Norridgewock was the name of both an Indian village and a band of the Abenaki Native Americans/First Nations, an Eastern Algonquian tribe of the United States and Canada. The French of New France called the village Kennebec; the tribe occupied an area in the interior of Maine. During colonial times, this area was territory disputed between British and French colonists, was set along the claimed western border of Acadia, the western bank of the Kennebec River. Archaeological evidence has identified several different sites associated with the settlement known as Norridgewock; the last one, where the French Jesuit priest Sebastian Rale had a mission, is today called Old Point, is located in Madison. Other sites are located nearby in the present-day town of Norridgewock. Three of these and archaeologically significant areas have been collectively designated as the Norridgewock Archaeological District, a National Historic Landmark District. Norridgewock is a corruption of the word Nanrantsouak, meaning "people of the still water between the rapids".
Their principal village called Norridgewock, was located near 44.767°N 69.8833°W / 44.767. A 1716 account by soldier/surveyor Joseph Heath describes the village as a square fort surrounded by a 9-foot palisade fence, each side 160 feet long with a gate at its center; the fort's walls faced the major points of the compass. Two streets connected the gates, forming an open square at the center marked by a large cross; the stockade enclosed 26 cabins "built much after the English manner"—probably of logs. Canoes were beached along the river. Extensive fields were cleared nearby for cultivation of maize, beans and squash. Twice a year and winter, the tribe spent a few months at the seashore catching fish, clams and seafowl. France claimed the Kennebec River; the English claimed the St. George River because they held deeds though the sachems who signed them believed they were only granting the right to use the land for hunting, fishing or safe passage; the French insisted that the sachems were not empowered to sell land, since the Abenaki territory belonged to the entire tribe.
France and England were at peace, New France could not take overt action against the settlements in the disputed area. Instead, the French government secretly engaged the Indians, guided by their French Jesuit missionaries, to hinder the expansion of English sovereignty. Missionaries with a dual loyalty to church and king were embedded within Abenaki bands on the Penobscot, St. Croix and Saint John rivers. However, Norridgewock Village was considered Quebec's predominant advance guard. In 1694, Father Sébastien Rale arrived at Norridgewock to establish a Jesuit mission, the first school in Maine, he built a chapel of bark in 1698, despite objections from the medicine men, Rale converted most of the inhabitants to Roman Catholicism. The chapel burned in 1705, but it was replaced with a church in 1720, it stood twenty paces outside the east gate, measured 60 feet long by 25 feet wide, with an 18-foot ceiling. Forty Abenaki youths in cassocks and surplices served as acolytes. In a 1722 letter written to John Goffe, the church was described by Johnson Harmon and Joseph Heath as:... a large handsome log building adorned with many pictures and toys to please the Indians...
Speaking the Abenaki language fluently, Father Rale immersed himself in Indian affairs. His "astonishing influence over their minds" raised suspicions that he was inciting hostility toward the Protestant British, whom he considered heretics. During King William's War, on July 18, 1694, French soldier Claude-Sébastien de Villieu with about 250 Abenakis from Norridgewock under command of their sagamore, Bomazeen raided the English settlement of Durham, New Hampshire, in the "Oyster River Massacre"; the French and Abenakis killed 45 English settlers and took 49 more captive, burning half of the village, including five garrisons. They destroyed the crops and killed all of the livestock, causing famine and destitution for the survivors; when Queen Anne's War broke out, with New France and New England again fighting over the border between New England and Acadia, Massachusetts Governor Joseph Dudley arranged a conference with tribal representatives in 1703 to propose that they remain neutral. On the contrary, the Norridgewock tribe in August joined a larger force of French and Indians, commanded by Alexandre Leneuf de Beaubassin, to attack Wells in the Northeast Coast Campaign.
