A Day in the World of Samuel de Champlain

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Dear Diary,



I, the great discoverer, Samuel de Champlain, was the founder of a vast new land, which, of course, I claimed for France. I’m writing this to reflect upon my past.

In July 1608, I sailed up a river, and single-handedly discovered a vast new land. I was looking for gold, but instead, I found beaver skin (This was a fashion item in Europe at that time, so it was worth as much as Spanish gold). Anyway, after some time on the land, I discovered the Hurons. They looked a bit funny; dark skin, different clothing. But, I wasn’t interested in killing them, so we befriended them instead. As a matter of fact, they turned out to be nice people. I had a merry time with them.

Too bad I can’t say the same about the Iroquois. They must’ve been pretty bad if they were enemies of the very friendly Huron people. Because we (the Huron and I) were good friends, and I wanted more beaver skin, I accompanied the Huron in a battle against the Iroquois.

My savages, whom I had equipped with muskets, went and hid in the forest unnoticed, while I marched straight up to the enemy. The Iroquois stood still and grim-faced like a statue. When one of the Iroquois was about to fire, they enraged me to such a point, that I took my musket, and shot directly ant one of their chiefs. As I expected, two of the chiefs immediately fell to the ground, and one was so wounded, he died soon. What terrible people! Trying to murder the Father of New France. Anyway, while I was reloading, one of my savages shot from the forest, killing a few more.

Finally, the Iroquois fled for their lives, abandoning their fort and camp, but we didn’t leave them. We followed them, killing more, and took ten or twelve prisoners.

Now don’t take me wrong. I am in general a kind-hearted person, and I’ll give you respect. However, if you get on my bad side, I am merciless, and.. let’s say very mean. After the war, we partied for three hours, feasting and dancing. After three hours, we returned home, taking the prisoners. We also took their delicious food and their armor, which they had left behind to run more easily.

Soon, the time came when it was time to leave. I was heartbroken to see the Huron’s sad faces, but eventually, I did return. Too bad I can’t prevent diseases from spreading between us when we are interacting. I can easily resist smallpox, but the Hurons seem to have no resistance to disease, and sometimes, end up dying.

Before I say farewell, I would like to answer a silly question that I have been asked. I am a great discovrer, not an invader. Have you discovered a new land as big as New France that your country has never seen? I should think not. True, I killed and fought the Iroquois, but I was just abetting the Huron. If the Iroquois were friends of the Huron, why would I have attacked them? It is not my fault that I brought diseases with me that killed the Huron. I did my best to befriend them, not to kill them.

Sincerely,
Samuel de Champlain, Father of New France





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