New Brunswick History and Other Stuff

The Disastrous Winter on St. Croix Island, 1604-05, and Other Adventures

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The Disastrous Winter on St. Croix Island, 1604-05, and Other Adventures

Depiction Champlain

A depiction of Champlain trading with the Indians,

by Charles Jefferys, Library and Archives Canada

Following is a description of the earliest detailed exploration of the Maritime Provinces and New England, in 1604-05, which is from The Voyages of Samuel de Champlain, which was first published in 1613. The work was translated into English by Charles Pomeroy Otis and re-published in Boston in 1880. This part of The Voyages… includes an account of the disastrous winter-long stay on St. Croix Island.

A Timeline:

Columbus was the first European to visit the Americas, in 1492, of course. But that sailing was to the Caribbean, while we are more interested in the northern parts of America. John Cabot is therefore credited with being the first European to explore our region, in 1497. It is not certain where Cabot toured, but it was somewhere between Newfoundland and Cape Breton; generally the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Fishermen and fur traders soon began to appear along the coast but there are few accounts of them. Business competitiveness likely kept them quiet about their travels.

The next major explorer was Jacques Cartier, who may have accompanied another explorer to eastern Canada in 1524, but who certainly explored the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and the St. Lawrence River in 1534 and 1535. Roberval retraced some of Cartier’s tour in 1541.

There was then a gap in the chronicle of exploration, when only unnamed fishermen and fur traders were present for most of the time. The Marquis de la Roche visited the east coast of Nova Scotia, at least, in 1598, but was driven off by hard weather conditions. Similarly, the Sieur de Saint Chauvin visited Tadoussac and traded furs in 1599, but nothing permanent in the way of settlement ensued.

That brings us to Champlain, the subject of this blog posting. He was a passenger on a voyage to the already known areas of Tadoussac and Trois Rivières in 1603 and is remembered as the expedition’s geographer, whether or not he actually held that title. His more famous voyage of 1604-05 is described below, including the disastrous winter-long stay on St. Croix Island where he was second in command to Sieur De Monts.

The Disastrous Winter on St. Croix Island, 1604-05, and Other Adventures

 [Spelling is as found. The translator’s use of modern place names is also noted.]

De Monts, with Champlain and the other noblemen, left Havre de Grâce on the 7th April, 1604, while Pont Gravé, with the other vessel, followed three days later, to rendezvous at Canseau. Taking a more southerly course than he had originally intended, De Monts came in sight of La Hève on the 8th of May, and on the 12th entered Liverpool harbor, where he found Captain Rossignol carrying on a contraband trade in furs with the Indians, whom he arrested, and confiscated his vessel.

The next day they anchored at Port Mouton, where they lingered three or four weeks, awaiting news from Pont Gravé, who had in the meantime arrived at Canseau, the rendezvous agreed upon before leaving France. Pont Gravé had there discovered several Basque ships engaged in the fur trade. Taking possession of them, he sent their masters to De Monts. The ships were subsequently confiscated and sent to Rochelle.

Captain Fouques was despatched to Canseau in the vessel which had been taken from Rossignol, to bring forward the supplies which had been brought over by Pont Gravé.

Having transshipped the provisions intended for the colony, Pont Gravé proceeded through the Straits of Canseau up the St. Lawrence, to trade with the Indians, upon the profits of which the company relied largely for replenishing their treasury.

In the meantime Champlain was sent in a barque of eight tons, with the secretary Sieur Ralleau, Mr. Simon, the miner, and ten men, to reconnoitre the coast towards the west. Sailing along the shore, touching at numerous points, doubling Cape Sable, he entered the Bay of Fundy, and after exploring St. Mary’s Bay, and discovering several mines of both silver and iron, returned to Port Mouton and made to De Monts a minute and careful report.

De Monts immediately weighed anchor and sailed for the Bay of St. Mary, where he left his vessel, and, with Champlain, the miner, and some others, proceeded to explore the Bay of Fundy. They entered and examined Annapolis harbor, coasted along the western shores of Nova Scotia, touching at the Bay of Mines, passing over to New Brunswick, skirting its whole southeastern coast, entering the harbor of St. John, and finally penetrating Passamaquoddy Bay as far as the mouth of the river St. Croix, and fixed upon De Monts’s Island [of this island Champlain says: “This place was named by Sieur De Monts the Island of St. Croix”] as the seat of their colony. The vessel at St. Mary’s with the colonists was ordered to join them, and immediately active measures were taken for laying out gardens, erecting dwellings and storehouses, and all the necessary preparations for the coming winter. Champlain was commissioned to design and lay out the town, if so it could be called.

