Slike strani

AIR AND CLIMATE. The climate is not very different from that of the New England States; but as it is farther from the sea, and more to the northward than most of them, the winters are more severe. Winter continues with such severity from December to April, as that the largest rivers are frozen over, and the snow lies commonly from four to fix teet deep during the whole of that time. But the air is fo ferene and clear, and the inhabitants so well defended against the cold, that this season is neither unhealthy nor unpleasant. The springs open suddenly, and vegetation is surprisingly rapid. The summer is delightful, except that a part of it is extremely hot.

HISTORY OF IT'S SETTLEMENT, &c. Canada was undoubtedly discovered by Sebastian CABOT, the fa mous Italian adventurer, who failed under a commission from Henry VII. But though the English monarch did not think proper to make any use of this discovery, the French quickly attempted it; we have an account of their fishing for cod on the banks of Newfoundland, and along the sea coast of Canada, in the beginning of the fixteenth century. About the year 1506, one Denys, a Frenchman, drew a map of the gulph of St. Lawrence; and two years after, one Aubort, a shipmaster of Dieppe, carried over to France some of the natives of Canada, As the new country, however, did not promise the same amazing quantities of gold and silver produced by Mexico and Peru, the French for some years neglected the discovery. At last, in the year 1523, Francis I. a sensible and enterprising prince, sent four ships, under the command of Verazani, a Florentine, to prosecute discoveries in that country. The particulars of this man's first expedition are not known, All we can learn is, that he returned to France, and next year he undertook a second. As he approached the coast, he met with a violent itorm; however, he came fo near as to perceive the natives on the hore, making friendly figns to him to land. This being found impracticable, by reason of the surf upon the coast, one of the sailors threw himself into the fea; but, endeavouring to swim back to the ship, a furge threw him on shore without figns of life. He was, however, treated by the natives with such care and humanity, that he re. covered his ftrength, and was allowed to swim back to the ship, which immediately returned to France. This is all we know of Verazani's fecond expedition. He undertook a third, but was no more heard of, and it was thought that he and all his company perished before he could form any colony,

In 1534, one Jaques Cartier, of St. Maloes, set sail under a commission from the French king, and on the roth of May arrived at Cape Bonavista in Newfoundland. He had with him two small mips besides the one in which he failed, He cruised along the coasts of that illand, on which he discovered inhabitants, probably the Etkimaux. He landed in several places along the coast of the Gulf, and took poflession of the country in the king's name. On his return, he was again sent out with a commission, and a pretty large force; he returned in 1535, and passed the winter at St. Croix; but the season proved so fevere, that he and his companions muft have died of the lcurvy, had they not, by the advice of the natives, made use of the decoction of the tops and bark of the white pines. As Cartier, however, could produce neither gold nor silver, all that he could say about the utility of the set. tlement was disregarded : and in 1540, he was obliged to become piJot to one M. Roberval, who was by the French king appointed viceroy of Canada, and who failed from France with five vessels. Arriving at the Gulf of St. Lawrence, they built a fort; and Cartier was left to command the garrison in it, while Roberval returned to France for ad. ditional recruits to his new settlement. At last, having embarked in 1549,

with a great number of adventusers, neither he nor any of his followers were heard of more,

This fatal accident so greatly discouraged the court of France, that for fifty years no measures were taken for supplying with necessaries the settlers that were left. At last Henry IV. appointed the Marquis de la Roche lieutenant-general of Canada and the neighbouring counfries. In 1598 he landed on the isle of Sable, which he absurdly thought to be a proper place for a settlement, though it was without any port, and without product except briars. Here he left about forty malefactors, the refuse of the French jails. After cruizing for fome time on the coast of Nova Scotia, without being able to relieve these poor wretches, he returned to France, where he died of a broken heart. His colony must have perished, had not a French fhip been wrecked on the island, and a few sheep driven upon it at the same time, With the boards of the fhip they erected huts; and while the sheep lafted they lived on them, feeding afterwards on fish. Their clothes wearing out, they made coats of seal-kins; and in this miserable con. dition they spent seven years, when Henry ordered them to be brought to France, The king had the curiosity to see them in their feal-skin dresses, and was fo moved with their appearance, that he fore gave them all their offences, and gave cach of them fifty crowns to be. gin the world anew,


In 160o, one Chauvin, a commander in the French navy, attended by a merchant of St. Malo, called Pontgrave, made a voyage to Cam nada, from whence he returned with a very profitable quantity of furs. Next year he repeated the voyage with the same good fortune, but died while he was preparing for a third. The many specimens of profit to be made by the Canadian trade, at last induced the public to think favourably of it. An armament was equipped, and the come mand of it given to Pontgrave, with powers to extend his discoveries up the river St. Lawrence. He failed in 1603, having in his company Samuel Champlain, who had been a captain in the navy, and was a man of parts and spirit. It was not, however, till the year 1608, that the colony was fully established. This was accomplished by founding the city of Quebec, which from that time commenced the capital of all the settlements in Canada. The colony, however, for many years continued in a low way, and was often in danger of being totally exterminated by the Indians. As the particulars of these wars, however, could neither be entertaining, nor indeed intelligible, to many of our readers, we choose to omit them, and in general observe, that the French not only concluded a permanent peace with the Indians, but so much ingratiated themselves with them, that they could, with the greatest ease, prevail upon them at any time to murder and scalp the English in their settlements. These practices had a considerable sharo in bringing about a war with France, when the whole country was conquered by the British in 1761; and at the treaty of Paris, in 1763. was ceded, by France, to the crown of England, to whom it has ever fince belonged. * FACE OF THE COUNTRY, PRODUCE, &c.

