By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Old Quebec - The Fortress of New France
Author: Parker, Gilbert, 1862-1932, Bryan, Claude Glennon, 1876-
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Old Quebec - The Fortress of New France" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

images generously made available by Internet Archive/Canadian Libraries

      Images of the original pages are available through
      Internet Archive/Canadian Libraries. See


The Fortress of New France



With Illustrations

[Illustration: _Major General James Wolfe
from a scarce contemporary print engraved by R. Houston_]

New York
The Macmillan Company
London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd.

All rights reserved

Copyright, 1903,
by The Macmillan Company.

Set up, electrotyped, and published September, 1903. Reprinted
November, 1903.

Norwood Press

J. S. Cushing & Co.--Berwick & Smith Co.
Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.


   NOTE                                                  xvii

   PRELUDE                                                xix


   EARLY VOYAGES                                            1


   THE ERA OF CHAMPLAIN                                    19


   THE HEROIC AGE OF NEW FRANCE                            44


   "AD MAJOREM DEI GLORIAM"                                66


   ROYAL GOVERNMENT                                        85


   THE NOBLESSE AND THE PEOPLE                             95


   FRONTENAC AND LA SALLE                                 110


   FIRE, MASSACRE, AND SIEGE                              134


   THE CLOSE OF THE CENTURY                               159


   BORDER WARFARE                                         175


   THE BEGINNING OF THE END                               187


   LIFE UNDER THE _ANCIEN RÉGIME_                         218


   DURING THE SEVEN YEARS' WAR                            246


   "HERE DIED WOLFE VICTORIOUS"                           268


   MURRAY AND DE LÉVIS                                    299


   THE FIRST YEARS OF BRITISH RULE                        325


   THE FIFTH SIEGE                                        342


   SOCIAL AND POLITICAL PROGRESS                          364




   THE NEW CENTURY                                        422


   THE MODERN PERIOD                                      443

   APPENDICES                                             473

   INDEX                                                  479


   Major-General James Wolfe                   _Frontispiece_

                                                    FACE PAGE

   François-Xavier de Laval                                16

   Cardinal de Richelieu                                   48

   The Earl of Chatham                                    187

   General the Marquis Montcalm                           271

   General Sir Jeffrey Amherst                            282

   Admiral Earl St. Vincent                               294

   General Gage                                           301

   The Hon. Robert Monckton                               307

   [1]General Sir A. P. Irving                            317

   General Townshend                                      327

   Sir James Henry Craig                                  342

   Sir John Cope Sherbrooke                               355

   The Fourth Duke of Richmond                            368

   Admiral Viscount Nelson                                374

   Lord Dalhousie                                         376

   General Lord Aylmer                                    395

   The Earl of Durham                                     407

   Sir John Colborne                                      417

   Lord Sydenham                                          424

   Sir Charles Bagot                                      434

   General Earl Cathcart                                  443

   The Earl of Elgin                                      452

   Lord Lisgar                                            458

   The Marquis of Dufferin and Ava                        466

[Footnote 1: Inscription on plate for 2nd Governor of Canada
1766, _read_ Lieutenant-Governor of Canada 1766.]



   Jacques Cartier                                          7

   Manoir de Jacques Cartier à Limoulon                    11

   Arrival of Jacques Cartier at Quebec, 1535              13

   Cap Rouge                                               17

   Champlain                                               21

   Montmorency Falls                                       25

   Bonne Ste. Anne (Old Church)                            31

   Marie de l'Incarnation                                  51

   Ursuline Nuns of Quebec (Salle d'Étude, noviciat)       55

   Jesuits' College and Church                             56

   Château Saint Louis, 1694                               57

   The Ursulines' Convent                                  61

   Monument to the First Canadian Missionary               71

   Brébeuf                                                 74

   Lalement                                                75

   Colbert                                                 87

   Old Bishop's Palace                                    103

   New Palace Gate                                        105

   Intendant's Palace                                     107

   Frontenac                                              113

   Old St. Louis Gate                                     117

   Robert Cavelier de la Salle                            123

   Sir William Phipps                                     147

   Plan of Fort St. Louis, 1683                           151

   The Citadel To-day (from Dufferin Terrace)             153

   Notre Dame de la Victoire                              157

   The Citadel in Winter                                  173

   Lieut.-General Sir William Pepperell, Bart.            189

   Bienville                                              193

   De Bougainville                                        197

   Ruins of Château Bigot                                 201

   Le Chien d'Or                                          202

   Plan of the City of Quebec, 1759                       207

   Major-General Sir Isaac Barre                          209

   Sir Hugh Palliser, Bart.                               213

   The City of Quebec in 1759                             219

   Baron Grant                                            221

   Baroness de Longueil                                   223

   Upper Town Market To-day                               225

   New St. John's Gate                                    227

   Petit Champlain Street To-day                          229

   Old Prescott Gate                                      231

   A Carriole                                             234

   Village of Beauport                                    235

   The Basilica                                           239

   Jesuits' Barracks                                      241

   Calèches                                               243

   Quebec (from Lévi)                                     245

   De Lévis                                               251

   Sir George Bridges Rodney, Bart. (Governor of
      Newfoundland, 1759)                                 263

   Entrance to the Citadel To-day                         270

   Hope Gate                                              272

   Admiral Sir Charles Saunders                           274

   The Manor-House at Beauport, Montcalm's Headquarters   277

   General Hospital                                       284

   Captain James Cook                                     290

   New Kent Gate                                          301

   Church of the Récollets and La Grande Place            309

   Old French House, St. John Street                      315

   Manor House, Sillery                                   319

   Montreal in 1760                                       329

   General Richard Montgomery                             345

   Cape Diamond                                           357

   Benjamin Franklin                                      365

   Charles Carroll of Carrollton                          367

   Samuel Chase                                           369

   Breakneck Steps To-day                                 371

   Old Parliament House, Quebec                           377

   H.R.H. the Duke of Kent, K.B                           379

   St. Lawrence River from the Citadel                    381

   Percée Rock                                            387

   Hon. William Osgoode                                   389

   New St. Louis Gate                                     390

   Old Market Square, Upper Town                          391

   Frontenac Terrace To-day                               392

   Mr. Samuel Hearne                                      397

   Prince of Wales's Fort, Hudson's Bay, 1777             401

   Prince Rupert                                          403

   Sir Alexander Mackenzie                                415

   Simon McTavish                                         419

   Earl of Selkirk                                        420

   Ferry-Boat on the St. Lawrence                         423

   Sir Gordon Drummond                                    427

   Major-General Sir Isaac Brock, K.B.                    430

   General de Salaberry                                   435

   A Beggar of Côte Beaupré                               437

   St. Louis Street, Place d'Armes, and New Court House   440

   City Hall, Quebec                                      444

   Lieut.-Colonel John By, R.E.                           445

   Sir Peregrine Maitland                                 448

   Trappists at Mistassini                                449

   The Hon. Louis Joseph Papineau                         451

   English Cathedral                                      455

   The Marquis of Lorne (Duke of Argyll)                  461

   Sir George Cartier                                     465

   Sir John A. Macdonald                                  467

   Sir Wilfrid Laurier                                    469


   1. Canada and the North American Colonies,
      1680-1782                               _Face page_ 110

      The Environs of Quebec, 1759.
      Louisbourg, to show the Sieges of 1744 and 1758.

   2. Plan of Quebec, 1759. From a Map published in
      London in 1760                               _Page_ 207

   3. Plan of the River St. Lawrence          _Face page_ 268

   4. Map of Upper and Lower Canada,
      illustrating events until the
      Campaign of 1814                        _Face page_ 378

   5. The Territory of the Hudson's
      Bay Company, 1670-1870                  _Face page_ 399


The student of the history of the ancient capital of Canada is
embarrassed, not by the dearth but by the abundance of material at his
disposal. The present volume, therefore, makes no claim to
originality. It is but an assimilation of this generous data, and a
simple comment upon the changing scenes which were recorded by such
ancient authorities as the Jesuit priests and pioneers in their
_Relations_, and by the monumental works of Francis Parkman, whose
researches occupied more than forty years, and whose picturesque pen
has done for Canada what Prescott's did for Mexico. Admiring tribute
and gratitude must also be expressed for the years of careful study
and the unfaltering energy by which the late Mr. Kingsford produced
his valuable _History of Canada_. Nor can any one, writing of Quebec,
proceed successfully without constant reference to the historical
gleanings of Sir James Le Moine, who has spent a lifetime in the
romantic atmosphere of old-time manuscripts, and who, with Monsieur
l'Abbé Casgrain, represents, in its most attractive form, that
composite citizenship which has the wit and grace of the old _régime_
with the useful ardour of the new.

                                        THE AUTHORS.


About the walled city of Quebec cling more vivid and enduring memories
than belong to any other city of the modern world. Her foundation
marked a renaissance of religious zeal in France, and to the people
from whom came the pioneers who suffered or were slain for her, she
had the glamour of new-born empire, of a conquest renewing the
glories of the days of Charlemagne. Visions of a hemisphere controlled
from Versailles haunted the days of Francis the First, of the Grand
Monarch, of Colbert and of Richelieu, and in the sky of national hope
and over all was the Cross whose passion led the Church into the
wilderness. The first emblem of sovereignty in the vast domain which
Jacques Cartier claimed for Francis his royal master, was a cross
whereon was inscribed--

   _Franciscus Primus, Dei Gratiâ Francorum Rex, Regnat._

In spite of cruel neglect due to internal troubles and that European
strife in which the motherland was engaged for so many generations,
the eyes of Frenchmen turned to their over-sea dominions with
imaginative hope, with conviction that the great continent of promise
would renew in France the glories that were Greece and the grandeur
that was Rome. How hard the patriotic colonists strove to retain those
territories which Champlain, La Salle, Maisonneuve, Joliet, and so
many others won through nameless toil and martyrdom, and how at last
the broad lands passed to another race and another flag, not by fault
or folly or lack of courage of the people, but by the criminal
corruption of the ruling few, is the narrative which runs through
these pages.

