Monts, Pierre du Gua de

Pierre du Gua de Monts

c.1558-1628. French nobleman, trader, and colonial leader. After making several voyages to Canada, in 1603 he was granted a trading monopoly, appointed lieutenant-general and tasked with establishing a 60 person colony by the French king Henry VI.

Organized a private merchant-backed company to finance the venture, and hired Samuel Champlain as geographer and cartographer.

Sailed with two ships in March of 1604. Explored the Nova Scotia Coast and the Bay of Fundy, and established a colony on St. Croix Island in June. Winter was quite hard and they finally were trapped on the island by ice. Half the colonists died. When spring came, and a relief force from France arrived, the colony was shifted to Annapolis Royal on the Nova Scotia coast. Champlain continued his mapping and survey of the region, and Pierre du Gua de Monts returned to France to continue and strengthen the financial backing of the venture.

De Monts is the person that demonstrated that colonization was possible. He was directly responsible for the initial French settlement of Canada.