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SAMUEL DE CHAMPLAIN.
TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH
BY CHARLES POMEROY OTIS, PH.D.
WITH HISTORICAL ILLUSTRATIONS,
By THE REV. EDMUND F. SLAFTER, A.M.
HELIOTYPE COPIES OF TEN MAPS AND ILLUSTRATIONS.
THE REV. EDMUND F. SLAFTER, A.M.
The present volume completes the work proposed by the Prince Society of a
translation into English of the VOYAGES OF CHAMPLAIN. It includes the
journals issued in 1604, 1613, and 1619, and covers fifteen years of his
residence and explorations in New France.
At a later period, in 1632, Champlain published, in a single volume, an
abridgment of the issues above mentioned, containing likewise a
continuation of his journal down to 1631. This continuation covers thirteen
additional years. But it is to be observed that the events recorded in the
journal of these later years are immediately connected with the progress
and local interests of the French colony at Quebec. This last work of the
great explorer is of primary importance and value as constituting original
material for the early history of Canada, and a translation of it into
English would doubtless be highly appreciated by the local historian. A
complete narrative of these events, however, together with a large amount
amount of interesting matter relating to the career of Champlain derived
from other sources, is given in the Memoir contained in the first volume of
This English translation contains not only the complete narratives of all
the personal explorations made by Champlain into the then unbroken forests
of America, but the whole of his minute, ample, and invaluable descriptions
of the character and habits, mental, moral, and physical of the various
savage tribes with which he came in contact. It will furnish, therefore, to
the student of history and the student of ethnology most valuable
information, unsurpassed in richness and extent, and which cannot be
obtained from any other source. To aid one or both of these two classes in
their investigations, the work was undertaken and has now been completed.
E. F. S.
BOSTON, 91 BOYLSTON STREET,
April 5, 1882.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
VOYAGE OF CHAMPLAIN IN 1611
DEDICATION TO HENRI DE BOURBON, PRINCE DE CONDÉ
VOYAGE MADE IN 1613
DEDICATION TO THE KING
EXTRACT FROM THE LICENSE OF THE KING
VOYAGE MADE IN 1615
VOYAGE MADE IN 1618
EXPLANATION OF TWO GEOGRAPHICAL MAPS OF NEW FRANCE
LE GRAND SAULT ST. LOUIS
DRESS OF THE SAVAGES
FORT OF THE IROQUOIS
DRESS OF THE SAVAGES
CHAMPLAIN'S LARGE MAP OF NEW FRANCE, 1612
CHAMPLAIN'S SMALL MAP OF NEW FRANCE, 1613
OF SIEUR DE CHAMPLAIN,
Of Saintonge, Captain in ordinary to the
King in the Marine;
_A MOST FAITHFUL JOURNAL OF OBSERVATIONS made in the, exploration of New
France, describing not only the countries, coasts, rivers, ports, and
harbors, with their latitudes, and the various deflections of the Magnetic
Needle, but likewise the religious belief of the inhabitants, their
superstitions, mode of life and warfare; furnished with numerous
Together with two geographical maps: the first for the purposes of
navigation, adapted to the compass as used by mariners, which, deflects to
the north-east; the other in its true meridian, with longitudes and
latitudes, to which is added the Voyage to the Strait north of Labrador,
from the 53d to the 63d degree of latitude, discovered in 1612 by the
English when they were searching for a northerly course to China.
JEAN BERJON, Rue St Jean de Beauvais, at the Flying Horse, and at his store
in the Palace, at the gallery of the Prisoners.
M. DC. XIII.
_WITH AUTHORITY OF THE KING_.
DEPARTURE FROM FRANCE TO RETURN TO NEW FRANCE.--THE DANGERS AND OTHER
EVENTS WHICH OCCURRED UP TO THE TIME OF ARRIVAL AT THE SETTLEMENT.
We set out from Honfleur on the first day of March. The wind was favorable
until the eighth, when we were opposed by a wind south-southwest and
west-northwest, driving us as far as latitude 42°, without our being able
to make a southing, so as to sail straight forward on our course.
Accordingly after encountering several heavy winds, and being kept back by
bad weather, we nevertheless, through great difficulty and hardship, and by
sailing on different tacks, succeeded in arriving within eighty leagues of
the Grand Bank, where the fresh fishery is carried on. Here we encountered
ice thirty or forty fathoms high, or more, which led us to consider what
course we ought to take, fearing that we might fall in with more during the
night, or that the wind changing would drive us on to it. We also concluded
that this would not be the last, since we had set out from France too early
in the season. We sailed accordingly during that day with short sail, as
near the wind as we could. When night came, the fog arose so thick and
obscure that we could scarcely see the ship's length. About eleven o'clock
at night, more ice was seen, which alarmed us. But through the energy of
the sailors we avoided it. Supposing that we had passed all danger, we met
with still more ice, which the sailors saw ahead of our vessel, but not
until we were almost upon it. When all had committed themselves to God,
having given up all hope of avoiding collision with this ice, which was
already under our bowsprit, they cried to the helmsman to bear off; and
this ice which was very extensive drove in such a manner that it passed by
without striking our vessel, which stopped short, and remained as still as
if it had never moved, to let it pass. Although the danger was over, our
blood was not so quickly cooled, so great had been our fear, and we praised
God for delivering us from so imminent a peril. This experience being over,
we passed the same night two or three other masses of ice, not less
dangerous than the former ones. There was at the same time a dripping fog,
and it was so cold that we could scarcely get warm. The next day we met
several other large and very high masses of ice, which, in the distance,
looked like islands. We, however, avoided them all, and reached the Grand
Bank, where we were detained by bad weather for the space of six days. The
wind growing a little milder, and very favorable, we left the banks in
latitude 44° 30', which was the farthest south we could go. After sailing
some sixty leagues west-northwest, we saw a vessel coming down to make us
out, but which afterwards wore off to the east-northeast, to avoid a large
bank of ice, which covered the entire extent of our line of vision.
Concluding that there was a passage through the middle of this great floe,
which was divided into two parts, we entered, in pursuance of our course,
between the two, and sailed some ten leagues without seeing anything,
contrary to our conjecture of a fine passage through, until evening, when
we found the floe closed up. This gave us much anxiety as to what was to be
done, the night being at hand and there being no moon, which deprived us of
all means of returning to the point whence we had come. Yet, after due
deliberation, it was resolved to try to find again the entrance by which we
had come, which we set about accomplishing. But the night coming on with
fog, rain, snow, and a wind so violent that we could scarcely carry our
mainsail, every trace of our way was lost. For, as we were expecting to
avoid the ice so as to pass out, the wind had already closed up the
passage, so that we were obliged to return to the other tack. We were
unable to remain longer than a quarter of an hour on one tack before taking
another, in order to avoid the numerous masses of ice drifting about on all
sides. We thought more than twenty times that we should never escape with
our lives. The entire night was spent amid difficulties and hardships.
Never was the watch better kept, for nobody wished to rest, but to strive
to escape from the ice and danger. The cold was so great, that all the
ropes of the vessel were so frozen and covered with large icicles that the
men could not work her nor stick to the deck. Thus we ran, on this tack and
that, awaiting with hope the daylight. But when it came, attended by a fog,
and we saw that our labor and hardship could not avail us anything, we
determined to go to a mass of ice, where we should be sheltered from the
violent wind which was blowing; to haul everything down, and allow
ourselves to be driven along with the ice, so that when at some distance
from the rest of the ice we could make sail again, and go back to the
above-mentioned bank and manage as before, until the fog should pass away,
when we might go out as quickly as possible. Thus we continued the entire
day until the morning of the next day, when we set sail, now on this tack
now on that, finding ourselves everywhere enclosed amid large floes of ice,
as if in lakes on the mainland. At evening we sighted a vessel on the other
side of one of these banks of ice, which, I am sure, was in no less anxiety
than ourselves. Thus we remained four or five days, exposed to these risks
and extreme hardships, until one morning on looking out in all directions,
although we could see no opening, yet in one place it seemed as if the ice
was not thick, and that we could easily pass through. We got under weigh,
and passed by a large number of _bourguignons_; that is, pieces of ice
separated from the large banks by the violence of the winds. Having reached
this bank of ice, the sailors proceeded to provide themselves with large
oars and pieces of wood, in order to keep off the blocks of ice we met. In
this way we passed this bank, but not without touching some pieces of ice,
which did no good to our vessel, although they inflicted no essential
damage. Being outside, we praised God for our deliverance. Continuing our
course on the next day, we encountered other pieces, in which we became so
involved that we found ourselves surrounded on all sides, except where we
had entered. It was accordingly necessary to turn back, and endeavor to
double the southern point. This we did not succeed in doing until the
second day, passing by several small pieces of ice, which had been
separated from the main bank. This latter was in latitude 44° 30'. We
sailed until the morning of the next day, towards the northwest, north-
northwest, when we met another large ice bank, extending as far as we could
see east and west. This, in the distance, seemed like land; for it was so
level that it might properly be said to have been made so on purpose. It
was more than eighteen feet high, extending twice as far under water. We
calculated that we were only some fifteen leagues from Cape Breton, it
being the 26th day of the month. These numerous encounters with ice
troubled us greatly. We were also fearful that the passage between Capes
Breton and Raye would be closed, and that we should be obliged to keep out
to sea a long time before being able to enter. Unable to do anything else,
we were obliged to run out to sea again some four or five leagues, in order
to double another point of the above-mentioned grand ice bank, which
continued on our west-southwest. After turning on the other tack to the
northwest, in order to double this point, we sailed some seven leagues, and
then steered to the north-northwest some three leagues, when we observed
another ice bank. The night approached, and the fog came on so that we put
to sea to pass the remainder of the night, purposing at daybreak to return
and reconnoitre the last mentioned ice. On the twenty-seventh day of the
month, we sighted land west-northwest of us, seeing no ice on the north-
northeast. We approached nearer for the sake of a better observation, and
found that it was Canseau. This led us to bear off to the north for Cape
Breton Island; but we had scarcely sailed two leagues when we encountered
an ice bank on the northeast. Night coming on, we were obliged to put out
to sea until the next day, when we sailed northeast, and encountered more
ice, bearing east, east-southeast from us, along which we coasted heading
northeast and north for more than fifteen leagues. At last we were obliged
to sail towards the west, greatly to our regret, inasmuch as we could find
no passage, and should be obliged to withdraw and sail back on our track.
