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Samuel de Champlain is a leader of New France in Civilization IV: Colonization.


Lived: 1567 - 1635

A soldier, sailor, and scribe, Samuel de Champlain founded the French colonial capital of Quebec and is widely considered the father of New France.

Born in 1567 in Brouage, France, Champlain was trained as a navigator, and began his career as an explorer by visiting the French and Spanish colonies of the Caribbean. Upon his return from the islands, he committed his many observations to paper and gave the resulting report to the French king Henry IV. His careful observations helped establish him as an authority on the New World. (Interestingly, Champlain mentions in his report the idea of creating a canal across the thin strip of land known as Panama, marking the first conception of what would become the Panama Canal.)

Upon returning to the New World, Champlain traveled to the French holdings in the chilly reaches of North America. He aided in the foundation of the island colony of St. Croix, off the coast of what is today the state of Maine in the United States, and continued to transcribe his observations of the natives of the north.

When the location of St. Croix proved too isolating to make a profitable trading post, Champlain suggested to the patron of the colony, a man known as De Monts, that a trading post along the St. Lawrence could be a successful investment, if given the proper leadership. De Monts agreed and selected Champlain to lead the colony.

On July 3rd, 1608, after sailing down the Saint Lawrence River, Champlain began the construction of the colony of Quebec. In order to protect his newly founded colony, Champlain established relations with the local Algonquin and Huron natives, and formed an alliance with them against the neighboring Iroquois and their English allies. Despite numerous raids by the Iroquois and skirmishes with the English, Champlain kept the colony alive and thriving. He made frequent trips back to France in order to secure funds to continue to support the continued growth of his blossoming colony.

In 1629, Quebec was finally taken by the English, and Champlain was captured. He was exiled to England as a prisoner of war before being returned to France. Unable to return to his New World home until 1632, Champlain was able to enjoy Quebec only three more years before passing away.