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Full text of "The voyage of Pierre Angibaut [microform] : known as Champdoré : captain in the marine of New France : made to the coast of Maine, 1608"

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^tinU l^ifoion ass C)^Attf|ittot^e^ 

S^Teltt JFt^anr^t niAlve to t)^e 
CoAisi of iilalne^ 



Si des pilotes vieux le renom dure encore, 

Pour avoir sceu voguer sur vne ^troite mer, 

Si le monde k present daigne encore estimer 

Ariomene, avec Palinure & Pelore : 

Cast raison (Champ-do re) que notre age t'honore, 

Qui sgais par ta vertu te faire renommer, 

Quand ta dexterity empeche d'abimer 

La nef qui va 80uz toy du Ponant k I'Aurore. 

Ceux-la du grand Neptune oncques la majestd. 

Ne virent, ni le fond du son puissant Empire : 

Mais dessus I'Ocean journellement porte 

Tu fais voir aux Fragois des pais tout nouveaux, 

Afin que I'k vn iour maint peuple se retire 

Faisant les flots gemir souz ses ailez vaisseaux. 



Bv B. F. De COSTA. 



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ALBANY: 
JOEL MUNSELL'S SONS. 
1891. 



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[Reprinted from the New-England Historical and Genealogical Register for April, 1891.] 



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DAVID Clapf & Son. Printers, Boston. 




CHAMPDORE m NEW ENGLAND, 1608. 



Pierre Angibaut, called "Champdor6," has hitherto been 
known simply as a pilot in the service of De Mont, and not as 
an actual leader of an independent expedition. Nevertheless; in 
1608, Champlain's former associate brought out a company of colo- 
nists to 'New France, and sailed down the Maine coast as far as 
ISaco. This expedition has escaped treatment, for the reason that 
the statements concerning it have appeared confused, if not con- 
tradictory. It has been taken for granted, that the efforts of the 
French, after the desertion of Port Koyal, in 1607, were suspended 
until 1610. This, however, will appear to be a mistake, as 
Lescarbot, in his edition of 1609, gives an account of an expedition 
that evidently went out in 1608. It is true that, in the autumn of 
that year, the Jesuit father, Biard, went to Bordeaux for the purpose 
of joining an expedition which he understood was to have been 
fitted out by Poutrincourt, but upon his arrival he could learn 
nothing about it. Poutrincourt had indeed promised the King to 
undc.take the work again that year, yet he made no movement until 
1610. In the meanwhile, however, an expedition was sent by De 
Mont, who had secured a grant giving him the monopoly of the fur 
trade for one year. Biard probably knew nothing of this expedition, 
though he understood that a movement was in progress. Besides, 
the members of his Order were not wanted in the colony, and it was 
not until 1611 that Biard succeeded in getting out to Port Royal, 
notwithstanding the influence of the King and Queen was thrown 
in his favor.* From our general knowledge of the subject, it might 
be concluded that De Mont allowed the Jesuits to suppose that the 
expedition was to leave Bordeaux at the end of 1608, in order to be 
well rid of them, while at the time arranging to sail from St. Malo. 

* On this question, see Relations des Jisuites, Vol. I. p. 25; Siiea's " Chnrlevoix," Vol. 
I. p. 260; and Parktnau's ''Pioneers," Chapters V. and VI. The Huguenots fought the 
Jesuits to the last. 



*, 1 



The same year, under the same monopoly, De Mont sent Cham- 
plain with two vessels to Canada. It is possible that the expedition 
of Champdor6 was authorized in consideration of receiving a portion 
of the profits. 

But, before speaking of the voyage, it will be necessary to state 
what is known concerning Pierre Angibout, as in the future he must 
take rank with the worthies, who, amidst perils and privations, 
labored to achieve the conquest of the wilderness of New England. 

In Champlain's narrative, Champdor6 is traduced and denied his 
proper place, owing clearly to the jealousy excited by his merits. 
Champlain says that he was a good carpenter ; but he must have 
been something more, in order to hold his place as pilot and navigator 
for a period of three years, and to be entrusted with an independent 
expedition in the fourth. Champlain, pei-juips, felt that his appoint- 
ment, after a long trial, to this responsible post, formed a sarcasm 
upon his attempts to cheapen Cbampdorti's merits, and he does not 
allude either to his appointment or his voyage. Lescarbot, however, 
recognizes Champdor^'s services, also addressing a sonnet to him, 
as l*ierre Angibnut dit Champ-dore Gapitaine de Marine en la 
Mbuvelle France.* 

In describing the buildings at St. Croix, Lescarbot speaks of the 
abodes of " Sires d'Orville, Chaplain, Charapdor6, and other 
notable personages." Again, in speaking of those whom De Mont 
left behind at Port Royal to pass the winter of 1605-6, he mentions 
Monsieur Champlain and Monsieur Chainpdor6, the one for 
geography and the other for the conducting and guiding the 
voyages, f 

The position of Champdord while attached to the colony was 
clearly defined ; and though at times the geographer was obliged to 
recognize the pilot's capacity, he nevertheless seeks every occasion 
to detract from his merit, and to set down every disaster to his credit. 
At the instance of Poutrincourt, Champdore was on one occasion 
placed under arrest, having been charged with the wilful destruction 
of the shallop, which, in 1606, unfortunately struck upon the rocks 
at Port Royal, though they were glad to release him and secure the 
benefit of his skill. | 

Champlain vents his spleen in paragraphs like this : " We came 
near being wrecked on a rocky islet, on account of Champdor^'s 
usual obstinacy." 

