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series: Dead Reckoning: Champlain In America
air date: 12/21/13 4:00 AM
DEAD RECKONING shares the story of a a brave explorer and visionary who laid the foundation for a multicultural North America. The animated documentary is based on Samuel de Champlain accounts of his voyages, historical research, and commentary by a distinguished panel of scholars. King Henri IV of France sent Champlain on a mission to explore the New World and draw maps to help the French navigate the extensive waterways of the continent. Champlain - like Christopher Columbus, Jacques Cartier, Henry Hudson and others - sought a northwest passage to China, where Europeans could trade for silks, spices and other valuable commodities. In 1603, upon arriving in the St. Lawrence River area of present-day Quebec, Champlain wrote detailed dispatches about his epic journeys across thousands of miles of uncharted North American wilderness and the area's terrain, flora and fauna, and, most importantly, people. His vivid descriptions remain some of the earliest accounts of the first encounters between Europeans and Amerindians.
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