, c. Though the climate is cold, and the winters long and tedious, the foil in general is very good, and in many parts extremely fertile ; producing many different forts of grains, fruits, and vegetables. The meadow grounds, which are well watered, yield excellent grass, and breed vaft numbers of great and small cattle. The uncultivated parts are a continued wood, composed of prodigious large and lofty trees, of which there is such a variety of species, that even of those who have taken most pains to know them, there is not perhaps one that can tell half the number. Canada produces, among others, two sorts of pines, the white, and the red ; four sorts of firs; two sorts of cedar and oaka

* For a more particular history of this country the reader is referred to Charlevoix's history of it; to the Encyclopedia Britannica ; articles, Canada, Quebec, and Ames rica, No. 195, 200, and 207,

the the white and the red; the male and female maple; three forts of alla trees, the free, the mungrel, and the bastard; three sorts of walnuttrees, the hard, the soft, and the finooth; yast numbers of beech trees and white wood; white and red elms, and poplars. The Indians hollow the red elms into canoes, foine of which made out of one piece will contain twenty persons; others are made of the bark; the different pieces of which they few together with the inner rind, and daub over the seams with pitch, or rather a bituminous matter resembling pitch, to prevent their leaking; the ribs of these canoes are nade of boughs of trees. In the hollow elms, the bears and wild cats take up their lodging from November to April. The country produces also a vast variety of other vegetables, particularly tobacco, whick thrives well. Near Quebec is a fine lead mine, and many excellent ones of iron have been discovered. It hath also been reported that filver is found in some of the mountains.

The rivers are extremely numerous, and many of them very large and deep. The principal are, the Ouattauais, St. John's, Seguinay, Despaires, and Trois Rivieres; but all these are swallowed up by the great river St. Lawrence. This river issues from the lake Ontario ; and, taking its course north east, washes Montreal, where it receives the Ouattauais, and forms many fertile islands. It continues the fame course, and meets the tide upwards of four hundred miles from the sea, where it is navigable for large vessels; and below Quebec, three huudred and twenty miles from the sea, it becomes sp broad and so deep, that ships of the line contributed in the last war to reduce that city, After receiving in its progress innumerable streams, it at last falls into the ocean at Cape Rosiers, where it is ninety miles broad, and where the cold is intense, and the fea boisterous. This river is the only one upon which any

settlements of note are as yet formed. A river has been lately surveyed, by the deputy Surveyor General of Canada, from its entrance into the Bay of Kenty, near Cardaraqui, so its source of Lake St. Clie; from which there is an easy and short portage acrofs N. W. to the N. E. angle of Lake Huron ; and another that is neither long nor difficult, to the southward, to the old settle. ment of Toronto. This is a sort rout from Fort Frontinac to Michil, limakkinak


QUEBEC, Quebec is the capital, not only of Lower Canada, but of all Britiske America ; it is situated at the confluence of the rivers St. Lawrence and


St. Charles, or the Little River, about three hundred and twenty milesy from the sea. It is built on a rock, partly of marble, and partly of Hate. The town is divided into an upper and lower. The houses in both are of stone, and built in a tolerable manner. The fortifications are strong, thongh not regular. The town is covered with a regular and beautiful citadal, in which the governor resides. The number of inhabitants is computed at about fifteen thousand. The river,' which from the sea hither is four or five leagues broad, narrows all of a sudden to about a mile wide. The haven, which lies oppofire the town, is safe and commodious, and about five fathoms deep. The harbour is flanked by two bastions, that are raised twenty-five feet from the ground, which is about the height of the tides at the time of the equi. nox.

From Quebec to Montreal, which is about one hundred and seventy miles, in failing up the river St. Lawrence, the eye is entertained with beautiful landscapes, the banks being in many places very bold and steep, and shaded with lofty trees. The farms lie pretty close all the way, several gentlemens' houses, neatly built, shew themselves at intervals, and there is all the appearance of a flourishing colony ; but there are few towns or villages. It is pretty much like the well settled parts of Virginia and Maryland, where the planters are wholly within themselves. Many beautiful islands are interspersed in the channel of the river, which have an agreeable effect upon the eye. After passing the Richelieu islands, the air becomes so mild and temperate, that the traveller thinks himself transported to another climate; but this is to be understood only of the summer months.


The town called Trois Rivicres, or the Three Rivers, is about half way between Quebec and Montreal, and has its name from three rivers which join their currents here, and fall into the river St. Lawrence. It is much resorted to by several nations of Indians, who, by means of these rivers, come hither and trade with the inhabitants in various kinds of furs and kins. The country is pleasant, and fertile in corn, fruit, &c. and great numbers of handíuine houses stand on both sides the river.


Montreal stands on an island in the river St. Lawrence, which is ten leagues in length, and four in breadth, at the foot of a mountain which gives name to it, about half a league from the south shore.

« PrejšnjaNaprej »