Voyages of Samuel de Champlain Vol 2

Produced by Karl Hagen, Juliet Sutherland, Charles Franks, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team. Images provided coutesy of Transcriber’s Notes: The original text of this edition used tall-s. These have been replaced with ordinary ‘s’. The original footnotes have been converted to endnotes and placed at the end of each chapter. The original numbering
This page contains affiliate links. As Amazon Associates we earn from qualifying purchases.
  • 1882
Buy it on Amazon FREE Audible 30 days

Produced by Karl Hagen, Juliet Sutherland, Charles Franks, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team. Images provided coutesy of

Transcriber’s Notes:
The original text of this edition used tall-s. These have been replaced with ordinary ‘s’. The original footnotes have been converted to endnotes and placed at the end of each chapter. The original numbering has been retained. The number 176-1/2 and presence of two notes numbered [283] are both original.

Established May 25th, 1858.










Champlain’s edition of 1613 contains, in connection with the preliminary matter, two pieces of poetry, one signed L’ANGE, Paris, the other MOTIN. They were contributed doubtless by some friend, intended to be complimentary to the author, to embellish the volume and to give it a favorable introduction to the reader. This was in conformity to a prevailing custom of that period. They contain no intrinsic historical interest or value whatever, and, if introduced, would not serve their original purpose, but would rather be an incumbrance, and they have consequently been omitted in the present work.

Champlain also included a summary of chapters, identical with the headings of chapters in this translation, evidently intended to take the place of an index, which he did not supply. To repeat these headings would be superfluous, particularly as this work is furnished with a copious index.

The edition of 1613 was divided into two books. This division has been omitted here, both as superfluous and confusing.

The maps referred to on Champlain’s title-page may be found in Vol. III. of this work. In France, the needle deflects to the east; and the dial-plate, as figured on the larger map, that of 1612, is constructed accordingly. On it the line marked _nornordest_ represents the true north, while the index is carried round to the left, and points out the variation of the needle to the west. The map is oriented by the needle without reference to its variation, but the true meridian is laid down by a strong line on which the degrees of latitude are numbered. From this the points of the compass between any two places may be readily obtained.

A Note, relating to Hudson’s discoveries in 1612, as delineated on Champlain’s small map, introduced by him in the prefatory matter, apparently after the text had been struck off, will appear in connection with the map itself, where it more properly belongs.

E. F. S.

October 21, 1878.


VOYAGE 1604 TO 1608
Port de la Hève
Port du Roissignol
Port du Mouton
Port Royal
Port des Mines
Rivière St. Jehan
Isle de Sainte Croix
Habitation de L’Isle Ste. Croix
Chouacoit R.
Port St. Louis
Malle Barre
L’Abitation du Port Royal
Le Beau Port
Port Fortuné
The Attack at Port Fortuné
Port de Tadoucac
Abitation de Quebecq
Defeat of the Iroquois at Lake Champlain INDEX


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 illustrations_.

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.



Rue St. Jean de Beauvais, at the Flying Horse, and at his store in the Palace,
at the gallery of the Prisoners.





Your Majesty has doubtless full knowledge of the discoveries made in your service in New France, called Canada, through the descriptions, given by certain Captains and Pilots, of the voyages and discoveries made there during the past eighty years. These, however, present nothing so honorable to your Kingdom, or so profitable to the service of your Majesty and your subjects, as will, I doubt not, the maps of the coasts, harbors, rivers, and the situation of the places described in this little treatise, which I make bold to address to your Majesty, and which is entitled a Journal of Voyages and Discoveries, which I have made in connection with Sieur de Monts, your Lieutenant in New France. This I do, feeling myself urged by a just sense of the honor I have received during the last ten years in commissions, not only, Sire, from your Majesty, but also from the late king, Henry the Great, of happy memory, who commissioned me to make the most exact researches and explorations in my power. This I have done, and added, moreover, the maps contained in this little book, where I have set forth in particular the dangers to which one would be liable. The subjects of your Majesty, whom you may be pleased hereafter to employ for the preservation of what has been discovered, will be able to avoid those dangers through the knowledge afforded by the maps contained in this treatise, which will serve as an example in your kingdom for increasing the glory of your Majesty, the welfare of your subjects, and for the honor of the very humble service, for which, to the happy prolongation of your days, is indebted,


Your most humble, most obedient,
and most faithful servant and subject,





Of all the most useful and excellent arts, that of navigation has always seemed to me to occupy the first place. For the more hazardous it is, and the more numerous the perils and losses by which it is attended, so much the more is it esteemed and exalted above all others, being wholly unsuited to the timid and irresolute. By this art we obtain knowledge of different countries, regions, and realms. By it we attract and bring to our own land all kinds of riches, by it the idolatry of paganism is overthrown and Christianity proclaimed throughout all the regions of the earth. This is the art which from my early age has won my love, and induced me to expose myself almost all my life to the impetuous waves of the ocean, and led me to explore the coasts of a part of America, especially of New France, where I have always desired to see the Lily flourish, and also the only religion, catholic, apostolic, and Roman. This I trust now to accomplish with the help of God, assisted by the favor of your Majesty, whom I most humbly entreat to continue to sustain us, in order that all may succeed to the honor of God, the welfare of France, and the splendor of your reign, for the grandeur and prosperity of which I will pray God to attend you always with a thousand blessings, and will remain,

Your most humble, most obedient,
and most faithful servant and subject, CHAMPLAIN.


By letters patent of the KING, given at Paris the ninth of January, 1613, and in the third year of our reign, by the King in his Council, PERREAU, and sealed with the simple yellow seal, it is permitted to JEAN BERJON, printer and bookseller in this city of Paris, to print, or have printed by whomsoever it may seem good to him, a book entitled _The Voyages of Samuel de Champlain of Saintonge, Captain in ordinary for the King in the Marine, &c._, for the time and limit of six entire consecutive years, from the day when this book shall have been printed up to the said time of six years. By the same letters, in like manner all printers, merchant booksellers, and any others whatever, are forbidden to print or have printed, to sell or distribute said book during the aforesaid time, without the special consent of said BERJON, or of him to whom he shall give permission, on pain of confiscation of so many of said books as shall be found, and a discretionary fine, as is more fully set forth in the aforesaid letters.





The inclinations of men differ according to their varied dispositions; and each one in his calling has his particular end in view. Some aim at gain, some at glory, some at the public weal. The greater number are engaged in trade, and especially that which is transacted on the sea. Hence arise the principal support of the people, the opulence and honor of states. This is what raised ancient Rome to the sovereignty and mastery over the entire world, and the Venetians to a grandeur equal to that of powerful kings. It has in all times caused maritime towns to abound in riches, among which Alexandria and Tyre are distinguished, and numerous others, which fill up the regions of the interior with the objects of beauty and rarity obtained from foreign nations. For this reason, many princes have striven to find a northerly route to China, in order to facilitate commerce with the Orientals, in the belief that this route would be shorter and less dangerous.

In the year 1496, the king of England commissioned John Cabot and his son Sebastian to engage in this search. [1] About the same time, Don Emanuel, king of Portugal, despatched on the same errand Gaspar Cortereal, who returned without attaining his object. Resuming his journeys the year after, he died in the undertaking; as did also his brother Michel, who was prosecuting it perseveringly. [2] In the years 1534 and 1535, Jacques Cartier received a like commission from King Francis I., but was arrested in his course. [3] Six years after, Sieur de Roberval, having renewed it, sent Jean Alfonse of Saintonge farther northward along the coast of Labrador; [4] but he returned as wise as the others. In the years 1576, 1577, and 1578, Sir Martin Frobisher, an Englishman, made three voyages along the northern coasts. Seven years later, Humphrey Gilbert, also an Englishman, set out with five ships, but suffered shipwreck on Sable Island, where three of his vessels were lost. In the same and two following years, John Davis, an Englishman, made three voyages for the same object; penetrating to the 72d degree, as far as a strait which is called at the present day by his name. After him, Captain Georges made also a voyage in 1590, but in consequence of the ice was compelled to return without having made any discovery. [5] The Hollanders, on their part, had no more precise knowledge in the direction of Nova Zembla.

So many voyages and discoveries without result, and attended with so much hardship and expense, have caused us French in late years to attempt a permanent settlement in those lands which we call New France, [6] in the hope of thus realizing more easily this object; since the voyage in search of the desired passage commences on the other side of the ocean, and is made along the coast of this region. [7] These considerations had induced the Marquis de la Roche, in 1598, to take a commission from the king for making a settlement in the above region. With this object, he landed men and supplies on Sable Island; [8] but, as the conditions which had been accorded to him by his Majesty were not fulfilled, he was obliged to abandon his undertaking, and leave his men there. A year after, Captain Chauvin accepted another commission to transport Settlers to the same region; [9] but, as this was shortly after revoked, he prosecuted the matter no farther.

After the above, [10] notwithstanding all these accidents and disappointments, Sieur de Monts desired to attempt what had been given up in despair, and requested a commission for this purpose of his Majesty, being satisfied that the previous enterprises had failed because the undertakers of them had not received assistance, who had not succeeded, in one nor even two years’ time, in making the acquaintance of the regions and people there, nor in finding harbors adapted for a settlement. He proposed to his Majesty a means for covering these expenses, without drawing any thing from the royal revenues; viz., by granting to him the monopoly of the fur-trade in this land. This having been granted to him, he made great and excessive outlays, and carried out with him a large number of men of various vocations. Upon his arrival, he caused the necessary number of habitations for his followers to be constructed. This expenditure he continued for three consecutive years, after which, in consequence of the jealousy and annoyance of certain Basque merchants, together with some from Brittany, the monopoly which had been granted to him was revoked by the Council to the great injury and loss of Sieur de Monts, who, in consequence of this revocation, was compelled to abandon his entire undertaking, sacrificing his labors and the outfit for his settlement.

But since a report had been made to the king on the fertility of the soil by him, and by me on the feasibility of discovering the passage to China, [11] without the inconveniences of the ice of the north or the heats of the torrid zone, through which our sailors pass twice in going and twice in returning, with inconceivable hardships and risks, his Majesty directed Sieur de Monts to make a new outfit, and send men to continue what he had commenced. This he did. And, in view of the uncertainty of his commission, [12] he chose a new spot for his settlement, in order to deprive jealous persons of any such distrust as they had previously conceived. He was also influenced by the hope of greater advantages in case of settling in the interior, where the people are civilized, and where it is easier to plant the Christian faith and establish such order as is necessary for the protection of a country, than along the sea-shore, where the savages generally dwell. From this course, he believed the king would derive an inestimable profit; for it is easy to suppose that Europeans will seek out this advantage rather than those of a jealous and intractable disposition to be found on the shores, and the barbarous tribes. [13]


1. The first commission was granted by Henry VII. of England to John Cabot and his three sons, Lewis, Sebastian, and Sancius, March 5, 1496.– _Rymer’s Foedera_, Vol. XII. p. 595. The first voyage, however, was made in 1497. The second commission was granted to John Cabot alone, in 1498.–_Vide Hakluyt_, 1600, London, ed. 1810, Vol. III. pp. 25-31.

