Yale University Library

Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Beinecke Digital Collections

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 ( born Samuel Champlain; on August 13, 1567 – December 25, 1635), known as "The Father of New France", was a French settler, navigator, cartographer, draftsman, soldier, explorer, geographer, ethnologist, diplomat, and chronicler. He made from 21-29 trips across the Atlantic, and founded New France and Quebec City on July 3, 1608. He is an important figure in Canadian history due to his creation of the first accurate coastal map and the role he played in the foundation of the settlements.

Born into a family of mariners, Champlain, while still a young boy, began exploring North America in 1603 under the guidance of François Gravé Du Pont, his uncle. From 1604 to 1607, Champlain 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). Then, in 1608, he established the French settlement that is now Quebec City, Canada. Champlain was the first European to explore and 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 (Ottawa River, Lake Nipissing, or Georgian Bay), with Algonquin and with Wendat, and 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", and many places, streets, and structures in northeastern North America bear his name, or have monuments established in his memory. The most notable of these is Lake Champlain,...
Showing 1 - 16 of 21 for search: 'Champlain, Samuel de, 1567-1635', query time: 0.4s
View: List list Grid grid

Help

Expand Your Search

Search our local catalog, finding aids, and more.


Need assistance?

Ask a librarian.