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Samuel de Champlain's Voyages
Volume II, Part X

The Journals of the intrepid French explorer who was the first European to discover Lake Champlain

This is the tenth in a continuing series of entries from the Voyages of Samuel de Champlain, first published in 1613. To view Part I, click here. For Champlain's account of the discovery of the lake that bears his name, click here...

Original translation from the French by Charles Pomeroy Otis, Ph.D. Republished by the Prince Society, Boston: 1878.

Volume II



Sieur De Monts determined to change his location, and make another settlement, in order to avoid the severe cold and the bad winter which we had had in the Island of St. Croix. As we had not, up to that time, found any suitable harbor, and, in view of the short time we had for building houses in which to establish ourselves, we fitted out two barques, and loaded them with the frame-work taken from the houses of St. Croix, in order to transport it to Port Royal, twenty-five leagues distant, where we thought the climate was much more temperate and agreeable. Pont Gravé and I set out for that place; and, having arrived, we looked for a site favorable for our residence, under shelter from the north-west wind, which we dreaded, having been very much harassed by it.

After searching carefully in all directions, we found no place more suitable and better situated than one slightly elevated, about which there are some marshes and good springs of water. This place is opposite the island at the mouth of the river Equille. [179] To the north of us about a league, there is a range of mountains, [180] extending nearly ten leagues in a north-east and south-west direction. The whole country is filled with thick forests, as I mentioned above, except at a point a league and a half up the river, where there are some oaks, although scattering, and many wild vines, which one could easily remove and put the soil under cultivation, notwithstanding it is light and sandy. We had almost resolved to build there; but the consideration that we should have been too far up the harbor and river led us to change our mind.

Recognizing accordingly the site of our habitation as a good one, we began to clear up the ground, which was full of trees, and to erect houses as soon as possible. Each one was busy in this work. After every thing had been arranged, and the majority of the dwellings built, Sieur de Monts determined to return to France, in order to petition his Majesty to grant him all that might be necessary for his undertaking. He had desired to leave Sieur d'Orville to command in this place in his absence. But the climatic malady, _mal de la terre_, with which he was afflicted would not allow him to gratify the wish of Sieur de Monts. On this account, a conference was held with Pont Gravé on the subject, to whom this charge was offered, which he was happy to accept; and he finished what little of the habitation remained to be built. I, at the same time, hoping to have an opportunity to make some new explorations towards Florida, determined to stay there also, of which Sieur de Monts approved.


179. In the original, Champlain has written the name of this river in this particular instance _Guille_, probably an abbreviation for _Anguille_, the French name of the fish which we call the eel. Lescarbot says the "river was named _L'Equille_ because the first fish taken therein was an _equille_."--Vide antea, note 57. 
180. The elevation of this range varies from six hundred to seven hundred feet.

This is the conclusion of Chapter 10 of Voyages
Click here for Chapter 11

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Samuel de Champlain. 1567-1635. "Voyages of Samuel de Champlain" Edited by Edmund F. Slafter, (Boston: Prince Society 1878)

Samuel de Champlain image: Warwick Stevens Carpenter. The Summer Paradise in History. Albany: General Passenger Department, The Delaware and Hudson Company. 1914. Courtesy of John and Barbara Gallagher.

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