Samuel de Champlain

CHAMPLAIN, Samuel de, French navigator, born in Brouage, Saintonge, on the bay of Biscay, in 1567 ; died in Quebec, 25 Dec., 1635. His father was a ship-captain, and the son received a careful education as a navigator. Early in life he entered the army and became quartermaster of cavalry. His uncle, acting as pilot-general of the Spanish fleets, conducted back to their own country the Spanish soldiers who had served in France, and was accompanied by his nephew, who took command of the "St. Julien."

Upon being urged by commander De Chaste, governor of Dieppe, to explore territory granted to him in North America by the king, with a view to founding a colony, he sailed, on 15 March, 1603, in the ship of Pontgrave. On 24 May they anchored at Tadoussac, where the Saguenay joins the St. Lawrence; and soon afterward he, Pontgrave, and a few men, proceeded up the river in a boat, until stopped by the rapids of St. Louis above Montreal, which was the limit of Cartier's discoveries in 1535.

The commander, De Chaste, having died in the meantime, his privileges were transferred to Du Guay, Sieur de Monts, who made an engagement with Champlain, with the intention of founding a settlement in Acadia, and they sailed together, arriving at Sable island 1 May, 1604. Coasting along Nova Scotia, they finally determined to form a settlement on the island of St. Croix, so named by De Monts, in the river of the same name, which divides New Brunswick from the United States. Not finding the place suitable, after passing a winter there they removed to Port Royal, adjacent to the present Annapolis. During 1604-'6 Champlain explored the coast as far as Cape Cod, making careful surveys and maps as he progressed.

Champlain and crew, who acted respectfully toward the Mi'kmaq, were welcomed by them. His first visit sowed the seeds for the establishment of the Acadien Culture, and a 120 year alliance between France and the Mi'kmaq Nation.

Click to read a column I wrote about Champlain.http://www.danielnpaul.com/Col/1999/Champlain-Canada'sFoundingFather.html