For at least the first hundred years of its existence, Quebec was New
France; and the story of Quebec in that period is the story of all
Canada. The fortress was the heart and soul of French enterprise in
the New World. From the Castle of St. Louis, on the summit of Cape
Diamond, went forth mandates, heard and obeyed in distant Louisiana.
The monastic city on the St. Lawrence was the centre of the web of
missions, which slowly spread from the dark Saguenay to Lake Superior.
The fearful tragedies of Indian warfare had their birth in the early
policy of Quebec. The fearless voyageurs, whose canoes glided into
unknown waters, ever westward--towards Cathay, as they believed--made
Quebec their base for exploration. And as time went on, the rock-built
stronghold of the north became the nerve-centre of that half-century
of conflict which left the flag of Britain waving in victory on the
Plains of Abraham.

When Montcalm in his last hours consigned to the care of the British
conquerors the colonists he had loved and for whom he had fought, he
proclaimed a momentous epoch in the world's history--the loss of an
Empire to a great nation of Europe and the gain of an Empire to
another. Within a generation the Saxon Conquistador was to suffer the
same humiliation, and to yield up that colonial territory from which
Quebec had been assailed; but the fortress city was always to both
nations the keystone of the arch of power on the American continent.
When she was lost to France, Louisiana, that vast territory along the
Mississippi--a kingdom in itself--still remained, but no high memory
cherished it, no national hope hung over it, and a hundred years ago
Napoleon Bonaparte sold it to the new Western power--the United
States. As a nation the labours of France were finished in America on
the day that De Ramézay yielded up the keys of the city, and Wolfe's
war-worn legions marched through St. Louis Gate from the Plains of

Yet scores of thousands of the people of France remained in the city
and the province to be ruled henceforth by the intrepid race, with
which it had competed in a death-struggle for dominion through so many
adventurous and uncertain years. Victory, like a wayward imp of Fate,
had settled first upon one and then upon the other, and once before
1759 England had held the keys of the great fortress only to yield
them up again in a weak bargain; but the die was thrown for the last
time when Amherst securely quartered himself at Montreal, and Murray
at the Château St. Louis, where Frontenac and Vaudreuil had had their
day of virile governance. Never again was the banner of the golden
lilies to wave in sovereignty over the St. Lawrence, though the people
who had fought and toiled under its protection were to hold to their
birthright and sustain their language through the passing generations,
faithful to tradition and origin, but no less faithful to the Canadian
soil which their fame, their labour, and their history had made sacred
to them. Frenchmen of a vanished day they were to cherish their past
with an apprehensive devotion, and yet to keep the pact they made with
the conqueror in 1759, and later in 1774 when the Quebec Act secured
to them their religious liberty, their civic code, and their political
status. This pact, further developed in the first Union of the
English and French provinces in 1840, and afterwards in the
Confederation of 1867, has never suffered injury or real suspicion,
but was first made certain by loyalty to the British flag, in the War
of the American Revolution, and piously sealed by victorious duty and
valour in the war of 1812. The record of fidelity has been enriched
since that day in the north-west rebellion fomented by a French
half-breed in 1885, and in the late war in South Africa, where French
Canadians fought side by side with English comrades for the
preservation of the Empire.

These later acts of imperial duty are not performed by Anglicised
Frenchmen, for the pioneer race of Quebec are still a people apart in
the great Dominion so far as their civic and social, their literary
and domestic life are concerned. They share faithfully in the national
development, and honourably serve the welfare of the whole
Dominion--sometimes with a too careful and unsympathetic reserve--but
within their own beloved province they retain as zealously and more
jealously than the most devoted Highland men their language and their
customs, and faithfully conserve the civil laws which mark them off as
clearly from the English provinces as Jersey and Guernsey are
distinguished from the United Kingdom. They have changed little with
the passing years, and their city has changed less. In many respects
the Quebec of to-day is the Quebec of yesterday. Time and science have
altered its detail, but viewed from afar it seems to have altered as
little as Heidelberg and Coblenz. Lower Town huddles in artistic chaos
at the foot of the sheltering cliff, and, as aforetime, the
overhanging fort protrudes its protecting muzzles. Spires and antique
minarets which looked down upon a French settlement struggling with
foes in feathers and war-paint, still gleam from the towering rock on
which their stable foundations are laid; and after five sieges and the
passing of two and a half centuries the mother city of the continent
remains a faithful survivor of an heroic age, on historic ground
sacred to the valour of two great races.




Living in the twentieth century, to which the uttermost parts of the
earth are revealed, and with only the undiscovered poles left to lure
us on, we cannot fully appreciate the geographical ignorance of the
Middle Ages. The travels of Marco Polo had only lately revealed the
wonders of the golden East, and in the West the Pillars of Hercules
marked earth's furthest bound. Beyond lay the _mare tenebrosum_, the
Mysterious Sea, girding the level world. England was not then one of
the first nations of the earth. She was not yet a maritime power, she
had not begun the work of colonisation and empire: the fulcrum of
Europe lay further south. But as our Tudor sovereigns were making
secure dominion in "these isles," the Byzantine Empire was moving
slowly to its end, and favouring circumstances were already making
Italy the centre of the world's commerce and culture. There the feudal
system, never deeply rooted, was declining slowly, and Italian energy
and enterprise now having larger opportunity, seized the commerce of
the East as it received vast impulse from the Crusades, and this trade
became the source of Empire.

Venice, Genoa, and Pisa were now great emporiums of Oriental wares,
were waxing rich on a transport trade which had no option but to use
their ports and their vessels. Inland Florence had no part in maritime
enterprise, but was the manufacturing, literary, and art centre of
mediæval Europe. Her silk looms made her famous throughout the world,
her banks were the purse of Europe, and among her famous sons were
Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Macchiavelli, Michael Angelo, Leonardo da
Vinci, Galileo, Amerigo Vespucci. For the development of their
commerce, the cities of the North had grouped themselves into the
great Hanseatic League, with branches in Bruges, London, Bergen, and
Novgorod. Commercialism had everywhere become the keynote of the
closing Middle Ages, inspiring that maritime enterprise which was soon
to outline a new map of the world.

The main route between the West and East had hitherto been by way of
the Red Sea and the Euphrates, and it was controlled by the Italian
cities. Italy had, therefore, no interest in finding a water route to
the East which would rob her of this profitable overland traffic. But
the experience of her sailors made them the most skilful of the
world's navigators and the readiest instruments of other nations in
expeditions of discovery. Thus Columbus of Genoa, Cabot of Venice, and
Verrazzano of Florence are found accepting commissions from foreign

"The discoveries of Copernicus and Columbus," says Froude, "created,
not in any metaphor, but in plain language, a new heaven and a new
earth." The new theory of Copernicus was, indeed, one of the choicest
flowers of the Renaissance, and though timidly enunciated, it
revolutionised the world's geography. Further, the discovery of the
polarity of the magnet, and the invention of the astrolabe, gave to
the mariners of the fifteenth century a sense of security lacking to
their fathers, while the kindling flame of the New Learning led them
upon the most daring quests. The Portuguese were the first to enter on
the brilliant path of sea-going exploration which distinguishes this
century above all others. By 1486 they had already found Table
Mountain rising out of the Southern sea, and hoping always for a
passage to the East, had named it the Cape of Good Hope. Spain soon
followed her rival into these unknown regions, a policy due mainly to
the enthusiasm of Isabella of Castile, who, in spite of the
conservative apathy of the Council of Salamanca, was eager to become
the patroness of Christopher Columbus.

Although the Northmen of the tenth century had been blown almost
fortuitously upon the shores of Nova Scotia, by way of Iceland,
Greenland, and Labrador, the discovery of North America must always be
set to the credit of Christopher Columbus. From the age of fourteen he
had been upon the sea, and his keen mind was stored with all the
nautical science afforded by the awakened spirit of the time. To this
practical equipment he added a romantic temperament and a habit of
reflection which carried him to greater certainty in his convictions
than even that attained by his correspondent, the learned Toscanelli.
Assuming that the world was round--no commonplace of the time--he
determined forthwith to reach India by sailing westward. His bones lie
buried in the Western hemisphere, which his intrepidity revealed to an
astonished world.

As soon as Columbus, in the name of Ferdinand and Isabella, had opened
the gates of the New World, ships from England and France began to
hasten westward across the Atlantic. The Cabots, holding to the North,
discovered Newfoundland in 1497; Denis of Honfleur explored the Gulf
of St. Lawrence in 1506; and a few years later Verrazzano coasted
along the North Atlantic seaboard in four ships fitted out for him by
the youthful Francis of Angoulême. This voyage was practically the
beginning of French enterprise in the New World.

On Verrazzano's return to Dieppe, he sent the King a written account
of his travels, and France was presently burning with excitement over
the abundant riches of the New World. Spain, meanwhile, had been
reaping the wealth of the West Indies, and Hernando Cortés was laying
a stern hand upon the treasures of Mexico. And now disasters at home
were, for a time, to rob the fickle Francis of all ambition for
transatlantic glory. In the contest for the crown of the Holy Roman
Empire he had been worsted by Charles V., and shortly afterwards the
strength of France was hopelessly shattered at Pavia, the King being
carried back a prisoner to Madrid. But when, at last, the peace of
Cambrai had somewhat restored tranquillity to France, Philippe de
Brion-Chabot, a courtier at the Louvre, decided to follow up
Verrazzano's almost forgotten exploit of ten years before, and Jacques
Cartier became the instrument of this tardy resolution.

Jacques Cartier was born at St. Malo, the white buttress of Brittany.
Daring Breton fishing-boats had often sailed as far as the cod-banks
of Newfoundland, and it is not impossible that Cartier himself had
already crossed the Atlantic before he was commissioned by Chabot.
From a child he had lived upon the sea. He was forty years old when
he received his commission, and on the 20th of April, 1634, he set
sail from his native town. Holding a northern course he came at length
to Newfoundland, and having passed through the Straits of Belle Isle
and across the Gulf, he erected a white cross at Gaspé, and sailed on
westward till Anticosti came in sight. It was then August, and as
constant westerly winds delayed his further course, he decided to
return to France. Unfortunately, however, he did not leave until he
had lured on board his ships two young Indians, whom he carried back
as trophies, sowing thereby the seed of future trouble.

