Champlain's Voyage: A Chronology

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Champlain's Dream

From CHAMPLAIN'S DREAM by David Hackett Fischer. Copyright © 2008 by David Hackett Fischer. 

Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Fischer, Pulitzer Prize–winner for Washington's Crossing, has produced the definitive biography of Samuel de Champlain (1567–1635): spy, explorer, courtier, soldier, sailor, ethnologist, mapmaker, and founder and governor of New France (today's Quebec), which he founded in 1608. This extraordinary and flawed individual was a man of war who dreamed of establishing a peaceful nation in the New World. Fischer once again displays a staggering and wide research, lightly worn, including no fewer than 16 fascinating appendixes covering everything from the Indian Nations in Champlain's World, 1603–35 to Champlain's preferred firearm. The bibliography is equally impressive, and the same should be said of Fischer's literary skills and approach. He does not have a thesis, or a theory, or an ideology, but instead answers questions (Who was this man? What did he do? Why should we care?) to weave together his epic story. With 2008 the 400th anniversary of the foundation of New France, the time is ripe for this outstanding work. 16 pages of color photos; b&w photos, maps. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.





Many voyages with his father, a pilot and captain





Campaigns in Brittany; secret missions & at least one voyage for the king





Blavet (now Port-Louis), to Cadiz, Spain, in Saint-Julien



Cadiz to Sanlucar to Seville to Sanlucar



Sanlucar to Guadeloupe in San Julian

Guadeloupe to Virgin Islands, in San Julian

Virgin Islands to Margarita, in patache Sandoval

Margarita to Puerto Rico, in patache Sandoval

Puerto Rico to Haiti in San Julian

Haiti to Mexico in San Julian

Mexico to Panama

Panama to Mexico

Mexico to Cuba in San Julian

Cuba to Cartagena

Cartagena to Cuba



Cuba to Florida and return?

Cuba to Spain by way of Bermuda and the Azores



In Cadiz with his uncle



Cadiz to France?



In France, visiting family in Brouage; studying with geographers in Paris; working with ships’ chandlers at Dieppe; visiting other ports and places





March 15  Departs Honfleur in Bonne-Renommée with Françoise

May 26  Arrives Tadoussac Harbor

May 27  Tabagie at St. Mathew’s Point (Pointe aux Alouettes)

May 28-June 9  Meetings with Montagnais, Etchemin and Algonquin at Tadoussac

June 11-17  Explores lower Saguenay River

June 18-July 11  Explores upper St. Lawrence River from Tadoussac to the Great Rapids near Montreal

July 15-19  Explores lower St. Lawrence River from Tadoussac to Gaspé and return

July 20-August 3  Explores upper St. Lawrence River

August 16-September 20  Tadoussac to Honfleur in Bonne-Renommée


FRANCE, 1603-04



September 20  Arrives Honfleur in Bonne-Renommée

November 15  Receives license to publish his first book, Des Sauvages        

September-April  Working in France


Acadia and norumbega, 1604-05



April 7-May 8  Sails from Honfleur (Normandy) to La Hève (Acadia) in Don-de-Dieu with de Mons, Pont-Gravé, and Poutrincourt

May 13-June ?  Explores coast of Acadia from Port Mouton to St. Mary’s Bay, his first independent command in New France

June 16-24  Explores coast of Acadia to the Bay of Fundy with de Mons in command; finds sites for colonies at Cape Sable, St. Mary’s Bay, Port Royal, Sainte-Croix, Saint John

July-September  Working on Sainte-Croix Island; exploring Sainte-Croix River

August 31  Poutrincourt leaves Sainte-Croix for France in Don-de-Dieu

September 2-October 2  Explores coast of Mine from Sainte-Croix to Penobscot and mouth of Kennebec River; his second independent command

October 2 Returns to Sainte-Croix Island

Winter  at Sainte-Croix Island

PORT-ROYAL, 1605-07



March 15-April 10  Explores the coast and islands of Acadia, Pont-Gravé in command and Champdoré as pilot; ends in wreck of the barque near Port-Royal; Champlain saves all passengers and the crew

June 18-August 3  Explores coast of New England to Cape Cod with de Mons in command

July 23  Fight with Indians at Mallebarre (Nauset on Cape Cod)

August-September  Helps move the colony from Sainte-Croix to Port-Royal

November-December?  Voyage from Port-Royal to Saint John River and the Port-aux-Mines in search of copper deposits


Winter  At Port-Royal (now Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia)



Spring  Explores coast of Acadia with Pont-Gravé in command

July 26  Poutrincourt arrives, takes command at Port-Royal

September 5-November 14  Explores coast of New England with Poutrincourt in command

October 15-16  Fight with Indians at Misfortune Harbor (Stage Harbor, Cape Cod)



Winter  at Port-Royal



July  Colonists ordered by de Mons to return to France

August 11-September 2  Sails from Port Royal to Canso

September 3-30  Sails from Port-Royal to Saint-Malo in ship Jonas


FRANCE, 1607-08



September 30  Arrives Saint-Malo

Meets with De Mons and the king



Winter  in France, completes manuscript map of 1607 (now in Library of Congress)



Offered command of a new settlement at Quebec

April 13-June 3  Sails from Honfleur to Tadoussac Roads in Don-de-Die


QUEBEC, 1608-09



June 3-29  Explores Saguenay River and lower St. Lawrence River

June 30  Sails upriver from Tadoussac

July 3  Founding of Quebec

July 4  Begins construction of storehouse and first habitation

July “Some days after” July 3,  Jean Duval’s conspiracy to kill Champlain is discovered; conspirators are arrested; Duval is executed; other leaders sent to France in chains

September 18  Pont-Gravé sails for France; Champlain remains in command of 28 hivernants

September-October  Montagnais and French work together at eel fishing

November  First heavy snow



Very hard winter, two or three fathoms of ice and snow on the river; many Montagnais die; only eight of twenty-eight French survive



June 5  Supplies and men arrive from France

June 7 Champlain sails from Quebec to Tadoussac; receives letter from De Mons, recalling him to France

June 18  Champlain explores upper St. Lawrence Valley; meets Indians; plans campaign against Mohawks

June 28  Leaves Quebec with Montagnais

July 3-12  Rendezvous with Algonquin and Huron; enters River of the Iroquois

July 12-29  Leaves rapids on the Iroquois River for Lake Champlain and explores the lake and Vermont shore while waiting for the dark of the moon

July 30  Champlain and allies win battle with Mohawk; afterward he explores the chute from Lake George

July 30-August  Returns to Quebec

August  Visits with Montagnais in Tadoussac and Algonquins in Quebec

September 1  Leaves Quebec for Tadoussac, homeward bound

September 5-October 10  Sails from Tadoussac to Île Percée, Le Conquet, Honfleur

FRANCE, 1609-10



October 10  Arrives Honfleur

October  Takes post to Fontainebleau; meets de Mons and Henri IV

November  De Mons and Champlain meet investors in Rouen, work closely with Lucas Le Gendre to plan next expedition

December-February  With de Mons in Paris

February 28  To Rouen and Honfleur; recruits artisans, settlers


March 7  Sails from Honfleur; Champlain taken ill; returns to Le Havre

March 15  His ship returns to Honfleur to shift ballast

April 8  Sails from Honfleur in the ship Loyale; Pont-Gravé in command


QUEBEC, 1610



April 26  Arrives Tadoussac, New France, after a passage of 18 days

April 28  Sails from Tadoussac for Quebec; finds all well

May 18  Meets with Montagnais and others; plans another campaign

June 14  Leaves Quebec to meet Montagnais, Algonquin and Huron; Iroquois at Trois-Rivières

June 19  Leaves Trois-Rivières for River of the Iroquois

June 19  Arrives at river, told that his allies had surrounded Mohawks in a barricade at what is now Sorel.  Champlain and arquebusiers engage; nearly all Mohawk are killed or captured; ends major hostilities with Mohawk for 20 years

July  Champlain meets with Iroquet; arranges for étienne Brûlé to live among the Algonquin Petite-Nation and Iroquois.

