A History of Canada: Volume One: From its Origins to the Royal Regime, 1663 - Vol. 1

By Gustave Lanctot; Josephine Hambleton | Go to book overview

CHAPTER NINE
THE FOUNDING OF QUEBEC

Thanks to de Monts, Champlainestablishes the post at Quebec. Allied with the Hurons and Algonquins, he defeats the Iroquois. Difficulties with trade that is open to anyone. Appointment of a Viceroy with monopoly of the fur trade. Champlainexplores the Ottawa. Condéand the Company of Merchants: trade and colonization. The arrival of the Récollets. Champlain among the Hurons. His siege of an Iroquois village fails. Condéin the Bastille. The company sends no colonists. Louis Hébert. Despite the efforts of Champlain, the post makes no progress.

In September 1607, Champlain returned to France. His departure from the New World was necessitated by the arbitrary revocation of the ten-year monopoly of the fur trade granted to the Sieur de Monts, which had been in force for only one year. Despite a personal loss of 10,000 livres and the heavy debts on the books of his company, the devoted de Monts "determined to continue in the pursuit of his plans" to found a colony in America. Champlain persuaded him to establish the new post on the St. Lawrence River rather than in Acadia for a number of reasons: furs abounded in the valley, the natives were friendly and it was easy to control the trade from that location. On January 7, 1608, de Monts obtained new letters patent from King Henry IV which reaffirmed his lieutenant-governorship of New France and granted him a monopoly over the fur trade throughout the whole country for one year, without imposing any obligation to settle colonists.1

De Monts at once equipped three ships, two for ordinary trading purposes and a third, the Don-de-Dieu. The latter was equipped to establish a trading-post and was under the orders of Champlain, to whom de Monts had delegated his lieutenancy. From Tadoussac (beyond which point ships dared not venture in

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