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Samuel De Champlain

c.1570-1635. Explorer, cartographer, and colonizer. Son of a French sea captain, he made his first trip to Canada in 1603. Next year he returned to the New World, accompanying Monts to Acadia, where they established a settlement on an island in the St. Croix River. After a very hard winter, the settlers moved across the Bay of Fundy to found Port Royal, whence Champlain explored and mapped the Acadian and New England coasts. In 1608 he established a fur-trading colony at Quebec. The rest of his life was dedicated to the success of the colony as he explored the interior, made alliances with the Indians, and pleaded its cause in frequent trips to France. He strongly emphasized Christian missions, for he dreamed of a Christian Canada ruled by the French king and peopled by a race of Indian-French people who had intermarried. In 1612 he became commandant of New France, and in 1615 encouraged the Récollet missionaries to come to Canada. Made governor of New France in 1633, he earned by his contribution to Canadian development the title “Father of Canada.”