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The French in North America

Year What
1487 or 1488 Jean Cousin, of Dieppe, French navigator is believed to be blown westward or sailing west for 2 month, when sailing at the African coast. He came in sight of land and described a great river (Orinoco?, Amazon?), saw strange birds, feathers, spices und unknown woods, returned to Africa for a cargo if ivory, skins and gold. Unfortunately, the archives of Dieppe were destyed in 1694 and therefore evidence is not adduced. His discovery appeared in:
- Journal de l'Amerique (Troyes, 1709)
- Description des cotes de la met Océane (Troyes, 1709)
- Memoires chronolgiques pour servir à l'istoire de Dieppe (Dieppe, 1785),
- Recherches sur les voyages et decouvertes des navigateurs Normands en Afrique, dans les Indes Orientales, et en Amerique (Louis Estancelin, Paris, 1832),
- Les navigateures Français (Leon Gudrin, Paris , 1846)
- Pioneers of France in the New WOrld (Francis Parkman, Poston, 1860)

It is said he was accompanied by "one Pinzón, who, being dismissed from the maritime service of Dieppe for mutinous conduct, went to Spain, became known to Columbus, and accompanied him in his voyage of 1492". This is Vincent Pinzon, sailor and second in command.

Vincente Pinzón was the brother of Martin Alonso Pinzón (commanded the Pinta) and Fancisco Martin commanded the Nina at Columbus first trip to the Americas.
1534 Jacques Cartier looked for a northwest passage on behalf on King Francis I. Cartier discovered the St. Lawrence river and claimed the whole region for his king.
1535 Cartier sailed up the St. Lawrence. When he arrived at an island of the Huron Indians, they welcomed him and took him to the highest point which he named Mont Real the later Montreal.

1541 Cartier tried to found a colony without success. Instead he discovered the ricment of fur in these regions.
1608 Quebec was founded by Samuel de Champlain. 27 years later fewer than 100 settlers lived there.
1611 Montreal was founden by Samuel de Champlain.
1627 Richelieu formed the Company of New France. Their but was to transport at least 200 settlers to the colonies each year.
1660 New France had only about 2300 European settlers. In the following next ten years 3000 more coloniste were sent out. In this decade the Ohio Missouri and Mississippi rivers were first visited by the French.
1668 A Jesuit mission "Sault Sainte Marie" was established at the junktion of the three western Great Lakes.
1669 René de La Salle explored the Ohio valley which was the base for the later French claim to this area.
1682 René de La Salle reached the mouth of the Mississippi and claimed the whole region for the French. In honour of his king (Louis XIV) he named the region Louisiana.
1718 New Orleans was founded.
1752 The French destroyed the British trading centre at Pickawillany. The British and the French were in conflict about the Ohio valley.
1753 The British send an officer (George Washington, 21 years old) to the French to urge them to withdraw from the Ohio valley.
1755 The French got Fort Duquesne hold by Washington.
1758 Defeat of Fort Carillon to the French. The British colonies seemed overwhelming by the French. New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia wer almost deserted as settlers fleed for maurauding French and their Indian allies. In the same year the fortune of the war turned to the British.
1759 British troops got Quebec which isolated Montreal which surrounded in 1760.
1760 The whole French Canada was in British hands.
1763 In the Paris peace treaty Canada was definitly lost for the French. France ceded to the British the territory between the Mississippi and the Ohio valley as well as the original territories of New France. Only New Orleans remained in French hands. Louisiana was turned over to Spain.
1801 With the Treaty of San Ildefonso (between France and Spain) Louisiana was returned to France.
1803 France (Napoleon Bonaparte) handed Louisiana over to the United States on December 20, 1803 for $ 15 million.
$ 11,250,000 in funds and further $ 3,750,000 concerning waived claims of citizens of the United States against France.