Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Monts


Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Monts

Pierre du Gua de Monts, (c. 1558 - 1628) was a French merchant, explorer and colonizer. A Protestant, he was born in Royan, France and had a great influence over the first two decades of the 17th century. He travelled to northeastern North America for the first time in 1599 with Pierre Chauvin de Tonnetuit.

In 1603 Henry IV, the King of France, granted Dugua exclusive right to colonize lands in North America between 40º- 60º North latitude. The King also gave Dugua a monopoly in the fur trade for these territories and named him Lieutenant General for Acadia and New France. In return, Dugua promised to bring 60 new colonists each year to what would be called "l'Acadie".

In 1604, Dugua organized an expedition and left France with 79 settlers including Royal cartographer Samuel de Champlain, the Baron de Poutrincourt, a priest Nicolas Aubry, Louis Hébert, Mathieu de Costa: a legendary multilingualist and the first registered black man to set foot in North America, and a Protestant member of the clergy.

Entering "Baie Française" (the Bay of Fundy) in June 1604, Dugua and his settlers founded a colony on Île-Ste-Croix. Numerous settlers succumbed to the harsh winter climate and malnutrition disease as they exhausted the limited natural resources on the island. The colony moved to better land on the south shore of Baie Française at Port-Royal in 1605.

The Port-Royal settlement survived and prospered somewhat until 1607 when other merchants protested the monopoly, which the King had to revoke. As a consequence, Dugua and the settlers had to abandon the colony and return to France.Dugua then turned his attention to the colony of Nouvelle-France in the St. Lawrence River valley, after ceding Port-Royal to Poutrincourt. He never came back to the New World but he sent Champlain to open a colony at Quebec in 1608, thus playing a major role in the foundation of the first permanent French colony in North America.

Henry IV appointed him as Governor of the Protestant city of Pons, Charente-Maritime from 1610 to 1617, when he retired. He died in 1628, in the nearby castle of Ardenne in Fleac-Sur-Seugne.

ee also

*History of the Acadians
*List of Acadian governors

External links

* [http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.01-e.php?&id_nbr=198 Biography at the "Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online"]


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