Voyages of Samuel de Champlain, Vol. 2
by Samuel de Champlain
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In order to execute this commission, I set out from St. Croix on the 2d of September with a patache of seventeen or eighteen tons, twelve sailors, and two savages, to serve us as guides to the places with which they were acquainted. The same day we found the vessels where Sieur de Poutrincourt was, which were anchored at the mouth of the river St. Croix in consequence of bad weather, which place we could not leave before the 5th of the month. Having gone two or three leagues seaward, so dense a fog arose that we at once lost sight of their vessels. Continuing our course along the coast, we made the same day some twenty-five leagues, and passed by a large number of islands, banks, reefs, and rocks, which in places extend more than four leagues out to Sea. We called the islands the Ranges, most of which are covered with pines, firs, and other trees of an inferior sort. Among these islands are many fine harbors, but undesirable for a permanent settlement. The same day we passed also near to an island about four or five leagues long, in the neighborhood of which we just escaped being lost on a little rock on a level with the water, which made an opening in our barque near the keel. From this island to the main land on the north, the distance is less than a hundred paces. It is very high, and notched in places, so that there is the appearance to one at sea, as of seven or eight mountains extending along near each other. The summit of the most of them is destitute of trees, as there are only rocks on them. The woods consist of pines, firs, and birches only. I named it Isle des Monts Deserts.[92] The latitude is 44 deg. 30'.

The next day, the 6th of the month, we sailed two leagues, and perceived a smoke in a cove at the foot of the mountains above mentioned. We saw two canoes rowed by savages, which came within musket range to observe us. I sent our two Savages in a boat to assure them of our friendship. Their fear of us made them turn back. On the morning of the next day, they came alongside of our barque and talked with our savages. I ordered some biscuit, tobacco, and other trifles to be given them. These savages had come beaver-hunting and to catch fish, some of which they gave us. Having made an alliance with them, they guided us to their river of Pentegoueet, [93] so called by them, where they told us was their captain, named Bessabez, chief of this river. I think this river is that which several pilots and historians call Norumbegue, [94] and which most have described as large and extensive, with very many islands, its mouth being in latitude 43 deg., 43 deg. 30', according to others in 44 deg., more or less. With regard to the deflection, I have neither read, nor heard any one say any thing. It is related also that there is a large, thickly settled town of savages, who are adroit and skillful, and who have cotton yarn. I am confident that most of those who mention it have not seen it, and speak of it because they have heard persons say so, who knew no more about it than they themselves. I am ready to believe that some may have seen the mouth of it, because there are in reality many islands, and it is, as they say, in latitude 44 deg. at its entrance. But that any one has ever entered it there is no evidence, for then they would have described it in another manner, in order to relieve the minds of many of this doubt.

I will accordingly relate truly what I explored and saw, from the beginning as far as I went.

In the first place, there are at its entrance several islands distant ten or twelve leagues from the main land, which are in latitude 44 deg., and 18 deg. 40' of the deflection of the magnetic needle. The Isle des Monts Deserts forms one of the extremities of the mouth, on the east; the other is low land, called by the savages Bedabedec, [95] to the west of the former, the two being distant from each other nine or ten leagues. Almost midway between these, out in the ocean, there is another island very high and conspicuous, which on this account I have named Isle Haute. [96] All around there is a vast number of varying extent and breadth, but the largest is that of the Monts Deserts. Fishing as also hunting are very good here; the fish are of various kinds. Some two or three leagues from the point of Bedabedec, as you coast northward along the main land which extends up this river, there are very high elevations of land, which in fair weather are seen twelve or fifteen leagues out at Sea. [97] Passing to the South of the Isle Haute, and coasting along the same for a quarter of a league, where there are some reefs out of water, and heading to the west until you open all the mountains northward of this island, you can be sure that, by keeping in sight the eight or nine peaks of the Monts Deserts and Bedabedec, you will cross the river Norumbegue; and in order to enter it you must keep to the north, that is, towards the highest mountains of Bedabedec, where you will see no islands before you, and can enter, sure of having water enough, although you see a great many breakers, islands, and rocks to the east and west of you. For greater security, one should keep the sounding lead in hand. And my observations lead me to conclude that one cannot enter this river in any other place except in small vessels or shallops. For, as I stated above, there are numerous islands, rocks, shoals, banks, and breakers on all sides, so that it is marvellous to behold.

Now to resume our course: as one enters the river, there are beautiful islands, which are very pleasant and contain fine meadows. We proceeded to a place to which the savages guided us, where the river is not more than an eighth of a league broad, and at a distance of some two hundred paces from the western shore there is a rock on a level with the water, of a dangerous character.[98] From here to the Isle Haute, it is fifteen leagues. From this narrow place, where there is the least breadth that we had found, after sailing some seven or eight leagues, we came to a little river near which it was necessary to anchor, as we saw before us a great many rocks which are uncovered at low tide, and since also, if we had desired to sail farther, we could have gone scarcely half a league, in consequence of a fall of water there coming down a slope of seven or eight feet, which I saw as I went there in a canoe with our savages; and we found only water enough for a canoe. But excepting the fall, which is some two hundred paces broad, the river is beautiful, and unobstructed up to the place where we had anchored. I landed to view the country, and, going on a hunting excursion, found it very pleasant so far as I went. The oaks here appear as if they were planted for ornament. I saw only a few firs, but numerous pines on one side of the river; on the other only oaks, and some copse wood which extends far into the interior.[99] And I will state that from the entrance to where we went, about twenty-five leagues, we saw no town, nor village, nor the appearance of there having been one, but one or two cabins of the savages without inhabitants. These were made in the same way as those of the Souriquois, being covered with the bark of trees. So far as we could judge, the Savages on this river are few in number, and are called Etechemins. Moreover, they only come to the islands, and that only during some months in summer for fish and game, of which there is a great quantity. They are a people who have no fixed abode, so far as I could observe and learn from them. For they spend the winter now in one place and now in another, according as they find the best hunting, by which they live when urged by their daily needs, without laying up any thing for times of scarcity, which are sometimes severe.

Now this river must of necessity be the Norumbegue; for, having coasted along past it as far as the 41 deg. of latitude, we have found no other on the parallel above mentioned, except that of the Quinibequy, which is almost in the same latitude, but not of great extent. Moreover, there cannot be in any other place a river extending far into the interior of the country, since the great river St. Lawrence washes the coast of La Cadie and Norumbegue, and the distance from one to the other by land is not more than forty-five leagues, or sixty at the widest point, as can be seen on my geographical map.

Now I will drop this discussion to return to the savages who had conducted me to the falls of the river Norumbegue, who went to notify Bessabez, their chief, and other savages, who in turn proceeded to another little river to inform their own, named Cabahis, and give him notice of our arrival.

The 16th of the month there came to us some thirty savages on assurances given them by those who had served us as guides. There came also to us the same day the above named Bessabez with six canoes. As soon as the savages who were on land saw him coming, they all began to sing, dance, and jump, until he had landed. Afterwards, they all seated themselves in a circle on the ground, as is their custom, when they wish to celebrate a festivity, or an harangue is to be made. Cabahis, the other chief, arrived also a little later with twenty or thirty of his companions, who withdrew one side and enjoyed greatly seeing us, as it was the first time they had seen Christians. A little while after, I went on shore with two of my companions and two of our savages who served as interpreters. I directed the men in our barque to approach near the savages, and hold their arms in readiness to do their duty in case they noticed any movement of these people against us. Bessabez, seeing us on land, bade us sit down, and began to smoke with his companions, as they usually do before an address. They presented us with venison and game.

I directed our interpreter to say to our savages that they should cause Bessabez, Cabahis, and their companions to understand that Sieur de Monts had sent me to them to see them, and also their country, and that he desired to preserve friendship with them and to reconcile them with their enemies, the Souriquois and Canadians, and moreover that he desired to inhabit their country and show them how to cultivate it, in order that they might not continue to lead so miserable a life as they were doing, and some other words on the same subject. This our savages interpreted to them, at which they signified their great satisfaction, saying that no greater good could come to them than to have our friendship, and that they desired to live in peace with their enemies, and that we should dwell in their land, in order that they might in future more than ever before engage in hunting beavers, and give us a part of them in return for our providing them with things which they wanted. After he had finished his discourse, I presented them with hatchets, paternosters, caps, knives, and other little knick-knacks, when we separated from each other. All the rest of this day and the following night, until break of day, they did nothing but dance, sing, and make merry, after which we traded for a certain number of beavers. Then each party returned, Bessabez with his companions on the one side, and we on the other, highly pleased at having made the acquaintance of this people.

The 17th of the month I took the altitude, [100] and found the latitude 45 deg. 25'. This done, we set out for another river called Quinibequy, distant from this place thirty-five leagues, and nearly twenty from Bedabedec. This nation of savages of Quinibequy are called Etechemins, as well as those of Norumbegue.

