chapter  I
6 Pages

The Patent and Commission of the French King to Monsieur de Monts for the inhabiting of the countries of La Cadia, Canada, and other places in New France, from the 40th degree to the 46th

HENRY by the grace of God King of France and Navarre. To our dear and weB-beloved the Lord of Monts, one of the ordinary Gentlemen of our Chamber, greeting. As our greatest care and labour is, and hath always been since our coming to this Crown, to maintain and conserve it in the ancient dignity, greatness, and splendour thereof, to extend and amplify, as much as lawfully may be done, the bounds and limits of the same. We, being of a long time informed of the situation and condition of the lands and territories of La Cadie/ moved above all things with a singular zeal and devout and constant resolution which we have taken with the help and assistance of God, author, distributor, and proteCtor of all kingdoms and estates, to cause the people which do inhabit the country, men (at this present time) barbarous, atheists, without faith or religion, to be converted to Christianity, and to the belief and profession of our faith and religion; and to draw them from the ignorance and unbelief wherein they are. "Having also of a long time known by the relation of the sea-captains, pilots, merchants, and others who oflong time have haunted, frequented, and trafficked with the people that are found in the said places, how fruitful, commodious, and profitable may be unto us, to our estates and subjeCts, the dwelling, possession, and habitation of those countries, for the great and apparent profit which may be drawn by the greater frequentation and habitude which may be had

with the people that are found there, and the traffic and commerce which may be by that means safely treated and negotiated. We then for these causes fully trusting on your great wisdom, and in the knowledge and experience that you have of the quality, condition, and situation of the said country of La Cadie: for the divers and sundry navigations, voyages, and frequentations that you have made into those parts and others near and bordering upon it: Assuring ourselves that this our resolution and intention, being committed unto you, you will attentively, diligently, and no less courageously and valorously execute and bring to such perfeB:ion as we desire: Have expressly appointed and established you, and by these presents, signed with our own hands, do commit, ordain, make, constitute, and establish you, our Lieutenant General, for to represent our person, in the countries, territories, coasts, and confines of La Cadie. To begin from the 40th degree unto the 46th. And in the same distance, or part of it, as far as may be done, to establish, extend, and make to be known our name, might, and authority. And under the same to subjeB:, submit, and bring to obedience all the people of the said land and the borderers thereof: And by the means thereof, and all lawful ways, to call, make, in struB:, provoke, and incite them to the knowledge of God, and to the light of the-faith and Christian religion, to establish it there: And in the exercise and profession of the same, keep and conserve the said people and all other inhabitants in the said places, and there to command in peace, rest, and tranquillity, as well by sea as by land: to ordain, decide, and cause to be executed all that which you shall judge fit and necessary to be done, for to maintain, keep, and conserve the said places under our power and authority, by the forms, ways, and means prescribed by our laws. And for to have there a care of the same with you, to appoint, establish, and con-

sHtute all officers as well in the affairs of war as for justice and policy, for the first time and from thenceforward to name and present them unto us, for to be disposed by us; and to give letters, titles, and such provisos as shall be necessary. And, according to the occurrences of affairs, yourself, with the advice of wise and capable men, to prescribe under our good pleasure laws, statutes, and ordinances conformable, as much as may be possible, unto ours, specially in things and matters that are not provided by them: To treat, and contraCt to the same effeCt, peace, alliance, and confederacy, good amity, correspondency and communication with the said people and their Princes or others having power or command over them: To entertain, keep, and carefully to observe the treaties and alliances wherein you shall covenant with them: upon condition that they themselves perform the same of their part. And for want thereof to make open wars against them, to constrain and bring them to such reason as you shall think needful, for the honour, obedience, and service of God and the establishment, maintenance, and conservation of our said authority amongst them: at least to haunt and frequent by you, and all our subjeCts with them, in all assurance, liberty, frequentation, and communication, there to negotiate and traffic lovingly and peaceably. To give and grant unto them favours and privileges, charges, and honours. Which entire power abovesaid, we will likewise and ordain that you have over all our 'said subjeCts that will go in that voyage with you and inhabit there, traffic, negotiate, and remain in the said places, to retain, take, reserve, and appropriate unto you what you will and shall see to be most commodious for you and proper to your charge, quality, and use of the said lands, to distribute such parts and portions thereof, to give and attribute unto them such titles, honours, rights, powers, and faculties as you