When the work was somewhat advanced, he was sent in a barque of five or six tons, manned with nine sailors, to search for a mine of pure copper, which an Indian named Messamöuet had assured them he could point out to them on the coast towards the river St. John. Some twenty-five miles from the river St. Croix, they found a mine yielding eighteen per cent, as estimated by the miner; but they did not discover any pure copper, as they had hoped.

On the last day of August, 1604, the vessel which had brought out the colony, together with that which had been taken from Rossignol, took their departure for the shores of France. In it sailed Poutrincourt, Ralleau the secretary of De Monts, and Captain Rossignol.

From the moment of his arrival on the coast of America, Champlain employed his leisure hours in making sketches and drawings of the most important rivers, harbors, and Indian settlements which they had visited.

While the little colony at De Monts’s Island was active in getting its appointments arranged and settled, De Monts wisely determined, though he could not accompany it himself, nevertheless to send out an expedition during the mild days of autumn, to explore the region still further to the south, then called by the Indians Norumbegue. Greatly to the satisfaction of Champlain, he was personally charged with this important expedition. He set out on the 2d of September, in a barque of seventeen or eighteen tons, with twelve sailors and two Indian guides. The inevitable fogs of that region detained them nearly a fortnight before they were able to leave the banks of Passamaquoddy. Passing along the rugged shores of Maine, with its endless chain of islands rising one after another into view, which they called the Ranges, they at length came to the ancient Pemetiq, lying close in to the shore, having the appearance at lea of seven or eight mountains drawn together and springing from the same base. This Champlain named Monts Desérts, which we have anglicized into Mount Desert, an appellation which has survived the vicissitudes of two hundred and seventy-five years, and now that the island, with its salubrious air and cool shades, its bold and picturesque scenery, is attracting thousands from the great cities during the heats of summer, the name is likely to abide far down into a distant and indefinite future.

Leaving Mount Desert, winding their way among numerous islands, taking a northerly direction, they soon entered the Penobscot, known by the early navigators as the river Norumbegue. They proceeded up the river as far as the mouth of an affluent now known as the Kenduskeag, which was then called, or rather the place where it made a junction with the Penobscot was called by the natives, Kadesquit, situated at the head of tide-water, near the present site of the city of Bangor. The falls above the city intercepted their further progress. The river banks about the harbor were fringed with a luxurious growth of forest trees. On one side, lofty pines reared their gray trunks, forming a natural palisade along the shore. On the other, massive oaks alone were to be seen, lifting their sturdy branches to the skies, gathered into clumps or stretching out into long lines, as if a landscape gardener had planted them to please the eye and gratify the taste. An exploration revealed the whole surrounding region clothed in a similar wild and primitive beauty.

After a leisurely survey of the country, they returned to the mouth of the river. Contrary to what might have been expected, Champlain found scarcely any inhabitants dwelling on the borders of the Penobscot. Here and there they saw a few deserted wigwams, which were the only marks of human occupation. At the mouth of the river, on the borders of Penobscot Bay, the native inhabitants were numerous. They were of a friendly disposition, and gave their visitors a cordial welcome, readily entered into negotiations for the sale of beaver skins, and the two parties naturally agreed to maintain a friendly intercourse in the future.

Having obtained from the Indians some valuable information as to the source of the Penobscot, and observed their mode of life, which did not differ from that which they had seen still further east, Champlain departed on the 20th of September, directing his course towards the Kennebec. But, encountering bad weather, he found it necessary to take shelter under the lee of the island of Monhegan.

After sailing three or four leagues farther, finding that his provisions would not warrant the continuance of the voyage, he determined, on the 23d of September, to return to the settlement at Saint Croix, or what is now known as De Monts’s Island, where they arrived on the 2d day of October, 1604.

De Mont’s Island, having an area of not more than six or seven acres, is situated in the river Saint Croix, midway between its opposite shores, directly upon the dividing line between the townships of Calais and Robinston in the State of Maine. At the northern end of the island, the buildings of the settlement were clustered together in the form of a quadrangle with an open court in the centre. First came the magazine and lodgings of the soldiers, then the mansion of the governor, De Monts, surmounted by the colors of France. Houses for Champlain and the other gentlemen, for the curé, the artisans and workmen, filled up and completed the quadrangle. Below the houses, gardens were laid out for the several gentlemen, and at the southern extremity of the island cannon were mounted for protection against a sudden assault.

