The Beginning: Sainte-Croix Island and Port-Royal
The Acadian adventure in North America started in June 1604 when Pierre Dugua De Mons established a first French trading post in Acadie. Having been granted the fur trade monopoly in the New World by King Henri IV of France, de Mons organised an expedition composed of a hundred men, including mapmaker and geographer Samuel de Champlain. They chose Sainte-Croix Island in what is now southwestern New Brunswick to build a Habitation. During the first winter, scurvy caused many deaths, so much so that only about half of the 80 settlers survived, hence, when spring came the settlers moved to Port-Royal, in what is today northwestern Nova Scotia. Even though the establishment in Port-Royal was destroyed in 1613 by an English attack, it remained a key French establishment throughout the 17th century and still marks the beginning of the permanent French presence in North America.