Unfortunately for us we were overtaken by a calm, so that it seemed as if
the swell of the sea would throw us upon the ice bank just mentioned, and
we got ready to launch our little boat, to use in case of necessity. If we
had taken refuge on the above-mentioned ice it would only have been to
languish and die in misery. While we were deliberating whether to launch
our boat, a fresh breeze arose to our great delight, and thus we escaped
from the ice. After we had sailed two leagues, night came on, with a very
thick fog, causing us to haul down our sail, as we could not see, and as
there were several large pieces of ice in our way, which we were afraid of
striking. Thus we remained the entire night until the next day, which was
the twenty-ninth, when the fog increased to such an extent that we could
scarcely see the length of the vessel. There was also very little wind. Yet
we did not fail to set sail, in order to avoid the ice. But, although
expecting to extricate ourselves, we found ourselves so involved in it that
we could not tell on which side to tack. We were accordingly again
compelled to lower sail, and drift until the ice should allow us to make
sail. We made a hundred tacks on one side and the other, several times
fearing that we were lost. The most self-possessed would have lost all
judgment in such a juncture; even the greatest navigator in the world. What
alarmed us still more was the short distance we could see, and the fact
that the night was coming on, and that we could not make a shift of a
quarter of a league without finding a bank or some ice, and a great deal of
floating ice, the smallest piece of which would have been sufficient to
cause the loss of any vessel whatever. Now, while we were still sailing
along amid the ice, there arose so strong a wind that in a short time the
fog broke away, affording us a view, and suddenly giving us a clear air and
fair sun. Looking around about us, we found that we were shut up in a
little lake, not so much as a league and a half in circuit. On the north we
perceived the island of Cape Breton, nearly four leagues distant, and it
seemed to us that the passage-way to Cape Breton was still closed. We also
saw a small ice bank astern of our vessel, and the ocean beyond that, which
led us to resolve to go beyond the bank, which was divided. This we
succeeded in accomplishing without striking our vessel, putting out to sea
for the night, and passing to the southeast of the ice. Thinking now that
we could double this ice bank, we sailed east-northeast some fifteen
leagues, perceiving only a little piece of ice. At night we hauled down the
sail until the next day, when we perceived another ice bank to the north of
us, extending as far as we could see. We had drifted to within nearly half
a league of it, when we hoisted sail, continuing to coast along this ice in
order to find the end of it. While sailing along, we sighted on the first
day of May a vessel amid the ice, which, as well as ourselves, had found it
difficult to escape from it. We backed our sails in order to await the
former, which came full upon us, since we were desirous of ascertaining
whether it had seen other ice. On its approach we saw that it was the son
 of Sieur de Poutrincourt, on his way to visit his father at the
settlement of Port Royal. He had left France three months before, not
without much reluctance, I think, and still they were nearly a hundred and
forty leagues from Port Royal, and well out of their true course. We told
them we had sighted the islands of Canseau, much to their satisfaction, I
think, as they had not as yet sighted any land, and were steering straight
between Cape St. Lawrence and Cape Raye, in which direction they would not
have found Port Royal, except by going overland. After a brief conference
with each other we separated, each following his own course. The next day
we sighted the islands of St. Pierre, finding no ice. Continuing our course
we sighted on the following day, the third of the month, Cape Raye, also
without finding ice. On the fourth we sighted the island of St. Paul, and
Cape St. Lawrence, being some eight leagues north of the latter. The next
day we sighted Gaspé. On the seventh we were opposed by a northwest wind,
which drove us out of our course nearly thirty-five leagues, when the wind
lulled, and was in our favor as far as Tadoussac, which we reached on the
13th day of May. Here we discharged a cannon to notify the savages, in
order to obtain news from our settlement at Quebec. The country was still
almost entirely covered with snow. There came out to us some canoes,
informing us that one of our pataches had been in the harbor for a month,
and that three vessels had arrived eight days before. We lowered our boat
and visited these savages, who were in a very miserable condition, having
only a few articles to barter to satisfy their immediate wants. Besides
they desired to wait until several vessels should meet, so that there might
be a better market for their merchandise. Therefore they are mistaken who
expect to gain an advantage by coming first, for these people are very
sagacious and cunning.
On the 17th of the month I set out from Tadoussac for the great fall,
to meet the Algonquin savages and other tribes, who had promised the year
before to go there with my man, whom I had sent to them, that I might learn
from him what he might see during the winter. Those at this harbor who
suspected where I was going, in accordance with the promises which I had
made to the savages, as stated above, began to build several small barques,
that they might follow me as soon as possible. And several, as I learned
before setting out from France, had some ships and pataches fitted out in
view of our voyage, hoping to return rich, as from a voyage to the Indies.
Pont Gravé remained at Tadoussac expecting, if he did nothing there, to
take a patache and meet me at the fall. Between Tadoussac and Quebec our
barque made much water, which obliged me to stop at Quebec and repair the
leak. This was on the 21st day of May.
1. This was Charles de Biencourt, Sieur de Saint Just. He was closely
associated with his father, Sieur de Poutrincourt, in his colony at Port
Royal. _Vide_ Vol. I. p. 122, note 77.
2. They left Honfleur on the first day of March, and were thus seventy-four
days in reaching Tadoussac. The voyage was usually made in favorable
weather in thirty days.
3. The Falls of St. Louis, near Montreal, now more commonly known as the La
LANDING AT QUEBEC TO REPAIR THE BARQUE.--DEPARTURE FROM QUEBEC FOR THE
FALL, TO MEET THE SAVAGES, AND SEARCH OUT A PLACE APPROPRIATE FOR A
On going ashore I found Sieur du Parc, who had spent the winter at the
settlement. He and all his companions were very well, and had not suffered
any sickness. Game, both large and small, had been abundant during the
entire winter, as they told me. I found there the Indian captain, named
_Batiscan_, and some Algonquins, who said they were waiting for me, being
unwilling to return to Tadoussac without seeing me. I proposed to them to
take one of our company to the _Trois Rivières_ to explore the place, but
being unable to obtain anything from them this year I put it off until the
next. Still I did not fail to inform myself particularly regarding the
origin of the people living there, of which they told me with exactness. I
asked them for one of their canoes, which they were unwilling to part with
on any terms, because of their own need of it. For I had planned to send
two or three men to explore the neighborhood of the Trois Rivières, and
ascertain what there was there. This, to my great regret, I was unable to
accomplish, and postponed the project to the first opportunity that might
Meanwhile I urged on the repairs to our barque. When it was ready, a young
man from La Rochelle, named Tresart, asked me to permit him to accompany me
to the above-mentioned fall. This I refused, replying that I had special
plans of my own, and that I did not wish to conduct any one to my
prejudice, adding that there were other companies than mine there, and that
I did not care to open up a way and serve as guide, and that he could make
the voyage well enough alone and without my help.
The same day I set out from Quebec, and arrived at the great fall on the
twenty-eighth of May. But I found none of the savages who had promised me
to be there on this day. I entered at once a poor canoe, together with the
savage I had taken to France and one of my own men. After examining the two
shores, both in the woods and on the river bank, in order to find a spot
favorable for the location of a settlement, and to get a place ready for
building, I went some eight leagues by land along the great fall and
through the woods, which are very open, as far as a lake,  whither our
savage conducted me. Here I observed the country very carefully. But in all
that I saw, I found no place more favorable than a little spot to which
barques and shallops can easily ascend, with the help of a strong wind or
by taking a winding course, in consequence of the strong current. But above
this place, which we named _La Place Royale_, at the distance of a league
from Mont Royal, there are a great many little rocks and shoals, which are
very dangerous. Near Place Royale there is a little river, extending some
distance into the interior, along the entire length of which there are more
than sixty acres of land cleared up and like meadows, where grain can be
sown and gardens made. Formerly savages tilled these lands,  but they
abandoned them on account of their wars, in which they were constantly
engaged. There is also a large number of other fine pastures, where any
number of cattle can graze. There are also the various kinds of trees found
in France, together with many vines, nut and plum trees, cherries,
strawberries, and other kinds of good fruit. Among the rest there is a very
excellent one, with a sweet taste like that of plantains, a fruit of the
Indies, as white as snow, with a leaf resembling that of nettles, and which
creeps up the trees and along the ground like ivy.  Fish are very
abundant, including all the varieties we have in France, and many very good
ones which we do not have. Game is also plenty, the birds being of various
kinds. There are stags, hinds, does, caribous,  rabbits, lynxes, 
bears, beavers, also other small animals, and all in such large numbers,
that while we were at the fall we were abundantly supplied with them.
After a careful examination, we found this place one of the finest on this
river. I accordingly forthwith gave orders to cut down and clear up the
woods in the Place Royale,  so as to level it and prepare it for
building. The water can easily be made to flow around it, making of it a
little island, so that a habitation can be formed as one may wish.
There is a little island some twenty fathoms from Place Royale, about a
hundred paces long, where a good and strong settlement might be made. There
are also many meadows, containing very good and rich potter's clay, as well
adapted for brick as for building purposes, and consequently a very useful
article. I had a portion of it worked up, from which I made a wall four
feet thick, three or four high, and ten fathoms long, to see how it would
stand during the winter, when the freshets came down, although I thought
the water would not reach up to it, the ground there being twelve feet
above the river, which was very high. In the middle of the river there was
an island about three-quarters of a league around, where a good and strong
town could be built. This we named _Isle de Sainte Hélène_.  This river
at the fall is like a lake, containing two or three islands, and bordered
by fine meadows.
On the first day of June, Pont Gravé arrived at the fall, having been
unable to accomplish anything at Tadoussac. A numerous company attended and
followed after him to share in the booty, without the hope of which they
would have been far in the rear.
Now, while awaiting the savages, I had two gardens made, one in the
meadows, the other in the woods, which I had cleared up. On the 2d of June
I sowed some seeds, all of which came up finely, and in a short time,
attesting the good quality of the soil.
We resolved to send Savignon, our savage, together with another, to meet
his countrymen, so as to hasten their arrival. They hesitated about going
in our canoe, of which they were distrustful, it being a very poor one.
They set out on the 5th. The next day four or five barques arrived as an
escort for us, since they could do nothing at Tadoussac.
On the 7th I went to explore a little river, along which the savages
sometimes go to war, and which flows into the fall of the river of the
Iroquois.  It is very pleasant, with meadow land more than three
leagues in circuit, and much arable land. It is distant a league from the
great fall, and a league and a half from Place Royale.
On the 9th our savage arrived. He had gone somewhat beyond the lake, which
is ten leagues long, and which I had seen before.  But he met no one,
and they were unable to go any farther, as their canoe gave out, which
obliged them to return. They reported that after passing the fall they saw
an island, where there was such a quantity of herons that the air was
completely filled with them. There was a young man belonging to Sieur de
Monts named Louis, who was very fond of the chase. Hearing this, he wished
to go and satisfy his curiosity, earnestly entreating our savage to take
him to the place. To this the savage consented, taking also a captain of
the Montagnais, a very respectable person, whose name was _Outetoucos_. On
the following morning Louis caused the two savages to be called, and went
with them in a canoe to the island of the herons. This island is in the
middle of the fall.  Here they captured as many herons and other birds
as they wanted, and embarked again in their canoe. Outetoucos, contrary to
the wish of the other savage, and against his remonstrances, desired to
pass through a very dangerous place, where the water fell more than three
feet, saying that he had formerly gone this way, which, however, was
false. He had a long discussion in opposition to our savage, who wished to
take him on the south side, along the mainland,  where they usually go.
This, however, Outetoucos did not wish, saying that there was no danger.
Our savage finding him obstinate yielded to his desire. But he insisted
that at least a part of the birds in the canoe should be taken out, as it
was overloaded, otherwise he said it would inevitably fill and be lost. But
to this he would not consent, saying that it would be time enough when they
found themselves in the presence of danger. They accordingly permitted
themselves to be carried along by the current. But when they reached the
precipice, they wanted to throw overboard their load in order to escape. It
was now, however, too late, for they were completely in the power of the
rapid water, and were straightway swallowed up in the whirlpools of the
fall, which turned them round a thousand times. For a long time they clung
to the boat. Finally the swiftness of the water wearied them so that this
poor Louis, who could not swim at all, entirely lost his presence of mind,
and, the canoe going down, he was obliged to abandon it. As it returned to
the surface, the two others who kept holding on to it, saw Louis no more,
and thus he died a sad death.  The two others continued to hold on to
the canoe. When, however, they were out of danger, this Outetoucos, being
naked and having confidence in his swimming powers, abandoned it in the
expectation of reaching the shore, although the water still ran there with
great rapidity. But he was drowned, for he had been so weakened and
overcome by his efforts that it was impossible for him to save himself
after abandoning the canoe. Our savage Savignon, understanding himself
better, held firmly to the canoe until it reached an eddy, whither the
current had carried it. Here he managed so well that, notwithstanding his
suffering and weariness, he approached the shore gradually, when, after
throwing the water out of the canoe, he returned in great fear that they
would take vengeance upon him, as the savages do among themselves, and
related to us this sad story, which caused us great sorrow.