2. Cortereal made two voyages under the patronage of Emmanuel, King of Portugal, the first in 1500, the second in 1501. In the latter year, he sailed with two ships from Lisbon, and explored six hundred miles or more on our northern coast. The vessel in which he sailed was lost; and he perished, together with fifty natives whom he had captured. The other vessel returned, and reported the incidents of the expedition. The next year, Michael Cortereal, the brother of Gaspar, obtained a commission, and went in search of his brother; but he did not return, and no tidings were ever heard of him.

3. Jacques Cartier made three voyages in 1534, 1535, and 1540, respectively, in which he effected very important discoveries; and Charlevoix justly remarks that Cartier’s Memoirs long served as a guide to those who after him navigated the gulf and river of St. Lawrence. For Cartier’s commission, see _Hazard’s State Papers_, Vol. I. p. 19.

4. Roberval’s voyage was made in 1542, and is reported by Jean Alfonse.– _Vide Hakluyt_, 1600, London, ed. 1810, Vol. III. p. 291. On an old map, drawn about the middle of the sixteenth century, Roberval is represented in a full-length portrait, clad in mail, with sword and spear, at the head of a band of armed soldiers, penetrating into the wilds of Canada, near the head-waters of the Saguenay. The name, “Monsr. de Roberual,” is inserted near his feet,–_Vide Monuments de la Géographie_, XIX., par M. Jomard, Paris.

5. For the narrative of the voyages of Frobisher, Gilbert, and Davis, _vide Hakluyt_, Vol. III. Of the fleet of five vessels commanded by Sir Humphrey Gilbert, in 1583, the Ralegh put back to England, on account of sickness on board; the Golden Hinde returned safely to port; the _Swallow_ was left at Newfoundland, to bring home the sick; the _Delight_ was lost near Sable Island; and the _Squirrel_ went down on its way to England, some days after leaving Sable Island. Thus two only were lost, while a third was left.

There must have been some error in regard to the voyage of Captain Georges. There is no printed account of a voyage at that time by any one of this name. There are two theories on which this statement may be explained. There may have been a voyage by a Captain Georges, which, for some unknown reason, was never reported; or, what is more likely, Champlain may refer to the voyage of Captain George Weymouth, undertaken in 1602 for the East Ind. Company, which was defeated by the icebergs which he encountered, and the mutiny of his men. It was not uncommon to omit part of a name at that period. Of Pont Gravé, the last name is frequently omitted by Champlain and by Lescarbot. The report of Weymouth’s voyage was not printed till after Champlain wrote; and he might easily have mistaken the date.

6. The name of New France, _Novus Francisca_, appears on a map in Ptolemy published at Basle in 1530.

7. The controlling object of the numerous voyages to the north-east coast of America had hitherto been to discover a shorter course to India. In this respect, as Champlain states above, they had all proved failures. He here intimates that the settlements of the French on this coast were intended to facilitate this design. It is obvious that a colonial establishment would offer great advantages as a base in prosecuting searches for this desired passage to Cathay.

8. For some account of this disastrous expedition, see _Memoir_, Vol. I.

9. _Vide Memoir_, Vol. I.

10. It will be observed that Champlain does not mention the expedition sent out by Commander de Chastes, probably because its object was exploration, and not actual settlement.–_Vide_ an account of De Chastes in the _Memoir_, Vol. I.

11. In Champlain’s report of the voyage of 1603, after obtaining what information he could from the natives relating to the St. Lawrence and the chain of lakes, he says they informed him that the last lake in the chain was salt, and he therefore believed it to be the South Sea. He doubtless enlarged verbally before the king upon the feasibility of a passage to China in this way.

12. The commission here referred to was doubtless the one renewed to him in 1608, after he had made his searches on the shores of New England and Nova Scotia, and after the commission or charter of 1603 had been revoked.

Champlain is here stating the advantages of a settlement in the interior, on the shores of the St. Lawrence, rather than on the Atlantic coast.

13. In this chapter, Champlain speaks of events stretching through several years; but in the next he confines himself to the occurrences of 1603, when De Monts obtained his charter.



Sieur de Monts, by virtue of his commission [14] having published in all the ports and harbors of this kingdom the prohibition against the violation of the monopoly of the fur-trade accorded him by his Majesty, gathered together about one hundred and twenty artisans, whom he embarked in two vessels: one of a hundred and twenty tons, commanded by Sieur de Pont Gravé; [15] another, of a hundred and fifty tons, in which he embarked himself, [16] together with several noblemen.

We set out from Havre de Grâce April 7th, 1604, and Pont Gravé April 10th, to rendezvous at Canseau, [17] twenty leagues from Cape Breton. [18] But after we were in mid-ocean, Sieur de Monts changed his plan, and directed his course towards Port Mouton, it being more southerly and also more favorable for landing than Canseau.

On May 1st, we sighted Sable Island, where we ran a risk of being lost in consequence of the error of our pilots, who were deceived in their calculation, which they made forty leagues ahead of where we were.

This island is thirty leagues distant north and South from Cape Breton, and in length is about fifteen leagues. It contains a small lake. The island is very sandy, and there are no trees at all of considerable size, only copse and herbage, which serve as pasturage for the bullocks and cows, which the Portuguese carried there more than sixty years ago, and which were very serviceable to the party of the Marquis de la Roche. The latter, during their sojourn of several years there, captured a large number of very fine black foxes, [19] whose skins they carefully preserved. There are many sea-wolves [20] there, with the skins of which they clothed themselves since they had exhausted their own stock of garments. By order of the Parliamentary Court of Rouen, a vessel was sent there to recover them. [21] The directors of the enterprise caught codfish near the island, the neighborhood of which abounds in shoals.

On the 8th of the same month, we sighted Cap de la Hève, [22] to the east of which is a bay, containing several islands covered with fir-trees. On the main land are oaks, elms, and birches. It joins the coast of La Cadie at the latitude of 44° 5′, and at 16° 15′ of the deflection of the magnetic needle, distant east-north-east eighty-five leagues from Cape Breton, of which we shall speak hereafter.

On the 12th of May, we entered another port, [23] five leagues from Cap de la Hève, where we captured a vessel engaged in the fur-trade in violation of the king’s prohibition. The master’s name was Rossignol, whose name the port retained, which is in latitude 44° 15′.

* * * * *



_The figures indicate fathoms of water_.

_A_. The place where vessels anchor.
_B_. A small river dry at low tide. _C_. Places where the savages have their cabins.[Note: The letter C is wanting, but the location of the cabins is obvious.] _D_. Shoal at the entrance of the harbor. [Note: The letter D is also wanting, but the figures sufficiently indicate the depth of the water.]
_E_. A small island covered with wood. [Note: The letter E appears twice by mistake.]
_F_. Cape de la Hève [Note: The letter F is likewise wanting. It has been supposed to be represented by one of the E’s on the small island, but Cap de la Hève, to which it refers, was not on this island, but on the main land. The F should have been, we think, on the west of the harbor, where the elevation is indicated on the map. _Vide_ note 22.]

* * * * *

On the 13th of May, we arrived at a very fine harbor, where there are two little streams, called Port au Mouton, [24] which is seven leagues distant from that of Rossignol. The land is very stony, and covered with copse and heath. There are a great many rabbits, and a quantity of game in consequence of the ponds there.

* * * * *



_The figures indicate fathoms of water_.

_A_. A river extending twenty-five leagues inland. _B_. The place where vessels anchor.
_C_. Place on the main land where the savages have their dwellings. _D_. Roadstead where vessels anchor while waiting for the tide. _E_. Place on the island where the savages have their cabins. _F_. Channel dry at low tide.
_G_. Shore of the main land. The dotted places indicate the shoals.

NOTE. It would seem as if in the title Rossynol, on the map, the two dots on the _y_ instead of the _n_ were placed there by mistake.

* * * * *

As Soon as we had disembarked, each one commenced making huts after his fashion, on a point at the entrance of the harbor near two fresh-water ponds. Sieur de Monts at the Same time despatched a shallop, in which he sent one of us, with some savages as guides as bearers of letters, along the coast of La Cadie, to search for Pont Gravé, who had a portion of the necessary supplies for our winter sojourn. The latter was found at the Bay of All-Isles, [25] very anxious about us (for he knew nothing of the change of plan); and the letters were handed to him. As soon as be had read them, he returned to his ship at Canseau, where he seized some Basque vessels [26] engaged in the fur-trade, notwithstanding the prohibition of his Majesty, and sent their masters to Sieur de Monts, who meanwhile charged me to reconnoitre the coast and the harbors suitable for the secure reception of our vessel.

With the purpose of carrying out his wishes, I set out from Port Mouton on the 19th of May, in a barque of eight tons, accompanied by Sieur Ralleau, his secretary, and ten men. Advancing along the coast, we entered a harbor very convenient for vessels, at the end of which is a small river, extending very far into the main land. This I called the Port of Cape Negro, [27] from a rock whose distant view resembles a negro, which rises out of the water near a cape passed by us the same day, four leagues off and ten from Port Mouton. This cape is very dangerous, on account of the rocks running out into the sea. The shores which I saw, up to that point, are very low, and covered with such wood as that seen at the Cap de la Hève; and the islands are all filled with game. Going farther on, we passed the night at Sable Bay, [28] where vessels can anchor without any danger.

