Canadian Military History Gateway
Date > 1600 > 1610-1619
Subject > Strategy and Tactics
What was life like in Port-Royal, Acadia, and what was the significance of the success of this small colony? This learning activity offers the opportunity to explore the trials and successes of this small group of French colonists from the perspective of one of its members.
A second colony at Quebec, led by Champlain, saw much struggle. It changed hands, first to the English, then to a new French trading company. Attempts were made to fortify and strengthen the settlement.
Upon entering, we see a series of self-contained working and living areas surrounding an interior courtyard that has a well in the centre. The steep pitched roofs are typical of the Norman architecture of the period.
Champlain with his five French companions (at left) and Indian allies attacks a small Iroquois fort at the mouth of the Richelieu River in June 1610. Such Amerindian field fortifications could offer stiff resistance. In spite of the French firearms which had impressed them the previous year, the outnumbered Iroquois (probably Mohawk) warriors resisted stubbornly and Champlain was wounded at the ear and neck by an arrow. Finally, the place was carried by an assault ‘with sword in hand’.
This historic site celebrates the rich communications and military history of Signal Hill and sits amidst a spectacular view of St. John's and the sea.
The first permanent French colony was in Acadia. It had good relations with the local Amerindians, but suffered from struggles with England.
This reconstruction of Champlain's 1605 Habitation was opened in 1941. It is now a National Historic Site run by Parks Canada.
In 1603, a French gentleman, Pierre Dugua de Mons, received a fur trade monopoly for a large area between the 40th and 45th parallel in northeastern North America on condition he establish a colony there.
This fortified dwelling was built by Samuel de Champlain and his men in 1605. This was a replacement for an earlier structure at Saint-Croix, and was intended to take advantage of a slightly milder climate after a winter that had seen 35 of the 80 colonists die of scurvy. The building was destroyed in 1613 by English colonists from Virginia. (Library and Archives Canada, NL8760).