In the ample forests of Maine or New Brunswick, rich in oak and maple and pine, abounding in deer, partridge, and other wild game, watered by crystal fountains springing from every acre of the soil, we naturally picture for our colonists a winter of robust health, physical comfort, and social enjoyment. The little island which they had chosen was indeed a charming spot in a summer’s day, but we can hardly comprehend in what view it could have been regarded as suitable for a colonial plantation. In space it was wholly inadequate; it was destitute of wood and fresh water, and its soil was sandy and unproductive. In fixing the location of their settlement and in the construction of their houses, it is obvious that they had entirely misapprehended the character of the climate. While the latitude was nearly the same, the temperature was far more rigorous than that of the sunny France which they had left. The snow began to fall on the 6th of October. On the 3d of December the ice was seen floating on the surface of the water. As the season advanced, and the tide came and went, huge floes of ice, day after day, swept by the island, rendering it impracticable to navigate the river or pass over to the mainland. They were therefore imprisoned in their own home. Thus cut off from the game with which the neighboring forests abounded, they were compelled to subsist almost exclusively upon salted meats. Nearly all the forest: trees on the island had been used in the construction of their houses, and they had consequently but a meagre supply of fuel to resist the chilling winds and penetrating frosts. For fresh water, their only reliance was upon melted snow and ice. Their storehouse had not been furnished with a cellar, and the frost left nothing untouched; even cider was dispensed in solid blocks. To crown the gloom and wretchedness of their situation, the colony was visited with disease of a virulent and fatal character. As the malady was beyond the knowledge, so it baffled the skill of the surgeons. They called it mal de la terre. Of the seventy-nine persons, composing the whole number of the colony, thirty-five died, and twenty others were brought to the verge of the grave. In May, having been liberated from the baleful influence of their winter prison and revived by the genial warmth of the vernal sun and by the fresh meats obtained from the savages [sic], the disease abated, and the survivors gradually gained their strength.

Disheartened by the bitter experiences of the winter, the governor, having fully determined to abandon his present establishment, ordered two boats to be constructed, one of fifteen and the other of seven tons, in which to transport his colony to Gaspé, in case he received no supplies from France, with the hope of obtaining a passage home in some of the fishing vessels on that coast. But from this disagreeable alternative he was happily relieved. On the 15th of June, 1605, Pont Gravé arrived, to the great joy of the little colony, with all needed supplies. The purpose of returning to France was at once abandoned, and, as no time was to be lost, on the 18th of the same month, De Monts, Champlain, several gentlemen, twenty sailors, two Indians, Panounias and his wife, set sail for the purpose of discovering a more eligible site for his colony somewhere on the shores of the present New England. Passing slowly along the coast, with which Champlain was already familiar, and consequently without extensive explorations, they at length reached the waters of the Kennebec, where the survey of the previous year had terminated and that of the present was about to begin.

On the 5th of July, they entered the Kennebec, and, bearing to the right, passed through Back River, grazing their barque on the rocks in the narrow channel, and then sweeping down round the southern point of Jerremisquam Island, or Westport, they ascended along its eastern shores till they came near the present site of Wiscasset, from whence they returned on the western side of the island, through Monseag Bay, and threading the narrow passage between Arrowsick and Woolwich, called the Upper Hell-gate, and again entering the Kennebec, they finally reached Merrymeeting Bay. Lingering here but a short time, they returned through the Sagadahock, or lower Kennebec, to the mouth of the river.

This exploration did not yield to the voyagers any very interesting or important results. Several friendly interviews were held with the savages at different points along the route. Near the head waters of the Sheepscot, probably in Wiscasset Bay, they had an interview, an interesting and joyous meeting, with the chief Manthoumerme and his twenty five or thirty followers, with whom they exchanged tokens of friendship. Along the shores of the Sheepscot their attention was attracted by several pleasant streams and fine expanses of meadow; but the soil observed on this expedition generally, and specially on the Sagadahock, or lower Kennebec, was rough and barren, and offered, in the judgment of De Monts and Champlain, no eligible site for a new settlement.

Proceeding, therefore, on their voyage, they struck directly across Casco Bay, not attempting, in their ignorance, to enter the fine harbor of Portland. On the 9th of July, they made the bay that stretches from Cape Elizabeth to Fletcher’s Neck, and anchored under the lee of Stratton Island, directly in fight of Old Orchard Beach, now a famous watering place during the summer months.

