A Marvellous Sight!

27 Jul
Replica of Champlain's habitation at the Port-...

Replica of Champlain’s habitation at the Port-Royal National Historic Site of Canada, Nova-Scotia, (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


One of the happiest meetings in Canadian history occurred off the shore of Nova Scotia on July 27, 1606.  De Monts, Champlain and party had spent their first winter in Canada on Dochet Island in the St. Croix River, not far from the wealthy summer resort of St. Andrew’s, New Brunswick.  Dochet Island were unsatisfactory as a base, so the party moved to Port Royal, now Annapolis Royal, in Nova Scotia, where they spent the winter of 1605.

This was a pleasant experience.  The winter was mild, and Champlain directed the building of houses surrounded by a ditch that carried running water.  He even designed two reservoirs, — one of fresh water to hold trout, and the other, salt water for fish from the sea.  There was a safe harbor big enough to hold 2,000 ships!

De Monts had returned to France, seeking to have his monopoly renewed by Henry IV.  He left instructions that if he had not returned by July 16, the colony was to be abandoned and the settlers were to return to France.  As it happened, Henry IV would not renew De Mont’s monopoly.  It was a sad day for the Port Royal colonists when July 16 came, heralding no ship from France.  They loaded their supplies into small P, the only boats they possessed, and sailed along the south shore, hoping to find fishing vessels that would take them back to France.

De Monts never saw his colony again, but the Sieur de Poutrincourt had managed to buy the rights to Port Royal.  On July 24, as his sip Jonas was sailing along the south shore of Nova Scotia, it sighted the pinnaces for Port Royal.  The colonists were told the good news and returned to Port Royal with the Jonas.  On July 27, the entire group gathered at the first permanent French colony in Canada, described by Mark Lescarbot, a young historian in Poutrincourt’s Party, as “a marvellous sight.”  The future of New France seemed to be assured. (see my May 11 post, Order of the Good Cheer)

To read more about today’s post, I can suggest a few sites to visit. For instance, there’s The History of Nova Scotia, and the Acandian History (good place for genealogy, too). Another good read is to be found at Dictionary of Canadian Biography.

And finally, if you have the time, you can read the complete book History of the County of Annapolis : including old Port Royal and Acadia : with memoirs of its representatives in the provincial parliament, and biographical and genealogical sketches of its early English settlers and their families (1897) – very interesting reading!


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2 responses to “A Marvellous Sight!

  1. seeker

    July 27, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    One of these days, I will reach Nova Scotia, PEI, Maritimes, up to the end of Canada just to see these places you are educating us, Tk. Good afternoon.

    • tkmorin

      July 27, 2013 at 12:23 pm

      Meantime, I look at photos posted by bloggers. Really beautiful! 🙂


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