Interesting Facts About Samuel de Champlain

Interesting Facts About Samuel de Champlain

The man who is known as the founder of Quebec and is sometimes called the Father of Canada sailed to the region in 1603 on behalf of France. His discoveries include Lake Champlain, which sits on the border of Vermont and New York. Many of his explorations of note happened before the age of 30 thanks to the naval and trading background of his family.

1. A Difficult Marriage

After several voyages back and forth between France and Quebec, in 1610 Samuel de Champlain would return home to get married. His wife would be Helene Boulle, the daughter of the Lord Chamberlain in France. Helene was only 12 years old at the time of the marriage, but it was still considered to be legal.

2. A Difficult Injury

Samuel de Champlain always had the urge to explore, so by 1615 the areas around Quebec needed to be given a closer look. He established a relationship with the Hurons to begin mapping the Great Lakes region. At one point, he also helped the Hurons attack a tribe of Iroquois, but the battle was lost and he was shot in the knee by an arrow. Unable to walk, he spent the winter with the Hurons and documented some of the most detailed observations about First Nations life.

3. Difficult Lawsuits

Eventually Samuel de Champlain returned to France and found himself stuck in several legal matters that prevented his return to Quebec. During this period of his life, he wrote about his travels and provided maps and illustrations about everything he saw and experienced. It would not be until his rank was restored that he would be able to return and eventually he would become the governor of New France.

4. Another Failure

Samuel de Champlain would not serve as governor for long. The British wanted to get into the fur trade and began to force the French out of Canada. He would eventually surrender his location and return to France to once again write. A treaty would give Quebec back to the French and there was only one many to rule – Samuel de Champlain. He would serve in this function until his health gave out in 1633.

Samuel de Champlain died in 1635 due to a suspected stroke. He spent 40 years of his life attempting to establish a viable French colony in Canada. His efforts to explore and document life in the new colony helped to one day form Canada and that is why he is so fondly remembered.