Jacques Cartier was a French navigator sent by King Francis I to the New World in 1534 to search for riches and for a new route to Asia. Cartier's exploration of the St. Lawrence River resulted in France claiming lands that later became Canada.
Jacques Cartier was born December 31, 1491 in Saint-Malo, Brittany, France. He reportedly explored the Americas, concentrating on Brazil, before making three major North American voyages.
Cartier set sail on April 20, 1534 with two ships and 61 men. The ships arrived 20 days later along the eastern coast of North America. In addition to searching for a new route to Asia, Cartier was also tasked with finding riches such as gold and spices.
King Francis was impressed with Cartier's success with the 1534 voyage. He sent Cartier back to the area in May of the following year, this time with three ships and 110 men. The third voyage occurred in May of 1541 when Cartier sailed with a total of five ships. By this time Cartier had abandoned the pursuit of a new path to Asia. The primary goal in May of 1541 was to establish a permanent settlement along the St. Lawrence River on behalf of France.
Jacques Cartier died September 1, 1557 in Saint-Malo, Brittany, France.