The 18th of the month we passed near a small river where Cabahis was, who came with us in our barque some twelve leagues; and having asked him whence came the river Norumbegue, he told me that it passes the fall which I mentioned above, and that one journeying some distance on it enters a lake by way of which they come to the river of St. Croix, by going some distance over land, and then entering the river of the Etechemins. Moreover, another river enters the lake, along which they proceed some days, and afterwards enter another lake and pass through the midst of it. Reaching the end of it, they make again a land journey of some distance, and then enter another little river, which has its mouth a league from Quebec, which is on the great river St. Lawrence. [101] All these people of Norumbegue are very swarthy, dressed in beaver-skins and other furs, like the Canadian and Souriquois savages, and they have the same mode of life.

The 20th of the month we sailed along the western coast, and passed the mountains of Bedabedec, [102] when we anchored. The same day we explored the entrance to the river, where large vessels can approach; but there are inside some reefs, to avoid which one must advance with sounding lead in hand. Our Savages left us, as they did not wish to go to Quinibequy, for the savages of that place are great enemies to them. We sailed some eight leagues along the western coast to an island [103] ten leagues distant from Quinibequy, where we were obliged to put in on account of bad weather and contrary wind. At one point in our course, we passed a large number of islands and breakers extending some leagues out to sea, and very dangerous. And in view of the bad weather, which was so unfavorable to us, we did not sail more than three or four leagues farther. All these islands and coasts are covered with extensive woods, of the same sort as that which I have reported above as existing on the other coasts. And in consideration of the small quantity of provisions which we had, we resolved to return to our settlement and wait until the following year, when we hoped to return and explore more extensively. We accordingly set out on our return on the 23d of September, and arrived at our settlement on the 2d of October following.

The above is an exact statement of all that I have observed respecting not only the coasts and people, but also the river of Norumbegue; and there are none of the marvels there which some persons have described. I am of opinion that this region is as disagreeable in winter as that of our settlement, in which we were greatly deceived. [104]


92. The natives called this island Pemetiq. Isle que les Saunages appellent Pemetiq.—Vide Relation de la Nouvelle-France, par F. Biard. 1616. Relations des Jesuites, Quebec ed. 1858. p. 44. When the attempt was made in 1613 to plant a colony there on the Marchioness de Guercheville, the settlement was named St. Sauveur. This island was also by the English called Mount Mansell. But the name given to it by Champlain has prevailed, and still adheres to it.

The description here given of the barrenness of the island clearly suggests the origin of the name. Desert should therefore be pronounced with the accent on the first syllable. The latitude of the most northern limit of the island is 44 deg. 24'.

93. Penobscot. The name of this river has been variously written Pentagoet, Pentagwet, Pemptegoet, Pentagovett, Penobskeag, Penaubsket, and in various other ways. The English began early to write it Penobscot. It is a word of Indian origin, and different meanings have been assigned to it by those who have undertaken to interpret the language from which it is derived.

94. The Abbe Laverdiere is of the opinion that the river Norumbegue was identical with the Bay of Fundy. His only authority is Jean Alfonse, the chief pilot of Roberval in 1541-42. Alfonse says; "Beyond the cape of Noroveregue descends the river of the said Noroveregue, which is about twenty-five leagues from the cape. The said river is more than forty leagues broad at its mouth, and extends this width inward well thirty or forty leagues, and is all full of islands which enter ten or twelve leagues into the sea, and it is very dangerous with rocks and reefs." If the cape of Norumbegue is the present Cape Sable, as it is supposed to be, by coasting along the shores of Nova Scotia from that cape in a north-westerly direction a little more than twenty leagues, we shall reach St. Mary's Bay, which may be regarded as the beginning of the Bay of Fundy, and from that point in a straight line to the mouth of the Penobscot the distance is more than forty leagues, which was the breadth of the Norumbegue at its mouth, according to the statement of Alfonse. The Abbe Laverdiere is not quite correct in saying that the river Norumbegue is the same as the Bay of Fundy. It includes, according to Alfonse, who is not altogether consistent with himself, not only the Bay of Fundy, but likewise the Penobscot River and the bay of the same name, with its numerous islands. Alfonse left a drawing or map of this region in his Cosmography, which Laverdiere had not probably seen, on which the Bay of Fundy and the Penobscot are correctly laid down, and the latter is designated the "Riviere de Norvebergue." It is therefore obvious, if this map can be relied upon, that the river of Norumbegue was identical, not with the Bay of Fundy, but with the Penobscot, in the opinion of Alfonse, in common with the "plusieurs pilottes et historiens" referred to by Champlain.—Vide copy of the Chart from the MS. Cosmography of Juan Alfonse in Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, in Mr. Murphy's Voyage of Verrazzano, New York, 1875.

95. An indefinite region about Rockland and Camden, on the western bank of the Penobscot near its mouth, appears to have been the domain of the Indian chief, Bessabez, and was denominated Bedabedec. The Camden Hills were called the mountains of Bedabedec, and Owl's Head was called Bedabedec Point.

96. Isle Haute, high island, which name it still retains. Champlain wrote it on his map, 1632, "Isle Haulte." It has been anglicized by some into Isle Holt. It is nearly six miles long, and has an average width of over two miles, and is the highest land in its vicinity, reaching at its highest point four hundred feet above the level of the sea.

97. Camden Hills or Mountains. They are five or six in number, from 900 to 1,500 feet high, and maybe seen, it is said, twenty leagues at sea. The more prominent are Mt. Batty, Mt. Pleasant, and Mt. Hosmer, or Ragged Mountain. They are Sometimes called the Megunticook Range. Colonel Benjamin Church denominates them "Mathebestuck's Hills,"—Vide Church's History of King Philip's War, Newport, 1772, p. 143. Captain John Smith calls them the mountains of Penobscot, "against whose feet doth beat the sea." which, he adds, "you may well see sixteen or eighteen leagues from their situation."

98. This narrow place in the river is just above Castine, where Cape Jellison stretches out towards the east, at the head of the bay, and at the mouth of the river. At the extremity of the cape is Fort Point, so called from Fort Pownall, erected there in 1759, a step rocky elevation of about eighty feet in height. Before the erection of the fort by Governor Pownall, it was called Wafaumkeag Point.—Vide Pownall's Journal, Col. Me. His. Soc., Vol. V. p. 385. The "rock" alluded to by Champlain is Fort Point Ledge, bare at half tide, south-east by east from the Point, and distant over half a mile. Champlain's distances here are somewhat overestimated.

99. The terminus of this exploration of the Penobscot was near the present site of the city of Bangor. The small river near the mouth of which they anchored was the Kenduskeag. The falls which Champlain visited with the Indians in a canoe are those a short distance above the city. The sentence, a few lines back, beginning "But excepting this fall" is complicated, and not quite logical, but the author evidently means to describe the river from its mouth to the place of their anchorage at Bangor.

100. The interview with the Indians on the 16th, and the taking of the altitude on the 17th, must have occurred before the party left their anchorage at Bangor with the purpose, but which they did not accomplish that year, of visiting the Kennebec. This may be inferred from Champlain's statement that the Kennebec was thirty-five leagues distant from the place where they then were, and nearly twenty leagues distant from Bedabedec. Consequently, they were fifteen leagues above Bedabedec, which was situated near the mouth of the river. The latitude, which they obtained from their observations, was far from correct: it should be 44 deg. 46'.

101. The Indian chief Cabahis here points out two trails, the one leading to the French habitation just established on the Island of St. Croix, the other to Quebec; by the former, passing up the Penobscot from the present site of Bangor, entering the Matawamkeag, keeping to the east in their light bark canoes to Lake Boscanhegan, and from there passing by land to the stream then known as the river of the Etechemins, now called the Scoudic or St. Croix. The expression "by which they come to the river of St. Croix" is explanatory: it has no reference to the name of the river, but means simply that the trail leads to the river in which was the island of St. Croix. This river had not then been named St. Croix, but had been called by them the river of the Etechemins.—Vide antea, p. 31.

The other trail led up the north branch of the Penobscot, passing through Lake Pemadumcook, and then on through Lake Chefuncook, finally reaching the source of this stream which is near that of the Chaudiere, which latter flows into the St. Lawrence, near Quebec. It would seem from the text that Champlain supposed that the Penobscot flowed from a lake into which streams flowed from both the objective points, viz. St. Croix and Quebec: but this was a mistake not at all unnatural, as he had never been over the ground, and obtained his information from the Indians, whose language he imperfectly understood.

102. Bedabedec is an Indian word, signifying cape of the waters, and was plainly the point known as Owl's Head. It gave name to the Camden Mountains also. Vide antea, note 95.

103. Mosquito and Metinic Islands are each about ten leagues east of the Kennebec. As the party went but four leagues further, the voyage must have terminated in Muscongus Bay.

