the
islands, the open fields and lofty forest-trees, presented fine contrasts,
and rendered the scenery attractive and beautiful. Here for the first time
Champlain observed the log canoe. It was a clumsy though serviceable boat
in still waters, nevertheless unstable and dangerous in unskilful hands.
They saw, issuing into the bay, a large river, coming from the west, which
they named River du Guast, in honor of Pierre du Guast, Sieur de Monts, the
patentee of La Cadie, and the patron and director of this expedition. This
was Charles River, seen, evidently just at its confluence with the Mystic.

On Sunday, the 17th of July, 1605, they left Boston harbor, threading their
way among the islands, passing leisurely along the south shore, rounding
Point Allerton on the peninsula of Nantasket, gliding along near Cohasset
and Scituate, and finally cast anchor at Brant Point, upon the southern
borders of Marshfield. When they left the harbor of Boston, the islands and
mainland were swarming with the native population. The Indians were,
naturally enough, intensely interested in this visit of the little French
barque. It may have been the first that had ever made its appearance in the
bay. Its size was many times greater than any water-craft of their own.
Spreading its white wings and gliding silently away without oarsmen, it
filled them with surprise and admiration. The whole population was astir.
The cornfields and fishing stations were deserted. Every canoe was manned,
and a flotilla of their tiny craft came to attend, honor, and speed the
parting guests, experiencing, doubtless, a sense of relief that they were
going, and filled with a painful curiosity to know the meaning of this
mysterious visit.

Having passed the night at Brant Point, they had not advanced more than two
leagues along a sandy shore dotted with wigwams and gardens, when they were
forced to enter a small harbor, to await a more favoring wind. The Indians
flocked about them, greeted them with cordiality, and invited them to enter
the little river which flows into the harbor, but this they were unable to
do, as the tide was low and the depth insufficient. Champlain's attention
was attracted by several canoes in the bay, which had just completed their
morning's work in fishing for cod. The fish were taken with a primitive
hook and line, apparently in a manner not very different from that of the
present day. The line was made of a filament of bark stripped from the
trunk of a tree; the book was of wood, having a sharp bone, forming a barb,
lashed to it with a cord of a grassy fibre, a kind of wild hemp, growing
spontaneously in that region. Champlain landed, distributed trinkets among
the natives, examined and sketched an outline of the place, which
identifies it as Plymouth harbor, which captain John Smith visited in 1614,
and where the May Flower, still six years later landed the first permanent
colony planted upon New England soil.

After a day at Plymouth, the little bark weighed anchor, swept down Cape
Cod, approaching near to the reefs of Billingsgate, describing a complete
semicircle, and finally, with some difficulty, doubled the cape whose white
sands they had seen in the distance glittering in the sunlight and which
appropriately they named _Cap Blanc_. This cape, however, had been visited
three years before by Bartholomew Gosnold, and named Cape Cod, which
appellation it has retained to the present time. Passing down on the
outside of the cape some distance, they came to anchor, sent explorers on
the shore, who ascending on of the lofty sand-banks [47] which may still be
seen there silently resisting the winds and waves, discovered further to
the south, what is now known as Nauset harbor, entirely surrounded by
Indian cabins. The next day, the 20th of July, 1605, they effected an
entrance without much difficulty. The bay was spacious, being nine or ten
miles in circumference. Along the borders, there were, here and there,
cultivated patches, interspersed with dwellings of the natives. The wigwam
was cone-shaped, heavily thatched with reeds, having an orifice at the apex
for the emission of smoke. In the fields were growing Indian corn,
Brazilian beans, pumpkins, radishes, and tobacco; and in the woods were oak
and hickory and red cedar. During their stay in the harbor they encountered
an easterly storm, which continued four days, so raw and chilling that they
were glad to hug their winter cloaks about them on the 22d of July. The
natives were friendly and cordial, and entered freely into conversation
with Champlain; but, as the language of each party was not understood by
the other, the information he obtained from them was mostly by signs, and
consequently too general to be historically interesting or important.

