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grant of land around this basin, and determined to make his
home in so beautiful a spot. De Monts, whose charter was
revoked in 1607, gave up the project of colonizing Acadia,
whose history from that time is associated for years with the
misfortunes of the Biencourts, the family name of Baron de
Poutrincourt; but the hopes of this adventurous nobleman
were never realized. In 1613 an English expedition from
Virginia, under the command of Captain Argall, destroyed the
struggling settlement at Fort Royal, and also prevented the
establishment of a Jesuit mission on the island of Monts-
Deserts, which owes its name to Champlain. Acadia had
henceforth a checquered history, chiefly noted for feuds
between rival French leaders and for the efforts of the people
of New England to obtain possession of Acadia. Port Royal
was captured in 1710 by General Nicholson, at the head of an
expedition composed of an English fleet and the militia of
New England. Then it received the name of Annapolis
Royal in honour of Queen Anne, and was formally ceded with
all of Acadia " according to its ancient limits " to England by
the treaty of Utrecht.

It was not in Acadia, but in the valley of the St Lawrence,
that France made her great effort to establish her dominion in
North America. Samuel Champlain, the most famous man in
the history of French Canada, laid the foundation of the
present city of Quebec in the month of June, 1608, or three
years after the removal of the little Acadian colony from
St Croix Island to the basin of the Annapolis. The name
Quebec is now generally admitted to be an adaptation of an
Indian word, meaning a contraction of the river or strait, a
distinguishing feature of the St Lawrence at this important
point. The first buildings were constructed by Champlain on
a relatively level piece of ground, now occupied by a market-
house and close to a famous old church erected in the
days of Frontenac, in commemoration of the victorious repulse



TO Canada under British Rule. [CHAP.

of the New England expedition led by Phipps. For twenty-
seven years Champlain struggled against constantly accumu-
lating difficulties to establish a colony on the St Lawrence. He
won the confidence of the Algonquin and Huron tribes of
Canada, who then lived on the St Lawrence and Ottawa
rivers, and in the vicinity of Georgian Bay. Recognizing the
necessity of an alliance with the Canadian Indians, who con-
trolled all the principal avenues to the great fur-bearing regions,
he led two expeditions, composed of Frenchmen, Hurons, and
Algonquins, against the Iroquois or Confederacy of the Five
Nations 1 the Mohawks, the Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and
Senecas who inhabited the fertile country stretching from
the Genesee to the Hudson River in the present state of New
York. Champlain consequently excited against his own people
the inveterate hostility of the bravest, cruellest and ablest Indians
with whom Europeans have ever come in contact in America.
Champlain probably had no other alternative open to him than
to become the active ally of the Canadian Indians, on whose
goodwill and friendship he was forced to rely; but it is
also quite probable that he altogether underrated the ability
and bravery of the Iroquois who, in later years, so often
threatened the security of Canada, and more than once brought
the infant colony to the very verge of ruin.

It was during Champlain's administration of affairs that
the Company of the Hundred Associates was formed under
the auspices of Cardinal Richelieu, with the express object of
colonizing Canada and developing the fur-trade and other
commercial enterprises on as large a scale as possible. The
Company had ill-fortune from the outset. The first expedition
it sent to the St Lawrence was captured by a fleet commanded
by David Kirk, a gentleman of Derbyshire, who in the follow-
ing year also took Quebec, and carried Champlain and his

1 In 1715 the confederacy was joined by the Tuscaroras, a southern
branch of the same family, and was then called more properly the Six
Nations.



I.] The French Regime. 15341760. IT

followers to England. The English were already attempting
settlements on the shores of Massachusetts Bay ; and the poet
and courtier, Sir William Alexander, afterwards known as the
Earl of Stirling, obtained from the King of England all French
Acadia, which he named Nova Scotia and offered to settlers in
baronial grants. A Scotch colony was actually established for
a short time at Port Royal under the auspices of Alexander,
but in 1632, by the treaty of St Germain-en-Laye, both Acadia
and Canada were restored to France. Champlain returned to
Quebec, but the Company of the Hundred Associates had
been severely crippled by the ill-luck which attended its first
venture, and was able to do very little for the struggling colony
during the three remaining years of Champlain's life.

