Why Did The Saint Croix Island Colony Fail

St. Croix Island, The Lost French Colony of Maine

Sixteen years before the Pilgrims set foot on Plymouth Rock, French explorers established a settlement on St. Croix Island, which is in the middle of the St. Croix River, which separates Canada and the United States. They believed they had discovered a paradise, complete with pleasant weather, fertile land, an abundance of fish and game, and convenient shipping access. Then came winter, and a horrific, unexplained sickness claimed the lives of the majority of the males. If the weather hadn’t been so harsh, or if the males had had access to Vitamin C, New England may have been New France by now.

Historians, on the other hand, believe that St.


St. Croix Island

Among those who joined Pierre Dugua’s party in 1604 were young Royal Geographer Samuel de Champlain and Champlain’s uncle, Francois Grave Dupont, as well as other noblemen. Dugua had aspirations to settle North America and trade with Native Americans in exchange for furs. There was an unusual mix of artists and sailors, criminals and ruffians, courtiers and businessmen among the members of the organization. Some were Catholic, while others belonged to the Huguenot sect. As soon as the ship sailed away from France, religious arguments erupted on the deck.

  • “I’m not sure who was the hardest hitter at the time, but I’ll leave it to you to picture what a great display they put on,” he wrote.
  • ‘Hang the Huguenot,’ some sang, while others chanted, ‘Down with the Papist.’ They landed on the island, which was covered with trees and located at the entrance of the St.
  • They picked it because it provided security from both Indians and the English, both of whom were attempting to establish a presence in North America at the time.
  • They came to the conclusion that the land was favorable and that they could trade with the natives.
  • Dupont returned to his own country of France.
  • Cannonballs were discovered on the island some years later.
  • They also planted rye, which produced crops that were comparable to those cultivated in France.

The fort’s interior was transformed into a residence for Duqua, made of French sawn wood. Dugua hoisted the French tricolor over it. When the Indians arrived, they observed the French and even requested Duqua to arbitrate their differences with the French.

Death and Disease

Winter arrived more sooner than anticipated. The snow started falling on October 6, and the cold was greater and more prolonged than the winter in France. Many of the males were afflicted with an unexplained illness. Massive chunks of extraneous flesh were created in their mouths, allowing them to consume just liquids. Their teeth had become loose to the point that they could be yanked out without discomfort. They were unable to walk and lacked strength. The vast majority of people were unable to walk or move.

  • They were laid to rest at the cemetery depicted on Champlain’s map of the area.
  • They displayed indications of scurvy, which they most likely developed as a result of a diet consisting mostly of salted foods.
  • Croix Island, they had to make do with melting snow.
  • Samuel de Champlain (as imagined)Finally, in May, the spring weather arrived, and the ailing men began to recover.
  • When I arrived, Dupont was there with two ships full with fresh supplies.

Exit from St. Croix Island

Dugua made the decision to relocate the colony to a more favorable location. Champlain and Dupont spent six weeks touring the coast, making it all the way to Cape Cod in the process. They made the decision to relocate to a location they dubbed Port Royal, which is today known as Annapolis, Nova Scotia. They demolished their homes and put them onto two barges, which they then floated across the water to Port Royal under Champlain’s supervision. In the course of approximately 200 years, the island of St.

  • Then, in 1794, a border dispute between Great Britain and the United States was resolved, and it was declared that St.
  • After several of the tombs were discovered and exposed in the 18th century, the island was dubbed “Bone Island.” Then, during the War of 1812, it got the epithet “Neutral Island” for refusing to take sides in the conflict.
  • Today, St.
  • The island was recognized as a Saint Croix Island International Historic Site by the United States Congress in 1984.
  • Photographs taken on St.
  • Croix Island is depicted in this image by Jerryeamp; Roy Klotz, MD – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0.

In the words of the user:Magicpiano – Own work,CC BY-SA 4.0,disagreement,Canadian,Cape Cod,Catholics,colonization,exploration,Franco-American history,fur trades,Huguenots,maritime history,papists,Pierre Dugua and Robbinston Scrubby, Samuel Champlain, and the state of Maine

The 1604 Saint Croix Island Settlement: A Brief Historical Context (U.S. National Park Service)

One of the oldest places of European colonization in North America was commemorated at Saint Croix Island International Historic Site, which is located on the border between the United States and Canada in the state of Maine. On the island of St. Pierre and Miquelon in 1604, a party of 79 French colonists headed by the Sieur de Mons and geographer Samuel Champlain established a small hamlet and overwintered there. The outcome was terrible, with over half of the colonists succumbing to scurvy as a result.

Despite the fact that the island itself was previously recognized and utilized by the Wapaponiyik (or Waponahki) First People of the region) who assisted the French and showed them how to survive in a foreign climate and terrain, the French were unable to do so.

European Exploration and Settlement of the “New World”

In reality, the history of Saint Croix Island started far earlier than 1604. It had been millennia since the First Peoples had inhabited the surrounding area, and their cultures had developed into well-established and long-lasting traditions that included intertwined elements of language, spiritual beliefs, mythology, music, and visual arts, all of which were based on a close relationship with nature. Europeans had been crossing the Atlantic to fish or trade along the coast of North America for hundreds of years before the arrival of Columbus.

  • It was the Norse explorers who sailed the North Atlantic and founded a colony in what is now known as L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland, that marked the beginning of European contact with North America (c.
  • The Norse explorations, on the other hand, were mostly forgotten once the colony was abandoned.
  • Due to the demands of the spice trade and the need to expand their colonies, these explorers set out to discover new ways to Asia.
  • In 1492, Christopher Columbus arrived in what would later be known as the “new world,” and he returned to Spain with reports of the region’s enormous mineral richness, which was brought to the attention of the Spanish court.
  • Juan Ponce de Leon visited Florida for the Spanish in 1513, and Giovanni de Verrazanno traveled from North Carolina to Newfoundland for the French in 1524, and both voyages were credited with discovering the New World.
  • Lawrence River in pursuit of riches and a route to Asia for the French.
  • By the mid-16th century, French and Basque fishers were making yearly ventures into the seas off the coasts of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia in order to meet the growing demand for fish and whale oil in European markets.

Lawrence River meet, and other places. Nevertheless, these encounters were brief. It was not until much later that a serious effort at European colonization in these northern regions was attempted.

Early Settlements

In the early days of European colonization, most attempts were futile and filled with risk. As the history of St. Croix Island demonstrates, early inhabitants were unprepared for the rigors of North American climate and ecology. As a result of their solitude, they were susceptible to scurvy and malnutrition. In other instances, poor planning and unfriendly interactions with adjacent First Peoples resulted in disasters that could have been avoided. The town on St. Croix Island is significant for its early date, having been established more than fifteen years before the arrival of the Pilgrims in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Croix inhabitants were the only Europeans living north of the Spanish colony of St.

Expansion of European imperial power, the search for a route to the Orient (spice trade), fishing, whaling, fur trade, settlement, missionary work (spread of Christianity), and the Doctrine of Discovery were all important reasons for European colonization of North America during the 17th and 18th centuries.

(Norse) Christopher Columbus was born in 1492.

(England) 1500 Corte Real Brothers (Portugal) 1513 Ponce de Leon (Costa Rica) (Spanish) Giovanni de Verrazanno was born in 1524.

Year Location Nationality Outcome
1000 L’ Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland Norse Abandoned
1520s Cape Breton Island,Nova Scotia Portuguese Abandoned
1535 Stadacona, Quebec French Abandoned after first winter; many colonists died of scurvy
1541 Cap Rouge, Quebec French Abandoned
1550s Red Bay, Labrador Basque Whaling stations abandoned as whale stocks declined
1564 Fort Caroline, Florida French Attacked by Spanish
1565 St. Augustine, Florida Spanish Sustained
1585 Roanoke Island, North Carolina English Abandoned
1598 Sable Island, Nova Scotia French Abandoned after a few years
1604 St. Croix Island, Maine French After terrible winter, moved to Port Royal
1605 Port Royal, Nova Scotia French Attacked and destroyed by English in 1613
1607 Jamestown, Virginia English Sustained
1608 Quebec City, Quebec French Sustained
1610 Cupids, Newfoundland English Sustained
1614 Manhattan (Nieuw Nederlandt), New York Dutch Sustained
1620 Plymouth, Massachusetts English Sustained
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Meeting of Two Worlds

When the French settlers came on St. Croix Island, they were met by the Wapaponiyik First Peoples, who welcomed them as guests. With one group looking at the other through a unique and quite different cultural prism, it was very much like the meeting of two worlds that took place here. The amicable connections that developed between the indigenous peoples of St. Croix Island and the colonists were crucial to the colony’s eventual survival.

The Wapaponiyik (The People of the Early Dawn)

Prior to the arrival of the French immigrants on the island of St. Croix, the area had been occupied by the First Peoples for tens of thousands of years. The Passamaquoddy, the Mi’kmaq, the Maliseet, and the Penobscot were four separate tribes of people that lived—and still live—in the region. They spoke distinct varieties of a common Algonquian language and had a great deal in common in terms of cultural heritage. They are collectively referred to as the Wapaponiyik (much the same way English, Irish and Scottish peoples are called British).

