Voyages of Samuel de Champlain, Vol. 2
Samuel de Champlain
Part 2 out of 5
96. Isle Haute, _high island_, which name it still retains. Champlain wrote
it on his map, 1632, "Isle Haulte." It has been anglicized by some into
Isle Holt. It is nearly six miles long, and has an average width of
over two miles, and is the highest land in its vicinity, reaching at
its highest point four hundred feet above the level of the sea.
97. Camden Hills or Mountains. They are five or six in number, from 900 to
1,500 feet high, and maybe seen, it is said, twenty leagues at sea. The
more prominent are Mt. Batty, Mt. Pleasant, and Mt. Hosmer, or Ragged
Mountain. They are Sometimes called the Megunticook Range. Colonel
Benjamin Church denominates them "Mathebestuck's Hills,"--_Vide
Church's History of King Philip's War_, Newport, 1772, p. 143. Captain
John Smith calls them the mountains of Penobscot, "against whose feet
doth beat the sea." which, he adds, "you may well see sixteen or
eighteen leagues from their situation."
98. This narrow place in the river is just above Castine, where Cape
Jellison stretches out towards the east, at the head of the bay, and at
the mouth of the river. At the extremity of the cape is Fort Point, so
called from Fort Pownall, erected there in 1759, a step rocky elevation
of about eighty feet in height. Before the erection of the fort by
Governor Pownall, it was called Wafaumkeag Point.--_Vide Pownall's
Journal_, Col. Me. His. Soc., Vol. V. p. 385. The "rock" alluded to by
Champlain is Fort Point Ledge, bare at half tide, south-east by east
from the Point, and distant over half a mile. Champlain's distances
here are somewhat overestimated.
99. The terminus of this exploration of the Penobscot was near the present
site of the city of Bangor. The small river near the mouth of which
they anchored was the Kenduskeag. The falls which Champlain visited
with the Indians in a canoe are those a short distance above the
city. The sentence, a few lines back, beginning "But excepting this
fall" is complicated, and not quite logical, but the author evidently
means to describe the river from its mouth to the place of their
anchorage at Bangor.
100. The interview with the Indians on the 16th, and the taking of the
altitude on the 17th, must have occurred before the party left their
anchorage at Bangor with the purpose, but which they did not
accomplish that year, of visiting the Kennebec. This may be inferred
from Champlain's statement that the Kennebec was thirty-five leagues
distant from the place where they then were, and nearly twenty leagues
distant from Bedabedec. Consequently, they were fifteen leagues above
Bedabedec, which was situated near the mouth of the river. The
latitude, which they obtained from their observations, was far from
correct: it should be 44° 46'.
101. The Indian chief Cabahis here points out two trails, the one leading
to the French habitation just established on the Island of St. Croix,
the other to Quebec; by the former, passing up the Penobscot from the
present site of Bangor, entering the Matawamkeag, keeping to the east
in their light bark canoes to Lake Boscanhegan, and from there passing
by land to the stream then known as the river of the Etechemins, now
called the Scoudic or St. Croix. The expression "by which they come to
the river of St. Croix" is explanatory: it has no reference to the
name of the river, but means simply that the trail leads to the river
in which was the island of St. Croix. This river had not then been
named St. Croix, but had been called by them the river of the
Etechemins.--_Vide antea_, p. 31.
The other trail led up the north branch of the Penobscot, passing
through Lake Pemadumcook, and then on through Lake Chefuncook, finally
reaching the source of this stream which is near that of the
Chaudière, which latter flows into the St. Lawrence, near Quebec. It
would seem from the text that Champlain supposed that the Penobscot
flowed from a lake into which streams flowed from both the objective
points, viz. St. Croix and Quebec: but this was a mistake not at all
unnatural, as he had never been over the ground, and obtained his
information from the Indians, whose language he imperfectly
102. Bedabedec is an Indian word, signifying cape of the waters, and was
plainly the point known as Owl's Head. It gave name to the Camden
Mountains also. _Vide antea_, note 95.
103. Mosquito and Metinic Islands are each about ten leagues east of the
Kennebec. As the party went but four leagues further, the voyage must
have terminated in Muscongus Bay.
104. An idle story had been circulated, and even found a place on the pages
of sober history, that on the Penobscot, or Norumbegue, as it was then
called, there existed a fair town, a populous city, with the
accessories of luxury and wealth. Champlain here takes pains to show,
in the fullest manner, that this story was a baseless dream of fancy,
and utterly without foundation. Of it Lescarbot naïvely says, "If this
beautiful town hath ever existed in nature, I would fain know who hath
pulled it down, for there are now only a few scattered wigwams made of
poles covered with the bark of trees and the skins of wild beasts."
There is no evidence, and no probability, that this river had been
navigated by Europeans anterior to this exploration of Champlain. The
existence of the bay and the river had been noted long before. They
are indicated on the map of Ribero in 1529. Rio de Gamas and Rio
Grande appear on early maps as names of this river, but are soon
displaced for Norumbega, a name which was sometimes extended to a wide
range of territory on both sides of the Penobscot. On the Mappe-Monde
of 1543-47, issued by the late M. Jomard, it is denominated
Auorobagra, evidently intended for Norumbega. Thevet, who visited it,
or sailed along its mouth in 1556, speaks of it as Norumbegue. It is
alleged that the aborigines called it Agguncia. According to Jean
Alfonse, it was discovered by the Portuguese and Spaniards.--_Vide
His. de la N. France_, par M. Lescarbot, Paris, 1612, Qvat. Liv.
p. 495. The orthography of this name is various among early writers,
but Norumbegue is adopted by the most approved modern authors.
OF THE MAL DE LA TERRE, A VERY DESPERATE MALADY.--HOW THE SAVAGES, MEN AND
WOMEN, SPEND THEIR TIME IN WINTER.--AND ALL THAT OCCURRED AT THE SETTLEMENT
WHILE WE WERE PASSING THE WINTER.
When we arrived at the Island of St. Croix, each one had finished his place
of abode. Winter came upon us sooner than we expected, and prevented us
from doing many things which we had proposed. Nevertheless, Sieur de Monts
did not fail to have some gardens made on the island. Many began to clear
up the ground, each his own. I also did so with mine, which was very large,
where I planted a quantity of foods, as also did the others who had any,
and they came up very well. But since the island was all sandy, every thing
dried up almost as soon as the Sun shone upon it, and we had no water for
irrigation except from the rain, which was infrequent.
Sieur de Monts caused also clearings to be made on the main land for making
gardens, and at the falls three leagues from our Settlement he had work
done and some wheat sown, which came up very well and ripened. Around our
habitation there is, at low tide, a large number of shell-fish, such as
cockles, muscles, sea-urchins, and Sea-snails, which were very acceptable
The snows began on the 6th of October. On the 3d of December, we saw ice
pass which came from some frozen river. The cold was sharp, more severe
than in France, and of much longer duration; and it scarcely rained at all
the entire winter. I suppose that is owing to the north and north-west
winds passing over high mountains always covered with snow. The latter was
from three to four feet deep up to the end of the month of April; lasting
much longer, I suppose, than it would if the country were cultivated.
During the winter, many of our company were attacked by a certain malady
called the _mal de la terre_; otherwise scurvy, as I have since heard from
learned men. There were produced, in the mouths of those who had it, great
pieces of superfluous and drivelling flesh (causing extensive
putrefaction), which got the upper hand to such an extent that scarcely
anything but liquid could be taken. Their teeth became very loose, and
could be pulled out with the fingers without its causing them pain. The
superfluous flesh was often cut out, which caused them to eject much blood
through the mouth. Afterwards, a violent pain seized their arms and legs,
which remained swollen and very hard, all spotted as if with flea-bites;
and they could not walk on account of the contraction of the muscles, so
that they were almost without strength, and suffered intolerable pains.
They experienced pain also in the loins, stomach, and bowels, had a very
bad cough, and short breath. In a word, they were in such a condition that
the majority of them could not rise nor move, and could not even be raised
up on their feet without falling down in a swoon. So that out of
seventy-nine, who composed our party, thirty-five died, and more than
twenty were on the point of death. The majority of those who remained well
also complained of slight pains and short breath. We were unable to find
any remedy for these maladies. A _post mortem_ examination of several was
made to investigate the cause of their disease.
In the case of many, the interior parts were found mortified such as the
lungs, which were so changed that no natural fluid could be perceived in
them. The spleen was serous and swollen. The liver was _legueux?_ and
spotted, without its natural color. The _vena cava_, superior and inferior,
was filled with thick coagulated and black blood. The gall was tainted.
Nevertheless, many arteries, in the middle as well as lower bowels, were
found in very good condition. In the case of some, incisions with a razor
were made on the thighs where they had purple spots, whence there issued a
very black clotted blood. This is what was observed on the bodies of those
infected with this malady.
Our surgeons could not help suffering themselves in the same manner as the
rest. Those who continued sick were healed by spring, which commences in
this country in May. That led us to believe that the change of season
restored their health rather than the remedies prescribed.
During this winter, all our liquors froze, except the Spanish wine. Cider
was dispensed by the pound. The cause of this loss was that there were no
cellars to our storehouse, and that the air which entered by the cracks was
sharper than that outside. We were obliged to use very bad water, and drink
melted snow, as there were no springs nor brooks; for it was not possible
to go to the main land in consequence of the great pieces of ice drifted by
the tide, which varies three fathoms between low and high water. Work on
the hand-mill was very fatiguing, since the most of us, having slept
poorly, and suffering from insufficiency of fuel, which we could not obtain
on account of the ice, had scarcely any strength, and also because we ate
only salt meat and vegetables during the winter, which produce bad blood.
The latter circumstance was, in my opinion, a partial cause of these
dreadful maladies. All this produced discontent in Sieur de Monts and
others of the settlement.
It would be very difficult to ascertain the character of this region
without spending a winter in it; for, on arriving here in summer, every
thing is very agreeable, in consequence of the woods, fine country, and the
many varieties of good fish which are found there. There are six months of
winter in this country.
The savages who dwell here are few in number. During the winter, in the
deepest snows, they hunt elks and other animals, on which they live most of
the time. And, unless the snow is deep, they scarcely get rewarded for
their pains, since they cannot capture any thing except by a very great
effort, which is the reason for their enduring and suffering much. When
they do not hunt, they live on a shell-fish, called the cockle. They clothe
themselves in winter with good furs of beaver and elk. The women make all
the garments, but not so exactly but that you can see the flesh under the
arm-pits, because they have not ingenuity enough to fit them better. When
they go a hunting, they use a kind of show-shoe twice as large as those
hereabouts, which they attach to the soles of their feet, and walk thus
over the show without sinking in, the women and children as well as the
men. They search for the track of animals, which, having found, they
follow until they get sight of the creature, when they shoot at it with
their bows, or kill it by means of daggers attached to the end of a short
pike, which is very easily done, as the animals cannot walk on the snow
without sinking in. Then the women and children come up, erect a hut, and
they give themselves to feasting. Afterwards, they return in search of
other animals, and thus they pass the winter. In the month of March
following, some savages came and gave us a portion of their game in
exchange for bread and other things which we gave them. This is the mode of
life in winter of these people, which seems to me a very miserable one.
We looked for our vessels at the end of April; but, as this passed without
their arriving, all began to have an ill-boding, fearing that some accident
had befallen them. For this reason, on the 15th of May, Sieur de Monts
decided to have a barque of fifteen tons and another of seven fitted up, so
that we might go at the end of the month of June to Gaspé in quest of
vessels in which to return to France, in case our own should not meanwhile
arrive. But God helped us better than we hoped; for, on the 15th of June
ensuing, while on guard about 11 o'clock at night, Pont Gravé, captain of
one of the vessels of Sieur de Monts, arriving in a shallop, informed us
that his ship was anchored six leagues from our settlement, and he was
welcomed amid the great joy of all.
The next day the vessel arrived, and anchored near our habitation. Pont
Gravé informed us that a vessel from St. Malo, called the St. Estienne,
was following him, bringing us provisions and supplies.
On the 17th of the month, Sieur de Monts decided to go in quest of a place
better adapted for an abode, and with a better temperature than our own.
With this view, he had the barque made ready, in which he had purposed to
go to Gaspé.