His countrymen were deeply stirred by his report. Beyond a doubt the
great Gulf up which he had sailed was the water route to Cathay, and
France could hardly await the arrival of spring before sending another
expedition. By the middle of May, 1635, Cartier was ready to embark on
a second voyage, and on this occasion no less than three ships were
equipped, numbering among their officers men of birth and
quality--gentlemen in search of adventure, others eager to mend broken
fortunes, and all bent on claiming new lands for France and for the
faith. Assembling in the old cathedral they confessed their sins and
heard the Mass; and on the 19th of May the dwellers of St. Malo saw
the sails of the _Hermine_, _La Petite Hermine_, and _Emerillon_ melt
into the misty blue of the horizon. Almost immediately a fierce storm
scattered the ships, and they only came together again six weeks later
in the Straits of Belle Isle. This time Cartier coasted along the
north shore of the Gulf; and to a bay opposite Anticosti he gave the
name of St. Lawrence, upon whose festival day it was discovered. Then
for the first time a white man entered "the great river of Canada."

[Illustration: JACQUES CARTIER]

With the kidnapped Indians for pilots, the three caravels passed by
the cañon of the Saguenay, mysterious in its sombre silence. Presently
the rocky cliff of Cap Tourmente towered above them, and at length
they glided into safe anchorage off the Isle of Bacchus.[2]

To the savage Indians the mighty vessels of France were marvels from
another world, and the river was soon swarming with their birch-bark
canoes. The story of the two braves who had been carried away to
France filled them with grave wonder, and the glittering costumes of
Cartier and his officers seemed like the garments of gods. The great
chief, Donnacona, waiving regal conventions, clambered upon the deck
of the _Hermine_, where Cartier regaled him with cakes and wine, and
with a few beads purchased the amity of his naked followers. Then
Cartier set out in a small boat to explore the river.

Above the Island of Bacchus he found himself in a beautiful harbour,
on the farther side of which the great river of Canada boomed through
a narrow gorge. On the left of the basin the broader channel of the
river passed out between the Isle of Bacchus and a range of wooded
heights; while on his right, a tower of rock rose majestically from
the foam-flecked water. Among the oak and walnut trees that crowned
the summit of this natural battlement clustered the bark cabins of
Stadaconé, whence, as wide as eye could range, the Lord of Canada held
his savage sway.

[Footnote 2: Now the Island of Orleans.]

This Algonquin eyrie seemed only accessible by a long detour through
the upland, in which the rocky heights gradually descended to the
little river of St. Croix. Thither Cartier and his companions made
their way, and then, for the first time, white men gazed upon the
green landscape spread beneath that high promontory. On the north and
east the blue rim of the world's oldest mountains, then as now, seemed
to shut off a mysterious barren land; on the south and west the eye
met a fairer prospect, for beyond a sea of verdure the sun's rays
glistened upon the distant hills of unknown, unnamed Vermont. Between
these half-points of the compass the broad St. Lawrence rolled outward
to the sea, and the discovering eye followed its bending course beyond
the Isle of Bacchus and past the beetling shoulder of Cap Tourmente.
In the summer of 1535 Cartier stood entranced on this magnificent
precipice; and to-day the visitor to Quebec gazes from the King's
Bastion upon the same panorama, hardly altered by the flight of nearly
four centuries.

But Quebec had yet for many years to await its founder. Cartier's
mission was one of discovery, not colonisation; and he resolved to
push further up the river to Hochelaga, an important village of which
the Indians had told him. But Donnacona soon repented of the
information he had given, and left nothing undone to turn Cartier from
his purpose. As a last resource the magicians of Stadaconé devised a
plan to frighten the obstinate Frenchman, but the crude masquerade
arranged for that purpose provoked nothing but amusement. A large
canoe came floating slowly down the river, and when it drew near the
ships the Frenchmen beheld three black devils, garbed in dogskins, and
wearing monstrous horns upon their heads. Chanting the hideous
monotones of the medicine men, they glided past the fleet, made for
the shore, and disappeared in the thicket. Presently, Cartier's two
interpreters issued from the wood and declared that the god Coudouagny
had sent his three chief priests to warn the French against ascending
the river, predicting dire calamities if they should persist.
Cartier's reply to the Indian deity was brief and irreverent, and he
forthwith made ready to depart.

The _Hermine_ and _Emerillon_ were towed to safer moorings in the
quiet St. Croix, and with the pinnace and a small company of men
Cartier set out for Hochelaga. The journey was long and toilsome, but
by the beginning of October they came to a beautiful island, the site
of Montreal. A thousand Indians thronged the shore to welcome the
mysterious visitors, presenting gifts of fish and fruit and corn.
Then, by a well-worn trail, the savages led the way through the forest
to the foot of the mountain, and into the triple palisades of


The early frosts of autumn had already touched the trees, and Cartier,
having accomplished his exploration, hastened back to Stadaconé, where
he set about making preparations for spending the winter. A fort was
hastily built at the mouth of the St. Croix. But the exiles were
unready for the violent season that soon closed in upon them, almost
burying their fort in drifting snow and casing the ships in an armour
of glistening ice. Pent up by the biting frost, and eking out a
wretched existence on salted food, their condition grew deplorable. A
terrible scurvy assailed the camp, and out of a company of one hundred
and ten, twenty-five died, while only three or four of the rest
escaped its ravages. The flint-like ground defied their feeble
spades, and the dead bodies were hidden away in banks of snow. To make
matters still worse, the Indians grew first indifferent, and then
openly hostile. Cartier was sorely beset to conceal from them the
weakness of his garrison. At last, however, a friendly Indian told him
of a decoction by which the scurvy might be cured. The leaves of a
certain evergreen were put to brew, and this medicine proved the
salvation of the decimated company.

By and by came the spring; and when at last sun and rain had loosed
the fetters of ice, Cartier determined to return to France. Before the
ships weighed anchor, however, Donnacona and four of his companions
were enticed on board, and with these sorry trophies the French
captain turned his prows homeward. At midsummer-time the
storm-battered ships glided once more into the rock-bound harbour of
St. Malo.

Five years elapsed before France sent another expedition into the New
World. The perennial conflict with Charles V. kept the French king's
mind fixed on his home dominions, and Chabot, Cartier's former patron,
had fallen upon evil times. At last, however, a new adventurer
appeared in the person of the Sieur de Roberval, a nobleman of
Picardy. The elaborate but almost incomprehensible text of the royal
patent described the new envoy as Lord of Norembega, Viceroy and
Lieutenant-General in Canada, Hochelaga, Saguenay, Newfoundland, Belle
Isle, Carpunt, Labrador, the Great Bay, and Baccalaos. Under him
Cartier was persuaded to take the post of Captain-General. The objects
of the enterprise were discovery, colonisation, and the conversion of
the Indians; albeit the instruments for this pious purpose were more
than doubtful, their five ships being freighted for the most part with
thieves and malefactors recruited from the prisons of France.


An unexpected delay occurring at St. Malo, it was determined that
Cartier should sail at once, and that Roberval should follow as soon
as possible with additional ships and supplies. Accordingly, on the
23rd of May, 1541, Cartier again spread his sails for the West, and
after a stormy passage arrived in the St. Lawrence. The uncertain
attitude of the Indians, however, prompted him to establish his colony
further westward than Stadaconé, and he continued his course up the
river and dropped anchor at Cap Rouge.

Summer and autumn passed away and brought no sign of Roberval. A
gloomy winter further damped the spirits of the colonists at
Charlesburg-Royal; and when the ice had gone out of the river, Cartier
gathered his company back into the ships and set sail again for
France. At Newfoundland he encountered the belated Roberval. High
words were exchanged, and, as a result, the fiery Viceroy sailed alone
to New France; and Cartier, bidding Canada a last farewell, held on
his way to St. Malo.

Francis Parkman transcribes from the manuscript of Thevet the
following incident which marked Roberval's voyage:--"The Viceroy's
company was of a mixed complexion. There were nobles, officers,
soldiers, sailors, adventurers, with women, too, and children. Of the
women, some were of birth and station, and among them a damsel called
Marguerite, a niece of Roberval himself. In the ship was a young
gentleman who had embarked for love of her. His love was too well
requited, and the stern Viceroy, scandalised and enraged at a passion
which scorned concealment and set shame at defiance, cast anchor by
the haunted island (the Isle of Demons), landed his indiscreet
relative, gave her four arquebuses for defence, and with an old woman
nurse who had pandered to the lovers, left her to her fate. Her
gallant threw himself into the surf, and by desperate effort gained
the shore, with two more guns and a supply of ammunition. The ship
weighed anchor, receded, vanished; they were left alone. Yet not so,
for the demon-lords of the island beset them day and night, raging
round their hut with a confused and hungry clamouring, striving to
force the frail barrier. The lovers had repented of their sin, though
not abandoned it, and Heaven was on their side. The saints vouchsafed
their aid, and the offended Virgin, relenting, held before them her
protecting shield. In the form of beasts and other shapes abominably
and unutterably hideous, the brood of hell, howling in baffled fury,
tore at the branches of the sylvan dwelling; but a celestial hand was
ever interposed, and there was a viewless barrier which they might not
pass. Marguerite became pregnant. Here was a double prize--two souls
in one, mother and child. The fiends grew frantic, but all in vain.
She stood undaunted amid these horrors, but her lover, dismayed and
heart-broken, sickened and died. Her child soon followed; then the old
woman nurse found her unhallowed rest in that accursed soil, and
Marguerite was left alone. Neither reason nor courage failed her; and
when assailed by the demons, she shot at them with her gun. They
answered with hellish merriment, and thenceforth she placed her trust
in Heaven alone. There were foes around her of the upper, no less than
of the nether, world. Of these the bears were the most redoubtable,
yet as they were vulnerable to mortal weapons, she killed three of
them--all, says the story, 'as white as an egg.'

