The Description of the river Saint John
HAVING viewed the said mine, the company passed to the other side of the French Bay, and went towards the bottom of the same: then, turning back, came to the river of Saint John, so-called17 (as I think) because they arrived thither the four and tw~ntieth of June, which is St John Baptist's day. There is a fa.ir port, but the entry, or mouth, is dangerous to them that know not the best ways, because that before the coming in there is a long bank of rocks, which are not seen nor discovered but only at low water, which do serve as for defence to this port, within which, when one hath gone about a league, there is found a violent fall of the said river, which falleth down from the rocks, when that the sea doth ebb, with a marvellous noise; for, being sometimes at an anchor at sea, we have heard it from above twelve leagues off. But at full sea one may pass it with great ships. This river is one of the fairest that may be seen, having store of islands and swarming with fishes. This last year, 1608, the said Monsieur de Champdore, with one of the said Monsieur de Monts his men, hath been some fifty leagues up the said river, and do witness that there is great quantity of vines along the shore, but the grapes are not so big as they be in the country of the Armouchiquois.18 There are also onions, and many other sorts of good herbs. As for the trees, they are the fairest that may be seen. When we were there we saw great number of cedar-trees. Concerning fishes, the said Champdore hath related unto us that, putting the kettle over the fire, they had taken fish sufficient for their dinner before that the water was hot. Moreover this river, stretch-
ing itself far within the lands of the savages,· doth marvellously shorten the long travels by means thereof. For in six days they go to Gaspe coming to the bay, or gulf, ofChaleur/9 or heat, when they are at the end of it, in carrying their canoes some few leagues. And by the same river in eight days they go to Tadousac by a branch of the same which cometh from the North-West. In such sort that in Port Royal one may have within fifteen or eighteen days news from the Frenchmen dwelling in the great river of Canada, by these ways; which could not be done in one month by sea, nor without danger.