  • Croix Island and its near vicinity for thousands of years.
  • Along the beaches of Passamaquoddy Bay, they fished for seals and porpoises and caught fish.
  • As well as birch bark dwellings, boats, and containers, the Passamaquoddys invented the snowshoe and the toboggan, among other things.
  • By the age of 10, many girls and boys had mastered the art of canoe handling.
  • Kuloskap, the hero and transformer from a rich narrative history, as well as other legendary characters symbolizing different facets of human existence, were all featured prominently.

According to the Passamaquoddy, like with other First Peoples, they had a well-developed spiritual life that was founded on the interconnectedness of all natural events.

The French

Although Paris, with a population of 300,000 people, was the greatest metropolis in Europe, the France that the St. Croix settlers left behind in the early 17th century was still predominantly an agrarian society. The population of the country as a whole was around 20 million people. It was a feudal society in which there were glaring differences between the affluent and the poor. After years of conflict with Italy, Spain, and England, the French state itself was on the verge of bankruptcy. As a result of the efforts of Catholic and Protestant (Huguenot) parties to gain power, France had recently emerged from a protracted era of religious warfare and political struggle under the leadership of Henri IV.

Due to the Edict of Nantes, which was issued in 1598, religious tolerance for the Huguenots was guaranteed; this feature was of particular significance to the St.

Saint Croix Island, Maine – Wikipedia

Saint Croix Island International Historic Site
Location Washington County, Maine
Nearest city Calais, Maine
Coordinates 45°7′42″N67°8′0″W / 45.12833°N 67.13333°WCoordinates:45°7′42″N67°8′0″W / 45.12833°N 67.13333°W
Area 44.90 acres (18.17 ha)22.44 acres (0.0908 km 2) federal
Established June 8, 1949 (U.S. National Monument); 1968 (Cdn. National Historic Event); 1984 (International Historic Site)
Governing body U.S. National Park ServiceandParks Canada
Website St. Croix Island International Historic Site

It is a tiny deserted island off the coast of Maine near the mouth of the Saint Croix River that forms part of the Canada–United States boundary, dividing the states of Maine and New Brunswick. Saint Croix Island (French:Île Sainte-Croix) has been known locally as Dochet Island for many years. The island is located in the middle of the traditional territory of the Passamaquoddypeople, who, according to oral history, utilized it to store food away from the hazards of mainland animals to which they were exposed on the mainland.

The United States Congress named Saint Croix Island International Historic Site in 1984, and the island has been a part of the United States since since.

Approximately 4 miles (6 kilometers) upstream from the mouth of the river, on Passamaquoddy Bay, is the 6.5-acre (26,000-m2) island, which measures approximately 200 yards (182.9 meters) long by 100 yards (91.4 meters) wide and measures approximately 200 yards (182.9 meters) long by 100 yards (91.4 meters).


A number of names for the island were used by the PassamaquoddyNation, who had lived in and around the island for many centuries before European discovery, includingMuttoneguis,Muttoneguamus,Metanegwis, andMetnegwis. The island was also known as Muttoneguis by the British “Captain Nicola Anawan, who is 67 years old, claims that the Indians named the Magaguadavic theSt. Croix because a cross had been erected there by the French, and that the entire river had been named St. Croix when he was a boy, and that he was unaware that theScoudiacwas ever known as theSt.

The two islands on this side of Devil’s Head are known as Muttoneguisand Aluttonegwenish, a huge and a little island, respectively, where there used to be a shop where people could dump their belongings.” A collection of historical and biographical sketches of the Passamaquoddy people by William Henry Kilby, EastportandPassamaquoddy: A Collection of Historical and Biographical Sketches (1888) After many of the tombs on St.

Croix were uncovered by erosion in the 18th century, the island became known as Bone Island.

The results of the analysis revealed that several of them exhibited signs of scurvy, proving that it was the cause of the fatalities recorded by Champlain.

Because the island served as neutral territory during the War of 1812, it is sometimes referred to as “Neutral Island.” The island was once known as Demont’s Island, Doucett Island, and Docea’s Island, which later became Dochet Island. It was named by the French as Isle Ste-Croix.

Settlement by Europeans

Buildings on the island of Saint Croix, 1613 In June 1604 under the authority of Henry IV, King of France, the French nobility Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons, built a village on Saint Croix Island, which is now known as Saint Croix Island State Park. This colony was one of the earliest attempts by France to establish year-round colonization in the province they calledl’Acadie, and it served as a model for subsequent endeavors. A number of previous attempts, including those atCharlesbourg-Royal in 1541 by Jacques Cartier, at Sable Island in 1598 by Marquis de La Roche-Mesgouez, and at Tadoussac, Quebec, in 1600 by François Gravé Du Pont, had all failed.

  1. During the first winter, more than half of the settlers died as a result of “land-sickness,” which was later determined to be bescurvy.
  2. Champlain had discovered the location on a coastline reconnaissance mission in search of a more appropriate site.
  3. In 1607, Champlain embarked on a journey to France, never to return to Acadia.
  4. In October 1613, after destroying the French mission on Mount Desert Island, Samuel Argall proceeded to demolish the remaining French structures on Sainte-Croix before launching his attack on Port Royal.

Boundary dispute

During a border dispute between Britain and the United States in 1797, a survey of the river decided that the island was on the western side of the river’s main channel, and so under the authority of the United States of America. In 2004, Canada released a twenty-five cent coin that was circulated throughout the country to honor the island and the founding of Acadia University there.

International historic site

The entry to the St. Croix Island International Historic Site is marked with a National Park Service sign. The island of Saint Croix Island was designated as a National Monument by the United States Congress in 1949. The monument was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966, and has been there ever since. It was designated as an International Historic Site by Congress on September 25, 1984, making it the only site of its kind in both the United States and Canada’s national park systems at the same time.

  1. In order to preserve historical relics, visitors are not permitted on the island.
  2. In Canada, the island was originally recognized as having national historic value by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board (HSMB) in 1958, when it was designated as such by the federal government.
  3. An additional decade later, in 1968, the HSMB stated once more the value of the site, recommending that Parks Canada “cooperate with the United States National Parks Service in the creation of the island as a Historic Park.” Following approval, Parks Canada now maintains the St.
  4. The site overlooks the island and is designed in a manner similar to the one taken by the United States in terms of interpreting the site’s history.
  5. In 2004, the 400th anniversary of French colonisation in North America was honored with special commemorations organized by the two countries.
  6. Since its inception, the Parks Canada website, like all others in the organization’s network, has been available in both English and French.
  7. Dochet Island National Historic Site was suggested by the Historical Society of Massachusetts in 1958, but the HSMB’s later proposal in 1968 was ambiguous as to whether it should be named a Site or an Event.
  8. Dochet Island was declared as a national historic event in 1968, based on a 1960 HSMB decision that identifying national historic sites outside of Canada should be avoided, and in light of policy that Events and Persons outside of the country may be classified as national historic sites.

Croix Island,” and that this was the name used in the international agreement, the HSMB’s Status of Designations Committee confirmed that the official name of the designation, which had previously referred to Dochet Island, will be “Ste. Croix Island.”

See also

  • Popham Colony
  • s Habitation at Port-Royal
  • s List of islands of Maine
  • s National Register of Historic Places listings in Washington County, Maine


  1. Saint Croix Island International Historic Site General Management Plan: Environmental Impact Statement. 1998. p. 9
  2. Eastport and Passamaquoddy: A Collection of Historical and Biographical Sketches. 1998. p. 9
  3. Saint Croix Island International Historic Site General Management Plan: Environmental Impact Statement. 1998. p. 9
  4. Eastport and Passamaquoddy: A Collection of Historical and Biographical Sketches, by E. E. Shead, 1888, p.116
  5. “Passamaquoddy Peoples History of Ste-Croix,” by E. E. Shead, 1888, p.488
  6. “Eastport and Passamaquoddy: A Collection of Historical and Biographical Sketches, by E. E. Shead, 1888, p.488
  7. “Passamaquo www.digitales.ie. abSaint Croix Island International Historic Site General Management Plan: Environmental Impact Statement. 1998. p. 14
  8. AbSaint Croix Island International Historic Site General Management Plan: Environmental Impact Statement. 2006-11-01T09:52:00 Z, David. “North America’s Earliest Autopsy is Revealed by a Skull.” livescience.com. Roger E. Riendeau was able to get a hold of me on December 30th, 2019. (2007). A Brief History of the United States of America p. 36
  9. ISBN 978-1-4381-0822-3
  10. Kennedy, Gregory. “Marshland Colonization in Acadia and Poitou during the 17th Century.” Acadiensis.42(1): 39
  11. Kennedy, Gregory. “Marshland Colonization in Acadia and Poitou during the 17th Century.” Seymour I. Schwartz’s article was retrieved on March 25, 2021. (October 2008). The Mismapping of the United States of America. p. 177, ISBN 978-1-58046-302-7
  12. “Samuel de Champlain 1604-1616 | Virtual Museum of New France,” University Rochester Press, p. 177, ISBN 978-1-58046-302-7
  13. “Samuel de Champlain 1604-1616 | Griffiths, N.E.S., et al., eds., retrieved on December 30, 2019. (2005). From Migrant to Acadian: A North American Border People, 1604-1755. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 24. ISBN 978-0-7735-2699-0
  14. “Chapter 1: Eastern Maine.” McGill-University Queen’s Press. ISBN 978-0-7735-2699-0
  15. Divided We Stand: A Linear Portrait of the United States/Canadian Border The Center for Land Use Interpretation is a non-profit organization dedicated to understanding and interpreting land use. Extracts from the Minutes of the Status of Designations Committee of the National Park Service (April 2008), p. 1
  16. Excerpts from the Minutes of the Status of Designations Committee of the National Park Service (April 2008), p. 2
  17. Excerpts from the Status of Designations Committee Minutes of the National Park Service (April 2008), p. 1
  • Saint Croix Island brochure, published by the National Park Service (United States) in 1990
  • Saint Croix Island International Historic Site brochure, published by the National Park Service (United States) in 2002.
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External links