105. _Mal de la terre_. Champlain had bitter experiences of this disease in
Quebec during the winter of 1608-9, when he was still ignorant of its
character; and it was not till several years later that he learned
that it was the old malady called _scurbut_, from the Sclavonic
_scorb_. Latinized into _scorbuticus_. Lescarbot speaks of this
disease as little understood in his time, but as known to Hippocrates.
He quotes Olaus Magnus, who describes it as it appeared among the
nations of the north, who called it _sorbet_, [Greek: kachexia], from
[Greek: kakos], bad, and [Greek: exis], a habit. This undoubtedly
expresses the true cause of this disease, now familiarly known as the
scurvy. It follows exposure to damp, cold, and impure atmosphere,
accompanied by the long-continued use of the same kind of food,
particularly of salt meats, with bad water. All of these conditions
existed at the Island of St. Croix. Champlain's description of the
disease is remarkably accurate.
106. This passage might be read, "which is in this country in May:" _lequel
commence en ces pays là est en May_. As Laverdière suggests, it looks
as if Champlain wrote it first _commence_, and then, thinking that the
winter he had experienced might have been exceptional, substituted
_est_, omitting to erase _commence_, so that the sentence, as it
stands, is faulty, containing two verbs instead of one, and being
susceptible of a double sense.
DISCOVERY OF THE COAST OF THE ALMOUCHIQUOIS AS FAR AS THE FORTY-SECOND
DEGREE OF LATITUDE, AND DETAILS OF THIS VOYAGE.
On the 18th of June, 1605, Sieur de Monts set out from the Island of
St. Croix with some gentlemen, twenty sailors, and a savage named
Panounias, together with his wife, whom he was unwilling to leave behind.
These we took, in order to serve us as guides to the country of the
Almouchiquois, in the hope of exploring and learning more particularly by
their aid what the character of this country was, especially since she was
a native of it.
Coasting, along inside of Manan, an island three leagues from the main
land, we came to the Ranges on the seaward side, at one of which we
anchored, where there was a large number of crows, of which our men
captured a great many, and we called it the Isle aux Corneilles. Thence we
went to the Island of Monts Déserts, at the entrance of the river
Norumbegue, as I have before stated, and sailed five or six leagues among
many islands. Here there came to us three savages in a canoe from Bedabedec
Point, where their captain was; and, after we had had some conversation
with them, they returned the same day.
* * * * *
CHAMPLAIN'S DESCRIPTION OF THE ACCOMPANYING MAP.
_The figures indicate fathoms of water_.
_A_. The course of the river.
_B_. Two islands at the entrance of the river.
_C_. Two very dangerous rocks in the river.
_D_. Islets and rocks along the coast.
_E_. Shoals where at full tide vessels of sixty tons' burden may run
_F_. Place where the savages encamp when they come to fish.
_G_. Sandy shoals along the coast.
_H_. Pond of fresh water.
_I_. Brook where shallops can enter at half tide.
_L_. Islands to the number of four just within the mouth of the river.
* * * * *
On Friday, the 1st of July, we set out from one of the islands at the mouth
of the river, where there is a very good harbor for vessels of a hundred or
a hundred and fifty tons. This day we made some twenty-five leagues between
Bedabedec Point and many islands and rocks, which we observed as far as the
river Quinibequy, at the mouth of which is a very high island, which we
called the Tortoise.  Between the latter and the main land there are
some scattering rocks, which are covered at full tide, although the sea is
then seen to break over them.  Tortoise Island and the river lie
south-south-east and north-north-west. As you enter, there are two
medium-sized islands forming the entrance, one on one side, the other on
the other;  and some three hundred paces farther in are two rocks,
where there is no wood, but some little grass. We anchored three hundred
paces from the entrance in five and six fathoms of water. While in this
place, we were overtaken by fogs, on account of which we resolved to enter,
in order to see the upper part of the river and the savages who live there;
and we set out for this purpose on the 5th of the month. Having made some
leagues, our barque came near being lost on a rock which we grazed in
passing.  Further on, we met two canoes which had come to hunt birds,
which for the most part are moulting at this season, and cannot fly. We
addressed these savages by aid of our own, who went to them with his wife,
who made them understand the reason of our coming. We made friends with
them and with the savages of this river, who served us as guides.
Proceeding farther, in order to see their captain, named Manthoumermer, we
passed, after we had gone seven or eight leagues, by some islands, straits,
and brooks, which extend along the river, where we saw some fine
meadows. After we had coasted along an island  some four leagues in
length, they conducted us to where their chief was  with twenty-five
or thirty savages, who, as soon as we had anchored, came to us in a canoe,
separated a short distance from ten others, in which were those who
accompanied him. Coming near our barque, he made an harangue, in which he
expressed the pleasure it gave him to see us, and said that he desired to
form an alliance with us and to make peace with his enemies through our
mediation. He said that, on the next day, he would send to two other
captains of savages, who were in the interior, one called Marchin, and the
other Sasinou, chief of the river Quinibequy. Sieur de Monts gave them some
cakes and peas, with which they were greatly pleased. The next day they
guided us down the river another way than that by which we had come, in
order to go to a lake; and, passing by some islands, they left, each one of
them, an arrow near a cape  where all the savages pass, and they
believe that if they should not do this some misfortune would befall them,
according to the persuasions of the devil. They live in such superstitions,
and practise many others of the same sort. Beyond this cape we passed a
very narrow waterfall, but only with great difficulty; for, although we had
a favorable and fresh wind, and trimmed our sails to receive it as well as
possible, in order to see whether we could not pass it in that way, we were
obliged to attach a hawser to some trees on shore and all pull on it. In
this way, by means of our arms together with the help of the wind, which
was favorable to us, we succeeded in passing it. The savages accompanying
us carried their canoes by land, being unable to row them. After going over
this fall, we saw some fine meadows. I was greatly surprised by this fall,
since as we descended with the tide we found it in our favor, but contrary
to us when we came to the fall. But, after we had passed it, it descended
as before, which gave us great Satisfaction.  Pursuing our route, we
came to the lake,  which is from three to four leagues in length. Here
are some islands, and two rivers enter it, the Quinibequy coming from the
north north-east, and the other from the north-west, whence were to come
Marchin and Sasinou. Having awaited them all this day, and as they did not
come, we resolved to improve our time. We weighed anchor accordingly, and
there accompanied us two savages from this lake to serve as guides. The
same day we anchored at the mouth of the river, where we caught a large
number of excellent fish of various sorts. Meanwhile, our savages went
hunting, but did not return. The route by which we descended this river is
much safer and better than that by which we had gone. Tortoise Island
before the mouth of this river is in latitude  44°; and 19° 12' of the
deflection of the magnetic needle. They go by this river across the country
to Quebec some fifty leagues, making only one portage of two leagues. After
the portage, you enter another little stream which flows into the great
river St. Lawrence . This river Quinibequy is very dangerous for
vessels half a league from its mouth, on account of the small amount of
water, great tides, rocks and shoals outside as well as within. But it has
a good channel, if it were well marked out. The land, so far as I have seen
it along the shores of the river, is very poor, for there are only rocks on
all sides. There are a great many small oaks, and very little arable land.
Fish abound here, as in the other rivers which I have mentioned. The people
live like those in the neighborhood of our settlement; and they told us
that the savages, who plant the Indian corn, dwelt very far in the
interior, and that they had given up planting it on the coasts on account
of the war they had with others, who came and took it away. This is what I
have been able to learn about this region, which I think is no better than
On the 8th of the month, we set out from the mouth of this river, not being
able to do so sooner on account of the fogs. We made that day some four
leagues, and passed a bay , where there are a great many islands. From
here large mountains  are seen to the west, in which is the
dwelling-place of a savage captain called Aneda, who encamps near the river
Quinibequy. I was satisfied from this name that it was one of his tribe
that had discovered the plant called Aneda,  which Jacques Cartier
said was so powerful against the malady called scurvy, of which we have
already spoken, which harassed his company as well as our own, when they
wintered in Canada. The savages have no knowledge at all of this plant, and
are not aware of its existence, although the above-mentioned savage has the
same name. The following day we made eight leagues.  As we passed
along the coast, we perceived two columns of smoke which some savages made
to attract our attention. We went and anchored in the direction of them
behind a small island near the main land,  where we saw more than
eighty savages running along the shore to see us, dancing and giving
expression to their joy. Sieur de Monts sent two men together with our
savage to visit them. After they had spoken some time with them, and
assured them of our friendship, we left with them one of our number, and
they delivered to us one of their companions as a hostage. Meanwhile, Sieur
de Monts visited an island, which is very beautiful in view of what it
produces; for it has fine oaks and nut-trees, the soil cleared up, and many
vineyards bearing beautiful grapes in their season, which were the first we
had seen on all these coasts from the Cap de la Hève. We named it Isle de
Bacchus . It being full tide, we weighed anchor and entered a little
river, which we could not sooner do; for there is a bar, there being at low
tide only half a fathom of water, at full tide a fathom and a half, and at
the highest water two fathoms. On the other side of the bar there are
three, four, five, and six fathoms. When we had anchored, a large number of
savages came to the bank of the river, and began to dance. Their captain at
the time, whom they called Honemechin , was not with them. He arrived
about two or three hours later with two canoes, when he came sweeping
entirely round our barque. Our savage could understand only a few words, as
the language of the Almouchiquois  (for that is the name of this
nation) differs entirely from that of the Souriquois and Etechemins. These
people gave signs of being greatly pleased. Their chief had a good figure,
was young and agile. We sent some articles of merchandise on shore to
barter with them; but they had nothing but their robes to give in exchange,
for they preserve only such furs as they need for their garments. Sieur de
Monts ordered some provisions to be given to their chief, with which he was
greatly pleased, and came several times to the side of our boat to see us.
These savages shave off the hair far up on the head, and wear what remains
very long, which they comb and twist behind in various ways very neatly,
intertwined with feathers which they attach to the head. They paint their
faces black and red, like the other savages which we have seen. They are an
agile people, with well-formed bodies. Their weapons are pikes, clubs, bows
and arrows, at the end of which some attach the tail of a fish called the
signoc, others bones, while the arrows of others are entirely of wood. They
till and cultivate the soil, something which we have not hitherto
observed. In the place of ploughs, they use an instrument of very hard
wood, shaped like a spade. This river is called by the inhabitants of the
country Choüacoet. 
The next day Sieur de Monts and I landed to observe their tillage on the
bank of the river. We saw their Indian corn, which they raise in gardens.
Planting three or four kernels in one place, they then heap up about it a
quantity of earth with shells of the signoc before mentioned. Then three
feet distant they plant as much more, and thus in succession. With this
corn they put in each hill three or four Brazilian beans,  which are
of different colors. When they grow up, they interlace with the corn, which
reaches to the height of from five to six feet; and they keep the ground
very free from weeds. We saw there many squashes, and pumpkins, 
and tobacco, which they likewise cultivate. 
* * * * *
CHAMPLAIN'S EXPLANATION OF THE ACCOMPANYING MAP.
_The figures indicate fathoms of water_.
_A_. The river.
_B_. Place where they have their fortress.
_C_. Cabins in the open fields, near which they cultivate the land and
plant Indian corn.
_D_. Extensive tract of land which is sandy, but covered with grass.
_E_. Another place where they have their dwellings all together after they
have planted their corn.
_F_. Marshes with good pasturage.
_G_. Spring of fresh water.
_H_. A large point of land all cleared up except some fruit trees and wild
_I_. Little island at the entrance of the river.
_L_. Another islet.
_M_. Two islands under shelter of which vessels can anchor with good
_N_. A point of land cleared up where Marchin came to us.
_O_. Four islands.
_P_. Little brook dry at low tide.
_Q_. Shoals along the coast.
_R_. Roadsted where vessels can anchor while waiting for the tide.
NOTES. Of the two islands in the northern part of the bay, the larger,
marked _M_, is Stratton Island, nearly half a mile long, and a mile and a
half from Prout's Neck, which lies north of it. A quarter of a mile from
Stratton is Bluff Island, a small island north-west of it. Of the four
islands at the southern end of the bay, the most eastern is Wood Island, on
which the United States maintain a light. The next on the west, two hundred
and fifty yards distant, is Negro Island. The third still further west is
Stage Island. The fourth, quarter of a mile west of the last named, is
Basket Island. The neck or peninsula, south-west of the islands, is now
called the POOL, much resorted to as a watering-place in the summer. The
island near the mouth of the river is Ram Island, and that directly north
of it is Eagle Island. From the mouth of the River to Prout's Neck, marked,
is one of the finest beaches in New England, extending about six nautical
miles. Its Southern extremity is known as Ferry, the northern Scarborough,
and midway between them is Old Orchard Beach, the latter a popular resort
in the summer months of persons from distant parts of the United States and
* * * * *
The Indian corn which we saw was at that time about two feet high, some of
it as high as three. The beans were beginning to flower, as also the
pumpkins and squashes. They plant their corn in May, and gather it in
September. We saw also a great many nuts, which are small and have several
divisions. There were as yet none on the trees, but we found plenty under
them, from the preceding year. We saw also many grape-vines, on which there
was a remarkably fine berry, from which we made some very good verjuice.