July-August  Champlain returns to Quebec, learns that Henri IV was assassinated on May 14; letter from de Mons urges Champlain to return to France at once

August 8  Leaves Quebec for Tadoussac and France

FRANCE, 1610-11



September 27  Arrives Honfleur after a slow crossing of 50 days

December 30  Marries Hélène Boullé in Paris


QUEBEC, 1611



March 1  Departs from Honfleur for America

May 13-17  Arrives Tadoussac; sails for Quebec in a leaky barque

May 21  Arrives Quebec; repairs boat; departs on exploring voyage

May 28  At Great Rapids near Montreal

June  Explores St. Lawrence

June 1-13  Selects site for future settlement of today’s Montreal; plants test gardens

June 13-July 18  Meets Hurons, Algonquins, and has reunion with étienne Brûlé; explores upper St. Lawrence

July 18  Returns to Quebec; repairs settlement, plants roses

July 20-3  Sails to Tadoussac

August 11  Departs for France

FRANCE, 1611-13



September 10  Arrives La Rochelle; visits de Mons in Saintonge

September  Starts four court; “nearly killed” when horse falls on him; meets de Mons at Fontainebleau; consults President Jeannin, Chancellor Brûlart, and Marshal Brissac on how to support New France; they recommend a noble protector; Champlain gets help of sieur de Beaulieu, chaplain to Louis XIII



September 27  Through Beaulieu, Champlain approaches the comte de Soissons and asks him to be governor of New France; he agrees

October 12  Soissons, cousin of Louis XIII, appointed lieutenant general and governor of New France, with vice-regal powers

October 15  Soissons appoints Champlain his lieutenant in New France

November 1  Soissons dies suddenly; approaches are made to prince de Condé

November 22  Condé appointed viceroy of New France; makes Champlain his lieutenant



January 9  Champlain publishes Les Voyages and second general map

January-February  Champlain and Condé meet opposition from merchants; Champlain makes three journeys to Rouen; prepares an expedition of three ships from Rouen and one from Saint-Malo with men and supplies for Quebec

March 6  Departs from Honfleur in a ship commanded by Pont-Gravé

April 10  Sights Grand Bank; goes fishing; survives severe storm


QUEBEC, 1613



April 29  Arrives Tadoussac after a crossing of 54 days; Montagnais recognize Champlain by his wound-scars, welcome him

May 2-7  Sails to Quebec; finds settlers in good health and fields “bright with flowers”

May 13-27  Sails to Great Rapids; meets Algonquin, who report more trouble with central Iroquois

May 29-June 17  Explores the Ottawa River, to Morrisson Island and Allumette rapids;  meets Indian nations and makes alliances; returns to Great Rapids on the St. Lawrence; more meetings with Indians; and arrangements for interpreters

June 27  Departs Rapids and sails downriver

July 6  Reaches Tadoussac; waits for ship and good weather to sail home

August 8  Departs Tadoussac for Île Percée on a Malouin ship

August 18  Leaves Île Percée at Gaspé for Grand Bank

August 28  On the Grand Bank; “caught as many fish as we wished”


FRANCE, 1613-15



September 26  Arrives Saint-Malo; meets with merchants there and invites them to form a new company with merchants of Rouen

November 15  New Company of Canada formed in Rouen; sometimes called Compagnie de Champlain; he calls it Compagnie de Condé



January-September  Works with Louis Hoüel, king’s secretary, to recruit Récollets for New France; also meets with Robert Ubaldini, Papal Nuncio in France to the same end

October 27  Meets with all French cardinals and bishops, who have come to Paris for the Estates General; all support Champlain’s plan to recruit missionaries, and contribute 1500 livres themselves

November  Champlain at Fontainebleau; makes a presentation on New France at court; establishes rapport with Louis XIII



