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The Chronicles of New France

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In the 18th century New France extended from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the Gulf of Mexico and included the Great Lakes region and the Mississippi Valley. It comprised three distinct colonies: Acadia, founded in 1604-05 and limited to Ile Royale, Acadie after 1713; Canada, comprised of the Saint-Lawrence valley settlements, the colonization of which began with the founding of Quebec in 1608; and Louisiana, where French settlement began in 1699. Three additional colonies were later founded, stemming from the first mostly: Pays des Illinois, in the current Illinois area, and Pays d'en Haut, the territory around the Great Lakes, and Plaisance, a small colony in Newfoundland.

CANADA, the most developed colony of New France, was divided into three districts, each with its own government: Québec, Trois-Rivières, and Montréal.[1] These settlements were populated with Frenchmen that substantially complied with their homeland's plan to:
*have settlements built around forts, facilitating their support, governance and defense, and *engage in reciprocal trade.
ACADIA Acadia was peopled by a company of traders between 1636 and 1670 or thereabouts. No one has yet satisfactorily demonstrated where the French of that colony came from, though their dialect would indicate their place of origin to be in the neighborhood of the mouth of River Loire. They are distinct from the French Canadians in some particulars and not allied by marriages with the settlers of the St-Lawrence. As a matter of fact the two French colonies in question have lived apart from one another although always friendly, but as “Acadians" and "Canadians"[2]“The French claimed the line of the Kennebec as the western line of Acadia; and that - The New Englanders claimed that Acadia's western border was the St-Croix, which now divides New Brunswick from Maine.”[3]
LOUISIANA, a vast, lightly populated empire, was based on the alliance between France and many Amerindian nations, including the Hurons, Ottawas, Choctaws, and Natchez. Here, African slaves reinforced the multi-ethnic character of this “French” America, which was a theater of intense cultural transfer.

The colonial population of New France was small --- 3,000 colonists in 1660 and some 90,000 colonists a century later (compared to 1.6 million in the 13 British colonies). French migration to New France--in contrast to British colonial migration--was not fed by urban poverty or religious persecution and, in the long run, the French state was not very active in supporting population growth in the colonies.

This lack of demographic vigor had three principal consequences: an inability to exploit intensively the whole territory claimed; a direct alliance with the Indians; and, in Louisiana, the need to resort to servile labor. France’s North American empire possessed a decidedly multi-ethnic character. Amerindians, French colonists, and Africans--slaves for the most part--associated daily and gave birth to three separate and uniquely different cultural communities that still mark North American society.


986 --- Norseman Bjarni Herjólfsson, blown off course on a voyage from Iceland to Greenland, is the first documented European to sail the coastal waters of Canada.[4]
1001 --- Leif Ericson lands at Helluland, Markland, and Vinland. The sites are believed to be Baffin Island, Labrador and Newfoundland. Primarily because of the fisheries, the Norsemen explorations of the newly discovered northern continent led to the establishment of seasonal habitations.[5] The last record of Newfoundland habitation regards visit by an Icelandic cleric in 1121. Several factors contributed to the failure of Norse colonies. The Norsemen maintained a continuous state of warfare with indigenous Skrellings who traveled in coastal kayaks. Norse agricultural practices depleted plant species required to sustain their colonies; and trade which might have provided substitute materials from Europe disappeared as the Black Death epidemic of 1349 initially discouraged traders encountering the plague and then reduced the population pressure to search elsewhere for available agricultural land. When Europeans regained interest in westward exploration, Portuguese seafaring technology, built on the experience of the Phoenicians and Moors, had surpassed that of the Norsemen. Prevailing westerly winds encountered when sailing from the latitude of Portugal discouraged northerly exploration, but southerly voyages led to discovery and colonization of the Azores in 1432.[6]


  • The Beothuk of Newfoundland may have been identified as Skrellings by the Norse. Beothuk traditions of communal ownership seemingly extended beyond land to include portable possessions. Perhaps their nomadic lifestyle caused them to regard anything not in the immediate possession of another as abandoned. Europeans interpreted such behavior as theft, and it may have been the root cause of perpetual warfare with the Norse. French outport fishermen and traders found theft similarly exasperating; and offered Mi'kmaq trading partners an exchange rate for Beothuk scalps similar to that for furs. Beothuk populations declined rapidly.[7]

The Aboriginal tribes of the New France frontier:

  • The Mi'kmaq of the maritime region,[8]
  • the Maliseet along the Saint-John River (called Etchemin by Champlain),[9]
  • the Passamaquoddy along the western shore of the Bay of Fundy (also called Etchemin by Champlain),[10]
  • the Abenaki along the New England frontier,[11]
  • the Montagnais in the vicinity of Quebec,[8] and
  • the other Algonquian tribes along the Saint-Lawrence River, were primarily nomadic hunters and fishermen, moving as the seasons changed and nature's bounty fluctuated. They required vast expanses of land to support their population, therefore the Indians never were very numerous.[8] Because their subsistence appeared to be relatively secure, their tribes generally tolerated the presence of the Europeans.

