is the sixteenth 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
translation from the French by Charles Pomeroy Otis, Ph.D.
Republished by the Prince Society, Boston: 1878.
MEMOIR OF SAMUEL DE CHAMPLAIN
RETURN FROM THE FOREGOING DISCOVERIES, AND WHAT TRANSPIRED DURING
Upon our arrival, Lescarbot, who had
remained at the settlement, assisted by the others who had stayed
there, welcomed us with a humorous entertainment. 
Having landed and had time to take breath, each one began to make
little gardens, I among the rest attending to mine, in order in the
spring to sow several kinds of seeds which had been brought from
France, and which grew very well in all the gardens.
Sieur de Poutrincourt, moreover, had a water-mill built nearly a
league and a half from our settlement, near the point where grain
had been planted. This mill  was built at a fall, on a little
river which is not navigable on account of the large number of rocks
in it, and which falls into a small lake. In this place, there is
such an abundance of herring in their season that shallops could be
loaded with them, if one were to take the trouble to bring the
requisite apparatus. The savages also of this region come here
sometimes to fish. A quantity of charcoal was made by us for our
forge. During the winter, in order not to remain idle, I undertook
the building of a road along the wood to a little, river or brook,
which we named La Truitière,  there being many trout there. I
asked Sieur de Poutrincourt for two or three men, which he gave me
to assist in making this passage-way. I got along so well that in a
little while I had the road through. It extends through to
trout-brook, and measures nearly two thousand paces. It served us as
a walk under the shelter of the trees, which I had left on both
sides. This led Sieur de Poutrincourt to determine to make another
through the woods, in order that we might go straight to the mouth
of Port Royal, it being a distance of nearly three leagues and a
half by land from our settlement. He had this commenced and
continued for about half a league from La Truitière; but he did not
finish it, as the undertaking was too laborious, and he was occupied
by other things at the time more necessary. Some time after our
arrival, we saw a shallop containing savages, who told us that a
savage, who was one of our friends, had been killed by those
belonging to the place whence they came, which was Norumbegue, in
revenge for the killing of the men of Norumbegue and Quinibequy by
Iouaniscou, also a savage, and his followers, as I have before
related; and that some Etechemins had informed the savage Secondon,
who was with us at that time.
The commander of the shallop was the savage named Ouagimou, who was
on terms of friendship with Bessabez, chief of the river Norumbegue,
of whom he asked the body of Panounias,  who had been killed.
The latter granted it to him, begging him to tell his friends that
he was very sorry for his death, and assuring him that it was
without his knowledge that he had been killed, and that, inasmuch as
it was not his fault, he begged him to tell them that he desired
they might continue to live as friends. This Ouagimou promised to do
upon his return. He said to us that he was very uneasy until he got
away from them, whatever friendship they might show him, since they
were liable to change; and he feared that they would treat him in
the same manner as they had the one who had been killed.
Accordingly, he did not tarry long after being dismissed. He took
the body in his shallop from Norumbegue to our settlement, a
distance of fifty leagues.
As soon as the body was brought on shore, his relatives and friends
began to shout by his side, having painted their entire face with
black, which is their mode of mourning. After lamenting much, they
took a quantity of tobacco and two or three dogs and other things
belonging to the deceased, and burned them some thousand paces from
our settlement on the sea-shore. Their cries continued until they
returned to their cabin.
The next day they took the body of the deceased and wrapped it in a
red covering, which Mabretou, chief of this place, urgently implored
me to give him, since it was handsome and large. He gave it to the
relatives of the deceased, who thanked me very much for it. After
thus; wrapping up the body, they decorated it with several kinds of
_matachiats_; that is, strings of beads and bracelets of diverse
colors. They painted the face, and put on the head many feathers and
other things, the finest they had. Then they placed the body on its
knees between two sticks, with another under the arms to sustain it.
Around the body were the mother, wife, and others of the relatives
and friends of the deceased, both women and girls, howling like
While the women and girls were shrieking, the savage named Mabretou
made an address to his companions on the death of the deceased,
urging all to take vengeance for the wickedness and treachery
committed by the subjects of Bessabez, and to make war upon them as
speedily as possible. All agreed to do so in the spring.
After the harangue was finished and the cries had ceased, they
carried the body of the deceased to another cabin. After smoking
tobacco together, they wrapped it in an elk-skin likewise; and,
binding it very securely, they kept it until there should be a
larger number of savages present, from each one of whom the brother
of the deceased expected to receive presents, it being their custom
to give them to those who have lost fathers, mothers, wives,
brothers, or sisters.
On the night of the 26th of December, there was a southeast wind,
which blew down several trees. On the last day of December, it began
to snow, which continued until the morning of the next day. On the
both of January following, 1607, Sieur de Poutrincourt, desiring to
ascend the river Équille,  found it at a distance of some two
leagues from our settlement sealed with ice, which caused him to
return, not being able to advance any farther. On the 8th of
February, some pieces of ice began to flow down from the upper part
of the river into the harbor, which only freezes along the shore. On
the both of May following, it snowed all night; and, towards the end
of the month, there were heavy hoar-frosts, which lasted until the
10th or 12th of June, when all the trees were covered with leaves,
except the oaks, which do not leaf out until about the 15th. The
winter was not so severe as on the preceding years, nor did the snow
continue so long on the ground. It rained very often, so that the
savages suffered a severe famine, owing to the small quantity of
snow. Sieur de Poutrincourt supported a part of them who were with
us; namely, Mabretou, his wife and children, and some others.
We spent this winter very pleasantly, and fared generously by means
of the ORDRE DE BON TEMPS, which I introduced. This all found useful
for their health, and more advantageous than all the medicines that
could have been used. By the rules of the order, a chain was put,
with some little ceremonies, on the neck of one of our company,
commissioning him for the day to go a hunting. The next day it was
conferred upon another, and thus in succession. All exerted
themselves to the utmost to see who would do the best and bring home
the finest game. We found this a very good arrangement, as did also
the savages who were with us. 
There were some cases of _mal de la terre_ among us, which was,
however, not so violent as in the previous years. Nevertheless,
seven died from it, and another from an arrow wound, which he had
received from the savages at Port Fortuné. 
Our surgeon, named Master Estienne, opened some of the bodies, as we
did the previous years, and found almost all the interior parts
affected. Eight or ten of the sick got well by spring.
At the beginning of March and of April, all began to prepare
gardens, so as to plant seeds in May, which is the proper time for
it. They grew as well as in France, but were somewhat later. I think
France is at least a month and a half more forward. As I have
stated, the time to plant is in May, although one can sometimes do
so in April; yet the seeds planted then do not come forward any
faster than those planted in May, when the cold can no longer damage
the plants except those which are very tender, since there are many
which cannot endure the hoar-frosts, unless great care and attention
On the 24th of May, we perceived a small barque  of six or
seven tons' burthen, which we sent men to reconnoitre; and it was
found to be a young man from St. Malo, named Chevalier, who brought
letters from Sieur de Monts to Sieur de Poutrincourt, by which he
directed him to bring back his company to France.  He also
announced to us the birth of Monseigneur, the Duke of Orleans, to
our delight, in honor of which event we made bonfires and chanted
the _Te Deum_. 
Between the beginning and the 20th of June, some thirty or forty
savages assembled in this place in order to make war upon the
Almouchiquois, and revenge the death of Panounias, who was interred
by the savages according to their custom, who gave afterwards a
quantity of peltry to a brother of his. The presents being
made, all of them set out from this place on the 29th of June for
Choüacoet, which is the country of the Almouchiquois, to engage in
Some days after the arrival of the above Chevalier, Sieur de
Poutrincourt sent him to the rivers St. John  and St. Croix
 to trade for furs. But he did not permit him to go without men
to bring back the barque, since some had reported that he desired to
return to France with the vessel in which he had come, and leave us
in our settlement. Lescarbot was one of those who accompanied him,
who up to this time had not left Port Royal. This is the farthest he
went, only fourteen or fifteen leagues beyond Port Royal.
