This journeys end is a new beginning. This preparedness that painstakingly ensures success is finally our triumph. Glory and praises, thankfulness and relief, the weary are welcomed. Come, join us. Into this fair land of sunshine and wild, of a place of unusual gold. Riches and fortune, made for a king.
Praises, praises, we have a colony. At the time of the founding of Quebec city, France was the most populated country in Europe, yet they had difficulty finding willing settlers to inhabit this great land and to build this great country. The awesome enticement of riches from the great wild, couldn’t even entice the impoverished slaves from the lower classes to leave the slums of France. But what does it take to be a fortune hunter, a settler, a soldier and a daredevil? What qualifications did they need? Perhaps a poor peasant wasn’t the best choice for the colonies. Slaves might be too fearful and prisoners might be too dangerous. Choose wisely, oh mighty ones, your day of reckoning will come.
No longer the grandeur of 17th century France. The life of the impressive French Renaissance. Brilliant change and brilliant invention. Who would leave this awesome place? Look around yourselves, your good fortune lies here. Here in the homeland of brilliant France, where the arts are thriving and life is good. Who would leave this wonderful place, this wonderful life, and venture into the hardship and conflict of life in a colony? Who dares to be first?
The appeal of colonial life and of making a new country, was not at the top of the list of dreams for the French. Only those brave few, would dare the Atlantic crossing and venture into the unknown. Stalwarts and bravehearts, skilled and courageous, colonial life was too daunting an adventure for the polished, sophisticated, countrymen of France.
A backbreaking adventure, a risk of life and limb, a intolerable climate and connections to a people of unknown character. Life in a fort, in crowded conditions, with bare necessities and humble accommodation. The freemen of France looked upon the life in a colony suspiciously. Stumble and fall, stumble and fall, but rise and shine and pursue the adventure once more.
For those who finally ventured forth, into the new, into the unknown, the challenges of life abroad would change the face of North America. As small as the tiny fort was, it still made a mark in the land, a change in the landscape, a place of accommodation, an establishment and a secure dwelling for those who dared. Now over 400 years old, the city of Quebec is a thriving city of old and new, of charm and charisma. A beautiful old place of French pride.
Connect to the people, connect to the countryside. Learn and teach, the life in the colony will be hard, but finally the adventure is won.
Written by Dr. Louise Hayes
May 15, 2016