On the other hand

  • the Huron of the Great Lakes[12] and
  • the Iroquois, originating from the Lower Great Lakes region, were agrarian communities, and therefore resented the influx of European farmers.[13] The Huron and Iroquois were at war when Europeans first explored the St. Lawrence; so, to obtain favorable treatment from the Hurons who were encountered first, French settlers joined the Hurons fighting the werreieor (warrior) Iroquois.[14]

Between the coastal hunter-gatherers and interior were the fortified settlements of Stadaconé and Hochelaga on the sites of the modern cities of Quebec and Montreal, respectively. Knowledge of the inhabitants of these settlements is limited to observations by Cartier during the winter of 1535-1536 and a few Stadaconans who returned to Europe with Cartier. Modern anthropologists have difficulty grouping them with either the Hurons or the coastal tribes. They may have been composite bands of interpreters, middle-men, and/or tariff collectors for the emerging St. Lawrence River trade between European Atlantic fishermen and fur gatherers of the Great Lakes. Their numbers and fortifications may have been necessary to enforce collection of tariffs from passing traders. Their crowded living conditions made them similarly vulnerable to epidemics of European disease which eliminated the Ohio River mound builders and Missouri River Mandan; and Samuel de Champlain found no trace of these settlements sixty years after Cartier's last visit.[15] Morison attributes sickness among the Stadaconans during the winter of 1535-1536 to the same scurvy which afflicted Cartier's men; but, since the Stadaconans knew the white cedar bark remedy for scurvy, they may have been suffering from European diseases. From puberty, Stadaconan girls lived in a community brothel frequented by men seeking wives. The structure was popular with the men of Cartier's expedition, some of whom were syphilitic.[16]

Unfortunately for these tribes, and all First Nations people of North America, once trading across the Atlantic became firmly establish, their tribes became dependent upon the Europeans for the manufactured goods, implements, and weapons of early industrialization. In the end, it was not war that defeated the Indians, rather it was their competitive disadvantage in a country that became more and more dependent upon mercantilism, luring the Indians to barter away their primary possession, their land.[17]


1497 --- The Italian Giovanni Caboto (known by his English sponsors as John Cabot) chose the favorable spring winds to sail from Ireland's Dursey Head in search of new fishing grounds for Bristol fishermen; and reported finding Newfoundland or Cape Breton Island. News spread quickly that Cabot had caught codfish by simply lowering and lifting a weighted basket.[18] Cabot kidnapped three Mi'kmaq.[19]
1500 --- Gaspar Corte Real of Portugal visited Newfoundland and kidnapped 57 Beothuk to be sold as slaves.[20] By 1506, the catch from the Grand Banks encouraged the King of Portugal to impose a ten percent import tariff to protect local fishermen.[21]
1504 --- Jean Denys of Honfleur made the earliest recorded voyage of a French fishing boat to the Grand Banks. Thomas Aubert of Dieppe followed two years later in the Pensée owned by Jean Argo. French fishermen were soon sailing the North Atlantic during winter weather seldom braved by other nationalities. While returning "wet" catches to Europe prior to establishing fish drying outports ashore, French fishing boats would sail from Europe in late January or early February and return as soon as their holds were full of fish. Most fishing boats would sail in April or May and return in September. The later season often represented a second voyage for French fishermen. Fifteen-thousand European fishermen were fishing the Grand Banks by 1520.[22] Survival often required coastal knowledge of harbors providing shelter from storms and locations to repair storm damage. John Rut's voyage of 1527 reported finding seven Norman and one Breton boat in Saint John's Harbor, Newfoundland, with only two Portuguese boats.[23] Much of the seasonal fresh catch of "wet" fish returned to Europe was lightly salted and air-dried for preservation until later use. Drying fish in North American outports allowed each boat to bring back a more valuable cargo of already dried fish from each voyage. The westbound Atlantic crossing carried an expanded crew including a shore party. While the normal crew fished from boats, the shore party felled trees to construct a small wharf called a chaufaud (fish stage) and platforms of brush and small boughs about three feet above the ground called vignots (flakes) upon which the fish would be dried. The boats returned to the fish stage where they threw their catch to be gutted and split by the shore party, who then lightly salted the split fish and arranged them on the flakes to dry. The drying fish were covered with sailcloth every night and during fog or rainy weather, and rearranged periodically for several weeks until they hardened and could be stacked like boards. The dried fish were then stored in sheds until the expanded crew and cargo were loaded for the eastbound Atlantic crossing. During the fishing and drying season, members of the shore party were able to increase their profits for the voyage by trading with First Nations residents bringing furs to the outport.[24] As Grand Banks fishing increased, willingness to sail during winter weather was advantageous for early arrivals were able to choose from a wider range of outport harbor locations (and possibly re-use previously constructed facilities.) The best locations might be secured if part of the shore party would volunteer to winter-over in the outport and keep the fish stage, flakes, storage sheds, and small boats in good repair. Surviving a winter in the outport might have been easier for men who found friendly Mi'kmaq or Montagnais women to teach them to find and preserve the local berries to prevent scurvy. Some outport caretakers returned to Europe after wintering over, while others "went native" and remained in North America. Their Métis families may have invited some fishermen to bring their wives for at least the fishing season. Both the First Nations and Europeans considered these outport communities temporary facilities of the fish trade. European populated outports initially depended upon the good will of the local First Nation; and historians often consider the outports as First Nations settlements until well after colonization authorized by European monarchs.
1520 --- João Álvares Fagundes of Portugal explored Sable Island, Funk Island, Saint Pierre and Miquelon. Fagundes received approval from the King of Portugal to establish an outport community at Ingonish on Cape Breton Island where colonists made soap from the fat of the then plentiful, but now extinct great auks; and Portuguese fishermen dried codfish for transport back to Europe. Killing the great auks aroused hostility among indigenous Mi'kmaqs who had used the easily captured flightless birds and their eggs as a seasonal food source. By 1525 the Portuguese moved south into the Bay of Fundy after their fishing lines were cut and their buildings burned. The Ingonish outport was later occupied by Breton fishermen who focused on fish rather than terrestrial wildlife to avoid alienating the Mi'kmaq; and the Island received its present name from these later French occupants.[25]
1524 --- Giovanni da Verrazzano's expedition for French King Francis I encountered friendly naïveté from indigenous residents of Cape Cod; but earlier contact with Portuguese in 1522 caused residents of the Maine coast to display rude behavior toward Verrazzano.[26]
1527 --- Basque whalers began anchoring in north shore outport harbors between Blanc Sablon and Tadoussac. Big pulling boats roamed the Strait of Belle Isle and St. Lawrence estuary to harpoon right whales and tow them ashore where the carcass would converted to whale oil in big iron cauldrons. Walrus were also hunted for both oil and their ivory tusks.[27]
1540 --- Spanish fishermen from San Sebastian and other Biscayan ports began fishing the Grand Banks. Spanish fishing increased until decline during the undeclared war of the 1580s as Spanish fishing ships were captured by English privateers or impressed into service with the Spanish Armada.[28]

