”Black birds tend to like Shiny Things.” ~ The Bloody Raven
Three objectives and two ships left France, Le Don de Dieu,“The Gift of God” and the “Good Renown” Pierre Dugua de Mons sold his property to finance this expedition to establish a base in New France, also called Acadia. Henry IV of France bestowed upon Pierre Du Gua de Mons the title of Vice Admiral and first Lieutenant of Arcadia and was granted a monopoly of the lucrative fur trade. Upon his shoulders Henry IV commissioned Dugua De Mons the responsibility to Colonize Arcadia, Christianize and secure exclusive trade with it’s inhabitants and possibly find the passage to the East Orient.
In 1604 Du Gua De Mons, with Cartographer with Navigator Samuel de Champlain, and 100 men adding three more ships entered Passamaquoddy Bay at the mouth of the Saint Croix River and established the First French settlement on Saint Croix Island.
The first year proved difficult with the harsh North American Winter and Scurvy inflicting casualties among the settlers. In 1605 the colony was moved across the Bay of Fundy to a place called Port Royal, today it is called Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia. While the Fur trade languished and losses mounted due to illegal trade by Interlopers and smugglers (Arrrh! Privateers I say), the Port Royal Colony grew despite difficulties becoming the French cultural center of Acadia until the British destroyed it 1613 as the same region was both claimed and contested by England and France.
There is very little information of the ships other than the names of two principal ships; the other three ships and ship types remain a mystery outside the scope of this article. Likely small merchant class Caravel/Ketch, I always like to know the ship statistics like size, class, burden, crew size, and of course armament.
While Champlain continued exploring, mapping the Atlantic coast and the Great lakes Du Gua De Mons eventually was forced to return to France to protect his company business and leaving his college Samuel de Champlain to carry on the exploration and charting of New France.
Champlain chose the location of Fort Saint Louis, a strategically defensible prominence atop of what is known as the Upper Town, a nearby geographical high point overlooking the cape. That position was later tested by a British Invasion force led by General James Wolf in 1759.
Bonus Silver coin
In 1620 Champlain was made Governor of New France but returned to France when the lands were ceded in 1629 to England. In 1633 upon his reinstatement as Lieutenant Champlain returned to Quebec following a Peace treaty with England serving only two years before passing away.
Even though Dugua de Mons’ Fur Trade never flourished as expected, the importance of Champlain’s work having established these settlements were important in maintaining the French presence in the New world and as an integral part of Canada.
Le Don de Dieu Replica
Replica Ship Stats:
- Burden tonnage: 3 Tons
- Length: 31 ft, or 9.4m
- Propulsion: Sail
- Builder: J. Chapdelaine, Sorel, Quebec
- Launched: 1907
My further research into the whereabouts of the replica was fruitless I assume that the ship was not preserved in any facility for posterity. The construction was based on historical descriptions and known construction practices of 17th century France.
My Thoughts on these coins
The Canadian version is beautifully done going for the 3/4s stern view of the ship, the inset St Croix inset map locating the very first French settlement. I also see some corroboration and collaboration the RCM with the French Mint as their coin presented the same ship as a 3/4s bow view of the ship. These would have made an interesting paired presentation set.
The Bloody Raven's Thoughts
What a tiny ship! Could barely fit twenty-five crew and where would my hot tub and treasure be stowed? Guns, no guns? Sure these are fine additions to the Silver ships fleet but outfitting the real ships as Pirate ships can be a problem. Pierre de Mons could have spend a bit more silver for bigger ships, then we can deal with his Interloper issues easy peasy!
I hope you enjoyed this very special feature
And thank you for stopping by my Pirate Blog today.
The #piratesunday tag is the scurvy scheme of Captain @stokjockey for #silvergoldstackers and #sgs-community pirates to proudly showcase their shiny booty and plunder for all to see. Landlubbers arrrh…welcomed to participate and be a Pirate at heart so open yer treasure chests an’ show us what booty yea got!
“Et lux in tenebris to serve laboro, sum sicarius” “I work in the shadows to serve the Light, I am an Assassin”