"It was two years and five months from her landing on the island,
when, far out at sea, the crew of a small fishing-craft saw a column
of smoke curling upward from the haunted shore. Was it a device of the
fiends to lure them to their ruin? They thought so, and kept aloof.
But misgiving seized them. They warily drew near, and descried a
female figure in wild attire waving signals from the strand. Thus, at
length, was Marguerite rescued, and restored to her native France,
where, a few years later, the cosmographer Thevet met her at Natron,
in Perigord, and heard the tale of wonder from her own lips."[3]

[Illustration: Francois Xavier de Laval,
First Bishop of Quebec.]

[Footnote 3: Parkman's _Pioneers of France_, p. 203.]

Meanwhile, Roberval sailed on up the St. Lawrence, and established
himself at Cap Rouge, in the deserted forts of Charlesburg-Royal built
by Cartier. But the inexperience and imprudence of the haughty
Viceroy soon put his establishment in sore straits. Ignorance of
physical conditions and disregard of natural laws of health had always
been the chief cause of suffering among these transatlantic exiles,
and Roberval now added a lamentable want of perception and solicitude.
Unlike Cartier, the inexorable Viceroy did not recognise his colonists
as companions in privation, but ruled them with a rod of iron. The
pillory, the whipping-post, and the scaffold were distressing features
in his system. Then came winter, famine, and the scurvy. Fifty of the
settlers died, and by spring even the headstrong Roberval was ready to
forsake his enterprise. His departure ends the earliest period of
French adventure in America.

[Illustration: CAP ROUGE]

Thenceforth, for more than half a century, France writhed in civil
war, and spared no vessel to explore the great river of Canada. For
all these years New France was left to its aboriginal inhabitants and
to fate.



The name of Champlain must ever stand before all others in the history
of Quebec. He was the founder of the city, and for more than a quarter
of a century he was its very life. If repeated disappointment and
misfortune could have brought this great empire-builder to despair; if
obstacles apparently impossible to overcome could have turned the hero
from his purpose, Quebec would not be to-day the oldest city in the
western hemisphere. As it was, his character gave the keynote not only
to the great fortress-capital, but to the whole history of New France.
He was an embodiment at once of the religious zeal and of the mediæval
spirit of romance which carried the Bourbon lilies into the trackless
wilderness of North America, at a time when English colonisation
contented itself with a narrow strip on the Atlantic seaboard.

Samuel de Champlain was born in 1567 at the small seaport of Brouage,
on the Bay of Biscay. His father was a captain in the French navy, in
which profession the son also received early training. In the conflict
between the King and the rebellious Duc de Mercoeur and the League,
Champlain was found on the Royalist side; and Henry the Fourth
rewarded his faithful subject with a pension and a place at court. But
the war in Brittany was not long over before Champlain became
restless. The spirit of adventure beat strong in his veins, and at
length he determined upon a project which, while it should serve the
purpose of the King, was also well spiced with peril. Proceeding to
Cadiz, where his uncle was Pilot-General of the Spanish marine,
Champlain obtained command of one of the ships in Don Francisco
Colombo's fleet, bound for the West Indies. On this voyage he was
absent from France more than two years, visiting not only the West
Indies, but also Mexico and Central America.

On his return, these travels gave him an unusual importance at the
French court; and when, in 1603, the aged De Chastes, Governor of
Dieppe, decided to seal his pious life with an enterprise for the King
and for the Church, the adventurous Champlain became the instrument of
his purpose.

De Chastes' two small vessels set sail from Honfleur, one commanded by
Pontgravé, the other by Champlain. The voyage was long but
uneventful. Pontgravé's former trading-post at Tadousac had been
abandoned, and they held their lonely way up the St. Lawrence, past
the mantling rock of Stadaconé, on to the wooded heights of Hochelaga.
Cartier's Indian village of sixty-eight years before had
disappeared--undoubtedly swept from existence by the relentless
Iroquois. At this point, however, the foaming St. Louis rapids barred
their way, and the caravels were turned homeward. With wind and
current down the river, and out through the Gulf, in due season they
came safely to Havre de Grace.

[Illustration: CHAMPLAIN]

In their absence the Sieur de Chastes had died; but De Monts, another
courtier at the Louvre, succeeded to the patent for colonising in the
New World. Exploration was not to rest, and Champlain and the Baron de
Poutrincourt accompanied the new Deputy in his Acadian expedition of
1604. Once more the Atlantic was crossed. Passing Cap la Hêve the
explorers sought a suitable site for their colony along this coast,
and when they reached the beautiful basin of Annapolis, hemmed in by a
circle of wooded hills, the artistic Poutrincourt was charmed, and
forthwith obtained from De Monts a private grant of the surrounding
country. He established his demesne here, naming the place Port Royal,
while Champlain and De Monts, continuing their way around the Bay of
Fundy, came at length to the bleak island of St. Croix, where they
founded their colony.

There is no need to present fully the vicissitudes of the tiny
settlement. Scurvy and the rigours of the first winter carried off
thirty-five colonists out of a total of seventy-nine. The winter of
1606-1607 was happily much less severe; moreover, Champlain's "Ordre
de Bon-Temps," and Lescarbot's wit and gaiety contributed to cheer the
shivering exiles. In the spring, however, the first ship from St. Malo
brought bad news from France. The enemies of De Monts at home had
triumphed, and had persuaded the King to cancel the charter of the
Deputy. In a way this contretemps led to the founding of Quebec.

Although De Monts was no longer Lieutenant-General of Acadia, he was
yet unwilling to give up the scheme which appealed so strongly to his
adventurous nature. On his return to Paris, his influence had been
sufficient to secure for one year a monopoly of the new fur trade.
Champlain, cherishing the memory of the voyage of the previous year,
persuaded him that the valley of the St. Lawrence would serve his
purpose better even than Acadia, and between them they planned an
expedition in which profit and adventure were evenly mingled. Two
ships were fitted out--the one commanded by Champlain, the other by
the elder Pontgravé. The latter was to revive the old trading-station
of Tadousac, while Champlain was to establish, further inland, a
fortified post from which expeditions might set forth to find the
hoped-for passage to Cathay.

Pontgravé sailed from Honfleur on the 5th of April, 1608, Champlain
following on the 13th of the same month. His was the first ship to
carry a permanent colony to New France. Crossing the wide gulf by
Anticosti, the little vessel of Champlain stopped at Tadousac to do a
timely service for his colleague who was now further up the river. The
stately grandeur of the scene was not new to Champlain. Five years
before he had glided past the yawning cañon through which the dark
Saguenay rushed down from the north; he had gazed upon the blue
sky-line of the Laurentian mountains; in the caravel of De Chastes the
surging tide had carried him past the Isle of Bacchus and the milky
cataract of Montmorency.

Anon the channel narrows; on the left are the Heights of Levi, and on
the right a frowning cliff shoulders far into the stream. Here ancient
Stadaconé stood; but the Iroquois passed over it long since, and the
village is gone. On this spot Champlain decided to establish his post,
and what site could be more suitable than that found by the Breton
mariners as they rounded the point of Orleans? They had entered a
beautiful harbour where an armada might safely ride at anchor. On
their left the Heights of Levi formed the southern boundary of the
glistening basin; on their right, a tiny river murmured through the
lowlands; and beyond it a rugged promontory thrust into the current a
tower of rock, commanding the narrow channel into which the mighty St.
Lawrence was here compressed. The solitude of a forest wilderness now
hung over the site of Stadaconé. On the narrow wooded strand at the
base of this rocky eyrie, Champlain made a landing.


Trees were felled, and in the clearing the log foundations of
"L'Habitation" were laid. Ere the summer ended it was completed; and a
sketch from Champlain's own unskilled pencil has preserved its
grotesque likeness. First of all there was a moat, then a staunch wall
of logs, with loopholes for musketry, and, inside, three buildings
and a courtyard. Over all rose a dove-cot, quaintly mediæval, and
prettily symbolical of Champlain's peaceful invasion. But Indians were
Indians, and two or three small cannon were accordingly mounted on
salient platforms on the riverside. A large storehouse was also built
inside the palisade; and presently Champlain laid out a flower garden.

In preparing against foes without, however, Champlain had taken no
thought for foes within. Not all of the little company had the same
enthusiasm as their leader, and a plot was set on foot to destroy him,
and sell Quebec to the Spaniards and the Basques. Fortunately the
fidelity of his pilot saved Champlain from assassination. Warning
reached him in time, and he dealt fearlessly and rigorously with the
mutinous crew. The four ringleaders were decoyed on board a pinnace
from Tadousac, and seized and put in irons. The body of the chief
conspirator swung next morning from the cross-trees, and his three
companions were sent back to the galleys of France. A free pardon for
the minor malcontents secured their loyalty from that time forward.

In September, Pontgravé set sail for France, and Champlain and his
twenty-eight companions made ready for the winter. Frost and snow came
early that year, and a devastating scurvy invaded the Habitation. The
improvident Montagnais huddled in their birch tepees about the fort,
raving for food, and perishing with disease; while of the twenty-eight
Frenchmen there were only eight despairing survivors to greet the
returning spring. On the 5th of June, however, Pontgravé's ship again
arrived at Quebec, to the joy of Champlain and his stricken

Summer warmed their enthusiasm anew, and the dauntless explorer now
thought only of pressing on westward to Cathay. To further this
project, he consented to ally himself with the Hurons and Algonquins
in an attack upon the Iroquois, and for several days their dusky
allies swarmed in and around Quebec. At length, towards the end of
June, the war-party set out. Champlain embarked in a shallop with
eleven men, armed with arquebuse and match-lock, sword and
breast-plate; and the painted, shrilling foresters swarmed up the
river in their bark canoes. From the St. Lawrence they passed into the
Iroquois River.[4]

After destroying one of the Mohawk towns, the victorious raiders
returned to Quebec. Champlain, "the man with the iron breast," had
cemented his alliance with the northern tribes, and from this time
forth Quebec became the great emporium for the fur trade of the

[Footnote 4: Now the Richelieu.]

