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1.6: Samuel de Champlain (c. 1570–1635)

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    Samuel de Champlain was born at Brouage, Saintagone, France. His education focused on seamanship and navigation. In 1599, he undertook the first of several voy‑ ages to America, joining a Spanish fleet to the Caribbean. His record of this voyage, including illustrations and first-hand de‑ scriptions of the Spanish empire and their rule over American Indians, won him the attention and support of Henry IV, king of France.

    Man in the dress of a 17th century soldier standing shooting a rifle with arrows coming at him from all directions

    Image \(\PageIndex{1}\): Samuel de Champlain

    As Royal Geographer, he joined Francois Pont-Grave’s expedition charged with establishing a French colony in America. He sailed up the Saint Lawrence River and proposed a settlement at what is now the lower town of Quebec City. His written reports on America, first with Des Sauvages (of the Indians) (1604) followed by his Les Voyages (1613) did much to encourage French interest in America.

    He defended the small colony through alliances with the Montagnais, the Algonquians, and the Hurons, joining them in a fierce battle against the Mohawk in what is now central New York. He died on Christmas Day in 1635 and was buried at Notre Dame de la Recouvance, a Catholic church he founded in what is now Quebec City. He is still known as the father of New France.

    This page titled 1.6: Samuel de Champlain (c. 1570–1635) is shared under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Wendy Kurant (GALILEO Open Learning Materials) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.