104. An idle story had been circulated, and even found a place on the pages of sober history, that on the Penobscot, or Norumbegue, as it was then called, there existed a fair town, a populous city, with the accessories of luxury and wealth. Champlain here takes pains to show, in the fullest manner, that this story was a baseless dream of fancy, and utterly without foundation. Of it Lescarbot naively says, "If this beautiful town hath ever existed in nature, I would fain know who hath pulled it down, for there are now only a few scattered wigwams made of poles covered with the bark of trees and the skins of wild beasts." There is no evidence, and no probability, that this river had been navigated by Europeans anterior to this exploration of Champlain. The existence of the bay and the river had been noted long before. They are indicated on the map of Ribero in 1529. Rio de Gamas and Rio Grande appear on early maps as names of this river, but are soon displaced for Norumbega, a name which was sometimes extended to a wide range of territory on both sides of the Penobscot. On the Mappe-Monde of 1543-47, issued by the late M. Jomard, it is denominated Auorobagra, evidently intended for Norumbega. Thevet, who visited it, or sailed along its mouth in 1556, speaks of it as Norumbegue. It is alleged that the aborigines called it Agguncia. According to Jean Alfonse, it was discovered by the Portuguese and Spaniards.—Vide His. de la N. France, par M. Lescarbot, Paris, 1612, Qvat. Liv. p. 495. The orthography of this name is various among early writers, but Norumbegue is adopted by the most approved modern authors.



When we arrived at the Island of St. Croix, each one had finished his place of abode. Winter came upon us sooner than we expected, and prevented us from doing many things which we had proposed. Nevertheless, Sieur de Monts did not fail to have some gardens made on the island. Many began to clear up the ground, each his own. I also did so with mine, which was very large, where I planted a quantity of foods, as also did the others who had any, and they came up very well. But since the island was all sandy, every thing dried up almost as soon as the Sun shone upon it, and we had no water for irrigation except from the rain, which was infrequent.

Sieur de Monts caused also clearings to be made on the main land for making gardens, and at the falls three leagues from our Settlement he had work done and some wheat sown, which came up very well and ripened. Around our habitation there is, at low tide, a large number of shell-fish, such as cockles, muscles, sea-urchins, and Sea-snails, which were very acceptable to all.

The snows began on the 6th of October. On the 3d of December, we saw ice pass which came from some frozen river. The cold was sharp, more severe than in France, and of much longer duration; and it scarcely rained at all the entire winter. I suppose that is owing to the north and north-west winds passing over high mountains always covered with snow. The latter was from three to four feet deep up to the end of the month of April; lasting much longer, I suppose, than it would if the country were cultivated.

During the winter, many of our company were attacked by a certain malady called the mal de la terre; otherwise scurvy, as I have since heard from learned men. There were produced, in the mouths of those who had it, great pieces of superfluous and drivelling flesh (causing extensive putrefaction), which got the upper hand to such an extent that scarcely anything but liquid could be taken. Their teeth became very loose, and could be pulled out with the fingers without its causing them pain. The superfluous flesh was often cut out, which caused them to eject much blood through the mouth. Afterwards, a violent pain seized their arms and legs, which remained swollen and very hard, all spotted as if with flea-bites; and they could not walk on account of the contraction of the muscles, so that they were almost without strength, and suffered intolerable pains. They experienced pain also in the loins, stomach, and bowels, had a very bad cough, and short breath. In a word, they were in such a condition that the majority of them could not rise nor move, and could not even be raised up on their feet without falling down in a swoon. So that out of seventy-nine, who composed our party, thirty-five died, and more than twenty were on the point of death. The majority of those who remained well also complained of slight pains and short breath. We were unable to find any remedy for these maladies. A post mortem examination of several was made to investigate the cause of their disease.

In the case of many, the interior parts were found mortified such as the lungs, which were so changed that no natural fluid could be perceived in them. The spleen was serous and swollen. The liver was legueux? and spotted, without its natural color. The vena cava, superior and inferior, was filled with thick coagulated and black blood. The gall was tainted. Nevertheless, many arteries, in the middle as well as lower bowels, were found in very good condition. In the case of some, incisions with a razor were made on the thighs where they had purple spots, whence there issued a very black clotted blood. This is what was observed on the bodies of those infected with this malady.[105]

Our surgeons could not help suffering themselves in the same manner as the rest. Those who continued sick were healed by spring, which commences in this country in May.[106] That led us to believe that the change of season restored their health rather than the remedies prescribed.

During this winter, all our liquors froze, except the Spanish wine. Cider was dispensed by the pound. The cause of this loss was that there were no cellars to our storehouse, and that the air which entered by the cracks was sharper than that outside. We were obliged to use very bad water, and drink melted snow, as there were no springs nor brooks; for it was not possible to go to the main land in consequence of the great pieces of ice drifted by the tide, which varies three fathoms between low and high water. Work on the hand-mill was very fatiguing, since the most of us, having slept poorly, and suffering from insufficiency of fuel, which we could not obtain on account of the ice, had scarcely any strength, and also because we ate only salt meat and vegetables during the winter, which produce bad blood. The latter circumstance was, in my opinion, a partial cause of these dreadful maladies. All this produced discontent in Sieur de Monts and others of the settlement.

It would be very difficult to ascertain the character of this region without spending a winter in it; for, on arriving here in summer, every thing is very agreeable, in consequence of the woods, fine country, and the many varieties of good fish which are found there. There are six months of winter in this country.

The savages who dwell here are few in number. During the winter, in the deepest snows, they hunt elks and other animals, on which they live most of the time. And, unless the snow is deep, they scarcely get rewarded for their pains, since they cannot capture any thing except by a very great effort, which is the reason for their enduring and suffering much. When they do not hunt, they live on a shell-fish, called the cockle. They clothe themselves in winter with good furs of beaver and elk. The women make all the garments, but not so exactly but that you can see the flesh under the arm-pits, because they have not ingenuity enough to fit them better. When they go a hunting, they use a kind of show-shoe twice as large as those hereabouts, which they attach to the soles of their feet, and walk thus over the show without sinking in, the women and children as well as the men. They search for the track of animals, which, having found, they follow until they get sight of the creature, when they shoot at it with their bows, or kill it by means of daggers attached to the end of a short pike, which is very easily done, as the animals cannot walk on the snow without sinking in. Then the women and children come up, erect a hut, and they give themselves to feasting. Afterwards, they return in search of other animals, and thus they pass the winter. In the month of March following, some savages came and gave us a portion of their game in exchange for bread and other things which we gave them. This is the mode of life in winter of these people, which seems to me a very miserable one.

We looked for our vessels at the end of April; but, as this passed without their arriving, all began to have an ill-boding, fearing that some accident had befallen them. For this reason, on the 15th of May, Sieur de Monts decided to have a barque of fifteen tons and another of seven fitted up, so that we might go at the end of the month of June to Gaspe in quest of vessels in which to return to France, in case our own should not meanwhile arrive. But God helped us better than we hoped; for, on the 15th of June ensuing, while on guard about 11 o'clock at night, Pont Grave, captain of one of the vessels of Sieur de Monts, arriving in a shallop, informed us that his ship was anchored six leagues from our settlement, and he was welcomed amid the great joy of all.

The next day the vessel arrived, and anchored near our habitation. Pont Grave informed us that a vessel from St. Malo, called the St. Estienne, was following him, bringing us provisions and supplies.

On the 17th of the month, Sieur de Monts decided to go in quest of a place better adapted for an abode, and with a better temperature than our own. With this view, he had the barque made ready, in which he had purposed to go to Gaspe.


105. Mal de la terre. Champlain had bitter experiences of this disease in Quebec during the winter of 1608-9, when he was still ignorant of its character; and it was not till several years later that he learned that it was the old malady called scurbut, from the Sclavonic scorb. Latinized into scorbuticus. Lescarbot speaks of this disease as little understood in his time, but as known to Hippocrates. He quotes Olaus Magnus, who describes it as it appeared among the nations of the north, who called it sorbet, [Greek: kachexia], from [Greek: kakos], bad, and [Greek: exis], a habit. This undoubtedly expresses the true cause of this disease, now familiarly known as the scurvy. It follows exposure to damp, cold, and impure atmosphere, accompanied by the long-continued use of the same kind of food, particularly of salt meats, with bad water. All of these conditions existed at the Island of St. Croix. Champlain's description of the disease is remarkably accurate.

106. This passage might be read, "which is in this country in May:" lequel commence en ces pays la est en May. As Laverdiere suggests, it looks as if Champlain wrote it first commence, and then, thinking that the winter he had experienced might have been exceptional, substituted est, omitting to erase commence, so that the sentence, as it stands, is faulty, containing two verbs instead of one, and being susceptible of a double sense.



On the 18th of June, 1605, Sieur de Monts set out from the Island of St. Croix with some gentlemen, twenty sailors, and a savage named Panounias, together with his wife, whom he was unwilling to leave behind. These we took, in order to serve us as guides to the country of the Almouchiquois, in the hope of exploring and learning more particularly by their aid what the character of this country was, especially since she was a native of it.

