Jacques Cartier Facts

Jacques Cartier Facts
Jacques Cartier was a French explorer most famous for exploring the St. Lawrence and giving the country Canada its name. He was born December 31st, 1491 in Saint-Malo, Brittany, in France. Jacques Cartier is believed to have made several trips to the Americas before King Francis I of France sent him on his first voyage to North America in 1534. His goal was to search for riches and a passage to Asia, but he landed on the west coast of Newfoundland. He also discovered Prince Edward Island and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The king was impressed by Jacques' discovery and sent him back. He established his base in Quebec. His third trip was his last, and colonists abandoned the settlement after a bitter winter and France left the area alone for about 50 years.
Interesting Jacques Cartier Facts:
Jacques Cartier planted a cross on Gaspe Bay's shore in Quebec on July 24th, 1534. It was engraved with the words 'Long Live the King of France'.
On his 1534 voyage to Canada Jacques Cartier explored Newfoundland, P.E.I., and made his way up the St. Lawrence River.
On his first trip to Canada Jacques Cartier and his men kidnapped two Natives and took them back to France. They were the sons of an Iroquoian chief.
In 1535 Jacques Cartier and his crew of 110 men plus the two kidnapped Natives left France to return to Canada.
Jacques Cartier and his men were stuck at Stadacona (the Iroquois capital) for the winter of 1535/36. The majority of Cartier's men developed scurvy, but most survived with the help of a Native remedy that used boiled white spruce tree bark.
When Jacques Cartier and his men returned to France they took an Iroquoian chief, who told the king about riches of gold and rubies in a mythical city.
Jacques Cartier returned to Canada again in 1540 with plans to build a colony. His crew searched the St. Lawrence for the mythical Kingdom of Saguenay, but settled at Charlesbourg-Royal (today Cap-rouge).
Cartier's men believed they had found the mythical city of riches, but they hadn't. Instead they began to starve as they were not prepared for the Canadian winters.
Attacks on Cartier's men by Natives resulted in at least 35 deaths.
Cartier returned to France in 1542, abandoning the settlement. He met with additional settlers on his way back to France. They asked him to stay but he left in the night and returned to France anyway.
In 1543 the remaining settlers returned to France as well.
The king of France was unhappy with Jacques Cartier for abandoning the settlement.
Jacques Cartier was the first person to document the name 'Canada' while referring to the shores along the St. Lawrence River, after it was interpreted incorrectly. It was derived from the Huron/Iroquois word for village - 'kanata'. Cartier used the word to reference the new land he had discovered.
Jacques Cartier lived out the rest of his days in the place where he was born - in Saint-Malo, France. He died in 1557 from an epidemic in France.


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