Father Rale was suspected of inciting the tribe against the English because their settlements and blockhouses encroached on Abenaki land, but because they were Protestant and therefore heretics. Governor Dudley put a price on his head. In the winter of 1705, 275 British soldiers under the command of Colonel Winthrop Hilton were dispatched to seize Rale and sack the village. Warned in time, the priest escaped into the woods with his papers, but the militia burned the village and church; as part of the Northeast Coast Campaign, 500 Indians, including those from Norridgewock and a few French, commanded by Alexandre Leneuf de Beaubassin, raided Wells on August 10 and 11, 1703. In retaliation, there was a bounty put on Father Rale. Finding the village deserted in the winter of 1705 because its occupants, including Rale had been warned of an impending attack, Colonel Winthrop Hilt
New York (state)
New York is a state in the Northeastern United States. New York was one of the original thirteen colonies. With an estimated 19.54 million residents in 2018, it is the fourth most populous state. To distinguish the state from the city with the same name, it is sometimes called New York State; the state's most populous city, New York City, makes up over 40% of the state's population. Two-thirds of the state's population lives in the New York metropolitan area, nearly 40% lives on Long Island; the state and city were both named for the 17th century Duke of York, the future King James II of England. With an estimated population of 8.62 million in 2017, New York City is the most populous city in the United States and the premier gateway for legal immigration to the United States. The New York metropolitan area is one of the most populous in the world. New York City is a global city, home to the United Nations Headquarters and has been described as the cultural and media capital of the world, as well as the world's most economically powerful city.
The next four most populous cities in the state are Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, while the state capital is Albany. The 27th largest U. S. state in land area, New York has a diverse geography. The state is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south and Connecticut and Vermont to the east; the state has a maritime border with Rhode Island, east of Long Island, as well as an international border with the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the north and Ontario to the northwest. The southern part of the state is in the Atlantic coastal plain and includes Long Island and several smaller associated islands, as well as New York City and the lower Hudson River Valley; the large Upstate New York region comprises several ranges of the wider Appalachian Mountains, the Adirondack Mountains in the Northeastern lobe of the state. Two major river valleys – the north-south Hudson River Valley and the east-west Mohawk River Valley – bisect these more mountainous regions. Western New York is considered part of the Great Lakes region and borders Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Niagara Falls.
The central part of the state is dominated by the Finger Lakes, a popular vacation and tourist destination. New York had been inhabited by tribes of Algonquian and Iroquoian-speaking Native Americans for several hundred years by the time the earliest Europeans came to New York. French colonists and Jesuit missionaries arrived southward from Montreal for trade and proselytizing. In 1609, the region was visited by Henry Hudson sailing for the Dutch East India Company; the Dutch built Fort Nassau in 1614 at the confluence of the Hudson and Mohawk rivers, where the present-day capital of Albany developed. The Dutch soon settled New Amsterdam and parts of the Hudson Valley, establishing the multicultural colony of New Netherland, a center of trade and immigration. England seized the colony from the Dutch in 1664. During the American Revolutionary War, a group of colonists of the Province of New York attempted to take control of the British colony and succeeded in establishing independence. In the 19th century, New York's development of access to the interior beginning with the Erie Canal, gave it incomparable advantages over other regions of the U.
S. built its political and cultural ascendancy. Many landmarks in New York are well known, including four of the world's ten most-visited tourist attractions in 2013: Times Square, Central Park, Niagara Falls, Grand Central Terminal. New York is home to the Statue of Liberty, a symbol of the United States and its ideals of freedom and opportunity. In the 21st century, New York has emerged as a global node of creativity and entrepreneurship, social tolerance, environmental sustainability. New York's higher education network comprises 200 colleges and universities, including Columbia University, Cornell University, New York University, the United States Military Academy, the United States Merchant Marine Academy, University of Rochester, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rockefeller University, which have been ranked among the top 40 in the nation and world; the tribes in what is now New York were predominantly Algonquian. Long Island was divided in half between the Wampanoag and Lenape; the Lenape controlled most of the region surrounding New York Harbor.
North of the Lenape was the Mohicans. Starting north of them, from east to west, were three Iroquoian nations: the Mohawk, the original Iroquois and the Petun. South of them, divided along Appalachia, were the Susquehannock and the Erie. Many of the Wampanoag and Mohican peoples were caught up in King Philip's War, a joint effort of many New England tribes to push Europeans off their land. After the death of their leader, Chief Philip Metacomet, most of those peoples fled inland, splitting into the Abenaki and the Schaghticoke. Many of the Mohicans remained in the region until the 1800s, however, a small group known as the Ouabano migrated southwest into West Virginia at an earlier time, they may have merged with the Shawnee. The Mohawk and Susquehannock were the most militaristic. Trying to corner trade with the Europeans, they targeted other tribes; the Mohawk were known for refusing white settlement on their land and banishing any of their people who converted to Christianity. They posed a major threat to the Abenaki and Mohicans, while the Susquehannock conquered the Lenape in the 1600s.