February 28  Goes from Paris to Rouen to meet investors in the company and introduces them to Récollets; more investors support the company; establishes good relations with Condé

March 20  Champlain, Récollets, and investors go to Honfleur

April 24  Departs Honfleur in Saint-étienne with Pont-Gravé

QUEBEC, 1615-17



May 25  Arrives off Tadoussac after a crossing of 31 days

May 27  Champlain and Récollets sail to Quebec; land cleared and quarters built for a mission; Récollets establish themselves

June 8-9  Champlain and Récollets sail up the river to the Great Rapids

June 23  Mass said at Rivière-des-Prairies before many Indians

June 26  Champlain returns to Quebec

July 4  Champlain sets off upriver for a journey to Huronia and campaign against the central Iroquois

July 9  Departs Rivière-des-Prairies for Huronia; explores upper St. Lawrence; takes northern route to avoid Iroquois war parties; visits many Indian nations along the way

July 26  Visits with Nipissing nation

July 28?  Visits Cheveux-Relevés


HURONIA, 1615-16



August 1  Enters and explores Huronia

August 17  Meets Huron warriors in Cahiagué

September 1  étienne Brûlé and 12 Huron depart on mission to Susquehannock nation

September-October  Organizes campaign against the Onondaga

October 9-16  Fight at Onondaga Fort (in today’s Syracuse, N.Y.)

October 18  Heavy fall of snow slows retreat to Huronia

October 28  Lost while deer hunting in Huronia

December 23  Arrives at Cahigué, Huronia; lives with Huron through the winter



January  Meets Father Le Caron at Carhagouha

January 4  Visits with Algonquin Petite-Nation

January 17  Visits Petun nation; also Cheveux-Relevés and Nipissing 

February 15  At Cahiagué mediating between Huron and Petite-Nation

May 20  Leaves Huronia for Great Rapids of the St. Lawrence River

July 1  Reaches Great Rapids; leaves for Quebec

July 11  Returns to Quebec

July 20  Goes to Tadoussac

August 3  Sails from Tadoussac to Honfleur


FRANCE, 1616-17



September 10  Arrives at Honfleur

October 25  Thémines appointed viceroy; Champlain loses lieutenancy

Fall Publishes map of New France



January 17  Champlain confirmed as lieutenant to Thémines

March 7  Sails from Honfleur for Quebec in Saint-Étienne  


QUEBEC, 1617



June 14  Arrives at Tadoussac, sails to Quebec for a very brief visit; by July 20 is back in France


FRANCE, 1617-18



July 22  Samuel and Hélène Champlain sign a contract with Isabelle Terrier, in Paris, evidence that Champlain remained in Quebec for no  more than a few weeks



February 9  Champlain presents a major plan for the development of New France to the Paris Chamber of Commerce and on this day joins in a proposal to the king

March 12  Louis XIII agrees to the proposal

May 24  Champlain arrives in Tadoussac


QUEBEC, 1618



June 24  Champlain arrives in Tadoussac?

June-July  Champlain is at Quebec

July 26  Champlain sails from Tadoussac for Honfleur


FRANCE, 1618-20



August 28  Champlain returns to Honfleur

December 21  Champlain wins agreement from investors to support eighty settlers in Quebec

December 24  Louis XIII grants Champlain a pension of 600 livres



Company directors forbid Champlain to sail for New France in their ship; the king intervenes but too late for this season

May 18  Champlain licensed to publish Voyages …depuis l’année 1615



February 25  Condé sells office of viceroy to Montmorency

March 8  Montmorency appoints Champlain his lieutenant

May 7  Louis XIII confirms Champlain’s commission as lieutenant

Spring  Sails to Canada in Saint-étienne with Hélène


QUEBEC, 1620-24



July 7  Champlain arrives at Moulin Baude one league from Tadoussac

July 11 Sails from Tadoussac to Quebec

Summer  Champlain orders repair and rebuilding of Quebec; construction of Fort St. Louis

