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Picturesque Quebec : a sequel to Quebec past and present online

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This favourite resort of tourists is accessible by two modes of travel. We
would assuredly advise visitors, both on account of the striking objects
to be met with, to select the water route, going the land route on their
return; a small steamer plies daily, for a 10 cent fare, at stated hours,
from the Lower Town market place, touching at Sillery and skirting the
dark frowning cliffs of Cape Diamond, amidst the shipping, affording a
unique view of the mural-crowned city. After stopping five minutes at the
Sillery wharf, the steamer crosses over and lands its passengers nearly
opposite the R. C. Church of St. Romuald, which, with its frescoed ceiling
and ornate interior is one of the handsomest temples of worship round
Quebec. Vehicles are abundant at Levi and at St. Romuald; an hour's drive
will land the tourist on the weird and romantic brink of the
_Chaudière_, either by following the lower road on the beach, skirting the
adjoining highland, or taking the road on the heights.

"Although yielding in grandeur to Niagara and Montmorency, it possesses
features more interesting than either. The river, in its course of one
hundred miles over a rugged bed, full of rapids and falls, is here
narrowed to a width of between three hundred and four hundred feet, and is
precipitated over a height of about one hundred and thirty feet,
preserving the characteristic features of its _boiling_ waters, till
it mingles with the St. Lawrence. Hence it has received the appropriate
name of _Chaudière_ or _Caldron_. Instead of descending in one continuous
sheet, it is divided by large projecting rocks into three channels or
cataracts, which, however, unite before reaching the basin below. A
globular figure is imparted to the descending volumes of brilliant white
foam, in consequence of the deep excavations of the rocks, and the clouds
of spray produce in the sunshine a brilliant variety of prismatic colours.
The dark-green foliage of the dense forests that overhang the torrent on
both sides, forms a striking contrast with its snow-white foam.

"The wild diversity of rocks, the foliage of the overhanging woods, the
rapid motion, the effulgent brightness and the - deeply solemn sound of the
cataracts, all combine to present a rich assemblage of objects highly
attractive, especially when the visitor, emerging from the wood, is
instantaneously surprised by the delightful scene. Below, the view is
greatly changed, and the falls produce an additionally strong and vivid
impression.

"If strangers view the Falls from one side of the river only, the prospect
from the eastern shore is recommended as preferable.

"The Falls of Montmorency are not immediately surrounded by any rugged
scenery, calculated to strengthen and perpetuate the peculiar emotion
which is excited by the first glimpse of the cascade, but the dreary
wildness in the foliage of the encircling forest, the total absence of
every vestige of human improvement, and the tumultuous waves and commotion
and effulgence that incessantly occupy the mind and rivet the senses of
the beholder in the survey of the _Chaudière_, conjoined with the wider
expansion and larger quantity of water in the stream, in the opinion
of many visitors more than compensate for the greater elevation from which
the waters of the Montmorency are precipitated."

On returning to the town of Levi, the tourist, taking the upper road, may
visit the Falls of Etchemin, where have existed for close on a century,
the extensive saw mills of Sir John Caldwell. They are now owned by Henry
Atkinson, Esq.




APPENDIX

[See p. 4.]


_JACQUES CARTIER'S OFFICERS AND CREW._

_Liste de l'Équipage_ de Jacques Cartier, conservée dans les archives
de St. Malo, France - revue avec soin sur le _fac-similé_ par C. H.
Laverdière, Ptre., Bibliothécaire de l'Université Laval, 22 novembre,
1859.