The first and only act of hostility by the natives which De Monts and his
party had thus far experienced in their explorations on the entire coast
occurred in this harbor. Several of the men had gone ashore to obtain fresh
water. Some of the Indians conceived an uncontrollable desire to capture
the copper vessels which they saw in their hands. While one of the men was
stooping to dip water from a spring, one of the savages darted upon him and
snatched the coveted vessel from his hand. An encounter followed, and, amid
showers of arrows and blows, the poor sailor was brutally murdered. The
victorious Indian, fleet as the reindeer, escaped with his companions,
bearing his prize with him into the depths of the forest. The natives on
the shore, who had hitherto shown the greatest friendliness, soon came to
De Monts, and by signs disowned any participation in the act, and assured
him that the guilty parties belonged far in the interior. Whether this was
the truth or a piece of adroit diplomacy, it was nevertheless accepted by
De Monts, since punishment could only be administered at the risk of
causing the innocent to suffer instead of the guilty.

The young sailor whose earthly career was thus suddenly terminated, whose
name even has not come down to us, was doubtless the first European, if we
except Thorvald, the Northman, whose mortal remains slumber in the soil of

As this voyage of discovery had been planned and provisioned for only six
weeks, and more than five had already elapsed, on the 25th of July De Monts
and his party left Nauset harbor, to join the colony still lingering at St.
Croix. In passing the bar, they came near being wrecked, and consequently
gave to the harbor the significant appellation of _Port de Mallebarre_, a
name which has not been lost, but nevertheless, like the shifting sands of
that region, has floated away from its original moorings, and now adheres
to the sandy cape of Monomoy.

On their return voyage, they made a brief stop at Saco, and likewise at the
mouth of the Kennebec. At the latter point they had an interview with the
sachem, Anassou, who informed them that a ship had been there, and that the
men on board her had seized, under color of friendship, and killed five
savages belonging to that river. From the description given by Anassou,
Champlain was convinced that the ship was English, and subsequent events
render it quite certain that it was the "Archangel," fitted out by the Earl
of Southampton and Lord Arundel of Wardour, and commanded by Captain George
Weymouth. The design of the expedition was to fix upon an eligible site for
a colonial plantation, and, in pursuance of this purpose, Weymouth anchored
off Monhegan on the 28th of May, 1605, _new style_, and, after spending a
month in explorations of the region contiguous, left for England on the
26th of June. [48] He had seized and carried away five of the natives,
having concealed them in the hold of his ship, and Anassou, under the
circumstances, naturally supposed they had been killed. The statement of
the sachem, that the natives captured belonged to the river where Champlain
then was, namely, the Kennebec, goes far to prove that Weymouth's
explorations were in the Kennebec, or at least in the network of waters
then comprehended under that appellation, and not in the Penobscot or in
any other river farther east, as some historical writers have supposed.

It would appear that while the French were carefully surveying the coasts
of New England, in order to fix upon an eligible site for a permanent
colonial settlement, the English were likewise upon the ground, engaged in
a similar investigation for the same purpose. From this period onward, for
more than a century and a half, there was a perpetual conflict and struggle
for territorial possession on the northern coast of America, between these
two great nations, sometimes active and violent, and at others subsiding
into a semi-slumber, but never ceasing until every acre of soil belonging
to the French had been transferred to the English by a solemn international

On this exploration, Champlain noticed along the coast from Kennebec to
Cape Cod, and described several objects in natural history unknown in
Europe, such as the horse-foot crab, [49] the black skimmer, and the wild
turkey, the latter two of which have long since ceased to visit this


34. _De Monts's Island_. Of this island Champlain says: "This place was
named by Sieur De Monts the Island of St. Croix."--_Vide_ Vol. II. p.
32, note 86. St. Croix has now for a long time been applied as the name
of the river in which this island is found. The French denominated this
stream the River of the Etechemins, after the name of the tribe of
savages inhabiting its shores. _Vide_ Vol. II. p. 31. It continued to
be so called for a long time. Denys speaks of it under this name in
1672. "Depuis la riviere de Pentagouet, jusques à celle de saint Jean,
il pent y avoir quarante à quarante cinq lieues; la première rivière
que l'on rencontre le long de la coste, est celle des Etechemins, qui
porte le nom du pays, depuis Baston jusques au Port royal, dont les
Sauvages qui habitent toute cette étendue, portent aussi le mesme
nom."--_Description Géographique et Historique des Costes de L'Amerique
Septentrionale_, par Nicholas Denys, Paris, 1672, p. 29, _et verso_.