Coasting, along inside of Manan, an island three leagues from the main land, we came to the Ranges on the seaward side, at one of which we anchored, where there was a large number of crows, of which our men captured a great many, and we called it the Isle aux Corneilles. Thence we went to the Island of Monts Deserts, at the entrance of the river Norumbegue, as I have before stated, and sailed five or six leagues among many islands. Here there came to us three savages in a canoe from Bedabedec Point, where their captain was; and, after we had had some conversation with them, they returned the same day.

* * * * *



The figures indicate fathoms of water.

A. The course of the river. B. Two islands at the entrance of the river. C. Two very dangerous rocks in the river. D. Islets and rocks along the coast. E. Shoals where at full tide vessels of sixty tons' burden may run aground. F. Place where the savages encamp when they come to fish. G. Sandy shoals along the coast. H. Pond of fresh water. I. Brook where shallops can enter at half tide. L. Islands to the number of four just within the mouth of the river.

* * * * *

On Friday, the 1st of July, we set out from one of the islands at the mouth of the river, where there is a very good harbor for vessels of a hundred or a hundred and fifty tons. This day we made some twenty-five leagues between Bedabedec Point and many islands and rocks, which we observed as far as the river Quinibequy, at the mouth of which is a very high island, which we called the Tortoise. [107] Between the latter and the main land there are some scattering rocks, which are covered at full tide, although the sea is then seen to break over them. [108] Tortoise Island and the river lie south-south-east and north-north-west. As you enter, there are two medium-sized islands forming the entrance, one on one side, the other on the other; [109] and some three hundred paces farther in are two rocks, where there is no wood, but some little grass. We anchored three hundred paces from the entrance in five and six fathoms of water. While in this place, we were overtaken by fogs, on account of which we resolved to enter, in order to see the upper part of the river and the savages who live there; and we set out for this purpose on the 5th of the month. Having made some leagues, our barque came near being lost on a rock which we grazed in passing. [110] Further on, we met two canoes which had come to hunt birds, which for the most part are moulting at this season, and cannot fly. We addressed these savages by aid of our own, who went to them with his wife, who made them understand the reason of our coming. We made friends with them and with the savages of this river, who served us as guides. Proceeding farther, in order to see their captain, named Manthoumermer, we passed, after we had gone seven or eight leagues, by some islands, straits, and brooks, which extend along the river, where we saw some fine meadows. After we had coasted along an island [111] some four leagues in length, they conducted us to where their chief was [112] with twenty-five or thirty savages, who, as soon as we had anchored, came to us in a canoe, separated a short distance from ten others, in which were those who accompanied him. Coming near our barque, he made an harangue, in which he expressed the pleasure it gave him to see us, and said that he desired to form an alliance with us and to make peace with his enemies through our mediation. He said that, on the next day, he would send to two other captains of savages, who were in the interior, one called Marchin, and the other Sasinou, chief of the river Quinibequy. Sieur de Monts gave them some cakes and peas, with which they were greatly pleased. The next day they guided us down the river another way than that by which we had come, in order to go to a lake; and, passing by some islands, they left, each one of them, an arrow near a cape [113] where all the savages pass, and they believe that if they should not do this some misfortune would befall them, according to the persuasions of the devil. They live in such superstitions, and practise many others of the same sort. Beyond this cape we passed a very narrow waterfall, but only with great difficulty; for, although we had a favorable and fresh wind, and trimmed our sails to receive it as well as possible, in order to see whether we could not pass it in that way, we were obliged to attach a hawser to some trees on shore and all pull on it. In this way, by means of our arms together with the help of the wind, which was favorable to us, we succeeded in passing it. The savages accompanying us carried their canoes by land, being unable to row them. After going over this fall, we saw some fine meadows. I was greatly surprised by this fall, since as we descended with the tide we found it in our favor, but contrary to us when we came to the fall. But, after we had passed it, it descended as before, which gave us great Satisfaction. [114] Pursuing our route, we came to the lake, [115] which is from three to four leagues in length. Here are some islands, and two rivers enter it, the Quinibequy coming from the north north-east, and the other from the north-west, whence were to come Marchin and Sasinou. Having awaited them all this day, and as they did not come, we resolved to improve our time. We weighed anchor accordingly, and there accompanied us two savages from this lake to serve as guides. The same day we anchored at the mouth of the river, where we caught a large number of excellent fish of various sorts. Meanwhile, our savages went hunting, but did not return. The route by which we descended this river is much safer and better than that by which we had gone. Tortoise Island before the mouth of this river is in latitude [116] 44 deg.; and 19 deg. 12' of the deflection of the magnetic needle. They go by this river across the country to Quebec some fifty leagues, making only one portage of two leagues. After the portage, you enter another little stream which flows into the great river St. Lawrence [117]. This river Quinibequy is very dangerous for vessels half a league from its mouth, on account of the small amount of water, great tides, rocks and shoals outside as well as within. But it has a good channel, if it were well marked out. The land, so far as I have seen it along the shores of the river, is very poor, for there are only rocks on all sides. There are a great many small oaks, and very little arable land. Fish abound here, as in the other rivers which I have mentioned. The people live like those in the neighborhood of our settlement; and they told us that the savages, who plant the Indian corn, dwelt very far in the interior, and that they had given up planting it on the coasts on account of the war they had with others, who came and took it away. This is what I have been able to learn about this region, which I think is no better than the others.

On the 8th of the month, we set out from the mouth of this river, not being able to do so sooner on account of the fogs. We made that day some four leagues, and passed a bay [118], where there are a great many islands. From here large mountains [119] are seen to the west, in which is the dwelling-place of a savage captain called Aneda, who encamps near the river Quinibequy. I was satisfied from this name that it was one of his tribe that had discovered the plant called Aneda, [120] which Jacques Cartier said was so powerful against the malady called scurvy, of which we have already spoken, which harassed his company as well as our own, when they wintered in Canada. The savages have no knowledge at all of this plant, and are not aware of its existence, although the above-mentioned savage has the same name. The following day we made eight leagues. [121] As we passed along the coast, we perceived two columns of smoke which some savages made to attract our attention. We went and anchored in the direction of them behind a small island near the main land, [122] where we saw more than eighty savages running along the shore to see us, dancing and giving expression to their joy. Sieur de Monts sent two men together with our savage to visit them. After they had spoken some time with them, and assured them of our friendship, we left with them one of our number, and they delivered to us one of their companions as a hostage. Meanwhile, Sieur de Monts visited an island, which is very beautiful in view of what it produces; for it has fine oaks and nut-trees, the soil cleared up, and many vineyards bearing beautiful grapes in their season, which were the first we had seen on all these coasts from the Cap de la Heve. We named it Isle de Bacchus [123]. It being full tide, we weighed anchor and entered a little river, which we could not sooner do; for there is a bar, there being at low tide only half a fathom of water, at full tide a fathom and a half, and at the highest water two fathoms. On the other side of the bar there are three, four, five, and six fathoms. When we had anchored, a large number of savages came to the bank of the river, and began to dance. Their captain at the time, whom they called Honemechin [124], was not with them. He arrived about two or three hours later with two canoes, when he came sweeping entirely round our barque. Our savage could understand only a few words, as the language of the Almouchiquois [125] (for that is the name of this nation) differs entirely from that of the Souriquois and Etechemins. These people gave signs of being greatly pleased. Their chief had a good figure, was young and agile. We sent some articles of merchandise on shore to barter with them; but they had nothing but their robes to give in exchange, for they preserve only such furs as they need for their garments. Sieur de Monts ordered some provisions to be given to their chief, with which he was greatly pleased, and came several times to the side of our boat to see us. These savages shave off the hair far up on the head, and wear what remains very long, which they comb and twist behind in various ways very neatly, intertwined with feathers which they attach to the head. They paint their faces black and red, like the other savages which we have seen. They are an agile people, with well-formed bodies. Their weapons are pikes, clubs, bows and arrows, at the end of which some attach the tail of a fish called the signoc, others bones, while the arrows of others are entirely of wood. They till and cultivate the soil, something which we have not hitherto observed. In the place of ploughs, they use an instrument of very hard wood, shaped like a spade. This river is called by the inhabitants of the country Choueacoet. [126]

The next day Sieur de Monts and I landed to observe their tillage on the bank of the river. We saw their Indian corn, which they raise in gardens. Planting three or four kernels in one place, they then heap up about it a quantity of earth with shells of the signoc before mentioned. Then three feet distant they plant as much more, and thus in succession. With this corn they put in each hill three or four Brazilian beans, [127] which are of different colors. When they grow up, they interlace with the corn, which reaches to the height of from five to six feet; and they keep the ground very free from weeds. We saw there many squashes,[128] and pumpkins, [129] and tobacco, which they likewise cultivate. [130]

* * * * *



The figures indicate fathoms of water.

A. The river. B. Place where they have their fortress. C. Cabins in the open fields, near which they cultivate the land and plant Indian corn. D. Extensive tract of land which is sandy, but covered with grass. E. Another place where they have their dwellings all together after they have planted their corn. F. Marshes with good pasturage. G. Spring of fresh water. H. A large point of land all cleared up except some fruit trees and wild vines. I. Little island at the entrance of the river. L. Another islet. M. Two islands under shelter of which vessels can anchor with good bottom. N. A point of land cleared up where Marchin came to us. O. Four islands. P. Little brook dry at low tide. Q. Shoals along the coast. R. Roadsted where vessels can anchor while waiting for the tide.

NOTES. Of the two islands in the northern part of the bay, the larger, marked M, is Stratton Island, nearly half a mile long, and a mile and a half from Prout's Neck, which lies north of it. A quarter of a mile from Stratton is Bluff Island, a small island north-west of it. Of the four islands at the southern end of the bay, the most eastern is Wood Island, on which the United States maintain a light. The next on the west, two hundred and fifty yards distant, is Negro Island. The third still further west is Stage Island. The fourth, quarter of a mile west of the last named, is Basket Island. The neck or peninsula, south-west of the islands, is now called the POOL, much resorted to as a watering-place in the summer. The island near the mouth of the river is Ram Island, and that directly north of it is Eagle Island. From the mouth of the River to Prout's Neck, marked, is one of the finest beaches in New England, extending about six nautical miles. Its Southern extremity is known as Ferry, the northern Scarborough, and midway between them is Old Orchard Beach, the latter a popular resort in the summer months of persons from distant parts of the United States and Canada.

* * * * *

The Indian corn which we saw was at that time about two feet high, some of it as high as three. The beans were beginning to flower, as also the pumpkins and squashes. They plant their corn in May, and gather it in September. We saw also a great many nuts, which are small and have several divisions. There were as yet none on the trees, but we found plenty under them, from the preceding year. We saw also many grape-vines, on which there was a remarkably fine berry, from which we made some very good verjuice. We had heretofore seen grapes only on the Island of Bacchus, distant nearly two leagues from this river. Their permanent abode, the tillage, and the fine trees led us to conclude that the air here is milder and better than that where we passed the winter, and at the other places we visited on the coast. But I cannot believe that there is not here a considerable degree of cold, although it is in latitude 43 deg. 45'. [131] The forests in the interior are very thin, although abounding in oaks, beeches, ashes, and elms; in wet places there are many willows. The savages dwell permanently in this place, and have a large cabin surrounded by palisades made of rather large trees placed by the side of each other, in which they take refuge when their enemies make war upon them. [132] They cover their cabins with oak bark. This place is very pleasant, and as agreeable as any to be seen. The river is very abundant in fish, and is bordered by meadows. At the mouth there is a small island adapted for the construction of a good fortress, where one could be in security.

On Sunday, [133] the 12th of the month, we set out from the river Choueacoet. After coasting along some six or seven leagues, a contrary wind arose, which obliged us to anchor and go ashore, [134] where we saw two meadows, each a league in length and half a league in breadth. We saw there two savages, whom at first we took to be the great birds called bustards, to be found in this country; who, as soon as they caught sight of us, took flight into the woods, and were not seen again. From Choueacoet to this place, where we saw some little birds, which sing like blackbirds, and are black excepting the ends of the wings, which are orange-colored, [135] there is a large number of grape-vines and nut-trees. This coast is sandy, for the most part, all the way from Quinibequy. This day we returned two or three leagues towards Choueacoet, as far as a cape which we called Island Harbor, [136] favorable for vessels of a hundred tons, about which are three islands. Heading north-east a quarter north, one can enter another harbor [137] near this place, to which there is no approach, although there are islands, except the one where you enter. At the entrance there are some dangerous reefs. There are in these islands so many red currants that one sees for the most part nothing else, [138] and an infinite number of pigeons, [139] of which we took a great quantity. This Island Harbor [140] is in latitude 43 deg. 25'.

On the 15th of the month we made twelve leagues. Coasting along, we perceived a smoke on the shore, which we approached as near as possible, but saw no savage, which led us to believe that they had fled. The sun set, and we could find no harbor for that night, since the coast was flat and sandy. Keeping off, and heading south, in order to find an anchorage, after proceeding about two leagues, we observed a cape [141] on the main land south a quarter south-east of us, some six leagues distant. Two leagues to the east we saw three or four rather high islands, [142] and on the west a large bay. The coast of this bay, reaching as far as the cape, extends inland from where we were perhaps four leagues. It has a breadth of two leagues from north to south, and three at its entrance. [143] Not observing any place favorable for putting in, [144] we resolved to go to the cape above mentioned with short sail, which occupied a portion of the night. Approaching to where there were sixteen fathoms of water, we anchored until daybreak.

On the next day we went to the above-mentioned cape, where there are three islands [145] near the main land, full of wood of different kinds, as at Choueacoet and all along the coast; and still another flat one, where there are breakers, and which extends a little farther out to Sea than the others, on which there is no wood at all. We named this place Island Cape, [146] near which we saw a canoe containing five or six savages, who came out near our barque, and then went back and danced on the beach. Sieur de Monts sent me on shore to observe them, and to give each one of them a knife and some biscuit, which caused them to dance again better than before. This over, I made them understand, as well as I could, that I desired them to show me the course of the shore. After I had drawn with a crayon the bay, [147] and the Island Cape, where we were, with the same crayon they drew the outline of another bay, [148] which they represented as very large; here they placed six pebbles at equal distances apart, giving me to understand by this that these signs represented as many chiefs and tribes. [149] Then they drew within the first mentioned bay a river which we had passed, which has shoals and is very long. [150] We found in this place a great many vines, the green grapes on which were a little larger than peas, also many nut-trees, the nuts on which were no larger than musket-balls. The savages told us that all those inhabiting this country cultivated the land and sowed seeds like the others, whom we had before seen. The latitude of this place is 43 deg. and some minutes. [151] Sailing half a league farther, we observed several savages on a rocky point, [152] who ran along the shore, dancing as they went, to their companions to inform them of our coming. After pointing out to us the direction of their abode, they made a signal with smoke to show us the place of their settlement. We anchored near a little island, [153] and sent our canoe with knives and cakes for the savages. From the large number of those we saw, we concluded that these places were better inhabited than the others we had seen.

After a stay of some two hours for the sake of observing those people, whose canoes are made of birch bark, like those of the Canadians, Souriquois, and Etechemins, we weighed anchor and set sail with a promise of fine weather. Continuing our course to the west-south-west we saw numerous islands on one side and the other. Having sailed seven or eight leagues, we anchored near an island, [154] whence we observed many smokes along the shore, and many savages running up to see us. Sieur de Monts sent two or three men in a canoe to them, to whom he gave some knives and paternosters to present to them; with which they were greatly pleased, and danced several times in acknowledgment. We could not ascertain the name of their chief, as we did not know their language. All along the shore there is a great deal of land cleared up and planted with Indian corn. The country is very pleasant and agreeable, and there is no lack of fine trees. The canoes of those who live there are made of a single piece, and are very liable to turn over if one is not skilful in managing them. We had not before seen any of this kind. They are made in the following manner. After cutting down, at a cost of much labor and time, the largest and tallest tree they can find, by means of stone hatchets (for they have no others except some few which they received from the Savages on the coasts of La Cadie, [155] them in exchange for furs), they remove the bark, and round off the tree except on one side, where they apply fire gradually along its entire length; and sometimes they put red-hot pebble-stones on top. When the fire is too fierce, they extinguish it with a little water, not entirely, but so that the edge of the boat may not be burnt. It being hollowed out as much as they wish, they scrape it all over with stones, which they use instead of knives. These stones resemble our musket flints.

On the next day, the 17th of the month, we weighed anchor to go to a cape we had seen the day before, which seemed to lie on our south south-west. This day we were able to make only five leagues, and we passed by some islands [156] covered with wood. I observed in the bay all that the savages had described to me at Island Cape. As we continued our course, large numbers came to us in canoes from the islands and main land. We anchored a league from a cape, which we named St. Louis, [157] where we noticed smoke in several places. While in the act of going there, our barque grounded on a rock, where we were in great danger, for, if we had not speedily got it off, it would have overturned in the sea, since the tide was falling all around, and there were five or six fathoms of water. But God preserved us, and we anchored near the above-named cape, when there come to us fifteen or sixteen canoes of savages. In some of them there were fifteen or sixteen, who began to manifest great signs of joy, and made various harangues, which we could not in the least understand. Sieur de Monts sent three or four men on shore in our canoe, not only to get water, but to see their chief, whose name was Honabetha. The latter had a number of knives and other trifles, which Sieur de Monts gave him, when he came alongside to see us, together with some of his companions, who were present both along the shore and in their canoes. We received the chief very cordially, and made him welcome; who, after remaining some time, went back. Those whom we had sent to them brought us some little squashes as big as the fist, which we ate as a salad, like cucumbers, and which we found very good. They brought also some purslane, [158] which grows in large quantities among the Indian corn, and of which they make no more account than of weeds. We saw here a great many little houses, scattered over the fields where they plant their Indian corn.

There is, moreover, in this bay a very broad river, which we named River du Guast. [159] It stretches, as it seemed to me, towards the Iroquois, a nation in open warfare with the Montagnais, who live on the great river St. Lawrence.


107. Isle de la Tortue, commonly known as Seguin Island, high and rocky, with precipitous shores. It is nearly equidistant from Wood, Pond, and Salter's Islands at the mouth of the Kennebec, and about one mile and three quarters from each. The United States light upon it is 180 feet above the level of the sea. It may be seen at the distance of twenty miles.

108. Ellingwood Rock, Seguin Ledges, and White Ledge.

109. Pond Island on the west, and Stage Island on the east: the two rocks referred to in the same sentence are now called the Sugar Loaves.

110. This was apparently in the upper part of Back River, where it is exceedingly narrow. The minute and circumstantial description of the mouth of the Kennebec, and the positive statement in the text that they entered the river so described, and the conformity of the description to that laid down on our Coast Survey Charts, as well as on Champlain's local map, all render it certain that they entered the mouth of the Kennebec proper; and having entered, they must have passed on a flood-tide into and through Back River, which in some places is so narrow that their little barque could hardly fall to be grazed in passing. Having reached Hockomock Bay, they passed down through the lower Hell Gate, rounded the southern point of West Port or Jerremisquam Island, sailing up its eastern shore until they reached the harbor of Wiscasset; then down the western side, turning Hockomock Point, threading the narrow passage of the Sasanoa River through the upper Hell Gate, entering the Sagadahoc, passing the Chops, and finally through the Neck, into Merrymeeting Bay. The narrowness of the channel and the want of water at low tide in Back River would seem at first blush to throw a doubt over the possibility of Champlain's passing through this tidal passage. But it has at least seven feet of water at high tide. His little barque, of fifteen tons, without any cargo, would not draw more than four feet at most, and would pass through without any difficulty, incommoded only by the narrowness of the channel to which Champlain refers. With the same barque, they passed over the bar at Nauset, or Mallebarre, where Champlain distinctly says there were only four feet of water.—Vide postea, p. 81.

111. West Port, or Jerremisquam Island.

112. This was Wiscasset Harbor, as farther on it will be seen that from this point they started down the river, taking another way than that by which they had come.

113. Hockomock Point, a rocky precipitous bluff.

114. The movement of the waters about this "narrow waterfall" has been a puzzle from the days of Champlain to the present time. The phenomena have not changed. Having consulted the United States Coast Pilot and likewise several persons who have navigated these waters and have a personal knowledge of the "fall," the following is, we think, a satisfactory explanation. The stream in which the fall occurs is called the Sasanoa, and is a tidal current flowing from the Kennebec, opposite the city of Bath, to the Sheepscot. It was up this tidal passage that Champlain was sailing from the waters of the Sheepscot to the Kennebec, and the "narrow waterfall" was what is now called the upper Hell Gate, which is only fifty yards wide, hemmed in by walls of rock on both sides. Above it the Sasanoa expands into a broad bay. When the tide from the Kennebec has filled this bay, the water rushes through this narrow gate with a velocity Sometimes of thirteen miles an hour. There is properly no fall in the bed of the stream, but the appearance of a fall is occasioned by the pent-up waters of the bay above rushing through this narrow outlet, having accumulated faster than they could be drained off. At half ebb, on a spring tide, a wall of water from six inches to a foot stretches across the stream, and the roar of the flood boiling over the rocks at the Gate can be heard two miles below. The tide continues to flow up the Sasanoa from the Sheepscot not only on the flood, but for some time on the ebb, as the waters in the upper part of the Sheepscot and its bays, in returning, naturally force themselves up this passage until they are sufficiently drained off to turn the current in the Sasanoa in the other direction. Champlain, sailing from the Sheepscot up the Sasanoa, arrived at the Gate probably just as the tide was beginning to turn, and when there was comparatively only a slight fall, but yet enough to make it necessary to force their little barque up through the Gate by means of hawsers as described in the text. After getting a short distance from the narrows, he would be on the water ebbing back into the Kennebec, and would be still moving with the tide, as he had been until he reached the fall.

115. Merrymeeting Bay, so called from the meeting in this bay of the two rivers mentioned in the text a little below, viz., the Kennebec and the Androscoggin.

116. The latitude of Seguin, here called Tortoise Island, is 43 deg. 42' 25".

117. The head-waters of the Kennebec, as well as those of the Penobscot, approach very near to the Chaudiere, which flows into the St. Lawrence near Quebec.

118. Casco Bay, which stretches from Cape Small Point to Cape Elizabeth. It has within it a hundred and thirty-six islands. They anchored and passed the night somewhere within the limits of this bay, but did not attempt its exploration.

119. These were the White Mountains in New Hampshire, towering above the sea 6,225 feet. They are about sixty miles distant from Casco Bay, and were observed by all the early voyagers as they sailed along the coast of Maine. They are referred to on Ribero's Map of 1529 by the Spanish word montanas, and were evidently seen by Estevan Gomez in 1525, whose discoveries are delineated by this map. They will also be found on the Mappe-Monde of about the middle of the sixteenth century, and on Sebastian Cabot's map, 1544, both included in the "Monuments de la Geographie" of Jomard, and they are also indicated on numerous other early maps.

120. This conjecture is not sustained by any evidence beyond the similarity of the names. There are numerous idle opinions as to the kind of plant which was so efficacious a remedy for the scurvy, but they are utterly without foundation. There does not appear to be any means of determining what the healing plant was.

121. The four leagues of the previous day added to the eight of this bring them from the Kennebec to Saco Bay.

122. The small island "proche de la grande terre" was Stratton Island: they anchored on the northern side and nearly east of Bluff Island, which is a quarter of a mile distant. The Indians came down to welcome them from the promontory long known as Black Point, now called Prout's Neck. Compare Champlain's local map and the United States Coast Survey Charts.

123. Champlain's narrative, together with his sketch or drawing, illustrating the mouth of the Saco and its environs, compared with the United States Coast Survey Charts, renders it certain that this was Richmond Island. Lescarbot describes it as a 'great island, about half a league in compass, at the entrance of the bay of the said place of Choueacoet It is about a mile long, and eight hundred yards in its greatest width.—Coast Pilot. It received its present name at a very early period. It was granted under the title of "a small island, called Richmond," by the Council for New England to Walter Bagnall, Dec. 2, 1631.—Vide Calendar of Eng. State Papers, Col. 1574-1660, p. 137. Concerning the death of Bagnall on this island a short time before the above grant was made, vide Winthrop's Hist. New Eng., ed. 1853, Vol. I. pp. 75, 118.

124. Lescarbot calls him Olmechin.—Histoire de la Nouvelle France, par M. Lescarbot, Paris, 1612, p. 558.

125. They had hoped that the wife of Panounias, their Indian guide, who was said to have been born among the Almouchiquois, would be able to interpret their language, but in this they appear to have been disappointed.—Vide antea, p. 55.

126. From the Indian word, M'-foo-ah-koo-et, or, as the French pronounced it, Choueacoet, which had been the name, applied by the aborigines to this locality we know not how long, is derived the name Saco, now given to the river and city in the same vicinity. The orthography given to the original word is various, as Sawocotuck, Sowocatuck, Sawakquatook, Sockhigones, and Choueacost. The variations in this, as in other Indian words, may have arisen from a misapprehension of the sound given by the aborigines, or from ignorance, on the part of writers, of the proper method of representing sounds, joined to an utter indifference to a matter which seemed to them of trifling importance.

127. Febues du Bresil. This is the well-known trailing or bush-bean of New England, Phaseolus vulgaris, called the "Brazilian bean" because it resembled a bean known in France at that time under that name. It is sometimes called the kidney-bean. It is indigenous to America.

128. Citrouilles, the common summer squash, Cucurbita polymorpha, as may be seen by reference to Champlain's map of 1612, where its form is delineated over the inscription, la forme des sitroules. It is indigenous to America. Our word squash is derived from the Indian askutasquash or isquoutersquash. "In summer, when their corne is spent, Isquoutersquashes is their best bread, a fruit like the young Pumpion."—Wood's New England Prospect, 1634, Prince Society ed., p. 76. "Askutasquash, their Vine aples, which the English from them call Squashes, about the bignesse of Apples, of severall colours, a sweet, light, wholesome refreshing."—Roger Williams, Key, 1643, Narragansett Club ed., p. 125.

129. Courges, the pumpkin, Cucurbita maxima, indigenous to America. As the pumpkin and likewise the squash were vegetables hitherto unknown to Champlain, there was no French word by which he could accurately identify them. The names given to them were such as he thought would describe them to his countrymen more nearly than any others. Had he been a botanist, he would probably have given them new names.

130. Petum. Tobacco, Nicotiana rustica, sometimes called wild tobacco. It was a smaller and more hardy species than the Nicotiana tabacum, now cultivated in warmer climates, but had the same qualities though inferior in strength and aroma. It was found in cultivation by the Indians all along our coast and in Canada. Cartier observed it growing in Canada in 1535. Of it he says: "There groweth also a certain kind of herbe, whereof in Sommer they make a great prouision for all the yeere, making great account of it, and onely men vse of it, and first they cause it to be dried in the Sunne, then weare it about their neckes wrapped in a little beasts skinne made like a little bagge, with a hollow peece of stone or wood like a pipe; then when they please they make pouder of it, and then put it in one of the ends of the said Cornet or pipe, and laying a cole of fire vpon it, at the other ende sucke so long, that they fill their bodies full of smoke, till that it commeth out of their mouth and nostrils, euen as out of the Tonnell of a chimney. They say that this doth keepe them warme and in health: they neuer goe without some of it about them. We ourselues haue tryed the same smoke, and hauing put it in our mouthes, it seemed almost as hot as Pepper."—Jacques Cartier, 2 Voyage, 1535; Hakluyt, London, ed. 1810, Vol. III. p. 276.

We may here remark that the esculents found in cultivation at Saco, beans, squashes, pumpkins, and corn, as well as the tobacco, are all American tropical or subtropical plants, and must have been transmitted from tribe to tribe, from more southern climates. The Indian traditions would seem to indicate this. "They have a tradition," says Roger Williams, "that the Crow brought them at first an Indian Graine of Corne in one Eare, and an Indian or French Beane in another, from the Great God Kautantouwit's field in the Southwest from whence they hold came all their Corne and Beanes."— Key to the Language of America, London, 1643, Narragansett Club ed., p. 144.

Seventy years before Champlain, Jacques Cartier had found nearly the same vegetables cultivated by the Indians in the valley of the St. Lawrence. He says: "They digge their grounds with certaine peeces of wood, as bigge as halfe a sword, on which ground groweth their corne, which they call Ossici; it is as bigge as our small peason.... They haue also great store of Muske-milions. Pompions, Gourds, Cucumbers, Peason, and Beanes of euery colour, yet differing from ours."—Hakluyt, Vol. II. p. 276. For a full history of these plants, the reader is referred to the History of Plants, a learned and elaborate work now in press, by Charles Pickering, M.D. of Boston.

131. The latitude of Wood Island at the mouth of the Saco, where they were at anchor, is 43 deg. 27' 23".

132. The site of this Indian fortification was a rocky bluff on the western side of the river, now owned by Mr. John Ward, where from time to time Indian relics have been found. The island at the mouth of the river, which Champlain speaks of as a suitable location for a fortress, is Ram Island, and is low and rocky, and about a hundred and fifty yards in length.

133. For Sunday read Tuesday.—Vide Shurtless's Calendar.

134. This landing was probably near Wells Neck, and the meadows which they saw were the salt marshes of Wells.

135. The Red-wing Blackbird, Ageloeus phoeniceus, of lustrous black, with the bend of the wing red. They are still abundant in the same locality, and indeed across the whole continent to the Pacific Ocean.—Vide Cones's Key, Boston, 1872, p. 156; Baird's Report, Washington, 1858, Part II. p. 526.

136. Le Port aux Isles. This Island Harbor is the present Cape Porpoise Harbor.

137. This harbor is Goose Fair Bay, from one to two miles north-east of Cape Porpoise, in the middle of which are two large ledges, "the dangerous reefs" to which Champlain refers.

138. This was the common red currant of the gardens, Ribes rubrum, which is a native of America. The fetid currant, Ribes prostratum, is also indigenous to this country. It has a pale red fruit, which gives forth a very disagreeable odor. Josselyn refers to the currant both in his Voyages and in his Rarities. Tuckerman found it growing wild in the White Mountains.

139. The passenger pigeon, Ectopistes migratorius, formerly numerous in New England. Commonly known as the wild pigeon. Wood says they fly in flocks of millions of millions.—New England Prospect, 1634; Prince Society ed., p. 31.

140. Champlain's latitude is less inaccurate than usual. It is not possible to determine the exact point at which he took it. But the latitude of Cape Porpoise, according to the Coast Survey Charts, is 43 deg. 21' 43".

141. Cape Anne.

142. The point at which Champlain first saw Cape Anne, and "isles assez hautes," the Isles of Shoals, was east of Little Boar's Head, and three miles from the shore. Nine years afterward, Captain John Smith visited these islands, and denominated them on his map of New England Smith's Isles. They began at a very early date to be called the Isles of Shoals. "Smith's Isles are a heape together, none neere them, against Accominticus."—Smith's Description of New England. Rouge's map, 1778, has Isles of Shoals, ou des Ecoles. For a full description and history of these islands, the reader is referred to "The Isles of Shoals," by John S. Jenness, New York, 1875.

143. Champlain has not been felicitous in his description of this bay. He probably means to say that from the point where he then was, off Little Boar's Head, to the point where it extends farthest into the land, or to the west, it appeared to be about twelve miles, and that the depth of the bay appeared to be six miles, and eight at the point of greatest depth. As he did not explore the bay, it is obvious that he intended to speak of it only as measured by the eye. No name has been assigned to this expanse of water on our maps. It washes the coast of Hampton, Salisbury, Newburyport, Ipswich, and Annisquam. It might well be called Merrimac Bay, aster the name of the important river that empties its waters into it, midway between its northern and southern extremities.

144. It is to be observed that, starting from Cape Porpoise Harbor on the morning of the 15th of July, they sailed twelve leagues before the sail of the night commenced. This would bring them, allowing for the sinuosities of the shore, to a point between Little Boar's Head and the Isles of Shoals. In this distance, they had passed the sandy shores of Wells Beach and York Beach in Maine, and Foss's Beach and Rye Beach in New Hampshire, and still saw the white Sands of Hampton and Salisbury Beaches stretching far into the bay on their right. The excellent harbor of Portsmouth, land-locked by numerous islands, had been passed unobserved. A sail of eighteen nautical miles brought them to their anchorage at the extreme point of Cape Anne.

145. Straitsmouth, Thatcher, and Milk island. They were named by Captain John Smith the "Three Turks' Heads," in memory of the three Turks' heads cut off by him at the siege of Caniza, by which he acquired from Sigismundus, prince of Transylvania, their effigies in his shield for his arms.—The true Travels, Adventures, and Observations of Captaine John Smith, London, 1629.

146. What Champlain here calls "le Cap aux Isles," Island Cape, is Cape Anne, called Cape Tragabigzanda by Captain John Smith, the name of his mistress, to whom he was given when a prisoner among the Turks. The name was changed by Prince Charles, afterward Charles I., to Cape Anne, in honor of his mother, who was Anne of Denmark.—Vide Description of New England by Capt. John Smith, London, 1616.

147. This was the bay west of a line drawn from Little Boar's Head to Cape Anne, which may well be called Merrimac Bay.

148. Massachusetts Bay.

149. It is interesting to observe the agreement of the sign-writing of this savage on the point of Cape Anne with the statement of the historian Gookin, who in 1656 was superintendent of Indian affairs in Massachusetts, and who wrote in 1674. He says: "Their chief sachem held dominion over many other petty governours; as those of Weechagaskas, Neponsitt, Punkapaog, Nonantam, Nashaway, and some of the Nipmuck people, as far as Pokomtacuke, as the old men of Massachusetts affirmed." Here we have the six tribes, represented by the pebbles, recorded seventy years later as a tradition handed down by the old men of the tribe. Champlain remarks further on, "I observed in the bay all that the savages had described to me at Island Cape."

150. This was the Merrimac with its shoals at the mouth, which they had passed without observing, having sailed from the offing near Little Boar's Head directly to the head of Cape Anne, during the darkness of the previous night.

151. The latitude of the Straitsmouth Island Light on the extreme point of Cape Anne is 42 deg. 39' 43". A little east of it, where they probably anchored, there are now sixteen fathoms of water.

152. Emmerson's Point, forming the eastern extremity of Cape Anne, twenty or twenty-five feet high, fringed with a wall of bare rocks on the sea.

153. Thatcher's Island, near the point just mentioned. It is nearly half a mile long and three hundred and fifty yards wide, and about fifty feet high.

154. It is not possible to determine with absolute certainty the place of this anchorage. But as Champlain describes, at the end of this chapter, what must have been Charles River coming from the country of the Iroquois or the west, most likely as seen from his anchorage, there can be little doubt that he anchored in Boston Harbor, near the western limit of Noddle's Island, now known as East Boston.

155. The fishermen and fur-traders had visited these coasts from a very early period.—Vide antea, note 18. From them they obtained the axe, a most important implement in their rude mode of life, and it was occasionally found in use among tribes far in the interior.

