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Samuel de Champlain's Voyages
Volume II, Part XXVIII, Chapter XI
The Voyages to the great river St. Lawrence...

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

This is the twenty-eighth 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.

The voyages to the great river St. Lawrence, 
made by Sieur de Champlain,
Captain in ordinary to the King in the Marine, 
from the year 1608 to that of 1612



After forming this resolution, we went to Quebec to establish him in authority, and leave him every thing requisite and necessary for the settlement, together with fifteen men. Every thing being arranged, we set out on the first day of September [351] for Tadoussac, in order to fit out our vessel for returning to France.

We set out accordingly from the latter place on the 5th of the month, and on the 8th anchored at Isle Percée. On Thursday the 10th, we set out from there, and on the 18th, the Tuesday following, we arrived at the Grand Bank. On the 2d of October, we got soundings. On the 8th, we anchored at Conquet [352] in Lower Brittany. On Saturday the 10th, we set out from there, arriving at Honfleur on the 13th.

After disembarking, I did not wait long before taking post to go to Sieur de Monts, who was then at Fontainebleau, where His Majesty was. Here I reported to him in detail all that had transpired in regard to the winter quarters and our new explorations, and my hopes for the future in view of the promises of the savages called Ochateguins, who are good Iroquois. [353] The other Iroquois, their enemies, dwell more to the south. The language of the former does not differ much from that of the people recently discovered and hitherto unknown to us, which they understand when spoken.

I at once waited upon His Majesty, and gave him an account of my voyage, which afforded him pleasure and satisfaction. I had a girdle made of porcupine quills, very well worked, after the manner of the country where it was made, and which His Majesty thought very pretty. I had also two little birds, of the size of blackbirds and of a carnation color; [354] also, the head of a fish caught in the great lake of the Iroquois, having a very long snout and two or three rows of very sharp teeth. A representation of this fish may be found on the great lake, on my geographical map. [355]

After I had concluded my interview with His Majesty, Sieur de Monts determined to go to Rouen to meet his associates, the Sieurs Collier and Le Gendre, merchants of Rouen, to consider what should be done the coming year. They resolved to continue the settlement, and finish the explorations up the great river St. Lawrence, in accordance with the promises of the Ochateguins, made on condition that we should assist them in their wars, as I had given them to understand.

Pont Gravé was appointed to go to Tadoussac, not only for traffic, but to engage in any thing else that might realize means for defraying the expenses.

Sieur Lucas Le Gendre, of Rouen, one of the partners, was ordered to see to the purchase of merchandise and supplies, the repair of the vessels, obtaining crews, and other things necessary for the voyage.

After these matters were arranged, Sieur de Monts returned to Paris, I accompanying him, where I stayed until the end of February. During this time, Sieur de Monts endeavored to obtain a new commission for trading in the newly discovered regions, and where no one had traded before. This he was unable to accomplish, although his requests and proposals were just and reasonable.

But, finding that there was no hope of obtaining this commission, he did not cease to prosecute his plan, from his desire that every thing might turn out to the profit and honor of France.

During this time, Sieur de Monts did not express to me his pleasure in regard to me personally, until I told him it had been reported to me that he did not wish to have me winter in Canada, which, however, was not true, for he referred the whole matter to my pleasure.

I provided myself with whatever was desirable and necessary for spending the winter at our settlement in Quebec. For this purpose I set out from Paris the last day of February following, [356] and proceeded to Honfleur, where the embarkation was to be made. I went by way of Rouen, where I stayed two days. Thence I went to Honfleur, where I found Pont Gravé and Le Gendre, who told me they had embarked what was necessary for the settlement. I was very glad to find that we were ready to set sail, but uncertain whether the supplies were good and adequate for our sojourn and for spending the winter.


351. September, 1609.

352. A small seaport town in the department of Finisterre, twelve miles west of Brest.

353. The Ochateguins, called by the French Hurons, were a branch of the Iroquois. Their real name was Yendots. They were at this time allied with the Algonquins, in a deadly war with their Iroquois cousins, the Five Nations.--_Vide Gallatins Synopsis_, Transactions of Am. Antiq. Society, Cambridge, 1836, Vol. II. p. 69, _et passim_.

354. The Scarlet tanager, _Pyranga rubra_, of a scarlet color, with black wings and tail. It ranges from Texas to Lake Huron.

355. _Vide antea_, p. 216; and map. 1612.

356. Anno Domini 1610.

This is the conclusion of Volume II, Part XXVIII, Chapter 11 of Voyages

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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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