Jacques Cartier

Jacques Cartier, The Voyages of Jacques Cartier, 1924, From The Library at The Mariners’ Museum, E133C3A4.

Jacques Cartier

1491 CE - 1557 CE

King Francis I

Primary Goal:

Searched for a western route to Asia via a northern waterway.


Cartier explored the St. Lawrence River as far as present day Montreal, claiming it for France.

Born in 1491 to Jamet Cartier and Geseline Jansart in St. Malo, France, Cartier trained as a sailor and navigator. Little is known of his childhood but he probably trained as a navigator in Dieppe, France. It is possible he accompanied Giovanni Da Verazzano on his 1524 voyage along the coast of America. This was during a time of intermittent war between the Spain and France.