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Royal Canadian Mint

400th Anniversary of the First French Settlement in North America - Proof Set (2004)

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In pursuit of the New World - 400th anniversary of the first French settlement in North America (1604-2004) 

In a river that serves as a natural border between New Brunswick and Maine lies an unassuming island that yielded significant influence on North American history. Named Ile Sainte-Croix, it was home to the first settlement that France established in order to claim its rights to this region of the New World.

In June 1604, Pierre du Gua, sieur de Monts and Samuel de Champlain were exploring the Atlantic coast to select a site for settlement. Sailing inland via Passamaquoddy Bay they discovered an island strategically located at the cross-shaped confluence of three rivers.

By late September, the settlement was built - just in time for the snow that began to fall a few days later. The river quickly filled with ice floes, cutting the colony off from the mainland. They were surrounded by salt water, with very little food or firewood for heat. When spring warmed, only 44 of the original 79 men were alive. The settlement was relocated, but the historic impact of this small island would endure for centuries to come.

About this Proof Set: 

This proof set of Canadian coinage features both the commemorative silver dollar and the aureate dollar depicting the common loon. 

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