|Medallions from Years Past|
Medallions from Years Past
The effigy from 1998 features a portrait of Louis de Buade, Comte de Frontenac, who was governor of the colony from 1672 to 1682 and from 1689 to 1698. It was he who uttered the memorable phrase to General Phipps during the 1690 siege of Québec City: “I have no other answer for your general than the mouths of my cannons and the barrels of my guns!”
The round effigy measures 45 mm and has a suspension ring. The portrait is in the center with the name above and the dates 1620–1698 below. The back of the effigy displays the festival logo and the inscriptions “New France Festival” and “Québec City, August 5 to 9, 1998.”
In 1999, the effigy sported a portrait of Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville. His story began in 1686 with the taking of two English forts on the shores of Hudson Bay, but his name was destined to go down in history when he defeated a flotilla of three heavily armed English warships in 1697 from on board Le Pélican.
The portrait in the center is heavily embossed, with his name above and the dates 1661–1706 below. The back of the coin features the festival logo and the inscriptions “Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France” and “Québec City, August 4 to 8, 1999.” The effigy is in the form of an oval, measuring 40 mm by 52 mm with a suspension ring.
In 2000, the effigy featured a portrait of Jean Talon. Talon was the first intendant in New France to come to Canada. He held the post from 1665 to 1668 and from 1670 to 1672. It was under his watch that Canada’s first nominal censuses were held in 1666 and 1667. And the Jean Talon Brewery was of course the first of its kind in Canada.
The portrait appears in the center of the round medallion with the name above and the dates 1626–1694 below. The back of the effigy sports the festival logo and the inscriptions “New France Festival” and “August 2 to 6, 2000, Québec City” over two lines. The round effigy measures 41 mm and includes a suspension ring, which is larger than in previous years and has an infinity ring.
The 2001 effigy features two historical characters: a member of the First Nations and a coureur des bois. The coin aims to mark the signing of the Great Peace of Montréal Treaty in 1701. According to the leaflet accompanying the effigy, the characters represented are Nicolas Perrot and Nescambiouit. Perrot is said to have worked as an interpreter during the peace talks, and Nescambiouit, an Abénaki chief and friend of the French, was revered by his peers.
While previous effigies had shown only the faces of characters, this one showed both characters from the waist up. Below the portraits lies the inscription “French-Amerindian Relations” just above “18th century.”
The back of the effigy also bears the festival logo, along with the “New France Festival” inscription, but the name is written in big letters and spread over four lines with, over one line and in small letters below, the inscription “Québec City, August 8 to 12, 2001.” The effigy is in the form of a square with a triangular base and measures 36 mm by 43 mm with a suspension ring. One of the feathers on the Amerindian’s head goes beyond the square to become part of the suspension ring, which has an infinity ring.
For the first time in 2002, the effigy featured a heroine. She was Marie Rollet and recalled the leading role played by women in New France. Marie Rollet, wife of Louis Hébert, came to Canada with her three children in 1617 with the firm intention of settling. She divided her time between her two passions: helping her husband in his apothecary and teaching First Nations children. She can rightly be considered one of New France’s founding women.
The effigy shows Marie Rollet from the shoulders up and is divided into two. Below the bust are printed the dates 1588–1649 with the name Marie Rollet-Hébert.
The back of the effigy is the same as in previous years, along with the dates “August 7 to 11, 2002” and “Québec City” over two lines. The effigy is 40 mm high by 28 mm across the shoulders with a hole level with the character’s hair for a removable suspension ring.
The 2003 effigy features the portraits of Antoine-Denis Raudot (left) and Jacques Raudot (right). Jacques Raudot (1638–1728) shared the work of intendant with his son Antoine-Denis (1679–1737). The father took care of public order and administering justice, while the son was in charge of finance and commerce.
The effigy presents the bust of the two men with the names and dates below. The back of the effigy is the same as in previous years with the date “Québec City, August 6 to 10, 2003” on one line.
One remarkable feature is the addition of the SAQ logo as the festival’s main sponsor alongside “New France Festival.” As with the previous year, the effigy is divided into two character profiles and is 40 mm high by 45 mm across the shoulders. The suspension ring is above the head of one of the characters and contains a removable ring.
The 2004 effigy features the portrait of Jean Bastiste Le Moyne de Bienville. A son of Canadian nobility, Bienville, as he was known throughout his adult life, joined the army at the age of 12 in 1692. He dedicated his life to serving the king just like his nine brothers, including the famous d'Iberville. Along with his brothers, he helped make a name for the Le Moyne family both in France and in New France. Posted to Louisiana in the year of its foundation (1699), Bienville spent most of his active life there. He was everywhere in the Mississippi colony, and his major role as commandant and governor made him a leading figure in the history of Louisiana from its first steps up to 1743.
