1524 Giovanni da Verrazzano led the first
French expedition to America.
Giovanni da Verrazzano
explored the coast of North America
between the Carolinas and
Newfoundland, including New York Harbor and Narragansett Bay.
He was closely followed in 1534 by Jacques Cartier
who explored the coast
from the Cape Fear River to Nova
Scotia. Jacques Cartier visited the Gulf of St.
Lawrence and sailed up the St.
Lawrence River to Montreal.
Jean Ribault explored the Carolina
coasts and Florida. Jean Ribault became a
colonizer in the south eastern area
of North America. In 1603 Samuel
de Champlain set sail from France to Quebec.
Samuel de Champlain was the Founder of Quebec
City and known as 'The Father of Canada'. He
discovered Lake Champlain on the border between
present day northern New York and Vermont. In
1608 an expedition party under Samuel de
Champlain made the first permanent settlement on
the St. Lawrence River, at Quebec. These famous
men reported their findings to France and many
others followed them - the French colonization
of the new continent of America had begun - the
French called the lands New France.
French in America - New France
The lands claimed by the French as 'New France'
were located in the area of the St. Lawrence
River and the Great Lakes. New France was
divided into five colonies, each with its own
administration. The five colonies of New France
were Canada, Acadia, Hudson Bay, Newfoundland
French in America - Arcadia
The New France colony of Arcadia comprised what
is now New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and a part of
Maine. It was settled by the French in the early
years of the 1600's at Port Royal (now
Annapolis, Nova Scotia), at Mount Desert Island,
and on the St. Croix River.