Founded by Samuel de Champlain in 1608, the city of Quebec stood on a bluff overlooking the St. Lawrence River, the main route into Canada. Its vital location made Quebec the most important city in French Canada, and French merchants filled the lower town, between the river and the bluffs, with their homes and warehouses. The citadel and public buildings dominated the upper town, which stood on the bluffs 300 feet above the river. These cliffs provided natural protection against an attack from the water, but on the land side a large open plain extended beyond the city walls. An enemy approaching from this direction would have a much greater chance of victory.
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A Plan of Quebec.
Titles of two inset
by E. Oakley, 1759.