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HIST 353
Jarrett Rudy

September 4 2008Finding Hochelaga and Founding Montrealand the Disappearance of the St Lawrence IroquoisJacques CartierJacques Cartier2 October 1535landed in HochelagaFrench explorer sent to the Americas to try to find treasure3 voyages 1534 153536 154142Important witness to St Lawrence Iroquois society and Hochelaga Brutal to the nativeskidnapped many and sent them back to France etcbut it is important to note that Cartier visits what becomes Montreal in 1535 The next major European explorer to return there is Samuel de Champlain in 1603Between Cartier and Champlain the natives that Cartier had met would disappear by the time that Champlain shows upno society like Cartier had described in his writings But who were the people that were here when Cartier arrived What can we understand from their lives What happened to them Why did they disappear What has been at stake in finding out where Hochelaga actually wasInaccuracies in writingsprejudice cultural contact and the biases that come with thatArcheological evidencelargely gathered since 1970s but sometimes evidence as early as 1860swhich can be problematic not really modern archeologyRoland Tremblaynotable archeologist in determining what we can know about the Iroquoiswe can only know a certain amount of information about them because of the sources availablePrecontact occupation of MontrealCultural Chronology of the St Lawrence Valleysee Powerpoint slideContact period 15001650Initial settlementPrior to 2500BC Tools left behindby what is thought to be the Lomoka tribemade of stone from Mount RoyalAssumption that Lomoka were not meateatersfew bones found thoughts that animals may have been sacred2500BC evidence of a new group of peopleused pottery vs stoneallowed archeologists to see them as a distinct cultureMontreal remained a passageway rather than a place where people lived yearroundNomadic to sedentary livingMajor transformation in precontact Native peoples from evidence we have today from MiddleLate Woodland eraslargely caused by adoption of a specific plant to be a new form of nourishment CORN Allowed them to be less dependent on the hunt in the past winter communities broke up in the winter and become nomadic hunting groupsoften leaving the area In the summer communities would settle on shores of major waterways and fish Corn however meant that people could settle year round in specific places1300 AD people are beginning to actually live fulltime on the island of Montrealor Hochelaga as it was known at the time This culture was significantly based on cornallowed for many changesSocial organizationnew sexual division of labourwomen began farming and taking part in horticulture while men remained hunters they became responsible for the local environmentclans became matrilinealwhen a couple married the man moved into the womans family These groups lived inoften with many longhousesmembers of the extended familyfamilies lived in longhouses and dried their corn there as wellin the attics storage and drying areassee Powerpoint for Cartier quotedescription of village and longhousesGovernancechange in governance of the Iroquoisimportant decisions required womens approvalCanada was divided by the natives into provincesWhat happened to the Iroquois Why did they disappear by the time Champlain got to North America in 1603The area seemed to be unoccupied as Cartier had found Several hypotheses exist but there are no exact answers Hypothesis 1 Climate Cooling between 1450 and 1850Mini iceagemay have pushed St Lawrence Iroquois south where agriculture would have been more productive Its not clear that this was a factorfarming was possible in this area at this time so theres no real proof that the Iroquois wouldnt have been able to have stable communities because of temperature changesHypothesis 2 DiseaseEuropean disease wiped out the St Lawrence Iroquois This is based on what the Spaniards did to people in Latin America upon colonizationie diseased blankets lack of immunity to new diseases etcThe problem with this idea theres no concrete evidence that this took place Most native people in North America were wiped out by disease Whether this was done willingly or not is what is called into question th17 century native populations are decimated by diseasebut before this there is no real indication of a massive effect of disease on native thpopulations This is because in the 16 century crossing the Atlantic typically took approx 92 days This is much longer than the typical incubation period of a disease at this time So as boat technology improved and it became quicker to cross the Atlantic diseases could cross more quickly as well before dying out on their own before even coming to shoreIn Hochelaga and other St Lawrence Iroquois important sites we dont find any proof that disease killed this population Archeologists suggest that disease wasnt necessarily the ultimate factor in pushing the Iroquois away from QuebecHypothesis 3 Intertribal warfareFavoured hypothesis by archeologistsmost likely possibilityHad begun long before European arrivalThe St Lawrence Iroquois according to archeologists werent totally organizedno confederacy and probably vulnerable to an attack from betterorganized native groupsPossibilities of these attackers see Powerpoint slide for map of gorups ththoccupying St Lawrence Valley around the 1617 centuries when Europeans had begun exploringGroups assumed to contact with Iroquois HuronWendat confederacy Algonquin confederacy Both had regular contact with the Iroquois Algonquin in 1642 complained to the French that Montreal actually belonged to them The Huron did the sameboth groups claimed the territory as their ownIroquois confederacyMohawksFive Nations IroquoisoInvolved in significant warfare with all the groups that surrounded them Anthropologists and archeologists have suggested that the Iroquois confederacy as part of their major war in this space ended up adopting killing or dispersing the St Lawrence IroquoisthSince 19 century a number of hypotheses have been put forward about where exactly Hochelaga was Hochelaga was a city of approx 15002000 inhabitants at the timeHypothesis 1 Dawson18591860 Corner of Burnside now Metcalfe or close to it and de Maisonneuvewhile walking close to McGill College around where Scotiabank now is on Sherbrooke John William Dawson found evidence of a native village in what was at the time a big sand pitDawson was a geologistdid some tests which are now seen as rough and inexactbut he claimed that these tests proved that this site was HochelagaPrestige value associated with the idea that Hochelaga was on the same site as what is arguably the most prestigious site of Anglophone Montrealmeant that Anglophones held the quintessential origins of Montreal
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