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Samuel de Champlain. From an engraving by John G. Shea, 1878. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-11763).


Champlain, Samuel de (c. 1567-1570–25 December 1635), explorer and colonizer, probably, was born at Brouage, Saintonge (Charente-Maritime), France, the son of Anthoine de Champlain, allegedly a naval captain, and Dame Margueritte Le Roy. Champlain may have been baptized a Huguenot, but if so he was early converted to the Church of Rome. Little is known of his early years except that he acquired the skills of a draftsman and cartographer. In 1632 he declared that he had served in Brittany for several years (until 1598) with the army of Henri IV against the Catholic League in the French Wars of Religion. Yet, when the Spanish army occupying Britanny returned to Spain at the end of those wars, Champlain went with them, for in 1601 he was in Cadiz. In 1603 he accompanied François Gravé Du Pont on a fur-trading venture up the St. Lawrence River to Tadoussac at the mouth of the Saguenay. It had become the customary summer rendezvous for European traders and the Montagnais Indians, who provided furs in exchange for metal goods, cloth, and trinkets....


Luna y Arellano, Tristan de (1514?–16 September 1573), explorer and colonizer of La Florida, was born in Borovia, Soria province, Spain, the son of Don Carlos de Luna y Arellano, marshal of Castile and lord of Ciria and Borobia, and his second wife, Doña Juana Dávalos. Nothing is known of his childhood or education. Luna first went to New Spain in 1530 in the retinue of Hernán Cortés, whose wife, Doña Juana de Zuñiga, was Luna’s cousin. Returning to Spain, Luna next voyaged to New Spain in 1535 with another cousin, Don Antonio de Mendoza, the first viceroy of Mexico. When Mendoza organized the ...