French, Spanish, and English fishermen established similar outports, as did Basque whalers. The plentiful supply of fish on the Grand Banks reduced the colonial competition typical of land based resources, and a sparsely settled cosmopolitan European coastal community had been established in Acadie before the French-English warfare which defined later regional populations. These coastal communities sometimes maintained neutrality during the earlier stages of the French English conflict, and may have been perceived as less reliable allies by the more nationalistic population of Canada.[29]


1534 --- Breton sailor Jacques Cartier was commissioned by King François I of France to explore the northern American lands in search of riches and the rumored Northwest Passage to Asia. Cartier was offered furs by indigenous residents of Chaleur Bay, suggesting previous experience with European fur traders.[30] At Natashquan, Quebec, Cartier found members of the Montagnais First Nation engaged in fishing for a French Captain Thiennot known by Cartier.[31] This is evidence of a shore-based trading community exchanging European goods for North American resources.
1535-1536 --- Jacques Cartier made a second voyage up the St. Lawrence River as far as the Huron fortress of Hochelaga at modern Montreal and spent the winter in a fort near the Huron capitol of Stadaconé on the site of the modern City of Quebec. Nearly a quarter of Cartier's men died of scurvy before the Hurons taught them to brew a tea from the bark of the white cedar Thuja occidentalis. That knowledge became a survival skill for settlers of Quebec and Acadie where the growing season was too short for many familiar European fruits and vegetables. On his return voyage, Cartier left one of his larger ships' boats at Renewse Harbor, Newfoundland, indicating the outport was already in use as a used boat exchange for fishing vessels needing boats for inshore fishing, but not wanting to transport them across the Atlantic.[32] It is reasonable to assume the outport was staffed by caretakers.
1541-1543 --- Jacques Cartier and Jean-François de La Roque de Roberval brought settlers to Cap-Rouge, Quebec, on the north shore of the St-Lawrence River. Although organized as a single expedition, Cartier sailed a year before Roberval, and spent the winter of 1541-1542 before abandoning the settlement and sailing downstream to meet Roberval (and 27 fishing boats from France, England and Portugal) in the harbor at St. Johns, Newfoundland. Cartier gave up hope of discovering a route to the orient, and returned to France while Roberval sailed up the St. Lawrence to build a new settlement with a different name at the site abandoned by Cartier. Roberval spent the winter of 1542-1543 there before similarly abandoning the settlement.[33] The last member of the expedition to leave was Roberval's niece, Marguerite de La Roque, whose shipboard romance with another settler during their westbound Atlantic crossing so scandalized Roberval that he left her marooned on the Isle of Demons (near modern Harrington, Quebec) where she remained until rescued by a French fisherman in 1544.[34]
1542 --- Sixty French fishing boats sailed from Rouen bound for the Grand Banks. Ten more sailed from La Rochelle, and probably others from unrecorded ports.[35]
1562 --- Jean Ribault built a fort for thirty French Huguenots at Port Royal, South Carolina. The colonists became disappointed with the location; and built a ship in which they sailed back to Europe.[36]
1564 --- René Goulaine de Laudonnière built Fort Caroline as a second Huguenot colony on the St. Johns River in modern Jacksonville, Florida. The fort was perceived as a threat by Spanish colonists at St. Augustine; and Pedro Menéndez de Avilés executed the French settlers after capturing Fort Caroline in 1565.[37]
1578 --- There were 150 French, 100 Spanish, and 50 English fishing ships plus 20 or 30 Basque whalers in the vicinity of the Grand Banks and St. Lawrence estuary.[38] Most of these fishing ships supported coastal outport communities drying their catch for transport back to Europe.[39]
1581 --- First mention of a French ship equipped for the fur trade.
1583 --- Humfrey Gilbert claimed Newfoundland for England. All of the ships present in St. Johns harbor (twenty Spanish and Portuguese and sixteen French and English) acknowledged they were under English sovereignty.[40]
1598 --- After unsuccessful attempts in 1578 and 1584, Troilus de Mesgouez, marquis de La Roche, settled sixty French convicts on Sable Island. The convicts were left on their own to hunt for food and build huts for shelter, although some provisions were delivered annually. The eleven survivors were returned to France in 1603.[41]
1600 --- Mesgouez sold his grant to Pierre de Chauvin de Tonnetuit and Francois Grave du Pont; and with that grant from King Henri IV, they established at Tadoussac (on the North coast of the St-Lawrence) the first North American fur trading post authorized by European royalty.[42] This site near the mouth of the Saguenay River (and a second site on Anticosti Island) had been used by several generations of unlicensed European traders to receive First Nations furs; and the sixteen European men left to take possession of existing shelters and storehouses at Tadoussac "went native" during their first winter to join the population of Métis independent free traders operating without benefit of the King's authority.[43]


