This Week in History
We reap what we sow!
For the week of Monday March 10, 2003
On March 11, 1617, Samuel de Champlain boarded a ship heading for the New World. Among his travelling companions were Louis Hébert and his family who became the first settlers to cultivate land in New France.
Upon arriving in Québec in the summer of 1617, Louis Hébert immediately began clearing a plot of land in the area. With much effort, he cleared a spot in the forest, then built a house and planted a garden, which he cultivated with great care. By autumn, he had an abundant crop of wheat and vegetables. For many years, Hébert, along with Champlain, were the only ones who farmed.
Slowly, Hébert's garden expanded, producing a surplus of crops that allowed him to trade goods with the Aboriginal peoples. However, this displeased a group of merchants who forced Hébert to hand over his surplus grain. Despite everything, Hébert did not despair and when Champlain appointed him state prosecutor for the King of France in 1620, Hébert could finally argue his case before the court. The court decided to dissolve this group of merchants which then allowed Hébert to peacefully carry on with his farm work.
Samuel de Champlain, who was the motivation behind Louis Hébert's travels, was recognized as a person of national historic significance in 1929 and a plaque honours his memory in Ottawa, Ontario.
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