Lescarbot was probably indebted to Champdor6 for portions of 
the material used in describing the voyages of 1604, '5 and '6, as he 
did not go in person further south than Grand Menan. On more 
than one occasion he refers to Champdore as an informant. 

The voyage of Champdore is mentioned in three editions of Les- 

* Les Muses de la Nouvelle France, p. 42. 

t Histoire de la Nouvelle France, Ed. 1612, p. 476. Ibid. Ed. 1609. 

j Chnmplaln's " (Euvres," Ed. Quebec, Vol. I. pp. 84-86. 



carbot's Kouvelle France ^ though the edition of 1609 forms the 
real authority.* The succeeding editions omit that part of the 
narrrative found in chapter iv. of the edition of 1609, evidently to 
avoid going over the same subject twice. The portion omitted in 
the two succeeding editions is very interesting. 

Lescarbot says, first, that the colonists, returning to France in the 
autumn of 1607, brought samples of the products of the country, 
such as corn, wheat, rye and barley, and presented them to the 
King. Poutrincourt, as a special offering, presented some tame 
"Outards," or geese, which he had "taken from the shell." They 
pleased the King, and were at once domiciled in the beautiful ponds 
of Fontainbleu. The reports made appear to have encouraged his 
Majesty ; and Lescarbot is correct in saying that at this time, "upon 
a fair exhibition of the fruits of the said country, the King confirmed 
to Monsieur De Mont the privilege for the trade in beavers with the 
savages,"! and that this, in connection with the general encourage- 
ment which the prospect afforded, led to the attempt in 1608. 
Lescarbot states that the King acted with direct reference to the estab- 
lishment of colonies, and, writing in 1609, says : "By this occasion 
he [De Mont] sent thither in March last families to begin the Chris- 
tian and French Commonwealth there, which God grant to bless in 



increase." 



The statement that '^ families " were sent out is very significant, 
showing that the French saw distinctly the true policy to be pur- 
sued, and that they entertained the project of permanent homes. 
Of the experience of these "families" we, at present, have no 
particular knowledge. Nevertheless a glimpse is given of the con- 
dition of Acadia after the terrible winter which had frozen the spirits 
of Popham's men, but which the French happily escaped. They 
found the grain which had been sown the previous year in a flour- 
ishing condition, and the faithful old savage, Membertou, with his 
dusky followers, ready to extend a cordial welcome. It is not clear, 
however, that Champdor6 and his colonists remained in New France 
during the winter of 1608-9. Perhaps the account of the severity 
of the previous winter dampened their ardor and hastened their re- 
turn, notwithstanding they had brought out what are called 
"families." 

* The Edition of 1612 (p. 459) mentions the voyage and the exploration of the St. John's 
River. In the heading of L. IV. C. xix. (p. 603) is the following : Voyage en la Nouvelle 
France, depuis le retour dti dit Sieur PotUnncourt. In dropping the i)art of the narrative to 
which this refers, Lescarbot forgot to erase this reference to it. The edition of 1618 possesses 
the same features, though C. iv. takes the place of C. xix. Tlie first edition of Lescarbot's 
work was published in 1609. Editions followed in 1611, 1612 and 16)8. Lc Long refers to 
an edition of 1617. See Biblioth'eque Historique, Vol. III. No. 39,654. A letter attributed 
to Lescarbot by M. Gabriel Marcel, of the geographical section of the Bibliotheque Na- 
tionale, Paris, has been published by that writer, with notes. Paris, 1885. It was written 
at Port Royal, Aug. 22, 1606, and is of interest. Lescarbot was born about the year 
1666-70, and died about 1630. 

t It is clear that the privilege, which was for one year only, had no special application 
to the territory ceded to Poutrincourt. The Patent to De Moiit covered all of New France. 
See Patent in Champlain's (Euvrea, Vol. 1. p. 136. 



■"'6 

Lesoarbot mentions Champdor^'s return, and says : 

" The said ship, being returned, we have had report by Monsieur de 
Champdor^, and others, of the condition of the country we had left, and 
of the wonderful beauty of the corn that the said Monsieur de Poutrincourt 
had sown before his departure, together with the grains that have fallen in 
the gardens which have grown incredibly. Memberton gathered six or 
seven barrels of the corn that we had sown, and still had one left, which 
he reserved for the French whom he expected. When it was charged that 
he had eaten our pigeons which we had left there, he fell to weeping, and 
embracing him that told him, said it was the Macharoa, that is, the great 
birds called Eagles, which eat many of them while we were there. Besides 
all great and small inquired how we were, naming each by his own name, 
which is a proof of great love." 

