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Presence of New France in the Champlain Valley, The: 1609 - 1759

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11/11/2008

The French exploration of Lake Champlain in 1609 led to a century and a half of trade, warfare, and, in the twilight years of New France, implantation. The role and the extent of the fur trade along the Richelieu-Champlain fluvial corridor is little known or appreciated. It was the primary generator of wealth for the merchants of Albany, the Mohawks, and the upper class of New France.

In the last phase of New France, the royal government defended a new boundary between the English colonies and the domain of Louis XV by fortifying the Crown Point Peninsula. As they had done at Detroit, the French embarked on a frenetic race to settle the area by promoting agriculture on the Crown Point Peninsula and in Addison and Bridport. With the border secured, the government at Quebec and Montreal launched other initiatives to establish settlements at Alburgh and to develop the lumber industry at Swanton, Chazy, Isle Lamotte, the mouth of the Ausable River, and other sites.

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