On the next day I went in another canoe to the fall, together with the
savage and another member of our company, to see the place where they had
met with their accident, and find, if possible, the remains. But when he
showed me the spot, I was horrified at beholding such a terrible place, and
astonished that the deceased should have been so lacking in judgment as to
pass through such a fearful place, when they could have gone another way.
For it is impossible to go along there, as there are seven or eight
descents of water one after the other, the lowest three feet high, the
seething and boiling of the water being fearful. A part of the fall was all
white with foam, indicating the worst spot, the noise of which was like
thunder, the air resounding with the echo of the cataracts. After viewing
and carefully examining this place, and searching along the river bank for
the dead bodies, another very light shallop having proceeded meanwhile on
the other bank also, we returned without finding anything.
* * * * *
CHAMPLAIN'S EXPLANATION OF THE ACCOMPANYING MAP.
LE GRAND SAULT ST. LOUIS.
A. Small place that I had cleared up.
B. Small pond.
C. Small islet, where I had a stone wall made.
D. Small brook, where the barques are kept.
E. Meadows where the savages stay when they come to this region.
F. Mountains seen in the interior.
G. Small pond.
H. Mont Royal.
I. Small brook.
L. The fall.
M. Place on the north side, where the savages transfer their canoes by
N. Spot where one of our men and a savage were drowned.
O. Small rocky islet.
P. Another islet where birds make their nests.
Q. Heron island.
R. Another island in the fall.
S. Small islet
T. Small round islet.
V. Another islet half covered with water.
X. Another islet, where there are many river birds.
Z. Small river.
2. Very large and fine islands.
3. Places which are bare when the water is low, where there are great
eddies, as at the main fall.
4. Meadows covered with water
5. Very shallow places.
6. Another little islet.
7. Small rocks.
8. Island St. Hélène.
9. Small island without trees.
oo. Marshes connecting with the great fall.
4. This journey of eight leagues would take them as far as the Lake of Two
5. This little river is mentioned by Champlain in his Voyage of 1603,
Vol. I. p. 268. It is represented on early maps as formed by two small
streams, flowing, one from the north or northeastern, and the other from
the southern side of the mountain, in the rear of the city of Montreal,
which unite some distance before they reach the St. Lawrence, flowing
into that river at Point Callières. These little brooks are laid down on
Champlain's local map, _Le Grand Sault St. Louis_, on Charlevoix's
_Carte de l'Isle de Montréal_, 1744, and on Bellin's _L'Isle de
Montréal_, 1764; but they have disappeared on modern maps, and probably
are either extinct or are lost in the sewerage of the city, of which
they have become a part. We have called the stream formed by these two
brooks, note 190, Vol. I., _Rivière St. Pierre_. On Potherie's map, the
only stream coming from the interior is so named. _Vide Histoire de
L'Amerique_ par M. de Bacqueville de la Potherie, 1722, p. 311. On a map
in Greig's _Hochelaga Depicta_, 1839, it is called St. Peter's River.
The same stream on Bouchette's map, 1830, is denominated Little River.
It seems not unlikely that a part of it was called, at one time, Rivière
St. Pierre, and another part Petite Rivière.
It is plain that on this stream was situated the sixty acres of cleared
land alluded to in the text as formerly occupied by the savages.
It will be remembered that seventy-six years anterior to this, in 1535,
Jacques Cartier discovered this place, which was then the seat of a
large and flourishing Indian town. It is to be regretted that Champlain
did not inform us more definitely as to the history of the former
occupants of the soil. Some important, and we think conclusive, reasons
have been assigned for supposing that they were a tribe of the Iroquois.
Among others may be mentioned the similarity in the construction of
their towns and houses or cabins, the identity of their language as
determined by a collation of the words found in Cartier's journal with
the language of the Iroquois; and to these may be added the traditions
obtained by missionaries and others, as cited by Laverdière, to which we
must not, however, attach too much value. _Vide Laverdière in loco_.
While it seems probable that the former occupants were of the Iroquois
family, it is impossible to determine whether on retiring they joined
the Five Nations in the State of New York, or merged themselves with the
Hurons, who were likewise of Iroquois origin.
6. I am unable to identify this plant. Its climbing propensity and the
color of its fruit suggest _Rhus radicans_, but in other respects the
7. _Cerfs, Daims, Cheureuls, Caribous_. Champlain employs the names of the
different species of the Cerf family as used in Europe; but as our
species are different, this use of names creates some confusion. There
were in Canada, the moose, the caribou, the wapiti, and the common red
deer. Any enumeration by the early writers must include these, under
whatever names they may be described. One will be found applying a name
to a given species, while another will apply the same name to quite a
different species. Charlevoix mentions the orignal (moose) caribou, the
hart, and the roebuck. Under the name _hart_, he probably refers to the
wapiti, _elaphus Canadensis_, and _roe-buck_, to the common red deer,
_Cervus Virginianus_. _Vide Charlevoix's Letters to the Dutchess of
Lesdiguieres_, 1763, pp. 64-69, also Vol. I. of this work, p. 265.
8. Lynxes, _Loups-seruiers_. The compound word _loup-cervier_ was
significant, and was applied originally to the animal of which the stag
was its natural prey, _qui attaque les cerfs_. In Europe it described
the lynx, a large powerful animal of the feline race, that might well
venture to attack the stag. But in Canada this species is not found.
What is known as the Canadian lynx, _Felis Canadensis_, is only a large
species of cat, which preys upon birds and the smaller quadrupeds.
Champlain probably gives it the name _loup-servier_ for the want of one
more appropriate. It is a little remarkable that he does not in this
list mention the American wolf, _Lupus occidentalis_, so common in every
part of Canada, and which he subsequently refers to as the animal
especially dreaded by the deer. _Vide postea_, pp. 139, 157.
9. The site of Place Royale was on Point Callières, so named in honor of
Chevalier Louis Hector de Callières Bonnevue, governor of Montreal in
10. It seems most likely that the name of this island was suggested by the
marriage which Champlain had contracted with Hélène Boullé, the year
before. This name had been given to several other places. _Vide_ Vol.
I. pp. 104, 105.
11. _Vide_ Vol. I. p. 268, note 191. _Walker and Miles's Atlas_, map 186.
12. The Lake of the Two Mountains. _Vide antea_, note 4.
13. On Champlain's local map of the Falls of St. Louis, the letter Q is
wanting; but the expression, _ceste isle est au milieu du faut_, in the
middle of the fall, as suggested by Laverdière, indicates that the
island designated by the letter R is Heron Island. _Vide postea_, R on
map at p. 18.
14. _Grand Tibie_, so in the original. This is a typographical error for
_grand terre_. _Vide_ Champlain, 1632, Quebec ed., p. 842.
15. The death of this young man may have suggested the name which was
afterward given to the fall. He was, however, it is reasonable to
suppose, hardly equal in sanctity of character to the Saint Louis of
the French. Hitherto it had been called _Le Grand Saut_. But soon after
this it began to be called _Grand Saut S. Louys_. _Vide postea_,
pp. 38, 51, 59.
TWO HUNDRED SAVAGES RETURN THE FRENCHMAN WHO HAD BEEN ENTRUSTED TO THEM,
AND RECEIVE THE SAVAGE WHO HAD COME BACK FROM FRANCE.--VARIOUS INTERVIEWS
ON BOTH SIDES.
On the thirteenth day of the month  two hundred Charioquois 
savages, together with the captains Ochateguin, Iroquet, and Tregouaroti,
brother of our savage, brought back my servant.  We were greatly
pleased to see them. I went to meet them in a canoe with our savage. As
they were approaching slowly and in order, our men prepared to salute them
with a discharge of arquebuses, muskets, and small pieces. When they were
near at hand, they all set to shouting together, and one of the chiefs gave
orders that they should make their harangue, in which they greatly praised
us, commending us as truthful, inasmuch as I had kept the promise to meet
them at this fall. After they had made three more shouts, there was a
discharge of musketry twice from thirteen barques or pataches that were
there. This alarmed them so, that they begged me to assure them that there
should be no more firing, saying that the greater part of them had never
seen Christians, nor heard thunderings of that sort, and that they were
afraid of its harming them, but that they were greatly pleased to see our
savage in health, whom they supposed was dead, as had been reported by some
Algonquins, who had heard so from the Montagnais. The savage commended the
treatment I had shown him in France, and the remarkable objects he had
seen, at which all wondered, and went away quietly to their cabins,
expecting that on the next day I would show them the place where I wished
to have them dwell. I saw also my servant, who was dressed in the costume
of the savages, who commended the treatment he had received from them. He
informed me of all he had seen and learned during the winter, from the
The next day I showed them a spot for their cabins, in regard to which the
elders and principal ones consulted very privately. After their long
consultation they sent for me alone and my servant, who had learned their
language very well. They told him they desired a close alliance with me,
and were sorry to see here all these shallops, and that our savage had told
them he did not know them at all nor their intentions, and that it was
clear that they were attracted only by their desire of gain and their
avarice, and that when their assistance was needed they would refuse it,
and would not act as I did in offering to go with my companions to their
country and assist them, of all of which I had given them proofs in the
past. They praised me for the treatment I had shown our savage, which was
that of a brother, and had put them under such obligations of good will to
me, that they said they would endeavor to comply with anything I might
desire from them, but that they feared that the other boats would do them
some harm. I assured them that they would not, and that we were all under
one king, whom our savage had seen, and belonged to the same nation, though
matters of business were confined to individuals, and that they had no
occasion to fear, but might feel as much security as if they were in their
own country. After considerable conversation, they made me a present of a
hundred castors. I gave them in exchange other kinds of merchandise. They
told me there were more than four hundred savages of their country who had
purposed to come, but had been prevented by the following representations
of an Iroquois prisoner, who had belonged to me, but had escaped to his own
country. He had reported, they said, that I had given him his liberty and
some merchandise, and that I purposed to go to the fall with six hundred
Iroquois to meet the Algonquins and kill them all, adding that the fear
aroused by this intelligence had alone prevented them from coming. I
replied that the prisoner in question had escaped without my leave, that
our savage knew very well how he went away, and that there was no thought
of abandoning their alliance, as they had heard, since I had engaged in war
with them, and sent my servant to their country to foster their friendship,
which was still farther confirmed by my keeping my promise to them in so
faithful a manner.
They replied that, so far as they were concerned, they had never thought of
this; that they were well aware that all this talk was far from the truth,
and that if they had believed the contrary they would not have come, but
that the others were afraid, never having seen a Frenchman except my
servant. They told me also that three hundred Algonquins would come in five
or six days, if we would wait for them, to unite with themselves in war
against the Iroquois; that, however, they would return without doing so
unless I went. I talked a great deal with them about the source of the
great river and their country, and they gave me detailed information about
their rivers, falls, lakes and lands, as also about the tribes living
there, and what is to be found in the region. Four of them assured me that
they had seen a sea at a great distance from their country, but that it was
difficult to go there, not only on account of the wars, but of the
intervening wilderness. They told me also that the winter before some
savages had come from the direction of Florida, beyond the country of the
Iroquois, who lived near our ocean, and were in alliance with these
savages. In a word, they made me a very exact statement, indicating by
drawings all the places where they had been, and taking pleasure in talking
to me about them; and for my part I did not tire of listening to them, as
they confirmed points in regard to which I had been before in doubt. After
all this conversation was concluded, I told them that we would trade for
the few articles they had, which was done the next day. Each one of the
barques carried away its portion; we on our side had all the hardship and
venture; the others, who had not troubled themselves about any
explorations, had the booty, the only thing that urges them to activity, in
which they employ no capital and venture nothing.