First recorded use of the term Coureurs des Bois was in Histoire du Canada by the Récollet Gabriel Sagard-Théodat. The term was used as early as 1615 to distinguish Europeans engaged in a traveling fur trade from settlers with a fixed residence. By 1670, it was officially being used to identify outlaw traders operating without permits. Traveling European traders probably began working seasonally using fishing boats for transport, and may have been full time residents prior to establishment of settlements recognized by historians. In their contact with the First Nations, they learned the advantages of birch-bark canoes, and built lengthened canoes for transport of trade goods. European monarchs recognized the fur trade as the best source of revenue to support colonization, and sought to control it through taxes and issuance of permits limiting the ability of the established community of free traders to continue what, by that time, had been family businesses for several generations. Fishing boats built secret compartments to prevent both pirates and the King's men from discovering the furs they carried. Free traders resisted colonial attempts to increase their overhead expenses. While colonial policies denied firearms and liquor to the First Nations; free traders offered trappers brandy and muskets in exchange for their furs. First Nations trappers expected either five pounds of sugar, four fishhooks, or half a pound of beads in exchange for each beaver skin by 1670; but they would give twenty for a musket. [44]
As later generations of Europeans established cultural identities as Canadians or Americans rather than with the nations of their ancestors, the coureurs des bois and voyageurs became recognized as among the first to forge that separate identity by traveling among the interior First Nations to learn of North America's Great Lakes and magnificent rivers. Much of their history has been lost, and knowledge of their epic voyages survives only in second-hand accounts; because keeping records during the era of their exploration would have jeopardized their freedom to find what lay around the next bend of the river.


Intermarriage between French traders and First Nations women was common, and helped maintain peaceful relationships through merger of the two cultures.[45] Métis originally referred to children of First Nations mothers and European fathers, or descendants of those children. These individuals were included in many early First Nations/European treaties, but have more recently been excluded under amendments to the Canadian Indian Act. The term as recognized by S.35 of the constitution act of 1982 does not encompass all individuals of mixed heritage; but is applied largely to a group of western Canadians who self-identify as Métis, have ancestral connection with that Métis community, and have been accepted by that Métis community.[46]
Prior to and throughout the history of New France, the term may be more broadly construed to include Europeans who "went native" choosing to adopt the customs of the First Nations rather than abide by colonial regulations. The Métis population helped maintain the strong French/First Nations alliance through the period of warfare with English colonists; and may have sheltered some Acadians who might otherwise have been deported during the Acadian expulsion (Le Grand Dérangement.) After the British conquest of New France a distinction was made between French Métis and Anglo-Métis, but that distinction may have depended less upon genetic descent than upon willingness to accept the English language and religious affiliation.


Henri IV, one of the few monarchs interested in maritime expansion and colonies, granted monopolies for the exploitation of Canadian furs, on the condition that grantees found settlements there and ensure their population. The Protestant Pierre Du Gua de Monts, a principal beneficiary of the monopolies in the beginning of the 17th century, went to Acadia in 1604 and the following year founded Port Royal (present-day Annapolis-Royal). In order to control furs coming from the interior, in 1608 he directed Champlain to construct a fortification on the St-Lawrence River, at Québec. But around 1625 the two settlements still remained simple trading posts. Québec had only 100 residents. The development of Port-Royal, victim of an English raid in 1613, was subjected to the Franco-British rivalry for control of the region.

1603 --- De Monts Fur Trading Company
1603 --- Expedition of François Gravé du Pont to Canada, accompanied by Samuel de Champlain. Alliance between the French, the Algonquins, and the Montagnais begins.
1604 --- Expedition of Pierre Du Gua de Monts to Acadia, accompanied by Samuel de Champlain and Jean de Biencourt de Pourtrincourt. Pierre Du Gua de Monts winters at Île Sainte-Croix, near border of present-day New Brunswick and Maine.
1605 --- Pierre Du Gua de Monts founds Port-Royal in Acadia. 44 settlers survive of the 79 persons who had wintered on Île Sainte-Croix during the preceding winter.[47]
1608 --- On April 13 Samuel de Champlain, commissioned by Pierre Du Gua de Monts, begins his third voyage to New France, to establish a permanent trading post in the lands Jacques Cartier explored nearly a century earlier.[48].
1608 --- Samuel de Champlain founds Quebec.[49] Of 28 settlers, fourteen men, including Champlain, survive the first winter[50] on the site of the abandoned Huron settlement of Stadaconé.[51] Champlain embraced the notion that the Saint-Lawrence might lead to the western sea.[52]
1609 --- Samuel de Champlain and two French soldiers joined a force of St. Lawrence First Nations warriors to defeat a superior number of Iroquois on Lake Champlain. The battle was won by the Frenchmen using firearms to kill three Iroquois chiefs. Surviving Iroquois fled from this unfamiliar weapon; but the lopsided victory left a legacy of Iroquois hatred for French colonists lasting more than a century, and the Iroquois quickly learned the limitations of European firearms.[53]
1611 --- Jesuits estimate Indian population of New France at 10,000.[54]