The most devastating event of the century, was the Beaver Wars. From 1640–1680, Iroquoian peoples waged campaigns which extended from modern-day Michigan to Virginia against Algonquian and Siouan tribes, as well as each other; the ai
The Miami are a Native American nation speaking one of the Algonquian languages. Among the peoples known as the Great Lakes tribes, it occupied territory, now identified as Indiana, southwest Michigan, western Ohio. By 1846, most of the Miami had been removed to Indian Territory; the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma is the only federally recognized tribe of Miami Indians in the United States. The Miami Nation of Indiana is an unrecognized tribe; the name Miami derives from Myaamia, the tribe's autonym in their Algonquian language of Miami-Illinois. This appears to have been derived from an older term meaning "downstream people." Some scholars contended the Miami called themselves the Twightwee an onomatopoeic reference to their sacred bird, the sandhill crane. Recent studies have shown that Twightwee derives from the Delaware language exonym for the Miamis, tuwéhtuwe, a name of unknown etymology; some Miami have stated that this was only a name used by other tribes for the Miami, not their autonym. They called themselves Mihtohseeniaki.
The Miami continue to use this autonym today. Early Miami people are considered to belong to the Fischer Tradition of Mississippian culture. Mississippian societies were characterized by maize-based agriculture, chiefdom-level social organization, extensive regional trade networks, hierarchical settlement patterns, other factors; the historical Miami engaged in hunting. During historic times, the Miami were known to have migrated south and eastwards from Wisconsin from the mid-17th century to the mid-18th century, by which time they had settled on the upper Wabash River in what is now northwestern Ohio; the migration was a result of their being invaded during the protracted Beaver Wars by the more powerful Iroquois, who traveled far in strong organized groups from their territory in central and western New York for better hunting during the peak of the eastern beaver fur trader days. The Dutch and French traders and, after 1652, the British fueled demand; the warfare and social disruption contributed to the decimation of Native American populations, but the major factor were fatalities from infectious diseases for which they had no immunity.
Historic locations When French missionaries first encountered the Miami in the mid-17th century, the indigenous people were living around the western shores of Lake Michigan. The Miami had moved there because of pressure from the Iroquois further east. Early French explorers noticed many linguistic and cultural similarities between the Miami bands and the Illiniwek, a loose confederacy of Algonquian-speaking peoples. At this time, the major bands of the Miami were: Atchakangouen, Atchatchakangouen, Greater Miami or Crane Band Kilatika, Kiratika called by the French known by the English as Eel River Band of Miamis.
The Pottawatomi spelled Pottawatomie and Potawatomi, are a Native American people of the Great Plains, upper Mississippi River, western Great Lakes region. They traditionally speak a member of the Algonquian family; the Potawatomi called. The Potawatomi were part of a long-term alliance, called the Council of Three Fires, with the Ojibwe and Odawa. In the Council of Three Fires, the Potawatomi were considered the "youngest brother" and were referred to in this context as Bodéwadmi, a name that means "keepers of the fire" and refers to the council fire of three peoples. In the 19th century, they were pushed to the west by European/American encroachment in the late 18th century and removed from their lands in the Great Lakes region to reservations in Oklahoma. Under Indian Removal, they ceded many of their lands, most of the Potawatomi relocated to Nebraska and Indian Territory, now in Oklahoma; some bands today are federally recognized as tribes. In Canada, there are over 20 First Nation bands.
The English "Potawatomi" is derived from the Ojibwe Boodewaadamii. The Potawatomi name for themselves is a cognate of the Ojibwe form, their name means "those who tend the hearth-fire," which refers to the hearth of the Council of Three Fires. The word comes from "to tend the hearth-fire,", bodewadm in the Potawatomi language. Alternatively, the Potawatomi call themselves Neshnabé, a cognate of Ojibwe Anishinaabe, meaning "original people"; the Potawatomi teach their children about the "Seven Grandfather Teachings" of wisdom, love, humility and truth toward each other and all creation. Each one of which teachings them the equality and importance of their fellow tribesman and respect for all of natures creations; the story itself teaches the importance of patience and listening as it follows the Water Spider's journey to retrieve fire for the other animals to survive the cold. As the other animals step forth one after another to proclaim that they shall be the one's to retrieve the fire, the Water spider sits and waits while listening to her fellow animals.
