A History of Canada: - Vol. 1

By Gustave Lanctot; Josephine Hambleton | Go to book overview

CHAPTER EIGHT
THE FOUNDING OF ACADIA

De Monts founds St. Croix and Port Royal with monopoly of the fur trade. After revocation, Poutrincourt settles at Port Royal with his son Biencourt. Cultivation of the soil and baptism of the natives. Madame de Guercheville finances the Jesuits and obtains Acadia. The Biencourt-Biard quarrel. Founding of the St. Sauveur mission. The English on the coast. Argall, from Virginia, attacks and destroys St. Sauveur, St. Croix and Port Royal. France protests in vain. Poutrincourt abandons Acadia and is killed in France.

What was to become of the royal plan for a Canadian colony after the death of Vice-Admiral de Chastes? The moment he landed at Honfleur on September 20, Champlain set out for Fontainebleau, where he laid the map of his explorations before the King, described the friendly disposition of the natives, the importance of the trade and great fertility of the country. He also spoke of the possibility of finding the passage to China, that waterway which continued to exercise so strong a fascination over the minds of the men of that day. Already won to the cause, Henry IV promised never to "drop this plan but ever to encourage and promote it." On November 8, 1603, he signed a commission appointing the Huguenot Pierre du Guast, Sieur de Monts, Lieutenant-General in Acadia; this gentleman had long been a faithful adherent to the King's party and ever since his trip to Tadoussac had taken a keen interest in the colonial enterprise, both because his was a bold, adventurous spirit anxious for renown, and because he wanted to glorify the name of France.1

The commission granted him full ownership rights over Acadia, a territory ranging from 40° to 46° latitude, that is, from New Jersey to Cape Breton, and full powers to govern, legislate and grant deeds to lands. The terms charged him to people the

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