In 1613 Champlain's enthusiasm was kindled by the tale of one Nicolas
de Vignau, who claimed to have traced the Ottawa to its source in a
great lake, which also emptied itself through a northern river into an
unknown sea. Champlain set off with Vignau and three others to
establish this new route to Cathay. In two birch canoes they proceeded
up the St. Lawrence and into the rushing Ottawa. Portaging around the
seething Chaudière, they came at length to Allumette Island. Here the
old Algonquin chief, Tessouat, received them; but he presently
convinced Champlain that there was no such northern route as he looked
to find. Whereupon Vignau confessed his imposture, and Champlain
generously let him go unpunished.

Meanwhile, De Monts had wearied of his New World enterprise, and to
secure the interests of his colony Champlain was constrained to make
annual voyages to France. In 1612 he found a protector in the Comte de
Soissons, who appointed the discoverer his deputy in New France.
Soissons, however, died in the same year; but fortunately the Prince
of Condé, by whom he was succeeded, was also well-disposed, and
retained Champlain as his lieutenant.

Up to this time Quebec had realised only an elementary form of
colonisation. The entire population numbered less than fifty persons,
and the city consisted of the fortified post at the foot of the cliff,
with a few cabins clustering about the log palisades. But on his
visit to France in 1615, Champlain took a step forward in his policy.
Hitherto the dwellers at Quebec had been transients. They came not to
take up residence, but to trade, intending to return again to France
as soon as possible. The fear of a death unshriven likewise
contributed to tentative settlement; and to meet the latter want,
Champlain resolved to establish a church in his colony. Four Récollet
friars--Franciscans of the Strict Observance--were easily persuaded to
return with him to Quebec. Burning with holy zeal, they confessed
their sins, received absolution, and embarked at Honfleur on the 24th
of April, 1615. A month later they arrived at Tadousac, and sailed on
to Quebec. Every new arrival increased the surprise of the bewildered
Indians, who gazed with suspicion upon the four mendicant friars, in
their coarse, gray _soutanes_ girt at the waist with the knotted cord
of St. Francis of Assisi, and wearing peaked _capotes_ and thick
wooden sandals.

The site of the first church in New France was selected without delay.
It stood on the strand near the Cul-de-sac, a little distance from the
Habitation. Its construction was simple and speedy, and before the end
of June the half-hundred citizens of Quebec knelt upon the bare ground
and reverently listened to the first Mass ever said in Canada. The
guns of the ship in the harbour, and the cannon on the ramparts,
boomed forth in honour of the event. That day the priesthood began its
long _régime_. The colonial policy of New France had now been
definitely shaped. Henceforth this new Power would stride into the
wilderness with the crucifix in one hand and the sword in the
other--for God and for the King; by baptism, binding the heathen to
the faith, and by co-operation with the native tribes against the
Iroquois, making Quebec the heart and soul of the vast Indian country,
whose boundaries no one knew, and whose wealth none could divine.

[Illustration: BONNE STE. ANNE (OLD CHURCH)]

In pursuance of this policy, Father Dolbeau, with much suffering,
accompanied the roving Montagnais to their northern hunting-grounds.
Their wanderings were so wide that, before he returned, the priest
had encountered the Esquimaux of Labrador. Meanwhile, Père Joseph made
his way to the Sault St. Louis, where a mighty concourse of savages
was assembled; and when the war-conference was ended he went back with
the Hurons to their villages. Champlain and Étienne Brulé, the most
daring bushman in New France, followed him thither by way of the
Ottawa, Lake Nipissing, French River, and the Georgian Bay. Thus Lake
Huron was discovered. Then, from Cahiagué, the Huron capital, set out
the memorable war-party of 1615, which came near to altering the fate
of the Colony. Up the Severn, across Lake Simcoe, thence by portage
route to the valley of the Trent, they arrived at Lake Ontario.
Crossing to the south shore, they hid their canoes in the forest and
were soon in Iroquois territory; but when they came within sight of
the Onondaga town, Champlain was no longer able to control his naked
allies, and in spite of his precautions they rushed the palisade, only
to be beaten back and scattered. The muskets of the twelve Frenchmen
alone saved a rout, Champlain himself being wounded; and with much
chagrin the dispersed Hurons made their way back to Lake Ontario. They
refused even to escort their wounded leader to Quebec as they had
promised, and he was obliged to spend the winter in the lodge of one
of the chiefs. He hunted and fished with the Hurons, and in one of
these expeditions he was lost in the forest for several days, being
only saved by that wonderful resource which marked his character. When
the spring came again Champlain set off for Quebec, guided by his kind
host Durantal. He reached the fort in July, after an absence of a
year, and the inhabitants, who had long since believed him dead,
assembled in the Récollet church for a special thanksgiving
service--nor without good reason, for upon the inveterate ruler and
leader depended the destiny of France in America.

The condition of the little colony had not improved during the absence
of the governing and inspiring spirit. From the force of
circumstances, it did not at once improve upon Champlain's return.
These first settlers of Quebec, whose food and living were easily got,
and with no ambition to work or trade, idled their time away. Gambling
and drinking were their common diversions, the more reckless spirits
taking to the woods and adopting the savage life of the hunting
tribes. These became the famous _coureurs de bois_, the picturesque
vagrants who were destined in the succeeding years to constitute so
serious a "problem" in the administration of New France. At first
Champlain could do little more than hold his colony together.
Intelligent as his purposes were, he received no help from the Court
of France or from the Viceroy De Monts, though the importance of the
enterprise of colonisation was set before Europe with every
circumstance of national pride and no detail of responsibility.

A painful evidence of the slight importance which the Louvre attached
to New France is furnished by the frequent and easy changes in its
patronage to which reference has already been made. On the
imprisonment of Condé, the young Duc de Montmorency purchased for a
song the Lieutenancy of New France, and he in turn sold it to his
nephew, Henri Lévis, the Duc de Ventadour. All except De Ventadour had
been moved by the lust of gain; in his case, however, the motive was
religious--to win the infidels of the New World to the faith of the
Old. The Jesuits were his chosen instruments; and accordingly, in the
summer of 1625, Charles Lalement, Enemond Masse, and Jean de Brébeuf,
landed at Quebec. No guns boomed a welcome to the disciples of Loyola.
No salvos of artillery hailed their arrival. Their reception was even
distressing. In the temporary absence of Champlain, the Calvinist
Émery de Caen was in charge of the fort, and in the violence of his
heresy refused them shelter. The inhabitants, likewise, declined to
admit the newcomers to their homes. In despair at such treatment the
three Jesuits were on the point of returning to France, when the
hospitable Récollets invited them to the convent at Notre Dame des
Anges. In September the Jesuits made a clearing on the opposite side
of the St. Charles, and here they began to build a convent of their
own. Thus had the forty-three French exiles, who now made the
permanent population of Quebec, a sufficiency of both Récollets and
Jesuits for their spiritual guidance. Lalement soon became the keeper
of Champlain's conscience, and from this time forward the Jesuits were
to have their way in New France.

In 1627 Richelieu's policy of absolutism was extended also to the New
World. Revoking the charter of De Caen the Huguenot merchant, he
organised the Company of One Hundred Associates, of which he was
himself the head. In return for sovereign powers and a perpetual
monopoly of the fur trade, this society was to people New France with
artisans and colonists, whom they were pledged to provide with cleared
lands for agriculture and to maintain. Huguenots, moreover, were to be
for ever excluded from the colony.

For a time the new company took an honest view of its obligations--but
only for a time. Within a year or so, Quebec was again on the verge of
starvation; and in the spring of 1629 the famished inhabitants were
eagerly awaiting the Company's ships from France. By July their
patience was almost worn out, when at last the watchers at Cap
Tourmente brought the news that a fleet of six vessels had reached
Tadousac. Quebec could scarcely await their arrival, and the more
eager inhabitants prepared to meet the ships down the river. But
suddenly two Indian canoes swung round the point of Orleans. These
made hot haste for the rock, and breathlessly announced that the fleet
in the river was a hostile English squadron, and that a fishing
village had already been pillaged and destroyed. Joy now became
consternation. Unknown to the distant colony, war between France and
England had been declared.

Quebec was not left long in suspense, for next day the messengers of
the English admiral, Sir David Kirke, himself a Huguenot refugee,
arrived with a demand for surrender. The heart of the valiant
Champlain was wrung. He had inspected his empty magazine and the
rickety fort which the improvidence of the Company had allowed to fall
into ruin. But even the weakness of his starved and paltry garrison
did not affect his fortitude. Kirke's envoy was courteously dismissed,
with the bold assurance that Quebec would defend itself to the last
man. Champlain still clung to the hope that supplies would arrive from
France; and even as he uttered his bold defiance, De Roquemont's
convoy and fleet of transports had entered the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Quebec strained eager eyes for the succouring sail. Night and day the
tiny garrison stood to the guns, resolving to spend their remaining
fifty pounds of gunpowder with equal fervour in welcome of friend or

But weeks wore into months, and misery and despair proportionately
increased. Here were nearly a hundred persons huddled in a decayed
fortress in the wilderness, with seven ounces of pounded pease for a
daily ration. By and by this supply also failed, and the starving
inhabitants were driven into the wood in search of acorns and roots.
Then came the news, which Champlain had long been dreading, that De
Roquemont's fleet had fallen into the hands of Sir David Kirke. The
last hope of saving Quebec was now brushed away. But the English fleet
did not yet summon the garrison to surrender, and instead of making
immediate assault, Kirke continued to blockade the River and the Gulf.

Another winter dragged by, and spring came again. The people continued
to starve, ever hoping that the enemy would raise the siege. This hope
was not to be fulfilled. On the 19th of July three English ships
sailed up the river, and with the apathy of despair the gallant
Champlain and his sixteen famished soldiers watched them anchor in the
basin. The bitter end was come.

