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MICHIGAN AS A PROVINCE 1 - 5


In the following year Cartier sailed again and explored the St. Lawrence river to the present site of the city of Montreal. The natives whom he met told him of vast seas of fresh water to the westward and great hills of copper and precious metals. But he did not push forward to verify their stories. The country had then received the name of New France. Cartier spent nearly two years in the region and then returned to France. In 1540 he sailed again to New France and ascended the St. Lawrence river. Jean Francois de la Roque, Sieur de Roberval, was placed in command of this expedition and by letters patent was commissioned Viceroy and Lieutenant-Governor of the new lands belonging to France in the western hemisphere. He himself did not sail until a year later and not until after Cartier had departed from the country on his return to France. Roberval after reaching his destination sent back two of his vessels for supplies while he pushed on in search of that country which the savages spoke of as abounding in precious metals and stones without price. But a fragmentary portion of Roberval's relation is extant and this gives no indication of the distance to which his explorations led him nor of the finding of the mineral wealth for which he was searching. It may, therefore, be assumed that his westward explorations were uncertain, to say the least.
Wars at home occupied the attention of the French king for the next few years and drove out all thought of colonization schemes. Francis I died in 1547, and not until two years afterward, Henry II being king, did Roberval organize his next expedition to Canada. He perished on the passage with all his followers. This catastrophe put an end to all colonizing projects in France for several years. Religious controversies and troubles with other nations shook France to its foundations and gave no leisure to attend to the concerns of the New World.

MICHIGAN


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