Canadian Military History Gateway
Date > 1600 > 1610-1619
Subject > Wars, Battles and Conflicts
These French soldiers wear a style of clothing common through much of Western Europe in the early seventeenth century. Note the musket rest carried by the man at left, and the pike carried by the man in the background. Mid-19th century engraving after a drawing by Alfred de Marbot.
Introduction by W.A.B. Douglas, Director Directorate of History, Program Chairman. Articles in a variety of languages including: English, German, French, Italian, Portugese, Spanish, Russian, Greek.
Eventually war erupted in North America between competing English and French colonies during the 17th century. In 1713, France ceded much of Acadia (now New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island) to Britain and abandoned its claims to Newfoundland. They retained control of Cape Breton, where they built the fortress of Louisburg to protect their fishing and shipping interests.
Canadian War Museum
A list of the most important military engagements, both inside and outside Canada, that had an effect on the country.
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.
This reconstruction shows one of the rare soldiers found in New France during the first decades of the French Regime. Sent to the colony by one of the trading companies that obtained commercial monopolies, this man's costume and harquebus date him between 1610 and 1620. In 1609-1610, Champlain campaigned with a group of French soldiers who each wore a 'pikeman's corselet' for protection against the arrows of the Amerindians. This armour was normally worn only by pikemen in Europe. In Canada, between 1610 and 1630, French soldiers used harquebuses or muskets, and they always wore armour for protection. Reconstruction by Michel Pétard. (Canadian Department of National Defence)
Champlain's 1613 map shows Newfoundland ('terreneuve'), Acadia ('Acadye') and Labrador among other locations. Notice the label 'Canadas' on the north shore of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.
With origins in the Wars of Religion of the early seventeenth century, an all white flag symbolized France during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It was flown over military outposts and from ships' masts throughout the existence of the colony of New France.
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.