Next day, the 20th of July, 1629, the English flag floated, for the
first time, over the fortress of Quebec. "There was not in the sayde
forte at the tyme of the rendition of the same, to this examinate's
knowledge, any victuals, save only one tubb of bitter roots"--such is
the evidence of one of Kirke's captains. This, in brief, is the story
of the first of the five sieges of Quebec.

When Lewis Kirke, the Admiral's brother, took possession of the city
in the name of King Charles, he treated his captives with high
courtesy. The French inhabitants were given the option of remaining in
peaceful possession of their homes, or being transported back to
France. Louis Hébert, the chemist, and his relatives the Couillards,
the only two families of colonists in the strict sense of the word,
elected to remain on their small holdings. Champlain and the Jesuits,
choosing to return to France, embarked in the ship of Thomas Kirke,
who was sailing down the river to join his brother's fleet at
Tadousac. When they were opposite Mal Baie, about twenty-five leagues
below Quebec, a strange sail bore in sight. She proved to be a French
ship which had stolen past Tadousac with succours for Quebec. The
_George_ immediately gave chase, a sharp fight ensued, but in the end
the Frenchman struck his flag, and the new prize was borne down the

Sir David Kirke now continued homeward with his prisoners. They
reached Plymouth in October, and from here the devoted and patriotic
Champlain went to London to urge the French ambassador to seek the
restitution of Quebec. Its capture had actually occurred after the
declaration of peace, and on that ground was held invalid. Champlain
pleaded well and in the end prevailed. It was not, however, until 1632
that the fortress was restored to France by the Treaty of St.
Germain-en-Laye; and it is probable that the mercenary Charles held
such a concession cheap when weighed in the scale with four hundred
thousand golden crowns, the promised dowry of Henrietta Maria.

During the three years of English occupation Quebec had made no
progress. The Indians had found in the newcomers a spirit in rough
contrast with the forbearance and good-fellowship of the French.
Disliking the brusqueness of the new rulers, the Algonquins now
shunned the city. Even the fort had been burned to the ground, and the
Hébert homestead alone made a sweet oasis in a desert of neglect and

Such was the condition of the settlement in the summer of 1632, when
Émery de Caen again sailed into the harbour. He had come to take over
possession from the English. Despite his old antipathy, his fierce
Calvinism, he now brought with him--in some sense the price of his
commission--the Jesuits Père de Nouë and Père le Jeune; and joyfully
the exiled French gathered at the house of honest Hébert to hear Mass
after the lapse of three years.

It is not clear why the Huguenot De Caen was chosen to retake
possession of Quebec. The expedition was fitted out at his own
expense; and for recompense, a monopoly of the fur trade was granted
him for one year. At the end of that time the Company of One Hundred
Associates was to resume the privileges of its charter. Thus it
happened that, in 1633, Champlain was reappointed Governor of New
France by the astute Richelieu.

With three vessels Champlain set sail on the 23rd of March, and two
months later he look over the command of Quebec from De Caen. The next
two years passed placidly for the city. The Indians rejoiced to have
"the man with the iron breast" back in their lodges, and the harbour
swarmed once more with friendly canoes. Meanwhile, trade increased
with the Indians, and the settlement became a genuine commercial
colony. On one occasion as many as seven hundred Hurons flocked to
Quebec with their hunting trophies, and at length every midsummer came
to be marked by an Indian Fair. Père le Jeune's _Relation_ gives a
quaint description of one of the annual visits of the tribes. On the
24th of July, 1633, the harbour was dotted with fur-laden canoes from
the Ottawa and from Lake Huron. Landing at the Cul-de-sac, the dusky
braves took possession of the strand below the rock, where they
hastily set up their portable huts of birch-bark. "Some," says the
Jesuit chronicler, "had come only to gamble or to steal; others out of
mere curiosity; while the wiser and more businesslike among them had
come to barter their furs and sacks of tobacco leaves." The second day
of the visitation was marked by a solemn conclave of the chiefs and
the officers of Fort St. Louis--a smoking pow-wow for the exchange of
compliments and wampum.

The courtyard of the fort witnessed this garish function. The chiefs
and principal men of each village grouped themselves together. Some
were garbed in beaver skins, others in the shaggy hide of the bear.
Still others were guiltless of apparel, and all bore themselves with
an excessive dignity bordering on burlesque. Brébeuf, Daniel, and
Davost stood by in their sable vestments; and in the midst of all was
Champlain surrounded by the soldiers of his garrison. The next two
days were given up to trade--a beaver-skin exchanging for a tin
kettle, a bright cloth, or a string of beads. On the fifth day a huge
feast was given, by means of which savage appetites forced the French
to disgorge a moiety of their profit. But before another dawn the
Indians had vanished, and Quebec smiled to see its storehouses full of

By this time the little settlement had more than ever taken on the
appearance of a mission. The Récollets had virtually been excluded
from New France, the influence of the Jesuits having permeated even
the official atmosphere of Fort St. Louis. It has been claimed that,
in his younger years, Champlain was a Huguenot. It is more likely he
was a Catholic of a liberal type; and certainly in his last years a
Jesuit became his spiritual adviser. Both the soldier and the merchant
gave way to the priestly influence in the purposes of Government. The
cross was to precede the sword of empire on the march into the

In the midst of peace and progress a heavy loss was now to befall
Quebec. Champlain, beyond sixty-eight years of age, lay prostrate in
the fort. His last illness had come upon him, and on Christmas Day,
1635, the father of New France passed away. Soldiers, priests, and
settlers sorrowfully followed his remains to the little church on the
cliff, Notre Dame de la Recouvrance, which Champlain himself had
founded in honour of the restitution of the city, and where he had
renewed so often his faith and hope and courage.

A great spirit had crossed the bourne. The whole history of Canada has
no fairer pages than those which deal with the deeds of the founder of
Quebec. His was a character great and unselfish, often mistaken, but
always high-minded and just; not free from the credulity that
characterised his generation, but with a spirit of romantic endurance
which leaves the New World still his debtor; with a love of high
emprise unsullied by lust of gain or by cruelty or vain-glory. Like
Moses, he went forth into a land of promise; and, like Moses, the
place of his sepulchre is not known. It is, however, recorded that his
remains were placed "_dans un sépulcre particulier_." During the
administration of Montmagny a small chapel adjoining Notre Dame de la
Recouvrance came to be known as "Champlain's Chapel," and for a long
time this was believed to mark the founder's tomb. But in 1856 an
excavation at the foot of Breakneck Stairs revealed a curious vault
containing human bones; and later investigation has led to the belief
that the last resting-place of Champlain was a rocky niche part way
down Mountain Hill, in full view of the strand upon which his early
Habitation was built.



The Indians with whom the French explorers first came in contact were
of the Algonquin family. Under different tribal names this race spread
itself over the Atlantic seaboard from Carolina to Hudson's Bay, and
farther west than the Great Lakes. In the comparatively small area now
forming northern New York lived the Iroquois, or Five Nation Indians,
who, like the Helvetii of old, out-stripped all the other tribes in
valour, and at the time of the arrival of the Europeans were engaged
in reducing their Algonquin foes to subjection. The Hurons, who figure
so prominently in early Canadian annals, were of Iroquois stock; but
owing to their situation in the Georgian Bay peninsula, and their
alliance with the neighbouring Algonquins, they became the especial
object of Iroquois enmity, and the feud went on till they were

The story of this conflict so closely concerns the history of Quebec,
that the period intervening between the death of Champlain and the
establishment of Royal Government has been described as the Heroic Age
of New France. Indeed, on looking back over the trials of that period,
it seems incredible that the colony was able to weather the storms of
Iroquois savagery by which it was swept. But this dark misery was so
clearly the outcome of French colonial policy, that a reference to the
underlying principles of that system is necessary.

The French idea of colonisation was propagandism. True, it was not
actually born of that deep principle, but rather of high adventure and
of the alluring mystery of discovery. Religion, however, very soon
became its prevailing impulse. The expedition of Verrazzano had its
_raison d'être_ in nothing higher than the cupidity of Francis I., who
was dazzled by legends of Mexican gold and Peruvian silver; but
religion inspired Cartier to his great adventure ten years later.

The Old World was in the throes of the Reformation. With shafts of
heresy, Luther in Germany and Calvin in France were assailing the
Catholic Church, and devout Catholics like Cabot had conceived the
idea of requiting the Church for her losses in the Old World by
religious conquests in the New. Roberval's voyage had been likewise
undertaken for discovery, settlement, and the conversion of the
Indians. The aged De Chastes, the patron of Champlain, had been
animated almost entirely by a religious motive, and the explorer's
own frequent declaration was that "the salvation of a single soul is
worth more than an empire."

Such sentiments alone were enough to explain the friendship of
Champlain with the Hurons and Algonquins, on whose lands he had
settled his colony, and to whom the French owed something at least in
the way of assistance or protection. But apart from sense of a
religious obligation, he was forced to depend on the Indians to guide
him through the country he wished to explore, and their goodwill was
also necessary to develop the fur trade for the great companies. It
was natural, therefore, that Champlain should enter into alliance with
the neighbouring tribes, whose amity meant so much to the struggling
settlement. But New France was destined to reap bitter fruits from
this seeding.

The offensive and defensive bond against the Iroquois almost cost the
colony its existence. It was, in fact, another Hundred Years' War with
a foe as implacable as death itself. The constant aim of the French
was to organise and harmonise the tribes against their common enemy,
and to establish a league of which Quebec would be the heart and head.
All this was in direct contrast with the English system, which took no
account whatever of the Indian tribes. The English colonists in
Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Virginia displaced the Indian; the
French made him part of their system. New France was a trading colony,
New England an agricultural colony. The French, with few exceptions,
did not go to the New World to make a home, but to secure fortunes;
the English colonists went to the New World to settle; they bore with
them their household gods.

