1642 and the birth of Ville-Marie on the Island of Montreal
Montreal was officially born in 1642 and was christened as Ville Marie when 40 colonizers would come to permanently live on the lands of Place Royalle. They would be governed by Chomedey de Maisonneuve, the official founder of the city. I was surprised to find out that these initial colonizers did not come for the potential of the “promise land”, as many did who came to North America, and actually that they were apparently quite wealthy and connected to the French throne. Their mandate was to create a people mixed of French and Natives that would be converted and trained the ways of European technology while uniting them under one single Christian discipline. Kind of like a melting pot of missionaries, I suppose. Why was Montreal island chosen for this spot? Once again, it was the central location due to the fact that it lead to multiple rivers. It would be, in their mind, a place to attract and unite 40 different Native nations. In the end however, it became much more of a central trade post rather than its originally intended religious mandate.
A new governance would quickly come into play to change how things are managed in Montreal and New France. Thus far, looking deeper into our early history, we have learned about the origins of the site and the name of Montreal itself but as we go further ahead in time (and in this series), we will soon see how Montreal’s first neighbourhood communities naturally developed. À bientôt.
Source: Montréal en Évolution