Sunday, July 03, 2016

Champlain founds Quebec in 1608

Samuel de Champlain – ‘founder and leader of the first permanent French settlements in North America’ – arrived at Kebec on 3 July 1608. [1] He had visited this place five years earlier, but after a fresh exploration of the area overlooking the St. Lawrence River, he decided it would be an ideal location for a permanent settlement.

Habitation de Quebec
Habitation de Québec (1613)

Champlain’s men began to clear the land that same day. They built a storehouse for trade and provisions and a large wooden structure that Champlain called the habitation. A sort of fort-complex, the habitation consisted of three interconnected buildings, with a residence for Champlain, quarters for his settlers and their workshops, and even space for a dovecote. The flag of France flew over the establishment. [2]

Today, this site is Quebec City. It celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2008.


Image credit: “Abitation de Quebecq [document cartographique]”, Library and Archives Canada.

1. David Hackett Fischer, Champlain’s Dream (Alfred A. Knopf Canada, 2008), 6.

2. Fischer, Champlain’s Dream, 244.

Copyright © 2016, Yvonne Demoskoff.

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