The next day, after bartering what little they had, they made a barricade
about their dwelling, partly in the direction of the wood, and partly in
that of our pataches; and this they said they did for their security, in
order to avoid the surprises of their enemies, which we took for the
truth. On the coming night, they called our savage, who was sleeping on my
patache, and my servant, who went to them. After a great deal of
conversation, about midnight they had me called also. Entering their
cabins, I found them all seated in council. They had me sit down near them,
saying that when they met for the purpose of considering a matter, it was
their custom to do so at night, that they might not be diverted by anything
from attention to the subject in hand; that at night one thought only of
listening, while during the day the thoughts were distracted by other
But in my opinion, confiding in me, they desired to tell me privately their
purpose. Besides, they were afraid of the other pataches, as they
subsequently gave me to understand. For they told me that they were uneasy
at seeing so many Frenchmen, who were not especially united to one another,
and that they had desired to see me alone; that some of them had been
beaten; that they were as kindly disposed towards me as towards their own
children, confiding so much in me that they would do whatever I told them
to do, but that they greatly mistrusted the others; that if I returned I
might take as many of their people as I wished, if it were under the
guidance of a chief; and that they sent for me to assure me anew of their
friendship, which would never be broken, and to express the hope that I
might never be ill disposed towards them; and being aware that I had
determined to visit their country, they said they would show it to me at
the risk of their lives, giving me the assistance of a large number of men,
who could go everywhere; and that in future we should expect such treatment
from them as they had received from us.
Straightway they brought fifty castors and four strings of beads, which
they value as we do gold chains, saying that I should share these with my
brother, referring to Pont Gravé, we being present together; that these
presents were sent by other captains, who had never seen me; that they
desired to continue friends to me; that if any of the French wished to go
with them, they should be greatly pleased to have them do so; and that they
desired more than ever to establish a firm friendship. After much
conversation with them, I proposed that inasmuch as they were desirous to
have me visit their country, I would petition His Majesty to assist us to
the extent of forty or fifty men, equipped with what was necessary for the
journey, and that I would embark with them on condition that they would
furnish us the necessary provisions for the journey, and that I would take
presents for the chiefs of the country through which we should pass, when
we would return to our settlement to spend the winter; that moreover, if I
found their country favorable and fertile, we would make many settlements
there, by which means we should have frequent intercourse with each other,
living happily in the future in the fear of God, whom we would make known
to them. They were well pleased with this proposition, and begged me to
shake hands upon it, saying that they on their part would do all that was
possible for its fulfilment; that, in regard to provisions, we should be as
well supplied as they themselves, assuring me again that they would show me
what I desired to see. Thereupon, I took leave of them at daybreak,
thanking them for their willingness to carry out my wishes, and entreating
them to continue to entertain the same feelings.
On the next day, the 17th, they said that they were going castor-hunting,
and that they would all return. On the following morning they finished
bartering what little they had, when they embarked in their canoes, asking
us not to take any steps towards taking down their dwellings, which we
promised them. Then they separated from each other, pretending to go a
hunting in different directions. They left our savage with me that we might
have less distrust in them. But they had appointed themselves a rendezvous
above the fall, where they knew well enough that we could not go with our
barques. Meanwhile, we awaited them in accordance with what they had told
The next day there came two savages, one Iroquet, the other the brother of
our Savignon. They came to get the latter, and ask me in behalf of all
their companions to go alone with my servant to where they were encamped,
as they had something of importance to tell me, which they were unwilling
to communicate to any Frenchmen. I promised them that I would go.
The following day I gave some trifles to Savignon, who set out much
pleased, giving me to understand that he was about to live a very irksome
life in comparison with that which he had led in France. He expressed much
regret at separation, but I was very glad to be relieved of the care of
him. The two captains told me that on the morning of the next day they
would send for me, which they did. I embarked, accompanied by my servant,
with those who came. Having arrived at the fall, we went some eight leagues
into the woods, where they were encamped on the shore of a lake, where I
had been before. They were much pleased at seeing me, and began to
shout after their custom. Our Indian came out to meet me, and ask me to go
to the cabin of his brother, where he at once had some meat and fish put on
the fire for my entertainment. While I was there, a banquet was held, to
which all the leading Indians were invited. I was not forgotten, although I
had already eaten sufficiently; but, in order not to violate the custom of
the country, I attended. After banqueting, they went into the woods to hold
their council, and meanwhile I amused myself in looking at the country
round about, which is very pleasant.
Some time after they called me, in order to communicate to me what they had
resolved upon. I proceeded to them accordingly with my servant. After I had
seated myself by their side, they said they were very glad to see me, and
to find that I had not failed to keep my word in what I had promised them;
saying that they felt it an additional proof of my affection that I
continued the alliance with them, and that before setting out they desired
to take leave of me, as it would have been a very great disappointment to
them to go away without seeing me, thinking that I would in that case have
been ill disposed towards them. They said also that what had led them to
say they were going a hunting, and build the barricade, was not the fear of
their enemies nor the desire of hunting, but their fear of all the other
pataches accompanying me, inasmuch as they had heard it said that on the
night they sent for me they were all to be killed, and that I should not be
able to protect them from the others who were much more numerous; so that
in order to get away they made use of this ruse. But they said if there had
been only our two pataches they would have stayed some days longer, and
they begged that, when I returned with my companions, I would not bring any
others. To this I replied that I did not bring these, but that they
followed without my invitation; that in the future, however, I would come
in another manner; at which explanation they were much pleased.
And now they began again to repeat what they had promised me in regard to
the exploration of the country, while I promised, with the help of God, to
fulfil what I had told them. They besought me again to give them a man, and
I replied that if there was any one among us who was willing to go, I
should be well pleased.
They told me there was a merchant, named Bouyer, commander of a patache,
who had asked them to take a young man, which request, however, they had
been unwilling to grant before ascertaining whether this was agreeable to
me, as they did not know whether we were friends, since he had come in my
company to trade with them; also that they were in no wise under any
obligations to him, but that he had offered to make them large presents.
I replied that we were in no wise enemies, and that they had often seen us
conversing with each other; but that in regard to traffic each did what he
could, and that the above-named Bouyer was perhaps desirous of sending this
young man as I had sent mine, hoping for some return in the future, which I
could also lay claim to from them; that, however, they must judge towards
whom they had the greatest obligations, and from whom they were to expect
They said there was no comparison between the obligations in the two cases,
not only in view of the help I had rendered them in their wars against
their enemies, but also of the offer of my personal assistance in the
future, in all of which they had found me faithful to the truth, adding
that all depended on my pleasure. They said moreover that what made them
speak of the matter was the presents he had offered them, and that, if this
young man should go with them, it would not put them under such obligations
to this Bouyer as they were under to me, and that it would have no
influence upon the future, since they only took him on account of the
presents from Bouyer.
I replied that it was indifferent to me whether they took him or not, and
in fact that if they took him for a small consideration I should be
displeased at it, but if in return for valuable presents, I should be
satisfied, provided he stayed with Iroquet; which they promised me. Then
there was made on both sides a final statement of our agreements. They had
with them one who had three times been made prisoner by the Iroquois, but
had been successful in escaping. This one resolved to go, with nine others,
to war, for the sake of revenge for the cruelties his enemies had caused
him to suffer. All the captains begged me to dissuade him if possible,
since he was very valiant, and they were afraid that, advancing boldly
towards the enemy, and supported by a small force only, he would never
return. To satisfy them I endeavored to do so, and urged all the reasons I
could, which, however, availed little; for he, showing me a portion of his
fingers cut off, also great cuts and burns on his body, as evidences of the
manner they had tortured him, said that it was impossible for him to live
without killing some of his enemies and having vengeance, and that his
heart told him he must set out as soon as possible, as he did, firmly
resolved to behave well.
After concluding with them, I asked them to take me back in our patache. To
accomplish this, they got ready eight canoes in order to pass the fall,
stripping themselves naked, and directing me to go only in my shirt. For it
often happens that some are lost in passing the fall. Consequently, they
keep close to each other, so as to render assistance at once, if any canoe
should happen to turn over. They said to me, if yours should unfortunately
overturn, not knowing how to swim, you must not think of abandoning it, and
must cling to the little pieces in the middle of it, for we can easily
rescue you. I am sure that even the most self-possessed persons in the
world, who have not seen this place nor passed it in little boats such as
they have, could not do so without the greatest apprehension. But these
people are so skilful in passing falls, that it is an easy matter for
them. I passed with them, which I had never before done, nor any other
Christian, except my above-mentioned servant. Then we reached our barques,
where I lodged a large number of them, and had some conversation with the
before-mentioned Bouyer in view of the fear he entertained that I should
prevent his servant from going with the savages. They returned the next day
with the young man, who proved expensive to his master who had expected, in
my opinion, to recover the losses of his voyage, which were very
considerable, like those of many others.
One of our young men also determined to go with these savages, who are
Charioquois, living at a distance of some one hundred and fifty leagues
from the fall. He went with the brother of Savignon, one of the captains,
who promised me to show him all that could be seen. Bouyer's man went with
the above-mentioned Iroquet, an Algonquin, who lives some eighty leagues
from the fall. Both went off well pleased and contented.
After the departure of the savages, we awaited the three hundred others
who, as had been told us, were to come, in accordance with the promise I
had made them. Finding that they did not come, all the pataches determined
to induce some Algonquin savages, who had come from Tadoussac, to go to
meet them, in view of a reward that would be given them on their return,
which was to be at the latest not over nine days from the time of their
departure, so that we might know whether to expect them or not, and be able
to return to Tadoussac. This they agreed to, and a canoe left with this
On the fifth of July a canoe arrived from the Algonquins, who were to come
to the number of three hundred. From it we learned that the canoe which had
set out from us had arrived in their country, and that their companions,
wearied by their journey, were resting, and that they would soon arrive, in
fulfilment of the promise they had made; that at most they would not be
more than eight days behindhand, but that there would be only twenty-four
canoes, as one of their captains and many of their comrades had died of a
fever that had broken out among them. They also said that they had sent
many to the war, which had hindered their progress. We determined to wait
But finding that this period had elapsed without their arrival, Pont Gravé
set out from the fall on the eleventh of the month, to arrange some matters
at Tadoussac, while I stayed to await the savages.
The same day a patache arrived, bringing provisions for the numerous
barques of which our party consisted. For our bread, wine, meat, and cider
had given out some days before, obliging us to have recourse to fishing,
the fine river water, and some radishes which grow in great abundance in
the country; otherwise we should have been obliged to return. The same day
an Algonquin canoe arrived, assuring us that on the next day the
twenty-four canoes were to come, twelve of them prepared for war.
On the twelfth the Algonquins arrived with some little merchandise. Before
trafficking they made a present to a Montagnais Indian, the son of
Anadabijou,  who had lately died, in order to mitigate his grief at the
death of his father. Shortly after they resolved to make some presents to
all the captains of the pataches. They gave to each of them ten castors,
saying they were very sorry they had no more, but that the war, to which
most of them were going, was the reason; they begged, however, that what
they offered might be accepted in good part, saying that they were all
friends to us, and to me, who was seated near them, more than to all the
others, who were well disposed towards them only on account of their
castors, and had not always assisted them like myself, whom they had never
found double-tongued like the rest.
I replied that all those whom they saw gathered together were their
friends; that, in case an opportunity should present itself, they would not
fail to do their duty; that we were all friends; that they should continue
to be well disposed towards us; that we would make them presents in return
for those they gave us; and that they should trade in peace. This they did,
and carried away what they could.
