The Death of Samuel de Champlain


He remained to the last, Lieutenant of the king in Canada. At the beginning of October 1635 he was stricken with paralysis, and passed away on Christmas Day of the same year. We do not possess the oration, which Father Paul Le Jeune delivered at his funeral, but there remains from Le Jeune's pen, an appreciation of his character in terms which to Champlain himself would have seemed the highest



   On the twenty-fifth of December, the day of the birth of our Saviour upon earth, Monsieur de Champlain, our Governor, was reborn in Heaven; at least we can say that his death was full of blessings. I am sure that God has shown him this favor in consideration of the benefits he has procured for New France, where we hope some day God will be loved and served by our French, and known and adored by our Savages. Truly he had led a life of great justice, equity, and perfect loyalty to his King and towards the Gentlemen of the Company. But at his death he crowned his virtues with sentiments of piety so lofty that he astonished us all. What tears he shed! How ardent became his zeal for the service of God! How great was his love for the families here! Saying that they must be vigorously assisted for the good of the Country, and made comfortable in every possible way in these early stages, and that he would do it if God gave him health. He was not taken unawares in the account which he had to render unto God, for he had long ago prepared a general Confession of his whole life, which he made with great contrition to Father Lalemant, whom he honored with his friendship. The Father comforted him throughout his sickness,  which lasted two months and a half, and did not leave him until his death. He had a very honorable burial, the funeral procession being formed of the people, the soldiers, the captains, and the churchmen. Father Lalemant officiated at this burial, and I was charged with the funeral oration, for which I did not lack material. Those whom he left behind have reason to be well satisfied with him; for, though he died out of France, his name will not therefore be any less glorious to posterity.


THE FOUNDER OF NEW FRANCE - A Chronicle of Champlain   -  By CHARLES W. COLBY TORONTO, 1915