While awaiting the return of Chevalier, Sieur de Poutrincourt went
to the head of Baye Françoise in a shallop with seven or eight men.
Leaving the harbor and heading northeast a quarter east for some
twenty-five leagues along the coast, we arrived at a cape where
Sieur de Poutrincourt desired to ascend a cliff more than thirty
fathoms high, in doing which he came near losing his life. For,
having reached the top of the rock which is very narrow, and which
he had ascended with much difficulty, the summit trembled beneath
him. The reason was that, in course of time, moss had gathered there
four or five feet in thickness, and, not being solid, trembled when
one was on top of it, and very often when one stepped on a stone
three or four others fell down. Accordingly, having gone up with
difficulty, he experienced still greater in coming down, although
some sailors, men very dexterous in climbing, carried him a hawser,
a rope of medium size, by means of which he descended, This place
was named Cap de Poutrincourt,  and is in latitude 45° 40'.
We went as far as the head of this bay, but saw nothing but certain
white stones suitable for making lime, yet they are found only in
small quantities. We saw also on some islands a great number of
gulls. We captured as many of them as we wished. We made the tour of
the bay, in order to go to the Port aux Mines where I had previously
been,  and whither I conducted Sieur de Poutrincourt, who
collected some little pieces of copper with great difficulty. All
this bay has a circuit of perhaps twenty leagues, with a little
river at its head, which is very sluggish and contains but little
water. There are many other little brooks, and some places where
there are good harbors at high tide, which rises here five fathoms.
In one of these harbors three or four leagues north of Cap de
Poutrincourt, we found a very old cross all covered with moss and
almost all rotten, a plain indication that before this there had
been Christians there. All of this country is covered with dense
forests, and with some exceptions is not very attractive. 
From the Port aux Mines  we returned to our settlement. In this
bay there are strong tidal currents running in a south-westerly
On the 12th of July, Ralleau, secretary of Sieur de Monts, arrived
with three others in a shallop from a place called Niganis, 
distant from Port Royal some hundred and sixty or hundred and
seventy leagues, confirming the report which Chevalier had brought
to Sieur de Poutrincourt.
On the 3d of July,  three barques were fitted out to send the
men and supplies, which were at our settlement, to Canseau, distant
one hundred and fifteen leagues from our settlement, and in latitude
45° 20', where the vessel  was engaged in fishing, which was to
carry us back to France.
Sieur de Poutrincourt sent back all his companions, but remained
with eight others at the settlement, so as to carry to France some
grain not yet quite ripe. 
On the 10th of August, Mabretou arrived from the war, who told us
that he had been at Choüacoet, and had killed twenty savages and
wounded ten or twelve; also that Onemechin, chief of that place,
Marchin, and one other, had been killed by Sasinou, chief of the
river of Quinibequy, who was afterwards killed by the companions of
Onemechin and Marchin. All this war was simply on account of the
savage Panounias, one of our friends who, as I have said above, had
been killed at Norumbegue by the followers of Onemechin and Marchin.
At present, the chiefs in place of Onemechin, Marchin, and Sasinou
are their sons: namely, for Sasinou, Pememen; Abriou for his father,
Marchin; and for Onemechin, Queconsicq. The two latter were wounded
by the followers of Mabretou, who seized them under pretence of
friendship, as is their fashion, something which both sides have to
guard against. 
