Lake Champlain

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Lake Champlain (French: lac Champlain) is a natural, freshwater lake in North America, located mainly within the borders of the United States (states of Vermont and New York) but partially situated across the Canada-United States border in the Canadian province of Quebec.

The New York portion of the Champlain Valley includes the eastern portions of Clinton County and Essex County.The cities of Plattsburgh and Burlington are to the north and the village of Ticonderoga in the southern part of the region. The Quebec portion is located in the regional county municipalities of Le Haut-Richelieu and Brome-Missisquoi.[1]Lake_Champlain (Wikipedia).

Champlain map.png

History[edit | edit source]

In the early sixteenth century, the St. Lawrence Iroquois, the Mohawk Iroquois, the Mahican, and the Western Abenaki peacefully occupied the Champlain Valley.[2]

French and British Military Conflict (1664-1763): the Champlain Valley witnessed a continuous struggle between the French and British Empires for control of Lake Champlain and its tributaries. These water routes were strategic highways that provided access into the interior of the Northeast in a period when the only viable means of transportation in a rugged land was by water. Expeditions and forts were continually raised in defense of rival claims of the Champlain Valley and its waterways. Armies and war parties transported themselves on Lake Champlain in fleets of canoes, bateaux, radeaux, row galleys, schooners, and sloops. This period came to an end after the French and Indian War, when Britain assumed control of most of France's territorial claims in North America. [3]
Revolutionary War (1775-1783)Rebellion Comes to the Champlain Valley and Lake Champlain became a critical strategic arena. From 1775 to 1791, Vermont operated as an independent republic on the eastern side of Lake Champlain, while the western side of the lake was under the jurisdiction of New York. The population of the Champlain Valley, only a few hundred in the years following the American Revolution, exploded to approximately 143,000 people by 1810. Business entrepreneurs, land speculators, and individuals yearning for a new start quickly began to move into the valley.[4]
War of 1812 (1812-1815): American plans for the War of 1812 included gaining control of Lake Champlain and the Great Lakes. The War of 1812 had expanded commercial ties with businessmen in the Hudson Valley. Then in the 1820's with tremendous fanfare the Champlain Canal opened in 1823, and its impact on the Champlain Valley's development and history was profound. The trade that had previously occurred predominately with Canada changed directions almost overnight.[5]
Era of Waterborne Commerce (1823-1945):The opening of the canal created a demand not only for canal boats, but also for vessels to transport cargoes between Whitehall and other ports on the lake. Lake sloops and schooners initially met this demand, as cargoes were transferred from standard canal boats to conventional sailing lake craft at each end of the Champlain Canal. The capacity and number of sloops and schooners increased dramatically after the opening of the canal, and small-scale shipbuilding operations were set up at many of the smaller lakeside towns. [6]

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