The Voyages of Jacques Cartier: 1534 – 1542
After Christopher Columbus’s discovery in 1492, numerous explorers were sent over by the large European countries (France, England, Portugal, and Spain) to continue the explorations to find a route to Asia. Sent by France, Jacques Cartier reached the Gulf of St. Lawrence in 1534. He planted a cross in Gaspé, declaring that this land now belonged to the king of France.
The discovery of Canada
The following year, Jacques Cartier returned to the site of his first expedition and travelled even further. This time he discovered the mouth of the St. Lawrence River and entered into the lands of Canada. He met Native people in the village of Stadacona. He then continued his journey up the St. Lawrence River, which he called the “chemin du Canada” (highway to Canada) and arrived at Hochelaga. He also discovered the Saguenay, Saint-Maurice and Richelieu Rivers.
Canada, a route to Asia?
Cartier first thought the St. Lawrence River would lead to Asia. During his explorations, he realized that Canada was an extremely vast territory and that France could take advantage of its many resources.
Author: Alexandre Lanoix
See also… Traces of the past