35. Champlain had, by his own explorations and by consulting the Indians,
obtained a very full and accurate knowledge of this island at his first
visit, on the 5th of September, 1604, when he named it _Monts-déserts_,
which we preserve in the English form, MOUNT DESERT. He observed that
the distance across the channel to the mainland on the north side was
less than a hundred paces. The rocky and barren summits of this cluster
of little mountains obviously induced him to give to the island its
appropriate and descriptive name _Vide_ Vol. II. p. 39. Dr. Edward
Ballard derives the Indian name of this island, _Pemetiq_, from
_pemé'te_, sloping, and _ki_, land. He adds that it probably denoted a
single locality which was taken by Biard's company as the name of the
whole island. _Vide Report of U. S. Coast Survey_ for 1868, p. 253.

36. Penobscot is a corruption of the Abnaki _pa'na8a'bskek_. A nearly exact
translation is "at the fall of the rock," or "at the descending rock."
_Vide Trumball's Ind. Geog. Names_, Collections Conn. His. Society,
Vol. II. p. 19. This name was originally given probably to some part of
the river to which its meaning was particularly applicable. This may
have been at the mouth of the river a Fort Point, a rocky elevation not
less than eighty feet in height. Or it may have been the "fall of water
coming down a slope of seven or eight feet," as Champlain expresses it,
a short distance above the site of the present city of Bangor. That
this name was first obtained by those who only visited the mouth of the
river would seem to favor the former supposition.

37. Dr. Edward Ballard supposes the original name of this stream,
_Kadesquit_, to be derived from _kaht_, a Micmac word, for _eel_,
denoting _eel stream_, now corrupted into _Kenduskeag_. The present
site of the city of Bangor is where Biard intended to establish his
mission in 1613, but he was finally induced to fix it at Mount
Desert--_Vide Relations des Jésuites_, Quebec ed., Vol. I. p. 44.

38. The other gentlemen whose names we have learned were Messieurs
d'Orville, Champdoré, Beaumont, la Motte Bourioli, Fougeray or Foulgeré
de Vitré, Genestou, Sourin, and Boulay. The orthography of the names,
as they are mentioned from time to time, is various.

39. _Kennebec_. Biard, in the _Relation, de la Nouvelle France, Relations
des Jésuites_, Quebec ed., Vol. I. p. 35, writes it _Quinitequi_, and
Champlain writes it _Quinibequy_ and _Quinebequi_; hence Mr. Trumball
infers that it is probably equivalent in meaning to _quin-ni-pi-ohke_,
meaning "long water place," derived from the Abnaki, _K8
né-be-ki_.--_Vide Ind. Geog. Names_, Col. Conn. His. Soc. Vol. II. p.

40. _Vide_ Vol. II. note 110.

41. _Sagadahock_. This name is particularly applied to the lower part of
the Kennebec. It is from the Abnaki, _sa'ghede'aki_, "land at the
mouth."--_Vide Indian Geographical Names_, by J. H. Trumball, Col.
Conn. His. Society, Vol. II. p. 30. Dr. Edward Ballard derives it from
_sanktai-i-wi_, to finish, and _onk_, a locative, "the finishing
place," which means the mouth of a river.--_Vide Report of U. S. Coast
Survey_, 1868, p. 258.

42. _Bacchus Island_. This was Richmond's Island, as we have stated in Vol.
II. note 123. It will be admitted that the Bacchus Island of Champlain
was either Richmond's Island or one of those in the bay of the Saco.
Champlain does not give a specific name to any of the islands in the
bay, as may be seen by referring to the explanations of his map of the
bay, Vol. II p. 65. If one of them had been Bacchus Island, he would
not have failed to refer to it, according to his uniform custom, under
that name. Hence it is certain that his Bacchus Island was not one of
those figured on his local map of the bay of the Saco. By reference to
the large map of 1632, it will be seen that Bacchus Island is
represented by the number 50, which is placed over against the largest
island in the neighborhood and that farthest to the east, which, of
course, must be Richmond's Island. It is, however, proper to state that
these reference figures are not in general so carefully placed as to
enable us to rely upon them in fixing a locality, particularly if
unsupported by other evidence. But in this case other evidence is not

43. _Vide_ Vol. II. pp. 64-67.

