THE PIONEERS OF OLD ONTARIO
THE COMING OF THE PIONEERS
In August, 1535, Jacques Cartier sailed up the St. Lawrence and cast anchor at the Indian village of Stadacona. In 1608, Champlain, following in the wake of Cartier, landed at Stadacona with men and materials to lay the foundations of Quebec city. Around this centre grew up a small community, destined to spread its influence until a prosperous colony was built up on the banks of the lower St. Lawrence.
Fur-traders and adventurers penetrated far inland setting up trading-posts by lake and river. French missionaries lived and laboured amongst the Indians, winning converts by their devoted service. Explorers mapped out the courses of streams and noted the natural resources of the country. Military leaders built forts at strategic points. But for years, scarcely anyone seems to have thought seriously of making a living by the cultivation of the soil. Governor after governor complained to the home authorities that in contrast with the English settlers in the New England colonies, who began at once to follow agriculture, the French