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CHAP. was selected to lead the expedition. His several

me voyages are of great moment; for they had a per1534.

manent effect in guiding the attention of France to April

the region of the St. Lawrence. It was in April,

that the mariner, with two ships, left the harbor of May St. Malo; and prosperous weather brought him in

twenty days upon the coasts of Newfoundland. Having almost circumnavigated the island, he turned to the south, and, crossing the gulf, entered the bay,

which he called des Chaleurs, from the intense heats July of mid-summer. Finding no passage to the west,

he sailed along the coast, and entered the smaller inlet of Gaspe. There, upon a point of land, at the entrance of the haven, a lofty cross was raised, bearing a shield, with the lilies of France and an appropriate inscription. Henceforth the soil was

to be esteemed a part of the dominions of the French Aug. king. Leaving the bay of Gaspe, Cartier entered

the great river of Canada, and sailed up its channel, till he could discern land on either side.

As he was Aug. unprepared to remain during the winter, it then be

came necessary to return; the little fleet embarked Sept. for Europe, and, in less than thirty days, entered the

harbor of St. Malo in security. His native city and France were filled with the tidings of his discoveries. The voyage



had been easy and successful. Even at

1 See Cartier's account in HIak- Compare Hakluyt, v. iii. p. 261, or luyt, v. iii. p. 250—262. Compare Belknap, v. i. p. 163. The excelCharlevoix, N. F.v.i. p. 8,9; Pur- lent annalist rarely is in error, even chas, v. i. p. 931 ; Ibid, v. iv. p. in minute particulars. He merits 1605; Belknap's Am. Biography, the gratitude of every student of v. i. p. 161–163.

American history. Purchas, v. i. 2 Holmes' Annals, v. i. p. 65. p. 931, edition of 1617, says:“He returned in April." Not so. “Francis I. sent thither James




this day, the passage to and fro is not often made CHAP. more rapidly or more safely.

Could a gallant nation, which was then ready to 1534. contend for power and honor with the united force of Austria and Spain, hesitate to pursue the career of discovery, so prosperously opened? The court lis- 1534. tened to the urgency of the friends of Cartier ;' a new commission was issued; three well furnished ships were provided by the king; and some of the young nobility of France volunteered to join the new expedition. Solemn preparations were made for departure; religion prepared a splendid pageant, previous to the embarkation; the whole company, repairing to the cathedral, received absolution and the bishop's blessing. The adventurers were eager 1535.

May to cross the Atlantic; and the squadron sailed for the New World, full of hopes of discoveries and plans of colonization in the territory, which now began to be known as New-France.3

It was after a stormy voyage, that they arrived within sight of Newfoundland. Passing to the west of that island, on the day of St. Law- 1535.

Aug. rence, they gave the name of that martyr to a portion of the noble gulf which opened before them ; a name which has gradually extended to the whole gulf, and to the river. Sailing to the north of Anticosti, they ascended the stream in September, as far as a pleasant harbor in the isle, since



Breton.” This person can be no 285. Compare Charlevoix, N. F. other than James Cartier, a Breton. v.i.p. 8–15; Belknap's American

1 Charlevoix, N. F. v. i. p. 9. Biog. v. i. p. 164–178. Purchas

2 See the original account of the is less copious. voyage in Hakluyt, v. iii. p. 262— 3 Hakluyt, v. iii. p. 285.


CHAP. called Orleans. The natives received them with

unsuspecting hospitality. Leaving his ships safely 1535. moored, Cartier, in a boat, sailed up the majestic

stream to the chief Indian settlement on the island of Hochelaga. The town lay at the foot of a hill, which he climbed. As he reached the summit, he was moved to admiration by the prospect before him of woods, and waters and mountains. Imagination presented it as the future emporium of inland commerce, and the metropolis of a prosperous province ; filled with bright anticipations, he called the hill Mont-Real,' and time, that has transferred the name to the island, is realizing his visions. Cartier also gathered of the Indians some indistinct account of the countries, now contained in the north of Vermont and New-York. Rejoining his ships, the winter, rendered frightful by the ravages of the scurvy, was passed, where they were anchored. At the approach of spring, a cross was solemnly erected upon land, and on it a shield was suspended, which bore the arms of France, and an inscription, declaring Francis to be the rightful king of these new found regions.