We had heretofore seen grapes only on the Island of Bacchus, distant nearly
two leagues from this river. Their permanent abode, the tillage, and the
fine trees led us to conclude that the air here is milder and better than
that where we passed the winter, and at the other places we visited on the
coast. But I cannot believe that there is not here a considerable degree
of cold, although it is in latitude 43° 45'.  The forests in the
interior are very thin, although abounding in oaks, beeches, ashes, and
elms; in wet places there are many willows. The savages dwell permanently
in this place, and have a large cabin surrounded by palisades made of
rather large trees placed by the side of each other, in which they take
refuge when their enemies make war upon them.  They cover their cabins
with oak bark. This place is very pleasant, and as agreeable as any to be
seen. The river is very abundant in fish, and is bordered by meadows. At
the mouth there is a small island adapted for the construction of a good
fortress, where one could be in security.
On Sunday,  the 12th of the month, we set out from the river
Choüacoet. After coasting along some six or seven leagues, a contrary wind
arose, which obliged us to anchor and go ashore,  where we saw two
meadows, each a league in length and half a league in breadth. We saw there
two savages, whom at first we took to be the great birds called bustards,
to be found in this country; who, as soon as they caught sight of us, took
flight into the woods, and were not seen again. From Choüacoet to this
place, where we saw some little birds, which sing like blackbirds, and are
black excepting the ends of the wings, which are orange-colored, 
there is a large number of grape-vines and nut-trees. This coast is sandy,
for the most part, all the way from Quinibequy. This day we returned two
or three leagues towards Choüacoet, as far as a cape which we called Island
Harbor,  favorable for vessels of a hundred tons, about which are
three islands. Heading north-east a quarter north, one can enter another
harbor  near this place, to which there is no approach, although there
are islands, except the one where you enter. At the entrance there are some
dangerous reefs. There are in these islands so many red currants that one
sees for the most part nothing else,  and an infinite number of
pigeons,  of which we took a great quantity. This Island Harbor 
is in latitude 43° 25'.
On the 15th of the month we made twelve leagues. Coasting along, we
perceived a smoke on the shore, which we approached as near as possible,
but saw no savage, which led us to believe that they had fled. The sun set,
and we could find no harbor for that night, since the coast was flat and
sandy. Keeping off, and heading south, in order to find an anchorage, after
proceeding about two leagues, we observed a cape  on the main land
south a quarter south-east of us, some six leagues distant. Two leagues to
the east we saw three or four rather high islands,  and on the west a
large bay. The coast of this bay, reaching as far as the cape, extends
inland from where we were perhaps four leagues. It has a breadth of two
leagues from north to south, and three at its entrance.  Not observing
any place favorable for putting in,  we resolved to go to the cape
above mentioned with short sail, which occupied a portion of the night.
Approaching to where there were sixteen fathoms of water, we anchored until
On the next day we went to the above-mentioned cape, where there are three
islands  near the main land, full of wood of different kinds, as at
Choüacoet and all along the coast; and still another flat one, where there
are breakers, and which extends a little farther out to Sea than the
others, on which there is no wood at all. We named this place Island Cape,
 near which we saw a canoe containing five or six savages, who came
out near our barque, and then went back and danced on the beach. Sieur de
Monts sent me on shore to observe them, and to give each one of them a
knife and some biscuit, which caused them to dance again better than
before. This over, I made them understand, as well as I could, that I
desired them to show me the course of the shore. After I had drawn with a
crayon the bay,  and the Island Cape, where we were, with the same
crayon they drew the outline of another bay,  which they represented
as very large; here they placed six pebbles at equal distances apart,
giving me to understand by this that these signs represented as many chiefs
and tribes.  Then they drew within the first mentioned bay a river
which we had passed, which has shoals and is very long.  We found in
this place a great many vines, the green grapes on which were a little
larger than peas, also many nut-trees, the nuts on which were no larger
than musket-balls. The savages told us that all those inhabiting this
country cultivated the land and sowed seeds like the others, whom we had
before seen. The latitude of this place is 43° and some minutes. 
Sailing half a league farther, we observed several savages on a rocky
point,  who ran along the shore, dancing as they went, to their
companions to inform them of our coming. After pointing out to us the
direction of their abode, they made a signal with smoke to show us the
place of their settlement. We anchored near a little island,  and sent
our canoe with knives and cakes for the savages. From the large number of
those we saw, we concluded that these places were better inhabited than the
others we had seen.
After a stay of some two hours for the sake of observing those people,
whose canoes are made of birch bark, like those of the Canadians,
Souriquois, and Etechemins, we weighed anchor and set sail with a promise
of fine weather. Continuing our course to the west-south-west we saw
numerous islands on one side and the other. Having sailed seven or eight
leagues, we anchored near an island,  whence we observed many smokes
along the shore, and many savages running up to see us. Sieur de Monts sent
two or three men in a canoe to them, to whom he gave some knives and
paternosters to present to them; with which they were greatly pleased, and
danced several times in acknowledgment. We could not ascertain the name of
their chief, as we did not know their language. All along the shore there
is a great deal of land cleared up and planted with Indian corn. The
country is very pleasant and agreeable, and there is no lack of fine trees.
The canoes of those who live there are made of a single piece, and are very
liable to turn over if one is not skilful in managing them. We had not
before seen any of this kind. They are made in the following manner. After
cutting down, at a cost of much labor and time, the largest and tallest
tree they can find, by means of stone hatchets (for they have no others
except some few which they received from the Savages on the coasts of La
Cadie,  them in exchange for furs), they remove the bark, and round
off the tree except on one side, where they apply fire gradually along its
entire length; and sometimes they put red-hot pebble-stones on top. When
the fire is too fierce, they extinguish it with a little water, not
entirely, but so that the edge of the boat may not be burnt. It being
hollowed out as much as they wish, they scrape it all over with stones,
which they use instead of knives. These stones resemble our musket flints.
On the next day, the 17th of the month, we weighed anchor to go to a cape
we had seen the day before, which seemed to lie on our south
south-west. This day we were able to make only five leagues, and we passed
by some islands  covered with wood. I observed in the bay all that the
savages had described to me at Island Cape. As we continued our course,
large numbers came to us in canoes from the islands and main land. We
anchored a league from a cape, which we named St. Louis,  where we
noticed smoke in several places. While in the act of going there, our
barque grounded on a rock, where we were in great danger, for, if we had
not speedily got it off, it would have overturned in the sea, since the
tide was falling all around, and there were five or six fathoms of
water. But God preserved us, and we anchored near the above-named cape,
when there come to us fifteen or sixteen canoes of savages. In some of them
there were fifteen or sixteen, who began to manifest great signs of joy,
and made various harangues, which we could not in the least understand.
Sieur de Monts sent three or four men on shore in our canoe, not only to
get water, but to see their chief, whose name was Honabetha. The latter had
a number of knives and other trifles, which Sieur de Monts gave him, when
he came alongside to see us, together with some of his companions, who were
present both along the shore and in their canoes. We received the chief
very cordially, and made him welcome; who, after remaining some time, went
back. Those whom we had sent to them brought us some little squashes as big
as the fist, which we ate as a salad, like cucumbers, and which we found
very good. They brought also some purslane,  which grows in large
quantities among the Indian corn, and of which they make no more account
than of weeds. We saw here a great many little houses, scattered over the
fields where they plant their Indian corn.
There is, moreover, in this bay a very broad river, which we named River du
Guast.  It stretches, as it seemed to me, towards the Iroquois, a
nation in open warfare with the Montagnais, who live on the great river
107. _Isle de la Tortue_, commonly known as Seguin Island, high and rocky,
with precipitous shores. It is nearly equidistant from Wood, Pond, and
Salter's Islands at the mouth of the Kennebec, and about one mile and
three quarters from each. The United States light upon it is 180 feet
above the level of the sea. It may be seen at the distance of twenty
108. Ellingwood Rock, Seguin Ledges, and White Ledge.
109. Pond Island on the west, and Stage Island on the east: the two rocks
referred to in the same sentence are now called the Sugar Loaves.
110. This was apparently in the upper part of Back River, where it is
exceedingly narrow. The minute and circumstantial description of the
mouth of the Kennebec, and the positive statement in the text that
they entered the river so described, and the conformity of the
description to that laid down on our Coast Survey Charts, as well as
on Champlain's local map, all render it certain that they entered the
mouth of the Kennebec proper; and having entered, they must have
passed on a flood-tide into and through Back River, which in some
places is so narrow that their little barque could hardly fall to be
grazed in passing. Having reached Hockomock Bay, they passed down
through the lower Hell Gate, rounded the southern point of West Port
or Jerremisquam Island, sailing up its eastern shore until they
reached the harbor of Wiscasset; then down the western side, turning
Hockomock Point, threading the narrow passage of the Sasanoa River
through the upper Hell Gate, entering the Sagadahoc, passing the
Chops, and finally through the Neck, into Merrymeeting Bay. The
narrowness of the channel and the want of water at low tide in Back
River would seem at first blush to throw a doubt over the possibility
of Champlain's passing through this tidal passage. But it has at least
seven feet of water at high tide. His little barque, of fifteen tons,
without any cargo, would not draw more than four feet at most, and
would pass through without any difficulty, incommoded only by the
narrowness of the channel to which Champlain refers. With the same
barque, they passed over the bar at Nauset, or Mallebarre, where
Champlain distinctly says there were only four feet of water.--_Vide
postea_, p. 81.
111. West Port, or Jerremisquam Island.
112. This was Wiscasset Harbor, as farther on it will be seen that from
this point they started down the river, taking another way than that
by which they had come.
113. Hockomock Point, a rocky precipitous bluff.
114. The movement of the waters about this "narrow waterfall" has been a
puzzle from the days of Champlain to the present time. The phenomena
have not changed. Having consulted the United States Coast Pilot and
likewise several persons who have navigated these waters and have a
personal knowledge of the "fall," the following is, we think, a
satisfactory explanation. The stream in which the fall occurs is
called the Sasanoa, and is a tidal current flowing from the Kennebec,
opposite the city of Bath, to the Sheepscot. It was up this tidal
passage that Champlain was sailing from the waters of the Sheepscot to
the Kennebec, and the "narrow waterfall" was what is now called the
upper Hell Gate, which is only fifty yards wide, hemmed in by walls of
rock on both sides. Above it the Sasanoa expands into a broad bay.
When the tide from the Kennebec has filled this bay, the water rushes
through this narrow gate with a velocity Sometimes of thirteen miles
an hour. There is properly no fall in the bed of the stream, but the
appearance of a fall is occasioned by the pent-up waters of the bay
above rushing through this narrow outlet, having accumulated faster
than they could be drained off. At half ebb, on a spring tide, a wall
of water from six inches to a foot stretches across the stream, and
the roar of the flood boiling over the rocks at the Gate can be heard
two miles below. The tide continues to flow up the Sasanoa from the
Sheepscot not only on the flood, but for some time on the ebb, as the
waters in the upper part of the Sheepscot and its bays, in returning,
naturally force themselves up this passage until they are sufficiently
drained off to turn the current in the Sasanoa in the other direction.
Champlain, sailing from the Sheepscot up the Sasanoa, arrived at the
Gate probably just as the tide was beginning to turn, and when there
was comparatively only a slight fall, but yet enough to make it
necessary to force their little barque up through the Gate by means of
hawsers as described in the text. After getting a short distance from
the narrows, he would be on the water ebbing back into the Kennebec,
and would be still moving with the tide, as he had been until he
reached the fall.
115. Merrymeeting Bay, so called from the meeting in this bay of the two
rivers mentioned in the text a little below, viz., the Kennebec and
116. The latitude of Seguin, here called Tortoise Island, is 43° 42' 25".
117. The head-waters of the Kennebec, as well as those of the Penobscot,
approach very near to the Chaudière, which flows into the St.
