abusing each other's religion, although De Monts did all in his power to keep the peace. These follies were truly a method of rendering the infidel more hardened in his infidelity.”


Om the 13th April, 1608, Pontgravé having been already despatched in a vessel to Tadoussac, ChamPLAIN, who had obtained the commission of Lieutenant, under De Monts, in New France, set sail from Honfleur, with the express intention of establishing a settlement on the St. Lawrence, above Tadoussac, at which post he arrived on the 3d June. After a short stay, he ascended the River, carefully examining the shores ; and on the 3d July, reached the spot called Stadacona, now QUEBEC, rendered so remarkable by the first visit of Jacques Cartier in 1535. CHAMPLAIN, whose ambition was not limited to mere commercial speculations—actuated by the patriotism and pride of a French gentleman, a faithful servant of his King, and warmly attached to the glory of his country,—thought more of founding a future empire than of a trading post for peltry. After examining the position, he selected the elevated promontory, which commands the narrowest part of the great River of Canada, the extensive basin between it and the Isle of Orleans, together with the mouth of the Little River St. Charles, as a fit and proper seat for the future metropolis of New France, and there laid the foundation of Quebec, on the 30 JULY, 1608. His judgment has never been called in question, or his taste disputed in this selection.

Its commanding position, natural strength, and aptitude both for purposes of offence and defence, are evident on the first

view—while the unequalled beauty, grandeur and sublimity of the scene mark it as worthy of extended empire :


regnum gentibus esse,
Si quà fata sinant, jam tum tenditque fovetque.
This noble site, prove fate hereafter kind,

The seat of lasting empire he designed. Here, on the point immediately overlooking the basin, and on the site reaching from the grand battery to the Castle of St. Lewis, he commenced his labors by felling the walnut trees, and rooting up the wild vines with which the virgin soil was covered, in order to make room for the projected settlement. Huts were erected, some lands were cleared, and a few gardens made, for the purpose of proving the soil, which was found to be excellent. The first permanent building which the French erected was a store house, or magazine for the security of their provisions. ChamPLAIN thus describes his first proceedings, which will be read with interest by the inhabitant at the present day:

J'arrivay à Québec le 3 Juillet, où estant, je cherchay lieu propre pour nostre habitation; mais je n'en peus trouver de plus commode n'y mieux scitué que la pointe de Québec ...... laquelle estoit remplie de noyers et de vignes. Aussi tost j'employay une partie de nos ouvriers à les abbatre; pour y faire nostre habitation. ...... La première chose que nous fismes fut le magazin pour mettre nos vivres à convert, qui fut promptement fait. ...... Proche de ce lieu est un rivière agréable où anciennement hyverna Jacques Cartier :"_“I reached Quebec on the 3d July, where I sought out a proper place for our dwelling ; but I could not find one better adapted for it than the promontory, or point of Quebec,


which was covered with walnuts and vines. As soon as possible, I set to work some of our laborers, to level them, in order to build our habitation....... The first thing which we did was to build a store house to secure our provisions under shelter, which was quickly done. ...... Near this spot is an agreeable river, where formerly wintered Jacques Cartier.” A temporary barrack for the men and officers was subsequently erected on the higher part of the position, near where the Castle of St. Lewis now stands. It must be remembered that at the time of the landing of Champlain, the tide usually rose nearly to the base of the rock, or côte ; and that the first buildings were of necessity on the high grounds. Afterwards, and during the time of CHAMPLAIN, a space was redeemed from the water, and elevated above the inundation of the tide ; on which store houses, and also a battery level with the water were erected, having a passage of steps between it and the fort, on the site of the present Mountain Street, which was first used in 1623.

CHAMPLAIN had now, humble as they were, successfully laid the foundations of the first French Colony in North America. One hundred and sixteen years had elapsed since the discovery of the new world ; and it was only in the year previous, that on the whole continent, north of Mexico, a European nation had at length succeeded in establishing any settlement. This was effected by the English under Captain Christopher Newport, who laid the foundation of a settlement at Jamestown, Virginia, on the 13th May, 1607, two hundred and twenty seven years ago. The chivalrous character and adventures of Captain John Smith, and the interesting story of Pocahontas, have conferred a peculiar interest on

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the early history of this colony. It may be noted as a singular contrast with the growth of the English colonies afterwards, that at the death of Queen Elizabeth, in 1603, there was not a European family in all the northern continent : at present the great State of Virginia alone,—of which the germ was a colony of one hundred souls, of whom fifty died during the first year ; and which, as described by Chalmers in his political annals, “ feeble in numbers and enterprise, was planted in discord, and grew up in misery,”-numbers upon its soil no less than twelve hundred thousand inhabitants ! The disappearance and eradication of the Indians has been still more extraordinary. Of the countless tribes who filled up the back country of Virginia at the time of the first settlement by the English, it appears by the census of 1830, that there existed only forty-seven Indians in the whole State !

The summer was passed in finishing the necessary buildings ; when clearances were made around them, and the ground prepared for sowing wheat and rye : which was accomplished by the 15th October. Hoar frosts commenced about the 3d October, and on the 15th the trees shed their leafy honors. The first snow fell on the 18th November, but disappeared after two days. Champlain describes the snow as lying on the ground from December until near the end of April, so that the favorite theory of those who maintain the progressive improvement of the climate, as lands are cleared in new countries, is not borne out by the evidence of Canada. From several facts it might be shown that the wintry climate was not more inhospitable in the early days of Jacques Cartier and CHAMPLAIN than in the present. The winter of

1611 and 1612 was extremely mild, and the river was not frozen before Quebec.

From the silence of CHAMPLAIN respecting the hamlet or town of Stadacona, which had been visited by Cartier so often in 1535, it would seem probable that it had dwindled, owing to the migratory predilections of the Indians, to a place of no moment. He certainly mentions a number of Indians who were “ cabannez," or hutted near his settlement; but the ancient name of Stadacona never once occurs. It will be recollected that Cartier spoke of the houses of the natives as being amply provided with food against the winter. From the evidence of CHAMPLAIN, the Indians of the vicinity appear to have degenerated in this particular. They are represented as having experienced the greatest extremities for want of food during the winter of 1608; and some who came over from the Pointe Lévi side of the river, were in such a state of wretchedness, as hardly to be able to drag their limbs to the upper part of the settlement. They were relieved and treated with the greatest kindness by the French

The ice having disappeared in the spring of 1609, so early as the 8th April, CHAMPLAIN was enabled to leave the infant settlement of Quebec, and to ascend the river on the 18th, for the purpose of further exploring the country. He resolved to penetrate into the interior; and his mingled emotions of delight and astonishment may easily be conceived, as he proceeded to examine the magnificent country of which he had taken possession. During this

During this summer, he discovered the beautiful lake which now bears his name; and having returned to Quebec in the autumn, he sailed for France in September 1609, leaving the

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