The Recollets or Franciscans, who had first come to the
country in 1615, now disappeared, and the Jesuits assumed
full control in the wide field of effort that Canada offered to
the missionary. The Jesuits had, in fact, made their appear-
ance in Canada as early as 1625, or fourteen years after two
priests of their order, Ennemond Masse and Pierre Biard, had
gone to Acadia to labour among the Micmacs or Souriquois.
During the greater part of the seventeenth century, intrepid
Jesuit priests are associated with some of the most heroic
incidents of Canadian history.

When Champlain died, on Christmas-day, 1635, tne French
population of Canada did not exceed 150 souls, all dependent
on the fur-trade. Canada so far showed none of the elements
of prosperity ; it was not a colony of settlers but of fur-traders.
Still Champlain, by his indomitable will, gave to France a
footing in America which she was to retain for a century and a
quarter after his death. His courage amid the difficulties that
surrounded him, his fidelity to his church and country, his
ability to understand the Indian character, his pure unselfish-
ness, are among the remarkable qualities of a man who stands
foremost among the pioneers of European civilization in
America.



12 Canada under British Rule. [CHAP.

From the day of Champlain's death until the arrival of the
Marquis de Tracy, in 1665, Canada was often in a most
dangerous and pitiable position. That period of thirty years
was, however, also distinguished by the foundation of those
great religious communities which have always exercised such
an important influence upon the conditions of life throughout
French Canada. In 1642 Montreal was founded under the
name of Ville-Marie by Paul Chomedey, Sieur de Maison
neuve, and a number of other religious enthusiasts. In 1659,
the Abbd de Montigny, better known to Canadians as Mon-
seigneur de Laval, the first Roman Catholic bishop, arrived in
the colony and assumed charge of ecclesiastical affairs under
the titular name of Bishop of Petnea. Probably no single man
has ever exercised such powerful and lasting influence on
Canadian institutions as that famous divine. Possessed of
great tenacity of purpose, most ascetic in his habits, regardless
of all worldly considerations, always working for the welfare
and extension of his church, Bishop Laval was eminently fitted
to give it that predominance in civil as well as religious affairs
which it so long possessed in Canada.

While the Church of Rome was perfecting its organization
throughout Canada, the Iroquois were constantly making raids
upon the unprotected settlements, especially in the vicinity of
Montreal. The Hurons in the Georgian Bay district were
eventually driven from their comfortable villages, and now the
only remnants of a powerful nation are to be found in the
community of mixed blood at Lorette, near Quebec, or on the
banks of the Detroit River, where they are known as Wyandots.
The Jesuit mission of Sainte-Marie in their country was broken
up, and Jean de Brebeuf and Gabriel Lalemant suffered torture
and death.

Such was the pitiable condition of things in 1663, when
Louis XIV made of Canada a royal government. At this time
the European population of Canada did not exceed 2500 souls,
grouped chiefly in and around Quebec, Three Rivers and



I.] The French Regime. 15341760 13

Montreal. In 1665 the Marquis de Tracy and Governor de
Courcelles, with a brilliant retinue of officers and a regiment of
soldiers, arrived in the colony, and brought with them con-
ditions of peace and prosperity. A small stream of immigration
flowed steadily into the country for some years, as a result of
the new policy adopted by the French government. The
Mohawks, the most daring and dangerous nation of the
Iroquois confederacy, were humbled by Tracy in 1667, and
forced to sue for peace. Under the influence of Talon, the
ablest intendant who ever administered Canadian affairs, the
country enjoyed a moderate degree of prosperity, although
trade continued entirely dependent on the orders and regula-
tions of the King and his officials.

Among the ablest governors of Canada was undoubtedly
Louis de la Buade, Count de Frontenac, who administered
public affairs from 16721687 and from 16891698. He
was certainly impatient, choleric and selfish whenever his
pecuniary interests were concerned; but, despite his faults of
character, he was a brave soldier, dignified and courteous on
important occasions, a close student of the character of the
Indians, always ready when the necessity arose to adapt
himself to their foibles and at the same time able to win their
confidence. He found Canada weak, and left it a power in
the affairs of America. He infused his own never-failing
confidence into the hearts of the struggling colonists on the
St Lawrence, repulsed Sir William Phipps and his New England
expedition when they attacked Quebec in 1690, wisely erected
a fort on Lake Ontario as a fur-trading post and a bulwark
against the Iroquois, encouraged the fur-trade, and stimulated
exploration in the west and in the valleys of the Ohio and the
Mississippi. The settlements of New England trembled at his
name, and its annals contain many a painful story of the
misery inflicted by his cruel bands of Frenchmen and Indians.