  • The National Park Service manages the Saint Croix Island International Historic Site. Other resources include Sainte-Croix 2004, Île Sainte-Croix, St. Croix Island History (from the Internet Archive), St-Croix: 1604-2004, Life After Ile Ste-Croix, and the Saint Croix Island International Historic Site.

Champlain and the Settlement of Acadia 1604-1607

It is the 400th anniversary of the French colonies on Saint Croix Island (Maine) in 1604 and at Port-Royal (now Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia) in 1605 that this initiative honors. However, despite the fact that both settlements were short-lived, they represent the beginnings of a French presence in the region known to the French as Acadie (Acadia), which today encompasses eastern Maine, as well as the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island in the United States. In the early 1600s, the French and the English, taking advantage of the waning Spanish influence in the western Atlantic, began asserting their claims to the eastern shore of North America, a process that would continue for the rest of the century.

The Settlement of Acadia 1604-1607

When a French expedition led by commercial venturer Pierre Du Gua, Sieur de Monts, and featuring explorer and cartographer Samuel de Champlain landed off the coast of what is now southeastern Nova Scotia in 1604, it was a watershed moment in the history of the world. Following the discoveries of the Bay of Fundy, a community on Saint Croix Island was formed. For much of the summer and early fall of 1604, Champlain traveled along the mid-Maine coast as far south as the Georges River region. During his explorations of the Penobscot River upstream in quest of the fabled city of Norumbega, he named the islands of Mount Desert and Isle au Haut, both of which were important navigational landmarks.

Saint Croix Island 1604

The French chose Saint Croix Island due of its strategic position, safe harbor, and appearance of being a fortifiable fortification. Homes, businesses, and a church were hurriedly constructed throughout the summer, and gardens were planted on the island and along an adjacent river bank at the same time. The hamlet, however, was forced to close after being hit by a particularly harsh winter. During De Monts’ expedition, the icy Saint Croix River made the position vulnerable to attack, and a scarcity of fresh food caused an outbreak of scurvy that claimed the lives of 35 men, about half of De Monts’ whole company.

The French first settled on Saint Croix Island in the middle of the Saint Croix River.In his journal, Samuel de Champlain observed: “ It was difficult to know this country without having wintered there; for on arriving in summer everything is very pleasant on account of the woods, the beautiful landscapes, and the fine fishing for the many kinds of fish we found there.there are six months of winter in that country.”

This was followed by a modest excursion in the following summer, which carried them southward along the shores of present-day Maine and Massachusetts, all the way to Cape Cod (Cape Cod, Massachusetts). The party crossed the Kennebec and Androscoggin rivers, sailed across Cape Cod Bay, and arrived at Nauset Harbor on the Cape Cod peninsula, where they spent the night. The town was relocated from St. Croix across the Bay of Fundy to a new position at Port-Royal, which overlooked the Annapolis Basin, upon De Monts’ return from the war.

  1. In the winter of 1605/6, a total of 12 more sailors perished due to scurvy.
  2. De Monts’ charter was withdrawn by the French crown in 1606/7, just as the little colony was beginning to establish itself on the newly discovered land.
  3. During their four years of colonization, the French had amassed a wealth of geographic knowledge about the region, established trading relationships with indigenous people, and demonstrated that arable farming was a viable enterprise.
  4. Originally known as the Sieur De Monts National Monument in Maine, the federally protected grounds on Mount Desert Island were later renamed Lafayette National Park (in honor of the Revolutionary War hero Lafayette) and eventually Acadia National Park.

