Sieur de Champlain.  The Voyages of Sieur de Champlain of Saintonge, Captain in Ordinary to the King in the Marine; or, a most faithful Journal of Observations made in the Exploration of New France, describing not only the countries, coasts, rivers, ports, and harbors, with their latitudes and the various deflections of the magnetic needle, but likewise the religious belief of the inhabitants, their superstitions, mode of life and warfare; furnished with numerous illustrations.  Together with two Geographical Maps: the first for the purposes of navigation,…and the other in its true meridian…to which is added the Voyage to the Strait north of Labrador…discovered in 1612 by the English when they were searching for a northerly course to China.  Paris: Jean Berjon, 1613.

These notes are on The Voyage of Monsieur de Monts into New France, Written by Marke Lescarbot. [In  C.H. Levermore (Ed.), Forerunners and Competitors of the Pilgrims and Puritans…, Vol. 1, pp. 171-307]. 

Lescarbot’s writings provides us with the most useful information regarding Native philosophy and medicines.   An early rendering of this history of New France came out in 1609 as:

Nova Francais; or, the Description of that part of New France which is one continent with Virginia.  Described in the three late voyages and plantations made by Monsieur de Monts, Monsieur de Pont-Grave, and Monsieur de Poutrincourt, into the countries called by the Frenchmen La Cadie, lying to the southwest of Cape Breton.  Together with an excellent severall Treatie of all the Commodities of the said countries, and manners of the national inhabitants of the same.  Translated from French into English by P.E. London: Hebb, 1609.

It was a rather rushed writing according to the C.H. Levermore, Editor of this series on early New England History.  This version by Lescarbot was soonafter published as part of Champlain’s writings.


SUMMARY  It provides a little more detail, and is perhaps more accurate.

The following topics are covered in this review

  • Food/Nutriment (General Notes, Garden Crops, Grapes, Trees, Shrubs, Wild Herbs)
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Disease/Pathology (no notes on text)
  • Plants/Herbage/Foliage–Natural Products


General Notes

  • Monsieur de Poutrincourt’s tillage: wheat, rie, hempe, flax, turnep seed, radice, cabbages, fr. corne. (p. 255)
  • Near Port Royal: Corne, wine, Cattell, Woolen, Linnen, Leather, Iron, Codfish. (p. 255)
  • Near Port Royal. Foods: Pease, Beanes, Rice, Prunes, Raisins…besides Oyle and Butter.” (p. 258)
  • Wild Peaz, (p. 250)
  • Grapes, “some as big as Plummes,” Port Royal (p. 261)
  • Coale-worts (Collards), Sorrell, Lettuces… (p. 294)
  • Garden crops
  • Grains: wheat, rie
  • Fibers: hempe, flax
  • turnep seed,
  • radice
  • cabbages
  • fr. corne/Corne,
  • Pease
  • Beanes
  • Rice
  • Coale-worts (Collards)
  • Sorrell
  • Lettuces
  • Purslen
  • Prunes
  • Raisins
  • Oyle and Butter
  • Wild Peaz
  • [Wild] Onions
  • “many sorts of good [wild] hearbs.”
  • Grapes
  • “some as big as Plummes,” Port Royal
  • “…great quantitie of vines along the Shoare, but the grapes are not so bigge as they be in the Country of the Armouchiquois.” 
  • September wine, “a Sovereign preventative of Scurvy”

“Trees…are the fairest that may be seen.” 

  • large Cedars.
  • “Okes bearing Acornes”
  • Cypresse-trees
  • Firre-trees
  • Bay-trees (Myrica gale and M. pensylvanica)
  • Pitch,
  • Gumme
  • Firr-tree barkes


  • Muske-roses
  • Goose-berries
  • Raspies
  • Wild Herbs
  • Ferns,
  • Lysimachia (a kind of Scammonee) (a yellow Loosestrife, which served as a purgative)
  • Calamus odoratus,
  • Angelica  (This could be a name of European-origin which was used to assign a name to another  local Umbel plant, such as the Alexander which appeared in writings by Gabriel  Archer.)
  • the Simples
  • Plants/Herbage/Foliage
  • Natural Products:
  • Msr. de Champdore, along with others, noted [1608] (p. 184):
  • “…great quantitie of vines along the Shoare, but the grapes are not so bigge as they be in thew Country of the Armouchiquois.” 
  • “There are also Onions, and many sorts of good hearbs.”
  • “Trees…are the fairest that may be seen.”  Lescarbot notes the large Cedars.
  • Port du Rossignol.  On sandy land:  “Okes bearing Acornes, Cypresse-trees, Firre-trees, bay-trees, Muske-roses, Goose-berries, Purslen, Raspies, Ferns, Lysimachia (a kind of Scammonee) Calamus odoratus, Angelica and the Simples.”  (1609, p. 249)
  • Page 285 Gives detailed notes on Pitch, Gumme and Firr-tree barkes, with a brief description of the trade and vessel manufacturing taking place.  [See comparable notes on the history of resin and lumber industries taken from O’Callaghan’s History of the Colony and Province of New York (separate notes).]

Alcoholic Beverages

  • September wine, “a Sovereign preventative of Scurvy” (p. 258)
  • Making wine, p. 264.
  • Apothecary Monsieur Louis Hebert noted to be responsible for helping the tillage of the vines. (p. 266)


  • Native pathology, p. 217-8, 222.