Samuel de Champlain


Possibly the first European to visit what is now the Jefferson County area was the French explorer Samuel de Champlain (1567?-1635) who, in the fall of 1615 (five years before the Pilgrims landed, eight years after the settlement of Jamestown) with a force of 2,500 Indians, crossed from the "vicinity of Kingston to Galloup and Stony islands and from thence to near the mouth of Stony Creek in the present town of Henderson, where the canoes were concealed in the woods." An unsuccessful campaign against the Iroquois Indians followed. (Champlain's name was given to Lake Champlain, which he discovered. During Champlain's first trip to the New World in 1599, he also suggested making a canal across the Isthmus of Panama to shorten the route to the South Sea Pacific Ocean.)

{from Marc's History of Jefferson County}