Jacques Cartier, capne.
Thomas Fourmont, Me. de la nef.
Guille. Le breton Bastille, capne. et pilote du Galion.
Jacq. Maingar, me. du Galion.
Marc Jalobert, capne. et pilote du Courlieu.
Guille. de Marié, me. de Courlieu.
Laurent Boulain.
Estienne Nouel.
Pierre Esmery dict Talbot.
Michel Herué.
Estienne Reumevel.
Michel Audiepore.
Bertrande Samboste.
Richard Lebay, Faucamps.
Lucas père Sr., ou Lucas Jacq, Sr., Fammys.
François Guiteault, Apoticaire.
Georges Mabille.
Guillme. Sequart, charpentier.
Robin Le Fort.
Samson Ripault, barbier.
Françoys Guillet.
Guillme. Esnault, charpentier.
Jehan Dabin, charpentier.
Jehan Duuert.
Julien Golet.
Thomas Boulain.
Michel Philipot.
Jehan Hamel.
Jehan Fleury.
Guille. Guilbert.
Colas Barbe.
Laurens Gaillot.
Guille. Bochier.
Michel Eon.
Jean Anthoine.
Michel Maingard.
Jehan Margen.
Bertrand Apuril.
Giles Staffin.
Geoffrey Olliuier.
Guille. de Guernezé
Eustache Grossin.
Guillme. Allierte.
Jehan Ravy.
Pierres Marquier, trompet.
Guille. Legentilhomme.
Raoullet Maingard.
Françoys Duault.
Herué Henry.
Yvon Legal.
Anthoine Alierte.
Jehan Colas.
Jacq Poinsault.
Dom Guille. Le Breton.
Dom Antoine.
Philipe Thomas, charpentier.
Jacq. Duboys.
Julien Plantiruet.
Jehan Go.
Jehan Legentilhomme.
Michel Douquais, charpentier.
Jehan Aismery, charpentier.
Pierre Maingart.
Lucas Clauier.
Goulset Riou.
Jehan Jacq. de Morbihan.
Pierre Nyel.
Legendre Estienne Leblanc.
Jehan Pierres.
Jehan Commuyres.
Anthoine Desgranches.
Louys Donayrer.
Pierre Coupeaulx.
Pierres Jonchée.

_74 signatures; the subsequent seven signatures were added in the answer
to the Quebec Prize Historical Questions, submitted in_ 1879.

Jean Gouyon.
Charles Gaillot.
Claude de Pontbrians.
Charles de la Pommeraye.
Jean Poullet.
Philippe Rougemont.
De Goyelle.


"_JACQUES QUARTIER, THE PILOT._"

"Gerald, eleventh Earl of Kildare, was born on the 26th of February, 1525.
He was ten years of age at the time of his brother's arrest, and then
lying ill with the small-pox at Donore in the County Kildare. He was
committed to the care of his tutor, Thomas Leverous, who conveyed him in a
large basket into Offaly to his sister, Lady Mary O'Connor. There he
remained until he perfectly recovered. The misfortunes of his family had
excited great sympathy for the boy over the whole of Ireland. This made
the government anxious to have him in their power; and they endeavored
accordingly to induce O'Brien to surrender him to them. About the 5th of
March, 1540, Lady Eleanor O'Donnel, suspecting that it was the intention
of her husband to surrender Gerald to the English Government, resolved to
send him away. She engaged a merchant vessel of St. Malo which happened to
be in Donegal Bay, to convey a small party to the coast of Brittany.

"Bartholomew Warner, an agent of the English Government, sends the
following account of this transaction to Sir John Wallop, the English
Ambassador in France:

"'After ther departing from Yrlande they arryved at Murles (Morlaix) wher,
as he was well receyvyd of the Captayne, whiche leadde him throughe the
towne by the hande, wher he tarryed 3 or 4 days, and strayghtwayes, the
captayne sent word to Monsieur de Chattebriande off ther arrivying ther.
* * * * And from thens they came in the sayde shippe to Saynt Malo, where
he was also well receyvyd of them of the Town, and specially of Jacques
Quartier, the pilot, which your Lordship spake off at my being at
Rouene.'" - _The Earls of Kildare and their Ancestors, from_ 1057 _to_
1773, by the Marquis of Kildare. 3rd edition, pp. 179, 196.


