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Samuel de Champlain: Explorer and Colonizer


Map: Champlain's 1632 map of eastern Canada

Samuel de Champlain
Born 1570, died 1635

Samuel de Champlain was a gifted man, and was many things in his life: explorer, map-maker, writer and governor of New France. From 1603 until 1635, he made twelve voyages to New France. He is credited with starting the first permanent colony at Quebec City.

What's in a Name
Graphical element: spacer Quebec -- When Jacques Cartier arrived in 1535, the site was called Stadacona by the Iroquois who lived there. When Champlain arrived it was Quebecq, the Algonquin and Abenaki word for the narrow channel of the St. Lawrence, "the place where the river narrows".

Rayburn, Alan. Oxford Dictionary of Canadian Place Names. Don Mills, Ont.: Oxford University Press, ©1999, p. 318.

Gillmor, Don and Pierre Turgeon. Canada: A People's History. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, ©2000, p. 63.

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Order of Good Cheer
In 1605, at Port-Royal, Nova Scotia, Champlain started the Order of Good Cheer. He didn't want his men to get bored and restless on long winter nights. Each man in turn was responsible for organizing an evening of good fun. They feasted, put on plays and danced.

Title page: Champlain's published account of his voyages


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