The documentary biography of Jacques Legardeur de Saint-Pierre, an officer in the Troupes de la Marine, who served throughout New France, sheds new light on the business activity of French colonial officers stationed in the West. Many of the eighty previously untranslated documents in Jacques Legardeur de Saint-Pierre demonstrate the extent and profitability of Saint-Pierre's pursuit of business activities while performing official duties in eighteenth-century French North America. The quest for profit permeated Saint- Pierre's career, particularly his command of the Western Sea Post after he succeeded the fabled Pierre Gaultier de Varennes et de la Vérendrye. Saint-Pierre and his secret partner General Jacques-Pierre de Taffanel de La Jonquière, Intendant François Bigot, and Meret, secretary to La Jonquière, used their positions to engage in extensive trade, especially brandy, with the Cree and Assiniboine northwest of Lake Superior. Saint-Pierre's activities provide fresh insights into the North American fur trade.
A Classic in the History of Exploration, a Judicious Account of the Role of the Cabots in the Discovery of the New World
John Cabot, Giovanni Caboto in his native Italian, led an expedition to the New World in 1497 on behalf of King Henry VII of England. He is considered the first European to explore North America since the Viking voyages five hundred years earlier. Although Cabot’s exact landfall on his first voyage is not known—it could have been Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, or even Maine—his claim for England to this territory countered the Spanish and Portuguese explorations to the south, and changed world history. Cabot made three roundtrips between Bristol, England, and North America, and later, his son Sebastian, made two similar voyages. John and Sebastian Cabot: The Discovery of North America by historian Sir Charles Raymond Beazley was first published in 1898. Its enduring value in addition to its lucid, well-balanced and researched narrative is the author’s detailed history of prior voyages to the North American continent, including those from China and the Pacific Islands as well as those from the realms of mythology. The author also includes all extant references to the Cabots in historical documents.