Lawrence near Quebec.
118. Casco Bay, which stretches from Cape Small Point to Cape Elizabeth. It
has within it a hundred and thirty-six islands. They anchored and
passed the night somewhere within the limits of this bay, but did not
attempt its exploration.
119. These were the White Mountains in New Hampshire, towering above the
sea 6,225 feet. They are about sixty miles distant from Casco Bay, and
were observed by all the early voyagers as they sailed along the coast
of Maine. They are referred to on Ribero's Map of 1529 by the Spanish
word _montañas_, and were evidently seen by Estevan Gomez in 1525,
whose discoveries are delineated by this map. They will also be found
on the Mappe-Monde of about the middle of the sixteenth century, and
on Sebastian Cabot's map, 1544, both included in the "Monuments de la
Géographie" of Jomard, and they are also indicated on numerous other
120. This conjecture is not sustained by any evidence beyond the similarity
of the names. There are numerous idle opinions as to the kind of plant
which was so efficacious a remedy for the scurvy, but they are utterly
without foundation. There does not appear to be any means of
determining what the healing plant was.
121. The four leagues of the previous day added to the eight of this bring
them from the Kennebec to Saco Bay.
122. The small island "proche de la grande terre" was Stratton Island: they
anchored on the northern side and nearly east of Bluff Island, which
is a quarter of a mile distant. The Indians came down to welcome them
from the promontory long known as Black Point, now called Prout's
Neck. Compare Champlain's local map and the United States Coast Survey
123. Champlain's narrative, together with his sketch or drawing,
illustrating the mouth of the Saco and its environs, compared with the
United States Coast Survey Charts, renders it certain that this was
Richmond Island. Lescarbot describes it as a 'great island, about half
a league in compass, at the entrance of the bay of the said place of
Choüacoet It is about a mile long, and eight hundred yards in its
greatest width.--_Coast Pilot_. It received its present name at a very
early period. It was granted under the title of "a small island,
called Richmond," by the Council for New England to Walter Bagnall,
Dec. 2, 1631.--_Vide Calendar of Eng. State Papers_, Col. 1574-1660,
p. 137. Concerning the death of Bagnall on this island a short time
before the above grant was made, _vide Winthrop's Hist. New Eng._,
ed. 1853, Vol. I. pp. 75, 118.
124. Lescarbot calls him Olmechin.--_Histoire de la Nouvelle France_, par
M. Lescarbot, Paris, 1612, p. 558.
125. They had hoped that the wife of Panounias, their Indian guide, who was
said to have been born among the Almouchiquois, would be able to
interpret their language, but in this they appear to have been
disappointed.--_Vide antea_, p. 55.
126. From the Indian word, M'-foo-ah-koo-et, or, as the French pronounced
it, _Choüacoet_, which had been the name, applied by the aborigines to
this locality we know not how long, is derived the name Saco, now
given to the river and city in the same vicinity. The orthography
given to the original word is various, as Sawocotuck, Sowocatuck,
Sawakquatook, Sockhigones, and Choüacost. The variations in this, as
in other Indian words, may have arisen from a misapprehension of the
sound given by the aborigines, or from ignorance, on the part of
writers, of the proper method of representing sounds, joined to an
utter indifference to a matter which seemed to them of trifling
127. _Febues du Brésil_. This is the well-known trailing or bush-bean of
New England, _Phaseolus vulgaris_, called the "Brazilian bean" because
it resembled a bean known in France at that time under that name. It
is sometimes called the kidney-bean. It is indigenous to America.
128. _Citrouilles_, the common summer squash, _Cucurbita polymorpha_, as
may be seen by reference to Champlain's map of 1612, where its form is
delineated over the inscription, _la forme des sitroules_. It is
indigenous to America. Our word squash is derived from the Indian
_askutasquash_ or _isquoutersquash_. "In summer, when their corne is
spent, Isquoutersquashes is their best bread, a fruit like the young
Pumpion."--_Wood's New England Prospect_, 1634, Prince Society ed.,
p. 76. "_Askutasquash_, their Vine aples, which the _English_ from
them call _Squashes_, about the bignesse of Apples, of severall
colours, a sweet, light, wholesome refreshing."--_Roger Williams,
Key_, 1643, Narragansett Club ed., p. 125.
129. _Courges_, the pumpkin, _Cucurbita maxima_, indigenous to America. As
the pumpkin and likewise the squash were vegetables hitherto unknown
to Champlain, there was no French word by which he could accurately
identify them. The names given to them were such as he thought would
describe them to his countrymen more nearly than any others. Had he
been a botanist, he would probably have given them new names.
130. _Petum_. Tobacco, _Nicotiana rustica_, sometimes called wild tobacco.
It was a smaller and more hardy species than the _Nicotiana tabacum_,
now cultivated in warmer climates, but had the same qualities though
inferior in strength and aroma. It was found in cultivation by the
Indians all along our coast and in Canada. Cartier observed it growing
in Canada in 1535. Of it he says: "There groweth also a certain kind
of herbe, whereof in Sommer they make a great prouision for all the
yeere, making great account of it, and onely men vse of it, and first
they cause it to be dried in the Sunne, then weare it about their
neckes wrapped in a little beasts skinne made like a little bagge,
with a hollow peece of stone or wood like a pipe; then when they
please they make pouder of it, and then put it in one of the ends of
the said Cornet or pipe, and laying a cole of fire vpon it, at the
other ende sucke so long, that they fill their bodies full of smoke,
till that it commeth out of their mouth and nostrils, euen as out of
the Tonnell of a chimney. They say that this doth keepe them warme and
in health: they neuer goe without some of it about them. We ourselues
haue tryed the same smoke, and hauing put it in our mouthes, it seemed
almost as hot as Pepper."--_Jacques Cartier, 2 Voyage_, 1535;
_Hakluyt_, London, ed. 1810, Vol. III. p. 276.
We may here remark that the esculents found in cultivation at Saco,
beans, squashes, pumpkins, and corn, as well as the tobacco, are all
American tropical or subtropical plants, and must have been
transmitted from tribe to tribe, from more southern climates. The
Indian traditions would seem to indicate this. "They have a
tradition," says Roger Williams, "that the Crow brought them at first
an _Indian_ Graine of Corne in one Eare, and an _Indian_ or _French_
Beane in another, from the Great God _Kautantouwit's_ field in the
Southwest from whence they hold came all their Corne and Beanes."--
_Key to the Language of America_, London, 1643, Narragansett Club ed.,
Seventy years before Champlain, Jacques Cartier had found nearly the
same vegetables cultivated by the Indians in the valley of the
St. Lawrence. He says: "They digge their grounds with certaine peeces
of wood, as bigge as halfe a sword, on which ground groweth their
corne, which they call Ossici; it is as bigge as our small peason....
They haue also great store of Muske-milions. Pompions, Gourds,
Cucumbers, Peason, and Beanes of euery colour, yet differing from
ours."--_Hakluyt_, Vol. II. p. 276. For a full history of these
plants, the reader is referred to the History of Plants, a learned and
elaborate work now in press, by Charles Pickering, M.D. of Boston.
131. The latitude of Wood Island at the mouth of the Saco, where they were
at anchor, is 43° 27' 23".
132. The site of this Indian fortification was a rocky bluff on the western
side of the river, now owned by Mr. John Ward, where from time to time
Indian relics have been found. The island at the mouth of the river,
which Champlain speaks of as a suitable location for a fortress, is
Ram Island, and is low and rocky, and about a hundred and fifty yards
133. For Sunday read Tuesday.--_Vide Shurtless's Calendar_.
134. This landing was probably near Wells Neck, and the meadows which they
saw were the salt marshes of Wells.
135. The Red-wing Blackbird, _Ageloeus phoeniceus_, of lustrous black, with
the bend of the wing red. They are still abundant in the same
locality, and indeed across the whole continent to the Pacific
Ocean.--_Vide Cones's Key_, Boston, 1872, p. 156; _Baird's Report_,
Washington, 1858, Part II. p. 526.
136. _Le Port aux Isles_. This Island Harbor is the present Cape Porpoise
137. This harbor is Goose Fair Bay, from one to two miles north-east of
Cape Porpoise, in the middle of which are two large ledges, "the
dangerous reefs" to which Champlain refers.
138. This was the common red currant of the gardens, _Ribes rubrum_, which
is a native of America. The fetid currant, _Ribes prostratum_, is also
indigenous to this country. It has a pale red fruit, which gives forth
a very disagreeable odor. Josselyn refers to the currant both in his
Voyages and in his Rarities. Tuckerman found it growing wild in the
139. The passenger pigeon, _Ectopistes migratorius_, formerly numerous in
New England. Commonly known as the wild pigeon. Wood says they fly in
flocks of millions of millions.--_New England Prospect_, 1634; Prince
Society ed., p. 31.
140. Champlain's latitude is less inaccurate than usual. It is not possible
to determine the exact point at which he took it. But the latitude of
Cape Porpoise, according to the Coast Survey Charts, is 43° 21' 43".
141. Cape Anne.
142. The point at which Champlain first saw Cape Anne, and "isles assez
hautes," the Isles of Shoals, was east of Little Boar's Head, and
three miles from the shore. Nine years afterward, Captain John Smith
visited these islands, and denominated them on his map of New England
Smith's Isles. They began at a very early date to be called the Isles
of Shoals. "Smith's Isles are a heape together, none neere them,
against Accominticus."--_Smith's Description of New England_. Rouge's
map, 1778, has Isles of Shoals, _ou des Ecoles_. For a full
description and history of these islands, the reader is referred to
"The Isles of Shoals," by John S. Jenness, New York, 1875.
143. Champlain has not been felicitous in his description of this bay. He
probably means to say that from the point where he then was, off
Little Boar's Head, to the point where it extends farthest into the
land, or to the west, it appeared to be about twelve miles, and that
the depth of the bay appeared to be six miles, and eight at the point
of greatest depth. As he did not explore the bay, it is obvious that
he intended to speak of it only as measured by the eye. No name has
been assigned to this expanse of water on our maps. It washes the
coast of Hampton, Salisbury, Newburyport, Ipswich, and Annisquam. It
might well be called Merrimac Bay, aster the name of the important
river that empties its waters into it, midway between its northern and
144. It is to be observed that, starting from Cape Porpoise Harbor on the
morning of the 15th of July, they sailed twelve leagues before the
sail of the night commenced. This would bring them, allowing for the
sinuosities of the shore, to a point between Little Boar's Head and
the Isles of Shoals. In this distance, they had passed the sandy
shores of Wells Beach and York Beach in Maine, and Foss's Beach and
Rye Beach in New Hampshire, and still saw the white Sands of Hampton
and Salisbury Beaches stretching far into the bay on their right. The
excellent harbor of Portsmouth, land-locked by numerous islands, had
been passed unobserved. A sail of eighteen nautical miles brought them
to their anchorage at the extreme point of Cape Anne.
145. Straitsmouth, Thatcher, and Milk island. They were named by Captain
John Smith the "Three Turks' Heads," in memory of the three Turks'
heads cut off by him at the siege of Caniza, by which he acquired from
Sigismundus, prince of Transylvania, their effigies in his shield for
his arms.--_The true Travels, Adventures, and Observations of Captaine
John Smith_, London, 1629.
146. What Champlain here calls "le Cap aux Isles," Island Cape, is Cape
Anne, called Cape Tragabigzanda by Captain John Smith, the name of his
mistress, to whom he was given when a prisoner among the Turks. The
name was changed by Prince Charles, afterward Charles I., to Cape
Anne, in honor of his mother, who was Anne of Denmark.--_Vide
Description of New England_ by Capt. John Smith, London, 1616.
147. This was the bay west of a line drawn from Little Boar's Head to Cape
Anne, which may well be called Merrimac Bay.
148. Massachusetts Bay.
149. It is interesting to observe the agreement of the sign-writing of this
savage on the point of Cape Anne with the statement of the historian
Gookin, who in 1656 was superintendent of Indian affairs in
Massachusetts, and who wrote in 1674. He says: "Their chief sachem
held dominion over many other petty governours; as those of
Weechagaskas, Neponsitt, Punkapaog, Nonantam, Nashaway, and some of
the Nipmuck people, as far as Pokomtacuke, as the old men of
Massachusetts affirmed." Here we have the six tribes, represented by
the pebbles, recorded seventy years later as a tradition handed down
by the old men of the tribe. Champlain remarks further on, "I observed
in the bay all that the savages had described to me at Island Cape."
