In the early 1660s, New France was under the direct commercial control of the Company of One Hundred Associates, which was established in 1627. The colony foundered under the company's leadership to such a degree that the French king, Louis XIV, revoked the company's charter and converted the colony into a province of France. This change meant that New France adhered to a similar hierarchical administrative organization as other French provinces. The colony, under the direct control of France's minister of marine, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, was given a governor and intendant. Through these two local officials, Colbert supervised colonial development. Colbert oversaw a more vigorous settlement program, extended the colony's territory, and helped businesses to develop. An immediately pressing concern was to assure the security of the colony from attack.

Accordingly, King Louis XIV ordered the dispatch of 1,000 French regulars to Canada on 27 March 1665. In mid-April, the Régiment de Carignan-Salières set sail for New France. The first four companies of the regiment arrived in Quebec on 19 June 1665. The Marquis de Tracy, Lieutenant-General for America, arrived on 30 June with four companies from the Allier, Chambellé, Poitou, and Orléans regiments. On 20 August, Colonel de Salières, commander of the regiment, arrived with eight more companies. In September, eight additional companies had disembarked in Quebec under the command of Governor de Courcelle. By the end of the year, 24 companies, all but 4 belonging to the Carignan-Salières Regiment, had arrived in Quebec. These companies represented a total of 1,200 troops.

In the summer of 1665, de Salières ordered companies of the regiment to construct a series of forts along the Richelieu River, the main Iroquois invasion route into Canada. Captain Pierre de Sorel supervised the construction of Fort Sorel at the mouth of the Richelieu River, the original site of Fort Richelieu (which the Iroquois had destroyed in 1645). Captain Jacques de Chambly's troops erected Fort St. Louis (later renamed Fort Chambly) farther south. Colonel de Salières commanded the companies that built Fort Thérèse. The French soldiers constructed Fort St. Jean in the fall of 1665.

In the summer of 1666, French troops built a fifth fort, Fort Ste. Anne, on an island at the north end of Lake Champlain. The militia and companies of the Carignan-Salières Regiment also constructed a road from Fort St. Louis (Chambly) to Montreal. The road proved invaluable in the deployment of troops to Canada's line of defence along the Richelieu River.

 

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