Samuel de Champlain
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||edHelper's suggested reading level:
||grades 6 to 8
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||croix, re-established, reaffirmed, commandant, navigator, foothold, unsuitable, pension, isthmus, authority, supremacy, command, wounded, entertainment, banned, settlement
||New World, West Indies, Central America, Henry IV, On May, Lawrence River, Gaspe Peninsula, Good Cheer, Port Royal, Nova Scotia
Spanish: Samuel de Champlain
Samuel de Champlain
By Mary Lynn Bushong
1 In the great race to explore the New World, Spain was in the lead with a large foothold, and France did not want to get too far behind. The goal was to explore and settle lands that they had claimed more than sixty years before. To do that job, the king of France chose Samuel de Champlain.
2 Champlain was born in 1567, in the small town of Brouage, France. Little is know of his family or his early life. His father was a ship captain, but he actually received much of his seaman's training from his uncle. Trained as a navigator, he sailed with his uncle, taking Spanish soldiers from France to Spain. Champlain earned command of his own vessel in 1599, which he used for the next two years to go back and forth from the West Indies, Central America, and Panama. While he was at Panama, he thought a canal system might be cut across the isthmus, shortening travel time to the Pacific.
3 Around 1601, he returned to France and was given a pension by Henry IV. Then in 1603, he was invited to go along on an expedition to explore France's possessions in the New World. They also hoped to find a good place to establish a colony. On May 24 of that year, they anchored at Tadoussal on the St. Lawrence. They took a small boat as far as the rapids above Montreal and back and then explored both sides of the St. Lawrence River as far as the Gaspe Peninsula before returning to France.
4 In 1604 he returned to found a colony called Acadia on the Bay of Fundy. They formed a settlement on the Island of St. Croix and stayed the winter, but the location proved to be unsuitable.
5 Over the long, dark winter, Champlain came up with a plan to help keep his men from being bored. He established what he called the Order of Good Cheer. Each man would take one evening and plan the entertainment. The evening included food, dancing, and putting on plays. In the spring, the whole group moved to Port Royal near present day Annapolis, Nova Scotia.
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