150. This was the Merrimac with its shoals at the mouth, which they had
passed without observing, having sailed from the offing near Little
Boar's Head directly to the head of Cape Anne, during the darkness of
the previous night.
151. The latitude of the Straitsmouth Island Light on the extreme point of
Cape Anne is 42° 39' 43". A little east of it, where they probably
anchored, there are now sixteen fathoms of water.
152. Emmerson's Point, forming the eastern extremity of Cape Anne, twenty
or twenty-five feet high, fringed with a wall of bare rocks on the
153. Thatcher's Island, near the point just mentioned. It is nearly half a
mile long and three hundred and fifty yards wide, and about fifty feet
154. It is not possible to determine with absolute certainty the place of
this anchorage. But as Champlain describes, at the end of this
chapter, what must have been Charles River coming from the country of
the Iroquois or the west, most likely as seen from his anchorage,
there can be little doubt that he anchored in Boston Harbor, near the
western limit of Noddle's Island, now known as East Boston.
155. The fishermen and fur-traders had visited these coasts from a very
early period.--_Vide antea_, note 18. From them they obtained the axe,
a most important implement in their rude mode of life, and it was
occasionally found in use among tribes far in the interior.
_La Cadie_. Carelessness or indifference in regard to the orthography
of names was general in the time of Champlain. The volumes written in
the vain attempt to settle the proper method of spelling the name of
Shakespeare, are the fruit of this indifference. La Cadie did not
escape this treatment. Champlain writes it Arcadie, Accadie, La Cadie,
Acadie, and L'Acadie; while Lescarbot uniformly, as far as we have
observed, La Cadie. We have also seen it written L'Arcadie and
L'Accadie, and in some, if not in all the preceding forms, with a
Latin termination in _ia_. It is deemed important to secure
uniformity, and to follow the French form in the translation of a
French work rather than the Latin. In this work, it is rendered LA
CADIE in all cases except in quotations. The history of the name
favors this form rather than any other. The commission or charter
given to De Monts by Henry IV. in 1603, a state paper or legal
document, drawn, we may suppose, with more than usual care, has La
Cadie, and repeats it four times without variation. It is a name of
Indian origin, as may be inferred by its appearing in composition in
such words as Passamacadie, Subenacadie, and Tracadie, plainly derived
from the language spoken by the Souriquois and Etechemins. Fifty-five
years before it was introduced into De Monts's commission, it appeared
written _Larcadia_ in Gastaldo's map of "Terra Nova del Bacalaos," in
the Italian translation of Ptolemy's Geography, by Pietro Andrea
Mattiolo, printed at Venice in 1548. The colophon bears date October,
1547. This rare work is in the possession of Henry C. Murphy, LL.D.,
to whom we are indebted for a very beautiful copy of the map. It
appeared again in 1561 on the map of Ruscelli, which was borrowed, as
well as the whole map, from the above work.--_Vide Ruscelli's map in
Dr. Kohl's Documentary History of Maine_, Maine Hist. Soc., Portland,
1869, p. 233. On this map, Larcadia stands on the coast of Maine, in
the midst of the vast territory included in De Monts's grant, between
the degrees of forty and forty-six north latitude. It will be
observed, if we take away the Latin termination, that the
pronunciation of this word as it first appeared in 1547, would not
differ in _sound_ from La Cadie. It seems, therefore, very clear that
the name of the territory stretching along the coast of Maine, we know
not how far north or south, as it was caught from the lips of the
natives at some time anterior 1547, was best represented by La Cadie,
as pronounced by the French. Whether De Monts had obtained the name of
his American domain from those who had recently visited the coast and
had caught its sound from the natives, or whether he had taken it from
this ancient map, we must remain uninformed. Several writers have
ventured to interpret the word, and give us its original meaning. The
following definitions have been offered: 1. The land of dogs; 2. Our
village; 3. The fish called pollock; 4. Place; 5. Abundance. We do not
undertake to decide between the disagreeing doctors. But it is obvious
to remark that a rich field lies open ready for a noble harvest for
any young scholar who has a genius for philology, and who is prepared
to make a life work of the study and elucidation of the original
languages of North America. The laurels in this field are still to be
156. The islands in Boston Bay.
157. This attempt to land was in Marshfield near the mouth of South River.
Not succeeding, they sailed forward a league, and anchored at Brant
Point, which they named the Cape of St. Louis.
158. This purslane, _Portulaca oleracea_, still grows vigorously among the
Indian corn in New England, and is regarded with no more interest now
than in 1605. It is a tropical plant, and was introduced by the
Indians probably by accident with the seeds of tobacco or other
159. Here at the end of the chapter Champlain seems to be reminded that he
had omitted to mention the river of which he had learned, and had
probably seen in the bay. This was Charles River. From the western
side of Noddle's Island, or East Boston, where they were probably at
anchor, it appeared at its confluence with the Mystic River to come
from the west, or the country of the Iroquois. By reference to
Champlain's large map of 1612, this river will be clearly identified
as Charles River, in connection with Boston Bay and its numerous
islands. On that map it is represented as a long river flowing from
the west. This description of the river by Champlain was probably from
personal observation. Had he obtained his information from the
Indians, they would not have told him that it was broad or that it
came from the west, for such are not the facts; but they would have
represented to him that it was small, winding in its course, and that
it came from the south. We infer, therefore, that he not only saw it
himself, but probably from the deck of the little French barque, as it
was riding at anchor in our harbor near East Boston, where Charles
River, augmented by the tide, flows into the harbor from the west, in
a strong, broad, deep current. They named it in honor of Pierre du
Guast, Sieur de Monts, the commander of this expedition. Champlain
writes the name "du Gas;" De Laet has "de Gua;" while Charlevoix
writes "du Guast." This latter orthography generally prevails.
CONTINUATION OF THE DISCOVERIES ALONG THE COAST OF THE ALMOUCHIQUOIS, AND
WHAT WE OBSERVED IN DETAIL.
The next day we doubled Cap St. Louis,  so named by Sieur de Monts, a
land rather low, and in latitude 42° 45'.  The same day we sailed two
leagues along a sandy coast, as we passed along which we saw a great many
cabins and gardens. The wind being contrary, we entered a little bay to
await a time favorable for proceeding. There came to us two or three
canoes, which had just been fishing for cod and other fish, which are found
there in large numbers. These they catch with hooks made of a piece of
wood, to which they attach a bone in the shape of a spear, and fasten it
very securely. The whole has a fang-shape, and the line attached to it is
made out of the bark of a tree. They gave me one of their hooks, which I
took as a curiosity. In it the bone was fastened on by hemp, like that in
France, as it seemed to me, and they told me that they gathered this plant
without being obliged to cultivate it; and indicated that it grew to the
height of four or five feet.  This canoe went back on shore to give
notice to their fellow inhabitants, who caused columns of smoke to arise on
our account We saw eighteen or twenty savages, who came to the shore and
began to dance. Our canoe landed in order to give them some bagatelles, at
which they were greatly pleased. Some of them came to us and begged us to
go to their river. We weighed anchor to do so, but were unable to enter on
account of the small amount of water, it being low tide, and were
accordingly obliged to anchor at the mouth. I went ashore, where I saw many
others, who received us very cordially. I made also an examination of the
river, but saw only an arm of water extending a short distance inland,
where the land is only in part cleared up. Running into this is merely a
brook not deep enough for boats except at full tide. The circuit of the bay
is about a league. On one side of the entrance to this bay there is a point
which is almost an island, covered with wood, principally pines, and
adjoins sand-banks, which are very extensive. On the other side, the land
is high. There are two islets in this bay, which are not seen until one
has entered, and around which it is almost entirely dry at low tide. This
place is very conspicuous from the sea, for the coast is very low,
excepting the cape at the entrance to the bay. We named it the Port du Cap
St. Louis,  distant two leagues from the above cape, and ten from the
Island Cape. It is in about the same latitude as Cap St. Louis.
* * * * *
CHAMPLAIN'S EXPLANATION OF THE ACCOMPANYING MAP.
PORT ST. LOUIS.
_The figures indicate fathoms of water_.
_A_. Indicates the place where vessels lie.
_B_. The channel.
_C_. Two islands. [Note: Clark's Island is now the sole representative of
the two figured by Champlain in 1605. The action of the waves has
either united the two, or swept one of them away. It was named after
Clark, the master's mate of the "May Flower," who was the first to
step on shore, when the party of Pilgrims, sent out from Cape Cod
Harbor to Select a habitation, landed on this island, and passed the
night of the 9th of December, O. S. 1620. _Vide_ Morton's Memorial,
1669, Plymouth Ed. 1826. p. 35: Young's Chronicles, p. 160; Bradford's
His. Plym. Plantation, p. 87. This delineation removes all doubt as to
the missing island in Plymouth Harbor, and shows the incorrectness of
the theory as to its being Saquish Head, suggested in a note in
Young's Chronicles, p. 64. _Vide_ also Mourt's Relation, Dexter's ed.,
_D_. Sandy downs. [Note: Saquish Neck]
_F_. Cabins where the savages till the ground.
_G_. Place where we beached our barque.
_H_. Land having the appearance of an island, covered with wood and
adjoining the sandy downs. [Note: Saquish Head, which seems to have
been somewhat changed since the time of Champlain. Compare Coast
Survey Chart of Plymouth Harbor, 1857.]
_I_. A high promontory which may be seen four or five leagues at
sea. [Note: Manomet Bluff.]
* * * * *
On the 19th of the month, we set out from this place. Coasting along in a
southerly direction, we sailed four or five leagues, and passed near a rock
on a level with the surface of the water. As we continued our course, we
saw some land which seemed to us to be islands, but as we came nearer we
found it to be the main land, lying to the north-north-west of us, and that
it was the cape of a large bay,  containing more than eighteen or
nineteen leagues in circuit, into which we had run so far that we had to
wear off on the other tack in order to double the cape which we had
seen. The latter we named Cap Blanc,  since it contained sands and
downs which had a white appearance. A favorable wind was of great
assistance to us here, for otherwise we should have been in danger of being
driven upon the coast. This bay is very safe, provided the land be not
approached nearer than a good league, there being no islands nor rocks
except that just mentioned, which is near a river that extends some
distance inland, which we named St. Suzanne du Cap Blanc,  whence
across to Cap St. Louis the distance is ten leagues. Cap Blanc is a point
of sand, which bends around towards the south some six leagues. This coast
is rather high, and consists of sand, which is very conspicuous as one
comes from the Sea. At a distance of some fifteen or eighteen leagues from
land, the depth of the water is thirty, forty, and fifty fathoms, but only
ten on nearing the shore, which is unobstructed. There is a large extent
of open country along the shore before reaching the woods, which are very
attractive and beautiful. We anchored off the coast, and saw some savages,
towards whom four of our company proceeded. Making their way upon a
sand-bank, they observed something like a bay, and cabins bordering it on
all sides. When they were about a league and a half from us, there came to
them a savage dancing all over, as they expressed it. He had come down from
the high shore, but turned about shortly after to inform his fellow
inhabitants of our arrival.
The next day, the 20th of the month, we went to the place which our men had
seen, and which we found a very dangerous harbor in consequence of the
shoals and banks, where we saw breakers in all directions. It was almost
low tide when we entered, and there were only four feet of water in the
northern passage; at high tide, there are two fathoms. After we had
entered, we found the place very spacious, being perhaps three or four
leagues in circuit, entirely surrounded by little houses, around each one
of which there was as much land as the occupant needed for his support. A
small river enters here, which is very pretty, and in which at low tide
there are some three and a half feet of water. There are also two or three
brooks bordered by meadows. It would be a very fine place, if the harbor
were good. I took the altitude, and found the latitude 42°, and the
deflection of the magnetic needle 18° 40'. Many savages, men and women,
visited us, and ran up on all sides dancing. We named this place Port de
* * * * *
CHAMPLAIN'S EXPLANATION OF THE ACCOMPANYING MAP.
_The figures indicate fathoms of water_.
_A_. The two entrances to the harbor.
_B_. Sandy downs where the savages killed a sailor belonging to the barque
of Sieur de Monts.
_C_. Places in the harbor where the barque of Sieur de Monts was.
_D_. Spring on the shore of the harbor.
_E_. A river flowing into the harbor.
_F_. A brook.
_G_. A small river where quantities of fish are caught.
_H_. Sandy downs with low shrubs and many vines.
_I_. Island at the point of the downs.
_L_. Houses and dwelling-places of the savages that till the land.
_M_. Shoals and sand-banks at the entrance and inside of the harbor.
_O_. Sandy downs.
_q_. Barque of Sieur de Poutrincourt when he visited the place two years
after Sieur de Monts.
_R_. Landing of the party of Sieur de Poutrincourt.
NOTES. A comparison of this map with the Coast Survey Charts will show very
great changes in this harbor since the days of Champlain. Not only has the
mouth of the bay receded towards the south, but this recession appears to
have left entirely dry much of the area which was flooded in 1605. Under
reference _q_, on the above map, it is intimated that De Poutrincourt's
visit was two years after that of De Monts. It was more than one, and was
the second year after, but not, strictly speaking, "two years after."
* * * * *
The next day, the 21st of the month, Sieur de Monts determined to go and
see their habitation. Nine or ten of us accompanied him with our arms; the
rest remained to guard the barque. We went about a league along the coast.
Before reaching their cabins, we entered a field planted with Indian corn
in the manner before described. The corn was in flower, and five and a half
feet high. There was some less advanced, which they plant later. We saw
many Brazilian beans, and many squashes of various sizes, very good for
eating; some tobacco, and roots which they cultivate, the latter having the
taste of an artichoke. The woods are filled with oaks, nut-trees, and
beautiful cypresses,  which are of a reddish color and have a very
pleasant odor. There were also several fields entirely uncultivated, the
land being allowed to remain fallow. When they wish to plant it, they set
fire to the weeds, and then work it over with their wooden spades. Their
cabins are round, and covered with heavy thatch made of reeds. In the roof
there is an opening of about a foot and a half, whence the smoke from the
fire passes out. We asked them if they had their permanent abode in this
place, and whether there was much snow. But we were unable to ascertain
this fully from them, not understanding their language, although they made
an attempt to inform us by signs, by taking some sand in their hands.
Spreading it out over the ground, and indicating that it was of the color
of our collars, and that it reached the depth of a foot. Others made signs
that there was less, and gave us to understand also that the harbor never
froze; but we were unable to ascertain whether the snow lasted long. I
conclude, however, that this region is of moderate temperature, and the
winter not severe. While we were there, there was a north-cast storm, which
lasted four days; the sky being so overcast that the sun hardly shone at
all. It was very cold, and we were obliged to put on our great-coats, which
we had entirely left off. Yet I think the cold was accidental, as it is
often experienced elsewhere out of season.
On the 23d of July, four or five seamen having gone on shore with some
kettles to get fresh water, which was to be found in one of the sand-banks
a short distance from our barque, some of the savages, coveting them,
watched the time when our men went to the spring, and then seized one out
of the hands of a sailor, who was the first to dip, and who had no
weapons. One of his companions, starting to run after him, soon returned,
as he could not catch him, since he ran much faster than himself. The other
savages, of whom there were a large number, seeing our sailors running to
our barque, and at the same time shouting to us to fire at them, took to
flight. At the time there were some of them in our barque, who threw
themselves into the sea, only one of whom we were able to seize. Those on
the land who had taken to flight, seeing them swimming, returned straight
to the sailor from whom they had taken away the kettle, hurled several
arrows at him from behind, and brought him down. Seeing this, they ran at
once to him, and despatched him with their knives. Meanwhile, haste was
made to go on shore, and muskets were fired from our barque: mine, bursting
in my hands, came near killing me. The savages, hearing this discharge of
fire-arms, took to flight, and with redoubled speed when they saw that we
had landed, for they were afraid when they saw us running after them. There
was no likelihood of our catching them, for they are as swift as horses.
We brought in the murdered man, and he was buried some hours later.
Meanwhile, we kept the prisoner bound by the feet and hands on board of our
barque, fearing that he might escape. But Sieur de Monts resolved to let
him go, being persuaded that he was not to blame, and that he had no
previous knowledge of what had transpired, as also those who, at the time,
were in and about our barque. Some hours later there came some savages to
us, to excuse themselves, indicating by signs and demonstrations that it
was not they who had committed this malicious act, but others farther off
in the interior. We did not wish to harm them, although it was in our power
to avenge ourselves.
All these savages from the Island Cape wear neither robes nor furs, except
very rarely: moreover, their robes are made of grasses and hemp, scarcely
covering the body, and coming down only to their thighs. They have only the
sexual parts concealed with a small piece of leather; so likewise the
women, with whom it comes down a little lower behind than with the men, all
the rest of the body being naked. Whenever the women came to see us, they
wore robes which were open in front. The men cut off the hair on the top of
the head like those at the river Choüacoet. I saw, among other things, a
girl with her hair very neatly dressed, with a skin colored red, and
bordered on the upper part with little shell-beads. A part of her hair
hung down behind, the rest being braided in various ways. These people
paint the face red, black, and yellow. They have scarcely any beard, and
tear it out as fast as it grows. Their bodies are well-proportioned. I
cannot tell what government they have, but I think that in this respect
they resemble their neighbors, who have none at all. They know not how to
worship or pray; yet, like the other savages, they have some superstitions,
which I shall describe in their place. As for weapons, they have only
pikes, clubs, bows and arrows. It would seem from their appearance that
they have a good disposition, better than those of the north, but they are
all in fact of no great worth. Even a slight intercourse with them gives
you at once a knowledge of them. They are great thieves and, if they cannot
lay hold of any thing with their hands, they try to do so with their feet,
as we have oftentimes learned by experience. I am of opinion that, if they
had any thing to exchange with us, they would not give themselves to
thieving. They bartered away to us their bows, arrows, and quivers, for
pins and buttons; and if they had had any thing else better they would have
done the same with it. It is necessary to be on one's guard against this
people, and live in a state of distrust of them, yet without letting them
perceive it. They gave us a large quantity of tobacco, which they dry and
then reduce to powder.  When they eat Indian corn, they boil it in
earthen pots, which they make in a way different from ours. . They
bray it also in wooden mortars and reduce it to flour, of which they then
make cakes, like the Indians of Peru.
In this place and along the whole coast from Quinibequy, there are a great
many _siguenocs_,  which is a fish with a shell on its back like the
tortoise, yet different, there being in the middle a row of little
prickles, of the color of a dead leaf, like the rest of the fish. At the
end of this shell, there is another still smaller, bordered by very sharp
points. The length of the tail-varies according to their size. With the end
of it, these people point their arrows, and it contains also a row of
prickles like the large shell in which are the eyes. There are eight small
feet like those of the crab, and two behind longer and flatter, which they
use in swimming. There are also in front two other very small ones with
which they eat. When walking, all the feet are concealed excepting the two
hindermost which are slightly visible. Under the small shell there are
membranes which swell up, and beat like the throat of a frog, and rest upon
each other like the folds of a waistcoat. The largest specimen of this fish
that I saw was a foot broad, and a foot and a half long.
We saw also a sea-bird  with a black beak, the upper part slightly
aquiline, four inches long and in the form of a lancet; namely, the lower
part representing the handle and the upper the blade, which is thin, sharp
on both sides, and shorter by a third than the other, which circumference
is a matter of astonishment to many persons, who cannot comprehend how it
is possible for this bird to eat with such a beak. It is of the size of a
pigeon, the wings being very long in proportion to the body, the tail
short, as also the legs, which are red; the feet being small and flat. The
plumage on the upper part is gray-brown, and on the under part pure white.
They go always in flocks along the sea-shore, like the pigeons with us.
The savages, along all these coasts where we have been, say that other
birds, which are very large, come along when their corn is ripe. They
imitated for us their cry, which resembles that of the turkey. They showed
us their feathers in several places, with which they feather their arrows,
and which they put on their heads for decoration; and also a kind of hair
which they have under the throat like those we have in France, and they say
that a red crest falls over upon the beak. According to their description,
they are as large as a bustard, which is a kind of goose, having the neck
longer and twice as large as those with us. All these indications led us to
conclude that they were turkeys.  We should have been very glad to
see some of these birds, as well as their feathers, for the sake of greater
certainty. Before seeing their feathers, and the little bunch of hair which
they have under the throat, and hearing their cry imitated, I should have
thought that they were certain birds like turkeys, which are found in some
places in Peru, along the sea-shore, eating carrion and other dead things
like crows. But these are not so large; nor do they have so long a bill, or
a cry like that of real turkeys; nor are they good to eat like those which
the Indians say come in flocks in summer, and at the beginning of winter go
away to warmer countries, their natural dwelling-place.
160. It will be observed that, after doubling this cape, they sailed two
leagues, and then entered Plymouth Harbor, and consequently this cape
must have been what is now known as Brant Point.
161. The latitude is 42° 5'.
162. This was plainly our Indian hemp, _Asclepias incarnata_. "The fibres
of the bark are strong, and capable of being wrought into a fine soft
thread; but it is very difficult to separate the bark from the stalk.
It is said to have been used by the Indians for bow-strings."--_Vide
Cutler in Memoirs of the American Academy_, Vol. I. p. 424. It is the
Swamp Milkweed of Gray, and grows in wet grounds. One variety is
common in New England. The Pilgrims found at Plymouth "an excellent
strong kind of Flaxe and Hempe"--_Vide Mourt's Relation_, Dexter's
ed. p. 62.
163. _Port du Cap St. Louis_. From the plain, the map in his edition of
1613, drawing of this Harbor left by Champlain, and also that of the
edition of 1632, it is plain that the "Port du Cap St. Louis" is
Plymouth Harbor, where anchored the "Mayflower" a little more than
fifteen years later than this, freighted with the first permanent
English colony established in New England, commonly known as the
Pilgrims. The Indian name of the harbor, according to Captain John
Smith, who visited it in 1614. was Accomack. He gave it, by direction
of Prince Charles, the name of Plymouth. More recent investigations
point to this harbor as the one visited by Martin Pring in 1603.--
_Vide Paper by the Rev Benj. F. De Costa, before the New England
His. Gen. Society_, Nov. 7, 1877, New England His. and Gen. Register,
Vol. XXXII. p. 79.
The interview of the French with the natives was brief, but courteous
and friendly on both sides. The English visits were interrupted by
more or less hostility. "When Pring was about ready to leave, the
Indians became hostile and set the woods on fire, and he saw it burn
'for a mile space.'"--_De Costa_. A skirmish of some seriousness
occurred with Smith's party. "After much kindnesse upon a small
occasion, wee fought also with fortie or fiftie of those: though some
were hurt, and some slaine, yet within an hour after they became
friends."--_Smith's New England_, Boston, ed. 1865, p. 45.
164. Cape Cod Bay.
165. They named it "le Cap Blanc," the White Cape, from its white
appearance, while Bartholomew Gosnold, three years before, had named
it Cape Cod from the multitude of codfish near its shores. Captain
John Smith called it Cape James. All the early navigators who passed
along our Atlantic coast seem to have seen the headland of Cape
Cod. It is well defined on Juan de la Cosa's map of 1500, although no
name is given to it. On Ribero's map of 1529 it is called _C. de
arenas_. On the map of Nic. Vallard de Dieppe of 1543, it is called
_C. de Croix_.
166. Wellfleet Harbor. It may be observed that a little farther back
Champlain says that, having sailed along in a southerly direction four
or five leagues, they were at a place where there was a "rock on a
level with the surface of the water," and that they saw lying
north-north-west of them Cap Blanc, that is, Cape Cod; he now says
that the "rock" is near a river, which they named St. Suzanne du Cap
Blanc, and that from it to Cap St. Louis the distance is ten
leagues. Now, as the distance across to Brant Point, or Cap St. Louis,
from Wellfleet Harbor, is ten leagues, and as Cap Blanc or Cape Cod is
north-northwest of it, it is plain that Wellfleet Harbor or Herring
River, which flows into it, was the river which they named St. Suzanne
du Cap Blanc, and that the "rock on a level with the water" was one of
the several to be found near the entrance of Wellfleet Bay. It may
have been the noted Bay Rock or Blue Rock.
167. _Port de Mallebarre_, Nauset Harbor, in latitude 41° 48'. By comparing
Champlain's map of the harbor, it will be seen that important changes
have taken place since 1605. The entrance has receded a mile or more
towards the south, and this has apparently changed its interior
channel, and the whole form of the bay. The name itself has drifted
away with the sands, and feebly clings to the extremity of Monomoy
Point at the heel of the Cape.
168. Not strictly a cypress, but rather a juniper, the Savin, or red cedar,
_Juniparus Virginiana_, a tree of exclusively American origin; and
consequently it could not be truly characterized by any name then
known to Champlain.
169. The method of preparing tobacco here for smoking was probably not
different from that of the Indian tribes in Canada. Among the Huron
antiquities in the Museum at the University Laval are pipes which were
found already filled with tobacco, so prepared as to resemble our
fine-cut tobacco.--_Vide Laverdière in loco_.
170. The following description of the Indian pottery, and the method of its
manufacture by their women, as quoted by Laverdière from Sagard's
History of Canada, who wrote in 1636, will be interesting to the
antiquary, and will illustrate what Champlain means by "a way
different from ours:"--
"They are skilful in making good earthen pots, which they harden very
well on the hearth, and which are so strong that they do not, like our
own, break over the fire when having no water in them. But they cannot
sustain dampness nor cold water so long as our own, since they become
brittle and break at the least shock given them; otherwise they last
very well. The savages make them by taking some earth of the right
kind, which they clean and knead well in their hands, mixing with it,
on what principle I know not, a small quantity of grease. Then making
the mass into the shape of a ball, they make an indentation in the
middle of it with the fist, which they make continually larger by
striking repeatedly on the outside with a little wooden paddle as much
as is necessary to complete it. These vessels are of different sizes,
without feet or handles, completely round like a ball, excepting the
mouth, which projects a little."
171. This crustacean, _Limulus polyphemus_, is still seen on the strands of
New England. They are found in great abundance in more southern
waters: on the shores of Long Island and New Jersey, they are
collected in boat-loads and made useful for fertilizing purposes.
Champlain has left a drawing of it on his large map. It is vulgarly
known as the king-crab, or horse-foot; to the latter it bears a
striking similarity. This very accurate description of Champlain was
copied by De Laet into his elaborate work "Novvs Orbis," published in
1633, accompanied by an excellent wood-engraving. This species is
peculiar to our Atlantic waters, and naturally at that time attracted
the attention of Europeans, who had not seen it before.
172. The Black skimmer or Cut-water, _Rhynchops nigra_. It appears to be
distinct from, but closely related to, the Terns. This bird is here
described with general accuracy. According to Dr. Coues, it belongs
more particularly to the South Atlantic and Gulf States, where it is
very abundant; it is frequent in the Middle States, and only
occasionally seen in New England. The wings are exceedingly long; they
fly in close flocks, moving simultaneously. They seem to feed as they
skim low over the water, the under-mandible grazing or cutting the
surface, and thus taking in their food.--_Vide Coues's Key to North
American Birds_, Boston, 1872, p. 324.
Whether Champlain saw this bird as a "stray" on the shores of Cape
Cod, or whether it has since ceased to come in large numbers as far
north as formerly, offers an interesting inquiry for the
ornithologists. Specimens may be seen in the Museum of the Boston
Society of Natural History.
173. Champlain was clearly correct in his conclusion. The wild Turkey,
_Meleagris gallopavo_, was not uncommon in New England at that
period. Wood and Josselyn and Higginson, all speak of it fully:--
"Of these, sometimes there will be forty, threescore and a hundred of
a flocke; sometimes more, and sometimes lesse; their feeding is
Acornes, Hawes, and Berries; some of them get a haunt to frequent our
_English_ corne: In winter, when the snow covers the ground, they
resort to the Sea shore to look for Shrimps, and such small Fishes at
low tides. Such as love Turkie hunting, most follow it in winter after
a new-falne Snow, when hee may followe them by their tracts; some have
killed ten or a dozen in half a day; if they can be found towards an
evening and watched where they peirch, if one come about ten or eleven
of the clock, he may shoote as often as he will, they will sit,
unlesse they be slenderly wounded. These Turkies remaine all the yeare
long, the price of a good Turkey cocke is foure shillings; and he is
well worth it for he may be in weight forty pound: a Hen, two
shillings."--_Wood's New England Prospect_, 1634, Prince Society ed.,
Boston, p. 32.
"The _Turkie_, who is blacker than ours; I haue heard several credible
persons affirm, they haue seen _Turkie Cocks_ that have weighed forty,
yea sixty pound; but out of my personal experimental knowledge I can
assure you, that I haue eaten my share of a _Turkie Cock_, that when
he was pull'd and garbidg'd, weighed thirty  pound; and I haue also
seen threescore broods of young _Turkies_ on the side of a marsh,
sunning themselves in a morning betimes, but this was thirty years
since, the _English_ and the _Indians_ having now destroyed the breed,
so that 'tis very rare to meet with a wild _Turkie_ in the Woods: But
some of the _English_ bring up great store of the wild kind, which
remain about their Houses as tame as ours in _England_."--_New
England's Rarities_, by John Josselyn, Gent., London, 1672,
Tuckerman's ed., pp. 41, 42.
"Here are likewise abundance of Turkies often killed in the Woods,
farre greater then our English Turkies, and exceeding fat, sweet, and
fleshy, for here they haue aboundance of feeding all the yeere long,
as Strawberriees, in Summer at places are full of them and all manner
of Berries and Fruits."--_New England Plantation_, by Francis
Higginson, London, 1630. _Vide_ also _Bradford's Hist. Plym.
Plantation_, 1646, Deane's ed., Boston, 1856. p. 105.
It appears to be the opinion among recent ornithologists that the
species of turkey, thus early found in New England, was the _Meleagris
Americana_, long since extirpated, and not identical with our
domesticated bird. Our domestic turkey is supposed to have originated
in the West Indies or in Mexico, and to have been transplanted as
tamed to other parts of this continent, and to Europe, and named by
Linnaeus. _Meleagris gallopavo_.--_Vide Report on the Zoology of
Pacific Railroad Routes_, by Baird, Washington, 1858. Vol. IX. Part
II. pp. 613-618; _Coues's Key_, Boston, 1872, pp. 231, 232.
RETURN FROM THE DISCOVERIES ALONG THE COAST OF THE ALMOUCHIQUOIS.
We had spent more than five weeks in going over three degrees of latitude,
and our voyage was limited to six, since we had not taken provisions for a
longer time. In consequence of fogs and storms, we had not been able to go
farther than Mallebarre, where we waited several days for fair weather, in
order to sail. Finding ourselves accordingly pressed by the scantiness of
provisions, Sieur de Monts determined to return to the Island of St. Croix,
in order to find another place more favorable for our settlement, as we had
not been able to do on any of the coasts which we had explored on this
Accordingly, on the 25th of July, we set out from this harbor, in order to
make observations elsewhere. In going out, we came near being lost on the
bar at the entrance, from the mistake of our pilots, Cramolet and
Champdoré, masters of the barque, who had imperfectly marked out the
entrance of the channel on the southern side, where we were to go. Having
escaped this danger, we headed north-east  for six leagues, until we
reached Cap Blanc, sailing on from there to Island Cape, a distance of
fifteen leagues, with the same wind. Then we headed east-north-east sixteen
leagues, as far as Choüacoet, where we saw the savage chief, Marchin, 
whom we had expected to see at the Lake Quinibequy. He had the reputation
of being one of the valiant ones of his people. He had a fine appearance:
all his motions were dignified, savage as he was. Sieur de Monts gave him
many presents, with which he was greatly pleased; and, in return, Marchin
gave him a young Etechemin boy, whom he had captured in war, and whom we
took away with us; and thus we set out, mutually good friends. We headed
north-east a quarter east for fifteen leagues, as far as Quinibequy, where
we arrived on the 29th of the month, and where we were expecting to find a
savage, named Sasinou, of whom I spoke before. Thinking that he would come,
we waited some time for him, in order to recover from him an Etechemin
young man and girl, whom he was holding as prisoners. While waiting, there
came to us a captain called Anassou, who trafficked a little in furs, and
with whom we made an alliance. He told us that there was a ship, ten
leagues off the harbor, which was engaged in fishing, and that those on her
had killed five savages of this river, under cover of friendship. From his
description of the men on the vessel, we concluded that they were English,
and we named the island where they were La Nef;  for, at a distance,
it had the appearance of a ship. Finding that the above-mentioned Sasinou
did not come, we headed east-south-east, [176-1/2] for twenty leagues, to
Isle Haute, where we anchored for the night.
On the next day, the 1st of August, we sailed east some twenty leagues to
Cap Corneille,  where we spent the night. On the 2d of the month, we
sailed north-east seven leagues to the mouth of the river St. Croix, on the
western shore. Having anchored between the two first islands,  Sieur
de Monts embarked in a canoe, at a distance of six leagues from the
settlement of St. Croix, where we arrived the next day with our barque. We
found there Sieur des Antons of St. Malo, who had come in one of the
vessels of Sieur de Monts, to bring provisions and also other supplies for
those who were to winter in this country.
174. Champlain is in error as to the longitude of Mallebarre, or Nauset
harbor, from which they took their departure on the 25th of July,
1605. This port is about 38' east of Island Cape, or Cape Anne, and
about 16' east of the western point of Cap Blanc, or Cape Cod; and, to
reach their destination, they must have sailed north-west, and not
north-east, as he erroneously states.
175. They had failed to meet him at the lake in the Kennebec; namely,
Merrymeeting Bay.--_Vide antea_, p. 60.
176. The island which they thus named _La Nef_, the Ship, was Monhegan,
about twenty-five nautical miles east from the mouth of the Kennebec,
a mile and a third long, with an elevation at its highest point of a
hundred and forty feet above the level of the sea, and in latitude 43º
45' 52". Champlain's conjecture as to the nationality of the ship was
correct. It was the "Archangel," commanded by the celebrated explorer,
Captain George Weymouth, who under the patronage of the Earl of
Southampton came to explore our Atlantic coast in the spring of 1605,
for the purpose of selecting a site for an English colony. He anchored
near Monhegan on the 28th of May, N. S.; and, after spending nearly a
month in reconnoitring the islands and mainland in the vicinity, and
capturing five of the natives, he took his departure for England on
the 26th of June. On the 5th of July, just 9 days after Weymouth left
the coast, De Monts and Champlain entered with their little barque the
mouth of the Kennebec. They do not appear to have seen at that time
any of the natives at or about the mouth of the river; and it is not
unlikely that, on account of the seizure and, as they supposed, the
murder of their comrades by Weymouth, they had retired farther up the
river for greater safety. On the return, however, of the French from
Cape Cod, on the 29th of July, Anassou gave them, as stated in the
text, a friendly reception, and related the story of the seizure of
To prevent the interference of other nations, it was the policy of
Weymouth and his patron not to disclose the locality of the region he
had explored; and consequently Rosier, the narrator of the voyage, so
skilfully withheld whatever might clearly identify the place, and
couched his descriptions in such indefinite language, that there has
been and is now a great diversity of opinion on the subject among
local historians. It was the opinion of the Rev. Thomas Prince that
Weymouth explored the Kennebec, or Sagadahoc, and with him coincide
Mr. John McKeen and the Rev. Dr. Ballard, of Brunswick. The
Rev. Dr. Belknap, after satisfactory examinations, decided that it was
the Penobscot; and he is followed by Mr. William Willis, late
President of the Maine Historical Society. Mr. George Prince, of Bath,
has published an elaborate paper to prove that it was St. George's
River; and Mr. David Cushman, of Warren, coincides in this view. Other
writers, not entering into the discussion at length, accept one or
another of the theories above mentioned. It does not fall within the
purview of our present purpose to enter upon the discussion of this
subject. But the statement in the text, not referred to by any of the
above-mentioned writers, "that those on her had killed five savages
_of this river," que ceux de dedans avoient tué cinq sauuages d'icelle
rivière_, can hardly fail to have weight in the decision of this
The chief Anassou reported that they were "killed," a natural
inference under the circumstances; but in fact they were carefully
concealed in the hold of the ship, and three of them, having been
transported to England and introduced into his family, imparted much
important information to Sir Ferdinando Gorges, whose distinguished
career was afterward so intimately connected with the progress of
American colonization. For the discussion touching the river explored
by Weymouth, _vide Prince's Annals_, 1736, _in loco; Belknap's
American Biography_, 1794, Vol. II., art. Weymouth; _Remarks on the
Voyage of George Waymouth_, by John McKeen, Col. Me. His. Society,
Vol. V. p. 309; _Comments on Waymouth's Voyage_, by William Willis,
idem, p. 344; _Voyage of Captain George Weymouth_, by George Prince,
Col. Me. His. Soc., Vol. VI. p. 293; _Weymouth's Voyage_, by David
Cushman, _idem_, p. 369; _George Weymouth and the Kennebec_, by the
Rev. Edward Ballard, D. D., Memorial Volume of the Popham Celebration,
Portland, 1863, p. 301.
