is the ninth 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 DISCOVERIES ALONG THE COAST OF THE ALMOUCHIQUOIS.
We had spent more than five weeks in
going over three degrees of latitude, and our voyage was limited to
six, since we had not taken provisions for a longer time. In
consequence of fogs and storms, we had not been able to go farther
than Mallebarre, where we waited several days for fair weather, in
order to sail. Finding ourselves accordingly pressed by the
scantiness of provisions, Sieur de Monts determined to return to the
Island of St. Croix, in order to find another place more favorable
for our settlement, as we had not been able to do on any of the
coasts which we had explored on this voyage.
Accordingly, on the 25th of July, we set out from this harbor, in
order to make observations elsewhere. In going out, we came near
being lost on the bar at the entrance, from the mistake of our
pilots, Cramolet and Champdoré, masters of the barque, who had
imperfectly marked out the entrance of the channel on the southern
side, where we were to go. Having escaped this danger, we headed
north-east  for six leagues, until we reached Cap Blanc,
sailing on from there to Island Cape, a distance of fifteen leagues,
with the same wind. Then we headed east-north-east sixteen leagues,
as far as Choüacoet, where we saw the savage chief, Marchin, 
whom we had expected to see at the Lake Quinibequy. He had the
reputation of being one of the valiant ones of his people. He had a
fine appearance: all his motions were dignified, savage as he was.
Sieur de Monts gave him many presents, with which he was greatly
pleased; and, in return, Marchin gave him a young Etechemin boy,
whom he had captured in war, and whom we took away with us; and thus
we set out, mutually good friends. We headed north-east a quarter
east for fifteen leagues, as far as Quinibequy, where we arrived on
the 29th of the month, and where we were expecting to find a savage,
named Sasinou, of whom I spoke before. Thinking that he would come,
we waited some time for him, in order to recover from him an
Etechemin young man and girl, whom he was holding as prisoners.
While waiting, there came to us a captain called Anassou, who
trafficked a little in furs, and with whom we made an alliance. He
told us that there was a ship, ten leagues off the harbor, which was
engaged in fishing, and that those on her had killed five savages of
this river, under cover of friendship. From his description of the
men on the vessel, we concluded that they were English, and we named
the island where they were La Nef;  for, at a distance, it had
the appearance of a ship. Finding that the above-mentioned Sasinou
did not come, we headed east-south-east, [176-1/2] for twenty
leagues, to Isle Haute, where we anchored for the night.
On the next day, the 1st of August, we sailed east some twenty
leagues to Cap Corneille,  where we spent the night. On the 2d
of the month, we sailed north-east seven leagues to the mouth of the
river St. Croix, on the western shore. Having anchored between the
two first islands,  Sieur de Monts embarked in a canoe, at a
distance of six leagues from the settlement of St. Croix, where we
arrived the next day with our barque. We found there Sieur des
Antons of St. Malo, who had come in one of the vessels of Sieur de
Monts, to bring provisions and also other supplies for those who
were to winter in this country.
174. Champlain is in error as to the longitude of Mallebarre, or
Nauset harbor, from which they took their departure on the 25th of
July, 1605. This port is about 38' east of Island Cape, or Cape
Anne, and about 16' east of the western point of Cap Blanc, or Cape
Cod; and, to reach their destination, they must have sailed
north-west, and not north-east, as he erroneously states.
175. They had failed to meet him at the lake in the Kennebec;
namely, Merrymeeting Bay.--_Vide antea_, p. 60.
