The Beginning of a Permanent European Presence in Northern North America
The winter of 1604-1605 on Saint Croix Island was a cruel one for Pierre Dugua's French expedition. Iced in by freezing temperatures and cut off from fresh water and game, 35 of 79 men died. As spring arrived and native people traded game for bread, the health of those remaining improved. Although the expedition moved on by summer, the beginning of French presence in North America had begun.
Did You Know?
Saint Croix Island was settled by Huguenots (French Protestants) and Catholics, a rare example of religious tolerance between these two groups. The island is protected today as part of Saint Croix Island International Historic Site.