The next day we went to Cape Sable, [29] also very dangerous, in consequence of certain rocks and reefs extending almost a league into the sea. It is two leagues from Sable Bay, where we had spent the night before. Thence we went to Cormorant Island, [30] a league distant, so called from the infinite number of cormorants found there, of whose eggs we collected a cask full. From this island, we sailed westerly about six leagues, crossing a bay, which makes up to the north two or three leagues. Then we fell in with several islands [31] distant two or three leagues from the main land; and, as well as I could judge, some of them were two leagues in extent, others three, and others were still smaller. Most of them are very dangerous for large vessels to approach, on account of the tides and the rocks on a level with the water. These islands are filled with pines, firs, birches, and aspens. A little farther out, there are four more. In one, we saw so great a quantity of birds, called penguins, [32] that we killed them easily with sticks. On another, we found the shore completely covered with sea-wolves, [33] of which we captured as many as we wished. At the two others there is such an abundance of birds of different sorts that one could not imagine it, if he had not seen them. There are cormorants, three kinds of duck, geese, _marmettes?_, bustards, sea-parrots, snipe, vultures, and other birds of prey; gulls, sea-larks of two or three kinds; herons, large sea-gulls, curlews, sea-magpies, divers, ospreys, _appoils?_, ravens, cranes, and other sorts which I am not acquainted with, and which also make their nests here. [34] We named these Sea-Wolf Islands. They are in latitude 43° 30′, distant from four to five leagues from the main land, or Cape Sable. After spending pleasantly some time there in hunting (and not without capturing much game), we set out and reached a cape, [35] which we christened Port Fourchu from its being fork-shaped, distant from five to six leagues from the Sea-Wolf Islands. This harbor is very convenient for vessels at its entrance; but its remoter part is entirely dry at low tide, except the channel of a little stream, completely bordered by meadows, which make this spot very pleasant. There is good codfishing near the harbor. Departing from there, we sailed north ten or twelve leagues without finding any harbor for our vessels, but a number of very fine inlets or shores, where the soil seems to be well adapted for cultivation. The woods are exceedingly fine here, but there are few pines and firs. This coast is clear, without islands, rocks, or shoals; so that, in our judgment, vessels can securely go there. Being distant quarter of a league from the coast, we went to an island called Long Island, [36] lying north-north-east and south-south-west, which makes an opening into the great Baye Françoise, [37] so named by Sieur de Monts.

This island is six leagues long, and nearly a league broad in some places, in others only quarter of a league. It is covered with an abundance of wood, such as pines and birch. All the coast is bordered by very dangerous rocks; and there is no place at all favorable for vessels, only little inlets for shallops at the extremity of the island, and three or four small rocky islands, where the savages capture many sea-wolves. There are strong tides, especially at the little passage [38] of the island, which is very dangerous for vessels running the risk of passing through it.

From Long Island passage, we sailed north-east two leagues, when we found a cove [39] where vessels can anchor in safety, and which is quarter of a league or thereabouts in circuit. The bottom is all mire, and the surrounding land is bordered by very high rocks. In this place there is a very good silver mine, according to the report of the miner, Master Simon, who accompanied me. Some leagues farther on there is a little stream called river Boulay [40] where the tide rises half a league into the land, at the mouth of which vessels of a hundred tons can easily ride at anchor. Quarter of a league from here there is a good harbor for vessels, where we found an iron mine, which our miner estimated would yield fifty per cent [41] Advancing three leagues farther on to the northeast [42] we saw another very good iron mine, near which is a river surrounded by beautiful and attractive meadows. The neighboring soil is red as blood. Some leagues farther on there is still another river, [43] dry at low tide, except in its very small channel, and which extends near to Port Royal. At the extremity of this bay is a channel, also dry at low tide [44] surrounding which are a number of pastures and good pieces of land for cultivation, where there are nevertheless great numbers of fine trees of all the kinds previously mentioned. The distance from Long Island to the end of this bay may be some six leagues. The entire coast of the mines is very high, intersected by capes, which appear round, extending out a short distance. On the other side of the bay, on the south-east, the land is low and good, where there is a very good harbor, having a bank at its entrance over which it is necessary to pass. On this bar there is a fathom and a half of water at low tide; but after passing it you find three, with good bottom. Between the two points of the harbor there is a pebbly islet, covered at full tide. This place extends half a league inland. The tide falls here three fathoms, and there are many shell-fish, such as muscles, cockles, and sea-snails. The soil is as good as any that I have seen. I named this harbor Saint Margaret. [45] This entire south-east coast is much lower than that of the mines, which is only a league and a half from the coast of Saint Margaret, being Separated by the breadth of the bay, [46] which is three leagues at its entrance. I took the altitude at this place, and found the latitude 45° 30′, and a little more,[47] the deflection of the magnetic needle being 17° 16′.

After having explored as particularly as I could the coasts, ports, and harbors, I returned, without advancing any farther, to Long Island passage, whence I went back outside of all the islands in order to observe whether there was any danger at all on the water side. But we found none whatever, except there were some rocks about half a league from Sea-Wolf Islands, which, however, can be easily avoided, since the sea breaks over them. Continuing our voyage, we were overtaken by a violent wind, which obliged us to run our barque ashore, where we were in danger of losing her, which would have caused us extreme perplexity. The tempest having ceased, we resumed the sea, and the next day reached Port Mouton, where Sieur de Monts was awaiting us from day to day, thinking only of our long stay, [48] and whether some accident had not befallen us. I made a report to him of our voyage, and where our vessels might go in Safety. Meanwhile, I observed very particularly that place which is in latitude 44°.

The next day Sieur de Monts gave orders to weigh anchor and proceed to the Bay of Saint Mary, [49] a place which we had found to be Suitable for our vessel to remain in, until we should be able to find one more advantageous. Coasting along, we passed near Cape Sable and the Sea-Wolf Islands, whither Sieur de Monts decided to go in a shallop, and see some islands of which we had made a report to him, as also of the countless number of birds found there. Accordingly, he set out, accompanied by Sieur de Poutrincourt, and several other noblemen, with the intention of going to Penguin Island, where we had previously killed with sticks a large number of these birds. Being somewhat distant from our ship, it was beyond our power to reach it, and still less to reach our vessel; for the tide was so strong that we were compelled to put in at a little island to pass the night, where there was much game. I killed there some river-birds, which were very acceptable to us, especially as we had taken only a few biscuit, expecting to return the same day. The next day we reached Cape Fourchu, distant half a league from there. Coasting along, we found our vessel in the Bay of Saint Mary. Our company were very anxious about us for two days, fearing lest some misfortune had befallen us; but, when they saw us all safe, they were much rejoiced.

Two or three days after our arrival, one of our priests, named Mesire Aubry [50] from Paris, got lost so completely in the woods while going after his sword, which he had forgotten, that he could not find the vessel. And he was thus seventeen days without any thing to subsist upon except some sour and bitter plants like the sorrel, and some small fruit of little substance large as currants, which creep upon the ground. [51] Being at his wits’ end, without hope of ever seeing us again, weak and feeble, he found himself on the shore of Baye Françoise, thus named by Sieur de Monts, near Long Island, [52] where his strength gave out, when one of our shallops out fishing discovered him. Not being able to shout to them, he made a sign with a pole, on the end of which he had put his hat, that they should go and get him. This they did at once, and brought him off. Sieur de Monts had caused a search to be made not only by his own men, but also by the savages of those parts, who scoured all the woods, but brought back no intelligence of him. Believing him to be dead, they all saw him coming back in the shallop to their great delight. A long time was needed to restore him to his usual strength.


14. _Vide Commission du Roy au Sieur de Monts, pour l’habitation és terres de la Cadie, Canada, et autres endroits en la Nouvelle-France_, Histoire de a Nouvelle-France, par Marc Lescarbot, Paris, 1612, Qvat. Liv. p. 431. This charter may also be found in English in a _Collection of Voyages and Travels compiled from the Library of the Earl of Oxford, by Thomas Osborne_, London, 1745, Vol. II. pp. 796-798; also in _Murdoch’s History of Nova Scotia_, Halifax, 1865, Vol. I. pp. 21-24.

15. The second officer, or pilot, was, according to Lescarbot, Captain Morel, of Honfleur.

16. This was under the direction of De Monts himself; and Captain Timothée, of Havre de Grâce, was pilot, or the second officer.

17. Lescarbot writes this name Campseau; Champlain’s orthography is Canceau; the English often write Canso, but more correctly Canseau. It has been derived from _Cansoke_, an Indian word, meaning _facing the frowning cliffs_.

18. The Cape and Island of Cape Breton appear to have taken their name from the fisherman of Brittany, who frequented that region as early as 1504 –_Vide Champlain’s Voyages_, Paris 1632, p. 9.

Thévet sailed along the coast in 1556, and is quoted by Laverdière, as follows: “In this land there is a province called Compestre de Berge, extending towards the south-east: in the eastern part of the same is the cape or promontory of Lorraine, called so by us; others have given it the came of the Cape of the Bretons, since the Bretons, the Bisayans, and Normans repair thither, and coast along on their way to Newfoundland to fish for codfish.”

An inscription, “_tera que soy descuberta per pertonnes_,” on an Old Portuguese map of 1520, declares it to be a country discovered by the Bretons. It is undoubtedly the oldest French name on any part of North America. On Gastaldo’s map in Mattiolo’s Italian translation of Ptolemy, 1548, the name of Breton is applied both to Nova Scotia and to the Island of Cape Breton.

19. Winthrop says that Mr. John Rose, who was cast away on Sable Island about 1633, “saw about eight hundred cattle, small and great, all red, and the largest he ever saw: and many foxes, wherof some perfect black.”–_Whinthrop’s Hist. New Eng._, Boston, 1853, Vol. I. p. 193.

Champlain doubtless obtained his information in regard to the cattle left upon Sable Island by the Portuguese from the from the report of Edward Haies on the voyage of Sir Humphrey Gilbert in 1583:

“Sablon lieth to the seaward of Cape Briton about twenty-five leagues, whither we were determined to goe vpon intelligence we had of a Portugal (during our abode in S. Johns) who was himselfe present, when the Portugals (aboue thirty yeeres past) did put in the same Island both Neat and Swine to breede, which were since exceedingly multiplied. This seemed vnto vs very happy tidings, to haue in an Island lying so neere vnto the maine, which we intended to plant vpon. Such store of cattell, whereby we might at all times conueniently be relieued of victuall, and serued of store for breed.”–_Edward Haies in Hakluyt’s Voyages_, London, ed. 1810. Vol. III. p. 197.

20. “Loups marins,” seals.

21. “The forty poor wretches whom he left on Sable Island found on the seashore some wrecks of vessels, out of which they built barracks to shield themselves from the severity of the weather. They were the remains of Spanish vessels, which had sailed to settle Cape Breton. From these same ships had come some sheep and cattle, which had multiplied on Sable Island; and this was for some time a resource for these poor exiles. Fish was their next food; and, when their clothes were worn out, they made new ones of seal-skin. At last, after a lapse of seven years, the king, having heard of their adventure, obliged Chedotel, the pilot, to go for them; but he found only twelve, the rest having died of their hardships. His majesty desired to see those, who returned in the same guise as found by Chedotel, covered with seal-skin, with their hair and beard of a length and disorder that made them resemble the pretended river-gods, and so disfigured as to inspire horror. The king gave them fifty crowns apiece, and sent them home released from all process of law.”–_Shea’s Charlevoix_, New York, 1866, Vol. I. p. 244. See also _Sir William Alexander and American Colonization_, Prince Society, 1873, p. 174; _Murdoch’s Nova Scotia_, Vol. I. p. 11; _Hakluyt_, Vol. II. pp. 679. 697.