As they finish and wrestle with their fears, she steps forward and announces that she will be the one to bring it back. As they laugh and doubt her she weaves a bowl out of her own web that sails her across the water to retrieves the fire, she brings back a hot coal that they make fire out of and they celebrate her honor and bravery. The Potawatomi are first mentioned in French records, which suggest that in the early 17th century, they lived in what is now southwestern Michigan. During the Beaver Wars they fled to the area around Green Bay to escape attacks by both the Iroquois and the Neutral Nation, who were seeking expanded hunting grounds; as an important part of Tecumseh's Confederacy, Potawatomi warriors took part in Tecumseh's War, the War of 1812 and the Peoria War. Their alliances switched between Great Britain and the United States as power relations shifted between the nations, they calculated effects on their trade and land interests. At the time of the War of 1812, a band of Potawatomi inhabited the area near Fort Dearborn, where Chicago developed.
Led by the chiefs Blackbird and Nuscotomeg, a force of about 500 warriors attacked the United States evacuation column leaving Fort Dearborn. George Ronan, the first graduate of West Point to be killed in combat, died in this ambush; the incident is referred to as the "Fort Dearborn Massacre". A Potawatomi chief named Mucktypoke, counseled his fellow warriors against the attack, he saved some of the civilian captives who were being ransomed by the Potawatomi. The French period of contact began with early explorers who reached the Potawatomi in western Michigan, they found the tribe located along the Door Peninsula of Wisconsin. By the end of the French period, the Potawatomi had begun a move to the Detroit area, leaving the large communities in Wisconsin. Madouche during the Fox Wars Millouisillyny Onanghisse at Green Bay Otchik at Detroit The British period of contact began when France ceded its lands after the defeat in the French and Indian War. Pontiac's Rebellion was an attempt by Native Americans to push the British and other European settlers out of their territory.
The Potawatomi captured every British Frontier Garrison but the one at Detroit. The Potawatomi nation continued to grow and expanded westward from Detroit, most notably in the development of the St. Joseph villages adjacent to the Miami in southwestern Michigan; the Wisconsin communities moved south along the Lake Michigan shoreline. Nanaquiba at Detroit Ninivois at Detroit Peshibon at St. Joseph Washee at St. Joseph during Pontiac's Rebellion The United States Treaty period of Potawatomi history began with the Treaty of Paris, which ended the American Revolutionary War and established the United States' interest in the lower Great Lakes, it lasted. The US recognized the Potawatomi as a single tribe, they had a few tribal leaders whom all villages accepted. The Potawatomi had a decentralized society, with several main divisions based on geographic locations: Milwaukee or Wisconsin area, D
The Neutral Confederacy or Neutral Nation or Neutral people were an Iroquoian-speaking North American indigenous people who lived near the northern shores of Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, on the west side of the Niagara River, west of the Tabacco Nation. They were related to the Iroquois Confederation to their southeast, the Huron peoples living around Lake Ontario, the Erie people of the south shore of Lake Erie, the Tabacco people situated east of Lake Erie, the Susquehannocks of Central Pennsylvania. Like the others of Iroquoian culture, the tribes would raid and feud with fellow Iroquoian tribes when they weren't gaming and engaging in friendly competitions, they were wary of rival Algonquian peoples, such as those that inhabited Canada to the East, along the Saint Lawrence valley drainage catchment. Iroquoian tribes were known to historians for the fierce ways in which they waged war; some tribes were inclined to competitive games. A agrarian society, Neutral farmsteads were admired and marveled over by European leaders writing reports home.
