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Groseilliers and Radisson

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Pierre-Esprit Radisson 1659-1660. Pierre-Esprit Radisson was born around 1640, either in Avignon or Paris.

Pierre-Esprit Radisson 1659-1660

No one knows when he first came to New France. In 1646, he is likely in Trois-Rivières, attending the wedding of his half-sister, Marguerite Hayet, to Jean Veron, sieur de Grandmesnil. Later, when she marries again, this time to Médard Chouart Des Groseilliers, on August 24, 1653, Radisson is living with the Iroquois who had kidnapped him and taken him to somewhere around Corlaer (Shenectady). Even though he will later say that he was well treated during his captivity, Radisson escapes. He is recaptured near Trois-Rivières, subdued and tortured. Route In the footsteps of Chouart Des Groseilliers Unlike his brother-in-law, Médard Chouart des Groseilliers, Pierre-Esprit Radisson had never seen the Great Lakes nor did he seem much suited to exploration. Their stay among the Cree and their meetings with other Amerindian tribes leads them to understand that the “salt sea” that their hosts talk describe, is Hudson’s Bay. Pierre-Esprit Radisson, Encyclopedia Britannica.

Radisson, Pierre Esprit (1636/1640–1710) Pierre Esprit Radisson’s 1659 expedition to Lake Superior and beyond opened a door to the North American fur trade.

Radisson, Pierre Esprit (1636/1640–1710)

Through it, he earned a reputation as a courageous explorer and a cunning merchant. Pierre Esprit Radisson - US History in Context. Pierre-Esprit Radisson - U.S. History in Context. The French explorer and soldier of fortune Pierre-Esprit Radisson (ca. 1636-1710) is the most romantic and least known of all the famous explorers of the Canadian North and West.

Pierre-Esprit Radisson - U.S. History in Context

RADISSON, PIERRE-ESPRIT – Volume II (1701-1740) RADISSON, PIERRE-ESPRIT, explorer, coureur de bois, one of the originators of the Hudson’s Bay Company; b. c. 1640, in Avignon (?)

RADISSON, PIERRE-ESPRIT – Volume II (1701-1740)

, France; d. 1710 in England. Little is known of the explorer’s parents, birth, and early childhood. In an affidavit dated 1697 and a petition of 1698, Radisson himself states that he was then 61 and 62 years of age respectively, thereby indicating that he was born in 1636. A 1681 census of New France, however, lists him as 41 years of age. There is considerable evidence that the Radisson family came from the lower Rhone area, in or near Avignon.

Marguerite Hayet, a daughter of Madeleine Hénaut’s first marriage, was to play quite an important part in the young Radisson’s life. Nothing is known, however, of Radisson’s arrival in New France. According to Radisson’s account, he was taken by his captors to a Mohawk village near present-day Schenectady, N.Y. Médard Chouart Des Groseilliers 1654-1660. Médard Chouart Des Groseilliers , a native of Champagne, was baptized on July 31, 1618 at Charly-sur-Marne.

Médard Chouart Des Groseilliers 1654-1660

Except for having spent some time in Touraine, nothing is known of his life before his arrival in New France in 1641. Taken into the service of the Jesuits as a servant, a donné or an interpreter, Des Groseillers travelled with them until 1646. He was the first Frenchman in New France to recognize the possibilities for fur trade around Hudson’s Bay. Despite being the person responsible for identifying the primary economic resource that could save the colony, history dismisses his as a mere adventurer trying to make money for himself. Route. CHOUART DES GROSEILLIERS, MÉDARD – Volume I (1000-1700) CHOUART DES GROSEILLIERS, MÉDARD, explorer and one of the originators of the HBC; baptized 31 July 1618, in the parish church at Charly-sur-Marne in the old French province of Brie, not far from Château-Thierry; d. 1696?


He was the son of Médard Chouart and Marie Poirier, whose farm, Les Groseilliers (the Gooseberry Bushes), may still be visited across the Marne from Charly. Little is known of Chouart’s family or early life, except that in 1647 his parents were living at Saint-Cyr and that he reached Canada at a youthful age, perhaps in 1641, having lived at some earlier time in the home of “one of our mothers of Tours,” according to Marie de l’Incarnation [see Guyart], the first mother superior of the Ursuline nuns in Quebec. Médard Chouart des Groseilliers - U.S. History in Context. Médard Chouart des Groseilliers was born in northern France on the farm of his parents which was called Les Groseilliers--the Gooseberry Bushes.

Médard Chouart des Groseilliers - U.S. History in Context

He went to New France (Canada) at an early age, probably as a soldier. He married in Quebec City and stayed there to raise a family. After his first wife died, he remarried and moved to the town of Trois Rivières. His second wife's half-brother was Pierre-Esprit Radisson, who was to become Groseilliers' companion on many of his trips. (The two have been known as "Gooseberries and Radishes" to generations of Canadian schoolchildren.) Ever since the founding of New France, the French had been at war with the Native American confederation of tribes known as the Iroquois.

We do not know Groseilliers' exact route on this trip, but the most interesting result was that he came back claiming that he had found an overland route to Hudson Bay, discovered by Henry Hudson in 1610. Medart Chouart, Sieur de Groseilliers. Groseilliers, Médart Chouart, Sieur de (fl. 1625 - 1684), explorer, was born in France at Charly-Saint-Cyr near Meaux in 1621 or 1625.

Medart Chouart, Sieur de Groseilliers

He was the son of Médard and Marie (Poirier) Chouart. At an early age he entered the service of the Jesuits as donné or assistant. In 1637 (or 1641) he went to Canada, where he spent several years in the mission to the Hurons on Manitoulin Island and learned the Huron tongue. Radisson and des Groseilliers. (untitled) One of the main reasons for the continued exploration of the New World was the search for an easier, more direct route to the Orient.

Radisson and des Groseilliers

The theory arose that just such a route lay to the north of the North American continent - the fabled Northwest Passage. The quest for the Northwest Passage began in earnest in 1576 with the first expedition of Martin Frobisher. Frobisher's three unsuccessful attempts to find the passages did not diminish enthusiasm for the search. In 1610 a syndicate of English courtiers commissioned Henry Hudson to try and chart the Northwest Passage. By 1631, there was conclusive evidence that Hudson Bay was not the sailing route to the Orient.