Facts About Samuel de Champlain

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Samuel de Champlain is a well known name in history and is known as “The Father of Canada” as he was the Founder of Quebec City. He was also the discoverer of Lake Champlain that lies in the border between Vermont and northern New York of present day.

Fact 1 Samuel de Champlain’s Early Life

Samuel de Champlain was born in 1567 at Brouage, Saintonge in France. His father was Antoine Champlain who was a sea captain and his mother was Marguerite Le Roy. He was brought up in a background of seafarers as his uncle too was a mariner. So in early life he concentrated on preparing himself as a mariner moreover because he had great interests and wished to travel far and wide in search of new lands and seas. To become a proficient mariner he studied cartography, navigation, mathematics and also astronomy in his early days. He often went with his father and uncle to distant lands and sailed through various waters which increased his interests all the more. Being a man of great strength and confidence, he joined the French Army in 1587 under commanding officer Marechal d’Aumont as the quartermaster of the cavalry. Later in 1598, he joined the Spanish fleet where his uncle was the Pilot-General.

Fact 2 Champlain – The Explorer

Champlain was a commoner, but his aspirations and the urge to explore moved him beyond his town of Brouage, France. He led expeditions into the areas that were unexplored and unknown to the world. These places were later came to be known as New York and Ontario. In 1603, he first traveled to North America and then he proved himself as an expert navigator by sailing to Central America and West Indies. In search of a suitable area for settlement, he traveled in the areas around Acadia but the biting cold killed many of his men. He went as far as the Massachusetts Bay and mapped areas that were not touched before 1607.

Fact 3 Setting up of Quebec Colony

Champlain and 32 other colonists founded the city of Quebec in 1608. It was a great achievement for Samuel and his accomplices for which he has been working for so many years – to find and establish a new settlement. However, the harsh winter blew their hearts away and only nine of them survived. They waited for spring to come and with it new settlers. It was not long before, trade with the native tribes flourished and Quebec became a flourishing colony. He went back to France.

Fact 4

In 1610, Samuel de Champlain married Helen Boulle who was only 12 years old at the time of marriage. She was the daughter of Lord Chamberlain in France. In 1613 he returned to Quebec to take care of the sagging fur trade of France and also to carry on with his expeditions which was his passion. When required he led warriors too. King Louis XIII called him back and appointed him as an administrator of Quebec. In 1628, Britain captured Quebec and he was taken as a prisoner to England. On strong grounds he argued with the British regarding surrender of Quebec. His arguments were proved as justified and Quebec became a part of France again in 1632.

Fact 5 His later years

After he returned to France, he found himself entangled in several legal matters. He could not return to Quebec until everything was settled. So he took this opportunity to pen down his experiences and his travels. He provided illustrations and maps about all that he had seen and experienced. He passed away in 1635, establishing new lands and colonies in what is known today as Canada.

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