COMPAGNIE des MARCHANDS --- 1613 - 1620

1613 --- St. John’s, Newfoundland, founded. 62 persons wintered, who had been left by Whitburn.[55]
1615 --- Samuel de Champlain brought four Récollet friars to New France. Jean D'Olbeau debarked at Tadoussac, where he conducted the first Mass ever heard in Canada. Denis Jamay and Pacifique du Plessis stayed in Quebec to minister to the spiritual needs of the settlers while Joseph le Caron proceeded upstream to acquaint the Hurons with his faith. Champlain then followed le Caron taking fifteen French soldiers to accompany an overconfident force of Hurons against an Onondaga fortification in New York. Remembering their easy victory with Champlain six years earlier, hundreds of Hurons abandoned surprise, attacked prematurely and were soundly defeated. Huron disappointment reduced First Nations enthusiasm for French colonization. Following the battle, Champlain spent six months among the Hurons recovering from an arrow wound. One of the French soldiers, Étienne Brûlé, "went native" with the Hurons, and took a number of First Nations wives while exploring the Great Lakes.[56]
1617 --- The first Canadian apothecary, Louis Hébert, arrived in Quebec, where he was appointed the King's procurator in the first court of justice in 1621.[57]

COMPAGNIE de CAËN --- 1620

1620 --- Population of Quebec: 60[58]

COMPAGNIE de MONTMORENCY --- 1621 - 1627

1622 --- 32 persons wintered at Newfoundland with Captain Wynn.[59]
1624 --- Richelieu appointed head of the King’s Council.
1625 --- First Jesuit missionaries arrive in Canada.

COMPAGNIE des CENT-ASSOCIES --- 1627 - 1663

1627 --- Grand Master and General Superintendent of Navigation, Cardinal Richelieu (1585-1642) wished to accelerate the development of Canada. In 1627 he created the Company of the One Hundred Associates. In return for important privileges, the Company was responsible for the peopling of the colony and the conversion of the Indians.
1628 --- Population of New France, 76, who wintered, including 20 French and the Missionary returning from the Hurons.[60]
1629 --- Englishmen Kirke brothers occupy Québec and New France falls to the rule of English free traders until 1631. The first year of occupation about 117 persons wintered, 90 of these being English belonging to Kirke’s Expedition.[61] The Kirke expedition was guided by Étienne Brûlé, of Champlain's 1615 campaign, who had returned eastward after exploration of the Great Lakes while living among the Hurons. Brûlé is believed to be one of the first Europeans to explore the Great Lakes; but he retreated to live among the Hurons in disgrace when French control of Quebec was restored.[62]
1632/03/29 --- The treaty of St-Germain-en-Laye restores New France (Québec, Acadia and Cape Breton) to France.
1632 --- Publication began of an annual compilation of letters from the Jesuit priests of New France. Distribution of these Jesuit Relations through France continued until 1673 and inspired widespread national support for the colony.[63]
1634 --- In January, the Company of One Hundred Associates grants the seigniory of Beauport to Robert Giffard. Two months later, he departs for New France with his wife and children and more than two dozen settlers, beginning what has become known as the Percheron Immigration.
1634/07/04 --- Founding of Trois-Rivières, the second permanent settlement in New France.[64] .
1634 – 1662--- Filles à Marier are recruited in France to settle in New France.
1637 --- Founding of first réduction (reservation) at Sillery on the St-Lawrence River. They receive an actual concession in 1646.[65][66]
1641 --- Société Notre-Dame de Montréal founded for “conversion of the savages.”
1641 --- The sedentary population of New France was still only 240, at the end of the year.[67]
1642 --- Ville Marie (Montreal) is founded by Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve and Jeanne Mance with Augustin Hébert and Gilbert Barbier.
1643 --- Louis XIV reigns to 1715.
1650 --- Franco-Iroquois war to 1653
1653 --- Population of New France: 2,000.[68][69]
1653 --- Paul de Chomedey, sieur de Maisonneuve hired one hundred settlers (La Grande Recrue) for the Société Notre-Dame de Montréal to reinforce the outpost of Ville-Marie (Montreal) against the Iroquois.
1654 --- British expedition seizes Acadia.
1654 --- British occupation of Acadia to 1667.
1659 --- Médard Chouart des Groseilliers and Pierre-Esprit Radisson reach western end of Lake Superior.
1661 --- Personal rule of Louis XIV (1661-1715) begins; Colbert appointed to King’s Council.
1662 --- Founding of colony of Plaisance at Newfoundland.

CONSEIL SOUVERAIN --- 1663 - 1760

1663 --- Retrocession of Canada to French royal authority; Seigneurie of Montreal entrusted to Company of Saint-Sulpice.
1663 --- Population of New France: 2,500. 800 were in Quebec. The public debt was about 200,000 livres[70]; the Customs tariff was raised to 10 per cent ad valorem on all merchandise.[71]
1663 --- Colony of New France decreed a royal province on September 24 when King Louis XIV appoints the Conseil Souverain to administer the French new-world colonies of Canada, Acadie and Louisiana under His absolute dominion, with Quebec the province's capital.
1663 to 1760 --- Intendants de la Nouvelle-France
1663 to 1673 --- Filles du Roi
1664 to 1667 --- The Compagnie de l'Occident was established to exploit the resources of the French colonies and compete with the powerful Dutch and English companies.
1665 --- France begins to subsidize emigration to the Americas; arrival of Intendant Jean Talon; first Jesuit mission in the Pays d’en Haut.
1665 to 1666 --- Recensement de la Nouvelle-France en 1666. Population de jure of New France: 3,215.
1665 to 1668 --- Carignan-Salières Regiment
1665 to 1760 --- Seigneuries de la Nouvelle-France
1666 --- Expeditions of Carignan-Salières regiment against the Mohawks.
1667 --- Recensement de la Nouvelle-France en 1667. Population of New France: 3,918.
1668 --- Population of New France : 6,282.[72]
1670 --- French reoccupation of Acadia.
1671 --- Population of Acadia: 441; Resident French population of Plaisance, Newfoundland: 73.[72]; At Sault-Sainte-Marie, French claim possession of Pays d’en Haut.
1672 --- Count Frontenac named Governor of New France.
1673 --- Population of New France: 6,705.[72]; Population of Plaisance, Newfoundland: 63.[72]; “Discovery” of the Mississippi by Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette; Founding of Fort Frontenac.
1675 --- Population of New France: 7,832.[72]
1676 --- Population of New France : 8,415.[72]
1679 --- Population of New France: 9,400; Population of Acadia: 515.[72]; René-Robert Cavelier de La Salle founds trading post at Niagara.
1680 --- Population of New France: 9,719; besides 960 Indians collected in villages.[72]; Establishment of Fort Crèvecoeur on the Illinois River.
1681 --- Population of New France: 9,677; Permit system implemented for fur traders in the Pays d’en Haut.
1682 --- Expedition of René-Robert Cavelier de La Salle to mouth of the Mississippi. French claim possession of the Mississippi Valley, under name of Louisiana; building of Fort Saint-Louis in Illinois Country.
1682 to 1762 --- Louisiana, or French Louisiana Territory, was an administrative district of New France. From 1762 - 1802 the territory was known as Luisiana, Nueva España, an administrative division of Spain.
1683 --- Population of New France: 10,251.[72]