shall see necessary, according to the qualities, con· ditions, and merits of the persons of the same country or others. Chiefly to populate, to manure, and to make the said lands to be inhabited, as speedily, carefully, and skilfully, as time, places, and commodities may permit. To make thereof, or cause to be made to that end, discovery and view along the maritime coaSts and other countries of the mainland, which you shall order and prescribe in theforesaid space of the 40th degree, to the 46th degree, or otherwise as much and as far as may be, along the said coaSt and in the firm land. To make carefully to be sought and marked all sorts of mines of gold and of silver, copper, and other metals and minerals, to make them to be digged, drawn from the earth, purified and refined, for to be converted into use, to dispose according as we have prescribed by edicts and orders which we have made in this realm of the profit and benefit of them, by you or them whom you shall eStablish to that effect, reserving unto us only the tenth penny of that which shall issue from them of gold, silver, and copper, leaving unto you that which we might take of the other said metals and minerals, for to aid and ease you in the great expenses that the fore said charge may bring unto you. Willing in the meanwhile that-as well for your security and commodity as for the security and commodity of all our subjects who will go, inhabit, and traffic in the said lands: as generally of all others that will accommodate themselves there under our power and authority-you may cause to be built and frame one or many forts, places, towns, and all other houses, dwellings, and habitations, ports, havens, retiring places, and lodgings as you shall know to be fit, profitable, and necessary for the performing of the said enterprise. To eStablish garrisons and soldiers for the keeping of them. To aid and serve you for the effects abovesaid with the vagrant, idle persons and

masterless, as well out of towns as of the country: and with them that be condemned to perpetual banishment or for three years at the least out of our realm: Provided always that it be done by the advice, consent, and authority of our officers. Over and besides that which is above mentioned (and that which is moreover prescribed, commanded, and ordained unto you by the commissions and powers which our most dear cousin the Lord of Ampville2 Admiral of France hath given unto you, for that which concerneth the affairs and the charge of the Admiralty, in the exploit, expedition, and executing of the things above said) to do generally whatsoever may make for the conquest, peopling, inhabiting, and preservation of the said land of La Cadie, and of the coasts, territories adjoining, and of their appurtenances and dependencies, under our name and authority, whatsoever ourselves would and might do if we were there present in person, although that the case should require a more special order than we prescribe unto you by these presents: To the contents whereof we command, ordain, and most expressly do enjoin all our justicers, officers, and subjects to conform themselves: And to obey and give attention unto you in all and every the things abovesaid, their circumstances, and dependencies. Also to give unto you in the executing of them all such aid and comfort, help and assistance, as you shall have need of and whereof they shall be by you required; and this upon pain of disobedience and rebellion. And to the end nobody may pretend cause of ignorance of this our intention, . and to busy himself in all or in part of the charge, dignity and authority which we give unto you by these presents : We have -of our certain knowledge, full power, and regal authority, revoked, suppressed, and declared void and of none effect hereafter and from this present time all other powers and commissions, letters and expeditions given and delivered to any

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person soever, for to discover, people, and inhabit in the foresaid extension of the said lands, situated from the said 40th degree, to the 46th, whatsoever they be. And furthermore we command and ordain all our said officers, of what quality and condition soever they be, that after these presents or the duplicate of them shall be duly examined by one of our beloved and trusty Counsellors, Notaries, and Secretaries, or other Notary Royal, they do upon your request, demand, and suit, or upon the suit of any our Attorneys, cause the same to be read, published, and recorded in the records of their jurisdictions, powers, and precincts, seeking, as much as shall appertain unto them, to quiet and appease all troubles and hindrances which may contradict the same. For such is our pleasure. Given at Fountainbleau the 8th day

underneath, by the King, Potier; And sealed upon single la-

bel with yellow wax.