240. Lescarbot, the author of a History of New France often referred
to in our notes, published a volume entitled "LES MUSES DE LA
NOUVELLE FRANCE," in which may be found the play entitled LE THEATRE
DE NEPTUNE, which he composed to celebrate the return of this
241. The mill is represented on Champlain's map of Port Royal as
situated on the stream which he calls _Rivière du Moulin_, the River
of the Mill. This is Allen River; and the site of the mill was a
short distance south-east of the "point where corn had been
planted," which was on the spot now occupied by the village of
242. _Vide antea_, note 212. see also the map of Port Royal, where
the road is delineated, p. 24.
243. This Indian Panounias and his wife had accompanied De Monts in
1605, on his expedition to Cape Cod.--_Vide_ antea, p. 55.
244. Now the Annapolis River.
245. The conceit of this novel order was a happy one, as it served
to dispel the gloom of a long winter in the forests of La Cadie, as
well as to improve the quality and variety of their diet. The
_noblesse_, or gentlemen of the party, were fifteen, who served in
turn and for a single day as caterer or steward, the turn of each
recurring once in fifteen days. It was their duty to add to the
ordinary fare such delicate fish or game as could be captured or
secured by each for his particular day. They always had some
delicacy at breakfast; but the dinner was the great banquet, when
the most imposing ceremony was observed.
246. Champlain does not inform us how many of Poutrincourt's party
were killed in the affray at Chatham. He mentions one as killed on
the spot. He speaks of carrying away the "dead bodies" for burial.
He also says they made a "deadly assault" upon "five or six of our
company;" and another appears to have died of his wounds after their
return to Port Royal, as stated in the text.
247. _Une petite barque_. The French barque was a small vessel or
large boat, rigged with two masts; and those employed by De Monts
along our coast varied from six to eighteen tons burden, and must
not be confounded with our modern bark, which is generally much
The _vaisseau_, often mentioned by Champlain, included all large
vessels, those used for fishing, the fur-trade, and the
transportation of men and supplies for the colony.
The _chaloupe_ was a row-boat of convenient size for penetrating
shallow places, was dragged behind the barque in the explorations of
our coast, and used for minor investigations of rivers and
The _patache_, an advice-boat, is rarely used by Champlain, and then
in the place of the shallop.
248. It Seems that young Chevalier had come out in the "Jonas," the
same ship that had brought out Poutrincourt, Lescarbot, and others,
the year before. It had stopped at Canseau to fish for cod. It
brought the unwelcome news that the company of De Monts had been
broken up; that the Hollanders, conducted by a "French traitor named
La Jeunesse," had destroyed the fur-trading establishments on the
St. Lawrence, which rendered it impracticable to sustain, as
heretofore, the expenses of the company. The monopoly of the
fur-trade, granted to De Monts for ten years, had been rescinded by
the King's Council. "We were very sad," says Lescarbot, "to see so
fine and holy an undertaking broken off, and that so many labors and
perils endured had resulted in nothing: and that the hope of
establishing there the name of God and the Catholic Faith had
disappeared. Notwithstanding, after M. de Poutrincourt had a long
while mused hereupon, he said that, although he should have none to
come with him, except his family, he would not forsake the
enterprise."--_His. Nou. France_, par M. Lescarbot. Paris, 1612. pp.
249. On the 16th of April, 1607, was born the second son of Henry
IV. by Marie de Medicis, who received the title, Le Duc d'Orléans.
In France, public rejoicings were universal. On the 22d of the
month, he was invested with the insignia of the Order of St. Michael
and the Holy Ghost with great pomp, on which occasion a banquet was
given by the King in the great hall at Fontainebleau, and in the
evening the park was illuminated by bonfires and a pyrotechnic
display, which was witnessed by a vast concourse of people. The
young prince was baptized privately by the Cardinal de Gondy, but
the state ceremonies of his christening were delayed, and appear
never to have taken place: he died in the fifth year of his age,
never having received any Christian name.--_Vide the Life of Marie
de Medicis_, by Miss Pardoe, London, 1852, Vol. I. p. 416; _Memoirs
of the Duke of Sully_, Lennox, trans., Phila., 1817, Vol. IV. p.