The dwelling at Port-Royal, Nova Scotia, was recreated in the 1930s and is now a National Historic Site of Canada. Historic landmarks associated with the Colonial Revival movement include the names of both the national park and the recreated settlement.

Credits: Explanatory Maps of Saint CroixAcadia

Note from the editor: This article was first published on August 11, 2011. In the course of our continuous coverage of the bicentennial, we are republishing this piece. Each of these stories tells us about pivotal events in Maine’s history that have affected the world in which we live today. This narrative recounts of the catastrophic effort to colonize St. Croix Island, which took place three years before the first English colony in present-day Maine, at Phippsburg, was established. Christopher Cousins, a veteran BDN political reporter, passed away in 2018.

  • Croix Island in what is today the Down East hamlet of Robbinston.
  • Numerous settlers’ bones still lie scattered over the mountainous island, which is off limits to the general public today.
  • Scheid, a historian and National Park Service ranger stationed at the St.
  • It was a harsh winter, the coldest in decades, according to Scheid, who conducts seminars for visitors and students while also maintaining the park service’s infrastructure.
  • The young 1604 colony was forced to transfer to Port Royal, Nova Scotia, after just a year due to terrible weather and sickness, but St.
  • On the island of St.
  • This was three years before the English settlements of Jamestown, Virginia, and the Popham Colony near the mouth of the Kennebec River, Maine, as well as four years before Samuel de Champlain founded the city of Quebec.
  • Croix Island today, a bald spit of rock smack dab in the midst of the Saint Croix River.
  • The odds were stacked heavily against the Frenchmen since they were so far away from contemporary civilization and relying on nothing more than their own resourcefulness and whatever supplies they could bring over the Atlantic to ensure their survival.
  • There was only one stretch of beachfront on the island that required fortification, and the settlers prioritized fortification of that stretch of shoreline, as well as the construction of a cannon, among their first priorities.

Despite the fact that the mosquitoes (which are little insects) tormented us tremendously in our labor, Champlain wrote immediately after arriving on the island in June 1604 that “all worked so vigorously that in a short whilewas placed in a state of defense.” “Because there were some people whose faces were swelled from their bites that they couldn’t see clearly,” says the author.

  • As a result of their location on the Down East coast, which is at the same latitude as warmer climes in southern Europe, the settlers quickly found themselves practically imprisoned on the island, exposed to the weather and encircled by an ice sheet that made travel to the mainland difficult.
  • They were unaware of what they were witnessing as they suffered side by side with their neighbors.
  • During the expedition, the explorer observed that “their teeth grew exceedingly loose, and could be plucked out with their fingers without giving them pain.” “The extraneous meat was frequently removed, causing them to expel a large amount of blood via their mouths.
  • In a nutshell, they were in such a state that the vast majority of them were unable to rise or move, and could not even be lifted up onto their feet without collapsing in agony.
  • “We were unable to discover a cure for these ailments.” It was in August of 1605 that the colonists reassembled and relocated to the town of Port Royal in Nova Scotia.
  • Croix Island in 1606 found that the island’s gardens were still producing vegetables, but that the island’s days as a French town were coming to an end.
  • The St.
  • According to Scheid, “I’m curious what might have occurred if the weather had been a little different that year.” It’s possible that we’re talking about New France rather than New England.

According to him, the area “was in some ways a battleground between the English colonies to the south and French Canada.” “It was the fisherman who were the first to see the potential economic benefits of this location, but when it comes to founding a colony, there is always the subject of leadership and administration to consider.” By April 15, 1605, French rescue vessels were expected at St.

According to Champlain, “everyone began to feel a sense of foreboding, afraid that some misfortune may befall them.” Two tiny ships were built by the settlers to try to save themselves a month later.

when a lookout heard the splashing of oars on the dark sea below.

A shallop arrived with Pont Grave, who informed us that his ship was six miles away from our town.

He was greeted with great enthusiasm by everyone who had come to meet him.” The following day, the vessel came and moored close to our place of residence. On the 17th of the month, Sieur de Monts made the decision to go in search of a more suitable location for a residence.”

