Jacques Cartier's Third Voyage - 1541
Failure, Retirement & Suspension

Throughout the winter of 1541-1542, the Iroquoians had kept the fort at Charlesbourg-Royal under seige. All attempts to assuage the native anger over the loss of their chief, Donnacona, failed and Cartier was unable to regain any of the previous relationships he had cultivated. In Spring of 1542, Cartier abandoned Charlesbourg-Royal and set out for France with a supply of what he believed was gold and diamonds gathered from the shores of the St. Lawrence River.

In St. John's Harbour in Newfoundland, Cartier met up with de Robertval who had arrived in the New World with shiploads of supplies, colonists (mostly prisoners avoiding execution in France) and artillery. Cartier explained the previous winter's events and the Native hostilities, but de Robertval ordered Cartier to return to Charlesbourg-Royal and continue with the settlement. Charlesbourg-Royal must survive.

Under cover of night, Cartier set sail for France, leaving de Robertval to do what he wished. Cartier knew the futility of the settlement and wanted nothing more to do with it, but also knew that he would probably be hanged for treason by disobeying his superior.

(De Robertval continued to Charlesbourg-Royal without Cartier and renamed the settlement 'France Royal'. However, after losing 60 men to the winter cold and scurvy, de Robertval abandoned France Royal completely the next year.)

Back in France, the King was ecstatic over the cache of 'gold and diamonds' Cartier had brought with him from the New World. However, the gold turned out to be worthless iron pyrite - fool's gold. The diamonds were nothing but quartz. Canada, apparently, offered nothing which would compensate for the money spent to finance the voyages.

French exploration in the New World was suspended.

No more commissions were granted to Jacques Cartier. He retired to his birthplace, St. Malo, where he died in 1557.


First Voyage 1534 - First Encounters & Chief Donnacona
Second Voyage 1535 - Stadacona & Hochelaga
Second Voyage 1535 - Winter & Scurvy
Third Voyage 1541 - Settlement of Charlesbourg-Royal
* Third Voyage 1541 - Failure, Retirement & Suspension *

FIN