Source: Canadian Museum of Civilization

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Beginning of a colony

 

Personalities

Louis Hébert (about 1575-1627)

 

In 1617, this Parisian apothecary settled in Quebec with his family.  His knowledge of pharmacology was widely appreciated; his desire to become a farmer was less encouraged.  During the following year, Samuel de Champlain – the founder of Quebec and a strong believer in Hébert’s project – was overjoyed to see farmlands flourishing with vegetables and grains.  Hébert’s efforts earned him the title of “first colonist” of New France.

Jean Talon (1626-1694)

 

In 1665, Louis XIV appointed Jean Talon as the first Intendant of New France, giving him administrative responsibility for a colony that had been weakened by strong Iroquois resistance to the settlements.  Intendant Talon concentrated first on consolidating defense and judicial services, later turning his attention to colonization projects.  Within five years, he had contributed greatly to agricultural diversity in New France, enabling the colony to become a self-sufficient trading region.

Samuel de Champlain (about 1570-1635)

 

Champlain, who founded Quebec City in 1608, is also known as the “Father of New France”.  He was a cartographer, an explorer and, for a time, governor of the colony.  His travels into present-day Quebec, Ontario, New York, Ohio and Michigan laid French claim to much of North America.  This helped establish a vast trading network and strategic route which was used by Europeans for more than two centuries.

 

General James Wolfe(ca.1727-1759)

Marquis de Montcalm (1712-1759)

 

At the beginning of May 1759, Britain’s General James Wolfe and his army sailed up the St. Lawrence River to the àŽle d’Orléans, below Quebec City, where Louis-Joseph Marquis de Montcalm led New France’s defenses. On the night of September 12th, following a long and unsuccessful siege, Wolfe launched a desperate surprise attack.  Quebec would fall by morning.  Both Wolfe and Montcalm were mortally wounded.  This British victory, known as The Battle of the Plains of Abraham, marked the imminent collapse of France’s North American empire.

 

Pierre-Esprit Radisson (ca. 1640-1710)

Médard Chouart Des Groseillers (1625-1685)

 

In 1659-1660, Radisson and his brother-in-law Des Groseillers – both of whom were voyageurs and coureurs des bois – journeyed through the unexplored regions east and south of Lake Superior.  When the two men returned to Three Rivers, the pelts they had collected were confiscated by colonial administrators.  Angered by this, Radisson and Des Groseillers began doing business with the English, which led to their later exploration of the Hudson Bay region – a vast area rich in fur.

Thanadelthur (ca.1713)

 

Thanadelthur, well-respected guide and interpreter for the Hudson’s Bay Company, was a member of the Chipewyan First Nation.  Around 1712, she was captured by the Cree, fur-trade rivals of the Chipewyan, but escaped within a year.  Her knowledge and her negotiating skills put Thanadelthur in the forefront of a three-way peace between the Company, the Cree and the Chipewyan.

 

 

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Beginning of a colony

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