_DISCOVERY OF THE REMAINS OF JACQUES CARTIER'S VESSEL, THE "PETITE
HERMINE."_

(_Note for pages 429-431-455._)

On the 25th of August, 1843, there was much commotion among the
antiquarians of our old city. Mr. Jos. Hamel, the city surveyor, had
thought it proper to call the attention of the Literary and Historical
Society to the remains of a vessel lying at the brook St. Michel, which
falls into the River St. Charles on the north bank about half way between
the General Hospital and old Dorchester Bridge. This vessel was supposed
to be the _Petite Hermine_, one of Jacques Cartier's vessels left by
him at the place where he wintered in 1535-6.

"The existence of this vessel had been known to persons frequenting the
place for a great many years. Part of it, the farthest out in the stream,
had been carried away for firewood or otherwise, and the forepart of the
vessel was covered with clay and earth from the adjoining bank to the
depth of six or seven feet. This was in great part removed, leaving the
keel and part of the planking and ribs visible. The vessel had been built
of large-grained oak, which was mostly in a good state of preservation,
although discolored, and the iron spikes and bolts were still strong. The
bolts in the keel, contrary to the usual practice, had been placed in from
below. This is the spot where Jacques Cartier, is supposed to have
wintered. The tide rises in the entrance of the brook, where the vessel
lies, about six or seven feet. This entrance forms a semi-circular cove,
on each side of which towards the St. Charles, the earth is elevated so as
to have the appearance of a breastwork; the bank to the west of the cove
is about eighteen feet high, and it was then covered with thick brush
which prevented its being fully examined. The distance of the place from
town is about one mile; the road is over the Dorchester Bridge and along
the north bank of the St. Charles." - (_Quebec Gazette_, August 30, 1843).

(_From the Quebec Gazette, 30th August_, 1843.)

"In the last number (August 25th, inst.,) of _Le Canadien_ there is
an article of deep interest to the Canadian antiquarian: The long agitated
question as to the _where_ or _whereabouts_ Jacques Cartier, on his second
voyage from France to this continent spent the winter of 1535-6; whether
at the embouchure of the river bearing his name emptying into the St.
Lawrence some ten or eleven leagues above Quebec, or in the little river
St. Charles to the north of and at the foot of the promontory on which
Quebec is built, is now, it would seem, about to be solved and
satisfactorily set at rest by the recent discovery of the remains of a
vessel, doubtless of European construction, supposed to be those of _La
Petite Hermine_, of about 60 tons burthen, one of the three (_La Grande
Hermine_, _La Petite Hermine_, and _L'Emerillon_), with which on the 19th
of May, 1535, that intrepid navigator left St. Malo.

The article alluded to, which we believe to be the work of the editor
himself (Mr. McDonald) of _Le Canadien_, logically establishes from
Jacques Cartier's narrative that the place of his wintering, or Sainte
Croix, as he named it, can be none other than the little river St.
Charles, as we now call it. "Coasting," says he, "the said island
(Orleans) we found at the upper end of it an expanse of water very
beautiful and pleasant, at which place there is a little river and bar
harbor with two or three fathoms of water, which we found to be a place
suitable for putting our vessels in safety. We called it _Ste. Croix_,
because on that day, (14th September) we arrived there. Near this place
there are natives, whose chief is Donnacona and who lives there, which
place is called Stadaconé," (now Quebec). Cartier observes in another part
of his narrative that _Sainte Croix_ was situate half a league from _and
to the north_ of Quebec. Again, speaking of the residence (Stadacone) of
Donnacona, he says, "_under which high land towards the north_ is the
river and harbour Sainte Croix, at which place we remained from the 15th
of September, to the 16th of May, 1536, where the vessels remained dry."

