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Champlain's Dream

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Washington's Crossing

Soldier, spy, master mariner, explorer, cartographer, artist, and Father of New France, the remarkable Samuel de Champlain comes to life in acclaimed historian David Hackett Fischer's Champlain's Dream. Born on France's Atlantic coast, Champlain fought in France's religious wars for the great Henri IV, with whom he shared religious tolerance in an age of murderous sectarianism. He was also a brilliant navigator, never losing a ship in 27 Atlantic crossings.

But we remember Champlain mainly as a great explorer. On foot and by ship and canoe he traveled through what are now six Canadian provinces and five American states, where he founded, colonized, and administered French settlements in North America. Despite much resistance and many defeats, Champlain's astonishing dedication and stamina finally established France's New World colony. He tried constantly to maintain peace among Indian nations, but when he had to take up arms he forcefully imposed a new balance of power, proving himself a formidable strategist and warrior.

Throughout his three decades in North America, Champlain remained committed to a remarkable Grand Design for France's colony. A leader who dreamed of humanity and peace in a world of cruelty and violence, he was a true visionary, especially when compared to his English and Spanish contemporaries.
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