22. This cape still bears the same name, and is the western point of the bay at the mouth of a river, likewise of the same name, in the county of Lunenberg, Nova Scotia. It is an abrupt cliff, rising up one hundred and fifty feet above the level of the sea. It could therefore be seen at a great distance, and appears to have been the first land sighted by them on the coast of La Cadie. A little north of Havre de Grâce, in Normandy, the port from which De Monts and Champlain had sailed, is to be seen the high, commanding, rocky bluff, known as _Cap de la Hève_. The place which they first sighted, similar at least in some respects, they evidently named after this bold and striking headland, which may, perhaps, have been the last object which they saw on leaving the shores of France. The word _Hève_ seems to have had a local meaning, as may be inferred from the following excerpt: “A name, in Lower Normandy, for cliffs hollowed out below, and where fishermen search for crabs.”– _Littré_. The harbor delineated on Champlain’s local map is now called Palmerston Bay, and is at the mouth of Petit River. The latitude of this harbor is about 44° 15′. De Laet’s description is fuller than that of Champlain or Lescarbot.–_Vide Novus Orbis_, 1633, p. 51.

23. Liverpool, which for a long time bore the name of Port Rossignol; the lake at the head of the river, about ten miles long and two or three wide, the largest in Nova Scotia, still bears that appellation. The latitude is 44° 2′ 30″.

24. “Lequel ils appelèrent _Le Port du Mouton_, à l’occasion d’un mouton qui s’estant nové revint à bord, et fut mangé de bonne guerre.”– _Histoire de la Nouvelle-France_, par Marc Lescarbot, Paris, 1612, Qvat. Liv. p. 449. It still bears the name of Port Mouton, and an island in the bay is called Mouton Island.

25. _Baye de Toutes-isles_. Lescarbot calls it “La Baye des Iles:” and Charlevoix, “Baye de toutes les Isles.” It was the bay, or rather the waters, that stretch along the shores of Halifax County, between Owl’s Head and Liscomb River.

26. The confiscated provisions taken in the vessels of the Basque fur-traders and in that of Rossignol were, according to Lescarbot, found very useful. De Monts had given timely notice of his monopoly; and, whether it had reached them or not, they were doubtless wrong in law. Although De Monts treated them with gentleness, nevertheless it is not unlikely that a compromise would have been better policy than an entire confiscation of their property, as these Basques afterwards, on their return to France, gave him serious inconvenience. They were instrumental mainly in wresting from him his charter of La Cadie.

27. _Le Port du Cap Negré_. This port still bears the name of Negro Harbor. It is situated at the mouth of the Clyde, the small river referred to in the text.

28. Near Cape Sable Island, at what is now known as Barrington Harbor.

29. This is still called Cape Sable, and is the southern point of Sable Island, or, more properly, the cluster of rock, and islets that surround its southern extremity.

30. _Isle aux Cormorans_. It is difficult to distinguish with certainty the island here referred to, but it was probably Hope Island, as this lies directly in their way in crossing the bay, six leagues wide, which is now known as Townsend Bay. The bird here mentioned was the common cormorant. _Graculus carbo_, of a glossy greenish-black color, back and wings bronzy-gray; about three feet in length, and is common on our northern Atlantic coast: eminently gregarious, particularly in the breeding season, congregating in vast flocks. At the present time, it breeds in great numbers in Labrador and Newfoundland, and in the winter migrates as far south as the Middle States. They feed principally upon fish, lay commonly two eggs, of a pale greenish color, overlaid with a white chalky substance.–_Vide Cones’s Key to Nor. Am. Birds_. Boston, 1872. p. 302.

31. A cluster of islands now known as the Tousquet or Tusket Islands. Further on, Champlain says they named them _Isles aux loups marins_. Sea-Wolf Islands. About five leagues south of them is an island now called Seal Island. The four more which he saw a little further on were probably in Townsend Bay.

32. This is the Auk, family _Alcidae_, and must not be confounded with the penguin of the southern hemisphere, although it is described by the early navigators of the Northern Atlantic under that appellation. In Anthony Parkhurst’s letter to Hakluyt, 1578, he says: “These birds are also called Penguins, and cannot flie, there is more meate in one of these then in a goose: the Frenchmen that fish neere the grand baie, do bring small store of flesh with them, but victuall themselves alwayes with these birds.”–_Hakluyt_, London, ed. 1810, Vol. III. p. 172. Edward Haies, in his report of the voyage of Sir Humphrey Gilbert in 1583, say’s: “We had sight of an Island named Penguin, of a foule there breeding in abundance, almost incredible, which cannot flie, their wings not able to carry their body, being very large (not much lesse then a goose), and exceeding fat: which the Frenchmen use to take without difficulty upon that Island, and to barrell them up with salt.” _Idem_, p. 191.

The Auk is confined to the northern hemisphere, where it represents the penguins of the southern. Several species occur in the Northern Atlantic in almost incredible numbers: they are all marine, feed on fish and other animal substances exclusively, and lay from one to three eggs on the bare rocks. Those seen by Champlain and other early navigators were the Great Auk. _Alca impennis_, now nearly extinct. It was formerly found on the coast of New England, as is proved not only by the testimony of the primitive explorers, but by the remains found in shell-heaps. The latest discovery was of one found dead near St. Augustine, in Labrador, in 1870. A specimen of the Great Auk is preserved in the Cambridge Museum.–_Vide Coues’s Key to North Am. Birds_, Boston, 1872. p. 338.

33. The sea-wolf or _loup marin_ of Champlain is the marine mammiferous quadruped of the family Phocidae, known as the seal. Sea-wolf was a name applied to it by the early navigators.–_Vide Purchas’s Pilgrims_, London, 1625. Vol. IV. p. 1385. Those here mentioned were the common seal, _Phoca vitulina_, which are still found on the coasts of Nova Scotia, vulgarly known as the harbor seal. They are thinly distributed as far south as Long Island Sound, but are found in great numbers in the waters of Labrador and Newfoundland, where they are taken for the oil obtained from them, and for the skins, which are used for various purposes in the arts.

34. The names given to these birds were such, doubtless, as were known to belong to birds similar in color, size, and figure in Europe. Some of them were probably misapplied. The name alone is not sufficient for identification.

35. This cape, near the entrance to Yarmouth, still bears the same name, from _fourchu_, forked. On a map of 1755, it is called Forked Cape, and near it is Fork Ledge and Forked Harbor.–_Memorials of English and French Commissaries_, London, 1755.

36. It still retains the name given to it by Champlain. It forms a part of the western limit of St. Mary’s Bay, and a line drawn from it to the St. Croix, cutting the Grand Manan, would mark the entrance of the Bay of Fundy.

37. The Bay of Fundy was thus first named “Baye Françoise” by De Monts, and continued to be so called, as will appear by reference to the early maps, as that of De Laet, 1633; Charlevoix, 1744; Rouge, 1778. It first appears distinctly on the carte of Diego Homem of 1558, but without name. On Cabot’s Mappe-Monde, in “Monuments de la Géographie,” we find _rio fondo_, which may represent the Bay of Fundy, and may have suggested the name adopted by the English, which it still retains. Sir William Alexander’s map, 1624, has Argal’s Bay; Moll’s map, 1712, has Fundi Bay; that of the English and French Commissaries, 1755, has Bay of Fundy, or Argal.

38. This strait, known by the name Petit Passage, separates Long Island from Digby Neck.

39. A place called Little River, on Digby Neck.

40. Now known as Sandy Cove.

41. Lescarbot says of this iron mine, and of the silver mine above, that they were proved not to be abundant.

42. This was probably near Rossway.

43. This was clearly Smith Creek or Smelt River, which rises near Annapolis Basin, or the Port Royal Basin of the French.

44. He here doubtless refers to North Creek, at the north-eastern extremity of St. Mary’s Bay.

45. Now Weymouth Harbor, on the south-eastern shore of St. Mary’s Bay, at the mouth of Sissibou River, and directly opposite Sandy Cove, near the iron mine mentioned above.

46. The distance across the bay at this point, as here stated, is nearly accurate.

47. This is clearly a mistake; the true latitude at the Petit Passage is 44° 23′. It may here be remarked that Champlain’s latitudes are very inaccurate, often varying more than half a degree; doubtless owing to the imperfection of the instruments which were employed in taking them.

48. They had been occupied in this exploration about three weeks, Lescarbot says a month, but this is an overstatement. By a careful examination of the text, it will appear that they departed from Port Mouton on the 19th of May, and that several days after their return, not less than nine, they were again in St. Mary’s Bay, on the 16th of June. They had been absent, therefore, about twenty-one days. The latitude of Port Mouton, stated a little below to be 44°, is in fact 43° 57′.

49. This bay, still retaining its ancient appellation, was so named by Champlain on his first visit. “Ceste baye fut nommée la baye Saincte Marie.”–_Champlain’s Voyages_, 1632, Quebec ed., Vol. V. p. 716.

50. Nicholas Aubry, a young Parisian of good family, “vn certain homme d’Église,” as Lescarbot says, probably not long in holy orders, had undertaken this voyage with De Monts to gratify his desire to see the New World, though quite against the wishes of his friends, who had sent in vain to Honfleur to prevent his embarkation. After the search made by De Monts, with the sounding of trumpets and the discharge of cannon, they left St. Mary’s Bay, having given up all expectation of his recovery. Some two weeks afterward, an expedition was Sent out to St. Mary’s Bay, conducted by De Champdoré, an experienced pilot, with a mineralogist, to search for silver and iron ore. While Some of the party were on a fishing excursion, they rescued him, as stated in the text. The safe return of the young and too venturesome ecclesiastic gave great relief to De Monts, as Lescarbot says a Protestant was charged to have killed him, because they quarrelled sometimes about their religion.–_Vide Histoire de Nouvelle-France_, par Mare Lescarbot, Paris, 1612, Qvat. Liv. p. 453.

51. The partridge-berry, Mitchella, a trailing evergreen, bearing scarlet berries, edible but nearly tasteless, which remain through the winter. It is peculiar to America, and this is probably the first time it was noticed by any historical writer.

52. He was on the western side of Digby Neck, at its southern extremity, near the Petit Passage on the shore of the Bay of Fundy.