The next day they brought me privately forty castors, assuring me of their
friendship, and that they were very glad of the conclusion which I had
reached with the savages who had gone away, and that we should make a
settlement at the fall, which I assured them we would do, making them a
present in return.
After everything had been arranged, they determined to go and obtain the
body of Outetoucos, who was drowned at the fall, as we have before
mentioned. They went to the spot where he had been buried, disinterred him
and carried him to the island of St Hélène, where they performed their
usual ceremony, which is to sing and dance over the grave with festivities
and banquets following. I asked them why they disinterred the body. They
replied that if their enemies should find the grave they would do so, and
divide the body into several pieces, which they would then hang to trees in
order to offend them. For this reason they said that they transferred it to
a place off from the road, and in the most secret manner possible.
On the 15th there arrived fourteen canoes, the chief over which was named
_Tecouehata_. Upon their arrival all the other savages took up arms and
performed some circular evolutions. After going around and dancing to their
satisfaction, the others who were in their canoes also began to dance,
making various movements of the body. After finishing their singing, they
went on shore with a small quantity of furs, and made presents similar to
those of the others. These were reciprocated by some of equal value. The
next day they trafficked in what little they had, and presented me
personally with thirty castors, for which I made them an acknowledgment.
They begged me to continue my good will to them, which I promised to do.
They spoke with me very especially respecting certain explorations towards
the north, which might prove advantageous; and said, in reference to them,
that if any one of my company would like to go with them, they would show
him what would please me, and would treat him as one of their own children.
I promised to give them a young man, at which they were much pleased. When
he took leave of me to go with them, I gave him a detailed memorandum of
what he was to observe while with them. After they had bartered what little
they had, they separated into three parties; one for the war, another for
the great fall, another for a little river which flows into that of the
great fall. Thus they set out on the 18th day of the month, on which day we
The same day we made the thirty leagues from this fall to the Trois
Rivières. On the 19th we arrived at Quebec, which is also thirty leagues
from the Trois Rivières. I induced the most of those in each boat to stay
at the settlement, when I had some repairs made and some rose-bushes set
out. I had also some oak wood put on board to make trial of in France, not
only for marine wainscoting, but also for windows. The next day, the 20th
of July, I set out. On the 23d I arrived at Tadoussac, whence I resolved to
return to France, in accordance with the advice of Pont Gravé. After
arranging matters relating to our settlement, according to the directions
which Sieur de Monts had given me, I embarked in the vessel of Captain
Tibaut, of La Rochelle, on the 11th of August. During our passage we had an
abundance of fish, such as _orades_, mackerel, and _pilotes_, the latter
similar to herrings, and found about certain planks covered with
_pousle-pieds_, a kind of shell-fish attaching itself thereto, and growing
there gradually. Sometimes the number of these little fish is so great that
it is surprising to behold. We caught also some porpoises and other species
of fish. The weather was favorable as far as Belle Isle,  where we were
overtaken by fogs, which continued three or four days. The weather then
becoming fair, we sighted Alvert,  and arrived at La Rochelle on the
16th of September, 1611.
16. June 13th.
17. _Charioquois_. In the issue of 1632, p. 397, Champlain has _Sauuages
Hurons_. It is probable that Charioquois was only a chief of the
18. This was the young man that had been sent to pass the winter with the
Indians, in exchange for the savage which had accompanied Champlain to
France. _Vide antea_, Vol. II. p. 246.
19. This was doubtless on the Lake of Two Mountains.
20. Champlain's orthography is here _Aronadabigeau. Vide_ Vol. I pp. 236,
21. Belle Ile. An island on the coast of Brittany in France.
22. Alvert, a village near Marennes, which they sighted as they approached
ARRIVAL AT LA ROCHELLE.--DISSOLUTION OF THE PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN SIEUR DE
MONTS AND HIS ASSOCIATES, THE SIEURS COLIER AND LE GENDRE OF ROUEN.--
JEALOUSY OF THE FRENCH IN REGARD TO THE NEW DISCOVERIES IN NEW FRANCE.
Upon my arrival at La Rochelle I proceeded to visit Sieur de Monts, at Pons
 in Saintonge, to inform him of all that had occurred during the
expedition, and of the promise which the Ochateguins and Algonquins had
made me, on condition that we would assist them in their wars, as I had
agreed. Sieur de Monts, after listening to it all, determined to go to the
Court to arrange the matter. I started before him to go there also. But on
the way I was unfortunately detained by the falling of a horse upon me,
which came near killing me. This fall detained me some time; but as soon as
I had sufficiently recovered from its effects I set out again to complete
my journey and meet Sieur de Monts at Fontainebleau, who, upon his return
to Paris, had a conference with his associates. The latter were unwilling
to continue in the association, as there was no commission forbidding any
others from going to the new discoveries and trading with the inhabitants
of the country. Sieur de Monts, seeing this, bargained with them for what
remained at the settlement at Quebec, in consideration of a sum of money
which he gave them for their share. He sent also some men to take care of
the settlement, in the expectation of obtaining a commission from His
Majesty. But while he was engaged in the pursuit of this object some
important matters demanded his attention, so that he was obliged to abandon
it, and he left me the duty of taking the necessary steps for it. As I was
about arranging the matter, the vessels arrived from New France with men
from our settlement, those whom I had sent into the interior with the
savages. They brought me very important information, saying that more than
two hundred savages had come, expecting to find me at the great fall of
St. Louis, where I had appointed a rendezvous, with the intention of
assisting them according to their request. But, finding that I had not kept
my promise, they were greatly displeased. Our men, however, made some
apologies, which were accepted, and assured them that they would not fail
to come the following year or never. The savages agreed to this on their
part. But several others left the old trading-station of Tadoussac, and
came to the fall with many small barques to see if they could engage in
traffic with these people, whom they assured that I was dead, although our
men stoutly declared the contrary. This shows how jealousy against
meritorious objects gets possession of bad natures; and all they want is
that men should expose themselves to a thousand dangers, to discover
peoples and territories, that they themselves may have the profit and
others the hardship. It is not reasonable that one should capture the lamb
and another go off with the fleece. If they had been willing to participate
in our discoveries, use their means, and risk their persons, they would
have given evidence of their honor and nobleness, but on the contrary they
show clearly that they are impelled by pure malice that they may enjoy the
fruit of our labors equally with ourselves.
On this subject, and to show how many persons strive to pervert
praiseworthy enterprises, I will instance again the people of St. Malo and
others, who say that the profit of these discoveries belongs to them, since
Jacques Cartier, who first visited Canada and the islands of New Foundland,
was from their city, as if that city had contributed to the expenses of
these discoveries of Jacques Cartier, who went there by the order and at
the expense of King Francis I, in the years 1534 and 1535 to discover these
territories now called New France. If then Cartier made any discovery at
the expense of His Majesty, all his subjects have the same rights and
liberties in them as the people of St. Malo, who cannot prevent others who
make farther discoveries at their own expense, as is shown in the case of
the discoveries above described, from profiting by them in peace. Hence
they ought not to claim any rights if they themselves make no
contributions, and their reasons for doing so are weak and foolish.
To prove more conclusively that they who maintain this position do so
without any foundation, let us suppose that a Spaniard or other foreigner
had discovered lands and wealth at the expense of the King of France. Could
the Spaniards or other foreigners claim these discoveries and this wealth
on the ground that the discoverer was a Spaniard or foreigner? No! There
would be no sense in doing so, and they would always belong to France.
Hence the people of St. Malo cannot make these claims for the reason which
they give, that Cartier was a citizen of their city; and they can only take
cognizance of the fact that he was a citizen of theirs, and render him
accordingly the praise which is his due.
Besides, Cartier in the voyage which he made never passed the great fall of
St. Louis, and made no discoveries north or south of the river
St. Lawrence. His narratives give no evidence of it, in which he speaks
only of the river Saguenay, the Trois Rivières and St. Croix, where he
spent the winter in a fort near our settlement. Had he done so, he would
not have failed to mention it, any more than what he has mentioned, which
shows that he left all the upper part of the St. Lawrence, from Tadoussac
to the great fall, being a territory difficult to explore, and that he was
unwilling to expose himself or let his barques engage in the venture. So
that what he did has borne no fruit until four years ago, when we made our
settlement at Quebec, after which I ventured to pass the fall to help the
savages in their wars, and fend among them men to make the acquaintance of
the people, to learn their mode of living, and the character and extent of
their territory. After devoting ourselves to labors which have been so
successful, is it not just that we should enjoy their fruits, His Majesty
not having contributed anything to aid those who have assumed the
responsibilities of these undertakings up to the present time. I hope that
God will at some time incline him to do so much for His service, his own
glory and the welfare of his subjects, as to bring many new peoples to the
knowledge of our faith, that they may at last enjoy the heavenly kingdom.
Champlain here introduces an explanation of his two geographical maps of
New France, and likewise his method of determining a meridian line. For
convenience of use the maps are placed at the end of this work, and for the
same reason these explanations are carried forward to p. 219, in immediate
proximity to the maps which they explain.--EDITOR.
23. De Monts was governor of Pons, a town situated about ten miles south of
Saintes, in the present department of Lower Charente.
24. _Ochateguins. Vide_ Vol III. Quebec ed. p 169. They were Hurons, and
Ochateguin is supposed to have been one of their chiefs. _Vide_ Vol
II. note 321.
SIEUR DE CHAMPLAIN,
CAPTAIN IN ORDINARY TO THE KING IN THE MARINE, AND
LIEUTENANT OF MONSEIGNEUR LE PRINCE DE
CONDÉ IN NEW FRANCE,
MADE IN THE YEAR 1613.
To the very high, powerful, and excellent Henri de Bourbon, Prince de
Condé, First Prince of the Blood, First Peer of France, Governor and
Lieutenant of His Majesty in Guienne.
The Honor that I have received from your Highness in being intrusted with
the discovery of New France has inspired in me the desire to pursue with
still greater pains and zeal than ever the search for the North Sea. With
this object in view I have made a voyage during the past year, 1613,
relying on a man whom I had sent there and who assured me he had seen it,
as you will perceive in this brief narrative, which I venture to present to
your Excellence, and in which are particularly described all the toils and
sufferings I have had in the undertaking. But although I regret having lost
this year so far as the main object is concerned, yet my expectation, as in
the first voyage, of obtaining more definite information respecting the
subject from the savages, has been fulfilled. They have told me about
various lakes and rivers in the north, in view of which, aside from their
assurance that they know of this sea, it seems to me easy to conclude from
the maps that it cannot be far from the farthest discoveries I have
hitherto made. Awaiting a favorable time and opportunity to prosecute my
plans, and praying God to preserve you, most happy Prince, in all
prosperity, wherein consists my highest wish for your greatness, I remain
in the quality of
Your most humble and devoted servant,
SAMUEL DE CHAMPLAIN_.
SIEUR DE CHAMPLAIN,
CAPTAIN IN ORDINARY TO THE KING IN THE MARINE, AND
LIEUTENANT OF MONSEIGNEUR LE PRINCE DE
CONDÉ IN NEW FRANCE,
MADE IN THE YEAR 1613.
WHAT LED ME TO SEEK FOR TERMS OF REGULATION.--A COMMISSION OBTAINED--
OPPOSITIONS TO THE SAME.--PUBLICATION AT LAST IN ALL THE PORTS OF FRANCE.