The savages having seen the little French barque approaching in the distance, had built fires to attract its attention, and came down upon the shore at Front’s Neck, formerly known as Black Point, in large numbers, indicating their friendliness by lively demonstrations of joy. From this anchorage, while awaiting the influx of the tide to enable them to pass over the bar and enter a river which they saw flowing into the bay, De Monts paid a visit to Richmond’s Island, about four miles distant, with which he was greatly delighted, as he found it richly studded with oak and hickory, whose bending branches were wreathed with luxuriant grapevines loaded with green clusters of unripe fruit. In honor of the god of wine, they gave to the island the classic name of Bacchus. At full tide they passed over the bar and cast anchor within the channel of the Saco.

The Indians whom they found here were called Almouchiquois, and differed in many respects from any which they had seen before, from the Sourequois of Nova Scotia and the Etechemins of the northern part of Maine and New Brunswick. They spoke a different language, and, unlike their neighbors on the east, did not subsist mainly by the chase, but upon the products of the soil, supplemented by fish, which were plentiful and of excellent quality, and which they took with facility about the mouth of the river. De Monts and Champlain made an excursion upon the shore, where their eyes were refreshed by fields of waving corn, and gardens of squashes, beans, and pumpkins, which were then bursting into flower. Here they saw in cultivation the rank narcotic petun, or tobacco just beginning to spread out its broad velvet leaves to the sun, the sole luxury of savage life. The forests were thinly wooded, but were nevertheless rich in primitive oak, in lofty ash and elm, and in the more humble and sturdy beech. As on Richmond’s Island so here, along the bank of the river they found grapes in luxurious growth, from which the sailors busied themselves in making verjuice, a delicious beverage in the meridian heats of a July sun. The natives were gentle and amiable, graceful in figure, agile in movement, and exhibited unusual taste, dressing their hair in a variety of twists and braids, intertwined with ornamental feathers.

Champlain observed their method of cultivating Indian corn, which the experience of two hundred and seventy-five years has in no essential point improved or even changed. They planted three or four seeds in hills three feet apart, and heaped the earth about them, and kept the soil clear of weeds. Such is the method of the successful New England farmer today. The experience of the savage had taught him how many individuals of the rank plant could occupy prolifically a given area, how the soil must be gathered about the roots to sustain the heavy stock, and that there must be no rival near it to draw away the nutriment on which the voracious plant feeds and grows. Civilization has invented implements to facilitate the processes of culture, but the observation of the savage had led him to a knowledge of all that is absolutely necessary to ensure a prolific harvest.

After lingering two days at Saco, our explorers proceeded on their voyage. When they had advanced not more than twenty miles, driven by a fierce wind, they were forced to cast anchor near the salt marshes of Wells. Having been driven by Cape Porpoise, on the subsidence of the wind, they returned to it, reconnoitred its harbor and adjacent islands, together with Little River, a few miles still further to the east. The shores were lined all along with nut-trees and grapevines. The islands about Cape Porpoise were matted all over with wild currants, so that the eye could scarcely discern anything else. Attracted doubtless by this fruit, clouds of wild pigeons had assembled there, and were having a midsummer’s festival, fearless of the treacherous snare or the hunter’s deadly aim. Large numbers of them were taken, which added a coveted luxury to the not over-stocked larder of the little French barque.

On the 15th of July, De Monts and his party left Cape Porpoise, keeping in and following closely the sinuosities of the shore. They saw no savages during the day, nor any evidences of any, except a rising smoke, which they approached, but found to be a lone beacon, without any surroundings of human life. Those who had kindled the fire had doubtless concealed themselves, or had fled in dismay. Possibly they had never seen a ship under sail. The fishermen who frequented our northern coast rarely came into these waters, and the little craft of our voyagers, moving without oars or any apparent human aid, seemed doubtless to them a monster gliding upon the wings of the wind. At the setting of the sun they were near the flat and sandy coast, now known as Wallace’s Sands. They sought in vain for a roadstead where they might anchor safely for the night. When they were opposite to Little Boar’s Head, with the Isles of Shoals directly east of them, and the reflected rays of the sun were still throwing their light upon the waters, they saw in the distance the dim outline of Cape Anne, whither they directed their course, and, before morning, came to anchor near its eastern extremity, in sixteen fathoms of water. Near them were the three well-known islands at the apex of the cape, covered with forest trees, and the woodless cluster of rocks, now called the Savages, a little further from the shore.