Some days after, Sieur de Monts decided to go and examine the coasts of Baye Françoise. For this purpose, he set out from the vessel on the 16th of May,[53] and we went through the strait of Long Island.[54] Not having found in St. Mary’s Bay any place in which to fortify ourselves except at the cost of much time, we accordingly resolved to see whether there might not be a more favorable one in the other bay. Heading north-east six leagues, there is a cove where vessels can anchor in four, five, six, and seven fathoms of water. The bottom is sandy. This place is only a kind of roadstead.[55] Continuing two leagues farther on in the same direction, we entered one of the finest harbors I had seen along all these coasts, in which two thousand vessels might lie in security. The entrance is eight hundred paces broad; then you enter a harbor two leagues long and one broad, which I have named Port Royal.[56] Three rivers empty into it, one of which is very large, extending eastward, and called Rivière de l’Équille,[57] from a little fish of the size of an _esplan?_, which is caught there in large numbers, as is also the herring, and several other kinds of fish found in abundance in their season. This river is nearly a quarter of a league broad at its entrance, where there is an island [58] perhaps half a league in circuit, and covered with wood like all the rest of the country, as pines, firs, spruces, birches, aspens, and some oaks, although the latter are found in small numbers in comparison with the other kinds. There are two entrances to the above river, one on the north, the other on the south side of the island. That on the north is the better, and vessels can there anchor under shelter of the island in five, six, seven, eight, and nine fathoms. But it is necessary to be on one’s guard against some shallows near the island on the one side, and the main land on the other, very dangerous, if one does not know the channel.

* * * * *



_The figures indicate fathoms of water_.

_A_. Place where vessels lie.
_B_. Place where we made our camp.
_C_. A pond.
_D_. An island at the entrance to the harbor, covered with wood. _E_. A river very shallow.
_F_. A pond.
_G_. A very large brook coming from the pond F. _H_. Six little islands in the harbor.
_L_. Country, containing only copse and heath of very small size. _M_. Sea-shore.

NOTE.–The wanting letter L should probably be placed where the trees are represented as very small, between the letters B and the island F.

* * * * *

We ascended the river some fourteen or fifteen leagues, where the tide rises, and it is not navigable much farther. It has there a breadth of sixty paces, and about a fathom and a half of water. The country bordering the river is filled with numerous oaks, ashes, and other trees. Between the mouth of the river and the point to which we ascended there are many meadows, which are flooded at the spring tides, many little streams traversing them from one side to the other, through which shallops and boats can go at full tide. This place was the most favorable and agreeable for a settlement that we had seen. There is another island [59] within the port, distant nearly two leagues from the former. At this point is another little stream, extending a considerable distance inland, which we named Rivière St. Antoine. [60] Its mouth is distant from the end of the Bay of St. Mary some four leagues through the woods. The remaining river is only a small stream filled with rocks, which cannot be ascended at all on account of the small amount of water, and which has been named Rocky Brook. [61] This place is in latitude [62] 45°; and 17° 8′ of the deflection of the magnetic needle.

* * * * *



_The figures indicate fathoms of water_.

_A_. Our habitation. [Note: On the present site of Lower Granville.]

_B_. Garden of Sieur de Champlain.
_C_. Road through the woods that Sieur de Poutrincourt had made. _D_. Island at the mouth of Équille River. _E_. Entrance to Port Royal,
_F_. Shoals, dry at low tide.
_G_. River St. Antoine. [Note: The stream west of river St. Antoine is the Jogging River.]
_H_. Place under cultivation for sowing wheat. [Note: The site of the present town of Annapolis.]
_I_. Mill that Sieur de Poutrincourt had made. _L_. Meadows overflowed at highest tides. _M_. Équille River.
_N_. Seacoast of Port Royal.
_O_. Ranges of mountains.
_P_. Island near the river St. Antoine. _Q_. Rocky Brook. [Footnote: Now called Deep Brook.] _R_. Another brook. [Note: Morris River.] _S_. Mill River. [Note: Allen River.]
_T_. Small lake.
_V_. Place where the savages catch herring in the season. _X_. Trout brook. [Note: Trout Brook is now called Shäfer’s Brook, and the first on the west is Thorne’s, and the second Scofield’s Brook.] _Y_. A lane that Sieur de Champlain had made.

* * * * *

After having explored this harbor, we set out to advance farther on in Baye Françoise, and see whether we could not find the copper mine, [63] which had been discovered the year before. Heading north-east, and sailing eight or ten leagues along the coast of Port Royal,[64] we crossed a part of the bay Some five or six leagues in extent, when we arrived at a place which we called the Cape of Two Bays;[65] and we passed by an island a league distant therefrom, a league also in circuit, rising up forty or forty-five fathoms. [66] It is wholly surrounded by great rocks, except in one place which is sloping, at the foot of which slope there is a pond of salt water, coming from under a pebbly point, having the form of a spur. The surface of the island is flat, covered with trees, and containing a fine spring of water. In this place is a copper mine. Thence we proceeded to a harbor a league and a half distant, where we supposed the copper mine was, which a certain Prevert of St. Malo had discovered by aid of the savages of the country. This port is in latitude 45° 40′, and is dry at low tide. [67] In order to enter it, it is necessary to place beacons, and mark out a sand-bank at the entrance, which borders a channel that extends along the main land. Then you enter a bay nearly a league in length, and half a league in breadth. In some places, the bottom is oozy and sandy, where vessels may get aground. The sea falls and rises there to the extent of four or five fathoms. We landed to see whether we could find the mines which Prevert had reported to us. Having gone about a quarter of a league along certain mountains, we found none, nor did we recognize any resemblance to the description of the harbor he had given us. Accordingly, he had not himself been there, but probably two or three of his men had been there, guided by some savages, partly by land and partly by little streams, while he awaited them in his shallop at the mouth of a little river in the Bay of St. Lawrence.[68] These men, upon their return, brought him several small pieces of copper, which he showed us when he returned from his voyage. Nevertheless, we found in this harbor two mines of what seemed to be copper according to the report of our miner, who considered it very good, although it was not native copper.

* * * * *



_The figures indicate fathoms of water_.

_A_. A place where vessels are liable to run aground. _B_. A Small river.
_C_. A tongue of land composed of Sand. _D_. A point composed of large pebbles, which is like a mole. _E_. Location of a copper mine, which is covered by the tide twice a day. _F_. An island to the rear of the Cape of Mines. [Note: Now called Spencer’s Island. Champlain probably obtained his knowledge of this island at a subsequent visit. There is a creek extending from near Spencer’s Island between the rocky elevations to Advocate’s Harbor, or nearly so, which Champlain does not appear to have seen, or at least he does not represent it on his map. This point, thus made an island by the creek, has an elevation of five hundred feet, at the base of which was the copper mine which they discovered.–_Vide_ note 67.] _G_. Roadstead where vessels anchor while waiting for the tide. _H_. Isle Haute, which is a league and a half from Port of Mines. _I_. Channel.
_L_. Little River.
_M_. Range of mountains along the coast of the Cape of Mines.

* * * * *

The head [69] of the Baye Françoise, which we crossed, is fifteen leagues inland. All the land which we have seen in coasting along from the little passage of Long Island is rocky, and there is no place except Port Royal where vessels can lie in Safety. The land is covered with pines and birches, and, in my opinion, is not very good.

On the 20th of May,[70] we set out from the Port of Mines to seek a place adapted for a permanent stay, in order to lose no time, purposing afterwards to return, and see if we could discover the mine of pure copper which Prevert’s men had found by aid of the savages. We sailed west two leagues as far as the cape of the two bays, then north five or six leagues; and we crossed the other bay,[71] where we thought the copper mine was, of which we have already spoken: inasmuch as there are there two rivers, [72] the one coming from the direction of Cape Breton, and the other from Gaspé or Tregatté, near the great river St. Lawrence. Sailing west some six leagues, we arrived at a little river,[73] at the mouth of which is rather a low cape, extending out into the sea; and a short distance inland there is a mountain,[74] having the shape of a Cardinal’s hat. In this place we found an iron mine. There is anchorage here only for shallops. Four leagues west south-west is a rocky point [75] extending out a short distance into the water, where there are strong tides which are very dangerous. Near the point we saw a cove about half a league in extent, in which we found another iron mine, also very good. Four leagues farther on is a fine bay running up into the main land;[76] at the extremity of which there are three islands and a rock; two of which are a league from the cape towards the west, and the other is at the mouth of the largest and deepest river we had yet seen, which we named the river St. John, because it was on this saint’s day that we arrived there.[77] By the savages it is called Ouygoudy. This river is dangerous, if one does not observe carefully certain points and rocks on the two sides. It is narrow at its entrance, and then becomes broader. A certain point being passed, it becomes narrower again, and forms a kind of fall between two large cliffs, where the water runs so rapidly that a piece of wood thrown in is drawn under and not seen again. But by waiting till high tide you can pass this fall very easily. [78] Then it expands again to the extent of about a league in some places, where there are three islands. We did not explore it farther up.[79] But Ralleau, secretary of Sieur de Monts, went there some time after to see a savage named Secondon, chief of this river, who reported that it was beautiful, large, and extensive, with many meadows and fine trees, as oaks, beeches, walnut-trees, and also wild grapevines. The inhabitants of the country go by this river to Tadoussac, on the great river St. Lawrence, making but a short portage on the journey. From the river St. John to Tadoussac is sixty-five leagues.[80] At its mouth, which is in latitude 45° 40′, there is an iron mine.[81]

* * * * *



_The figures indicate fathoms of water_.

_A_. Three islands above the falls. [Note: The islands are not close together as here represented. One is very near the main land on one shore, and two on the other.]
_B_. Mountains rising up from the main land, two leagues south of the river.
_C_. The fall in the river.
_D_. Shoals where vessels, when the tide is out, are liable to run aground. _E_. Cabin where the savages fortify themselves. _F_. A pebbly point where there is a cross. _G_. An island at the entrance of the river. [Note: Partridge Island.] _H_. A Small brook coming from a little pond. [Note: Mill Pond.] _I_. Arm of the sea dry at low tide. [Note: Marsh Creek, very shallow but not entirely dry at low tide.]
_L_. Two little rocky islets. [Note: These islets are not now represented on the charts, and are probably rocks near the shore from which the soil may have been washed away since 1604.] _M_. A small pond.
_N_. Two brooks.
_O_. Very dangerous shoals along the coast, which are dry at low tide. _P_. Way by which the savages carry their canoes in passing the falls. _Q_. Place for anchoring where the river runs with full current.