For a hundred years or more, New France was dependent on Old France
for provisions; and even up to the death of Champlain, there were, in
fact, only two plots of ground under cultivation by French
settlers--that of Louis Hébert in Upper Town, and the small farm of
the Récollects on the St. Charles. In New England, the settlers first
of all cleared the land, laid out their farms, and stored their
provisions against the winter season. They traded with the Indians and
acquired wealth, and for their greater convenience they made purchases
in the Old World. Thus, from the first days almost, the New England
Colonies were self-contained, while New France depended on Europe to a
degree amazing and pathetic. This fact strikes the keynote of the
French _régime_, explaining, as it does, most of the trials and
tribulations of New France in its perennial warfare with the Iroquois,
and in the later friction with New England.

Nor is it astonishing that New France never became self-reliant. From
first to last her natural growth was throttled, either by the greed
of the fur companies or by the mistaken paternalism of the Bourbons.
The Company of One Hundred Associates, which Richelieu founded in
1624, was no improvement on the previous administrations of New
France, in spite of its elaborate charter and the fact that Richelieu
himself was at the head of it. The fur companies were doubly politic
in discouraging agriculture, for the purchase of peltries thus became
practically the sole industry of the colony, while at the same time
the people were left dependent upon the stores of the company for
food. The colonisation of New England was intensive, the colonisation
of New France extensive; New England cleared and built as occasion
demanded; New France merely established bases from which to penetrate
the wilderness. Before the death of Champlain, the white crosses which
her pioneers were wont to set up were to be found as far west as Lake
Huron, and before the close of the seventeenth century they dotted the
trackless forests from Michillimackinac to New Orleans. It is not
surprising, then, that the Indians became an important factor in the
history of Canada.

[Illustration: Cardinal de Richelieu
from the Versailles Gallery]

M. de Montmagny, Champlain's successor, arrived in the spring of 1636.
He was a Knight of Malta, a brave soldier, and a religious fanatic.
During the twelve years of his administration, Quebec was almost
constantly defending itself against the Iroquois. Redoubled efforts
to convert the Indians also mark this period. The first of these
efforts was the pious project of M. de Sillery, a Knight of Malta. De
Sillery had wearied of the gay court of Fontainebleau, and in 1637 he
supplied the means whereby the Jesuit Le Jeune established a hostel
for converted Algonquins. The site chosen was a few miles up the river
from Quebec; and although Iroquois hostility soon made havoc of the
mission, the spot is known to this day as Sillery Cove.

In the same year, 1637, the Jesuits began a wooden structure in the
rear of the fort, resolving to devote the six thousand crowns donated
by the Marquis de Gamache, to the founding of a school for Indian
children, and a college for French boys. Father Daniel brought down
the first pupil from the Huron country, when he returned to Quebec,
and the interpreter Nicollet skilfully induced several other Indian
families to send hostages to the Jesuit seminary. But the untamed
savage drank shyly at the fountain of learning, and Father Le Jeune
relates of the dusky scholars that one ran away, two ate themselves to
death, a fourth was kidnapped by his affectionate parent, and three
others stole a canoe, loaded it to the gunwale with such commodities
and food as they could lay hands upon, and escaped up the river. The
indefatigable Jesuits, however, were not to be discouraged, and they
still wrote with delight of their savage province. Their ardent
_Relations_ were sent regularly to France, and the hearts of
princesses in the Faubourg St. Germain, and of nuns in the convents of
Montmartre were alike fired with zeal for the Canadian mission.

"Is there no charitable and virtuous lady," pleaded Le Jeune, "who
will come to this country to gather up the blood of Christ by teaching
His word to the little Indian girls?" Thirteen nuns in a single
convent straightway vowed their lives to the far-off mission; but the
touching appeal of the Jesuit father sank deepest of all in the heart
of the fever-stricken Madame de la Peltrie.

A review of the early life of Madame de la Peltrie makes it easy to
understand how her mind was readily inflamed by the tearful _Relations
des Jesuits_. As a child religious ecstasy had possessed her ardent
mind; and her father, a gentleman of Normandy, was continually
striving against her inclinations for the cloister. Twice he carried
her back from a convent whither she had fled, and by a series of
devices at length contrived a happy marriage for her. At twenty-two
she was left a widow and childless, and once more the fervour of her
early years consumed her. She resolved afresh to be a nun. Her father
entreated and, under threat of disinheritance, commanded her to marry
again. Meanwhile, what was being done in Canada came to her
knowledge, and increased her ardour tenfold. A Jesuit, of whom she
sought counsel in her dilemma, suggested a casuistical compromise.
Through him a formal marriage was arranged, and the death of her
father soon afterwards left herself and her revenues free for pious
enterprise in New France.


Repairing to the Ursuline Convent at Tours, Madame de la Peltrie made
choice of three nuns to share with her the bliss of founding a convent
at Quebec. The most remarkable of these was the devout Marie de
l'Incarnation. At this time the latter was forty years of age, tall,
stately, and forceful in appearance, and with a history as romantic as
that of Madame de la Peltrie herself. At seventeen she had made an
unhappy marriage. Two years later her husband died, and left her with
an infant son. She gave the child into the charge of her sister, and
devoted herself to solitude and religious meditation. Visions,
ecstasies, rapture, and dejection took alternate possession of her
mind. Fastings and the severest forms of discipline henceforward made
up the melancholy routine of the life of the "holy widow." Love for
her child for a long time kept her from taking the veil, but at
length, by prayer and fasting, she emancipated herself from this
maternal weakness of the flesh, and was rapturously received by the
Ursulines of Tours. Yet in spite of the vagaries of her devout mind,
Madame de l'Incarnation possessed a singular aptness for practical
affairs. Several of her early years had been spent in the house of her
brother-in-law, where she had displayed an amazing talent for the
ordinary business of life. A knowledge of this trait had doubtless led
the Jesuits to press her appointment as Superior of the new Ursuline
Convent which Madame de la Peltrie proposed establishing at Quebec.
Meanwhile, the Duchesse d'Aiguillon, Richelieu's niece, had also been
moved by the pleadings from Quebec, and she determined to found a
Hôtel-Dieu. Three nuns of the Hospital were entrusted with this

The ship bearing Madame de la Peltrie, the three Ursulines, and the
three Hospitalières set sail from Dieppe early in May, 1639. The
excitement and activity of the outer world must have contrasted
strangely with the peacefulness of their quiet cloisters; yet the
frail nuns were buoyed up by a marvellous enthusiasm and a noble
faith. This faith, however, was destined to be sorely tried. Winds and
waves beset them on the way, icebergs struck terror into their
spirits, and it was not till the middle of July that the leaking ship
came to anchor in the harbour of Tadousac. Thence they proceeded in
small boats up the river; and on the 1st of August the welcoming
cannon of Fort St. Louis boomed forth, and Quebec was _en fête_ in
honour of so notable an arrival.

Pending the erection of a suitable building at Quebec, the nuns of the
Hospital established themselves at the mission palisade of Sillery,
and the Ursulines began their work in the small wooden structure on
the river's brink below the rock. An outbreak of smallpox among the
Indians soon over-crowded their wretched tenement, and infected
savages came thither only to die. Worn out with labour, the
indefatigable nuns continued bravely to contend with the disease and
suffering around them, and the monuments of their high endurance and
beautiful devotion are to be found to-day in the ivy-clad cloisters in
Garden Street, where the gentle Ursulines still minister to the
maidens of French Canada; and in the pretentious hospital on Palace
Hill where nuns still care tenderly for the sick and dying, and read
the inspiring history of their order back to 1639.

About the middle of the seventeenth century a stranger in Quebec would
have been surprised to find that the city lacked nothing so much as
people. Reversing the natural law of supply and demand, it built
churches before it had worshippers, schools before it had scholars,
and hospitals before it had patients. The purpose was to attract
settlement by preparing beforehand for the wants of colonists. These
early establishments have, however, justified themselves by a
continuous and permanent history, and Quebec is now, as it was nearly
three centuries ago, a city of churches and convents. The bells rang
then, as now, from morning till night, Gregorian chants streamed out
through convent windows, and the black-robed priest was the soul of

Montmagny rebuilt in stone the fort on the precipice, and spared
nothing to give the place a formidable appearance. For safety the
church and presbytery of the Jesuits stood close to the parapet. The
Ursulines, with less caution, began to build their tiny convent in the
neighbouring woods. The first Hôtel-Dieu was rising on the cliff
overlooking the valley of the St. Charles, and not far away was the
new farm of Louis Hébert, the chemist--all together making a picture
of progress. Champlain's first Habitation had fallen to ruin, but a
few wooden tenements still remained to mark the earliest settlement in
Lower Town, and the Church of the Récollets told the tale of past
perils and an unfailing faith. A league or so up the river was the
Algonquin mission of Sillery, with its clustered cabins and rude
oratory, surrounded by a palisade.


Montmagny was a _dévoté_ surrounded by a suite as pious as himself.
Through these amenable spirits the Jesuits were supreme not only in
matters of religion, but in matters of state. Indeed, in this
ecclesiastically governed community there was little distinction
between sacred and secular matters. The church was the centre of
affairs. A stake was planted before the sacred edifice bearing a
placard of warning against blasphemy, drunkenness, and neglect of the
Mass. A pillory, with chain and iron collar, and a wooden horse, stood
close by--suggestive means of religious correction.

(Latter destroyed by fire, 1807)]

Even the recreations of the people partook of a religious character.
The feast of St. Joseph, the patron saint of New France, was
celebrated with pious display. On May-Day the young people of Quebec
tripped about a maypole surmounted by a triple crown in honour of
Jesus, Maria, and Joseph. The annual visits of the Company's ships
from France, however, temporarily disturbed the calm of the monastic
city. The genuflexions of drunken sailors were seldom in honour of St.
Joseph; and the ribald humours of visiting mariners profaned for a
season the quiet rock of Quebec.

