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Samuel de Champlain was a French explorer and cartographer best known for establishing and governing the settlements of New France and the city of Quebec.
John Cabot - Mini Biography (2:32)
French explorer Samuel de Champlain began exploring North America in 1603, establishing the city of Quebec in the northern colony of New France. He became the de facto governor of New France in 1620.
Explorer Ferdinand Magellan, with the support of King Charles V of Spain, set out to circumnavigate the globe. He assembled a fleet of ships and despite huge setbacks, his own death included, proved that the world was round.
French navigator Jacques Cartier was sent by King Francis I to the New World in search of riches and a new route to Asia in 1534. His exploration of the St. Lawrence River allowed France to lay claim to lands that would become Canada.
Explorer and navigator John Cabot made a voyage in 1497 on the ship Matthew and claimed land in Canada—mistaking it for Asia—for King Henry VII of England.
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He spent this time writing the stories of his voyages, complete with maps and illustrations. When he was reinstated as lieutenant, he returned to Canada with his wife, who was 30 years his junior. In 1627, Louis XIII's chief minister, Cardinal de Richelieu, formed the Company of 100 Associates to rule New France and placed Champlain in charge.
Things didn't go smoothly for Champlain for long. Eager to capitalize on the profitable fur trade in the region,
Charles I of England commissioned an expedition under David Kirke to displace the French. They attacked the fort and seized supply ships, cutting off necessities to the colony. Champlain surrendered on July 19, 1629 and returned to France.
Champlain spent some time writing about his travels until, in 1632, the British and the French signed the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, returning Quebec to the French. Champlain returned to be its governor. By this time, however, his health was failing and he was forced to retire in 1633. He died in Quebec on Christmas Day in 1635.
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Throughout the centuries, brave explorers have fearlessly traveled the globe and beyond to discover new lands, people, animal species, riches and glory. Ferdinand Magellan of Portugal proved the world is round with his mission to sail around the world. His fellow countryman Vasco da Gama commanded the first European ship around the southern tip of Africa to reach India by sea. Norseman Leif Eriksson is regarded as the first European to reach North America, nearly 500 years before Christopher Columbus, who is credited with discovering the “New World” of the Americas. Juan Ponce de León scoured Puerto Rico and Florida in his quest for the fountain of youth. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark blazed new trails during their Corps of Discovery Expedition across the western half of the United States. Traveling to new heights of discovery were mountain climber Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to reach the peak of Mount Everest, and U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first human to walk on the moon. These intrepid explorers and more have made an indelible mark on human history. See all Explorers.
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