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Samuel de Champlain

Detail from "Deffaite des Yroquois au Lac de Champlain,"  Champlain ''Voyages'' (1613). This [[self-portrait]] is the only surviving contemporary likeness of the explorer.<ref>[[#Fischer|Fischer (2008)]], p. 3</ref> Samuel de Champlain () (about August 13, 1567 – December 25, 1635) was a French colonist, navigator, cartographer, draftsman, soldier, explorer, geographer, ethnologist, diplomat, and chronicler. He made between 21 and 29 trips across the Atlantic Ocean, and founded New France and Quebec City, on July 3, 1608. An important figure in Canadian history, Champlain created the first accurate coastal map during his explorations, and founded various colonial settlements.

Born into a family of mariners, Champlain began exploring North America in 1603, under the guidance of his uncle, François Gravé Du Pont. From 1604 to 1607, he participated in the exploration and settlement of the first permanent European settlement north of Florida, Port Royal, Acadia (1605), as well as the first European settlement that would become Saint John, New Brunswick (1604). In 1608, he established the French settlement that is now Quebec City, Canada. Champlain was the first European to describe the Great Lakes, and published maps of his journeys and accounts of what he learned from the natives and the French living among the Natives. He formed relationships with local Montagnais and Innu, and, later, with others farther west — tribes of the (Ottawa River, Lake Nipissing, and Georgian Bay), and with Algonquin and Wendat; he also agreed to provide assistance in the Beaver Wars against the Iroquois.

In 1620, Louis XIII of France ordered Champlain to cease exploration, return to Quebec, and devote himself to the administration of the country. In every way but formal title, Samuel ''de'' Champlain served as Governor of New France, a title that may have been formally unavailable to him owing to his non-noble status. He established trading companies that sent goods, primarily fur, to France, and oversaw the growth of New France in the St. Lawrence River valley until his death, in 1635.

Champlain is memorialized as the "Father of New France" and "Father of Acadia", with many places, streets, and structures in northeastern North America bearing his name, most notably Lake Champlain.
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