The Neutrals were engaged in hunting, traded with others using animal skins. The largest group referred to themselves as Chonnonton — due to their practice of herding deer into pens, a strategy used while hunting. Another group, the Onguiaahra, populated the more southern Niagara Peninsula, account for the origin of the word, "Niagara." The Chonnonton territory contained large deposits of flint, a valuable resource for sharp tools, fire-starting and firearms, which, as a primary resource, allowed them to trade with oft-warring Huron and Iroquois tribes. Since they were not at war with the Huron or Iroquois in 1600, Jesuits traveling in the area of what is now Hamilton, the lower Grand Valley and Niagara, called them the Neutrals. However, the confederacy did have feuds with the Algonkian people who were believed to live in what is now Michigan. In 1616, the Neutral Nation was estimated to have 4,000 warriors. In 1641, after a serious epidemic, the Jesuits counted 40 Neutral villages with about 12,000 people.
During the late 16th and early 17th centuries, the territory of the Attawandaron, as they were called by the Huron Nation, was within the limits of present-day southern Ontario. The Museum of Ontario Archaeology summarizes that territory as follows: they "inhabited dozens of villages in Southwestern Ontario stretching along the north shore of Lake Erie from the Niagara Peninsula to the Detroit River as far north as Toronto in the east and Goderich in the west". In addition to the main territory above, there was a single population cluster to the east, across the Niagara River near modern-day Buffalo, New York; the western boundary of this territory was the valley of the Grand River, with population concentrations existing on the Niagara Peninsula and in the vicinity of the present-day communities of Hamilton and Milton, Ontario. Souharissen was the warrior chief who lived in a village called Ounontisatan, visited by the French in 1625-1626 who reached a trade agreement with the Neutral people who received protection from Souharissen.
This "principal headman" defeated the "Fire" Nation in the present state of Michigan. The Recollect priest Joseph Roche Daillon resided with him for five months in the winter of 1626–27. In his sojourn, Daillon visited 28 Neutral villages, including the capital which came to be called Notre Dame de Angels; the fertile flats of the various oxbows that Big Creek, three miles from its mouth at Grand River make, are ideal for a long term settlement pattern. Noble uses the term "Neutralia" to designate this concentration of Iroquoian-speaking natives. F. Douglas Reville's The History of the County of Brant stated that the hunting grounds of the Attawandaron ranged from Genesee Falls and Sarnia, south of a line drawn from Toronto to Goderich.Étienne Brûlé passed through the Attawandaron territory in 1615, but left no documentation of his presence. Joseph de La Roche Daillon conducted a missionary journey in Neutral territory in 1626. St. Jean de Brébeuf and Chaumonot visited eighteen villages of the Neutrals in 1640–1641, gave each a Christian name.
The only ones mentioned in their writings were Kandoucho, or All Saints, the nearest to the Huron Nation. F. Douglas Reville described their territory as having been forested and full of "wild fruit trees of vast variety", with nut trees, berry bushes, wild grape vines. "Elk and black bear. The Neutrals were called Attawandaron by the Huron, meaning "people whose speech is awry," or "a little different"; the Iroquois called them Rhagenratka. They spoke Iroquoian languages but were culturally distinct from the Iroquois and competed with them for the same resources; the French called the people "Neutral" because they tried to remain neutral between the on-again-off-again warring between the confederacy of the Huron tribes and nations of the Iroquois Confederacy. The Neutral territory contained flint grounds near the eastern end of Lake Erie; this important resource was used to make spearheads and arrowheads, its importance gave the Neutral power to maintain their neutrality. Once the neighboring countries began receiving firearms through trade with the Europeans, the possession of the flint grounds served much l
Nipissing First Nation
Nipissing First Nation is a long-standing community of Nishnaabeg peoples located along the shorelines of Lake Nipissing in Northern Ontario for close to 10,000 years. They are referred to by many names in European historical records, since the colonists adopted names given to them by other nations; the Nipissing are part of the Anishinaabe peoples, a grouping of people speaking Algonquin languages, which includes the Odawa and Algonquins. This broad heritage is the result of the Nipissings' living at a geographical crossroads, a watershed divide. Lake Nipissing drains via the French River into Georgian Bay and, to the east of Lake Nipissing, Trout Lake drains via the Mattawa River into the Ottawa River. Living at the crossroads between two watersheds, the Nipissing were key to trade to the East, West and South of Lake Nipissing; the French portaged the watershed divide extensively to reach the Great Lakes by canoe from their settlements around Montreal on the St. Lawrence River. To the west the Nipissing trade routes extended as far as Lake Nipigon and their Ojibwa neighbours, to the north as far James Bay, where they traded with the Cree and the English.