1685 --- Population of New France: 12,263, including 1,538 of the Indian population collected in villages; René-Robert Cavelier de La Salle leads expedition by sea to Louisiana, which fails to locate mouth of the Mississippi.
1686 --- Population of New France: 12,373[72]; Population of Acadia: 885.
1687 --- French Population of Newfoundland: 663.
1688 --- Population of New France: 11,562.
1690 --- Admiral Phips sacks Port Royal, but fails to take Quebec.
1691 --- Resident French Population: 155[72]
1694 --- Expeditions of Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville to Hudson Bay and Newfoundland begin, ending in 1697.
1696 --- Suspension of trade in the Pays d’en Haut .
1699 --- Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville founds Louisiana; establishment of Mission of Sainte-Famille at Cahokia by Seminary of Foreign Missions.
1702 --- Founding of Mobile.
1703 --- Fort Saint-Louis (Illinois Country) abandoned; Jesuits set up Mission of the Immaculate- Conception near the Kaskaskia River.
1712 --- Louisiana commercial monopoly granted to Antoine Crozat.
1713 --- Treaty of Utrecht: France cedes Hudson Bay, Newfoundland, and Acadia, but retains Île-Royale (present-day Cape Breton Island) and Île Saint-Jean to England. Reopening of the Pays d’en Haut.
1715-1774 --- Reign of Louis XV.
1715-1723 --- Regency of Philippe, duc d’Orléans.
1716 --- John Law founds Banque générale. Founding of Fort Rosalie (Natchez) and Fort Saint-Jean-Baptiste (Natchitoches).
1717 --- Creation of Company of the West by John Law. Louisiana commercial monopoly granted to Company of the West, renamed Company of the Indies in 1719; administrative reattachment of the Illinois Country to Louisiana; founding of Fort Toulouse (Alibamons).
1717 --- French migration to Louisiana, till 1720.
1718 --- Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville founds New Orleans.
1719 --- Founding of Fort Chartres and village of Prairie du Rocher in the Illinois Country.
1720 --- Collapse of John Law’s system. Founding of Louisbourg (Ile Royale); exploitation of Ile Saint-Jean begins.
1721 --- Founding of village of Saint-Philippe in the Illinois Country.
1724 --- Promulgation of Code noir (slave code) in Louisiana.
1731 --- Retrocession of Louisiana to French royal authority; virtual cessation of African slave trade to Louisiana; explorations of La Vérendrye brothers in the Plains, until 1743.
1745 --- British capture of Louisbourg.
1745 --- British occupation of Île Royale until 1749.
1750 --- Village of Ste-Geneviève founded in the Illinois Country.
1755 --- Deportation of Acadians begins.
1756 --- Marquis de Montcalm leads French operations in North America.
1758 --- Fall of Louisbourg.
1759 --- Fall of Quebec; death of Louis-Joseph de Montcalm.
1760 --- Fall of Montreal.
1760 --- Pierre de Rigaud, Marquis de Vaudreuil et Cavagnal surrendered Canada to British forces under Major General Jeffery Amherst.


1762 --- Secret Treaty of Fontainebleau cedes western Louisiana to Spain.
1763 --- The 1763 Treaty of Paris marked the end of the Seven Years War (1756-63) and sounded the death knell of New France. The treaty ceded to Britain all territory east of the Mississippi (eastern Louisiana), as well as all Canadian possessions; France retains fishing rights on Newfoundland's coast as well as islands of St-Pierre and Miquelon.
1763/02/10 --- The Seven Years War ends. The Treaty of Paris cedes Canada (The Saint Lawrence Valley settlements) to Britain.
1764 --- Pierre Laclède and Auguste Chouteau found St. Louis.
1765 --- British garrison reaches Fort de Chartres in the Illinois Country; Acadian immigration in lower Louisiana begins.
1768 --- Anti-Spanish revolt at New Orleans.
1769 --- Effective establishment of Spanish regime in Louisiana.
1774-1793 --- Reign of Louis XVI.
1774 --- Quebec Act.
1775-1776 --- American Revolution General Richard Montgomery briefly occupies Montreal.
1776 --- American Declaration of Independence; Louis XVI decides to help “rebel” American colonists.
1777 --- Marquis de La Fayette in America.
1778 --- France commits itself officially on side of “rebels.” Treaty of Amity and Commerce and Treaty of Alliance signed with United States; France enters war against Britain.
1780 --- Expeditionary corps sent under leadership of Count Rochambeau.
1785 – 1788 --- Expedition of La Pérouse.
1786/03/08 --- 70 Acadian families become British subjects in exchange for land concessions in Arichat Parish on Isle Madame, Nova Scotia.
1789 – 1798 --- French émigrés in the United States.
1794 --- United States grants assistance to French refugees.
1796 --- Secret French expedition to map Ohio and Mississippi rivers.
1799 --- Napoleon Bonaparte becomes first consul.
1800 --- Treaty of San Ildefonso--secret treaty by which Spain cedes western Louisiana to France; Convention of 1800 between France and United States.
1803 --- Effective retrocession of Louisiana from Spain to France; France sells Louisiana Territory to the United States.
During the seventeenth century 15,000 French citizens will migrate to New France, with about two-thirds returning to their motherland, thus the century will end with only 5000 French citizens living in the new world. The British colonies to the south end the century with more than twenty-five times that amount, even though the British Isles' population was only a third of France's.
( End of Chronicles of New France)