* * * * *

From the river St. John we went to four islands, on one of which we landed, and found great numbers of birds called magpies,[82] of which we captured many small ones, which are as good as pigeons. Sieur de Poutrincourt came near getting lost here, but he came back to our barque at last, when we had already gone to search for him about the island, which is three leagues distant from the main land. Farther west are other islands; among them one six leagues in length, called by the savages Manthane,[83] south of which there are among the islands several good harbors for vessels. From the Magpie Islands we proceeded to a river on the main land called the river of the Etechemins,[84] a tribe of savages so called in their country. We passed by so many islands that we could not ascertain their number, which were very fine. Some were two leagues in extent, others three, others more or less. All of these islands are in a bay,[85] having, in my estimation, a circuit of more than fifteen leagues. There are many good places capable of containing any number of vessels, and abounding in fish in the season, such as codfish, salmon, bass, herring, halibut, and other kinds in great numbers. Sailing west-north-west three leagues through the islands, we entered a river almost half a league in breadth at its mouth, sailing up which a league or two we found two islands: one very small near the western bank; and the other in the middle, having a circumference of perhaps eight or nine hundred paces, with rocky sides three or four fathoms high all around, except in one small place, where there is a sandy point and clayey earth adapted for making brick and other useful articles. There is another place affording a shelter for vessels from eighty to a hundred tons, but it is dry at low tide. The island is covered with firs, birches, maples, and oaks. It is by nature very well situated, except in one place, where for about forty paces it is lower than elsewhere: this, however, is easily fortified, the banks of the main land being distant on both sides some nine hundred to a thousand paces. Vessels could pass up the river only at the mercy of the cannon on this island, and we deemed the location the most advantageous, not only on account of its situation and good foil, but also on account of the intercourse which we proposed with the savages of these coasts and of the interior, as we should be in the midst of them. We hoped to pacify them in the course of time, and put an end to the wars which they carry on with one another, so as to derive service from them in future, and convert them to the Christian faith. This place was named by Sieur de Monts the Island of St. Croix. [86] Farther on, there is a great bay, in which are two islands, one high and the other flat; also three rivers, two of moderate size, one extending towards the east, the other towards the north, and the third of large size, towards the west. The latter is that of the Etechemins, of which we spoke before. Two leagues up this there is a waterfall, around which the savages carry their canoes some five hundred paces by land, and then re-enter the river. Passing afterwards from the river a short distance overland, one reaches the rivers Norumbegue and St. John. But the falls are impassable for vessels, as there are only rocks and but four or five feet of water.[87] In May and June, so great a number of herring and bass are caught there that vessels could be loaded with them. The soil is of the finest sort, and there are fifteen or twenty acres of cleared land, where Sieur de Monts had some wheat sown, which flourished finely. The savages come here sometimes five or six weeks during the fishing Season. All the rest of the country consists of very dense forests. If the land were cleared up, grain would flourish excellently. This place is in latitude 45° 20′,[88] and 17° 32′ of the deflection of the magnetic needle.

* * * * *



_The figures indicate fathoms of water_.

_A_. A plan of our habitation.
_B_. Gardens.
_C_. Little islet serving as a platform for cannon. [Note: This refers to the southern end of the island, which was probably separated at high tide, where a cannon may be seen in position.] _D_. Platform where cannon were placed.
_E_. The Cemetery.
_F_. The Chapel.
_G_. Rocky shoals about the Island Sainte Croix. _H_. A little islet. [Note: Little De Monts’s Island, Sometimes called Little Dochet’s Island.]
_I_. Place where Sieur de Monts had a water-mill commenced. _L_. Place where we made our coal.
_M_. Gardens on the western shore.
_N_. Other gardens on the eastern shore. _O_. Very large and high mountain on the main land. [Note: This “mountain” is now called Chamcook Hill. Its height is 627 feet. At the northern end of the island on the right there is an extensive sandy shoal, dry at low tide, of a triangular shape as formerly, and has apparently changed very little since the days of Champlain.] _P_. River of the Etechemins flowing about the Island of St. Croix.

* * * * *


53. For May read June. It could not have been in May, since Champlain Set out from Port Mouton on his exploring expedition on the 19th of May, which must have been a month previous to this.

54. What is now called the Petit Passage, the narrow strait between Long Island and Digby Neck.

55. Gulliver’s Hole, about two leagues south-west of Digby Strait.

56. Champlain here names the whole harbor or basin Port Royal, and not the place of habitation afterward so called. The first settlement was on the north side of the bay in the present hamlet of Lower Granville, not as often alleged at Annapolis.–_Vide_ Champlain’s engraving or map of Port Royal.

57. “Équille.” A name, on the coasts between Caen and Havre, of the fish called lançon at Granville and St. Malo, a kind of malacopterygious fish living on sandy shores and hiding in the sand at low tide.– _Littré_. A species of sand eel. This stream is now known as the Annapolis River. Lescarbot calls it Rivière du Dauphin.

58. This island is situated at the point where the Annapolis River flows into the bay, or about nine miles from Digby, straight. Champlain on his map gives it no name, but Lescarbot calls it Biencourville. It is now called Goat Island.

59. Lescarbot calls it Claudiane. It is now known as Bear Island. It was Sometimes called Ile d’Hébert, and likewise Imbert Island. Laverdière suggests that the present name is derived from the French pronunciation of the last syllable of Imbert.

60. At present known as Bear River; Lescarbot has it Hebert, and Charlevoix, Imbert.

61. On modern maps called Moose River, and sometimes Deep Brook. It is a few miles east of Bear River.

62. The latitude is here overstated: it should be 44° 39′ 30″.

63. On the preceding year, M. Prevert of St. Malo had made a glowing report ostensively based on his own observations and information which he had obtained from the Indians, in regard to certain mines alleged to exist on the coast directly South of Northumberland Strait, and about the head of the Bay of Fundy. It was this report of Prevert that induced the present search.

64. Along the Bay of Fundy nearly parallel to the basin of Port Royal would better express the author’s meaning.

65. Cape Chignecto, the point where the Bay of Fundy is bifurcated; the northern arm forming Chignecto Bay, and the southern, the Bay of Mines or Minas Basin.

66. Isle Haute, or high island.–_Vide Charlevoix’s Map_. On Some maps this name has been strangely perverted into Isle Holt, Isle Har, &c. Its height is 320 feet.

67. This was Advocate’s Harbor. Its distance from Cape Chignecto is greater than that stated in the text. Further on, Champlain calls it two leagues, which is nearly correct. Its latitude is about 45° 20′. By comparing the Admiralty charts and Champlain’s map of this harbor, it will be seen that important changes have taken place since 1604. The tongue of land extending in a south-easterly direction, covered with trees and shrubbery, which Champlain calls a sand-bank, has entirely disappeared. The ordinary tides rise here from thirty-three to thirty-nine feet, and on a sandy shore could hardly fail to produce important changes.

68. According to the Abbé Laverdière, the lower part of the Gulf was sometimes called the Bay of St. Lawrence.

69. They had just crossed the Bay of Mines. From the place where they crossed it to its head it is not far from fifteen leagues, and it is about the same distance to Port Royal, from which he may here estimate the distance inland.

70. Read June.–_Vide antea_, note 53.

71. Chignecto Bay. Charlevoix has Chignitou _ou Beau Bassin_. On De Laet’s Map of 1633, on Jacob von Meur’s of 1673, and Homenn’s of 1729, we have B. de Gennes. The Cape of Two Bays was Cape Chignecto.

72. The rivers are the Cumberland Basin with its tributaries coming from the east, and the Petitcoudiac (_petit_ and _coude_, little elbow, from the angle formed by the river at Moncton, called the Bend), which flows into Shepody Bay coming from the north or the direction of Gaspé. Champlain mentions all these particulars, probably as answering to the description given to them by M. Prevert of the place where copper mines could be found.

73. Quaco River, at the mouth of which the water is shallow: the low cape extending out into the sea is that on which Quaco Light now stands, which reaches out quarter of a mile, and is comparatively low. The shore from Goose River, near where they made the coast, is very high, measuring at different points 783, 735, 650, 400, 300, 500, and 380 feet, while the “low cape” is only 250 feet, and near it on the west is an elevation of 400 feet. It would be properly represented as “rather a low cape” in contradistinction to the neighboring coast. Iron and manganese are found here, and the latter has been mined to some extent, but is now discontinued, as the expense is too great for the present times.

74. This mountain is an elevation, eight or ten miles inland from Quaco, which may be seen by vessels coasting along from St. Martin’s Head to St. John: it is indicated on the charts as Mt. Theobald, and bears a striking resemblance, as Champlain suggests, to the _chapeau de Cardinal_.

75. McCoy’s Head, four leagues west of Quaco: the “cove” may be that on the east into which Gardner’s Creek flows, or that on the west at the mouth of Emmerson’s Creek.

76. The Bay of St. John, which is four leagues south-west of McCoy’s Head. The islands mentioned are Partridge Island at the mouth of the harbor, and two smaller ones farther west, one Meogenes, and the other Shag rock or some unimportant islet in its vicinity. The rock mentioned by Champlain is that on which Spit Beacon Light now stands.

77. The festival of St. John the Baptist occurs on the 24th of June; and, arriving on that day, they gave the name of St. John to the river, which has been appropriately given also to the city at its mouth, now the metropolis of the province of New Brunswick.

78. Champlain was under a missapprehension about passing the fall at the mouth of the St. John at high tide. It can in fact only be passed at about half tide. The waters of the river at low tide are about twelve feet higher than the waters of the sea. At high tide, the waters of the sea are about five feet higher than the waters of the river. Consequently, at low tide there is a fall outward, and at high tide there is a fall inward, at neither of which times can the fall be passed. The only time for passing the fall is when the waters of the sea are on a level with the waters of the river. This occurs twice every tide, at the level point at the flood and likewise at the ebb. The period for passing lasts about fifteen or twenty minutes, and of course occurs four times a day. Vessels assemble in considerable numbers above and below to embrace the opportunity of passing at the favoring moment. There are periods, however, when the river is swollen by rains and melting snow, at which the tides do not rise as high as the river, and consequently there is a constant fall outward, and vessels cannot pass until the high water subsides.

79. They ascended the river only a short distance into the large bay just above the falls, near which are the three islands mentioned in the text.

80. The distance from the mouth of the river St. John to Tadoussac in a direct line is about sixty-five leagues. But by the winding course of the St. John it would be very much greater.

81. Champlain’s latitude is inexact. St. John’s Harbor is 45° 16′.

82. _Margos_, magpies. The four islands which Champlain named the Magpies are now called the Wolves, and are near the mouth of Passamaquoddy Bay. Charlevoix has _Oiseaux_, the Birds.

83. Manan. Known as the Grand Manan in contradistinction to the Petit Manan, a small island still further west. It is about fourteen or fifteen miles long, and about six in its greatest width. On the south and eastern side are Long Island, Great Duck, Ross, Cheyne, and White Head Islands, among which good harborage may be found. The name, as appears in the text, is of Indian origin. It is Sometimes Spelled Menarse, but that in the text prevails.

84. The St. Croix River, sometimes called the Scoudic.

85. Passsmaquoddy Bay. On Gastaldo’s map of 1550 called Angoulesme. On Rouge’s “Atlas Ameriquain,” 1778, it is written Passamacadie.

86. The Holy Cross, _Saincte Croix_, This name was suggested by the circumstance that, a few miles above the island, two streams flow into the main channel of the river at the same place, one from the east and the other from the west, while a bay makes up between them, presenting the appearance of a cross.

“Et d’autant qu’à deux lieues au dessus il y a des ruisseaux qui viennent comme en croix de décharger dans ce large bras de mer, cette île de la retraite des François fut appelée SAINCTE CROIX.”–_His. Nouvelle France_ par Lescarbot, Paris. 1612, Qvat Liv. pp. 461, 462.