176. The island which they thus named _La Nef_, the Ship, was
Monhegan, about twenty-five nautical miles east from the mouth of
the Kennebec, a mile and a third long, with an elevation at its
highest point of a hundred and forty feet above the level of the
sea, and in latitude 43º 45' 52". Champlain's conjecture as to the
nationality of the ship was correct. It was the "Archangel,"
commanded by the celebrated explorer, Captain George Weymouth, who
under the patronage of the Earl of Southampton came to explore our
Atlantic coast in the spring of 1605, for the purpose of selecting a
site for an English colony. He anchored near Monhegan on the 28th of
May, N. S.; and, after spending nearly a month in reconnoitring the
islands and mainland in the vicinity, and capturing five of the
natives, he took his departure for England on the 26th of June. On
the 5th of July, just 9 days after Weymouth left the coast, De Monts
and Champlain entered with their little barque the mouth of the
Kennebec. They do not appear to have seen at that time any of the
natives at or about the mouth of the river; and it is not unlikely
that, on account of the seizure and, as they supposed, the murder of
their comrades by Weymouth, they had retired farther up the river
for greater safety. On the return, however, of the French from Cape
Cod, on the 29th of July, Anassou gave them, as stated in the text,
a friendly reception, and related the story of the seizure of his
To prevent the interference of other nations, it was the policy of
Weymouth and his patron not to disclose the locality of the region
he had explored; and consequently Rosier, the narrator of the
voyage, so skilfully withheld whatever might clearly identify the
place, and couched his descriptions in such indefinite language,
that there has been and is now a great diversity of opinion on the
subject among local historians. It was the opinion of the Rev.
Thomas Prince that Weymouth explored the Kennebec, or Sagadahoc, and
with him coincide Mr. John McKeen and the Rev. Dr. Ballard, of
Brunswick. The Rev. Dr. Belknap, after satisfactory examinations,
decided that it was the Penobscot; and he is followed by Mr. William
Willis, late President of the Maine Historical Society. Mr. George
Prince, of Bath, has published an elaborate paper to prove that it
was St. George's River; and Mr. David Cushman, of Warren, coincides
in this view. Other writers, not entering into the discussion at
length, accept one or another of the theories above mentioned. It
does not fall within the purview of our present purpose to enter
upon the discussion of this subject. But the statement in the text,
not referred to by any of the above-mentioned writers, "that those
on her had killed five savages _of this river," que ceux de dedans
avoient tué cinq sauuages d'icelle rivière_, can hardly fail to have
weight in the decision of this interesting question.
The chief Anassou reported that they were "killed," a natural
inference under the circumstances; but in fact they were carefully
concealed in the hold of the ship, and three of them, having been
transported to England and introduced into his family, imparted much
important information to Sir Ferdinando Gorges, whose distinguished
career was afterward so intimately connected with the progress of
American colonization. For the discussion touching the river
explored by Weymouth, _vide Prince's Annals_, 1736, _in loco;
Belknap's American Biography_, 1794, Vol. II., art. Weymouth;
_Remarks on the Voyage of George Waymouth_, by John McKeen, Col. Me.
His. Society, Vol. V. p. 309; _Comments on Waymouth's Voyage_, by
William Willis, idem, p. 344; _Voyage of Captain George Weymouth_,
by George Prince, Col. Me. His. Soc., Vol. VI. p. 293; _Weymouth's
Voyage_, by David Cushman, _idem_, p. 369; _George Weymouth and the
Kennebec_, by the Rev. Edward Ballard, D. D., Memorial Volume of the
Popham Celebration, Portland, 1863, p. 301.
176-1/2. _We headed east south-east_. It is possible that, on
leaving the mouth of the Kennebec, they sailed for a short distance
to the south-east; but the general course was to the north-east.
177. _Cap Corneille_, or Crow Cape, was apparently the point of land
advancing out between Machias and Little Machias Bays, including
perhaps Cross Island. De Monts and his party probably anchored and
passed the night in Machias Bay. The position of Cap Corneille may
be satisfactorily fixed by its distance and direction from the Grand
Manan, as seen on Champlain's map of 1612, to which the reader is
178. This anchorage was between Campobello and Moose Island, on
which is situated the town of Eastport.
is the conclusion of Chapter 9 of Voyages
Continue here for Chapter 10
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.