1600 to 1699
1600 - Fur Trade & the First 'Unofficial' Settlement
--- Beaver hats became the fashion rage in Europe and the demand for beaver pelts increased enormously. One single pelt was valued more than a human life.
--- François Grave du Pont (a.k.a. Pontgrave) and Pierre Chauvin de Tonnetuit sailed to Tadoussac and established the first unofficial settlement in Canada. Since they were Huguenot (French Protestant), the settlement was never officially recognized by the Catholic Church.
1602 - The Canada and Acadia Company
--- Aymar de Clermont de Chaste was appointed Vice-Admiral of France by King Henri IV. He was commissioned to colonize New France and was granted a fur trade monopoly. To those ends, he created The Canada and Acadia Company.
1603 - Samuel de Champlain
--- François Grave du Pont was appointed de Chaste's representative in New France. Samuel de Champlain sailed with him on his first voyage in March to New France.
--- May 13 - Aymar de Clermont de Chaste died. Pierre du Gua de Monts replaced him as Lieutenant General of Acadia and took over the fur trade monopoly.
--- May 27 - Champlain was told by the Montagnais and Algonkins that they had attacked an Iroquois village near the Iroquois River and massacred and scalped over 100 Iroquois. Champlain suspected exaggeration, but noted that it was an attempt by the Natives to show that they were seeking an alliance with the French.
1604 - Champlain and the Iroquois
1605 - Champlain - First Permanent Settlement in Canada
--- Champlain founded Port-Royal (present-day Annapolis, Nova Scotia) which ultimately became the first permanent settlement in Canada. (see 'Champlain' Details, 1604)
--- The Canada and Acadia Company went bankrupt. The de Monts Trading Company was formed by de Monts, Champlain, and Pontgrave. (see 'Champlain' Details, 1604)
1608 - Champlain - Québec & Conspiracy
--- July 8 - Champlain founded Kebec (Québec - hereafter spelled 'Quebec'), the name deriving from the Algonkin word for 'where the river narrows'. Traitors, hired by the Spanish and Basque, conspired to murder Samuel de Champlain. Champlain discovered the conspiracy and his drastic actions ultimately sealed an alliance with the natives of Huronia.
1609 - Champlain - Battle of Ticonderoga
--- June 5 - A relief ship from France arrived in Quebec to find only 8 of the original 28 colonists left alive. The others had died of scurvy and winter.
--- Étienne Brûlé was sent by Champlain to live among the Hurons as a 'truchement' ('embassador') (see 1610). Nicolas du Vignau was sent to live among the Algonquins on the Ottawa River. Savignon, son of the Algonquin chief Iroquet, was sent to live in France. The exchange was a great success.
--- Champlain allied with the Natives north of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River against the Iroquois to the south in the Battle of Ticonderoga. The battle would introduce European guns to the Iroquois with deadly results.
--- Writer Marc Lescarbot, who sojourned with Champlain, became the first historian of Canada with his book "A History of New France".
--- Henry Hudson was commissioned by King James I of England to locate the Northwest Passage. (see 1610)
--- The fur trade monopoly granted to The de Monts Trading Company was not renewed. The Company folded and de Monts formed a partnership with the Rouen Merchants.
1610 - John Guy - First English Settlement in Canada
--- April 26 - The first Jesuits arrived in Quebec. They were not well-received in New France. Their ambiguous beliefs and anti-Christian actions were matters of great contention throughout their time in the New World.
--- May 2 - The Company of Adventurers and Planters of London and Bristol (a.k.a. The New Found Land Company) was established with the intent to colonize Newfoundland.
1611 - Henry Hudson - Mutiny
--- The crew of the Discovery mutinied when Henry Hudson wanted to continue his search for the Northwest Passage. Hudson, his son, and 7 others were set adrift in Hudson Bay. No trace of them was ever found. (see 'Henry Hudson' Details, 1610)
1612 - John Guy and The Beothuk
--- John Guy discovered the reclusive Beothuk, which would ultimately be the first and only recorded encounter with the Beothuk. (see 'John Guy' Details, 1611)
--- With England's first settlement, Cuper's Cove (present-day Cupid's Cove), failing, John Guy resigned as Governor and returned to England. The settlement at Cuper's Cove was abandoned shortly thereafter. (see 'John Guy' Details, 1611)
--- Samuel Argall, a pirate based in Virginia, attacked, looted and destroyed Port-Royal (present-day Annapolis, Nova Scotia).
1615 - Champlain and The Black Robes
--- Father Joseph le Caron celebrated the first mass in what is present-day Ontario.
