Albanel, Charles

Charles Albanel, Jesuit priest, missionary and explorer (b in Auvergne, France c 1616; d at Sault Ste Marie 11 Jan 1696). After joining the Jesuit missions in Canada in 1649, Albanel was stationed at TADOUSSAC, from which he made numerous expeditions into the surrounding wilderness with the local Indians. During 1671-72 he was sent by Intendant Jean TALON to explore northward to Hudson Bay to verify rumours of the presence there of French-speaking Europeans (who were, in fact, RADISSON and DES GROSEILLIERS, then in the service of the Hudson's Bay Company). In June 1672 he reached the bay, probably the first European to do so overland. In 1673 he was sent back to try to persuade Groseilliers to return to French service. He was detained by the English, and did not return to Canada until 1676. Thereafter, he served in the missions of the western interior.