November  Viceroy Montmorency authorizes fifteen-year monopoly on trade to New France to the Compagnie de Caën

December-March  Quebec colonists survive winter with only one accidental death; Hélène Desportes born in Quebec



February 2  Dolu makes positive report to Montmorency, who renews his appointment

May 7  Royal Council rules that the old and new Compagnies de Caën share monopoly and the costs of settlement

June  Pont-Gravé’s ship for the old company arrives at Tadoussac; de Caën seizes it; Champlain restores order; ship is returned

August 18  Assembly of settlers meets to draw up a cahier général de doléances for the king; they strongly support Champlain’s policies; king responds favorably; increases Champlain’s pension

September 12  Champlain issues laws for Quebec



Spring  Champlain encourages farming by Montagnais near Quebec

April 1  Royal Council confirms rights of new Compagnie de Caën

June 6ff  Champlain sponsors peace talks with Iroquois

December 24  Council regulates relations between old and new companies



July 23  Champlain meets with Huron and Algonquin at Trois-Rivières

July-August  Champlain adjudicates murder case with Indians

August  Farm planned at Cap Tourmente

November  Road built to Fort St. Louis

Winter  Hauling timbers for fort and storehouse in Quebec; Champlain plans a new habitation


April 29  In France, Richelieu is appointed to Royal Council; within a year he becomes “chief minister” to Louis XIII

April-July  Champlain and Indian leaders try to restrain Simon, insane Montagnais who murders an Iroquois; peace with Iroquois preserved

May 1  Excavation begins for new habitation at Quebec

May 6  First stone laid

June-August  Much trade and many meetings with Montagnais, Algonquin, and Huron

August 15  Champlain, wife, and servants leave Quebec for Tadoussac

August 24  They leave Tadoussac for Gaspé to form a convoy

September 6  Convoy of four ships sails for France


FRANCE, 1624-26



October 1  Champlain and family return to Dieppe

October   Champlain goes to Paris; thence to Saint-Germain to meet with Montmorency, the king, and Royal Council, “to whom I gave an account.”

Fall  In Paris, meets with old and new shareholders; Montmorency sells office of viceroy to Ventadour



February 15  Ventadour commissions Champlain as lieutenant in New France

Spring  Champlain works with Ventadour in his Paris mansion

Summer  Negative reports of New France from Jesuits and Récollets

December 29  Champlain sells part of estate from his uncle



March 10  Ventadour grants lands in New France to Jesuits

April 15  Champlain sails from Dieppe with five ships


QUEBEC, 1626-29



June 29  Arrives Tadoussac, after a crossing of sixty-eight days

July 5  Arrives Quebec

July-August  Expands farm at Cap Tourmente

October  Richelieu takes control of commerce, colonies, maritime affairs



November 21-April  Long hard winter in Quebec


Spring  Ventadour ceases to be viceroy; powers assumed by Richelieu

April 29  Compagnie de Caën replaced by the Company of New France (Cent-Associés); Richelieu is first associate; Champlain joins as fifty-second associate; capital share of 3,000 livres paid by his wife

July 14  Tabagies with Huron at Trois-Rivières; Champlain urges peace with Iroquois

October 7  Meeting with Indian “captains” about murder of two Frenchman



November-April  Another very hard winter



February 2  Champlain presented with three Montagnais girls whom he names Faith, Hope, and Charity, aged 11, 12, and 15

Spring  Charles I authorizes British mercenaries to seize New France;  The Kirke family seizes ships in the St. Lawrence and the fishing coast; Scottish groups seize Acadia

Spring  The Cent-Associés equips a very large fleet of merchantmen with colonists for New France.  The directors do not want to send it fearing capture by the British forces.  Richelieu insists it must sail; the result is disaster

Spring  Champlain expands farming in Quebec; works closely with Indians; sponsors missions

July  Kirkes burn and destroy the farm at Cap Tourmente

July 9  Champlain learns of English warships at Tadoussac

July 10  Kirkes appear at Quebec and demand its surrender.  Champlain refuses and prepares to fight; the Kirkes retreat and seek to starve the French into submission