44. _Nicotiana rustica. Vide_, Vol. II. by Charles Pickering, M.D. Boston,
note 130. _Chronological His. Plants_, 1879, p. 741, _et passim_.

45. Daniel Gookin, who wrote in 1674, speaks of the following subdivisions
among the Massachusetts Indians: "Their chief sachem held dominion over
many other petty governours; as those of Weechagafkas, Neponsitt,
Punkapaog, Nonantam, Nashaway, and some of the Nipmuck people."--_Vide
Gookin's His. Col._

46. _Vide_ Vol. II. note 159. _Mushauiwomuk_, which we have converted into
_Shawmut, means_, "where there is going-by-boat." The French, if they
heard the name and learned its meaning, could hardly have failed to see
the appropriateness of it as applied by the aborigines to Boston
harbor.--_Vide Trumball_ in Connecticut Historical Society's
Collections, Vol. II. p. 5.

47. It was probably on this very bluff from which was seen Nauset harbor on
the 19th of July, 1605, and after the lapse of two hundred and seventy
four years, on the 17th of November, 1879 the citizens of the United
States, with the flags of America, France, and England gracefully
waving over their heads, addressed their congratulations by telegraph
to the citizens of France at Brest on the communication between the two
countries that day completed through submarine wires under the auspices
of the "Compagnie Française du Télégraph de Paris à New York."

48. _Vide_ Vol. II. p 91, note 176.

49. The Horsefoot-crab, _Limulus polyphemus_. Champlain gives the Indian
name, _siguenoc_. Hariot saw, while at Roanoke Island, in 1585, and
described the same crustacean under the name of _seekanauk_. The Indian
word is obviously the same, the differing French and English
orthography representing the same sound. It thus appears that this
shell-fish was at that time known by the aborigines under the same name
for at least a thousand miles along the Atlantic coast, from the
Kennebec, in Maine, to Roanoke Island, in North Carolina. _Vide
Hariot's Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia_,
Hakluyt, Vol. III. p. 334. See also Vol. II. of this work, notes 171,
172, 173, for some account of the black skimmer and the wild turkey.



On the 8th of August, the exploring party reached St. Croix. During their
absence, Pont Gravé had arrived from France with additional men and
provisions for the colony. As no satisfactory site had been found by De
Monts in his recent tour along the coast, it was determined to remove the
colony temporarily to Port Royal, situated within the bay now known as
Annapolis Basin. The buildings at St. Croix, with the exception of the
store-house, were taken down and transported to the bay. Champlain and Pont
Gravé were sent forward to select a place for the settlement, which was
fixed on the north side of the basin, directly opposite to Goat Island,
near or upon the present site of Lower Granville. The situation was
protected from the piercing and dreaded winds of the northwest by a lofty
range of hills, [50] while it was elevated and commanded a charming view of
the placid bay in front. The dwellings which they erected were arranged in
the form of a quadrangle with an open court in the centre, as at St. Croix,
while gardens and pleasure-grounds were laid out by Champlain in the
immediate vicinity.

When the work of the new settlement was well advanced, De Monts, having
appointed Pont Gravé as his lieutenant, departed for France, where he hoped
to obtain additional privileges from the government in his enterprise of
planting a colony in the New World. Champlain preferred to remain, with the
purpose of executing more fully his office as geographer to the king, by
making discoveries on the Atlantic coast still further to the south.

From the beginning, the patentee had cherished the desire of discovering
valuable mines somewhere on his domains, whose wealth, as well as that of
the fur-trade, might defray some part of the heavy expenses involved in his
colonial enterprise. While several investigations for this purpose had
proved abortive, it was hoped that greater success would be attained by
searches along the upper part of the Bay of Fundy. Before the approach of
winter, therefore, Champlain and the miner, Master Jaques, a Sclavonian,
made a tour to St. John, where they obtained the services of the Indian
chief, Secondon, to accompany them and point out the place where copper ore
had been discovered at the Bay of Mines. The search, thorough as was
practicable under the circumstances, was, in the main, unsuccessful; the
few specimens which they found were meagre and insignificant.

The winter at Port Royal was by no means so severe as the preceding one at
St. Croix. The Indians brought in wild game from the forests. The colony


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