of long time seen......... Our captain seeing their loving kindness and entertainment, caused all the women orderly to be set in array,


them beads made of tin, and other such trifles; and to some of the men he


knives. Then he returned to the boats to supper, and so passed that night, all which while all those people stood on the shore as near our boats as they might, making great fires, and dancing very merrily.”

The place where Cartier first touched the land, near Hochelaga, appears to have been about six miles from the city, and below the current of St. Mary. On the 3rd October, having obtained the services of three natives as guides, Cartier, with his volunteers and part of his men, in full dress, proceeded to , , 'town. The way was well beaten and frequented ; and he describes the country as the best that could possibly be seen. Hochelaga was situated in the midst of large fields of Indian corn ; and from the description, must even then have been a very considerable place, and the metropolis of the neighboring country. The name is now lost, but on its site stands the rich and flourishing city of Montreal. It was encompassed by palisades, or probably a picket fence in three rows, one within the other, well secured and put together. A single entrance was secured with piles and stakes ; and every precaution adopted for defence against sudden attack or siege. The town consisted of about fifty houses, each fifty feet in length by fourteen in breadth, built of wood and covered with bark, “ well and cunningly joined together.” Each house contained several chambers, built round an open court yard in the centre, where the fire was made. The inhabitants belonged to the Huron tribe, and appear to have been more than usually civilised. They were devoted to husbandry and fishing, and never roamed about the country as other tribes did, although they had eight or ten other villages subject to them. Cartier seems to have been considered in the light of a deity among them ; for they brought him their aged king, and their sick, in order that

he might heal them. Disclaiming any such power, Cartier, with his accustomed piety prayed with them, and read part of the gospel of St. John, to their great admiration and joy. He concluded by distributing presents with the utmost impartiality. On reading the whole account, we cannot but be favorably impressed by the conduct and character of those Indians, so diffeent from that of some other tribes, or the generality of savages. It is probable, however, that the fighting men or warriors of the tribe were absent on some expedition. Cartier appears to have behaved on the occasion with great discretion, and to have shown himself eminently qualified for his station. After having seen all that was worthy of note in the city, he set out to examine the mountain, which was about three miles from Hochelaga. He describes it as tilled all round and very fertile. The beautiful view from the top does not escape his notice, and he states that he could see the country and the river for thirty leagues around him. He gave it the name of Most Royal, which was afterwards extended to the city beneath, and the whole of the rich and fertile Island, now Montreal.


Cartier, having accomplished his object, returned to his boats accompanied by a great multitude, who when they perceived any of his men fatigued with their long march, took them upon their shoulders and carried them. The natives appeared grieved and displeased with the short stay of the French; and on their departure, which was immediate, they followed their course along the banks of the river. On the evening of the 4th October, they came to the place where they had left the pinnace; and having made sail on the 5th, they returned happily to St. Croix, rejoining their companions on the 11th of the month. The mariners who had been left behind had had the precaution, during the absence of Cartier, to entrench and fortify their vessels so as to defy attack. On the day after their return, Cartier was visited by the Chief, Donnacona, who invited the French to visit him at his village of StadACONA. Accordingly, on the 13th, Cartier proceeded with all his gentlemen and fifty mariners to their town, about three miles from the place where the ships were laid up. The houses were well provided, and full of all things necessary for the approaching winter: the inhabitants seemed docile, and in the words of Jacques Cartier, " as far as we could perceive and understand, it were a very easy thing to bring them to some familiarity and civility, and make them learn what one would.” The country around is stated to be well tilled and wrought, and these Indians seem to have been by no means ignorant of agriculture, or deficient in energy to clear the land; for it is mentioned that they had “ pulled up the trees to till and labor the ground.”


The whole voyage of Cartier had been so far prosperous, but the winter, new to Europeans, was yet to be experienced. Their want of fit clothing and accustomed nourishment was probably the reason why they were attacked with scurvy, which first showed itself in the month of December. In March, 1536, out of one hundred and ten persons, twenty-five were dead, and not three remained in health. Great, indeed, as must have been their sufferings, their courage seems never to have deserted them; and the precautions taken by Cartier to conceal his loss and the extreme weakness of the garrison, as we may call the entrenchment round the ships, were well conceived and proved quite successful. At length they were persuaded to use a decoction of the spruce fir; and the effect was so instantaneous that in six days all were recovered.

The following facts, relative to the climate during this winter, are gathered from the “ Fastes Chronologiques,” and are worthy of notice. On the 15th November, 1535, old style, the vessels in the River St. Charles were surrounded by ice; and the Indians informed Cartier, that the whole river was frozen over as far as Montreal. On the 22nd February, 1536, the River St. Lawrence became navigable for canoes, opposite to Quebec, but the ice remained firm in St. Croix harbor. On the 5th April, however, his vessels were disengaged from the ice. To obtain the modern dates of these occurrences, it will be necessary to add eleven days to each period.

On the 21st April, Cartier seems first to have entertained suspicion of the intentions of the Indians,

from the circumstance of a number of “ lusty and strong men whom they were not wont to see,” making their appearance at Stadacona. They were probably the


hunters of the tribe who had been out during the winter, in search of deer; and who had not previously fallen under the observation of the French. Cartier having determined on an immediate return to France, resolved to anticipate the movements of the Indians by a coup de main on his part ; and accordingly on the 3d May, and in a manner which not even the extreme urgency of the case could excuse or palliate, he carried his plan into execution; and seized Donnacona, the interpreters, and two other Indians of note, for the purpose of presenting them to the King. They were treated, however, with much kindness, and seem to have been soon reconciled to their lot.

Nothing now remained but to make sail for France, which they did on the 6th May. They were compelled to remain by contrary winds at the Isle aux Coudres until the 21st, and afterwards coasting slowly along, they finally sailed from Cape Race on the 19th June ; and arriving at St. Malo on the 6th July, 1536, they concluded this important voyage.

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