The first French naval vessel to visit Canada after the Conquest, La Capricieuse received a tumultuous welcome at Québec on 13 July 1855. Commander Paul-Henry de Belvèze proceeded by steamer and train to Montréal, Toronto and Ottawa before leaving Québec for France on August 25.
His mission was to report on the prospects of trade with Canada, made possible by Britain's proclamation of free trade and by the Anglo-French alliance of 1854. The result was the opening of a French consulate at Québec in 1859, followed by mutual, short-lived tariff concessions and the development of a modest trade. However, the visit is remembered chiefly as the official endorsement of the Franco-Canadian cultural rapprochement that had been gathering impetus since the 1830s.