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  • Rebecca Drew

The Beginning of New France

Today, let's look at the location where New France was officially launched, I'île Sainte-Croix. This island represents the beginning of the adventure before settlers headed to other parts of Acadia and Québec. This is a charming map of the lovely island, also known as the Isle de Sainte Croix.

Admittedly, this is a somewhat difficult translation despite the short amount of text. This map was originally created by Samuel de Champlain in the early 1600's, so some of the words are in a more archaic version of French. Also, there is a crease in the center of the map, so it seems a few letters are not legible. However, that will not stop us from undertaking this mini adventure into the Isle de Sainte Croix!


Here is a very rough translation of the map's legend:


The numbers show the water breezes/currents.


A. The house plan.

B. Gardens.

C. Small iron platform for the cannon.

D. Platform where we put the cannon.

E. Cemetery

F. Chapel

G. Rock bases around I'île Sainte-Croix.

H. A little islet.

I. The place where the fire(?) of Pierre Dugua de Mons was started at the water mill.

J. -not listed-

K. -not listed-

L. Place where we made coal.

M. Gardens in the great land of the west.

N. Other gardens in the great land of the east.

O. Great mountain very high on the land.

P. River pathways around the Isle of Sainte Croix.


Again, it was somewhat difficult to decipher some of this archaic language, coupled with the missing letters in the center of the map, but this gives you a general idea. We know there were several gardens, including one with a rather formal layout near the main house. If you ever want to visit I'île Sainte-Croix, then check out this National Park Service website, which features this International Historic Site: https://www.nps.gov/sacr/index.htm. Be sure to contact me if you visit, or if you can clarify anything on today's translation!


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