Having thus claimed possession of the territory, 1536. the Breton mariner returned to Europe, and once July

more entered St. Malo in security. 1536,

The description which Cartier gave of the country, 1540. bordering on the St. Lawrence, furnished arguments

against attempting a colony. The intense severity of the climate terrified even the inhabitants of the north of France; and no mines of silver and gold,


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1 [lakluyt, v. iii. p. 272.

2 Charlevoix, N. F. v. i. p. 20.







no veins, abounding in diamonds and precious stones, CHAP. had been promised by the faithful narrative of the am voyage. Three or four years, therefore, elapsed, before plans of colonization were renewed. Yet imagination did not fail to anticipate the establishment of a state upon the fertile banks of a river, which surpassed all the streams of Europe in grandeur, and flowed through a country, situated between nearly the same parallels as France. Soon after a short peace

had terminated the third desperate struggle between Francis I. and Charles V., attention to America was again awakened ; there were not wanting men at court, who deemed it unworthy a gallant nation to abandon the enterprize; and a nobleman of Picardy, Francis de la Roque, Lord of Roberval, a man of considerable provincial distinction, sought and obtained a commission. It was easy to confer 1540. provinces and plant colonies upon parchment; Roberval could congratulate himself on being the acknowledged lord of the unknown Norimbega, and viceroy, with full regal authority over the immense territories and islands, which lie near the gulf or along the river St. Lawrence. But the ambitious nobleman could not dispense with the services of the former naval commander, who possessed the confidence of the king; and Cartier also received a commission. Its terms merit consideration. He was appointed captain general and chief pilot of the

Jan. 15.

1540. Oct. 17.

1 Charlevoix, N. F.v. i. p. 20, 21. criticism. We follow the docuThe accounts which Charlevoix ments and the original accounts gives of this expedition, are too in Lescarbot and Hakluyt. full of errors, to require special 2 Hazard's Coll. v. i. p. 19–21. VOL. I.


CHAP. expedition; he was directed to take with him perI. sons of every trade and art; to repair to the newly 1540. discovered territory; and to dwell there with the natives.1 But where were the honest tradesmen and industrious mechanics to be found, who would repair to this New World? The commission gave Cartier full authority to ransack the prisons; to rescue the unfortunate and the criminal; and to make up the complement of his men from their number.2 Thieves or homicides, the spendthrift or the fraudulent bankrupt, the debtors to justice or its victims, prisoners rightfully or wrongfully detained, excepting only those arrested for treason or counterfeiting money, these were the people, by whom the colony was, in part, to be established.


The division of authority between Cartier and Roberval of itself defeated the enterprize.3 Roberval was ambitious of power; and Cartier desired the exclusive honor of discovery. They neither emMay barked in company, nor acted in concert. Cartier sailed from St. Malo the next spring after the date of his commission; he arrived at the scene of his former adventures, ascended the St. Lawrence, and,


1 Converser avec les peuples d'iceux, et avec eux habiter (si besoin est.) Hazard, v. i. p. 20.

2 Hazard, v. i. p. 20, 21.

3 See the accounts in Hakluyt, v. iii. p. 286–297. Compare Belknap's American Biography, v. i. p. 178-182.

4 Hakluyt, v. iii. p. 295.

5 Holmes, in Annals, v. i. p. 70, 71, places the departure of Cartier May 23, 1540. He follows, undoubtedly, the date in Hak. v. iii. p. 286; which is, however, a misprint,

or an error. For, first, the patent of Cartier was not issued till October, 1640; next, the annalist can find no occupation for Cartier in Canada for one whole year; and further, it is undisputed, that Roberval did not sail till April, 1542, and it is expressly said in the account of Roberval's voyage, Hak. v. iii. p. 295, that "Jaques Cartier and his company" were "sent with five sayles the yeere before." Belknap makes a similar mistake. American Biography, v. i. p. 178.

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