The desire which I have always had of making new discoveries in New France,
for the good, profit, and glory of the French name, and at the same time to
lead the poor natives to the knowledge of God, has led me to seek more and
more for the greater facility of this undertaking, which can only be
secured by means of good regulations. For, since individuals desire to
gather the fruits of my labor without contributing to the expenses and
great outlays requisite for the support of the settlements necessary to a
successful result, this branch of trade is ruined by the greediness of
gain, which is so great that it causes merchants to set out prematurely in
order to arrive first in this country. By this means they not only become
involved in the ice, but also in their own ruin, for, from trading with the
savages in a secret manner and offering through rivalry with each other
more merchandise than is necessary, they get the worst of the bargain.
Thus, while purposing to deceive their associates, they generally deceive
For this reason, when I returned to France on the 10th of September, 1611,
I spoke to Sieur de Monts about the matter, who approved of my suggestions;
but his engagements not allowing him to prosecute the matter at court, he
left to me its whole management.
I then drew up a statement, which I presented to President Jeannin, who,
being a man desirous of seeing good undertakings prosper, commended my
project, and encouraged me in its prosecution.
But feeling assured that those who love to fish in troubled waters would be
vexed at such regulations and seek means to thwart them, it seemed
advisable to throw myself into the hands of some power whose authority
would prevail over their jealousy.
Now, knowing Monseigneur le Comte de Soissons to be a prince devout and
well disposed to all holy undertakings, I addressed myself to him through
Sieur de Beaulieu, councillor, and almoner in ordinary to the King, and
urged upon him the importance of the matter, setting forth the means of
regulating it, the harm which disorder had heretofore produced, and the
total ruin with which it was threatened, to the great dishonor of the
French name, unless God should raise up some one who would reanimate it and
give promise of securing for it some day the success which had hitherto
been little anticipated. After he had been informed in regard to all the
details of the scheme and seen the map of the country which I had made, he
promised me, under the sanction of the King, to undertake the protectorate
of the enterprise.
I immediately after presented to His Majesty, and to the gentlemen of his
Council, a petition accompanied by articles, to the end that it might
please him to issue regulations for the undertaking, without which, as I
have said, it would fail. Accordingly his Majesty gave the direction and
control to the before-mentioned Count, who then honored me with the
Now as I was preparing to publish the commission  of the King in all
the ports and harbors of France, there occurred the sickness and greatly
lamented death of the Count, which postponed somewhat the undertaking. But
his Majesty at once committed the direction to Monseigneur le Prince,
who proceeded in the execution of its duties, and, having in like manner
honored me with the lieutenancy,  directed me to go on with the
publication of the commission. But as soon as this was done, some marplots,
who had no interest in the matter, importuned him to annul it, representing
to him as they claimed the interests of all the merchants of France, who
had no cause for complaint, since all were received into the association
and could not therefore justly be aggrieved. Accordingly, their evil
intention being recognized, they were dismissed, with permission only to
enter into the association.
During these altercations, it was impossible for me, as the time of my
departure was very near at hand, to do anything for the habitation at
Quebec, for repairing and enlarging which I desired to take out some
workmen. It was accordingly necessary to go out this year without any
farther organization. The passports of Monseigneur le Prince were made out
for four vessels, which were already in readiness for the voyage, viz.
three from Rouen and one from La Rochelle, on condition that each should
furnish four men for my assistance, not only in my discoveries but in war,
as I desired to keep the promise which I had made to the Ochataiguins 
in the year 1611, to assist them in their wars at the time of my next
As I was preparing to set out, I was informed that the Parliamentary Court
of Rouen would not permit the publication of the commission of the King,
because his Majesty had reserved to himself and his Council the sole
cognizance of the differences which might arise in this matter; added to
which was the fact that the merchants of St. Malo were also opposed to it.
This greatly embarrassed me, and obliged me to make three journeys to
Rouen, with orders of his Majesty, in consideration of which the Court
desisted from their inhibition, and the assumptions of the opponents were
overruled. The commission was then published in all the ports of Normandy.
25. For a brief notice of the Count de Soissons, _vide_ Vol. I. note 74;
also note by Laverdière, Quebec ed., p. 433.
26. This Commission, dated October 15, 1612, will be found in Champlain's
issue of 1632. _Vide_ Quebec ed., p 887.
27. Henry de Bourbon. _Vide_ Vol. I. p 113, note 75.
28. Champlain was appointed lieutenant of the Prince de Condé on the 22d
day of November, 1612. _Vide_ issue of 1632, Quebec ed., p. 1072.
29. Ochateguins, or Hurons.
DEPARTURE FROM FRANCE.--WHAT TOOK PLACE UP TO OUR ARRIVAL AT THE FALLS.
I set out from Rouen on the 5th of March for Honfleur, accompanied by Sieur
L'Ange, to assist me in my explorations, and in war if occasion should
On the next day, the 6th of the month, we embarked in the vessel of Sieur
de Pont Gravé, immediately setting sail, with a favorable wind.
On the 10th of April we sighted the Grand Bank, where we several times
tried for fish, but without success.
On the 15th we had a violent gale, accompanied by rain and hail, which was
followed by another, lasting forty-eight hours, and so violent as to cause
the loss of several vessels on the island of Cape Breton.
On the 21st we sighted the island and Cap de Raye.  On the 29th the
Montagnais savages, perceiving us from All Devils' Point,  threw
themselves into their canoes and came to meet us, being so thin and
hideous-looking that I did not recognize them. At once they began crying
for bread, saying that they were dying of hunger. This led us to conclude
that the winter had not been severe, and consequently the hunting poor,
which matter we have alluded to in previous voyages.
Having arrived on board of our vessel they examined the faces of all, and
as I was not to be seen anywhere they asked where Monsieur de Champlain
was, and were answered that I had remained in France. But this they would
not think of believing, and an old man among them came to me in a corner
where I was walking, not desiring to be recognized as yet, and taking me by
the ear, for he suspected who it was, saw the scar of the arrow wound,
which I received at the defeat of the Iroquois. At this he cried out, and
all the others after him, with great demonstrations of joy, saying, Your
people are awaiting you at the harbor of Tadoussac.
The same day we arrived at Tadoussac, and although we had set out last,
nevertheless arrived first, Sieur Boyer of Rouen arriving with the same
tide. From this it is evident that to set out before the season is simply
rushing into the ice. When we had anchored, our friends came out to us,
and, after informing us how everything was at the habitation, began to
dress three _outardes_  and two hares, which they had brought, throwing
the entrails overboard, after which the poor savages rushed, and, like
famished beasts, devoured them without drawing. They also scraped off with
their nails the fat with which our vessel had been coated, eating it
gluttonously as if they had found some great delicacy.
The next day two vessels arrived from St. Malo, which had set out before
the oppositions had been settled and the commission been published in
Normandy. I proceeded on board, accompanied by L'Ange. The Sieurs de la
Moinerie and la Tremblaye were in command, to whom I read the commission of
the King, and the prohibition against violating it on penalties attached to
the same. They replied that they were subjects and faithful servants of His
Majesty, and that they would obey his commands; and I then had attached to
a post in the port the arms and commission of His Majesty, that no ground
for ignorance might be claimed.
On the 2d of May, seeing two shallops equipped to go to the Falls, I
embarked with the before-mentioned L'Ange in one of them. We had very bad
weather, so that the masts of our shallop were broken, and had it not been
for the preserving hand of God we should have been lost, as was before our
eyes a shallop from St Malo, which was going to the Isle d'Orleans, those
on board of which however being saved.
On the 7th we arrived at Quebec, where we found in good condition those who
had wintered there, they not having been sick; they told us that the winter
had not been severe, and that the river had not frozen. The trees also were
beginning to put forth leaves and the fields to be decked with flowers.
On the 13th we set out from Quebec for the Falls of St. Louis, where we
arrived on the 21st, finding there one of, our barques which had set out
after us from Tadoussac, and which had traded some with a small troop of
Algonquins, who came from the war with the Iroquois, and had with them two
prisoners. Those in the barque gave them to understand that I had come with
a number of men to assist them in their wars, according to the promise I
had made them in previous years; also that I desired to go to their country
and enter into an alliance with all their friends, at which they were
greatly pleased. And, inasmuch as they were desirous of returning to their
country to assure their friends of their victory, see their wives, and put
to death their prisoners in a festive _tabagie_, they left us pledges of
their return, which they promised should be before the middle of the first
moon, according to their reckoning, their shields made of wood and elk
leather, and a part of their bows and arrows. I regretted very much that I
was not prepared to go with them to their country.
Three days after, three canoes arrived with Algonquins, who had come from
the interior, with some articles of merchandise which they bartered. They
told me that the bad treatment which the savages had received the year
before had discouraged them from coming any more, and that they did not
believe that I would ever return to their country on account of the wrong
impressions which those jealous of me had given them respecting me;
wherefore twelve hundred men had gone to the war, having no more hope from
the French, who, they did not believe, would return again to their country.
This intelligence greatly disheartened the merchants, as they had made a
great purchase of merchandise, with the expectation that the savages would
come, as they had been accustomed to. This led me to resolve, as I engaged
in my explorations, to pass through their country, in order to encourage
those who had stayed back, with an assurance of the good treatment they
would receive, and of the large amount of good merchandise at the Fall, and
also of the desire I had to assist them in their war. For carrying out this
purpose I requested three canoes and three savages to guide us, but after
much difficulty obtained only two and one savage, and this by means of some
presents made them.
30. The _island_ refers to New Foundland. Cap de Raye, still known as Cape
Ray, was on the southwestern angle of New Foundland.
31. Now called Point aux Vaches. It was sometimes called All-Devils'
Point. _Vide_ note 136, Vol. I. p. 235.
32. _Outardes_. Sometimes written _houtardes_, and _Oltardes_. The name
outarde or bustard, the _otis_ of ornithologists, a land bird of
Europe, was applied to a species of goose in Canada at a very early
The outarde is mentioned by Cartier in 1535, and the name may have been
originally applied by the fishermen and fur-traders at a much earlier
period, doubtless on account of some fancied resemblance which they saw
to the lesser bustard or outarde, which was about the size of the
English pheasant. _Vide Pennant's British Zoölogy_, Vol. I. p. 379.
Cartier, Champlain, Lescarbot, Baron La Hontan, Potherie, and Charlvoix
mention the outarde in catalogues of water-fowl in which _oye_, the
goose, is likewise mentioned. They very clearly distinguish it from the
class which they commonly considered _oyes_, or geese. Cartier, for
instance, says, Il y a aussi grand nombre d'oyseaulx, scauoir grues,
signes, _oltardes, oyes sauuages, blanches, & grises_. Others speak of
_outardes et oyes_. They do not generally describe it with
particularity. Champlain, however, in describing the turkey, _cocq
d'Inde_, on the coast of New England, says, _aussi gros qu'vne outarde,
qui est une espece d'oye_. Father Pierre Biard writes, _et au mesme
temps les outardes arriuent du midy, qui sont grosses cannes au double
des nostres_. From these statements it is obvious that the outarde was
a species of goose, but was so small that it could well be described as
a large duck. In New France there were at least four species of the
goose, which might have come under the observation of the early
navigators and explorers. We give them in the order of their size, as
described in Coues' Key to North American Birds.
1. Canada Goose, _Branta Canadensis_, SCOPOLI, 36 inches.
2. Snow Goose, _Anser hyperboreus_, LINNÆUS, 30 inches.
3. Am. White-fronted Goose, _Anser albifrons_, LINNÆUS, 27 inches.
4. Brant Goose, _Branta bernicla_, SCOPOLI, 24 inches.
Recurring to the statement of Cartier above cited, it will be observed
that he mentions, besides the outarde, wild geese white and gray. The
first and largest of the four species above mentioned, the Canada
goose, _Branta Canadensis_, is gray, and the two next, the Snow goose
and White-fronted, would be classified as white. This disposes of three
of the four mentioned. The outarde of Cartier would therefore be the
fourth species in the list, viz. the Brant goose. _Branta bernicla_.