--- Schools were opened in Trois-Rivières and Tadoussac to teach Native children. More than teaching them, though, the French hoped to convert the children to Christianity.
--- Fort Trois-Rivières became a trading post.
--- Henri II, Duc de Montmorency, was named Viceroy of New France. Samuel de Champlain was appointed his lieutenant. De Montmorency began building Fort Saint Louis on the cliffs at Quebec. He formed the Compagne de Montmorency (Montmorency Company) and was granted an 11-year fur trade monopoly.
--- June 3 - The cornerstone of the first stone church in Quebec, Notre Dame des Anges, was laid by the Récollets.
--- The coureurs des bois (free fur traders) founded a trading post at Hochelaga (present-day Montreal) and named it Palace Royal. The coureurs des bois were considered pirates by the Church, so many of their accomplishments were attributed to either the priests or to other Frenchmen.
--- King Louis XIII of France merged the Compagne de Montmorency and the Compagne des Marchands de Rouen et de Saint Malo.
--- Henri II, Duc de Montmorency, established the feudal land system in Canada by granting the fief of Sault au Matelot to Louis Hébert, Canada's first permanent settler. (see 1617)
--- The French established a peace treaty with the Wendat (Hurons), Algonkins (Algonquins) and the Iroquois.
--- Armand-Jean de Plassis, Cardinal Richelieu, became Chief Minister to the French Crown and became the absolute master of New France. He imposed a monopoly on all commerce and proclaimed that all baptized (i.e. Catholic) colonists and Natives would receive equal rights. This action would create a caste system in Canada which would remain to present times.
--- Henri II, Duc de Montmorency, resigned as Viceroy of New France. His nephew, Henri de Levis, Duc de Vantadour, took his place. Champlain remained as de Vantadour's lieutenant.
1626 - Jesuits
--- Jesuit missionaries from the Society of Jesus began working amongst the Indians around Quebec to convert the Natives to Christianity. Jean de Brébeuf founded Jesuit missions in Huronia, near Georgian Bay.
--- The Iroquois destroyed the Mohicans and dominated all of eastern North America south of the St. Lawrence. They set their sights to the north.
--- January 25 - Louis Hébert, Canada's first permanent settler, died after a serious fall on the ice.
--- April 29 - The Company of One Hundred Associates (a.k.a. the Company of New France), organized by Armand-Jean de Plassis, Cardinal Richelieu, was given a fur-trade monopoly to all the lands claimed by New France. Champlain was named Lieutenant to the Viceroy of Canada and commissioned to establish a permanent colony of at least 4,000 people before 1643, which they failed to do. (see 1628)
--- Meanwhile, hostilities between England and France continued to grow.
1628 - The Kirke Brothers
--- The French ships carrying colonists to Quebec were intercepted by the Kertk (Kirke) brothers, ultimately resulting in the surrender of Quebec. (see Details, 1627)
--- July 19 - Louis Kirke attacked and took over Quebec in Britain's name. Champlain would work for the next 3 years to overturn the conquest of New France. (see Details, 1627)
--- It is quite likely that the family of Louis Hébert (see 1617) swore allegiance to England in order to retain their property and belongings rather than to be deported as were many other French families following the fall of Quebec to the British.
--- The Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye returned Quebec to France under the condition that King Louis XIII pay the dowry of one million livres to England. Champlain returned to rebuild the colony. (see Details, 1627)
--- Étienne Brûlé was murdered by the Hurons, either for trading with the Iroquois or for his sexual improprieties. The Hurons feared that Champlain would seek retribution, but Champlain, who now considered Brûlé a traitor, promised the Hurons that no action would be taken against them.
1634-1649 - Smallpox and the End of the Hurons
--- With the coming of the 'White Man' came also White Man's diseases: Measles, Influenza, and Smallpox to name just a few. Thousands of Hurons died and, by 1649, the Iroquois had all but wiped out those who survived. Forty years after meeting Samuel de Champlain, the Huron Nation ceased to exist.
--- December 25 - Samuel de Champlain died on Christmas Day in Quebec.
--- Sir Louis Kirke (knighted in 1633) was made the first governor of Newfoundland.
--- Jesuits founded the Jesuit College in Quebec.
--- Jacques Marquette (of Marquette and Jolliet) was born in France. (see 1666)
1639 - Marie de l'Incarnation & the Ursuline Convent
--- Marie de l'Incarnation embarked for New France, arriving on August 1. She became the first female missionary in Canada. Thanks to her frequent correspondence with her son, Claude, we have a unique glimpse into Canada's pioneer history.
