Pierre de Chauvin de Tonnetuit, a French naval and military captain, built the oldest surviving French settlement in North America at Tadoussac (1600). In 1604 French settlers established the colony of Arcadia on the land surrounding the Gulf of St Lawrence. On Ste Croix Island the French explorer Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons, established the first permanent settlement in North America, in 1604. After a particularly harsh winter, when many colonists perished, the French explorers selected a more sheltered spot, at Port Royal in Nova Scotia, which was built in the summer of 1605. In 1608 the explorer Samuel de Champlain, known as ‘the father of New France’ founded the city of Québec. Colonists dreamt of exploiting the lucrative fur trade, but struggled with lack of settlers and ongoing conflict with the Iroquois. As early as 1583, the English – led by Humphrey Gilbert, had laid claim to St John’s Newfoundland. In the early 17th century they went on to establish successful settlements in Newfoundland. The English explorer Bartholomew Gosnold explored Maine and Cape Cod in 1602. George Waymouth (or Weymouth) was another explorer of the Maine coast, while Henry Hudson’s explorations of the Gulf of Maine in 1609 were driven by his desire to find the fabled Northwest Passage.
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