Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Today in 1609

This Day in History reports that on July 30, 1609, Samuel de Champlain, supporting his Huron, Montagnais and Algonkian allies, fired his arquebus at a Mohawk war party.  As Champlain tells it:
Our Indians began to call to me with loud cries; and to make way for me they divided into two groups, and put me ahead some twenty yards, and I marched on until I was within some thirty yards of the enemy, who as soon as they caught sight of me halted and gazed at me and I at them. When I saw them make a move to draw their bows upon us, I took aim with my arquebus and shot straight at one of the three chiefs, and with this shot two fell to the ground and one of their companions was wounded who died thereof a little later. I had put four bullets into my arquebus.
Coincidentally, Charlevoix notes Charlotte Gray's suggestion that the early August long weekend -- variously called Natal Day, civic holiday, the August long weekend, etc -- should become Champlain Day across the country.

Image: Canadian Museum of Civilization
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