The Abandoned French Colonization of St. Croix Island, Maine (1604–1607)

  • In 1604, Pierre Dugua, a French aristocrat, and 79 other Frenchmen set out for the island of St. Croix, which is now part of the state of Maine, with the goal of establishing a new colony. As part of his plan to conquer North America, Dugua sought to trade with Indigenous Peoples — especially tribes belonging to the Wabanaki Confederacy — in exchange for furs. It was a wise decision for him to choose St. Croix since it provided security from both indigenous peoples and the English. The winter of that year arrived early and was unusually harsh, with the first snow falling on October 6th. Of the 79 men, 35 died and more than 20 were on the edge of death, both as a result of the cold and as a result of scurvy, which they contracted since they only ate salted food. Once spring arrived and the ice that had surrounded the island began to thaw, the remaining men fled in search of a more favorable location for a colony. Despite the fact that the settlers were forced to abandon their homes due to disease and bad weather, the island may have been a part of the French colonies. Instead, Membertou, the head of the Mi’kmaq people, was put in charge of the surviving structures. Capt. Argall of Virginia executed instructions to expel the French from Virginia’s coastline in 1613, and he did it by destroying the structures.
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An aerial image of St. Croix Island, which is now a National Historic Site and a popular tourist destination (from Visit Maine).

How is this related to climate?

  • The winter of 1604 was the coldest in decades, and the French immigrants were completely unprepared for the severity of the weather conditions. Several factors, including the Little Ice Age, a period of global cooling that occurred between 1300 and 1850, contributed to this unusually cold winter.

References and additional resources:

  • “An Island Prison: Rugged St. Croix Island Brought Ghastly Death to Early Settlers,” by C. Cousins, is available online. The Bangor Daily News published an article in 2011 titled Climate change in human history: from prehistory to the present, by B. Lieberman and E. Gordon. Cambridge University Press. “Saint Croix Island International Historic Site,” published by Bloomsbury Academic in London in 2018. “Samuel de Champlain 1604-1616,” courtesy of Visit Maine, n.d. “Six Ways the Little Ice Age Made History,” Virtual Museum of New France, n.d.
  • “Six Ways the Little Ice Age Made History.” “St. Croix Island, The Lost French Colony of Maine,” published by the New England Historical Society in 2018. The New England Historical Society published a report in 2016 titled

Ile Ste.-Croix: The Birth of Acadia

About 100 soldiers sailed five French ships into Passamaquoddy Bayat the entrance of the St. Croix River, which divides what is now New Brunswick from Maine on June 26, 1604, according to historical records. They founded the first permanent French settlement in North America on a tiny island known to the local Indigenous people as Muttoneguis (also spelled Muttoneguamus, Metanegwis, and Metnegwisby). The island was home to the first permanent French settlement in North America. The island was later called Île Ste.-Croix by French explorer and aristocrat Pierre Dugua Sieur de Mons, who was a descendant of the House of Bourbon.

  1. Croix River, which divides what is now New Brunswick from Maine.
  2. They founded the first permanent French settlement in North America on a tiny island known to the local Indigenous people as Muttoneguis (also spelled Muttoneguamus, Metanegwis, and Metnegwisby).
  3. The island was later renamed Île Ste.-Croix by French explorer and aristocrat Pierre Dugua Sieur de Mons, who was responsible for the island’s renaming.
  4. Lawrence River, and in Florida, but their efforts were ultimately unsuccessful.
  5. The immigrants from Île Ste.-Croix, on the other hand, would go on to establish colonies in Nova Scotia and Quebec, establishing a long-lasting French presence on the continent.
  6. Nevertheless, it was Pierre Dugua de Mons, who was appointed as the colony’s commander after being awarded royal licenses to exploit the fur trade in North America and to create the colony of Acadia.
  7. Nonetheless, because there is no other detailed depiction of Champlain, this image has been the one most associated with him over the years.

Passamaquoddy Bay was a valuable saltwater resource for Indigenous people, who gathered clams and fish from skin boats that cruised the coastline and hunted seal and porpoise from the sea.

According to Champlain’s writings, their Indigenous guides slept near the southern end of Île Ste.-Croix during the summer of 1607 and worked in the settlement’s kitchens.

The French were cut off from the rest of the world as the river became choked with ice floes.

Almost half of the guys killed in the battle.

It was during the summer of 1605 that de Mons and Champlain demolished the village at Ste.-Croix and relocated the colony to Port-Royal, Nova Scotia across the Bay of Fundy.

Croix River to commemorate the 400th anniversary of France’s discovery of America and the beginning of its colonization of the New World.

Speeches were delivered by the late Paul Cellucci, former US Ambassador to Canada, as well as by Prime Minister Paul Martin and Passamaquoddy Chief Hugh Akagi of New Brunswick at the event.

St. Croix: Facts & History

  • Anna’s Hope has 4,041 residents
  • Christiansted has 2,626 residents
  • East End has 2,453 residents
  • Frederiksted has 3,091 residents
  • Northcentral has 4,977 residents
  • Northwest has 4,863 residents
  • Sion Farm has 13,003 residents
  • Southcentral has 8,049 residents
  • And Southwest has 7,498 residents.
  • The area is 82 square miles. 28 miles in length and 7 miles in width
  • Mount Eagle, at 1,165 feet, is the highest point in the area.

