The Early Explorer's Journals
Christopher Columbus and Samuel de Champlain were two of the most influential explorers in the history of the Americas. Columbus "discovered" the area near Caribbean Islands while Champlain explored the St. Lawrence Seaway. Their journals were very similar in the way they described what the two explorers saw. Yet they have some differences as well.
There are some small differences that these two works carry. Columbus starts out each entry with the day that it began on. Like in the following passage, Monday Nov. 12th. They sailed from the port of the river... (114). Champlain did not do it this way he simply stated facts from day to day. The way he writes it is like he is telling a story while Columbus is giving detailed information. The reason this was done may have something to do with the rulers that these two men were under.
Columbus had to keep a detailed record for the ruler of Spain at the time. Champlain may not have had to do this being as Jacques Cartier had led an expedition through the same area for the French a few years earlier. The background of these two explorers definitely showed up in these journals.
The two different time periods that Columbus and Champlain lived in also had an effect on their style of writing. Columbus' expedition was around the time of 1492-1493, while Champlain's was almost two hundred years later in 1608-1612. Columbus had to deal with a lot of natives in the "West Indies" that could not speak their native language. These natives also looked as the men of Columbus' crew as gods sent from heaven. Champlain did not have it so easy. He had to deal with the Native American tribes of the great lakes area. These tribes,