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Resource Type > Image

Statue of explorer Pierre Gaultier de La Vérendrye

Type: Image

There is no reliable likeness known of Pierre Gaultier de Varennes et de La Vérendrye (1685-1749), the officer who was one of the great explorers of the Canadian west. This statue at the Quebec National Assembly is possibly the best known depiction of him. Here he symbolically looks to the far horizon.

Site: National Defence

John Cabot embarking in full ceremonial garb on the Matthew at Bristol on 20 May 1497

Type: Image

Sailing west from Bristol in the south west of England in May 1497, Cabot sighted land on 24 June. This was probably Newfoundland but also possibly Cape Breton Island. Cabot took possession of his discovery for England, which gave that country its first claim of trans-Atlantic territory.

Site: National Defence

Portuguese ships, early 16th century

Type: Image

Such ships would have carried the Portuguese who explored what is now Canada’s east coast. (Museu de Arte Antiguo, Lisbon)

Site: National Defence

Map of La Vérendrye’s western explorations

Type: Image

Pierre Gaultier de Varennes et de La Vérendrye (1685-1749) charted large areas of the Prairies during the 1730s and 1740s, unsuccessfully searching for the fabled Northwest Passage that linked the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Site: National Defence

La Vérendrye brothers, 1743

Type: Image

Here we see brothers Louis-Joseph and François de La Vérendrye, both cadets in the Compagnies franches de la Marine of Canada, who set out to discover the 'Western Sea' and reached the Rocky Mountains in January 1743. (Library and Archives Canada, C-070247)

Site: National Defence

Map of New France by Samuel de Champlain, 1613

Type: Image

Champlain's 1613 map shows Newfoundland ('terreneuve'), Acadia ('Acadye') and Labrador among other locations. Notice the label 'Canadas' on the north shore of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.

Site: National Defence

The Matthew, John Cabot’s ship, 1497

Type: Image

The Matthew was a barque under 100 tons manned by a crew of 18 hands led by John Cabot. It sailed from Bristol in the south west of England in May 1497. The ship is known to have had a triangular lateen sail as shown in this reconstruction.

Site: National Defence

Canadian Illustrated News - Reconnaissance - The War

Type: Image

Soldiers are depicted during a reconnaisance operation at the time of the Franco-Prussian War.

Site: Library and Archives Canada

The world known to European scholars in about 1350 as transposed on a modern map

Type: Image

Much of the geographical knowledge in the Middle Ages dated back to the classical Greeks with various later accounts added in. These would include those of the Vikings in northern seas and Marco Polo’s tale of travels in the Far East during the 13th century. Maps published before Christopher Columbus’ discoveries in 1492 remained essentially as shown. There was no suspicion amongst Europeans, Asians and Africans that there might be other continents. Map from 'Ridpath’s Cyclopedia,' 1885.

Site: National Defence

'From Canada by land' - Alexander MacKenzie reaches the Pacific, 22 July 1793

Type: Image

Alexander MacKenzie and his companions arrived on the Pacific coast by the Bella Coola River on 22 July 1793. The expedition started in Montreal and crossed the Rocky Mountains. This was the first North American overland crossing to the Pacific and it had far-reaching geostrategic implications regarding territorial claims for Canada, Britain and the United States. The United States' expedition by Lewis and Clark, made more famous by the American media, only reached the Pacific in November 1805.

Site: National Defence