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commission yet granted by the King, reaching from Virginia to the Esquimaux River, or from latitude 40° to 54o. This gentleman had already made one voyage with Chauvin as a volunteer. He had also the
power of conceding lands between latitude 40° and 46°, together with the usual titles of Viceroy and Lieutenant General. De Monts was a Calvinist, and obtained the free exercise of his form of religion for himself and all his friends; but on the condition that he should establish the catholic worship among the natives. He reposed the utmost confidence in the integrity and skill of Champlain; and to this gentleman, and his predecessor, M. de Chatte, belongs the credit of associating in their enterprises, the cele. brated founder of Quebec—who by his personal qualities, high character and valuable services, greatly contributed to render Canada an object of lasting interest to France and to European Christendom.
De Monts continued the company established by his predecessor, and reinforced it by the addition of several considerable merchants from the different ports of France, particularly Rochelle : so that he was enabled to fit out a very complete armament, He sailed from Havre-de-Grace on the 7th March, 1604, with four vessels, of which two, under his immediate command, were destined from Acadie, or Nova Scotia. He was accompanied by Champlain, and by a gentleman named Poitrincourt, who had left France with the design of making a permanent settlement with his family in the new world. A third vessel was despatched under Pontgravé to the Strait of Canso, for the purpose of preventing any encroachment by other parties on the exclusive rights of De Monts. The fourth was ordered to Tadoussac, and was destined to carry on the fur trade with
On the 6th May, De Monts arrived at a harbor on the coast of Acadie, where he commenced the rigid assertion of his privilege by seizing and confiscating an English vessel. As a singular recompense for the loss of his ship, he called this harbor Port Rossignol, from the name of the master, which was Nightingale. Thence they sailed to the Island of St. Croix, about twenty leagues to the westward of the River St. John, where De Monts disembarked the people, and passed the winter. Finding the place inconvenient, in the spring of 1605, he removed the establishment to Port Royal, now Annapolis, discovered by Champlain, who had been diligently employed in surveying the coast. fort was built, of which Pontgravé was at first appointed Lieutenant; but De Monts soon afterwards, by virtue of his commission, conceded the whole establishment of Port Royal with a large domain to M. Poitrincourt; which grant was a few years after recognized and confirmed by Letters Patent from the King, being the first concession made in North America. De Monts returned to France in the autumn of 1605 : when he found his influence at Court on the wane, heavy complaints having been made against him by the persons interested in the Fisheries, who belonged to every port in the Kingdom. They represented with considerable unanimity, if not with truth and justice, that under pretence of preventing their trade with the Indian hunters for furs, he had thrown every impediment in the way of their lawful occupation in the fisheries, to their great injury, and to the prejudice of the Revenue. These statements were listened to at Court, and De Monts was deprived of the exclusive privilege, which had been granted to him for ten years. Not, however, disheartened
by this reverse, he entered into a new engagement with M. Poitrincourt, who had followed him to France ; and equipped a vessel, which sailed from Rochelle on the 13th May, 1606, for the purpose of succouring the people left at Port Royal. This Colony, considering itself forgotten by the founders, was on the point of returning to France. Thus opportunely reinforced, however, it speedily encreased in prosperity under the able management of Poitrincourt, who appears to have been a person of superior talents and resources. He was here joined by his friend MARC LESCARBOT, an Advocate of Paris, who, urged by an eager desire and curiosity, unusual with persons of his profession, had left the practice of the Courts to examine the new world :
Ignotis errare locis, ignota videre
Flumina gaudebat. This gentleman proved of the greatest service in meliorating the condition of the settlement. He is described as now piquing the pride, and now animating the drooping spirits of the settlers ; by which means, added to indefatigable exertion in his own person, he succeeded in gaining the love of all. Every day his ingenuity was successfully put to the test, by some invention of utility to the people ; and he afforded an eminent example, how advantageous to a new settlement are the resources of a mind cultivated by study, and guided by zeal and reflexion. It is to this learned and ingenious person that we are indebted for an excellent history of New France, published in 1609. We must acknowledge in him an accurate and judicious author, equally capable of establishing a Colony, of regulating its internal economy, and of writing its natural and political history.
M. Poitrincourt maintained possession of Port Royal for several years, until he was dispossessed by the English, who finally acquired the sovereignty of Nova Scotia.
The enemies of De Monts still persevered in their misrepresentations, and at length succeeded, to the great indignation of Champlain, in depriving him altogether of his commission, a very trifling indemnification only being allowed to him in return for his extensive disbursements. The next year, in 1607, he solicited his re-appointment—but only obtained a renewal of his former privilege for one year, on condition of forming a settlement on the River St. Lawrence ; to which, by the advice of Champlain, the King had lately turned his serious attention.
Neither the company to which De Monts belonged, or the associates of his voyages, had abandoned him in his adversity. Two vessels were fitted out at Honfleur in 1608, under the command of Champlain and Pontgravé for Tadoussac, and the St. Lawrence, while De Monts remained in France endeavoring to obtain an extension of his Patent, but without suc
This failure, however, did not prevent him from afterwards fitting out some vessels, by the aid of the company, and without any commission, in the spring of 1610—for the River St. Lawrence, under the same able command.
Champlain, who, as stated above, was a zealous catholic, makes great objection to the employment and admixture of the Huguenots in these expeditions of De Monts. Indeed he prognosticates ill success to every undertaking where so preposterous an union was permitted. The following story is told in his peculiar style the parties must have been composed, according to the poet, of that stubborn crew,
Of errant Saints, whom all men grant
By apostolic blows and knocks, “ Il se trouve quelque chose à redire en ceste entreprise, qui est, en ce que deux religions contraires ne font jamais un grand fruit pour la gloire de Dieu parmy les infideles, que l'on veut convertir. J'ay veu le Ministre et nostre curé s'entre-battre à coups de poing, sur le differend de la religion. Je ne sçay pas qui etoit le plus vaillant, et qui donnoit le meilleur coup, mais je sçay très bien que le ministre se plaignoit quelquefois au Sieur de Mons d'avoir esté battu, et vuidoient en ceste façon les poincts de controversée. Je vous laisse à penser si cela estoit beau à voir ; les sauvages estoient tantost d'un costé, tantost de l'autre, et les François meslez selon leur diverse croyance, disoient pis que pendre de l'une et de l'autre religion, quoy que le Sieur de Mons y apportast, la paix le plus qu'il pouvoit. Ces insolences estoient veritablement un moyen à l'infidèle de la rendre encore plus endurcy en son infidélité :"> “ Some fault is to be found in this enterprise, and that is, that two opposite religions can never produce good fruit, to the glory of God, among the infidels who are to be converted. I have seen the Huguenot Minister and our Curé engage at fisticuffs, upon the difference of religion. I know not which was the better man, or who gave the harder blows ; but this I know very well, that the Minister sometimes complained of having been thrashed, and thus they settled their points of controversy. I leave you to determine if this was decent to behold : the natives were first on one side and then on the other; and the French took part according to their respective creed,