This knight of St. Louis and founder of New Orleans returned to France in 1743, where he died unmarried in 1767 at the age of 87. Louisiana was later sold to the United States in 1803.
The effigy depicts the bust of Bienville with his name and dates (1680–1767) below. The back of the effigy is the same as in previous years with the date “Québec City, August 4 to 8, 2004” written across a single line. As in previous years, the effigy is divided up by the character’s profile and measures 40 mm high by 40 mm across the base. The suspension ring hangs from above the head and contains a removable ring.
The 2005 effigy features Gédéon de Catalogne (1662–1729) whose historical biography is outlined below, according to the leaflet accompanying the effigy.
Gédéon de Catalogne was born to Gédéon Catalougne and Marie Capdevoile in 1662 in Arthez, a village in the south of France. Using the nom de guerre “La Liberté,” Catalogne came to New France in 1683, where he was a soldier and surveyor with the navy. In 1690, he married Marie-Anne Lemire, with whom he had nine children. In 1708, after recommending that a map of the seigneurial domain be drawn up, Catalogne spent over a year surveying and mapping in the St. Lawrence River Valley.
He went on to draw up a detailed map for the three “governments” of New France: Québec City, Trois-Rivières, and Montréal. In 1716 Catalogne wrote Recueil de ce qui s’est passé au Canada, au sujet de la guerre tant des Anglais que des Iroquois, depuis l’année 1682 (Account of what has happened in Canada with regard to both the war with the English and the Iroquois, since 1682). In 1723, he was appointed captain of a company in Louisbourg, where he died on July 5, 1729.
The oval-shaped effigy is 31 mm by 27 mm and has a suspension ring. A portrait of Gédéon Catalogne and the dates of his birth and death are on the face of the medallion. The inscriptions “SAQ New France Festival” and “Québec City, August 3 to 7, 2005” feature on the back.
The 2006 effigy features Louis-Armand de Lom d'Arce, baron of Lahontan, the son of Jeanne-Françoise Le Fascheux de Coutte and Isaac de Lom d'Arce. Following the death of his father, he enroled in the navy on August 29, 1683, and set sail for New France to support the army in its efforts to subdue the Great Lakes Iroquois.
Very quickly, Lahontan grew to love the First Nations culture and formed a series of friendships with both the Iroquois and the Hurons. He would write: ''Why bother them [the First Nations] when they have given us no cause to attack them?''
Thanks to his feats of arms against the English, Lahontan was promoted to the post of royal lieutenant in Placentia. But the governor in place, wanting to keep all his powers, hatched a plot, forcing Lahontan to flee. Now a deserter wanted by the French authorities, he took refuge mainly in Holland, where he would end his days between 1710 and 1716.
Lahontan would go down in history thanks to his writing: the Nouveaux Voyages, Mémoires de l’Amérique septentrionale (1703), and the Suite du Voyage de l’Amérique (1704), as well as Conversation avec Adario, a savage of some distinction who inspired the concept of the “noble savage,” one of the major themes of philosophical and Romanesque literature. The volumes were a resounding success and their numerous new editions and translations made Louis-Armand de Lom d’Arce, baron de Lahontan, one of Europe's most widely read and highly esteemed authors.
The effigy reveals Lahontan’s head, with a hat on top. The back of the medallion bears the inscriptions “SAQ New France Festival” and the dates of the event, “Québec City, August 2 to 6, 2006” with “Made in Québec, Canada” written at the very bottom in tiny lettering.
The 2007 effigy evokes the Order of Good Cheer, founded in winter of 1607 by Samuel de Champlain and his companion Marc Lescarbot, a lawyer, poet, and dramatist of the time. Inspired by a European order of chivalry, they created the association in Port-Royal to keep troops’ spirits up during a long, hard winter.
Each member of the group took turns to be “chief steward” and prepared mouthwatering feasts using meat they had hunted themselves. Fowl, moose, caribou, beaver, and bear frequently appeared on the menu.
First Nations chiefs from neighboring tribes were often invited to take part in these feasts, which were set to wine, music, and guests’ travel stories in a real festive atmosphere.
The first social dining club, the Order of Good Cheer was also behind the very first plays and musical performances in North America. Marc Lescarbot wrote North America’s first play, Théâtre de Neptune (The Theater of Neptune), for the festivities. It was performed on the water by settlers and Micmac Indians.
Although tremendously successful, the Order of Good Cheer lasted only one winter. The Acadians gave 2007 SAQ New France Festival festivalgoers the chance to experience the Order of Good Cheer for themselves, inviting visitors to join in the feast over the five days of the festival.
The round effigy measures 47 mm and comes with a suspension ring. The pattern features the coat of arms of New France: an emblem with three fleurs-de-lys over the royal crown. Above the coat of arms to the left is written “PORT-ROYAL 1607,” to the right, “QUÉBEC CITY 2007," and below “ORDER OF GOOD CHEER.” The inscription “SAQ New France Festival” is on the back of the effigy, along with “JOIN IN THE GAME” (the theme of the 11th edition), at the top, and “Québec City, August 1 to 5, 2007” below.
