JACQUES CARTIER 1491 -
xxxxxThe French navigator Jacques Cartier made three voyages to North America in search of a north-
xxxxxThe French navigator Jacques Cartier was born in St. Malo in Brittany and, supported by his monarch, Francis I, made three voyages to North America, all in search of a north-
xxxxxOn his third voyage, begun in 1541, Cartier again reached Hochelaga (Montreal) (arrowed on map), and again wintered at Stadacona. He established a settlement there after discovering what he thought to be diamonds and deposits of gold in abundance, but in 1542 trouble broke out between his crew and the local Indians. In the fight which ensued over thirty of his men were killed and he was obliged to call off the expedition. On his return he wrote an account of his three voyages and these, translated later into English and Italian, did much to stimulate interest in exploration. More to the point, it was through these voyages that France laid claim to Canada, though, as we shall see, it was not until 1608 that the French navigator Samuel de Champlain, the "father of New France”, turned the claim into a reality.
xxxxxIncidentally, the gold and diamonds discovered during the third expedition, having been sent or carried home, were found to be worthless. The “gold” was iron pyrites and the “diamonds” were quartz. “False as a Canadian diamond” became a common French expression!
Cartier: by the French illustrator Pierre Gandon (1899-