A description of Canada in 1799
Canada, or New France, is a wide country of North America
bounded East by the Ocean,
West by the Mississipi river, South by the English colonies
and North by unknown countries.
John and Sebastien Cabot, father and son, discovered the island of Newfoundland
and part of the land of Labrador in 1497.
They appear to be the first discoverers of Canada.
This country is almost as wide as Europe.
In general, it’s a good place to live but the extremely harsh winter lasts six months.
The newly cultivated lands are very rich.
They produce good wheat which is sown in May and harvested in August.
Most of the vegetables, especially the peas, grow very well
and are excellent.
The woods are filled with wild grapevine, game and peculiar animals.
The beaver is the most useful and most curious of all.
The rivers, ponds and lakes are filled with fishes.
The most considerable river is the Saint Lawrence,
which flows accross the country from South ouest to North east.
There are numerous types of trees unknown in Europe and others
that we know of,
like the maple tree, that produces an admirable liquor,
the white spruce, secreting the balm called turpentine of Canada,
estimated for the healing of wounds, chest and stomach pains.
This whole country is inhabitated by Savages who can be
divided in four languages,
the Sioux, Algonkin, Huron and Eskimo.
Most of these Savages are nomads and live from hunting.
They are rarely deformed, have big black eyes, are alert,
tireless and jealous of their liberty.
They extremely love alcohol and when they are intoxicated, they become furious.
In the Huron nations, the chief are hereditary by the women.
In other nations they are elected. All the Savages believe in a first spirit
and tutelary genius, to whom they make sacrifices. They do the same for the sun.
Their wars are very bloody. They now use fire-arms.
Those who are christians were instructed by the Jesuits.
The French began to settle the country in 1539, but their
became substantial only in 1608. The English took possession the country in 1629
and gave it back en in 1632.
The 30 000 French people are ruled by a governor, an intendant
and a bishop.
The French Canadians, or Creoles of Canada, are well built,
robust and industrious, brave and presomptuous but a little frivolous.
The women are pretty, skillful and spirituous.
Quebec is the capital of Canada.
This country was given to Great Britain by the treaty of Versailles on Febuary 10, 1763.
The English maintain the Catholic religion
and the form of government established by the French.
Translated by Renée Gauthier
© Alain Chebroux, Count of Argenteuil : www.count-argenteuil.com