« AnteriorContinuar »
1608.] CARTIER—ROBERVAL-CHAMPLAIN. 25
have hid itself therein;" the trees being of oak and cypress, and of other kinds unknown in Europe.
Taking leave of the courteous and charitable inhabitants of Rhode Island, Verrazzani, still coasting northward, sailed along the shores of New England, and at length terminated his explorations at the island of Newfoundland, after having ranged the North American continent for a distance of seven hundred leagues. In July, 1524, he reached the port of Dieppe, from whence he wrote to the king an account of his remarkable voyage; and upon the discoveries alleged to have been made by him at this time, the claims of France to a wide extent of territory on the Western continent were subsequently founded.
The voyages of Cartier and Roberval followed. The river St. Lawrence was discovered by the former in 1534, and various efforts at colonization were subsequently made, all of which proved unsuccessful, until the spring of 1605, when the first permanent French settlement was established at Port Royal, on the island of Nova Scotia. In 1608, the energetic Champlain founded Quebec. The following year, being desirous of securing the friendship of the Algonquins and Hurons, he joined them in an expedition against the Iroquois, or Five Nations, a powerful confederacy, which had been for many years a terror to the surrounding tribes. When Champlain first entered Canada, this
Tenowned confederacy, consisting of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca nations of Indians, occupied, by conquest from the Mohican tribes, the middle, northern, and western portions of the territory which was subsequently included within the limits of the province of New York.
Knowing how formidable the proximity of this haughty and warlike Indian republic would be to a feeble French colony, settled on their immediate borders, he conceived the design of humbling the power of the Iroquois, by rendering assistance to their hostile but weaker neighbours, and of inducing them by this means to unite in a general league of amity with the French.
Influenced by what appeared to be the wisdom of this policy, he joined a war-party of his savage allies, and leaving Quebec, then an insignificant village, consisting of a few scattered cottages in the midst of newly-cleared fields and gardens, ascended the river Sorel to the rapids near Chambly. Notwithstanding he had been kept in utter ignorance of this obstruction to the course of his vessel, he determined to proceed. Sending most of his party back to Quebec, he crossed the portage with his allies, and re-embarked in one of their frail canoes, attended only by two Europeans After travelling in this manner for several days, he entered, for the first time, the lake which now bears his name, and traversing its whole extent, suddenly discovered near Ti1608.]
conderoga a number of canoes filled with Iroquois. Both parties with wild shouts of exultation pulled rapidly for the shore, where they commenced selecting their ground for the battle. As it was then late in the night, the Iroquois, in answer to a challenge from the allies, declined fighting until the next day, when they could see themselves.
In the gray of the following morning, Champlain placed his two countrymen, supported by a small detachment of savages, in ambush, on the flank of the enemy. Both parties were about two hundred strong; but the Iroquois, being unconscious of the powerful aid which the Hurons and Algonquins had received in the firearms of the Europeans, were confident of an easy victory. Previous to the onset, Champlain had been requested by his allies to single out the three leaders of the enemy, who could readily be distinguished from their followers by the superior size of their feathered ornaments. This having been arranged, the Huron and Algonquin warriors sounded the war-whoop, and, darting out in a body from their cover of fallen timber, advanced some two hundred feet in front of the enemy, and then, deflecting to the right and left, displayed to the astonished gaze of the Iroquois the first white man they had ever beheld, clad in strange apparel, and armed with weapons of singular shape and unknown power. But their amazement was changed into extreme terror, when they saw fire issue from the levelled tube, first from the arquebuss of Champlain in the centre, and then from those of his two companions on the flank, and beheld two of their chiefs fall dead, and the third reel back dangerously wounded. The allies charged immediately, and the Iroquois, after receiving a few more vollies from the Frenchmen, fled panic-stricken from the field. In the pursuit many were killed, and some few prisoners were taken. At length the victors desisted from following the fugitive enemy any longer, and returning to the field of battle, passed two hours in celebrating their triumph, by songs and dances. Not a single one of the allies had been killed, and but very
few wounded. Satisfied with their success, they now returned homeward; but amused themselves with torturing one of their prisoners by the way. Shocked at the horrible barbarities to which he was a witness, Champlain suddenly put an end to the agony of the sufferer, by despatching him with his own hand.
Such was the commencement of the feud between the Iroquois and the French. The policy of Champlain, carried out in several similar expeditions during the succeeding year, instead of humbling the Five Nations to sue for peace, instigated them to revenge, and engendered that intense hatred of the Canadian colonists, which made them fast allies of the Dutch and English, 1609.]
during the whole period that the French retained possession of the northern territory,
Voyage of Henry Hudson-Attempts to reach Nova Zembla
Is impeded by ice-Ranges the North American coast south ward-Reaches Penobscot–Trades with the natives, At. tacks and plunders them-Rounds Cape Cod—Is blown off the Capes of Virginia–Returns north—Discovers Delaware Bay-Enters Sandy Hook-Death of Colman-Discovers the Great North or Hudson River—Explores it—The Palisades-West Point-The Catskills-Traffic with the nativos
– Their hospitality—The exploration continued-Hudson arrives in the vicinity of Albany-Is visited by numbers of Indians-Singular expedient to test their friendliness-Scene of intoxication—The Iroquois tradition concerning it-Return of Hudson-An Indian killed-Ambush near Harlem River-Skirmish with the Manhattans-Departure.
ABOUT the same time that Champlain was on his first expedition against the Iroquois, Henry Hudson, an English mariner in the employ of the Dutch East India Company, was penetrating the arctic regions in the vain search for a northern passage to India. With a small yacht, or flyboat, called the Crescent, manned by a mixed crew of Englishmen and Hollanders, he attempted to reach Nova Zembla; but being impeded by masses of ice, he changed the course of his vessel to the south-west, ran down the coast of Acadia, and on the 17th of July, 1609, anchored off the