Born in a small French port town, Samuel de Champlain learned skills in seamanship and navigation by his sea captain father. As a young man, he joined various armies and served for them. When these armies disbanded, Champlain found himself unemployed and decided to join his uncle on a journey to the New World. This is where his life changed and he became an explorer. .
Although he was not as well known as the infamous Christopher Columbus, Samuel de Champlain was not very different. He was a cartographer, explorer and the governor of New France. Known as the man who was considered to be the founder of New France, he helped map much of northeastern North America and started a settlement in Quebec, as well as laying the base for a great trading empire. Without the contributions of Samuel de Champlain, New France and Quebec would not have survived the beginning.
In his first few expeditions across the Atlantic, he commanded a Spanish fleet sailing to the West Indies, Mexico, and the Isthmus of Panama. But in 1603 he made his first voyage to New France as a member of a fur-trading expedition. He explored the St. Lawrence River as far as the rapids at Lachine and described his voyage in Des Sauvages (1603).
Until Champlain, the entire New World adventure had brought only disappointment and death for France. Explorers from Jacques Cartier to the Sieur de Monts had all failed to leave any permanent mark. Champlain the visionary would change that history. He dreamed not only of adding a great domain to France but of bringing wealth through the fur trade and penetrating the mysteries of the huge continent. He persuaded the Sieur de Monts to write off his ventures and fired him up with a new energy for an expedition to Quebec. There, he told De Monts, he would "plant himself on the great River of St Lawrence, where commerce and traffic can be carried on much better than in Acadie."" De Monts got his trade monopoly renewed, appointed Champlain governor and set the shipwrights of Honfleur to work fixing ships for the trip to Canada.