Despite all the efforts of the French government for some
years, the total immigration from 1663 until 1713, when the



14 Canada under British Rule. [CHAP.

great war between France and the Grand Alliance came
to an end by the treaty of Utrecht, did not exceed 6000
souls, and the whole population of the province in that year
was only 20,000, a small number for a century of colonization.
For some years after the formation of the royal government,
a large number of marriageable women were brought to the
country under the auspices of the religious communities, and
marriages and births were encouraged by exhortations and
bounties. A considerable number of the officers and soldiers
of the Carignan-Salieres regiment, who followed the Marquis de
Tracy into Canada, were induced to remain and settle new
seigniories, chiefly in palisaded villages in the Richelieu district
for purposes of defence against Iroquois expeditions. Despite
all the paternal efforts of the government to stimulate the
growth of a large population, the natural increase was small
during the seventeenth century. The disturbing influence, no
doubt, was the fur-trade, which allured so many young men
into the wilderness, made them unfit for a steady life, and
destroyed their domestic habits. The emigrants from France
came chiefly from Anjou, Saintonge, Paris and its suburbs,
Normandy, Poitou, Beauce, Perche, and Picardy. The Carignan-
Salieres regiment brought men from all parts of the parent
state. It does not appear that any number of persons ever
came from Brittany. The larger proportion of the settlers
were natives of the north-western provinces of France, especially
from Perche and Normandy, and formed an excellent stock on
which to build up a thrifty, moral people. The seigniorial
tenure of French Canada was an adaptation of the feudal
system of France to the conditions of a new country, and was
calculated in some respects to stimulate settlement. Ambitious
persons of limited means were able to form a class of colonial
noblesse. But unless the seignior cleared a certain portion of
his grant within a limited time, he would forfeit it all. The
conditions by which the censitaires or tenants of the seigniorial
domain held their grants of land were by no means burden-



I.] The French Regime. 1534 1760. 15

some, but they signified a dependency of tenure inconsistent
with the free nature of American life. A large portion of the
best lands of French Canada were granted under this seigniorial
system to men whose names frequently occur in the records of
the colony down to the present day ; Rimouski, Bic and Me"tis,
Kamouraska, Nicolet, Vercheres, Lotbiniere, Berthier, Belceil,
Rouville, Joliette, Terrebonne, Champlain, Sillery, Beaupre,
Bellechasse, Portneuf, Chambly, Sorel, Longueuil, Boucher-
ville, Chateauguay, Lachine, are memorials of the seigniorial
grants of the seventeenth century.

The whole population of the Acadian Peninsula in 1710-
13, was not more than 1500 souls, nearly all descendants of
the people brought to the country by Poutrincourt and his
successors Razilly and Charnisay. At no time did the French
government interest itself in immigration to neglected Acadia.
Of the total population, nearly 1000 persons were settled in
the beautiful country which the industry and ingenuity of the
Acadian peasants, in the course of many years, reclaimed from
the restless tides of the Bay of Fundy at Grand Pre and Minas.
The remaining settlements were at Beau Bassin, Annapolis,
Piziquit (now Windsor), Cobequit (now Truro), and Cape
Sable. Some small settlements were also founded on the banks
of the St John River and on the eastern bays of the present
province of New Brunswick.



SECTION 3. French exploration in the great valleys
of North America.

The hope of finding a short route to the rich lands of Asia
by the St Lawrence River and its tributary lakes and streams,
influenced French voyagers and explorers well into the middle
of the eighteenth century. When Carrier stood on Mount
Royal and saw the waters of the Ottawa there must have



1 6 Canada under British Rule. [CHAP.

