On today’s date in 1535, Jacques Cartier reached the Iroquois village of Kanata at “Kebec” on his second voyage up the St. Lawrence River.
It was there he met Donnacona, chief of the 16th-century village of Stadacona (present-day Quebec City).
In 1535, Cartier built a fort at the site, where he stayed for about a year, claiming the area for France and calling it “Canada”, which was an alteration of the Iroquois word “kanata,” which means settlement (or village).
In 1908, Canada Post commemorated Cartier’s arrival at Quebec with a 20-cent stamp (Scott #103) marking the 300th anniversary (also known as the tercentenary) of the founding of Quebec. As Cartier’s second voyage arrived at Quebec on Sept. 14, 1535, three vessels – two ships called the Grande Hermine and the Petite Hermine as well as a galley called the Emerillon – were docked. Printed by the American Bank Note Company in Ottawa and had a print run of 304,200.
In that same Tercentenary Series, Cartier was also commemorated alongside Samuel de Champlain on a one-cent stamp (SC #97) featuring portraits based on French artist Francois Riss’ paintings done in the Hotel de Ville at St. Malo, France.
Quebec City (or “Ville de Quebec” in French) is named after the St. Lawrence River promontory near which it’s located. In fact, “Kebec” is an Algonquin word meaning “where the river narrows.”