* * * * *

"We now translate from _Le Canadien_: - 'At the invitation of Mr. Jos.
Hamel, City Surveyor, Hon. Wm. Sheppard, the President, and (G. B.)
Faribault, Vice-President of the Literary and Historical Society of
Quebec, went with him on Saturday, the 19th instant, (1843) to visit the
place, and according to the position of the _debris_ of the vessel,
the nature of the wood it is composed of, and the character of the stones
(ballast) they found at the bottom, they were satisfied that all the
probabilities are in favor of Mr. Hamel's hypothesis.

"'On a report of this visit, the Council of the Literary and Historical
Society assembled on Monday last, and resolved on laying open the
_debris_, leaving it to Mr. Faribault, the Vice-President, to make,
with Mr. Hamel, the necessary arrangements for the execution. The members
of the Council having no funds at their disposal, that they can legally
apply to this purpose, have so far carried it on at their own expense.

"'Some valuable evidences of the ancient existence of this vessel have
been gathered. We shall speak of them in giving an account of the
exhumation in progress, under the direction of Messrs. Faribault and
Hamel. All those who can throw any light on the subject, either of their
own knowledge or by what they may have learnt by tradition, are earnestly
solicited to impart the same at the Office of _Le Canadien_.'

"Those gentlemen ought not to be allowed to carry on this work at their
sole expense. The country, the world, are interested in it. This continent
in 1535, from end to end one vast wilderness, the imagination can scarcely
figure to itself a more awful solitude than that in which, during the
winter of 1535-6 Cartier and his faithful followers, amidst savages in an
unknown country, during a Canadian winter, at a thousand leagues from
their native land, were buried in the dreary swamp (for it then must have
been little better) of _Sainte Croix_ now the beautiful valley of the
St. Charles, covered with cheerful cottages and a redundant population.
Look to-day from the Citadel of _Stadaconé_ in all directions north,
south, east, west, than which under heaven, there is not a more splendid
panorama, and think of what it was when Cartier and his comrades first
looked upon it. Contrast his landing on the flinty rock at the base of
Cape Diamond, the 14th September, 1535, and reception by a few gaping
savages, with that of the present Governor-General, Sir Charles Metcalfe;
amidst acclaiming thousands, on the 25th (Aug. 1843) - the manner of
passing a winter at Stadaconé in 1535-6 and at the same place in 1842-3.
What changes have the three centuries wrought! What recollections have
they left! And what changes will not the next three hundred years bring
about? More wonderful probably than those we admire to-day. But come what
may of that which men sometimes call great and glorious, nothing can
obliterate or eclipse the honors justly due to the memory of the
celebrated navigator and his comrades, who first "coasting the said island
(now Orleans) found at the end of it an expanse of water very beautiful
and pleasant, and a little bar harbour," ('hable,' as he calls it,) and
wintered there at about half a league northward of and under the highland
of Stadaconé."

"During the dismal winter Jacques Cartier must have passed in his new
quarters at _Ste. Croix_, he lost, by sickness contracted, it is said,
from the natives, but more probably from scurvy, twenty-five of his
men. This obliged him to abandon one of his three vessels (_La Petite
Hermine_ it is believed) which he left in her winter quarters, returning
with the two others to France. The _locale_ of the _débris_ or remains,
not only corresponds with the description given by Jacques Cartier of Ste.
Croix, but also with the attention and particular care that might be
expected from a skilful commander, in the selection of a safe spot in an
unknown region where never an European had been before him, for wintering
his vessels. They lie in the bottom of a small creek or gulley, known as
the _ruisseau St. Michel_, into which the tides regularly flow, on the
property of Charles Smith, Esq., on the north side of the St. Charles and
at about half a mile following the bends of the river above the site of
the old Dorchester Bridge. - They are a little up the creek at about an
acre from its mouth, and their position (where a sudden or short turn of
the creek renders it next to impossible that she should be forced out of
it by any rush of water in the spring or efforts of the ice,) evinces at
once the precaution and the judgment of the commander in his choice of the
spot. But small portions of her remaining timber (oak) are visible through
the mud, but they are bitumanised and black as ebony, and after reposing
in that spot 307 years, seem, as far as by chopping them with axes or
spades, and probing by iron rods or picks, can be ascertained, sound as
the day they were brought thither. The merit of the discovery belongs to
our fellow townsman, Mr. Joseph Hamel, the City Surveyor."

