• UNIT-Local History Component
    Title:  Saint Lusson"s Proclamation
    Focus:  The French Claim Possession of the Great Lakes Region
    Connection: Remember when Pierre Radisson established a fur trading post in Hudson Bay.  Today we are going to learn how this created a need for France to claim the land in the Great Lakes region.

    Teaching Point:

    In June 1671, Sieur de St. Lusson held a ceremony to claim all the area for the king of France.

    a.  At first the traders were mostly French; later the English came via Hudson’s Bay.

    b. The English and French were enemies.

    c.  In 1671 the Sault area was claimed for France.

    Resource Materials for Teachers: 

    The French traders Radisson and des Groseilliers were getting furs in the western Lake Superior region as early as 1656. In 1660, they came from Lake Superior country to Montreal with a flotilla of 60 canoes laden with furs. A large amount of the fur traded from Lake Superior actually was harvested further north, towards Hudson’s Bay, by Cree trappers. Radisson and des  Groseilliers were treated poorly by the French authorities, because they had not gotten a license to trade in the interior. The officials in Quebec imposed heavy fines on the traders, who then decided to try to interest the French in trading directly into Hudson’s Bay country, circumventing the Quebec authorities. When they failed to interest the French, they decided to cast their lot with the English, and in 1670, a royal charter was issued to the Hudson’s Bay Company, officially known as the “Governor and Company of Adventurers of England Trading Into Hudson’s Bay.”  

                This chartering made it clear to King Louis XIV that a contest for the interior of North America was in full swing. That set the stage for the “Pageant of St. Lusson,” held at the Sault in 1671. The banks of the St. Marys River were at center stage in geopolitics when France laid claim to the vast interior of the continent, much of which was yet unexplored. See pp. 31-37 of  City of the Rapids for a discussion of the event, and for further references, among which the Jesuit Relations of 1670-71 represents a primary source. The contest between England and France, of which the St. Lusson Pageant represents an early event, was not settled until the French were defeated at Quebec in 1759, and Montreal in 1760. The French and Indian War, and locally, Fort Repentigny, built in 1751, fit into the same theme.


    Active Engagement: Color Book page 10-11student pages.

    Share:  Reenact the ceremony of Saint Lusson"s Proclamation.

Last Modified on February 14, 2018