Louis XIV at S' Germain, 15 April, 1676 to Count de Frontenac: Monsieur le Comte de Frontenac, ...you ought to hold it as a maxim, that it is much better to occupy less territory and to people it thoroughly, than to spread one self out more, and to have feeble colonies which can be easily destroyed by any sort of accident.[73]

In 1867 the Provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, and Ontario were confederated as the Dominion of Canada, under the provision of the British North America Act.



  1. Place names of rivière Saint-Laurence: --- A map published in the front of all seven volumes of Cyprian Tanquay's Dictionnaire Genealogique des Familles Canadiennes covers the years 1608 through after the Exile (1760+/-), and seems to agree with the settlement names used by Talon and his successors in the position of Intendant of New France. Unless otherwise specified, all settlements within the vallée de la rivière are identified as recorded on the map in Tanguay's Dictionnaire Genealogique.
  2. Page 4 of Benjamin Sulte's speech on Origin of the French Canadians, presented before the British Association, Toronto, August 1897
  3. Charles C. D. Roberts, History of Canada, 1897
  4. Wikipedia: Bjarni Herjólfsson
  5. Wikipedia: Leif Ericson
  6. Morison, Samuel Eliot "The European Discovery of America" Oxford University Press, New York (1971) pp.58-61&95
  7. Waldman, Carl "Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes" ISBN 0-8160-3963-1 Checkmark Books, New York (1999) p.33
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 J.M.S. Careless, CANADA - A Story of Challenge, Third Edition 1970, pages 18-20
  9. Erickson, Vincent O. "Maliseet-Passamaquoddy" from "Handbook of North American Indians" (volume 15) Smithsonian Institution (1978) p.123
  10. Erickson, Vincent O. "Maliseet-Passamaquoddy" from "Handbook of North American Indians" (volume 15) Smithsonian Institution (1978) p.123
  11. Trigger, Bruce G. "Handbook of North American Indians" (volume 15) Smithsonian Institution (1978) p.ix
  12. Trigger, Bruce G. "Handbook of North American Indians" (volume 15) Smithsonian Institution (1978) p.ix
  13. J.M.S. Careless, 'CANADA - A Story of Challenge, Third Edition 1970, Pages 44-46
  14. Costain, Thomas B. "The White and the Gold" Doubleday & Company, Garden City, New York (1954) p.71
  15. Trigger, Bruce G. & Pendergast, James F. "Saint Lawrence Iroquoians" from "Handbook of North American Indians" (volume 15) Smithsonian Institution (1978) pp.357-361
  16. Morison, Samuel Eliot "The European Discovery of America" Oxford University Press, New York (1971) pp.418&419
  17. J.M.S. Careless, 'CANADA - A Story of Challenge, Third Edition 1970, pages 22-23
  18. Morison, Samuel Eliot "The European Discovery of America" Oxford University Press, New York (1971) pp.157-187
  19. Waldman, Carl "Atlas of the North American Indian" Facts on File Publications, New York (1985) p.80
  20. Waldman, Carl "Atlas of the North American Indian" Facts on File Publications, New York (1985) p.80
  21. Morison, Samuel Eliot "The European Discovery of America" Oxford University Press, New York (1971) pp.215&228
  22. Morgan, Robert "World Sea Fisheries" Methuen & Co. Ltd. London (1956) p.221
  23. Morison, Samuel Eliot "The European Discovery of America" Oxford University Press, New York (1971) pp.ix,225,235,270&272
  24. Morison, Samuel Eliot "The European Discovery of America" Oxford University Press, New York (1971) pp.473-477
  25. Morison, Samuel Eliot "The European Discovery of America" Oxford University Press, New York (1971) pp.228-231
  26. Brasser, T.J. "Early Indian-European Contacts" from "Handbook of North American Indians" (volume 15) Smithsonian Institution (1978) p.80
  27. Morison, Samuel Eliot "The European Discovery of America" Oxford University Press, New York (1971) pp.478&479
  28. Morison, Samuel Eliot "The European Discovery of America" Oxford University Press, New York (1971) pp.472&473
  29. Acknowledgement: Content contributed by AL Wellman in his response to a G2G posting.
  30. Brasser, T.J. "Early Indian-European Contacts" from "Handbook of North American Indians" (volume 15) Smithsonian Institution (1978) p.80
  31. Morison, Samuel Eliot "The European Discovery of America" Oxford University Press, New York (1971) pp.228-231&378
  32. Morison, Samuel Eliot "The European Discovery of America" Oxford University Press, New York (1971) pp.418-423
  33. Morison, Samuel Eliot "The European Discovery of America" Oxford University Press, New York (1971) pp.437-454
  34. Costain, Thomas B. "The White and the Gold" Doubleday & Company, Garden City, New York (1954) pp.43&44
  35. Morison, Samuel Eliot "The European Discovery of America" Oxford University Press, New York (1971) pp.267&273