Quebec, 28th August, 1843.


_"LE CANON DE BRONZE." - THE BRONZE CANNON._

"A few years ago an ancient cannon of peculiar make, and supposed to have
been of Spanish construction, was found in the river St. Lawrence,
opposite the Parish of Champlain, in the District of Three Rivers. It is
now in the Museum of Mr. Chasseur, and will repay the visit of the curious
stranger. The ingenious writer of the Treatise upon this piece of
ordnance, published in the second volume of the TRANSACTIONS of the
Literary and Historical Society of Quebec, has endeavoured to show that it
belonged to Verazzani, - that the latter perished before the second voyage
of Jacques Cartier, either by scurvy or shipwreck, on his way up the river
towards Hochelaga. He also endeavors, with great stretch of fancy, to
explain and account for the pantomime enacted by the Indians in the
presence of Jacques Cartier, in order to dissuade him from proceeding to
Hochelaga so late in the season, by their recollection and allusion to the
death of Verazzani, some nine or ten years before. But if they had really
known anything respecting the fate of this navigator - and it must have
been fresh in their memory, if we recall to mind how comparatively short a
period had elapsed - is it not most likely that they would have found
means, through the two interpreters to communicate it to Cartier? Yet it
appears that the latter never so much as heard of it, either at Hochelai,
now the Richelieu, where he was on friendly terms with the chief of the
village - or at Hochelaga, where it must have been known - or when he
wintered at Ste. Croix, in the little river St. Charles - nor yet when he
passed a second winter at Carouge! The best evidence, however, that the
Indian pantomime had no reference to Verazzani, and to disprove at once
the truth of the tradition respecting his death in any part of the St.
Lawrence, is to show, which we shall do on good authority, that at the
very time when Cartier was passing the winter at Ste. Croix, Verazzani was
actually alive in Italy. From a letter of Annibal Caro, quoted by
Tiraboschi, an author of undoubted reputation, in the Storie della
Literature Italiana, Vol. VII. part I. pp. 261, 462, it is proved that
Verazzani was living in 1537, a year after the pantomime at Ste. Croix!

While on the subject of the Canon de Bronze it may be noted that
Charlevoix mentions also a tradition, that Jacques Cartier himself was
shipwrecked at the mouth of the river called by his name, with the loss of
one of his vessels. From this it has been supposed that the Canon de
Bronze was lost on that occasion; and an erroneous inscription to that
effect has been engraved upon it. In the first place the cannon was not
found at the mouth of the River Jacques Cartier, but opposite the Parish
of Champlain; in the next, no shipwreck was ever suffered by Jacques
Cartier, who wintered in fact at the mouth of the little river St.
Charles. The tradition as to his shipwreck, and to the loss of one of his
vessels, most probably arose from the well known circumstance of his
having returned to France with two ships, instead of three, with which he
left St. Malo. Having lost so many men by scurvy during his first winter
in Canada, he was under the necessity of abandoning one of them, which lay
in the harbour of Ste. Croix. The people of Champlain having possessed
themselves of the old iron to be found on the vessel, it of course soon
fell to pieces, and in process of time arose the tradition that Jacques
Cartier had been shipwrecked. The removal of the scene of his supposed
disaster from the St. Charles to the River Jacques Cartier. was an error
of Charlevoix.

Before we conclude this notice of Verazzani: it may be mentioned, that in
the Strozzi Library at Florence, is preserved a manuscript, in which he is
said to have given with great minuteness, a description of all the
countries which he had visited during his voyage, and from which, says
Tiraboschi, we derive the intelligence, that he had formed the design, in
common with the other navigators of that era, of attempting a passage
through those seas to the East Indies. It is much to be desired, that some
Italian Scholar would favor the world with the publication of this
manuscript of Verazzani."