It is now called De Monts’s Island. It has been called Dochet’s Island and Neutral Island, but there is great appropriateness in calling it after its first occupant and proprietor, and in honor of him it has been so named with suitable ceremonies.–_Vide Godfrey’s Centennial Discourse_, Bangor, 1870, p. 20. The United States maintain a light upon the island, which is seventy-one feet above the level of the sea, and is visible twelve nautical miles. The island itself is moderately high, and in the widest part is one hundred and eighty paces or about five hundred and forty feet. The area is probably not more than six or seven acres, although it has been estimated at twice that. It may have been diminished in some slight degree since the time of Champlain by the action of the waves, but probably very little. On the southern extremity of the island where De Monts placed his cannon, about twenty-five years ago a workman in excavating threw out five small cannon-balls, one of which was obtained by Peter E. Vose, Esq., of Dennysville, Me., who then resided near the island, and was conversant with all the circumstances of the discovery. They were about a foot and a half below the surface, and the workman was excavating for another purpose, and knew nothing of the history of the island. At our solicitation, the ball belonging to Mr. Vose has recently been presented to the New England Historic Genealogical Society, of which he is a member. It is iron, perfectly round, two and a quarter inches in diameter, and weighs 22 oz. avoirdupois. There can be no reasonable doubt that these balls are relics of the little French colony of 1604, and probably the only memorial of the kind now in existence.

87. The description in the text of the environs of the Island of St. Croix is entirely accurate. Some distance above, and in view from the island, is the fork, or Divide, as it is called. Here is a meeting of the waters of Warwig Creek from the east, Oak Bay from the north, and the river of the Etechemins, now called the St. Croix, from the west. These are the three rivers mentioned by Champlain, Oak Bay being considered as one of them, in which may be seen the two islands mentioned in the text, one high and the other low. A little above Calais is the waterfall, around which the Indians carried their bark canoes, when on their journey up the river through the Scoudic lakes, from which by land they reached the river St. John on the east, or, on the west, passing through the Mettawamkeag, they reached the Norumbegue, or Penobscot River.

88. The latitude of the Island of St. Croix is 45° 7′ 43″.



Not finding any more suitable place than this island, we commenced making a barricade on a little islet a short distance from the main island, which served as a station for placing our cannon. All worked so energetically that in a little while it was put in a state of defence, although the mosquitoes (which are little flies) annoyed us excessively in our work. For there were several of our men whose faces were so swollen by their bites that they could scarcely see. The barricade being finished, Sieur de Monts sent his barque to notify the rest of our party, who were with our vessel in the bay of St. Mary, to come to St. Croix. This was promptly done, and while awaiting them we spent our time very pleasantly.

Some days after, our vessels having arrived and anchored, all disembarked. Then, without losing time, Sieur de Monts proceeded to employ the workmen in building houses for our abode, and allowed me to determine the arrangement of our settlement. After Sieur de Monts had determined the place for the storehouse, which is nine fathoms long, three wide, and twelve feet high, he adopted the plan for his own house, which he had promptly built by good workmen, and then assigned to each one his location. Straightway, the men began to gather together by fives and sixes, each according to his desire. Then all set to work to clear up the island, to go to the woods, to make the frame work, to carry earth and other things necessary for the buildings.

* * * * *



_The figures indicate fathoms of water_.

_A_. Dwelling of Sieur de Monts.
_B_. Public building where we spent our time when it rained. _C_. The storehouse.
_D_. Dwelling of the guard.
_E_. The blacksmith shop.
_F_. Dwelling of the carpenters.
_G_. The well.
_H_. The oven where the bread was made. _I_. Kitchen.
_L_. Gardens.
_M_. Other gardens.
_N_. Place in the centre where a tree stands. _O_. Palisade.
_P_. Dwellings of the Sieurs d’Orville, Champlain, and Champdoré. _Q_. Dwelling of Sieur Boulay, and other artisans. _R_. Dwelling where the Sieurs de Genestou, Sourin, and other artisans lived.
_T_. Dwelling of the Sieurs de Beaumont, la Motte Bourioli, and Fougeray. _V_. Dwelling of our curate.
_X_. Other gardens.
_Y_. The river surrounding the island.

* * * * *

While we were building our houses, Sieur de Monts despatched Captain Fouques in the vessel of Rossignol, [89] to find Pont Gravé at Canseau, in order to obtain for our settlement what supplies remained.

Some time after he had set out, there arrived a small barque of eight tons, in which was Du Glas of Honfleur, pilot of Pont Grave’s vessel, bringing the Basque ship-masters, who had been captured by the above Pont Gravé [90] while engaged in the fur-trade, as we have stated. Sieur de Monts received them civilly, and sent them back by the above Du Glas to Pont Gravé, with orders for him to take the vessels he had captured to Rochelle, in order that justice might be done. Meanwhile, work on the houses went on vigorously and without cessation; the carpenters engaged on the storehouse and dwelling of Sieur de Monts, and the others each on his own house, as I was on mine, which I built with the assistance of some servants belonging to Sieur d’Orville and myself. It was forthwith completed, and Sieur de Monts lodged in it until his own was finished. An oven was also made, and a handmill for grinding our wheat, the working of which involved much trouble and labor to the most of us, since it was a toilsome operation. Some gardens were afterwards laid out, on the main land as well as on the island. Here many kinds of seeds were planted, which flourished very well on the main land, but not on the island, since there was only sand here, and the whole were burned up when the sun shone, although special pains were taken to water them.

Some days after, Sieur de Monts determined to ascertain where the mine of pure copper was which we had searched for so much. With this object in view, he despatched me together with a savage named Messamoüet, who asserted that he knew the place well. I set out in a small barque of five or six tons, with nine sailors. Some eight leagues from the island, towards the river St. John, we found a mine of copper which was not pure, yet good according to the report of the miner, who said that it would yield eighteen per cent. Farther on we found others inferior to this. When we reached the place where we supposed that was which we were hunting for, the savage could not find it, so that it was necessary to come back, leaving the search for another time.

Upon my return from this trip. Sieur de Monts resolved to send his vessels back to France, and also Sieur de Poutrincourt, who had come only for his pleasure, and to explore countries and places suitable for a colony, which he desired to found; for which reason he asked Sieur de Monts for Port Royal, which he gave him in accordance with the power and directions he had received from the king. [91] He sent back also Ralleau, his secretary, to arrange some matters concerning the voyage. They set out from the Island of St. Croix the last day of August, 1604.


89. This was the vessel taken from Captain Rossignol and confiscated.– _Vide antea_, pp. 10, 12; also note 26.

90. Champlain and others often write only Pont for Pont Gravé. Lescarbot says Gravé was his surname.–_Vide Histoire de la Nou. Fran_., Paris, 1612, Qvat. Liv. p. 501. To prevent any confusion, we write it Pont Gravé in all cases.

91. De Monts’s charter provided for the distribution of lands to colonists. This gift to De Poutrincourt was confirmed afterwards by the king. We may here remark that there is the usual discrepancy in the orthography of this name. Lescarbot, De Laet, and Charlevoix write Poutrincourt. In his Latin epitaph, _vide Murdoch’s Nova Scotia_, Vol. I. p. 59, it is Potrincurtius, while Champlain has Poitrincourt. In Poutrincourt’s letter to the Roman Pontiff, Paul V., written in Latin, he says, _Ego Johannes de Biencour, vulgo De Povtrincovr a vitae religionis amator et attestor perpetuus_, etc. This must be conclusive for Poutrincourt as the proper orthography.–_Vide His. Nov. Fra._, par Lescarbot, Paris, 1612, p. 612.



After the departure of the vessels, Sieur de Monts, without losing time, decided to send persons to make discoveries along the coast of Norumbegue; and he intrusted me with this work, which I found very agreeable.

In order to execute this commission, I set out from St. Croix on the 2d of September with a patache of seventeen or eighteen tons, twelve sailors, and two savages, to serve us as guides to the places with which they were acquainted. The same day we found the vessels where Sieur de Poutrincourt was, which were anchored at the mouth of the river St. Croix in consequence of bad weather, which place we could not leave before the 5th of the month. Having gone two or three leagues seaward, so dense a fog arose that we at once lost sight of their vessels. Continuing our course along the coast, we made the same day some twenty-five leagues, and passed by a large number of islands, banks, reefs, and rocks, which in places extend more than four leagues out to Sea. We called the islands the Ranges, most of which are covered with pines, firs, and other trees of an inferior sort. Among these islands are many fine harbors, but undesirable for a permanent settlement. The same day we passed also near to an island about four or five leagues long, in the neighborhood of which we just escaped being lost on a little rock on a level with the water, which made an opening in our barque near the keel. From this island to the main land on the north, the distance is less than a hundred paces. It is very high, and notched in places, so that there is the appearance to one at sea, as of seven or eight mountains extending along near each other. The summit of the most of them is destitute of trees, as there are only rocks on them. The woods consist of pines, firs, and birches only. I named it Isle des Monts Déserts.[92] The latitude is 44° 30′.

The next day, the 6th of the month, we sailed two leagues, and perceived a smoke in a cove at the foot of the mountains above mentioned. We saw two canoes rowed by savages, which came within musket range to observe us. I sent our two Savages in a boat to assure them of our friendship. Their fear of us made them turn back. On the morning of the next day, they came alongside of our barque and talked with our savages. I ordered some biscuit, tobacco, and other trifles to be given them. These savages had come beaver-hunting and to catch fish, some of which they gave us. Having made an alliance with them, they guided us to their river of Pentegoüet, [93] so called by them, where they told us was their captain, named Bessabez, chief of this river. I think this river is that which several pilots and historians call Norumbegue, [94] and which most have described as large and extensive, with very many islands, its mouth being in latitude 43°, 43° 30′, according to others in 44°, more or less. With regard to the deflection, I have neither read, nor heard any one say any thing. It is related also that there is a large, thickly settled town of savages, who are adroit and skillful, and who have cotton yarn. I am confident that most of those who mention it have not seen it, and speak of it because they have heard persons say so, who knew no more about it than they themselves. I am ready to believe that some may have seen the mouth of it, because there are in reality many islands, and it is, as they say, in latitude 44° at its entrance. But that any one has ever entered it there is no evidence, for then they would have described it in another manner, in order to relieve the minds of many of this doubt.

I will accordingly relate truly what I explored and saw, from the beginning as far as I went.