In addition to the regular coins produced in an antique silver color, 49 coins were also produced in an antique gold color for event dignitaries and partners.
History did not leave behind a portrait of the man who founded Québec, the so-called “father of New France,” and so the 2008 effigy represents the Samuel de Champlain Giant, which has been inextricably linked to the SAQ New France Festival ever since it came into the world in 2005.
Born to a naval captain some time around 1570 in Brouage, Saintonge, Samuel de Champlain always took a keen interest in the art of navigation. He was not yet 20 when he undertook his first voyage to Spain, then on to the Antilles and South America. He passed through Porto Rico, Mexico, Columbia, Bermuda, and Panama. Between 1603 and 1635, he went on over a dozen trips across North America, tirelessly exploring foreign lands in the hope of finding a pathway across America that led out onto the Pacific and the riches of the Orient.
In 1608 Samuel de Champlain arrived at Stadaconé, which he would go on to call Québec. Believing there to be no place better suited to fur trading and the quest for the sought-after passage to China, he immediately had his “Habitation” built there. Then, in 1609, Champlain began another series of explorations that would lead him to the lake that would later bear his name and, further to the west, to Lake Huron, which he reached on August 1, 1615. It was to be his last expedition. In the years to come, he devoted himself to developing a French colony in the St. Lawrence Valley, a project that primarily involved settling Québec.
In 1629, Québec fell to the English. Champlain returned to France, where he relentlessly pleaded the case for recovering the colony. His efforts bore fruit in 1632. Named Governor of New France by Cardinal Richelieu in 1633, he returned shortly afterward to Québec, where he could finally see the promising beginnings of the colony he had planned. Paralyzed in the fall of 1635, he died on December 25 of the same year. 150 Frenchmen were then living in the colony.
The Carignan-Salière Regiment, which had up to 24 companies, was born of a merger between the Carignan and Salière regiments in 1659. At the time, Thomas-François de Savoie, prince of Carignan, was the colonel of the regiment that bore his name. In 1644, he had recruited 1,000 men to defend the King of France’s interests in Italy, before going on to serve in France and Aquitaine. Another unit-the Gassion Regiment-had also fought alongside the prince of Carignan in Italy. It came under the control of Henri Chastelard de Salière in 1659, shortly before the merger.
The 1,200 soldiers and officers of the Carignan-Salière Regiment were dispatched to New France in 1665. Four years earlier Pierre Boucher, governor of Trois-Rivières, had traveled to Paris to ask King Louis XIV to put an end to the constant attacks from the Iroquois. The Iroquois were intimidating the Amerindian allies of the French, preventing them from supplying the fur upon which the colony’s survival depended. Iroquois incursions into the St. Lawrence Valley were sowing terror among the population and making any activities outside of the main agglomerations hazardous, particularly working the fields. When the regiment arrived, the colony boasted some 4,000 residents of French origin, close to 500 of whom lived in Québec.
From late August, posts and forts began springing up everywhere. The regiment’s presence radically changed the situation in New France, and in just a few weeks the small colony that had been under siege for a quarter of a century saw its standing rise considerably. In 1667 the peace treaty signed with the Iroquois ushered in an era of peace and security. In accordance with the king’s wishes, over 450 officers and soldiers from the regiment settled permanently in the colony, many of them marrying Filles du Roy.
The Carignan-Salière Regiment played a decisive role in history of New France as both a military presence and a colonizing force.
Illustrateur du Médaillon : Philippe Girard
Guillaume Couillard and Guillemette Hébert
Guillaume Couillard and Guillemette Hébert were the first couple to marry, settle and participate in the birth of New France.
Guillaume Couillard de Lespinay married Guillemette, daughter of Louis Hébert, in Québec City on August 26, 1621. They had ten children, who now represent the lineage of almost every French-Canadian family.
During the period of British rule, Guillaume Couillard’s family was one of the few who agreed to live among the occupiers. During the restitution of Québec to France in 1632, Couillard continued to devote his energies to the colony, earning the respect of every citizen. To find out more about Guillaume Couillard and Guillemette Hébert, visit www.biographi.ca
To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the SAQ New France Festival, a number of activities are planned around the theme of festivals and celebrations. The farandole on the 2011 Medallion represents the festive spirit.
Festivals and celebrations marked important events in New France and punctuated daily life for inhabitants. From the pow-wows of the First Nations to religious celebrations, the festive spirit has been with us throughout our history and left a lasting mark.
In New France, festivals and celebrations were important to people of every level of society and touched on every aspect of colonial life, including relations with the First Nations.
© - Monsieur Yvon Marquis (2008)