, , , , , , ,


Jacques Cartier
by Théophile-Abraham Hamel (1817–1870) 

I have developed a passion for the material I am putting online. So here I am re-examining the history of Canada, finding links with what is happening in France, and giving dates that allow me to follow the settlers and the missionaries in a systematic manner. One detail I omitted to provede is that Père Marquette and Louis Jolliet entered the Mississippi River at Prairie-du-Chien or Dog’s Prairie, which means that our coureurs de bois and voyageurs had already travelled that far. After Marquette and Jolliet mapped out the Mississippi, the Jesuits sent missionaries to these newly discovered areas.

The Jesuit Relations: on the internet

I have just discovered that the Jesuit Relations or Relations des Jésuites can be read online. For me, this is a Godsend. It is now possible to include a link to these sites: Jesuit Relations or Les Relations des JésuitesWould that I were still teaching!

As for information about the authors of the Relations, I have provided links with Wikipedia, The Catholic Encyclopedia and the Encyclopædia Britannica.

The Standard Anthology

The excerpts my students had access to were published in the following anthology: Gilles Marcotte, rédacteur, Anthologie de la littérature québécoise (L’Hexagone, 1994). The Relations my students read were included in book 1 (tome 1) of the Anthologie entitled Écrits de la Nouvelle-France and edited by Léopold LeBlanc. My students read several complete texts, but the Anthologie was our organizer and browser. Two “tomes” have since been added to the original four. This Anthologie is considered the standard reference anthology on Quebec or French-Canadian literature.

Although the Anthologie is entitled Anthologie de la littérature québécoise, it includes texts written by other French-speaking authors and notably Gabrielle Roy (from Manitoba) and Marguerite Maillet, an Acadian writer and winner of the Prix Goncourt, the most prestigious literary award for works written in French.

Jacques Cartier

I will search the internet for texts by Jacques Cartier, who claimed Nouvelle-France for France in 1534 and made a second trip in 1534-1536 (mentioned below), and Samuel de Champlain who is considered the father of Nouvelle-France. Champlain established a settlement first in Acadie (1604) and second in what the Amerindians called Canada. Québec city (1608) was in Canada and located near an Iroquoian village called Stadacona.

Jacques Cartier sailed up to Montreal or Hochelaga

Jacques Cartier (31 December  1491 – 1st September 1557) went up the Saint-Lawrence River, in search of China (la Chine), but could not proceed further than the Lachine Rapids. So Montreal (Hochelaga) was settled by Maisonneuve, in 1642.


  • Jacques Cartier discovers what will be Canada in 1534;
  • Acadie is settled by Du Gua de Monts & Samuel de Champlain in 1604;
  • Quebec city is settled by Champlain  in 1608;
  • The Jesuits start arriving in 1609, when Quebec city was settled;
  • The Jesuits arrived at Port Royal, in Acadie, the current Nova Scotia, on 22 May 1611;
  • Récollets (Recollect) missionaries sail with Champlain from Rouen to Quebec City, arriving on 2 June 1615;
  • The Jesuit missions “would gain a strong foothold in North America in 1632, with the arrival of the Jesuit Paul Le Jeune. Between 1632 and 1650, 46 French Jesuits arrived to preach among the Indians” (Wikipedia);
  • Montréal is founded by Maisonneuve in 1642;
  • Eight Jesuits, killed between 1642 and 1649, became known as the North American Martyrs.

The First three settlements: Port-Royal; Québec (city) and Montréal

Port-Royal, established in 1604 in Acadie, by Champlain, is the first French settlement in North America. The Second is Quebec City, settled in 1608, by Champlain,  The Third was Montréal, settled by Maisonneuve in 1642.


Postage stamp 1908

© Micheline Walker

16  March 2012