Their trade network to the east extended as far as present-day Quebec City on the St. Lawrence; the Iroquoian-speaking Huron people lived nearby to the South. Archaeological evidence shows that the Nipissing integrated some Huron styles and techniques in their pottery, they obtained food through hunting and gathering. Their extensive trading allowed them to supplement their diets with corn and squash as well, which were staple crops cultivated by many First Nations peoples; the land in the lake valleys would have supported some horticulture. Today Nipissing First Nation lies between the city of North Bay and the municipality of West Nipissing in northeastern Ontario, Canada. Most members of the First Nation reside on the First Nations reserve of Nipissing Indian Reserve 10; the Nipissing controlled trade routes that became desirable during the early French colonial period, as the French proved a large, lucrative market for the inland pelts, exporting many to Europe. The Iroquois, based south of Lake Ontario, conducted military campaigns against the competing Huron and Nipissing in the competition for furs.
By 1647, the Nipissing regrouped in the Lake Nipigon area. The Nipissing continued to use their historical trade routes but at greater risk. Claude-Jean Allouez visited the Nipissings at Lake Nipigon 1667, but in 1671 he reported that the Nipissing had returned to Lake Nipissing. After returning to Lake Nipissing, some of the Nipissings relocated to the missions at Trois-Rivières and Oka, Quebec; the noted 18th-century Cherokee chief Attakullakulla was born a Nipissing. He was captured as a child when the Cherokee killed his parents. By the early 19th century, European Canadians and Métis had started trapping in the area in and around Lake Nipissing, rather than relying on pelts brought to trading posts by First Nations peoples; this competition resulted in fewer pelts available to the Nipissing and other First Nation peoples in the area. In 1850 the Nipissing signed the Robinson Huron Treaty with the Canadian representatives of the British Crown. In the face of increasing European encroachment by settlers, they wanted to confirm their claim to the north shores of Lake Nipissing and its main waterways.
Nipissing 10 as it was known, is an First Nations reserve in northeastern Ontario, Canada located on the north shores of Lake Nipissing in Nipissing District, serving as the land base for the Nipissing First Nation. The 21,007.3 hectares reserve is located east of West Nipissing. The reserve comprises the communities of Beaucage, Jocko Point, Yellek and Garden Village, as well as many smaller sub-divisions. Garden Village is accessible by municipal streets in Sturgeon Falls; the other communities all have direct access off of Hwy 17 West. Traditionally, the Nipissing nation is structured around clans; the five doodems are: Blood, Heron and Squirrel. During the period of the clans' early contact with the Europeans, the Blood and Squirrel clans were located on and about Lake Nipissing, the Heron clan resided on Lake Nipissing but on lands extending southward to the eastern coast of Lake Huron's Georgian Bay, the Beaver clan was located on the northern coast of Georgian Bay, adjacent to Heron territory.
Each clan is subdivided along family lines. They govern independently but at the same time cooperatively, as part of Nipissing Nation as a whole, they respect a person's right to decide individual paths.. As of February 2009, Nipissing First Nation had a total registered population of 2,201 people, of which 886 lived on their own Reserve; the 2001 Canadian Census recorded 1,378 people lived on Nipissing 10 Indian Reserve. According to the Canada 2011 Census: Population: 1,450 % Change: 2.6 Dwellings: 674 Area: 61.22 Density: 23.7 The current governance of the Nipissing First Nation is elected under the custom electoral system, consisting of a chief, deputy chief and six councillors. The current council consists of Chief Scott McLeod and Deputy Chief Muriel Sawyer, along with Councillors, June Commanda, Brian Couchie, Corey Goulais, Jane B Commanda, Michael Sawyer and Eric "Ric" Stevens, their three-year term ends July 31, 2018. The Nipissing First Nation's council is a member of Waabnoong Bemjiwang Association of First Nations, a regional chiefs' c
Saint Lawrence River
The Saint Lawrence River is a large river in the middle latitudes of North America. The Saint Lawrence River flows in a north-easterly direction, connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean and forming the primary drainage outflow of the Great Lakes Basin, it traverses the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario, is part of the international boundary between Ontario and the U. S. state of New York. This river provides the basis for the commercial Saint Lawrence Seaway; the Saint Lawrence River begins at the outflow of Lake Ontario and flows adjacent to Gananoque, Morristown, Massena, Montreal, Trois-Rivières, Quebec City before draining into the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, the largest estuary in the world. The estuary begins at the eastern tip of just downstream from Quebec City; the river becomes tidal around Quebec City. The Saint Lawrence River runs 3,058 kilometres from the farthest headwater to the mouth and 1,197 km from the outflow of Lake Ontario; these numbers include the estuary. The farthest headwater is the North River in the Mesabi Range at Minnesota.