flashed across his mind the thought that perhaps by this river
would be found that passage to the western sea of which he
and other sailors often dreamed both in earlier and later times.
Lescarbot tells us that Champlain in his western explorations
always hoped to reach Asia by a Canadian route. He was
able, however, long before his death to make valuable contri-
butions to the geography of Canada. He was the first
Frenchman to ascend the River of the Iroquois, now the
Richelieu, and to see the beautiful lake which still bears his
name. In 1615 he found his way to Georgian Bay by the
route of the Ottawa and Mattawa Rivers, Lake Nipissing and
French River. Here he visited the Huron villages which were
situated in the district now known as Simcoe county in the
province of Ontario. Father le Caron, a Recollet, had pre-
ceded the French explorer, and was performing missionary
duties among the Indians, who probably numbered 20,000 in
all. This brave priest was the pioneer of an army of faithful
missionaries mostly of a different order who lived for years
among the Indians, suffered torture and death, and connected
their names not only with the martyrs of their faith but also
with the explorers of this continent. From this time forward
we find the trader and the priest advancing in the wilderness ;
sometimes one is first, sometimes the other.

Champlain accompanied his Indian allies on an expedition
against the Onondagas, one of the five nations who occupied
the country immediately to the south of the upper St Lawrence
and Lake Ontario. The party reached Lake Ontario by the
system of inland navigation which stretches from Lake Simcoe
to the Bay of Quinte. The Onondagas repulsed the Canadian
allies who returned to their settlements, where Champlain
remained during the winter of 1616. It was during this
expedition, which did much to weaken Champlain's prestige
among the Indians, that J^tienne Brule, an interpreter, was
sent to the Andastes, who were then living about the head-
waters of the Susquehanna, with the hope of bringmg them to



I.] TJie French Regime. 15341760. i;

the support of the Canadian savages. He was not seen again
until 1618, when he returned to Canada with a story, doubtless
correct, of having found himself on the shores of a great lake
where there were mines of copper, probably Lake Superior.

With the new era of peace that followed the coming of the
Viceroy Tracy in 1665, and the establishment of a royal
government, a fresh impulse was given to exploration and
mission work in the west. Priests, fur-traders, gentlemen-
adventurers, coureurs de bois, now appeared frequently on the
lakes and rivers of the west, and gave in the course of years a
vast region to the dominion of France. As early as 1665
Father Allouez established a mission at La Pointe, the modern
Ashland, on the shores of Lake Superior. In 1668 one of the
most interesting persons who ever appeared in early Canada,
the missionary and explorer, Father Marquette, founded the
mission of Sainte-Marie on the southern side of the Sault,
which may be considered the oldest settlement of the north-
west, as it alone has a continuous history to the present time.

In the record of those times we see strikingly displayed
certain propensities of the Canadian people which seriously
interfered with the settlement and industry of the country.
The fur-trade had far more attractions for the young and
adventurous than the regular and active life of farming on the
seigniories. The French immigrant as well as the native
Canadian adapted himself to the conditions of Indian life.
Wherever the Indian tribes were camped in the forest or by
the river, and the fur-trade could be prosecuted to the best
advantage, we see the coureurs de bois, not the least picturesque
figures of these grand woods, then in the primeval sublimity of
their solitude and vastness. Despite the vices and weaknesses
of a large proportion of this class, not a lew were most useful
in the work of exploration and exercised a great influence
among the Indians of the West. But for these forest- rangers
the Michigan region would have fallen into the possession of
the English who were always intriguing with the Iroquois and
B. c. 2



1 8 Canada under British Rule. [CHAP.

endeavouring to obtain a share of the fur-trade of the west.
Joliet, the companion of Marquette, in his ever-memorable
voyage to the Mississippi, was a type of the best class of the
Canadian fur-trader.

In 1671 Sieur St Lusson took formal possession of the
Sault and the adjacent country in the name of Louis XIV. In
1673 Fort Frontenac was built at Cataraqui, now Kingston, as
a barrier to the aggressive movements of the Iroquois and an
entrepot for the fur-trade on Lake Ontario. In the same year
Joliet and Marquette solved a part of the problem which had
so long perplexed the explorers of the West. The trader and
priest reached the Mississippi by the way of Green Bay, the
Fox and Wisconsin Rivers. They went down the Mississippi
as far as the Arkansas. Though they were still many hundreds
of miles from the mouth of the river, they grasped the fact that
it must reach, not the western ocean, but the southern gulf first
discovered by the Spaniards. Marquette died not long after-
wards, worn out by his labours in the wilderness, and was
buried beneath the little chapel at St Ignace. Joliet's name
henceforth disappears from the annals of the West.