This is the smallest species found on our northern coast, and might
naturally be described, as stated by Father Biard, as a large duck. It
is obvious that the good Father could not have described the Canada
goose, the largest of the four species, as a large duck, and the white
geese have never been supposed to be referred to under the name of
outarde. The Brant goose, to which all the evidence which we have been
able to find in the Canadian authorities seems to point as the outarde
of early times, is common in our markets in its season, but our
market-men, unaccustomed to make scientific distinctions, are puzzled
to decide whether it should be classed as a goose or a duck. It is not
improbable that the early voyagers to our northern latitudes, unable to
decide to which of these classes this water-fowl properly belonged, and
seeing in it a fancied resemblance to the lesser outarde, with which
they were familiar, gave it for sake of the distinction, but
nevertheless inappropriately, the name of outarde. The reader is
referred to the following authorities.
_Vide Brief Récit_ par Jacques Cartier, 1545. D'Avezac ed., p. 33;
_Champlain_, Quebec ed., p. 220; _Jésuite Relations_, 1616, p. 10; _Le
Grand Voyage du Pays des Hurons_, par Sagard, Paris, 1632, p. 301;
_Dictionaire de la Langue Hurone_, par Sagard, Paris, 1632, _oyseaux;
Letters to the Dutchess of Lesdiguieres_, By Fr. Xa. de Charlevoix,
London. 1763, p. 88; _Le Jeune, Relations des Jésuites_, 1633, P. 4,
1636, p. 47; _Histoire de l'Amérique Septentrionale_, par de la
Potherie, Paris, 1722, Vol. I. pp. 20, 172, 212, 308; _Lescarbot,
Histoire de la Nouvelle France_, pp. 369, 582, 611.
DEPARTURE TO DISCOVER THE NORTH SEA, ON THE GROUND OF THE REPORT MADE ME IN
REGARD TO IT. DESCRIPTION OF SEVERAL RIVERS, LAKES AND ISLANDS, THE FALLS
OF THE CHAUDIÈRE AND OTHER FALLS.
Now, as I had only two canoes, I could take with me but four men, among
whom was one named Nicholas de Vignau, the most impudent liar that has been
seen for a long time, as the sequel of this narrative will show. He had
formerly spent the winter with the savages, and I had sent him on
explorations the preceding years. He reported to me, on his return to Paris
in 1612, that he had seen the North Sea; that the river of the Algonquins
came from a lake which emptied into it; and that in seventeen days one
could go from the Falls of St. Louis to this sea and back again; that he
had seen the wreck and _débris_ of an English ship that had been wrecked,
on board of which were eighty men, who had escaped to the shore, and whom
the savages killed because the English endeavored to take from them by
force their Indian corn and other necessaries of life; and that he had seen
the scalps which these savages had flayed off, according to their custom,
which they would show me, and that they would likewise give me a young
English boy whom they had kept for me. This intelligence had greatly
pleased me, for I thought that I had almost found that for which I had for
a long time been searching. Accordingly I enjoined upon him to tell me the
truth, in order that I might inform the King, and warned him that if he
gave utterance to a lie he was putting the rope about his neck, assuring
him on the other hand that, if his narrative were true, he could be certain
of being well rewarded. He again assured me, with stronger oaths than ever;
and in order to play his _rôle_ better he gave me a description of the
country, which he said he had made as well as he was able. Accordingly the
confidence which I saw in him, his entire frankness as it seemed, the
description which he had prepared, the wreck and _debris_ of the ship, and
the things above mentioned, had an appearance of probability, in connection
with the voyage of the English to Labrador in 1612, where they found a
strait, in which they sailed as far as the 63d degree of latitude and the
290th of longitude, wintering at the 53d degree and losing some vessels, as
their report proves. These circumstances inducing me to believe that
what he said was true, I made a report of the same to the Chancellor, 
which I showed to Marshal de Brissac, President Jeannin,  and other
Seigneurs of the Court, who told me that I ought to visit the place in
person. For this reason I requested Sieur Georges, a merchant of La
Rochelle, to give him a passage in his ship, which he willingly did, and
during the voyage he questioned him as to his object in making it; and,
since it was not of any profit to him, he asked if he expected any pay, to
which the young man answered that he did not, that he did not expect
anything, from any one but the King, and that he undertook the voyage only
to show me the North Sea, which he had seen. He made an affidavit of this
at La Rochelle before two notaries.
Now as I took leave on Whitsuntide,  of all the principal men to whose
prayers I commended myself, and also to those of all others, I said to him
in their presence that if what he had previously said was not true he must
not give me the trouble to undertake the journey, which involved many
dangers. Again he affirmed all that he had said, on peril of his life.
Accordingly, our canoes being laden with some provisions, our arms, and a
few articles of merchandise for making presents to the savages, I set out
on Monday the 27th of May from Isle St. Hélène with four Frenchmen and one
savage, a parting salute being given me with some rounds from small
pieces. This day we went only to the Falls of St. Louis, a league up the
river, the bad weather not allowing us to go any farther.
On the 29th we passed the Falls,  partly by land, partly by water, it
being necessary for us to carry our canoes, clothes, victuals, and arms on
our shoulders, no small matter for persons not accustomed to it. After
going two leagues beyond the Falls, we entered a lake,  about twelve
leagues in circuit, into which three rivers empty; one coming from the
west, from the direction of the Ochateguins, distant from one hundred and
fifty to two hundred leagues from the great Falls;  another from the
south and the country of the Iroquois, a like distance off;  and the
other from the north and the country of the Algonquins and Nebicerini, also
about the same distance.  This river on the north, according to the
report of the savages, comes from a source more remote, and passes by
tribes unknown to them and about three hundred leagues distant.
This lake is filled with fine large islands, containing only pasturage
land, where there is fine hunting, deer and fowl being plenty. Fish are
abundant. The country bordering the lake is covered with extensive
forests. We proceeded to pass the night at the entrance to this lake,
making barricades against the Iroquois, who roam in these regions in order
to surprise their enemies; and I am sure that if they were to find us they
would give us as good a welcome as them, for which reason we kept a good
watch all night. On the next day I took the altitude of the place, and
found it in latitude 45° 18'. About three o'clock in the afternoon we
entered the river which comes from the north, and, passing a small fall
 by land so as to favor our canoes, we proceeded to a little island,
where we spent the remainder of the night.
On the last day of May we passed another lake,  seven or eight leagues
long and three broad, containing several islands. The neighboring country
is very level, except in some places, where there are pine-covered hills.
We passed a fall called by the inhabitants of the country Quenechouan,
which is filled with stones and rocks, and where the water runs with great
velocity. We had to get into the water and drag our canoes along the shore
with a rope. Half a league from there we passed another little fall by
rowing, which makes one sweat. Great skill is required in passing these
falls, in order to avoid the eddies and surf, in which they abound; but the
savages do this with the greatest possible dexterity, winding about and
going by the easiest places, which they recognize at a glance.
On Saturday, the 1st of June, we passed two other falls; the first half a
league long, the second a league, in which we had much difficulty; for the
rapidity of the current is so great that it makes a frightful noise, and
produces, as it descends from stage to stage, so white a foam everywhere
that the water cannot be seen at all. This fall is strewn with rocks, and
contains some islands here and there covered with pines and white cedars.
This was the place where we had a hard time; for, not being able to carry
our canoes by land on account of the density of the wood, we had to drag
them in the water with ropes, and in drawing mine I came near losing my
life, as it crossed into one of the eddies, and if I had not had the good
fortune to fall between two rocks the canoe would have dragged me in,
inasmuch as I was unable to undo quickly enough the rope which was wound
around my hand, and which hurt me severely and came near cutting it off. In
this danger I cried to God and began to pull my canoe, which was returned
to me by the refluent water, such as occurs in these falls. Having thus
escaped I thanked God, begging Him to preserve us. Later our savage came to
help me, but I was out of danger. It is not strange that I was desirous of
preserving my canoe, for if it had been lost it would have been necessary
to remain, or wait until some savages came that way, a poor hope for those
who have nothing to dine on, and who are not accustomed to such
hardship. As for our Frenchmen, they did not have any better luck, and
several times came near losing their lives; but the Divine Goodness
preserved us all. During the remainder of the day we rested, having done
The next day we fell in with fifteen canoes of savages called
_Quenongebin_,  in a river, after we had passed a small lake, four
leagues long and two broad. They had been informed of my coming by those
who had passed the Falls of St. Louis, on their way from the war with the
Iroquois. I was very glad to meet them, as were they also to meet me, but
they were astonished to see me in this country with so few companions, and
with only one savage. Accordingly, after saluting each other after the
manner of the country, I desired them not to go any farther until I had
informed them of my plan. To this they assented, and we encamped on an
The next day I explained to them that I was on my way to their country to
visit them, and fulfil the promise I had previously made them, and that if
they had determined to go to the war it would be very agreeable to me,
inasmuch as I had brought some companions with this view, at which they
were greatly pleased; and having told them that I wished to go farther in
order to notify the other tribes, they wanted to deter me, saying that the
way was bad, and that we had seen nothing up to this point. Wherefore I
asked them to give me one of their number to take charge of our second
canoe, and also to serve us as guide, since our conductors were not
acquainted any farther. This they did willingly, and in return I made them
a present and gave them one of our Frenchmen, the least indispensable, whom
I sent back to the Falls with a leaf of my note-book, on which for want of
paper I made a report of myself.
Thus we parted, and continuing our course up the river we found another
one, very fair and broad, which comes from a nation called _Ouescharini_,
 who live north of it, a distance of four days' journey from the
mouth. This river is very pleasant in consequence of the fine islands it
contains, and the fair and open woods with which its shores are
bordered. The land is very good for tillage.
On the fourth day we passed near another river coming from the north, where
tribes called _Algonquins_ live. This river falls into the great river
St. Lawrence, three leagues below the Falls of St. Louis, forming a large
island of nearly forty leagues.  This river is not broad, but filled
with a countless number of falls, very hard to pass. Sometimes these tribes
go by way of this river in order to avoid encounters with their enemies,
knowing that they will not try to find them in places so difficult of
Where this river has its debouchure is another coming from the south, 
at the mouth of which is a marvellous fall. For it descends a height of
twenty or twenty-five fathoms  with such impetuosity that it makes an
arch nearly four hundred paces broad. The savages take pleasure in passing
under it, not wetting themselves, except from the spray that is thrown off.
There is an island in the middle of the river which, like all the country
round about, is covered with pines and white cedars. When the savages
desire to enter the river they ascend the mountain, carrying their canoes,
and go half a league by land. The neighboring country is filled with all
sorts of game, so that the savages often make a stop here. The Iroquois
also go there sometimes and surprise them while making the passage.
We passed a fall  a league from there, which is half a league broad,
and has a descent of six or seven fathoms. There are many little islands,
which are, however, nothing more than rough and dangerous rocks covered
with a poor sort of brushwood. The water falls in one place with such force
upon a rock that it has hollowed out in course of time a large and deep
basin, in which the water has a circular motion and forms large eddies in
the middle, so that the savages call it _Asticou_, which signifies boiler.
This cataract produces such a noise in this basin that it is heard for more
than two leagues. The savages when passing here observe a ceremony which we
shall speak of in its place. We had much trouble in ascending by rowing
against a strong current, in order to reach the foot of the fall. Here the
savages took their canoes, my Frenchmen and myself, our arms, provisions,
and other necessaries, and we passed over the rough rocks for the distance
of about a quarter of a league, the extent of the fall. Then we embarked,
being obliged afterwards to land a second time and go about three hundred
paces through copse-wood, after which we got into the water in order to get
our canoes over the sharp rocks, the trouble attending which may be
imagined. I took the altitude of this place, which I found to be in
latitude 45° 38'. 