On other points Lescarbot gives interesting information, and says 
that Champdor6 extended his observation as far as Saco, or 
" Chouakouet." He also visited the Saint John Kiver. He says : 

*' This river is one of the fairest that may be seen, having many islands 
and abounding in fish. This last year, 1608, the said Monsieur de Champ- 
dor^, with one of the said De Mont's men, has been some fifty leagues up 
the said river, and testify that there is a great quantity of vines along the 
shore, though the grapes are not so large as in the country of Armou- 
chiquois. There are also onions and many other good herbs. As regards 
the trees, they are the finest to be seen. When we were there we saw a 
great nuijber of cedar trees. In regard to the fish Champdor^ has told us, 
that, putting the kettle over the fire, they had taken fish enough for dinner 
before the water was hot. Besides, this river, stretching as it does far 
within the land of the savages, greatly shortens the long journeys." 

The modern tourist who ascends this stream will justify Champ- 
dorr's praise. 

Champdor6 then descended the river, and sailed southward, visit- 
ing for the fourth time the wild coast of Maine. Lescarbot writes : 

" The said Champdore went as far as Chouakouet, the beginning of the 
Armouchiquois land, where he reconciled that tribe with the Etechemins, 
which was not done without solemnity. For as he began to speak of it the 
captive, named Asticou, who is now in the place of Olmechin,* a grave man 
of goodly presence, howsoever savage he may be, demanded that some one 
of the Etcchenims should be sent to him, and that he would treat with him. 
Oagimout, Sagamore of the St. Croix River, was selected for that purpose, 
though he would not trust them ; but under the safe conduct of the French, 
he went thither. Some presents were made to Asticou, who, upon the 
speech of peace, began to exhort his people and to show them the reasons 
which should induce them to listen to it. Whereupon they agreed, making 
an assent to each article proposed to them. Some five yearst ago Monsieur 
de Mont had also arranged a peace between those people, and declared 
unto them that he would be the enemy to the first one that should com- 
mence war, and would pursue him. But after his return into France they 

* This appears to be an error. Asticou was a Fenobscot chief, and appears to have suc- 
ceeded Bastiaba. 

t He should have said three years, as the peace referred to was made in 1608. It was a 
poor peace at the best. See Champliiin, Vol. I. p. 93, and Lescarbot, Ed. 1612, p. 560. 
For the names of various chiefs, see Champlaiu, Vol. I. p. 126. 



conld not maintain the peace. And the Armonchiquois killed a Sourequois 
savage named Panoniac, who went to them in order to trade in merchan- 
dise, which he obtained at the store house of the said de Mont. The war 
above mentioned broke out on account of this murder, under the leadership 
of Sagamore Membertou ; the said war was carried on in the same place 
now mentioned where Monsieur de Champdor«i treated the peace in this 
year. Monsieur Champlain is in another place, that is, in the great River 
of Canada, near the place where Captain Jaques Cartior wintered, where 
he has fortified himself." 

In closing, Lescarbot says : 

" As regards Monsieur de Poutrincourt, his desire is unchangeable to 
colonize and build up his Province, to bring thither his family, and all kinds 
of trades necessary for the existence of man ; which, with God's help, he 
will continue to do, throughout the present year, 1609;* and as long as he 
has health and strength, will prosecute the same, to live there under the 
King's obedience." 

It is perhaps due to Champdor^, in the absence of the details of 
his life, that we should give the Sonnet which Lescarbot wrote in 
his p»aise ; especially as it forms an offset to the envious criticism of 
Champlain, who, as the geographer, found a rival in Champdor6 
the navigator. Lescarbot, the witty lawyer, was evidently on the 
best of terms with the Pilot, and they doubtless enjoyed together good 
dinners and merry evenings in Acadia, when Lescarbot feasted 
royally, after the fashion of his brother of the Bar, Thomas Morton, 
of Merry Mount, wearing the Collar of the Order of the Bon Temps. 
In this Sonnet the Parisian Advocate bestows his praise with the 
liberality that marked Champlain's blame ; and the neglect of re- 
nowned characters of antiquity is somewhat explained by the devotion 
exhibited to the overshadowing renown of Pierre Angibout. 

* See ante ; this fixes the date of Champdor^'s voyage. The Sonnet has been transferred 
to the title-page. 



This article was written some fifteen years ago, on finding that Parkman had over- 
looked the expedition of 1608, which had also been overlooked by every author of whom 
the writer had any knowledge. Subsequently, Dr. Slafter, in editing the Prince Society's 
edition of Champlain's work, noted the fact that the voyage was made. It is time for 
Champdor4 to have due recognition. 






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