1641 - Montréal
--- Marie de l'Incarnation founded the Ursuline Convent in Quebec and became the first Mother Superior of New France.
--- Catholic militants, The Mystics, founded Ville Marie (present-day Montréal, hereafter spelled 'Montreal'), led by Jérôme le Royer de la Dauversière and his wife, Paul de Chomedey de Maisonneuve (soldier and commander), and a nurse, Jeanne Mance (aged 34). Considered a 'foolhardy enterprise' by Governor Montmagny, the 'Society' was doomed to failure.
--- (circa 1641) Médard Chouart des Grosseilliers (of Radisson and Grosseilliers) arrived in New France. He spent several years in Huronia before meeting his future partner and brother-in-law, Pierre-Esprit Radisson. (see also 1651 and 1654)
1642-1667 - Iroquois Invasions
--- For 25 years, New France was under almost constant siege by the Iroquois. Using guerrilla raids instead of outright invasions, the Iroquois brought fur trade to a complete standstill. Anyone venturing out of the safety of Montreal, Quebec, or Trois-Rivières, even to gather fire wood, did so at extreme risk. Smaller settlements were massacred. Dozens of Jesuit missionaries were brutally murdered and the missions destroyed. Many other missions were abandoned. The Iroquois destroyed what remained of the Huron Nation. These invasions ultimately resulted in a declaration of war by France against the Iroquois.
--- Jesuit Isaac Joques, attempting to convert Iroquois to Christianity, was captured and tortured the first time. He returned in 1645, but on October 18, 1646, Joques was hacked to death by the Iroquois. He was only 39 years old.
--- November 21 - René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle was born in Rouen, Normandy. He would come to be known as the Mad Explorer. Through trickery and some devious manipulations, la Salle would ultimately explore the Mississippi River and claim the entire Mississippi basin for France. (see 1667)
--- Louis Jolliet (of Marquette and Jolliet) was born near Quebec in September. (see 1655)
--- Pierre-Esprit Radisson (of Radisson and Grosseilliers) arrived in Trois-Rivières with his family. He was captured by the Iroquois with whom he lived for a time, escaped, and then made his way back to New France where he became partners with Médard Chouart des Grosseilliers. (see also circa 1641 and 1659)
--- Iroquois defeated the Petun and Ottawa nations, gaining control of the entire St. Lawrence region.
--- Louis Jolliet (of Marquette and Jolliet) was enrolled in the Jesuit college in Quebec at the age of 10 where he began his study for the priesthood. (see 1667)
1659 - Radisson and des Grosseilliers
--- Following the loss of trade with the demise of the Huron Nation, the King of France commissioned Pierre-Esprit Radisson and his brother-in-law Médard Chouart des Grosseilliers to explore westward and set up trade relations with any natives they discovered. During their voyage, they discovered the headwaters of the 'Michissipi' River. The reactions to their return to Quebec would cause them to change allegiance to England (see 1665) and ultimately create the Hudson's Bay Company for England. (see 1669).
--- François de Laval arrived in Quebec as the Vicar General of the Pope in June.
--- In May, about 500 Iroquois Natives attacked Long Sault. Defended by only about 60 people, including Adam Dollard des Ormeaux, Long Sault was able to withstand the attack. Because of this battle, tradition holds that the Iroquois were so impressed with the efforts of the small band of Frenchmen that they decided not to attack Montreal as originally planned.
1661 - King Louis XIV & War against the Iroquois
--- The Prime Minister of France died and Pierre Boucher was sent from Trois-Rivières to France to beg help from 22-year-old King Louis XIV. Louis dreamed of ruling a huge empire and found Boucher's reports disturbing. He didn't want to begin his reign by losing New France to the Iroquois. King Louis XIV dismissed royal administration in the colony and appointed a governor and intendant and promised significant military support. War was declared on the Iroquois.
1662 - Alcohol
--- February 23 - The first concerns over the trade of alcohol for furs were met with a decree which made the sale of alcohol to natives illegal under threat of excommunication. (see 1679)
1663-1673 - Filles de Roi (Daughters of the King)
--- Over 800 Filles de Roi (Daughters of the King) were sent to New France for the purpose of settling there and marrying the many single male settlers. Unlike other women who had been brought to New Fance at the expense of the colonists, the Filles de Roi were sponsored by King Louis XIV of France.
1663 - Royal Province of Quebec
--- Quebec became a royal province and Laval organized the Séminaire du Québec. (Originally a theological college, the Séminaire would eventually become the Université de Laval in 1852.)