The next morning five or six Indians timidly approached them in a canoe, and then retired and set up a dance on the shore, as a token of friendly greeting. Armed with crayon and drawing paper, Champlain was despatched to seek from the natives some important geographical information. Dispensing knives and biscuit as a friendly invitation, the savages gathered about him, assured by their gifts, when he proceeded to impart to them their first lesson in topographical drawing. He pictured to them the bay on the north side of Cape Anne, which he had just traversed, and signifying to them that he desired to know the course of the shore on the south, they immediately gave him an example of their apt scholarship by drawing with the same crayon an accurate outline of Massachusetts Bay, and finished up Champlain’s own sketch by introducing the Merrimac River, which, not having been seen, owing to the presence of Plum Island, which stretches like a curtain before its mouth, he had omitted to portray. The intelligent natives volunteered a bit of history. By placing six pebbles at equal distances, they intimated that Massachusetts Bay was occupied by six tribes, and governed by as many chiefs. He learned from them, likewise, that the inhabitants of this region subsided by agriculture, as did those at the mouth of the Saco, and that they were very numerous.

Leaving Cape Anne on Saturday, the 16th of July, De Monts entered Massachusetts Bay, sailed into Boston harbor, and anchored on the western side of Noddle’s Island, now better known as East Boston. In passing into the bay, they observed large patches of cleared land, and many fields of waving corn both upon the islands and the mainland. The water and the islands, the open fields and lofty forest trees, presented fine contrasts, and rendered the scenery attractive and beautiful. Here for the first time Champlain observed the log canoe. It was a clumsy though serviceable boat in still waters, nevertheless unstable and dangerous in unskilful hands. They saw, issuing into the bay, a large river, coming from the west, which they named River du Guast, in honor of Pierre du Guast, Sieur de Monts, the patentee of La Cadie, and the patron and director of this expedition. This was Charles River, seen, evidently just at its confluence with the Mystic.

On Sunday, the 17th of July, 1605, they left Boston harbor, threading their way among the islands, passing leisurely along the south shore, rounding Point Allerton on the peninsula of Nantucket, gliding along; near Cohasset and Scituate, and finally cast anchor at Brant Point, upon the southern borders of Marthfield. When they left the harbor of Boston, the islands and mainland were swarming with the native population. The Indians were, naturally enough, intensely interested in this visit of the little French barque. It may have been the first that had ever made its appearance in the bay. Its size was many times greater than any watercraft of their own. Spreading its white wings and gliding silently away without oarsmen, it filled them with surprise and admiration. The whole population was astir. The cornfields and fishing stations were deserted. Every canoe was manned, and a flotilla of their tiny craft came to attend, honor, and speed the parting guests, experiencing, doubtless, a sense of relief that they were going, and filled with a painful curiosity to know the meaning of this mysterious visit.

Having passed the night at Brant Point, they had not advanced more than two leagues along a sandy shore dotted with wigwams and gardens, when they were forced to enter a small harbor, to await a more favoring wind. The Indians flocked about them, greeted them with cordiality, and invited them to enter the little river which flows into the harbor, but this they were unable to do, as the tide was low and the depth insufficient. Champlain’s attention was attracted by several canoes in the bay, which had just completed their morning’s work in fishing for cod. The fish were taken with a primitive hook and line, apparently in a manner not very different from that of the present day. The line was made of a filament of bark stripped from the trunk of a tree; the hook was of wood, having a sharp bone, forming a barb, lashed to it with a cord of a grassy fibre, a kind of wild hemp, growing spontaneously in that region. Champlain landed, distributed trinkets among the natives, examined and sketched an outline of the place, which identifies it as Plymouth harbor, which Captain John Smith visited in 1614, and where the Mayflower, still six years later, landed the first permanent colony planted upon New England soil.

After a day at Plymouth, the little barque weighed anchor, swept down Cape Cod Bay, approaching near to the reefs of Billingsgate, describing a complete semicircle, and finally, with some difficulty, doubled the cape, whose white sands they had seen in the distance glittering in the sunlight, and which they appropriately named Cap Blanc. This cape, however, had been visited three years before by Bartholomew Gosnold, and named Cape Cod, which appellation it has retained to the present time. Passing down on the outside of the cape some distance, they came to anchor, sent explorers on shore, who, ascending one of the lofty sandbanks’ which may still be seen there silently resisting the winds and the waves, discovered, further to the south, what is now known as Nauset harbor, entirely surrounded by Indian cabins. The next day, the 20th of July, 1605, they effected an entrance without much difficulty. The bay was spacious, being nine or ten miles in circumference. Along the borders, there were, here and there, cultivated patches, interspersed with dwellings of the natives. The wigwam was cone-shaped, heavily thatched with reeds, having an orifice at the apex for the emission of smoke. In the fields were growing Indian corn, Brazilian beans, pumpkins, radishes, and tobacco; and in the woods were oak and hickory and red cedar. During their stay in the harbor they encountered an easterly storm, which continued four days, so raw and chilling that they were glad to hug their winter cloaks about them on the 22d of July. The natives were friendly and cordial, and entered freely into conversation with Champlain; but, as the language of each party was not understood by the other, the information he obtained from them was mostly by signs, and consequently too general to be historically interesting or important.

