1523-24: Giovanni da Verrazzano, sailing for France, explores the Atlantic coast, encountering Wampanoag, Narragansett, and Delaware Indians.
c. 1530-50: The French explorer Jacques Cartier sails up the St. Lawrence River, claiming the land for France. His failure to find a northwest passage - or gold, as the Spanish had in Peru - discourages further exploration. France was also too preoccupied with domestic religious wars to make any substantial commitment. The discovery of Canada was important, however, to English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese fishing fleets, all of which regularly fish the Grand Banks off the coast of Newfoundland.
1534-41: Jacques Cartier of France explores the St. Lawrence River area in three voyages, making contact with Iroquoian speaking tribes.
1534: French explorer Jacques Cartier visits the Strait of Belle Isle (Newfoundland), enters and charts Gulf of St. Lawrence River, landing in Gaspé, July 14. His ship becomes icebound, men suffering from scurvy aided by Iroquoian native, who feed them vitamin C in boiled spruce. He takes two Iroquoians with him back to France.