The Carib were the last of the Native Indian tribe to live on the island of St. Croix. The Carib people, who originated in the Guiana area of South America, were not the first Native Americans to arrive to St. Croix. They had taken over the islands from the Tainos or Arawaks in the early 1400s and established a permanent presence on them. The Carib, on the other hand, was the one that welcomed Columbus on his second expedition through the islands. On November 14, 1493, Christopher Columbus paid a visit to the island of St.

  1. The island was given the name Santa Cruz by Christopher Columbus (Holy Cross).
  2. About a half-dozen armed men from Columbus’ armada went ashore to conduct exploratory operations.
  3. The Salt River site is the first and only positively documented site linked with Christopher Columbus’ voyage of the New World on what is now a U.S.
  4. Following Columbus’ arrival to St.
  5. During this time period, they had reached an agreement with the Spanish on the island of Puerto Rico on peaceful coexistence.
  6. Croix in search of Carib slaves, bringing it to a close.
  7. Consequently, they were condemned to be exterminated by the Spanish Crown as a result of their revolt.

Croix for ever.

Croix in the name of Spain, the Dutch and English were the first to establish themselves on the island, with a small number of French Protestants joining them later.

When the Dutch governor of St.

Croix came to an end without a murmur.

Several years of fighting over control of the island ensued between the two competing powers after that.


The Spanish, who lived in adjacent Puerto Rico, were alarmed by the expansion.

Croix in a surprise invasion and massacred many people before forcing the remaining settlers to flee.

Croix, reclaiming island for themselves from the Spanish.


Croix was captured by 160 of Philippe de Poincy’s finest warriors, who were dispatched by the Knights of Malta on behalf of the Order. He was successful, and he then dispatched around three hundred planters from St. Kitts to create communities on the freshly acquired territory as soon as possible.

French West India Company

In order to establish a stronger grasp over St. Croix, Louis XIV decreed that the French Crown should be given control of the island. The French West India Company was established in 1665 and dispatched to St. Croix. The Company rule did not fare well and only lasted for seven years before being repealed. The Company was disbanded and replaced by Crown rule once the King abolished it. Though they had essentially abandoned the island, the French Crown maintained their claim to St. Croix as part of its territorial claims.

Danish West Indies Company

The island was purchased from France on June 13, 1733, by the Danish West Indies Company. The Danish West Indian Company did not spare any time in sending people to St. Croix in order to establish their new colony there. Within the first year, under the leadership of Frederik Moth, a new town at Christiansted was envisioned and developed. In 1747, the island of St. Croix was granted its own government, which was distinct from the governments of St. Thomas and St. John. The planters quickly got dissatisfied with the company’s rules after being subjected to stringent limitations.

  1. In 1754, the islands were elevated to the status of a royal colony.
  2. The most economically successful of the islands – St.
  3. As a result, the capital of St.
  4. John was relocated from Charlotte Amalie on St.
  5. Thomas.
  6. Croix was considered to be one of the wealthiest islands in the Western Hemisphere.
  7. Traders were the lifeblood of St.

Among the island’s five main exports were sugar (which was followed by rum), cotton (which was followed by molasses), and hardwood (which was followed by hard wood).

During the first two decades of the nineteenth century, the price of sugar on the international market remained consistent, and the plantation owners on St.

In 1803 the island had a population of 30,000 people, with 26,500 of them being slaves who worked in the sugar cane plantation and processing industry.

A significant part in the triangle trade route that united Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean in a trade of human cargo as well as sugar and rum had been performed by the island of St.

Around the same period, the competition between beet sugar prices produced a significant fall in the profitability of sugarcane cultivation.

With all of these variables playing a part, the economy of St.

The late 1800s were a time characterized by transformations, uprisings, and advancement.

Queen Mary, Bodhoe, and David Hamilton Jackson were among the most well-known leaders of the time. It was praised for their efforts, as well as the efforts of other people, to improve living circumstances, press freedom, education, and labor regulations for the benefit of the local populace.

United States Virgin Islands

When the United States of America bought St. Croix and the other Caribbean islands from the Danish government in 1917, it was for military purposes that the islands were included in the acquisition. It was the late 1930s, and the agriculturally oriented economy of St. Croix was not doing well. Economic uncertainty persisted until the 1950s, when tourism surpassed all other industries in the United States Virgin Islands. As of right now, St. Croix is a U.S. territory, and its primary economic activities are centered on tourism, agriculture, and oil refinery.


Croix, the first casino in the United States Virgin Islands was just opened.

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