Saint Croix Island, Maine

From Academic Kids

See also Saint Croix an island in the United States Virgin Islands

Saint Croix Island, or Dochet Island as it is called today, is a small uninhabited island in Maine located at Template:Coor dms, near the mouth of the Saint Croix River that forms part of the International Boundary separating Maine from New Brunswick.

The 6.5 acre (26,000 m²) island measures approximately 200 yd (200 m) long by 100 yd (100 m) wide, and is located approximately 4 mi (6 km) upstream from the mouth of the river on Passamaquoddy Bay.

The island is significant as the site of an early attempt at French colonization of the Americas. In 1984 it was designated by the United States Congress as the St. Croix International Historic Site. There is no public access to the island with a visitor's center on the U.S. mainland and a display on the Canadian mainland opposite the island.

Contents

St. Croix Settlement

The island was called Muttoneguis by the Passamaquoddy Nation who had used or lived on the island for numerous centuries before European discovery.

French nobleman Pierre Dugua de Monts (Sieur de Monts) established a settlement on Saint Croix Island in June of 1604 under the authority of the King of France. This outpost was the first attempt by France at year-round colonization in the territory they called l'Acadie.

Cartographer Samuel de Champlain was part of the Dugua expedition and settlement on the small river island. The following spring in 1605, after a harsh winter during which than half the settlers perished due to a "land-sickness" believed to be scurvy, the settlement was moved to a new location on the southern shore of the Bay of Fundy called Port-Royal. Champlain had discovered this new location earlier in the spring during a shoreline reconnaissance of the Bay of Fundy for a more suitable settlement site.

In 1608, Samuel de Champlain and some of the settlers moved from Port-Royal to a settlement on the Saint Lawrence River that later became Québec.

Heritage of St. Croix Island

During a boundary dispute between Britain and the U.S. in 1797, the island was deemed to be under U.S. sovereignty by a survey of the river which determined it to be on the western side of the main river channel.

It became known as Bone Island in the 1700s after many of the graves were exposed by erosion. 23 sets of remains were removed in 1969 and subsequently reburied in 2003. Analysis of the bones showed that many of them had indications of scurvy, confirming the cause of the deaths described by Champlain.

The island was neutral territory in the War of 1812, leading it to be sometimes called Neutral Island.

In 1949, the island was designated as a U.S. National Monument by the United States Congress. It was given its current designation by Congress as an International Historic Site in 1984, a unique designation in the U.S. National Park system. Since 1968, the island's historical sites have been under the management of the U.S. National Parks Service, in consultation with Parks Canada which maintains a viewing and interpretation site on the New Brunswick side of the river. The two nations routinely cooperate on commemorative activities and promotions. Special commemorations by the two nations in 2004 marked the 400th anniversary of French settlement in North America.

See also

External links

fr:Île Sainte-Croix

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