A History of Vermont

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HISTORY OF VERMONT CHAPTER I THE STRENGTH OF THE HILLS Continuing our route along the west side of the lake, contemplat- ing the country, I saw on the east side very high mountains, capped with snow. I asked the Indians if those parts were inhabited. They answered me yes, and that they were Iroquois, and there were in those parts beautiful valleys and fields fertile in corn as good as any I had eaten in the country, with an infinitude of other fruits, and that the lake extended close to the mountains, which were according to my judgment, fifteen leagues from us.—Extract from Champlain's narrative, 1609. First Discoveries by White Men In the year 1534 Jacques Cartier, sailing under com- mission from the king of France, passed through the Strait of Belle Isle into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, pos- sessed of a belief that he was on the high road to Cathay. The Breton sailor had but little time that summer to make explorations before the coming of the autumn winds bade him seek again the shores of France. With the following spring, however, he returned to his quest and sailed far up the river in eager search for a water way to the East Indies through this continent. That way he never found, but on this trip an incident befell him which has some interest for us. 1

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