140. In New France, the little colony at Port Royal attested their
loyalty by suitable manifestations of joy. "As the day declined,"
Says Lescarbot, "we made bonfires to celebrate the birth of
Monseigneur le Duc d'Orléans, and caused our cannon and falconets to
thunder forth again, accompanied with plenty of musket-shots, having
before for this purpose chanted a _Te Deum_." --_Vide His. Nou.
France_, Paris, 1612, p.594.
250. Lescarbot says that about four hundred set out for the war
against the Almouchiquois, at Choüacoet, or Saco. The savages were
nearly two months in assembling themselves together. Mabretou had
sent out his two sons, Actaudin and Actaudinech, to summon them to
come to Port Royal as a rendezvous. They came from the river St.
John, and from the region of Gaspé. Their purpose was accomplished,
as will appear in the sequel.
251. At St. John, they visited the cabin of Secondon, the Sagamore,
with whom they bartered for some furs. Lescarbot, who was in the
expedition, says, "The town of Ouïgoudy was a great enclosure upon a
hill, compassed about with high and small trees, tied one against
another; and within it many cabins, great and small, one of which
was as large as a market-hall, wherein many households resided." In
the cabin of Secondon. they saw some eighty or a hundred savages,
all nearly naked. They were celebrating a feast which they call _Tabagie_.
Their chief made his warriors pass in review before his
guests.--_Vide His. Nou. France_, par M. Lescarbot. Paris, 1612. p.
252. They found sack at St. Croix that had been left there by De
Monts's colony three years before, of which they drank. Casks were
still lying in the deserted court-yard: and others had been used as
fuel by mariners, who had chanced to come there.
253. De Laet's map has C. de Poutrincourt; the map of the English
and French Commissaries, C. Fendu or split Cape. Halliburton has
Split Cape, so likewise has the Admiralty map of 1860.
It is situated at the entrance of the Basin of Mines, and about
eight miles southwest of Parrsborough. The point of this cape is in
latitude 45° 20'.
254. _Vide antea_, p. 26.
255. The author is here speaking of the country about the Basin of
Mines. The river at the head of the bay is the Shubenacadie. It is
not easy to determine where the moss-covered cross was found. The
distance from Cap de Poutrincourt is indefinite, and the direction
could not have been exactly north. There is too much uncertainty to
warrant even a conjecture as to its locality.
256. The port aux Mines is Advocate's Harbor.--_Vide antea_, p. 26,
and note 67.
257. Niganis is a small Bay in the Island of Cape Breton, south of
Cape North: by De Laet called _Ninganis_; English, and French
Commissaries, _Niganishe_; modern maps, _Niganish_.
258. The _3d of July_ was doubtless an error of the printer for the
30th, as appears from the later date in the preceding paragraph, and
the statement of Lescarbot, that he left on the 30th of July. He
says they had one large barque, two small ones, and a shallop. One
of the small ones was sent before, while the other two followed on
the 30th; and he adds that Poutrincourt remained eleven days longer
to await the ripening of their grain, which agrees with Champlain's
subsequent statement, that he left with Poutrincourt on the 11th of
August.--_Vide His. Nou. France_, 1612, p. 603.
259. The "Jonas."--_Vide antea_, p. 146.
260. _Vide antea_, note 258.
261. The implacable character of the American Indian is well
illustrated in this skirmish which took place at Saco. The old chief
Mabretou, whose life had been prolonged through several generations,
had inspired his allies to revenge, and had been present at the
conflict. The Indian Panounias had been killed in an affray, the
particular cause of which is not stated. To avenge his death, many
lives were lost on both sides. The two chiefs of Saco were slain,
and in turn the author of their death perished by the hand of their
friends. Lescarbot informs us that Champdoré, under Poutrincourt,
subsequently visited Saco, and concluded a formal peace between the
belligerent parties, emphasizing its importance by impressive forms,
is the conclusion of Chapter 16 of Voyages
Click here for Chapter 17
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