Meet Samuel de Champlain!

In celebration of the 400th anniversary of the European discovery of Lake Champlain, the Pember Library will welcome Samuel de Champlain! Using authentic 17th-century French costume and artifacts, historic interpreter Don Thompson will play the role of Champlain, the well-known explorer of the New World. He will share stories of his exploration of the lake that would later bear his name and tell about his experiences with Native Americans.  Many of his anecdotes come directly from the writings of Samuel de Champlain himself.

Mr. Thompson and his wife, Carol, have written Seeking the Northwest Passage. That book tells about Samuel de Champlain and Henry Hudson who sailed from Europe four hundred years ago to a place that later became New York State. They were searching for a northern route from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The book, for young readers 9 to 12, is about the two explorers and their adventures.

The book gives background on what little is known of the two explorers’ early lives, and their explorations before 1608. The main focus is on their journeys during the summer and fall of 1609, when their routes took them into what is now New York State. Champlain traveled south on Lake Champlain to help his Indian allies fight their enemies, the Mohawk Iroquois, part of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Henry Hudson sailed his Half Moon up the River of Mountains (as he called the Hudson) hoping it would lead to the Northwest Passage. Although both men explored present-day New York State in 1609, they never met. However, each had an important role in the history of New York.

Donald H. Thompson, presenter, is a retired history teacher who spent 34 years teaching Social Studies and nine years as an historical interpreter.

Carol Thompson is a retired elementary teacher who became interested in the explorers while teaching fifth grade social studies.

For further information about the program contact Ardyce Bresett (518) 642-2525.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *