Samuel de Champlain's Second Voyage - 1604
First Permanent Settlement in Canada

Having returned from New France in 1603, Champlain discovered that Aymar de Clermont de Chaste, the man responsible for his voyage, had died and that he, Champlain, had been appointed in de Chaste's place as Vice-Admiral of France. With his Huguenot (French Protestant) friend, Pierre du Gua de Monts, Lieutenant General of Acadia, now in charge of the fur trade monopoly through the Canada and Acadia Company, Champlain made plans for a permanent settlement in the New World.

As de Monts gathered funds, Champlain gathered supplies and colonists. In 1604, Champlain and de Monts set sail for the new world. Weeks later, they landed at l'Île Sainte-Croix in Passamaquoddy Bay near the border between New Brunswick and Maine. They had originally planned to begin a settlement there, but the site was an extremely poor choice. With very few trees, there was no firewood. There wasn't even a supply of fresh water. Scurvy and fierce weather claimed 35 lives of the group of 79 and they were prompted to sail south to Nausset (present-day Cape Cod) in search of warmer climes. Instead, they encountered the Iroquois for the first time with deadly results.

Every attempt by Champlain to meet with the Iroquois resulted in attacks by the Natives. Champlain quickly realized that their very nature would preclude any future relationships. The Iroquois, apparently, were not interested in trade. They were interested only in war.

With part of his crew standing watch, Champlain had his dead French companions buried on shore and the graves marked by wooden crosses. After a quick prayer of blessing, Champlain returned to his ship, but even as they rowed back, the Iroquois emerged from the forests, dancing and shouting their war cries. They dug up the bodies of the French and tossed the crosses into the sea. Champlain and his crew could only watch in horror as their dead shipmates were viciously hacked to pieces.

Champlain and company returned north into the Bay of Fundy where they landed on the western shore of Nova Scotia near present-day Annapolis, and there they decided to stay.

First Permanent Settlement in Canada

By Spring of 1605, a colony had begun which Champlain named Port-Royal. This would ultimately become the first permanent French settlement in Canada.

De Monts returned to France in order to obtain further funding and reinforcements. With some effort, he gathered enough money to send supplies and reinforcements to Port-Royal. He named Baron Jean de Biencourt de Poutrincourt the Governor of Acadia and placed him in charge of the voyage. (Acadia, named by Giovanni da Verrazzano in 1523 and adopted by the French, roughly corresponds to the present-day Maritime provinces.)

Following de Poutrincourt's departure, Pierre de Monts ultimately lost the battle with the investors. They felt that too much emphasis was being put on colonization rather than on the fur trading which would bring them heavy returns on their investments. Instead of seeing the 70% profits being gained by the Spanish and Dutch, the French were seeing very little. They were not content to wait years before they saw their money grow and began to pull out of the Canada and Acadia Company. The company was put into receivership and the fur trade monopoly was struck down.

De Monts sent word to Champlain.

Port Royal

In 1606, when he arrived in Acadia, Baron Jean de Biencourt de Poutrincourt, Governor of Acadia, found Port-Royal flourishing. The land was fertile and the crops were very healthy and prosperous. The Bay of Fundy offered a steady supply of fish and fur trade had been set up between the French and the local natives.

Later, when news arrived from France that the Canada and Acadia Company had gone bankrupt, Champlain returned to France with many of the colonists accompanying him.

In France, Pierre du Gua de Monts formed the de Monts Trading Company and Samuel de Champlain and François Grave du Pont joined as members. The Company was granted the fur trade monopoly which originally belonged to the Canada and Acadia Company.

Meanwhile, de Poutrincourt remained in Port-Royal and, by remaining, ensured that Port-Royal would be the first permanent French settlement in Canada.


First Voyage 1603 - The Path to Settlement
* First Permanent Settlement in Canada *
The Founding of Québec
The Battle of Ticonderoga
Champlain in Huronia
Fall of Québec