1664-1671 - Engagés and Voyageurs
--- Over 1,000 engagés (indentured servants) settled in New France, hired by colonial farmers, merchants, religious people, etc. Contracts lasted 3 years, during which time the engagés were denied citizenship, marriage, and were prohibited from becoming involved in fur trade. For their work, the engagés were paid 75 livres per year minus food, lodging and clothing. Their contracts could be bought or sold at any time without their consent. At the end of their tenure, the engagés had only the clothes on their backs, a few coins in their pockets, perhaps a gun if they were lucky enough, and their freedom. Most returned to France but many remained and became voyageurs, which were, essentially, canoeists for hire.
--- Hans Bernhardt became the first recorded German immigrant.
1665 - Radisson & des Grosseilliers Change Allegiance
--- Following the fines and confiscation of their furs in 1660, Radisson and des Grosseilliers secretly sailed to England where they switched their loyalties and began the process of forming the Hudson's Bay Company, a company which still exists in Canada. (see 1669)
--- Jean Talon became Quebec's first intendant (an administrative officer who oversaw agriculture, education, justice, trade, etc.). Talon arrived with the Carignan-Salières Regiment (1,200 soldiers who had been sent by King Louis XIV to deal with the Iroquois situation) and other representatives to the crown Governor Daniel de Remy de Courcelle, and the Commander of the troops, the Marquis of Tracy. (see 1666)
1666 - War without a War
--- Jacques Marquette (of Marquette and Jolliet) arrived in New France.
--- Canada's first census, counting 3,215 non-native inhabitants.
--- Radisson and des Grosseilliers, having failed to secure a new commission from France, gained sponsorship from Prince Rupert, cousin of King Charles II of England.
--- Louis Jolliet renounced his clerical vocation and left the Jesuit college at the age of 23 in order to become a coureur de bois.
--- The Carignan-Salières Regiment was recalled to France. Several hundred, however, chose to remain in New France.
--- Jesuit Father Jacques Marquette (of Marquette and Jolliet) arrived on assignment in Sault Ste. Marie where he met Louis Jolliet. Jolliet was well-aquainted with the Great Lakes region and could speak 5 indigenous native languages. (see 1673)
--- Radisson and des Grosseilliers sailed to Hudson Bay on their first voyage under the British flag. This voyage would confirm the creation of the Hudson's Bay Company (see 1674). During the voyage, Radisson's ship became damaged in a storm and he was forced to return to England. Des Grosseilliers continued on the Nonsuch, returning later with a shipload of furs. He was richly rewarded and was dubbed Knight of the Garter by King Charles II.
1670 - Hudson's Bay Company
--- May 2 - The Hudson' Bay Company was founded by King Charles II. Underwritten by a group of English merchants, the royal charter granted trade rights over Rupert's Land to the company. (Rupert's Land included all the land draining into Hudson Bay. At its most powerful, the Hudson's Bay Company owned 10% of the entire land surface of the earth.)
--- June 4 - Simon Daumont de Saint-Lusson formally took possession of the western interior of North America by declaration at Sault Ste. Marie. Effectively, the declaration claimed all the land from Sault Ste. Marie north to Hudson Bay, west to the Pacific Ocean, and south to the Gulf of Mexico.
--- Louis de Buade, Comte de Frontenac became the Governor-General of New France. His first administration would last 10 years. Despite his haughtiness, Frontenac would accomplish much in New France before being recalled to France in 1682.
--- April 30 - Marie de l'Incarnation died in Quebec, never having returned to France and never having seen her son again. She was 72.
--- Jesuit Father Charles Albanal travelled up the Saguenay River and reached Hudson and James Bays.
--- Marquette and Jolliet were commissioned by Frontenac to explore the Michissipi (Mississippi) River to determine if it flowed into the Pacific Ocean (as hoped) or into the Gulf of Mexico (as feared).
--- La Salle constructed Fort Cataracoui (also Cataraqui, present-day Kingston, Ontario). In France, la Salle began his lifestyle as a shrewd con man in order to further his wealth and historical prominence. (see 1678)
--- Laval became the first Bishop of Quebec.
--- Jesuit Father Jacques Marquette died at Green Bay from illnesses acquired during his trip down the Mississippi River. Louis Jolliet returned to Quebec where he was married. He became a renowned merchant who was often consulted by the colony officials when important trade and settlement decisions had to be made. (see also 1679)
1676 - End of the Coureurs des Bois
--- April 15 - King Louis XIV signed a decree banning fur trade from private traders and trappers, the coureurs des bois. The decree forced the natives to travel to specific trading posts on specific days to trade their furs and the coureurs des bois eventually passed into history.
