The following summer, Champlain fought the first major battle against the Iroquois, cementing a hostile relationship that would last for more than a century. In 1615, Champlain made a brave voyage into the interior of Canada accompanied by a tribe of Native Americans with whom he had good relations, the Hurons.
In the process, Champlain started a war with the Mohawks, part of the Iroquois Five Nations. By doing so he unintentionally drew the French into armed conflict with the Iroquois Five Nations. And he undermined French efforts to colonize New France.
These alliances obliged Champlain to support his allies in their wars against the Iroquois, whose territory was to the south of Lake Ontario and into present-day New York. He participated in military campaigns in 1609 (on Lake Champlain), in 1610 (near Sorel) and in 1615 (in Iroquois territory).
Champlain maintained the best relations with the Indians along the St. Lawrence and interior. This was done to ensure the safety and longevity of French settlements in the region. Unlike many other explorers, Champlain was impressed by the Indians in many ways, but only after years of exposure to them.
It was Champlain’s great desire to explore the country whence came the great river on whose banks he had planted the settlement of Quebec, and to search for a passage which would lead to the Western Sea.
1608 saw Champlain sail the St. It was French policy at the time to enter into Native affairs, so Champlain allied France with the Huron and Algonquin tribes. He even agreed to join the Huron as part of their war party and aid in an attack against their mortal enemy, the Iroquois in the Mohawk Valley in 1615.
The conflict pitted the nations of the Iroquois Confederation, led by the dominant Mohawk tribe, against the largely Algonquin tribes of the area and their French allies. The wars were ones of extreme brutality on both sides and considered one of the bloodiest series of conflicts in the history of North America.
A century of brutal warfare raged between the Iroquois Confederacy and the French colonists. In support of his Huron and Algonkian trading partners, Samuel de Champlain shot and killed two Iroquois chiefs in 1609 at Ticonderoga, near the lake that now bears his name.
He was key to French expansion in the New World. Known as the “Father of New France,” Champlain founded Quebec ( 1608 ), one of the oldest cities in what is now Canada, and consolidated French colonies.
New England area. Colonists in the Massachusetts Bay area first encountered the Wampanoag, Massachusett, Nipmuc, Pennacook, Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, and Quinnipiac. The Mohegan, Pequot, Pocumtuc, Podunk, Tunxis, and Narragansett were based in southern New England.
Huron, also called Wyandot, Wyandotte, or Wendat, Iroquoian-speaking North American Indians who were living along the St. Lawrence River when contacted by French explorer Jacques Cartier in 1534.
They were battles for economic dominance throughout the Saint Lawrence River valley in Canada and the lower Great Lakes region which pitted the Iroquois against the northern Algonquians and the Algonquians’ French allies. From medieval times, Europeans had obtained furs from Muscovy and Scandinavia.
The Iroquois were much astonished that two men should have been killed so quickly, although they were provided with shields made of cotton thread woven together and wood, which were proof against their arrows. This frightened them greatly.
The fields, orchards, and granaries, as well as the morale, of the Iroquois were destroyed in 1779 when U.S. Maj. Gen. John Sullivan led a retaliatory expedition of 4,000 Americans against them, defeating them near present-day Elmira, New York.