The French Traveler book cover

The French Traveler

From the very first page, readers are thrown into scenes of gigantic, crushing "ice monsters" in the high arctic, dangerous exploration among hardy and curious Eskimos, then the rough and tumble lives of the colonists of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia; and finally, deep into the fascinating customs, war, killing, loving, torturing, hunting, and exotic ways of the Huron and Iroquois Indians of "Le Canada."

This is the first-ever English translation of the best-selling Eighteenth-century travel book Le Voyageur Français (The French Traveler). First published in 1765, it went into many editions, sold out repeatedly, and remained in demand for more than a half-century.

The aim of its author, Joseph Delaporte, was to satisfy the insatiable curiosity of Europeans deeply fascinated by the adventure, mystery, and romantic appeal of the New World and its inhabitants. What is Canada like? Who are the strange Indian people living there? Are they like us? Were we once like them?

These, and many other questions became part of a widespread inter-continental debate called "The Dispute Over The New World," that lasted from about 1750 to 1900 and which engaged most of the prominent intellectuals and naturalists in Europe and America, including Voltaire, Hegel, and Jefferson.

At issue was the central question of whether European civilization, with its sciences, armies, farming, and political system, was an advance, or a step backward from the simple natural life of the Indians in the Americas?

The French Traveler supplied the questions and many of the answers for curious readers young and old, in this intimately detailed and fascinating blend of action and emotion.