Voyages of Samuel de Champlain, 1604-1618

By Samuel de Champlain; W. L. Grant | Go to book overview

Chapter 4

Sieur de Monts, finding no other place better adapted for a per-
manent settlement than the island of St. Croix, fortifies
it and builds dwellings. Return of the vessels to France,
and of Ralleau, secretary of Sieur de Monts, for the sake of
arranging some business affairs
.

Not finding any more suitable place than this island, we commenced making a barricade on a little islet a short distance from the main island, which served as a station for placing our cannon. All worked so energetically that in a little while it was put in a state of defence, although the mosquitoes (which are little flies) annoyed us excessively in our work. For there were several of our men whose faces were so swollen by their bites that they could scarcely see. The barricade being finished, Sieur de Monts sent his barque to notify the rest of our party, who were with our vessel in the bay of St. Mary, to come to St. Croix. This was promptly done, and while awaiting them we spent our time very pleasantly.

Some days after, our vessels having arrived and anchored, all disembarked. Then, without losing time, Sieur de Monts proceeded to employ the workmen in building houses for our abode, and allowed me to determine the arrangement of our settlement.1 After Sieur de Monts had determined the place

____________________
1
The following explanation of the accompanying map of the " Habitation de l'Isle Ste. Croix" is given by Champlain:

"A. Dwelling of Sieur de Monts. B. Public building where we spent our time when it rained. C. The storehouse. D. Dwelling of the guard. E. The blacksmith shop. F. Dwelling of the carpenters. G. The well. H. The oven where the bread was made. I. Kitchen. L. Gardens. M. Other gardens. N. Place in the centre where a tree stands. 0. Palisade. P. Dwellings of the Sieurs d'Orville, Champlain, and Champdoré. Q. Dwelling of Sieur Boulay, and other artisans. R. Dwelling where the Sieurs de Genestou, Sourin, and other artisans lived. T. Dwelling of the Sieurs de Beaumont, la Motte Bourioli, and Fougeray. V. Dwelling of our curate. X. Other gardens. Y. The river surrounding the island." Cf. the map in Early English and French Voyages, p. 412. In 1904 a commemorative tablet was set up, to mark the site of the settlement

.

-42-

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