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HISTORY OF CANADA.   23

CHAPTER IV.

THE HUNDRED ASSOCIATES—JESUIT MISSIONS.

A New Beginning.—In 1633 the Hundred Associates took possession of Canada. In return for their huge land grant, their monopoly, and the right to govern the country as they might see fit, they engaged to settle four thousand colonists in New France within ten years. They undertook, also, to protect these settlers and to support missions. For some years the temporal concerns of the colony were managed by the governor alone,* acting under instructions from the company in Paris. The sole spiritual care of the colony was confided to the Jesuits.

Settlement Neglected.—The company made some show at first of performing their promise to bring in settlers. Two hundred colonists came to Canada with Champlain (1633), but many of these afterwards returned to France. Large tracts of land called Seignexries were granted to members and friends of the company on condition that settlers should be put upon them. Up to 1663 there were over sixty of these grants, but no attempt was made to enforce the condition. The full enjoyment of their monopoly would he lost to the fur traders if the wilderness were to give place to settlements, and so the Hundred Associates quietly ignored the obligation imposed upon them by their charter. For the next thirty years (1633-1663) the history of Canada is but the history of the fur trade and the Jesuit missions, and of the struggles of both to hold their own against the aggressive Iroquois.

The Fur Traders.—During this period the population of New France consisted of four distinct classes. The first, for many years the largest, consisted of the fur traders connected

* EARLY GovERSORS.—Champlain was the first governor of New France under the Hundred Associates. He was succeeded by Montmagny, a pious Knight of Malta, who held office for twelve years (1636-1648). His name, translated into the language of the Iroquois, Onontio (" great mountain "), was used to describe all future governors. D'Aillcboust (1648-1651) was the third governor under the company. He was followed by de Lauson (1651-1658), an active fur trader and land speculator. In 1658 d'Argenson became governor. He was recalled (1661) owing to Jesuit influence brought to bear in France by Laval. D'Avaugour (1661-1663) was the last of the governors under the Hundred Associates. He, too, fell before the influence of the Jesuits.


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