Champlain's return to Tadoussac|
Champlain's return to Tadoussac
The settlement of Port Royal, founded by Samuel de Champlain and his partner Pierre du Gua de Monts, of the Canada and Acadia Company, did not give them control over the fur trade in the interior of the continent.
They would have to continue their exploration and find a suitable site for the establishment of another permanent settlement in the interior of the country.
The Basque, Spanish, English, Dutch and Portuguese had had a presence in Tadoussac for a long time and the natives preferred to go to the trading post on the river rather than the one on the Atlantic coast. Through the creation of a permanent colony, once the snow melted the new company would have a huge trading advantage over its rivals obliged to make the journey from Europe.
Back in France, the Huguenot Pierre de Monts, managed to find backers for a second expedition. This time he gave Champlain the powers of Lieutenant General of New France and gave him the responsibility of picking the exact location of the future colony.
He thought it should be in the interior of the country, at the heart of the native trading networks.
In the spring of 1608, two vessels crossed the Atlantic, the Lévrier, under the command of Dupont-Gravé, and the Don de Dieu, under the command of Champlain.
On June 3, when Champlain arrived in Tadoussac, Dupont-Gravé's pilot came to greet him in a rowboat. The pilot informed him that Dupont-Gravé had tried to impose his monopoly on the Basque and Spanish captains who were already there, but they had answered him with their muskets and cannons. He took Champlain to the bedside of Dupont-Gravé, who was still alive but seriously wounded.
Together, they negotiated a truce with Darache, the leader of the Spaniards, which allowed Dupont-Gravé's men to start trading with the Montagnais.
The Montagnais Indians were a nomadic people who hunted on an immense territory bounded in the North from the shores of the St-Lawrence River to James Bay. By trading with the Europeans, the Montagnais were assured of a steady supply of flour, which protected them from famine that had decimated them in the past.