The Passion of the Voyage
Samuel de Champlain travelled for both business and pleasure. His passion allowed him to use his many talents.
He was an explorer, cartographer, founder, and writer.
Tablet on Samuel de Champlain's Statue at Nepean Point in Ottawa
Canadian Museum of Civilization/96-9
Champlain was ambitious… He was looking for a navigable route to China and the Indies.
Champlain was curious… He recorded in detail the riches of the country and the customs of the Native Peoples.
Champlain was patriotic… He dreamed of making New France a stable colony, France's sister nation. With all of his heart he wanted to interest the public in New France's cause. He had several discussions with Henry IV, King of France.
Champlain was a peacemaker… He wanted to establish peace between the Huron-Algonquian alliance and the Iroquois. Peace was essential not only for exploration but also for trade. He wanted to eliminate conflict between the Aboriginal nations who were fighting for control of the St. Lawrence River.
Champlain was an administrator… A true businessman, he persuaded the King and some rich merchants to provide him with the necessary finances for transportation, construction and weapons. He fought for the monopoly of the fur trade in order to establish a permanent colony rather than small trading posts. He led the colony as governor, even if he didn't always officially own the title.
The Nunnery, Formerly the Residence of Governor Champlain and the First Government House in Canada, Quebec, Quebec [ca. 1860]
William Notman/National Archives of Canada/PA-139813