In the first place, there are at its entrance several islands distant ten or twelve leagues from the main land, which are in latitude 44°, and 18° 40′ of the deflection of the magnetic needle. The Isle des Monts Déserts forms one of the extremities of the mouth, on the east; the other is low land, called by the savages Bedabedec, [95] to the west of the former, the two being distant from each other nine or ten leagues. Almost midway between these, out in the ocean, there is another island very high and conspicuous, which on this account I have named Isle Haute. [96] All around there is a vast number of varying extent and breadth, but the largest is that of the Monts Déserts. Fishing as also hunting are very good here; the fish are of various kinds. Some two or three leagues from the point of Bedabedec, as you coast northward along the main land which extends up this river, there are very high elevations of land, which in fair weather are seen twelve or fifteen leagues out at Sea. [97] Passing to the South of the Isle Haute, and coasting along the same for a quarter of a league, where there are some reefs out of water, and heading to the west until you open all the mountains northward of this island, you can be sure that, by keeping in sight the eight or nine peaks of the Monts Déserts and Bedabedec, you will cross the river Norumbegue; and in order to enter it you must keep to the north, that is, towards the highest mountains of Bedabedec, where you will see no islands before you, and can enter, sure of having water enough, although you see a great many breakers, islands, and rocks to the east and west of you. For greater security, one should keep the sounding lead in hand. And my observations lead me to conclude that one cannot enter this river in any other place except in small vessels or shallops. For, as I stated above, there are numerous islands, rocks, shoals, banks, and breakers on all sides, so that it is marvellous to behold.

Now to resume our course: as one enters the river, there are beautiful islands, which are very pleasant and contain fine meadows. We proceeded to a place to which the savages guided us, where the river is not more than an eighth of a league broad, and at a distance of some two hundred paces from the western shore there is a rock on a level with the water, of a dangerous character.[98] From here to the Isle Haute, it is fifteen leagues. From this narrow place, where there is the least breadth that we had found, after sailing some seven or eight leagues, we came to a little river near which it was necessary to anchor, as we saw before us a great many rocks which are uncovered at low tide, and since also, if we had desired to sail farther, we could have gone scarcely half a league, in consequence of a fall of water there coming down a slope of seven or eight feet, which I saw as I went there in a canoe with our savages; and we found only water enough for a canoe. But excepting the fall, which is some two hundred paces broad, the river is beautiful, and unobstructed up to the place where we had anchored. I landed to view the country, and, going on a hunting excursion, found it very pleasant so far as I went. The oaks here appear as if they were planted for ornament. I saw only a few firs, but numerous pines on one side of the river; on the other only oaks, and some copse wood which extends far into the interior.[99] And I will state that from the entrance to where we went, about twenty-five leagues, we saw no town, nor village, nor the appearance of there having been one, but one or two cabins of the savages without inhabitants. These were made in the same way as those of the Souriquois, being covered with the bark of trees. So far as we could judge, the Savages on this river are few in number, and are called Etechemins. Moreover, they only come to the islands, and that only during some months in summer for fish and game, of which there is a great quantity. They are a people who have no fixed abode, so far as I could observe and learn from them. For they spend the winter now in one place and now in another, according as they find the best hunting, by which they live when urged by their daily needs, without laying up any thing for times of scarcity, which are sometimes severe.

Now this river must of necessity be the Norumbegue; for, having coasted along past it as far as the 41° of latitude, we have found no other on the parallel above mentioned, except that of the Quinibequy, which is almost in the same latitude, but not of great extent. Moreover, there cannot be in any other place a river extending far into the interior of the country, since the great river St. Lawrence washes the coast of La Cadie and Norumbegue, and the distance from one to the other by land is not more than forty-five leagues, or sixty at the widest point, as can be seen on my geographical map.

Now I will drop this discussion to return to the savages who had conducted me to the falls of the river Norumbegue, who went to notify Bessabez, their chief, and other savages, who in turn proceeded to another little river to inform their own, named Cabahis, and give him notice of our arrival.

The 16th of the month there came to us some thirty savages on assurances given them by those who had served us as guides. There came also to us the same day the above named Bessabez with six canoes. As soon as the savages who were on land saw him coming, they all began to sing, dance, and jump, until he had landed. Afterwards, they all seated themselves in a circle on the ground, as is their custom, when they wish to celebrate a festivity, or an harangue is to be made. Cabahis, the other chief, arrived also a little later with twenty or thirty of his companions, who withdrew one side and enjoyed greatly seeing us, as it was the first time they had seen Christians. A little while after, I went on shore with two of my companions and two of our savages who served as interpreters. I directed the men in our barque to approach near the savages, and hold their arms in readiness to do their duty in case they noticed any movement of these people against us. Bessabez, seeing us on land, bade us sit down, and began to smoke with his companions, as they usually do before an address. They presented us with venison and game.

I directed our interpreter to say to our savages that they should cause Bessabez, Cabahis, and their companions to understand that Sieur de Monts had sent me to them to see them, and also their country, and that he desired to preserve friendship with them and to reconcile them with their enemies, the Souriquois and Canadians, and moreover that he desired to inhabit their country and show them how to cultivate it, in order that they might not continue to lead so miserable a life as they were doing, and some other words on the same subject. This our savages interpreted to them, at which they signified their great satisfaction, saying that no greater good could come to them than to have our friendship, and that they desired to live in peace with their enemies, and that we should dwell in their land, in order that they might in future more than ever before engage in hunting beavers, and give us a part of them in return for our providing them with things which they wanted. After he had finished his discourse, I presented them with hatchets, paternosters, caps, knives, and other little knick-knacks, when we separated from each other. All the rest of this day and the following night, until break of day, they did nothing but dance, sing, and make merry, after which we traded for a certain number of beavers. Then each party returned, Bessabez with his companions on the one side, and we on the other, highly pleased at having made the acquaintance of this people.

The 17th of the month I took the altitude, [100] and found the latitude 45° 25′. This done, we set out for another river called Quinibequy, distant from this place thirty-five leagues, and nearly twenty from Bedabedec. This nation of savages of Quinibequy are called Etechemins, as well as those of Norumbegue.

The 18th of the month we passed near a small river where Cabahis was, who came with us in our barque some twelve leagues; and having asked him whence came the river Norumbegue, he told me that it passes the fall which I mentioned above, and that one journeying some distance on it enters a lake by way of which they come to the river of St. Croix, by going some distance over land, and then entering the river of the Etechemins. Moreover, another river enters the lake, along which they proceed some days, and afterwards enter another lake and pass through the midst of it. Reaching the end of it, they make again a land journey of some distance, and then enter another little river, which has its mouth a league from Quebec, which is on the great river St. Lawrence. [101] All these people of Norumbegue are very swarthy, dressed in beaver-skins and other furs, like the Canadian and Souriquois savages, and they have the same mode of life.

The 20th of the month we sailed along the western coast, and passed the mountains of Bedabedec, [102] when we anchored. The same day we explored the entrance to the river, where large vessels can approach; but there are inside some reefs, to avoid which one must advance with sounding lead in hand. Our Savages left us, as they did not wish to go to Quinibequy, for the savages of that place are great enemies to them. We sailed some eight leagues along the western coast to an island [103] ten leagues distant from Quinibequy, where we were obliged to put in on account of bad weather and contrary wind. At one point in our course, we passed a large number of islands and breakers extending some leagues out to sea, and very dangerous. And in view of the bad weather, which was so unfavorable to us, we did not sail more than three or four leagues farther. All these islands and coasts are covered with extensive woods, of the same sort as that which I have reported above as existing on the other coasts. And in consideration of the small quantity of provisions which we had, we resolved to return to our settlement and wait until the following year, when we hoped to return and explore more extensively. We accordingly set out on our return on the 23d of September, and arrived at our settlement on the 2d of October following.

The above is an exact statement of all that I have observed respecting not only the coasts and people, but also the river of Norumbegue; and there are none of the marvels there which some persons have described. I am of opinion that this region is as disagreeable in winter as that of our settlement, in which we were greatly deceived. [104]


92. The natives called this island Pemetiq. _Isle que les Saunages appellent Pemetiq.–Vide Relation de la Nouvelle-France_, par F. Biard. 1616. Relations des Jésuites, Quebec ed. 1858. p. 44. When the attempt was made in 1613 to plant a colony there on the Marchioness de Guercheville, the settlement was named St. Sauveur. This island was also by the English called Mount Mansell. But the name given to it by Champlain has prevailed, and still adheres to it.

The description here given of the barrenness of the island clearly suggests the origin of the name. Desert should therefore be pronounced with the accent on the first syllable. The latitude of the most northern limit of the island is 44° 24′.

93. Penobscot. The name of this river has been variously written Pentagoet, Pentagwet, Pemptegoet, Pentagovett, Penobskeag, Penaubsket, and in various other ways. The English began early to write it Penobscot. It is a word of Indian origin, and different meanings have been assigned to it by those who have undertaken to interpret the language from which it is derived.

94. The Abbé Laverdière is of the opinion that the river Norumbegue was identical with the Bay of Fundy. His only authority is Jean Alfonse, the chief pilot of Roberval in 1541-42. Alfonse says; “Beyond the cape of Noroveregue descends the river of the said Noroveregue, which is about twenty-five leagues from the cape. The said river is more than forty leagues broad at its mouth, and extends this width inward well thirty or forty leagues, and is all full of islands which enter ten or twelve leagues into the sea, and it is very dangerous with rocks and reefs.” If the cape of Norumbegue is the present Cape Sable, as it is supposed to be, by coasting along the shores of Nova Scotia from that cape in a north-westerly direction a little more than twenty leagues, we shall reach St. Mary’s Bay, which may be regarded as the beginning of the Bay of Fundy, and from that point in a straight line to the mouth of the Penobscot the distance is more than forty leagues, which was the breadth of the Norumbegue at its mouth, according to the statement of Alfonse. The Abbé Laverdière is not quite correct in saying that the river Norumbegue is the same as the Bay of Fundy. It includes, according to Alfonse, who is not altogether consistent with himself, not only the Bay of Fundy, but likewise the Penobscot River and the bay of the same name, with its numerous islands. Alfonse left a drawing or map of this region in his Cosmography, which Laverdière had not probably seen, on which the Bay of Fundy and the Penobscot are correctly laid down, and the latter is designated the “_Rivière de Norvebergue_.” It is therefore obvious, if this map can be relied upon, that the river of Norumbegue was identical, not with the Bay of Fundy, but with the Penobscot, in the opinion of Alfonse, in common with the “plusieurs pilottes et historiens” referred to by Champlain.–_Vide copy of the Chart from the MS. Cosmography of Juan Alfonse_ in Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, in Mr. Murphy’s Voyage of Verrazzano, New York, 1875.

95. An indefinite region about Rockland and Camden, on the western bank of the Penobscot near its mouth, appears to have been the domain of the Indian chief, Bessabez, and was denominated Bedabedec. The Camden Hills were called the mountains of Bedabedec, and Owl’s Head was called Bedabedec Point.

You may also like: