The Makers of Canada: Champlain eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 242 pages of information about The Makers of Canada.

After having promised to aid the various tribes gathered at Tadousac in their wars, Champlain and Pont-Grave proceeded to Sault St. Louis.  This expedition lasted fifteen days, during which they saw Hare Island, so named by Jacques Cartier, and the Island of Orleans.  The ship anchored at Quebec where Champlain stopped to make a short description of the country watered by the St. Lawrence, and they then proceeded to Sault St. Louis.  Here Champlain gathered much valuable information relating to lakes Ontario and Erie, the Detroit River, Niagara Falls, and the rapids of the St. Lawrence.  Returning to Tadousac, he determined to explore Gaspesia, and proceeded to visit Perce and Mal Bay, where he met Indians at every turn.  He also was informed by Prevert, from St. Malo, who was exploring the country, of the existence of a copper mine.

Champlain carefully noted all the information he had received, and after his return to Tadousac he sailed again for France on August 16th, 1603, and reached Havre de Grace, after a passage of twenty-one days.  On his arrival in France, he heard that Aymar de Chastes had died a few weeks previously, on August 13th.  This was a great loss to Canada, and especially to Champlain, for he was convinced that the noble and enterprising de Chastes was seriously disposed to colonize New France.  “In this enterprise,” he says, “I cannot find a single fault, because it has been well inaugurated.”  With the death of de Chastes, the project of colonizing would undoubtedly have fallen through had not Champlain been present to promote another movement in this direction.  Champlain had an interview with the king, and presented him with a map of the country which he had visited, and placed in his hands a relation of his voyage.[4] Henry IV was so favourably impressed that he promised to assist Champlain in his patriotic designs.


[1] This island is only forty leagues in length and twenty in breadth, and belonged to the Spanish from the date of its discovery by Ponce de Leon in 1509, to 1598.  When Champlain visited the island it had been taken by George Clifford, Earl of Cumberland.  During the same year Sir John Berkeley commanded, but being unable to remain there, he deserted the place, and joined Clifford near the Azores, when both went to England, having lost about seven hundred men during their expedition.

[2] This volume is entitled Brief Discours des choses plus remarquables que Samuel Champlain de Brouage A reconneues aux Indes Occidentalles Au voiage qu’il en a faict en icelles en l’annee VeIIIJ.  XXIX, et en l’annee VIeJ, comme ensuit.

This manuscript was discovered by M. Feret, antiquarian, poet and librarian, of Dieppe.  The Hakluyt Society had it translated in 1859, and published at London.  In 1870 the Reverend Laverdiere, librarian of the Laval University, of Quebec, had it printed in French, with the designs, coloured for the most part, with the complete works of Champlain.  This manuscript is supposed to have been preserved by a collateral descendant of Aymar de Chastes.

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The Makers of Canada: Champlain from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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