First, Champlain came on the Mayflower ….

Canada Day. Time for some history. First, Champlain came over on the Mayflower.

Well, actually Champlain didn’t. Come on the Mayflower. They were someone elses. Protestants. But they all struck first landfall at the same place, now called Chatham, on Cape Cod.

The Mayflower folks we know a lot about. After sticking around Provincetown harbour for a few months, they found the atmosphere a bit g(r)ay, and moved on to Plymouth Rock. The rest is history. And very well documented history that is prominently displayed to any and all tourists to the area.

Meanwhile, Samuel de just gets an obscure plaque, which I spotted on the side of a side road:

Yup, he landed first in New England, found it wasn’t China, and so headed up the coast to found Annapolis Royal and later LaChine, Quebec. What if he gone south, and thought the Hudson River went to China, and called the  island there LaChine? Manhattan would then be LaChine, or maybe Montreal. Hmm, the possibilities are intriguing.

But before Champlain left Cape Cod, he had a wonderfully detailed map made of Chatham harbours, and killed an Indian. And the rest, as they say, is history.  (I grew up in the Maritimes, and got a very different history from the stuff taught in Ontario; and the kids went to French schools in Ottawa and got Champlain, Champlain, Champlain ’til they are sick of the man). And now his American memorial sits in splendid isolation on the sea marsh: