In 1521 the king of french sent an experienced sailor and navigator, Jacques Cartier to find the northwest passage.
Jacques Cartier boat was running low on food so he returned to France.
The next year king Francis sent Cartier to explore and map the water way. Cartier reach it mouth on the feast day of Saint Lawrence. He name the river the St Lawrence river.
With Indian guides, he sailed almost 1,000 miles up river, until his boat could go no farther.
Cartier visited an Indian village, and brought its chief back to France.
In 1541 the king sent Cartier on a third voyage to set up a french empire in North America. He took more than 100 settlers after enduring two harsh winters. Cartier and the settlers gave up, in 1542 they return to France. Still Cartier had staked France's claim in North America. Sixty years later New France had its first settlers.