Historians' Knowledge
Amateurs' Stories

Contact us


Historians' Knowledge

Robert Choquette
N.E. Dionne
Murray Leatherdale
Marcel Trudel

Robert Choquette
When this voyageur travelled the Grande Rivière (Ottawa River) for the first time, he was "baptized" in the Pays d'en Haut, at a sand bar on the south bank. To avoid being immersed, he promised a mass to Ste. Anne, patron saint of travellers.

Robert Choquette, L'Ontario français, historique, Montréal Éditions Études vivantes, 1980, p. 13.

N.E. Dionne
What was really his goal in all of these quests, where he encountered only difficulties and disappointments? Was it the curiosity of a tourist, or the ambition of a scholar, searching for nature's secrets? Champlain loved to learn, no doubt, and from the point of view of nautical and geographical science he attained a high level of understanding but he wanted to use this vast knowledge for the great and noble cause of his religion, without forgetting the honour of his homeland in his motives. We also say, without wanting to place Champlain on an even higher pedestal than he deserves, that his general drive is worthy of our admiration.

N.E. Dionne, Samuel Champlain, tome premier, Québec, A. Côté et Cie, pp. 341-342.

Murray Leatherdale
With the advent of the North West Company, the Nipissing route was no longer just an explorers' path but became instead the highway that would transport 50 to 75% of Canada's trade. The La Vase portages were no longer indistinct trails but were packed roadways. There are places on this trail where today one can still detect a trench in the soft earth gouged 3 to 4 feet deep by the jackboots and moccasins of the voyageur. The physical evidence of the North West Company in our area was a small post at the mouth of the La Vase River, called Fort Laronde.

Murray Leatherdale, Nipissing from Brûlé to Booth, Chamber of Commerce of North Bay, North Bay, 1975, p.137.

Marcel Trudel
If we want to appreciate Champlain merely for the state, at the time of his death, in which he left his work that he created in the midst of so many hardships, there is hardly enough to praise. Trade between France and Asia did not get established in Quebec City; Ludovica, this large city that Champlain hoped to see one day in the Saint-Charles Valley, no longer existed, either; the colony that gathered at Cap aux Diamants, is altogether insignificant: after 27 years of presence and effort the population totalled merely 150 inhabitants, a pathetic number considering Boston had 2 000 inhabitants, and was only five years old. But the work of Champlain cannot be evaluated based on a description from 1635; it took several generations before his effort proved itself, as Champlain's program required time. He wanted to build a large commercial colony on the banks of the St. Lawrence, using the many resources at his disposal. History proved him right: the commercial colony envisaged by Champlain was built by the French regime through vast commerce that carried them to the faraway Mer de l'Ouest that Champlain had looked for. The English waged long battles over this commercial colony, and once victorious, built the Canada we know today.

From the start of Canada's continuing history we can see Champlain's importance, even if we acknowledge the role of Du Gua de Monts; Champlain was voluntarily and principally at the base of Canada's history and it is in this way that Champlain can claim the title of Canada's founder.

Marcel Trudel, Champlain, Montréal, Fides, 1968, pp.10-11.





© ROPFO 2001. All rights reserved.
Conception