[_See pages_ 71-72.]

_THE FRENCH WHO REMAINED IN QUEBEC AFTER ITS CAPITULATION TO THE BRITISH
IN 1629._

(_From the Canadian Antiquarian_)

In Canadian annals there is no period veiled deeper in Cimmerian darkness,
than the short era of the occupation of Quebec by the English under Louis
Kirke, extending from the 14th July 1629, to 13th July, 1632. The absence
of diaries, of regular histories, no doubt makes it difficult to
reconstruct, in minute details, the nascent city of 1629. Deep researches,
however, in the English and French archives have recently brought to the
surface many curious incidents. To the Abbé Faillon, who, in addition to
the usual sources of information had access to the archives of the
Propaganda at Rome, the cause of history is deeply indebted, though one
must occasionally regret his partiality towards Montreal which so often
obscures his judgment. Another useful source to draw from for our
historians, will be found in a very recent work on the conquest of Canada
in 1629 by a descendant of Louis Kirke, an Oxford graduate, it is
published in England.

Those who fancy reading the present to the past, will be pleased to meet
in those two last writers a quaint account of the theological feud
agitating the Rock in 1629. Religious controversies were then, as now, the
order of the day. But bluff Commander Kirke had a happy way of getting rid
of bad theology. His Excellency, whose ancestors hailed from France, was a
Huguenot, a staunch believer in John Calvin. Of his trusty garrison of 90
men a goodly portion were calvinists, the rest, however, with the chaplain
of the forces, were disciples of Luther. The squabble, from theology,
degenerated into disloyalty to the constituted authorities, a conspiracy
was hatched to overthrow the Governor's rule and murder Kirke. His
Reverence the Lutheran minister was supposed to be in some way accessory
to the plot, which Kirke found means to suppress with a high hand, and His
Reverence, without the slightest regard to the cut of his coat, was
arrested and detained a prisoner for six months in the Jesuit's residence
on the banks of the St. Charles, near Hare Point, from which he emerged,
let us hope, a wiser, if not a better man. History has failed to disclose
the name of the Lutheran minister.

Elsewhere [332] we have furnished a summary of the French families who
remained in Quebec in 1629, after the departure of Champlain and
capitulation of the place to the British. Students of Canadian history are
indebted to Mr. Stanislas Drapeau, of Ottawa, for a still fuller account,
which we shall take the liberty to translate.

"Over and above the English garrison of Quebec, numbering 90 men, we can
make out that twenty-eight French remained. The inmates of Quebec that
winter amounted to 118 persons, as follows:

1. GUILLAUME HOBOU - Marie Rollet, his wife, widow of the late Louis
Hébert, Guillaume Hébert son of Louis Hébert.

2. GUILLAUME COUILLARD, son-in-law of the late Louis Hébert. - Guillemette
Hébert, his wife, Louise, aged four years, Marguerite, aged three years,
Louis, aged two years, their children.

3. ABRAHAM MARTIN. - Marguerite Langlois, his wife; Anne, aged twenty-five
years; Marguerite, aged five years; Hélène, aged two years, their
children.

4. PIERRE DESPORTES. - Francois Langlois, his wife; Hélène Langlois.

5. NICHOLAS PIVERT. - Marguerite Lesage, his wife; Marguerite Lesage, his
little neice; Adrien du Chesne, Surgeon.

NICOLET; FROIDEMOUCHE; LE COQ., carpenter; PIERRE ROY, of Paris, coach-
builder; ETIENNE BRUSLÉ, of Champigny, interpreter of the Hurons; NICOLAS
MARSOLAIS, of Rouen, interpreter of the Montagnais; GROS JEAN, of Dieppe,



Online LibraryJ.M. Le MoinePicturesque Quebec : a sequel to Quebec past and present → online text (page 47 of 59)