1902 Encyclopedia > Geography > French Enterprise. Samuel de Champlain.

(Part 29)

French Enterprise. Samuel de Champlain.

The French directed their enterprise more in the direction of North America than of the Indies. One of their most distinguished naval worthies was Samuel Champlain, a native of Brouage in Saintonge, whose friend and patron was Aymar de Chastes, governor of Dieppe, a devoted follower of Henry IV. Champlain after the close of the war with the League in Brittany, in which he served, made a remarkable journey through Mexico and the West India Islands from 1599 to 1602, and on his return he found that M. de Chasters was, undeterred by previous failures, resolved to undertake the establishment of a colony in Canada. Champlain was sent on a voyage of reconnaissance, and on his return he found that the Sieur de Chastes was dead. In 1603 the Sieur de Monts was named vice-admiral of the coasts of Acadia, and Champlain sailed with him from Dieppe. He was for some years engaged in surveying all the coasts of Acadia and Cape Breton, and in 1607 he returned to France with De Monts. In the following year another attempt was made. Champlain, with a colleague named Du Pont, Gravé, sailed to the St Lawrence, and on July 3, 1608, they first arrived at Quebec. In 1609 Champlain ascended the Iroquois to the lake which still bears his name. By 1611 a regular colony was established at Quebex; and in 1620 Champlain was installed as governor. He died towards the end of the year 1635. Champlain was an able navigator and a resolute explorer, and he made a very large addition to the knowledge of Canada and Acadia (Novia Scotia).

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