July 17-18  The great fleet of the Hundred Associates is captured by the Kirkes

August  Kirkes return to England with much plunder; no help comes from France



November-April  A third very hard winter in Quebec with grave shortages of food; the Huron, Algonquin, Canadien, Etchemin, and some Montagnais help by taking in Frenchmen and bringing food to the settlement; there is much hunger but no scurvy and no starvation



Spring  No help comes from France; Champlain continues to send habitants and workers to live with Huron, Algonquin, Canadien, Etchemin, and other nations; others live precariously by farming, hunting and gathering

April 24  Treaty of Susa ends war between England and France; terms include return of property seized after the peace

June 25  Kirkes’ warships arrive in the lower St. Lawrence

July 19  Kirkes demand surrender of Quebec; Champlain nearly out of food and ammunition; proposes terms

July 20  Champlain surrenders Quebec; habitants treated humanely; some choose to remain in Quebec on Champlain’s advice with a guarantee of their property

July 24  Champlain taken to Tadoussac by Kirkes

September 14  Champlain carried to England by Kirkes





October 27  Champlain arrives in Dover; learns of peace treaty

October 29  Champlain refuses repatriation to France; goes to London, meets with French Ambassador to demand return of New France because its seizure was unlawful after the Peace of Susa

November  English agree in principle but refuse to return the colony until Louis XIII pays dowry promised for marriage of his sister Henrietta Maria


FRANCE, 1629-32



November 30  Champlain makes a voyage from England to France

December  He urges the king, Richelieu, and Hundred Associates to hurry the return of New France



Spring  More appeals and protests to French leaders

April  Louis XIII demands restitution of New France from England

September 27   Champlain sells two houses in Brouage



July  Charles orders Kirkes to return Quebec

August  Champlain insists on return of Acadia and other parts of New France



February 13  Mutual division of property between Champlain and Hélène Boullé

March 29  Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye restores Quebec to France; England agrees to evacuate Acadia, and all of New France; Louis XIII agrees to pay his sister’s dowry

Spring  Champlain publishes Les Voyages de la Nouvelle France Occidentale

April 20  Richelieu appoints Isaac de Razilly as his lieutenant for New France; he refuses to serve, insisting that Champlain is better qualified





Champlain may have made a voyage from France to St. Anne, Cape Breton; this voyage was not included by Laverdière, Dionne, Biggar, Morison, and other biographers; it is believed to have happened by Campeau and Trudel; the exact date is unknown, and evidence is less than conclusive, but two leading historians of New France are convinced that it happened, and the inferences from other documents support this probability

FRANCE, 1632-33



March 1  Richelieu reluctantly appoints Champlain his lieutenant for New France

March 23  Champlain leaves Dieppe for New France with three ships: Saint-Pierre (flag), Don-de-Dieu, and Saint-Jean, with 150 colonists


CANADA, 1633-35



May 22  Champlain takes possession of Quebec

Spring  Begins construction of Notre-Dame-de-Recouvrance

Summer  Renews alliances with Montagnais, Algonquin, Huron

August 13  Champlain sends report to Richelieu seeking to limit English trade, and to form a military force strong enough to keep the peace; Richelieu does not respond; both problems grow



Spring  Establishes forts and trading posts on Sainte-Croix and Richelieu islands in the St. Lawrence

Summer  Establishes new settlement at Trois-Rivières; Champlain makes voyages between Quebec and Trois-Rivières 

August 18  Champlain sends another report to Richelieu who again makes no response and does not act



Spring  Champlain in declining health

October  Suffers massive stroke and paralysis

November 17  Signs his will and testament

December 25  dies in Quebec on Christmas Day


Total voyages

From 1599 to 1635, Champlain probably made twenty-seven Atlantic crossings in thirty- seven years.  He also made many coastal and river voyages in Europe, the Caribbean, and North American waters.  This does not include other voyages made in his military service, and earlier voyages as a child aboard his father’s ships.