b. 1491 St. Malo,
France d. 1557 St. Malo
1531, Francis I ordered Cartier to look for the
the route to the Pacific that the seasoned
Given two small ships and a crew of 61, Cartier left St. Malo in April. In
less than three weeks he was riding the night-swell through Canada's Straight
He continued along the west coast of
to Cape Anguille,
Prince Edward Island,
then crossed to the
took possession for
home. Unfortunately, he had mistaken the huge mouth of the
a bay and didn't go check it out.
Cartier's descriptions of the lands he visited interested many young French
nobles to look for their fortune in the New World. In 1535 he was sent out by
the king again - only this time, when he was sailing up the
, he recognized
it for what it was. He continued on past
and the hill that he named "Mont Real," until he was stopped by the
That winter he spent at
an Indian village near Quebec, and saw 25 of his men die of scurvy
( a disease caused by a lack of
vitamin C that makes your gums real spongy, your teeth to fall out and
bleeding into the skin).
The Hurons were generous to him , but he repaid them with betrayal. He tricked
12 of them, including their chief, Donnaconna, onto his ship and took them
straight to France.
He kidnapped them to find out the location of gold mines, that never existed.
Cartier's third expedition, in 1541, was put together to help Jean Francois
Roberval start a colony. Failing to round up enough French migrants willing to
give up their comforts of home for the uncivilized New World, Roberval asked
his government for help, which they did by freeing, anyone willing to join the
expedition, from prison. While Cartier went ahead, Roberval waited for
his recruits. He finally arrived on a supply ship in June 1542, only to find
that Cartier, hating not being in command of the mission, had secretly slipped
This left Roberval stranded in New France with a colony made up of robbers,
swindlers and murders.
Cartier never did find the
for him it remained the lost dream. But his explorations served as the basis
for French claims to the rich
St. Lawrence valley.
Click on the maps to enlarge routes
are some links and sites for more information on Jacques Cartier .
This site was last updated
08/04/2004 08:08 PM -0400