Montreal's first year

The first winter passed in harmony. In the middle of March 1643, the frame of Ville-Marie’s main building was completed. A canon was installed on the stockade. It was hoisted to mark the feast of St-Joseph with the noise of artillery. At the same time, the news of a new European village spread.

Towards the end of February, 1643, a group of about 25 Algonquians stopped in Ville-Marie, on their way to fight the Iroquois.

A few days later another group of natives arrived. This time, it was a hunting expedition.

The chief of the second group, whose name was Oumasaskweie, had been baptised and he asked the French to perform his wedding with his bride Mitigoukoue. Father Joseph Antoine Poncet performed the first wedding in Montreal in a church ceremony. On March 9, 1643 the uncle of Oumasaskweie, whose name was Tesswehas, was baptised along with his wife. This would be the first baptism in the town.

Some historians say however that a little for-year-old Algonquin was baptised on July 28, 1642. But the town would not live in peace and harmony for much longer. In fact, the first sacrifice of their blood, spilled to ensure the survival of Montreal, was not long in coming. In June, 1643, Ville-Marie would experience its first losses.

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