In the afternoon we entered a lake,  five leagues long and two wide, in
which there are very fine islands covered with vines, nut-trees, and other
excellent kinds of trees. Ten or twelve leagues above we passed some
islands covered with pines. The land is sandy, and there is found here a
root which dyes a crimson color, with which the savages paint their faces,
as also little gewgaws after their manner. There is also a mountain range
along this river, and the surrounding country seems to be very
unpromising. The rest of the day we passed on a very pleasant island.
The next day we proceeded on our course to a great fall, nearly three
leagues broad, in which the water falls a height of ten or twelve fathoms
in a slope, making a marvellous noise.  It is filled with a vast number
of islands, covered with pines and cedars. In order to pass it we were
obliged to give up our maize or Indian corn, and some few other provisions
we had, together with our least necessary clothes, retaining only our arms
and lines, to afford us means of support from hunting and fishing as place
and luck might permit. Thus lightened we passed, sometimes rowing,
sometimes carrying our canoes and arms by land, the fall, which is a league
and a half long,  and in which our savages, who are indefatigable in
this work and accustomed to endure such hardships, aided us greatly.
Continuing our course, we passed two other falls, one by land, the other
with oar and poles standing up. Then we entered a lake,  six or seven
leagues long, into which flows a river coming from the south,  on which
at a distance of five days' journey from the other river  live a people
called _Matou-oüescarini_  The lands about the before-mentioned lake
are sandy and covered with pines, which have been almost entirely burned
down by the savages. There are some islands, in one of which we rested
ourselves. Here we saw a number of fine red cypresses, the first I had
seen in this country, out of which I made a cross, which I planted at one
end of the island, on an elevated and conspicuous spot, with the arms of
France, as I had done in other places where we had stopped. I called this
island _Sainte Croix_.
On the 6th we set out from this island of St. Croix, where the river is a
league and a half broad, and having made eight or ten leagues we passed a
small fall by oar, and a number of islands of various sizes. Here our
savages left the sacks containing their provisions and their less necessary
articles, in order to be lighter for going overland and avoiding several
falls which it was necessary to pass. There was a great dispute between our
savages and our impostor, who affirmed that there was no danger by way of
the falls, and that we ought to go that way. Our savages said to him, You
are tired of living, and to me, that I ought not to believe him, and that
he did not tell the truth. Accordingly, having several times observed that
he had no knowledge of the places, I followed the advice of the savages,
which was fortunate for me, for he fought for dangers in order to ruin me
or to disgust me with the undertaking, as he has since confessed, a
statement of which will be given hereafter. We crossed accordingly towards
the west the river, which extended northward. I took the altitude of this
place and found it in latitude 46° 40'. We had much difficulty in going
this distance overland. I, for my part, was loaded only with three
arquebuses, as many oars, my cloak, and some small articles. I cheered on
our men, who were somewhat more heavily loaded, but more troubled by the
mosquitoes than by their loads. Thus after passing four small ponds and
having gone a distance of two and a half leagues, we were so wearied that
it was impossible to go farther, not having eaten for twenty-four hours
anything but a little broiled fish without seasoning, for we had left our
provisions behind, as I mentioned before. Accordingly we rested on the
border of a pond, which was very pleasant, and made a fire to drive away
the mosquitoes, which annoyed us greatly, whose persistency is so
marvellous that one cannot describe it. Here we cast our lines to catch
The next day we passed this pond, which was perhaps a league long. Then we
went by land three leagues through a country worse than we had yet seen,
since the winds had blown down the pines on top of each other. This was no
slight inconvenience, as it was necessary to go now over, now under, these
trees. In this way we reached a lake, six leagues long and two wide, 
very abundant in fish, the neighboring people doing their fishing there.
Near this lake is a settlement of savages, who till the soil and gather
harvests of maize. Their chief is named _Nibachis_, who came to visit us
with his followers, astonished that we could have passed the falls and bad
roads in order to reach them. After offering us tobacco, according to their
custom, he began to address his companions, saying, that we must have
fallen from the clouds, for he knew not how we could have made the journey,
and that they who lived in the country had much trouble in traversing these
bad ways: and he gave them to understand that I accomplished all that I set
my mind upon; in short, that he believed respecting me all that the other
savages had told him. Aware that we were hungry, he gave us some fish,
which we ate, and after our meal I explained to him, through Thomas, our
interpreter, the pleasure I had in meeting them, that I had come to this
country to assist them in their wars, and that I desired to go still
farther to see some other chiefs for the same object, at which they were
glad and promised me assistance. They showed me their gardens and the
fields, where they had maize. Their soil is sandy, for which reason they
devote themselves more to hunting than to tillage, unlike the Ochateguins.
 When they wish to make a piece of land arable, they burn down the
trees, which is very easily done, as they are all pines, and filled with
rosin. The trees having been burned, they dig up the ground a little, and
plant their maize kernel by kernel,  like those in Florida. At the time
I was there it was only four fingers high.
33. _Vide_ Vol. II. p. 171, note 297, for an account of Henry Hudson, to
whom this statement refers. De Vignau had undoubtedly heard rumors
concerning Hudson's expedition to the bay that bears his name in the
years 1610-11, out of which he fabricated the fine story of his
pretended discovery. Longitude at that time was reckoned from the
island of Ferro, one of the Canaries. Proceeding from west to east, the
290° would pass through Hudson's Bay, as may be seen by consulting any
early French map. _Vide_ Bellin's _Carte du Globe Terrestre_, 1764.
34. Nicholas Brulart de Sillery, who was born at Sillery, in France, in
1544, and died in the same place in 1624. He rendered signal service to
Henry IV. Among other public acts he negotiated the peace of Vervins
between France and Spain in 1598. He was appointed grand chancellor of
France in 1607. Henry IV. said of him, Avec mon chanclier qui ne fait
pas le latin et mon connetable (Henri de Montmorency), qui ne fait ni
lire ni écrire, je puis venir à bout des affairs les plus difficiles.
35. For some account of Marshal de Brissac, _vide_ Vol. I. p. 17, note 16.
36. _Vide_ Vol. I. p. 112, note 73. President Jeannin was a most suitable
person to consult on this subject, as he was deeply interested in the
discovery of a northwest passage to India. When minister at the Hague
he addressed a letter bearing date January 21st, 1609, to Henry IV. of
France, containing an account of his indirect negotiations with Henry
Hudson, for a voyage to discover a shorter passage to India. A copy of
this interesting letter, both in French and English, may be found in
_Henry Hudson the Navigator_, by G. M. Asher, LL.D., Hakluyt Society,
London, 1860, p. 244.
37. The festival of Whitsunday occurred on the 26th May. _Laverdière in
38. The Falls of St Louis.
39. Lake St. Louis.
40. Champlain is here speaking of the river St. Lawrence, which flows into
Lake St. Louis slightly south of west.
41. Rivière de Loup, now known as the Chateauguay.
42. The River Ottawa or a branch of it flows into Lake St. Louis from the
north, although its course is rather from the west. It was often called
the River of the Algonquins. It approaches comparatively near to Lake
Nipissing, the home of the Nipissirini. The sources of the Ottawa are
northeast of Lake Nipissing, a distance of from one to three hundred
miles. The distances here given by Champlain are only general estimates
gathered from the Indians, and are necessarily inaccurate.
43. Rapide de Brussi, by which the river flows from the Lake of
Two Mountains into Lake St Louis.
44. _Lac de Soissons_, now called Lake of Two Mountains _Vide_ Vol. I.
45. This is the first of a series of falls now known as the Long Fall.
46. _Quenongebin_. Laverdière makes, this the same as the Kinounchepiríni
of Vimont. It was an Algonquin nation situated south of Allumette
Island. _Vide Jesuite Relations_, Quebec ed, 1640, p. 34.
47. _Ouescharini_. These people, called Ouaouechkairini by Vimont, appear
to have dwelt on the stream now known as the _Rivière de Petite
Nation_, rising in a system of lakes, among which are Lake Simon,
Whitefish Lake, Long Lake, and Lake Des Isles. _Vide Jesuite
Relations_, 1640, p. 34. The tribe here mentioned was subsequently
called the Little Nation of the Algonquins hence the name of the
48. This passage is exceedingly obscure. Laverdière supposes that part of a
sentence was left out by the printer. If so it is remarkable that
Champlain did not correct it in his edition of 1632. Laverdière thinks
the river here spoken of is the Gatineau, and that the savages
following up this stream went by a portage to the St. Maurice, and
passing down reached the St. Lawrence _thirty_ leagues, and not
_three_, below the Falls of Saint Louis. The three rivers thus named
inclose or form an island of about the extent described in the
text. This explanation is plausible. The passage amended would read,
"This river _extends near another which_ falls into the great river
St. Lawrence thirty leagues below the falls of St. Louis." We know of
no other way in which the passage can be rationally explained.
49. Rideau, at the mouth of which is Green Island, referred to in the text
50. The fall in the Rideau is thirty-four feet, according to the Edinburgh
Gazetteer of the World. The estimate of Champlain is so far out of the
way that it seems not unlikely that feet were intended instead of
fathoms. _Vide_ Vol. I. pp. 301, 302.
51. The Chaudière Falls, just above the present city of Ottawa, the
greatest height of which is about forty feet "Arrayed in every
imaginable variety of form, in vast dark masses, in graceful cascades,
or in tumbling spray, they have been well described as a hundred rivers
struggling for a passage. Not the least interesting feature they
present is the Lost Chaudière, where a large body of water is quietly
sucked down, and disappears underground" _Vide Canada_ by W. H Smith.
Vol. I. p. 120. Also Vol I. p, 120 of this work.
52. The latitude of the Chaudière Falls is about 45° 27'.
53. Chaudière Lake, which was only an expansion of the River Ottawa.
54. Rapide des Chats.
55. This probably refers to that part of the fall which was more difficult
56. Lake des Chats. The name _des chats_ appears to have been given to this
Lake, the Rapids, and the _Nation des chats_, on account of the great
number of the _loup cervier_, or wild cats, _chats sauvages_, found in
this region. Cf. _Le Grande Voyage du Pays des Hurons_, par Sagard,
Paris, 1632, p. 307.
57. Madawaskca River, an affluent of the Ottawa, uniting with it at Fitz
58. Probably an allusion to the River St. Lawrence.
59. This is the same tribe alluded to by Vimont under the name
_Mataouchkarmi_, as dwelling south of Allumette Island. _Vide Relations
des Jésuites_, 1640, Quebec ed., p. 34.
60. Cyprés, Red Cedar or Savin, _Juniperus Virginiana_. _Vide_ Vol. II.
61. They were now, perhaps, two miles below Portage du Fort, at the point
on the Ottawa nearest to the system of lakes through which they were to
pass, and where, as stated in the text, the Ottawa, making an angle,
begins to flow directly from the north. The latitude, as here given, is
even more than usually incorrect, being too high by more than a degree.
The true latitude is about 43° 37'. _Vide Walker_ and _Miles's Atlas of
Dominion of Canada_. Note 62 will explain the cause of this
62. Muskrat Lake. On Champlain's map of 1632 will be seen laid down a
succession of lakes or ponds, together with the larger one, now known
as Muskrat Lake, on the borders of which are figured the dwellings of
the savages referred to in the text. The pond which they passed is the
last in the series before reaching Muskrat Lake. On the direct route