Its drainage area, which includes the Great Lakes, the world's largest system of freshwater lakes, is 1,344,200 square kilometres, of which 839,200 km2 is in Canada and 505,000 km2 is in the United States. The basin covers parts of Ontario and Quebec in Canada, parts of Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, nearly the entirety of the state of Michigan in the United States; the average discharge below the Saguenay River is 16,800 cubic metres per second. At Quebec City, it is 12,101 m3/s; the average discharge at the river's source, the outflow of Lake Ontario, is 7,410 m3/s. The Saint Lawrence River includes Lake Saint-Louis south of Montreal, Lake Saint Francis at Salaberry-de-Valleyfield and Lac Saint-Pierre east of Montreal, it encompasses four archipelagoes: the Thousand Islands chain near Alexandria Bay, New York and Kingston, Ontario. Other islands include Île d'Orléans near Quebec City and Anticosti Island north of the Gaspé, it is the second longest river in Canada.
Lake Champlain and the Ottawa, Saint-Maurice, Saint-François and Saguenay rivers drain into the Saint Lawrence. The Saint Lawrence River is in a seismically active zone where fault reactivation is believed to occur along late Proterozoic to early Paleozoic normal faults related to the opening of the Iapetus Ocean; the faults in the area comprise the Saint Lawrence rift system. According to the United States Geological Survey, the Saint Lawrence Valley is a physiographic province of the larger Appalachian division, containing the Champlain and Northern physiographic section. However, in Canada, where most of the valley is, it is instead considered part of a distinct Saint Lawrence Lowlands physiographic division, not part of the Appalachian division at all; the Norse explored the Gulf of Saint Lawrence in the 11th century and were followed by fifteenth and early sixteenth century European mariners, such as John Cabot, the brothers Gaspar and Miguel Corte-Real. The first European explorer known to have sailed up the Saint Lawrence River itself was Jacques Cartier.
At that time, the land along the river was inhabited by the St. Lawrence Iroquoians; because Cartier arrived in the estuary on Saint Lawrence's feast day, he named it the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. The Saint Lawrence River is within the U. S. and as such is that country's sixth oldest surviving European place-name. The earliest regular Europeans in the area were the Basques, who came to the St Lawrence Gulf and River in pursuit of whales from the early 16th century; the Basque whalers and fishermen traded with indigenous Americans and set up settlements, leaving vestiges all over the coast of eastern Canada and deep into the Saint Lawrence River. Basque commercial and fishing activity reached its peak before the Armada Invencible's disaster, when the Spanish Basque whaling fleet was confiscated by King Philip II of Spain and destroyed; the whaling galleons from Labourd were not affected by the Spanish defeat. Until the early 17th century, the French used the name Rivière du Canada to designate the Saint Lawrence upstream to Montreal and the Ottawa River after Montreal.
The Saint Lawrence River served as the main route for European exploration of the North American interior, first pioneered by French explorer Samuel de Champlain. Control of the river was crucial to British strategy to capture New France in the Seven Years' War. Having captured Louisbourg in 1758, the British sailed up to Quebec the following year thanks to charts drawn up by James Cook. British troops were ferried via the Saint Lawrence to attack the city from the west, which they did at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham; the river was used again by the British to defeat the French siege of Quebec under the Chevalier de Lévis in 1760. In 1809, the first steamboat to ply its trade on the St. Lawrence was built and operated by John Molson and associates, a scant two years after Fulton's steam-powered navigation of the Hudson River; the Accommodation with ten passengers made her maiden voyage from Montreal to Quebec City in 66 hours, for 30 of which she was at anch