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Topic – Samuel de Champlain: The Father of New France

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Samuel de Champlain: The Father of New France

North America looked very different before Canada, the United States, and Mexico became countries. Starting in the 1500s, European explorers came to North America and claimed land for their countries. This map shows what land these countries claimed in the 1600s in the eastern part of North America.

Samuel de Champlain

Samuel de Champlain is called the Father of New France. This is because he explored and mapped much of the area. He also founded colonies. Later, he governed New France. Here are some highlights of Samuel de Champlain’s life and accomplishments.

• Champlain is born around 1567 in France.

• 1599–1601: Champlain is part of a voyage to explore in the Caribbean.

• 1603: Champlain travels to North America as part of a fur-trading voyage. He maps the St. Lawrence River. He writes a book about his voyage when he returns to France.

• 1604: Champlain makes another trip to North America. He helps found a colony on Saint Croix Island.

• 1605: Champlain and the settlers move from Saint Croix Island to Port Royal. Champlain explores and maps the Atlantic coast down to Cape Cod. He returns to France in 1607.

• 1608: Champlain returns to New France and founds a colony that becomes Québec City. He forms an alliance with the Huron and Algonquin. He promises to help them with their fight against their enemy—the Iroquois. He discovers Lake Champlain.

• July, 1608: Champlain and his First Nations allies fight a battle with the Iroquois. Champlain and his allies win. The Iroquois become enemies of the French.

• 1612: Champlain is given powers by the French government to run New France. He continues exploring and mapping.

• 1615: Champlain is injured in an attack by the Iroquois. He spends the winter with the Huron and learns many things about how they live. He goes back to France after recovering.

• 1620: Champlain returns to New France. He does not explore anymore but spends his time governing New France.

• 1629: Québec City is captured by the British and Champlain is sent to England as a prisoner.

• 1633: Québec City is given back to the French and Champlain returns to New France to govern.

• 1635: Champlain dies in Québec City.


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