Re'ne Robert Cavelier, better known as the Sieur de la
Salle, completed the work commenced by the trader and
missionary. In 1666 he obtained a grant of land at the head
of the rapids above Montreal by the side of that beautiful
expanse of the St Lawrence, still called Lachine, a name first
given in derisive allusion to his hope of finding a short route to
China. In 1679 he saw the Niagara Falls for the first time,
and the earliest sketch is to be found in La Nouvelle Decou-
verle, written or compiled by that garrulous, vain, and often
mendacious Recollet Friar, Louis Hennepin, who accompanied
La Salle on this expedition. In the winter of 1681-82 this
famous explorer reached the Mississippi, and for weeks followed
its course through the novel and wondrous scenery of a southern
land. On the 9th of April, 1 682, at a point just above the mouth
of the great river, La Salle took formal possession of the



I.] The French Rtgime. 15341760. 19

Mississippi valley in the name of Louis XIV, with the same
imposing ceremonies that distinguished the claim asserted by
St Lusson at the Sault in the lake region. By the irony of
fate, La Salle failed to discover the mouth of the river when he
came direct from France to the Gulf of Mexico in 1685, but
landed somewhere on Matagorda Bay on the Texan coast,
where he built a fort for temporary protection. Finding his
position untenable, he decided in 1687 to make an effort to
reach the Illinois country, but when he had been a few days
on this perilous journey he was treacherously murdered by
some of his companions near the southern branch of Trinity
River. His body was left to the beasts and birds of prey.
Two of the murderers were themselves killed by their accom-
plices, none of whom appear ever to have been brought to
justice for their participation in a crime by which France lost
one of the bravest and ablest men who ever struggled for
her dominion in North America.

Some years later the famous Canadians, Iberville and Bien-
ville, founded a colony in the great valley, known by the name
of Louisiana, which was first given to it by La Salle himself. By
the possession of the Sault, Mackinac, and Detroit, the French
were for many years supreme on the lakes, and had full control
of Indian trade. The Iroquois and their English friends were
effectively shut out of the west by the French posts and settle-
ments which followed the explorations of Joliet, La Salle, Du
Luth, and other adventurers. Plans continued to be formed
for reaching the Western or Pacific ocean even in the middle of
the eighteenth century. The Jesuit Charlevoix, the historian of
New France, was sent out to Canada by the French govern-
ment to enquire into the feasibility of a route which Frenchmen
always hoped for. Nothing definite came out of this mission,
but the Jesuit was soon followed by an enterprising native of
Three Rivers, Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, generally called
the Sieur de la Verendrye, who with his sons ventured into the
region now known as the province of Manitoba and into the

2 2



20 Canada under British Rule. [CHAP.

lands lying farther west. He built several forts, including
one on the site of the city of Winnipeg. Two of his sons are
believed to have reached the Big Horn Range, an "outlying
buttress" of the Rocky Mountains, in 1743, and to have taken
possession of what is now territory of the United States. The
youngest son, Chevalier de la Ve'rendrye, who was the first
to see the Rocky Mountains, subsequently discovered the
Saskatchewan (Poskoiac) and even ascended it as far as the
forks the furthest western limits so far touched by a white
man in America. A few years later, in 1751, M. de Niverville,
under the orders of M. de St Pierre, then acting in the interest
of the infamous Intendant Bigot, who coveted the western fur-
trade, reached the foot-hills of the Rocky Mountains and built
a fort on the Saskatchewan not far from the present town of
Calgary.

We have now followed the paths of French adventurers for
nearly a century and a half, from the day Champlain landed
on the rocks of Quebec until the Verendryes traversed the
prairies and plains of the North-west. French explorers had
discovered the three great waterways of this continent the
Mississippi, which pours its enormous volume of water, drawn
from hundreds of tributaries, into a southern gulf; the
St Lawrence, which bears the tribute of the great lakes to the
Atlantic Ocean ; the Winnipeg, with its connecting rivers and
lakes which stretch from the Rocky Mountains to the
dreary Arctic sea. La Verendrye was the first Frenchman
who stood on the height of land or elevated plateau of the
continent, almost within sight of the sources of those great
rivers which flow, after devious courses, north, south and east.
It has been well said that if three men should ascend these
three waterways to their farthest sources, they would find



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