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SECT. Chetodel to go and bring them back to France.
Chetodel found only twelve of them alive ; and when he returned, Henry had the curiosity to seę them in their seal-skin dresses. Their appearance moved this generous and humane monarch so much, that he ordered them a general pardon for their offences, and gave each of them fifty crowns to begin the world with anew.*
Though la Roche's patent had been very ample and exclusive, yet private adventurers still continued to trade to the river St. Lawrence, without any notice being taken of them by the government. Amongst others was one Pontgravé, a merchant of St. Malo, who had made several trading voyages for furs, to Tadoussac.f Upon the death of the Marquis de la Roche, his patent was renewed in favour of Mons. de Chauvin, a commander in the French navy, who put
himself under the direction of Pontgrave; as the latter might justly be supposed, from his frequent trading voyages to that coun
try, to have acquired a considerable knowledge of 1600. it. In the year 1600, Chauvin, attended by PontChauvin's gravé, made a voyage to Tadoussac, where he left to the St. some of his people, and returned with a very pro
fitable quantity of furs to France. These people, whom he left, would have perished by hunger or disease, during the following winter, but for the compassion of the natives. Chauvin, in the next
* Mod. Univ. Hist. Vol. 39, p. 408.
+ Tadoussac is a town, or place, at the mouth of the Saguenay, a small river emptying into the St. Lawrence from the north, considerably below Quebec, and ninety leagues from the mouth of the St. Lawrence,
year, (1601,) made a second voyage with the same SECT. good fortune as the first, and sailed up the St. Lawrence as high as Trois Rivieres; but while prepar- 1601. ing for a third voyage, (in the year after,) he died.
The many specimens of profit to be made by the Canadian trade, led the public to think favourably of it. M. de Chatte, the governour of Dieppe, succeeded Chauvin as governour of Canada. De Chatte's scheme seems to have been, to have carried on that trade with France, by a company of Rouen merchants and adventurers. An armament for this purpose, was accordingly equipped, and the command of it given to Pontgravé, with powers to extend his discoveries up the river St. Lawrence. Pontgravé, with his squadron, sailed in 1603, having in his company Samuel Champlain, afterwards Pontthe famous founder of Quebec, who had been a grave's captain in the navy, and was a man of talents and the St. enterprise. Arriving at Tadoussac, they left their ships there, and in a long-boat they proceeded up the river as far as the falls of St. Louis, and then returned to France.
While Pontgravé was engaged in this voyage of The Sieur 1603, De Chatte died, and was succeeded in his pa- de Mont's tent by Pierre du Gast, Sieur de Monts, styled in sion, and the king's commission to him, "gentilhomme ordi- under it. naire de notre chambre." The tenor of his letters patent, (as we have it at large in Hazard's Collections, Vol. 1, p. 45,) bearing date November 8th, 1603, appears to have been as well for colonising the country then called Acadié, (which comprehended Canada, as well as what is now called Nova Scotia,) as for encouraging the fur-trade carried on
SECT, there. A difference of opinion is said to have taken
place, on the occasion of granting these letters pa1604. tent, between king Henry and his very able minis
ter, the duke of Sully. The duke declared roundly, that all settlements in America above the fortieth degree of north latitude, could be of no utility ; and that all pretended advantages insisted upon in their favour, were but so many commercial chimeras. Here again, (observes the historian,*) the monarch was right and the minister wrong, as we know by experience. By these letters patent, the Sieur de Monts was constituted and appointed the king's lieutenant-general, to represent his person, in the country, territory, coasts, and confines of Acadié, from the fortieth degree of north latitude to the forty-sixth. The extent of this portion of the continent was, from that part of the coast of New Jersey, in the latitude of Philadelphia, to the northern extremity of Cape Breton. Had the Sieur de Monts fixed his settlement or colony, at this time, on that part of the continent as low as, or near to the fortieth degree, which he might have done, the country be. ing then unsettled by any Europeans, and entirely open to him, very different indeed might have been the present situation of affairs in North America. But it is probable, that as all northern furs are said to be much better than those of a southern climate, the French found greater profits from that trade in Canada, than the English did from the southern part of the continent, which they were at this time exploring. The Sieur de Monts, was therefore, soga
* Mod. Univ. Hist. Vol. 24, p. 406.
enabled to form a company under his patent, more SECT. considerable than any that had yet undertaken that trade. For their further encouragement, it seems, the king, soon after the former patent to the Sieur de Monts, granted also to him and his associates, an exclusive right to the commerce of peltry in Acadié, and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Thus encouraged, they fitted out four ships. De Monts, in person, took the command of two of them, and was attended by Champlain, and a gentleman called Pontrincourt, with a number of volunteer adventue rers. * Another of the ships was destined to carry on the fur trade at Tadoussac; and the fourth was
Some were Protestants and some Catholics. De Monts himself was a Calvinist ; but the king allowed him and his people the exercise of their religion in America. A passage is cited in Holmes's Annals, Vol. 1, p. 147, from Charlevoix, wherein it is said, that De Monts engaged'on his part, to establish the Catholic religion among the natives. But the origi. nal letters patent, as in Hazard's Collections, above-cited, do not warrant this assertion; and it is not probable, from the well known character of Henry, that any such stipulation was made by verbal agreement. It is true, that in the preamble of the letters patent, Henry sets forth his resolution, (as was usual in the first planting of America, both North and South) to cause the native inhabitants of that country to be converted,
au Christianisme et en la créance et profession de notre foi et religion." But this seems to be explained further along in the letters, where he authorises De Monts, “les (peuples) appeler, faire instruire, provoquer et emouvoir à la connoissance de Dieu et à la lumiere de la foi et religion chretienne." It is not impossible, but that Charlevoix, being of the order of Jesuits, might very dextrously suppose, that the Christian religion could mean nothing else than the Catholic religion, and So set it down.
SECT. given to Pontgravé, who was ordered, after touch
ing at Canso, (the eastern extremity of Nova Sco: 1604. tia) to scour the sea between Cape Breton and St.
John's islands, and to clear it of all interlopers.
De Monts, with his two ships, sailed from Havre de Grace on the 7th of March, 1604, and, after a passage of only one month, arrived at Cap de la Hêve, in Nova Scotia. In a harbour very near this
a cape, to the southwest, he met with an interloping vessel, commanded by one Rossignol, a Frenchman, who was trading there with the Indians without license; for which reason he seized his ship and cargo, and called the harbour Port Rossignol. Coasting thence further to the southwest, he arrrived at another haven, which his people named Port Mutton, on account of a sheep which either leaped or tumbled overboard here, and was drowned. From this port they coasted the peninsula to the southwest; doubled Cape Sable, and came to anchor in the bay of St. Mary. They afterwards proceeded to examine an extensive bay on the northwest of the peninsula, to which they gave the name of La Baye Francois, but which is now called the Bay of Fun dy. On the southeastern side of this bay they discovered a narrow strait, into which they entered, and soon found themselves in a spacious bason, envi. roned with hills, and bordered with fertile meadows. Pontrincourt was so delighted with this place, that he determined to make it his residence, and proposed to send for his family, and settle there. Upon which De Monts, in virtue of his commission, made him a grant of it; and Pontrincourt gave it the name