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Thursday, 16 January 2014

European warfare comes to the New world 1600s

Abitasion' [sic] or Habitation of Port-Royal, constructed in 1605The Habitation of Port Royale 1604.
This fortified dwelling was built by Samuel de Champlain and his men in 1605. This was a replacement for an earlier structure at Saint-Croix, and was intended to take advantage of a slightly milder climate after a winter that had seen 35 of the 80 colonists die of scurvy. The building was destroyed in 1613 by English colonists from Virginia. (art work courtsey of www.cmhg.gc.ca)
Reconstruction of the 1605 Habitation of Port Royal, now a National Historic Site This reproduction was built in 1941, now run by Parks Canada (cmhg.gc.ca)

French soldiers of the early 17th century This is what the French colonists would have worn to defend their settlement. (cmhg.gc.ca)
French harquebusier in Canada, between 1610 and 1620 (Petrand work, from cmhg.gc.ca)
French harquebusier in Canada, between 1610 and 1620
This reconstruction shows one of the rare soldiers found in New France during the first decades of the French Regime. Sent to the colony by one of the trading companies that obtained commercial monopolies, this man's costume and harquebus date him between 1610 and 1620. In 1609-1610, Champlain campaigned with a group of French soldiers who each wore a 'pikeman's corselet' for protection against the arrows of the Amerindians. This armour was normally worn only by pikemen in Europe. In Canada, between 1610 and 1630, French soldiers used harquebuses or muskets, and always wore armour for protection. Reconstruction by Michel P├ętard.

1610 attack on an Iroquois fort
1610 attack on an Iroquois fort
Champlain with his five French companions (at left) and Indian allies attacks a small Iroquois fort at the mouth of the Richelieu River in June 1610. Such Amerindian field fortifications could offer stiff resistance. In spite of the French firearms which had impressed them the previous year, the outnumbered Iroquois (probably Mohawk) warriors resisted stubbornly and Champlain was wounded at the ear and neck by an arrow. Finally, the place was carried by an assault ‘with sword in hand’. Print after Samuel de Champlain.
(www.cmhg.gc.ca)

Model of the second habitation at Quebec, circa 1625Construction of the second habitation at Quebec started in May 1624. This model shows the stone structure featuring two corner turrets as it was circa 1625. It was abandoned in 1633 following a fire. (cmhg.gc.ca)
Champlain surrenders Quebec to English privateers, the Kirke brothers, on 19 July 1629
Champlain surrenders Quebec to English privateers, the Kirke brothers, on 19 July 1629
When Champlain surrendered it in 1629, Quebec was only a small unfortified hamlet and could not hope to resist the much stronger English privateers led by the Kirke brothers. There was no fighting.
(cmhg.gc.ca)

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