--- Récollet priest Louis Hennepin became the first person to describe and to draw Niagara Falls.
--- King Louis XIV signed another decree preventing the sale of alcohol outside any French dwelling and banned transportation of alcohol to any Native village under threat of severe penalty.
--- Charles Aubert de la Chesnaye, friend to Pierre-Esprit Radisson, formed the Compagnie Française de la Baie d'Hudson (a.k.a the Northern Company) in an effort to compete with the Hudson's Bay Company of England. Radisson and des Grosseilliers were hired by the Company to reclaim the trading posts on Hudson Bay. This would ultimately be the final, tragic, and disturbing chapter in the Radisson and des Grosseilliers saga.
1682 - La Salle... the Mad Explorer
--- April 9 - René-Robert Cavelier de la Salle reached the mouth of the Mississippi River after 4 years of exploring the length of the river. He claimed the entire Mississippi basin in the name of France and named it Louisiana after King Louis XIV. (see 1684)
--- King Louis XIV revolked the title of Governor-General granted to Louis de Buade, Compte de Frontenac in 1672 and recalled him to France.
1684 - La Salle and Louisiana
Using altered maps, la Salle tricked the King of France into believing that Louisiana was rich in silver and that the mouth of the Mississippi River would be an ideal place for a colony and fort in order to stave off Spanish incursions from the south. The King named la Salle commander of all Louisiana and commissioned him to start a colony on the Mississippi Delta. La Salle's haughty, self-serving nature would ultimately result in his assassination. (see 1687)
--- March 19 - La Salle was ambushed and shot in the head by Pierre Duhault. Mortally wounded, la Salle was stripped naked by his men. All his belongings were taken away and la Salle was left where he had fallen.
1689 - English Invasion
--- May - France and England declared war. English colonists in New York heard the news first and convinced their Iroquois allies to attack the French. Most French colonies were unfortified. Their vast expansion had not allowed them to defend them properly.
--- August 5 - 1,500 Iroquois attacked Lachine near Montreal, which became known as the Lachine Massacre. Of the 375 inhabitants, 24 were killed and 76 others were taken prisoner. Fifty-six of the 77 buildings were razed to the ground.
1690 - French Retaliation & King William's War
--- Following the Lachine Massacre, Frontenac ordered a retaliatory attack on Albany in the British colony of New York. This war, the first in the British and French colonies, would come to be known as King William's War.
--- February - Frontenac began his invasion. One hundred and sixteen militiamen and 96 Indian allies were placed in the charge of coureur de bois Nicolas D'Ailleboust de Manthet and brothers Jacques le Moyne de Sainte-Hélène (see October 16, 1690) and Pierre le Moyne d'Iberville (see 1696). They reached the fort at Schenectady and massacred 60 settlers.
--- May 11 - Sir William Phips, (sent by Massachusetts) captured Port-Royal (Annapolis, NS).
--- October 16 - Admiral Phips approached Quebec with 34 ships, including 4 warships. Phips sent Major Thomas Savage to demand the surrender of Quebec and the entire French colony. Frontenac's reply was: "The only answer I have for your general will come from the mouths of my cannon and muskets." Frontenac had been forewarned of the invasion and had secretly gathered 3,000 militiamen and natives. When Phips attempted a landing, he was surprised by resistance from Jacques le Moyne de Sainte-Hélène and the invasion was repulsed. le Moyne died in battle.
--- October 24 - With many of his ships seriously damaged by artillery fire from Quebec, Phips weighed anchor and returned to Boston.
1696 - Les Canadiens & British Surrender
--- France and England were at war yet again. Pierre le Moyne d'Iberville became the most famous 'Canadien', (colony-born soldier). He ejected the British from Hudson Bay and, in November, led 120 militia and Mi'kmaq warriors and attacked British fishing outposts on Newfoundland before attacking the settlement and fort at St. John's. In the attack on the settlement, d'Iberville had the homes torched, then scalped a prisoner named William Drew and sent the scalp into the fort with a demand for surrender. The British surrendered and abandoned St. John's to the French.
--- For his efforts, d'Iberville was dubbed 'Chevalier de l'Ordre de Saint Louis', the highest military distinction in the kingdom of France.
--- The Treaty of Ryswick assured that all lands captured during the struggles between the English and French were returned.
--- November 28 - Louis de Buade, Comte de Frontenac died at Quebec. He was 76.