|Home||Jacques Cartier (1491-1557)
Born in St. Malo, Jaques Cartier, like most people, led a normal childhood. Also like most Europeans, he wanted to find a route through North America to Asia. In 1534, King Francis I put him to sea with 61 men and 2 ships to find a passage to Asia. On his first voyage, he did not find a passage through North America, but he did find the St. Laurence Gulf, which he named after St. Lawrence because it was on his feast day that the discovery was made. The new land was claimed for France. He was very disappointed the rest of the trip home. He went to sea again in 1535. This time, he explored the St. Lawrence River and traveled inland. He came to a gloomy end on the St. Lawrence when he hit a dead end in Quebec. On his next and last voyage, he had five ships full of colonists. He made it safely to the New World, and one year later he returned home. In 1557, one of Europe’s greatest explorers died in honor.