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HISTORY OF CANADA.   25

The English and the Dutch.—During the occupation of Quebec by the English they had established a trade with the Indians of the St. Lawrence. Champlain put an end to this by building the fort at Three Rivers to intercept the Indian canoes before they could reach the wider river below Quebec. But, while the population of New France increased very slowly, New England was rapidly filling up with thrifty Puritan settlers. The Dutch also had, at this time, a North American colony, which they called New Netherlands, along both sides of the Hudson River. They had already a post at Orange (now Albany), from which their traders carried on an active traffic with the Mohawks and the other members of the Iroquois community. In return for furs they supplied these fierce warriors with fire-arms along with other less harmful wares.

The Upper Lakes.—As early as 1634 Jean Nicollet, first of the coureurs de bogs, had penetrated to the region beyond Lake Michigan. Had Champlain lived, this feat would, no doubt, have been eagerly followed up. For some years, however, the work of exploration was left to the Jesuit fathers. The centre of the Jesuit mission among the Hurons was at Ste. Marie on the little River Wye, which empties into Matchedash Bay at a short distance east of the present town of Midland. Here the Jesuit fathers lived within rude fortifications, dispensing a generous hospitality to their savage flock. From this centre the zealous priests were spread through all the surrounding country. Some of them even travelled as far north as Sault Ste. Marie, at the out-let of Lake Superior. The fur traders soon followed, and thus the geography of the upper lakes became well known before the St. Lawrence from Montreal to Lake Ontario was travelled by a white man, and while the regions to the south around Lake. Erie were, as yet, known only through vague Indian rumor.

Montreal Founded (1642).-Quebec and Three Rivers were long the only settlements and—with Tadoussac—the chief centres of the fur trade. The trading post at the foot of the Lachine Rapids was merely a summer rendezvous where the fur traders met the Indians from up the Ottawa. , Here, in 1642, Montreal was founded. The enterprise was a purely religious one, undertaken by two pious gentlemen of France—the priest Olier, better known as the founder of the Sulpician Order, and the


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