La Cadie. Carelessness or indifference in regard to the orthography of names was general in the time of Champlain. The volumes written in the vain attempt to settle the proper method of spelling the name of Shakespeare, are the fruit of this indifference. La Cadie did not escape this treatment. Champlain writes it Arcadie, Accadie, La Cadie, Acadie, and L'Acadie; while Lescarbot uniformly, as far as we have observed, La Cadie. We have also seen it written L'Arcadie and L'Accadie, and in some, if not in all the preceding forms, with a Latin termination in ia. It is deemed important to secure uniformity, and to follow the French form in the translation of a French work rather than the Latin. In this work, it is rendered LA CADIE in all cases except in quotations. The history of the name favors this form rather than any other. The commission or charter given to De Monts by Henry IV. in 1603, a state paper or legal document, drawn, we may suppose, with more than usual care, has La Cadie, and repeats it four times without variation. It is a name of Indian origin, as may be inferred by its appearing in composition in such words as Passamacadie, Subenacadie, and Tracadie, plainly derived from the language spoken by the Souriquois and Etechemins. Fifty-five years before it was introduced into De Monts's commission, it appeared written Larcadia in Gastaldo's map of "Terra Nova del Bacalaos," in the Italian translation of Ptolemy's Geography, by Pietro Andrea Mattiolo, printed at Venice in 1548. The colophon bears date October, 1547. This rare work is in the possession of Henry C. Murphy, LL.D., to whom we are indebted for a very beautiful copy of the map. It appeared again in 1561 on the map of Ruscelli, which was borrowed, as well as the whole map, from the above work.—Vide Ruscelli's map in Dr. Kohl's Documentary History of Maine, Maine Hist. Soc., Portland, 1869, p. 233. On this map, Larcadia stands on the coast of Maine, in the midst of the vast territory included in De Monts's grant, between the degrees of forty and forty-six north latitude. It will be observed, if we take away the Latin termination, that the pronunciation of this word as it first appeared in 1547, would not differ in sound from La Cadie. It seems, therefore, very clear that the name of the territory stretching along the coast of Maine, we know not how far north or south, as it was caught from the lips of the natives at some time anterior 1547, was best represented by La Cadie, as pronounced by the French. Whether De Monts had obtained the name of his American domain from those who had recently visited the coast and had caught its sound from the natives, or whether he had taken it from this ancient map, we must remain uninformed. Several writers have ventured to interpret the word, and give us its original meaning. The following definitions have been offered: 1. The land of dogs; 2. Our village; 3. The fish called pollock; 4. Place; 5. Abundance. We do not undertake to decide between the disagreeing doctors. But it is obvious to remark that a rich field lies open ready for a noble harvest for any young scholar who has a genius for philology, and who is prepared to make a life work of the study and elucidation of the original languages of North America. The laurels in this field are still to be gathered.

156. The islands in Boston Bay.

157. This attempt to land was in Marshfield near the mouth of South River. Not succeeding, they sailed forward a league, and anchored at Brant Point, which they named the Cape of St. Louis.

158. This purslane, Portulaca oleracea, still grows vigorously among the Indian corn in New England, and is regarded with no more interest now than in 1605. It is a tropical plant, and was introduced by the Indians probably by accident with the seeds of tobacco or other plants.

159. Here at the end of the chapter Champlain seems to be reminded that he had omitted to mention the river of which he had learned, and had probably seen in the bay. This was Charles River. From the western side of Noddle's Island, or East Boston, where they were probably at anchor, it appeared at its confluence with the Mystic River to come from the west, or the country of the Iroquois. By reference to Champlain's large map of 1612, this river will be clearly identified as Charles River, in connection with Boston Bay and its numerous islands. On that map it is represented as a long river flowing from the west. This description of the river by Champlain was probably from personal observation. Had he obtained his information from the Indians, they would not have told him that it was broad or that it came from the west, for such are not the facts; but they would have represented to him that it was small, winding in its course, and that it came from the south. We infer, therefore, that he not only saw it himself, but probably from the deck of the little French barque, as it was riding at anchor in our harbor near East Boston, where Charles River, augmented by the tide, flows into the harbor from the west, in a strong, broad, deep current. They named it in honor of Pierre du Guast, Sieur de Monts, the commander of this expedition. Champlain writes the name "du Gas;" De Laet has "de Gua;" while Charlevoix writes "du Guast." This latter orthography generally prevails.



The next day we doubled Cap St. Louis, [160] so named by Sieur de Monts, a land rather low, and in latitude 42 deg. 45'. [161] The same day we sailed two leagues along a sandy coast, as we passed along which we saw a great many cabins and gardens. The wind being contrary, we entered a little bay to await a time favorable for proceeding. There came to us two or three canoes, which had just been fishing for cod and other fish, which are found there in large numbers. These they catch with hooks made of a piece of wood, to which they attach a bone in the shape of a spear, and fasten it very securely. The whole has a fang-shape, and the line attached to it is made out of the bark of a tree. They gave me one of their hooks, which I took as a curiosity. In it the bone was fastened on by hemp, like that in France, as it seemed to me, and they told me that they gathered this plant without being obliged to cultivate it; and indicated that it grew to the height of four or five feet. [162] This canoe went back on shore to give notice to their fellow inhabitants, who caused columns of smoke to arise on our account We saw eighteen or twenty savages, who came to the shore and began to dance. Our canoe landed in order to give them some bagatelles, at which they were greatly pleased. Some of them came to us and begged us to go to their river. We weighed anchor to do so, but were unable to enter on account of the small amount of water, it being low tide, and were accordingly obliged to anchor at the mouth. I went ashore, where I saw many others, who received us very cordially. I made also an examination of the river, but saw only an arm of water extending a short distance inland, where the land is only in part cleared up. Running into this is merely a brook not deep enough for boats except at full tide. The circuit of the bay is about a league. On one side of the entrance to this bay there is a point which is almost an island, covered with wood, principally pines, and adjoins sand-banks, which are very extensive. On the other side, the land is high. There are two islets in this bay, which are not seen until one has entered, and around which it is almost entirely dry at low tide. This place is very conspicuous from the sea, for the coast is very low, excepting the cape at the entrance to the bay. We named it the Port du Cap St. Louis, [163] distant two leagues from the above cape, and ten from the Island Cape. It is in about the same latitude as Cap St. Louis.

* * * * *



The figures indicate fathoms of water.

A. Indicates the place where vessels lie. B. The channel. C. Two islands. [Note: Clark's Island is now the sole representative of the two figured by Champlain in 1605. The action of the waves has either united the two, or swept one of them away. It was named after Clark, the master's mate of the "May Flower," who was the first to step on shore, when the party of Pilgrims, sent out from Cape Cod Harbor to Select a habitation, landed on this island, and passed the night of the 9th of December, O. S. 1620. Vide Morton's Memorial, 1669, Plymouth Ed. 1826. p. 35: Young's Chronicles, p. 160; Bradford's His. Plym. Plantation, p. 87. This delineation removes all doubt as to the missing island in Plymouth Harbor, and shows the incorrectness of the theory as to its being Saquish Head, suggested in a note in Young's Chronicles, p. 64. Vide also Mourt's Relation, Dexter's ed., note 197.] D. Sandy downs. [Note: Saquish Neck] E. Shoals. F. Cabins where the savages till the ground. G. Place where we beached our barque. H. Land having the appearance of an island, covered with wood and adjoining the sandy downs. [Note: Saquish Head, which seems to have been somewhat changed since the time of Champlain. Compare Coast Survey Chart of Plymouth Harbor, 1857.] I. A high promontory which may be seen four or five leagues at sea. [Note: Manomet Bluff.]

* * * * *

On the 19th of the month, we set out from this place. Coasting along in a southerly direction, we sailed four or five leagues, and passed near a rock on a level with the surface of the water. As we continued our course, we saw some land which seemed to us to be islands, but as we came nearer we found it to be the main land, lying to the north-north-west of us, and that it was the cape of a large bay, [164] containing more than eighteen or nineteen leagues in circuit, into which we had run so far that we had to wear off on the other tack in order to double the cape which we had seen. The latter we named Cap Blanc, [165] since it contained sands and downs which had a white appearance. A favorable wind was of great assistance to us here, for otherwise we should have been in danger of being driven upon the coast. This bay is very safe, provided the land be not approached nearer than a good league, there being no islands nor rocks except that just mentioned, which is near a river that extends some distance inland, which we named St. Suzanne du Cap Blanc, [166] whence across to Cap St. Louis the distance is ten leagues. Cap Blanc is a point of sand, which bends around towards the south some six leagues. This coast is rather high, and consists of sand, which is very conspicuous as one comes from the Sea. At a distance of some fifteen or eighteen leagues from land, the depth of the water is thirty, forty, and fifty fathoms, but only ten on nearing the shore, which is unobstructed. There is a large extent of open country along the shore before reaching the woods, which are very attractive and beautiful. We anchored off the coast, and saw some savages, towards whom four of our company proceeded. Making their way upon a sand-bank, they observed something like a bay, and cabins bordering it on all sides. When they were about a league and a half from us, there came to them a savage dancing all over, as they expressed it. He had come down from the high shore, but turned about shortly after to inform his fellow inhabitants of our arrival.

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