The first and only act of hostility by the natives which De Monts and his party had thus far experienced in their explorations on the entire coast occurred in this harbor. Several of the men had come ashore to obtain fresh water. Some of the Indians conceived an uncontrollable desire to capture the copper vessels which they saw in their hands. While one of the men was stooping to dip water from a spring, one of the savages darted upon him and snatched the coveted vessel from his hand. An encounter followed, and, amid showers of arrows and blows, the poor sailor was brutally murdered. The victorious Indian, fleet as the reindeer, escaped with his companions, bearing his prize with him into the depths of the forest. The natives on the shore, who had hitherto shown the greatest friendliness, soon came to De Monts, and by signs disowned any participation in the act, and assured him that the guilty parties belonged far in the interior. Whether this was the truth or a piece of adroit diplomacy, it was nevertheless accepted by De Monts, since punishment could only be administered at the risk of causing the innocent to suffer instead of the guilty.

The young sailor whose earthly career was thus suddenly terminated, whose name even has not come down to us, was doubtless the first European, if we except Thorvald, the Northman, whose mortal remains slumber in the soil of Massachusetts.

As this voyage of discovery had been planned and provisioned for only six weeks, and more than five had already elapsed, on the 25th of July De Monts and his party left Nausett harbor, to join the colony still lingering at St. Croix. In passing the bar, they came near being wrecked, and consequently gave to the harbor the significant appellation of Port de Mallebarre, a name which has not been lost, but nevertheless, like the shifting sands of that region, has floated away from its original moorings, and now adheres to the sandy cape of Monomoy.

On their return voyage, they made a brief stop at Saco, and likewise at the mouth of the Kennebec. At the latter point they had an interview with the sachem, Anassou, who informed them that a ship had been there, and that the men on board her had seized, under color of friendship, and killed five savages belonging to that river. From the description given by Anassou, Champlain was convinced that the ship was English, and subsequent events render it quite certain that it was the “Archangel,” fitted out by the Earl of Southampton and Lord Arundel of Wardour, and commanded by Captain George Weymouth. The design of the expedition was to fix upon an eligible site for a colonial plantation, and, in pursuance of this purpose, Weymouth anchored off Monhegan on the 28th of May, 1605, new style, and, after spending a month in explorations of the region contiguous, left for England on the 26th of June. He had seized and carried away five of the natives, having concealed them in the hold of his ship, and Anassou, under the circumstances, naturally supposed they had been killed. The statement of the sachem, that the natives captured belonged to the river where Champlain then was, namely, the Kennebec, goes far to prove that Weymouth’s explorations were in the Kennebec, or at least in the network of waters then comprehended under that appellation, and not in the Penobscot or in any other river farther east, as some historical writers have supposed.

It would appear that while the French were carefully surveying the coasts of New England, in order to fix upon an eligible site for a permanent colonial settlement, the English were likewise upon the ground, engaged in a similar investigation for the same purpose. From this period onward, for more than a century and a half, there was a perpetual conflict and struggle for territorial possession on the northern coast of America, between these two great nations, sometimes active and violent, and at others subsiding into a semi slumber, but never ceasing until every acre of soil belonging to the French had been transferred to the English by a solemn international compact.

On this exploration, Champlain noticed along the coast from Kennebec to Cape Cod, and described several objects in natural history unknown in Europe, such as the horse-foot crab, the black skimmer, and the wild turkey, the latter two of which have long since ceased to visit this region.


Written by johnwood1946

April 13, 2016 at 8:42 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. WOW This Morn ! …. Thank you !!!! Looking forward to read this share ! …. Î do appréciate your shared Very much …. – Claudia

    Envoyé de mon iPad


    Claudia Saint Pierre

    April 25, 2016 at 5:23 AM

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