  36. McMaster, John Bach "A Brief History of the United States" American Book Company, New York (1918) p.32
  37. McMaster, John Bach "A Brief History of the United States" American Book Company, New York (1918) pp.32&33
  38. Morison, Samuel Eliot "The European Discovery of America" Oxford University Press, New York (1971) pp.478&479
  39. Brasser, T.J. "Early Indian-European Contacts" from "Handbook of North American Indians" (volume 15) Smithsonian Institution (1978) p.79
  40. Morison, Samuel Eliot "The European Discovery of America" Oxford University Press, New York (1971) p.574
  41. Morison, Samuel Eliot "The European Discovery of America" Oxford University Press, New York (1971) p.491
  42. Morison, Samuel Eliot "The European Discovery of America" Oxford University Press, New York (1971) p.491
  43. Costain, Thomas B. "The White and the Gold" Doubleday & Company, Garden City, New York (1954) pp.52&54
  44. Costain, Thomas B. "The White and the Gold" Doubleday & Company, Garden City, New York (1954) pp.182,297-301&318
  45. Waldman, Carl "Atlas of the North American Indian" Facts on File Publications, New York (1985) p.186
  46. Wikipedia: Métis people (Canada)
  47. Champlain, Edition Laverdière, tome III., pages 41, 42 & 78.
  48. Statistique Canada. (1984). Sur les traces de Jacques Cartier. No 11-X-524F au catalogue. Ottawa, Ministre de l'Industrie.
  49. Champlain, Edition Laverdière, tome III., page 173.
  50. Costain, Thomas B. "The White and the Gold" Doubleday & Company, Garden City, New York (1954) p.65
  51. Morison, Samuel Eliot "The European Discovery of America" Oxford University Press, New York (1971) pp.428&429
  52. J.M.S. Careless, CANADA - A Story of Challenge, Third Edition 1970, page 38
  53. Costain, Thomas B. "The White and the Gold" Doubleday & Company, Garden City, New York (1954) pp.66-71
  54. Relation de 1611, Vol. I., page 15, Edition Canadienne.
  55. The British Empire in America, Vol. I. Page 7.
  56. Costain, Thomas B. "The White and the Gold" Doubleday & Company, Garden City, New York (1954) pp.74-78&87-88
  57. Costain, Thomas B. "The White and the Gold" Doubleday & Company, Garden City, New York (1954) pp.89-92
  58. Champlain, Edition Laverdière, tome VI., page 8.
  59. The British Empire in America, Vol. I. Pages 10 & 11.
  60. Champlain, Edition Laverdière, tome VI., pages 205 & 231.
  61. Champlain, Edition Laverdière, tome VI., page 320.
  62. Costain, Thomas B. "The White and the Gold" Doubleday & Company, Garden City, New York (1954) pp.77-79&119
  63. Costain, Thomas B. "The White and the Gold" Doubleday & Company, Garden City, New York (1954) pp.103-105
  64. Roy-Sole, Monique. "A Tale of Tenacity", Canadian Geographic Magazine, April 2009, Vol. 129, No. 2, p. 31
  65. 2 août 1646 - 6 août 1646 Cote : E21,S64,SS5,SSS7,D6 Fonds Ministère des Terres et Forêts - BAnQ Québec Id 258231 original
  66. Cote : E21,S64,SS5,SSS7,D7 Fonds Ministère des Terres et Forêts - BAnQ Québec Id 258290 copies
    Concession accordée le 2 août 1646 par la Compagnie de la Nouvelle-France aux Sauvages (Amérindiens) de Sillery, signé Charles Huault de Montmagny, et acte de prise de possession du 6 août 1646; 2 août 1646 - 6 août 1646
    Description: Les lieux suivants sont mentionnés dans le document : l'anse Saint-Joseph dite de Sillery, la route de Puisiaux (Puiseaux), le Cap Rouge (Cap-Rouge), le petit sault de la Chaudière ou rivière Bruyante, le fort Saint-Louis. Les noms suivants figurent dans le document : Hierosme (Jérôme) Lalemant, père jésuites; Tronquet (notaire); Jean Bourdon, ingénieur et arpenteur; Noël Tek8irimat, Negabamat, Charles Mejchka8at, Ignace 8itatai8chi et Philippe Sakap8an, Sauvages (Amérindiens, Hurons); Robert Hache et César Léger, taillandier, Français
  67. Dollier, Edition 1868, page 31; Relation de 1642, page 36.
  68. Mère Marie de l’Incarnation
  69. Lettres Historiques XLVIII.
  70. Leclercq, Edition 1691, Vol. II., pages 4 & 66
  71. Boucher, Edition Canadienne, page 61.
  72. 72.00 72.01 72.02 72.03 72.04 72.05 72.06 72.07 72.08 72.09 72.10 Archives de Paris
  73. John Romeyn Brodhead, Documents relating to the Colonial History of the State of New York, Vol. IX, Weed Parsons and Company, 1855, page 126 (English transcription from copies of originals in the Archives of the Department of the Marine and the Colonies; in the Archives of the Department of War, and in the Royal Library at Paris.)

Hudson's Bay

  • A history in brief of the Hudson's Bay and the multiple conflicts, including maps, and relation of what became of the territory, including Rupert's land and NWT.

U of Laval work, with multiple internal links to more.La Baie d'Hudson (La mer du nord) 1682-1713, Université de Laval, historique (FR)


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