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N.A.: Canada & Arctic

North America: Canada & the Arctic

LESCARBOT, Marc (ca.1570-1641). Figvre dv Port Royal en la Nouvvelle France. Paris: Chez Adrian Perier, 1618

LESCARBOT, Marc (ca.1570-1641). Figvre dv Port Royal en la Nouvvelle France. Paris: Chez Adrian Perier, 1618


Single sheet (6 4/8 x 10 inches). Fine detailed engraved map of Port Royal, now Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, showing the harbour, settlements, artillery, rivers, and woodland and decorated with the arms of France on the left and Henri IV on the right, the waters are teaming with sea monsters and ships.


Second state, with many of the cannon placements erased from the plate, first published in Lescarbot's "Histoire de la Nouvelle-France" in 1609 and here in 1618. 

First visited "by Samuel de Champlain and Piere du Gua de Monts in 1604, the Port Royal settlement was encouraged by Jean de Biencourt de Poutrincourt, who fell in love with the site during that same voyage. It was not until the summer of 1605, however, that they abandoned their initial site of Sainte Croix in favour of Port Royal. Marc Lescarbot, disenchanted with French life, arrived at the new colony of Port Royal in the summer of 1606. He immediately became one of the leaders and at one point, when Champlain was away exploring with Poutrincourt, was left in charge of the fledgling colony. Upon their return he put on a play, the first in North America, to welcome them home...Lescarbot remained at Port Royal until September 1607 when, having lost his priviledge, de Monts and the entire party abandoned the colony" (Burden 158).

"Lescarbot's History is highly esteemed not only for its great veracity, but as the work of a candid and intelligent writer, and the first history of the French settlements in Canada" (Field). In spite of his early praise of his compatriot Champlain, the later editions after 1609 reflect an ongoing feud between the two explorers, including allegations that Lescarbot had stolen passages from Champlain's "Des Sauvages". Lescarbot removed favorable references to Champlain in editions after 1609 (though while together in New France he had written a sonnet praising Champlain's leadership). Nevertheless, he seemed in most respects a careful narrator, confirming the accuracy of much of Champlain's accounts of exploration and the founding of Quebec, and both men took a sensitive and respectful view of the Indians they encountered. 

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