176-1/2. _We headed east south-east_. It is possible that, on leaving the
mouth of the Kennebec, they sailed for a short distance to the
south-east; but the general course was to the north-east.
177. _Cap Corneille_, or Crow Cape, was apparently the point of land
advancing out between Machias and Little Machias Bays, including
perhaps Cross Island. De Monts and his party probably anchored and
passed the night in Machias Bay. The position of Cap Corneille may be
satisfactorily fixed by its distance and direction from the Grand
Manan, as seen on Champlain's map of 1612, to which the reader is
178. This anchorage was between Campobello and Moose Island, on which is
situated the town of Eastport.
THE DWELLING-PLACE ON THE ISLAND OF ST. CROIX TRANSFERRED TO PORT ROYAL,
AND THE REASON WHY.
Sieur De Monts determined to change his location, and make another
settlement, in order to avoid the severe cold and the bad winter which we
had had in the Island of St. Croix. As we had not, up to that time, found
any suitable harbor, and, in view of the short time we had for building
houses in which to establish ourselves, we fitted out two barques, and
loaded them with the frame-work taken from the houses of St. Croix, in
order to transport it to Port Royal, twenty-five leagues distant, where we
thought the climate was much more temperate and agreeable. Pont Gravé and I
set out for that place; and, having arrived, we looked for a site favorable
for our residence, under shelter from the north-west wind, which we
dreaded, having been very much harassed by it.
After searching carefully in all directions, we found no place more
suitable and better situated than one slightly elevated, about which there
are some marshes and good springs of water. This place is opposite the
island at the mouth of the river Equille.  To the north of us about a
league, there is a range of mountains,  extending nearly ten leagues
in a north-east and south-west direction. The whole country is filled with
thick forests, as I mentioned above, except at a point a league and a half
up the river, where there are some oaks, although scattering, and many wild
vines, which one could easily remove and put the soil under cultivation,
notwithstanding it is light and sandy. We had almost resolved to build
there; but the consideration that we should have been too far up the harbor
and river led us to change our mind.
Recognizing accordingly the site of our habitation as a good one, we began
to clear up the ground, which was full of trees, and to erect houses as
soon as possible. Each one was busy in this work. After every thing had
been arranged, and the majority of the dwellings built, Sieur de Monts
determined to return to France, in order to petition his Majesty to grant
him all that might be necessary for his undertaking. He had desired to
leave Sieur d'Orville to command in this place in his absence. But the
climatic malady, _mal de la terre_, with which he was afflicted would not
allow him to gratify the wish of Sieur de Monts. On this account, a
conference was held with Pont Gravé on the subject, to whom this charge was
offered, which he was happy to accept; and he finished what little of the
habitation remained to be built. I, at the same time, hoping to have an
opportunity to make some new explorations towards Florida, determined to
stay there also, of which Sieur de Monts approved.
179. In the original, Champlain has written the name of this river in this
particular instance _Guille_, probably an abbreviation for _Anguille_,
the French name of the fish which we call the eel. Lescarbot says the
"river was named _L'Equille_ because the first fish taken therein was
an _equille_."--Vide antea, note 57.
180. The elevation of this range varies from six hundred to seven hundred
WHAT TOOK PLACE AFTER THE DEPARTURE OF SIEUR DE MONTS, UNTIL, NO TIDINGS OF
WHAT HE HAD PROMISED BEING RECEIVED, WE DEPARTED FROM PORT ROYAL TO RETURN
As soon as Sieur de Monts had departed, a portion of the forty or
forty-five who remained began to make gardens. I, also, for the sake of
occupying my time, made one, which was surrounded with ditches full of
water, in which I placed some fine trout, and into which flowed three
brooks of very fine running water, from which the greater part of our
settlement was supplied. I made also a little sluice-way towards the shore,
in order to draw off the water when I wished. This spot was entirely
surrounded by meadows, where I constructed a summer-house, with some fine
trees, as a resort for enjoying the fresh air. I made there, also, a little
reservoir for holding salt-water fish, which we took out as we wanted them.
I took especial pleasure in it, and planted there some seeds which turned
out well. But much work had to be laid out in preparation. We resorted
often to this place as a pastime; and it seemed as if the little birds
round about took pleasure in it, for they gathered there in large numbers,
warbling and chirping so pleasantly that I think I never heard the like.
The plan of the settlement was ten fathoms long and eight wide, making the
distance round thirty-six. On the eastern side is a store-house, occupying
the width of it, and a very fine cellar from five to six feet deep. On the
northern side are the quarters of Sieur de Monts, handsomely finished.
About the back yard are the dwellings of the workmen. At a corner of the
western side is a platform, where four cannon were placed; and at the other
corner, towards the east, is a palisade shaped like a platform, as can be
seen from the accompanying illustration.
* * * * *
CHAMPLAIN'S EXPLANATION OF THE ACCOMPANYING MAP.
L'ABITASION DU PORT ROYAL.
_The figures indicate fathoms of water_.
_A_. Dwelling of the artisans.
_B_. Platform where the cannon were placed.
_C_. The store-house.
_D_. Dwelling of Sieur de Pont Gravé and Champlain.
_E_. The blacksmith's shop.
_F_. Palisade of pickets.
_G_. The bakery.
_H_. The kitchen.
_O_. Small house where the equipment of our barques was stored. This Sieur
de Poutrincourt afterwards had rebuilt, and Sieur Boulay dwelt there
when Sieur de Pont Gravé returned to France.
_P_. Gate to our habitation.
_Q_. The Cemetery.
_R_. The River.
NOTES. The habitation of Port Royal was on the present site of the hamlet
of Lower Granville in Nova Scotia. _I_. Points to the garden-plots. _K_.
Takes the place of _Q_, which is wanting on the map, and marks the place of
the cemetery, where may be seen the crucifix, the death's-head, and
cross-bones. _L_. Takes the place of _R_, which is wanting, to indicate the
river. _M_. Indicates the moat on the north side of the dwelling. _N_.
Probably indicates the dwelling of the gentlemen, De Monts and others.
* * * * *
Some days after the buildings were completed, I went to the river St. John
to find the savage named Secondon, the same that conducted Prevert's party
to the copper mine, which I had already gone in search of with Sieur de
Monts, when we were at the Port of Mines, though without success. 
Having found him, I begged him to go there with us, which he very readily
consented to do, and proceeded to show it to us. We found there some
little pieces of copper of the thickness of a sou, and others still thicker
imbedded in grayish and red rocks. The miner accompanying us, whose name
was Master Jacques, a native of Sclavonia, a man very skilful in searching
for minerals, made the entire circuit of the hills to see if he could find
any gangue,  but without success. Yet he found, some steps from where
we had taken the pieces of copper before mentioned, something like a mine,
which, however, was far from being one. He said that, from the appearance
of the soil, it might prove to be good, if it were worked; and that it was
not probable that there could be pure copper on the surface of the earth,
without there being a large quantity of it underneath. The truth is that,
if the water did not cover the mines twice a day, and if they did not lie
in such hard rocks, something might be expected from them.
After making this observation, we returned to our settlement, where we
found some of our company sick with the _mal de la terre_, but not so
seriously as at the Island of St. Croix; although, out of our number of
forty-five, twelve died, including the miner, and five were sick, who
recovered the following spring. Our surgeon, named Des Champs, from
Honfleur, skilful in his profession, opened some of the bodies, to see
whether he might be more successful in discovering the cause of the
maladies that our surgeons had been the year before. He found the parts of
the body affected in the same manner as those opened at the Island of
St. Croix, but could discover no means of curing them, any more than the
On the 20th of December, it began to snow, and some ice passed along before
our Settlement. The winter was not so sharp as the year before, nor the
snow so deep, or of so long duration. Among other incidents, the wind was
so violent on the 20th of February, 1605,  that it blew over a large
number of trees, roots and all, and broke off many others. It was a
remarkable sight. The rains were very frequent; which was the cause of the
mild winter in comparison with the past one, although it is only
twenty-five leagues from Port Royal to St. Croix.
On the first day of March, Pont Gravé ordered a barque of seventeen or
eighteen tons to be fitted up, which was ready, on the 15th, in order to go
on a voyage of discovery along the coast of Florida.  With this view,
we set out on the 16th following, but were obliged to put in at an island
to the south of Manan, having gone that day eighteen leagues. We anchored
in a sandy cove, exposed to the sea and the south wind.  The latter
increased, during the night, to such an impetuosity that we could not stand
by our anchor, and were compelled, without choice, to go ashore, at the
mercy of God and the waves. The latter were so heavy and furious that while
we were attaching the buoy to the anchor, so as to cut the cable at the
hawse-hole, it did not give us time, but broke straightway of itself. The
wind and the sea cast us as the wave receded upon a little rock, and we
awaited only the moment to see our barque break up, and to save ourselves,
if possible, upon its fragments. In these desperate straits, after we had
received several waves, there came one so large and fortunate for us that
it carried us over the rock, and threw us on to a little sandy beach, which
insured us for this time from shipwreck.
The barque being on shore, we began at once to unload what there was in
her, in order to ascertain where the damage was, which was not so great as
we expected. She was speedily repaired by the diligence of Champdoré, her
master. Having been put in order, she was reloaded; and we waited for fair
weather and until the fury of the sea should abate, which was not until the
end of four days, namely, the 21st of March, when we set out from this
miserable place, and proceeded to Port aux Coquilles,  seven or eight
leagues distant. The latter is at the mouth of the river St. Croix, where
there was a large quantity of snow. We stayed there until the 29th of the
month, in consequence of the fogs and contrary winds, which are usual at
this season, when Pont Gravé determined to put back to Port Royal, to see
in what condition our companions were, whom we had left there sick. Having
arrived there, Pont Gravé was attacked with illness, which delayed us until
the 8th of April.
On the 9th of the month he embarked, although still indisposed, from his
desire to see the coast of Florida, and in the belief that a change of air
would restore his health. The same day we anchored and passed the night at
the mouth of the harbor, two leagues distant from our settlement.
The next morning before day, Champdoré came to ask Pont Gravé if he wished
to have the anchor raised, who replied in the affirmative, if he deemed the
weather favorable for setting out. Upon this, Champdoré had the anchor
raised at once, and the sail spread to the wind, which was
north-north-east, according to his report. The weather was thick and rainy,
and the air full of fog, with indications of foul rather than fair weather.
While going out of the mouth of the harbor,  we were suddenly carried
by the tide out of the passage, and, before perceiving them, were driven
upon the rocks on the east-north-east coast.  Pont Gravé and I, who
were asleep, were awaked by hearing the sailors shouting and exclaiming,
"We are lost!" which brought me quickly to my feet, to see what was the
matter. Pont Gravé was still ill, which prevented him from rising as
quickly as he wished. I was scarcely on deck, when the barque was thrown
upon the coast; and the wind, which was north, drove us upon a point. We
unfurled the mainsail, turned it to the wind, and hauled it up as high as
we could, that it might drive us up as far as possible on the rocks, for
fear that the reflux of the sea, which fortunately was falling, would draw
us in, when it would have been impossible to save ourselves. At the first
blow of our boat upon the rocks, the rudder broke, a part of the keel and
three or four planks were smashed, and some ribs stove in, which frightened
us, for our barque filled immediately; and all that we could do was to wait
until the sea fell, so that we might get ashore. For, otherwise, we were in
danger of our lives, in consequence of the swell, which was very high and
furious about us. The sea having fallen, we went on shore amid the storm,
when the barque was speedily unloaded, and we saved a large portion of the
provisions in her, with the help of the savage, Captain Secondon and his
companions, who came to us with their canoes, to carry to our habitation
what we had saved from our barque, which, all shattered as she was, went to
pieces at the return of the tide. But we, most happy at having saved our
lives, returned to our settlement with our poor savages, who stayed there a
large part of the winter; and we praised God for having rescued us from
this shipwreck, from which we had not expected to escape so easily.
The loss of our barque caused us great regret, since we found ourselves,
through want of a vessel, deprived of the prospect of being able to
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