[Illustration: CHÂTEAU ST. LOUIS, 1694]

But throughout this missionary period the hatchet of the Iroquois was
suspended over the city. Their dreaded war-cry rang all too often
through the adjacent forests, and their stealthy tomahawks found
victims even under the guns of Fort St. Louis. So daring became the
incursions of the implacable savages that the settlers did not dare to
till their lands. To pass from one post to another without a strong
escort meant risk of death or capture; and capture was more dreaded
than death itself. Every year had its tale of surprises and
massacres. The sleepless sentries on the ramparts, and the staunch
palisades of the fort seemed insufficient protection against a foe as
silent as an arrow and as swift in speeding upon its victim. At this
time also the Jesuit missions among the distant Hurons were suffering
unknown horrors; but the tale of their disasters is for another

Successive governors of Quebec--Montmagny, D'Ailleboust, and
D'Argenson--pleaded with the home authorities to send reinforcements
for their feeble garrison, by whom alone Quebec hoped to escape the
ever-dreaded catastrophe. Through press of home affairs, and official
neglect and indifference, these requests continued to be disregarded.
Reprisals were taken against the Iroquois whenever opportunities
occurred; but even these were all too rare.

In May, 1660, an Iroquois captive was brought to Quebec. A stake was
erected in the _Place d'Armes_, and in the sight of the populace the
Indian was burned to death. A deed of this nature, occurring with the
apparent sanction of the religious governor of a civilised community,
must be taken to reflect the terrible pressure of suffering which made
such inhuman reprisals possible. The savage nature of this vengeance
was softened to the eyes of many by the poor casuistry of the Jesuits,
who gave out, and believed, that the soul of the Mohawk would go
straight to Paradise on the wings of his unwelcome baptism.

This particular Indian met his fate with the wonderful fortitude of
his race, but not with their stoic silence. Instead, he breathed out
threatenings, and promised the fell destruction of the pale-faced
interlopers. Even now, he told them, hundreds of his kinsmen were
gathering upon the Ottawa and St. Lawrence for the final effacement of
Quebec, and with hideous fury the baptized savage called down upon
them the wrath of his gods.

Forthwith Quebec became deeply alarmed. The desultory attacks of the
Iroquois were now to be exchanged for a deliberate assault in which
the whole strength of the Five Nations should be thrown into the
struggle. The Ursulines and nuns of the Hôtel-Dieu forsook their
convents to take refuge in the fortified college of the Jesuits,
whither the fugitives from the surrounding settlements also fled. A
company of soldiers took up their quarters in the Ursuline Convent,
the redoubts of the fort were strengthened, and barricades were
erected in the streets of Lower Town. All night long sentries paced
the parapets, peering anxiously into the surrounding darkness, and
straining their ears for the creeping tread in the thicket.

After several days of watching, however, no Iroquois appeared, and the
inhabitants began to breathe freely again. The more courageous
returned to their deserted homes and farms, but the timid still clung
to the blockhouse. The panic had also spread to Ville Marie,[5] and
the imminence of this danger produced one of the most brilliant
exploits which Canadian history records--a feat of daring closely
resembling, and not surpassed by, the achievement of Leonidas in the
Pass of Thermopylæ.

The story is one of the finest in the picturesque pages of Parkman,
part of whose narrative is here transcribed.

[Footnote 5: Now Montreal.]

    *    *    *    *    *

Adam Daulac, or Dollard, Sieur des Ormeaux, was a young man of good
family, who had come to the colony three years before, at the age of
twenty-two. He had held some military rank in France, and it was not
long before he set on foot a remarkable Indian enterprise. Sixteen
young men caught his spirit, struck hands with him, and pledged their
word. They bound themselves by oath to accept no quarter, made their
wills, confessed, and received the sacrament. After a solemn farewell,
they embarked in several canoes, well supplied with arms and
ammunition. Descending the St. Lawrence, they entered the mouth of the
Ottawa, crossed the Lake of Two Mountains, and slowly advanced against
the current of the river. A few days later they reached the foot of
the formidable rapid called the "Long Sault," where a tumult of waters
foaming among ledges and boulders barred their onward way. Besides, it
was needless to go farther. The Iroquois were sure to pass the Sault,
and could be fought here as well as elsewhere.


Just below the rapid stood a palisade fort, the work of an Algonquin
war-party of the preceding autumn. It was a mere enclosure of trunks
of small trees planted in a circle, and was already ruinous. Such as
it was, the Frenchmen took possession. They made their fires and slung
their kettles on the neighbouring shore. Here they were soon
afterwards joined by a small party of friendly Indians, consisting of
about forty Hurons from Quebec, under their brave and wily chief
Étienne Annahotaha, and five Algonquins led by Mituvemeg. Daulac made
no objection to their company, so they all bivouacked together.

In a day or two their scouts came in with tidings that two Iroquois
canoes were coming down the Sault. Daulac had only time to set his men
in ambush before the advance canoes of the enemy swept down the river.
A few of the Iroquois escaped the Frenchmen's volley, and fleeing into
the forest, they reported their mischance to their main body, 200 in
number, on the river above. Thereupon a fleet of canoes suddenly
appeared, bounding down the rapids, filled with warriors eager for
revenge. The allies had barely time to escape to their fort, leaving
their kettles still slung over the fires. The Iroquois made a hasty
attack, but being repulsed, they withdrew and fell to building a rude
fort of their own in the neighbouring forest. This gave the French
breathing-time, and they used it for strengthening their defences.
They planted a row of stakes within their palisade, to form a double
fence, and filled the intervening space with earth and stones to the
height of a man, leaving twenty loopholes or more, at each of which
three marksmen were stationed.

Their work was still unfinished when the Iroquois were upon them
again. They had broken to pieces the birch canoes of the French and
their allies, and kindling the bark, rushed up to pile it blazing
against the palisade; but so brisk and steady a fire met them that
they recoiled, and at last gave way. Again and again, however, they
came on, each time leaving many of their bravest fighters dead upon
the ground. At length, their spirits dashed, the warriors drew back. A
canoe was hastily sent down the river to call to their aid five
hundred Iroquois who were mustered near the mouth of the Richelieu.

Meanwhile, the defenders of the fort were harassed night and day with
a spattering fire and a constant menace of attack. Thus five days
passed. Hunger, thirst, and want of sleep wrought fatally on the
strength of the French and their allies, who, pent up together in a
narrow prison, fought and prayed by turns. Deprived as they were of
water, they could not swallow the crushed Indian corn which was their
only food. Some of them, under cover of a brisk fire, ran down to the
river and filled such small vessels as they had. But this meagre
supply only tantalised their thirst, and they now dug a hole in the
fort, to be rewarded at last by a little muddy water oozing through
the clay.

On the fifth day an uproar of unearthly yells from seven hundred
savage throats, mingled with a clattering salute of musketry, told the
Frenchmen that the expected reinforcement had come. Soon a crowd of
warriors mustered for the attack. Cautiously they advanced,
screeching, leaping, and firing as they came on; but the French were
at their posts, and every loophole darted its tongue of fire. Besides
muskets, they had heavy musketoons of large calibre, which, scattering
scraps of lead and iron among the throng of savages, often maimed
several of them at one discharge. The Iroquois, astonished at the
persistent vigour of the defence, fell back discomfited. The fire of
the French had told upon them with deadly effect. Three days more wore
away in a series of futile attacks; and during all this time Daulac
and his men, reeling with exhaustion, fought and prayed, sure of a
martyr's reward.

At length the Iroquois determined upon a grand final assault. Large
and heavy shields, four or five feet high, were made by lashing
together three split logs with the aid of cross-bars, and covered with
these mantelets a chosen band advanced, followed by the motley throng
of warriors. In spite of a brisk fire they reached the palisade, and
crouching below the range of shot, hewed furiously with their hatchets
to cut their way through. Daulac had crammed a large musketoon with
powder, and lighting a fuse, he tried to throw it over the barrier, to
burst like a grenade among the savages without; but it struck the
ragged top of one of the palisades, fell back among the Frenchmen and
exploded, killing and wounding several of them. In the confusion which
followed, the Iroquois got possession of the loopholes, and thrusting
in their guns, fired on those within. In a moment they had torn a
breach in the palisade, then another and another. The brave Daulac was
struck dead, but the survivors kept up the now hopeless fight. With
sword, hatchet, or knife, they threw themselves against the throng of
enemies, striking and stabbing with the fury of madmen, till the
Iroquois, despairing of taking them alive, fired volley after volley
and shot them down. All was over, and a burst of triumphant yells
proclaimed the dear-bought victory.

To the colony it proved salvation. The Iroquois had had fighting
enough. If seventeen Frenchmen and a handful of Indian allies, behind
a picket fence, could hold seven hundred warriors at bay so long, what
might they expect from many such fighting behind walls of stone? For
that year they thought no more of capturing Quebec and Ville Marie,
but returned to their villages dejected and amazed, to howl over their
losses, and nurse their dashed courage for a day of vengeance.



If on its material side French colonial policy took account of the
Indian, it did so much more on its religious side. Quebec was the
farthest outpost of Catholicism. New France was for ever to be free
from the taint of heresy, allowing none but Catholic settlers within
her gates; and Huguenots, as we have seen, were specifically excluded.
The Indians were to be rescued from heathen darkness and led into the
sacred light of the Church. Jesuit missions thus became a salient
feature in the early history of Quebec, the nerve centre of the
movement being the palisaded convent on the little St. Charles.

To go back in review. On the retrocession of Quebec by the English,
under the Treaty of St. Germain-en-Laye, in the time of Champlain, the
influence of the Jesuits was sufficient to secure for themselves the
undivided control of the Canadian mission. Returning to Quebec in
1632, Father Le Jeune and his two companions had established
themselves in the half-ruined convent of Notre Dame des Anges, built
by the Récollets sixteen years before. The log stockade enclosed two
buildings, the smaller of which served as storehouse, stable, and
workshop, and the larger as chapel and refectory. Four tiny cells
opened off the latter, and in these the fathers lodged, while the lay
brothers and the workmen found apartments in the garret and the
cellar. The regimen of this crude establishment was severely ascetic.
The day began with early Mass and closed with evening prayers. The
intervening time was spent by the laymen in cultivating the little
clearing, and by the fathers in hearing confessions at the fort a mile
away, or in struggling with the Algonquin idiom, by the vague
assistance of one Pierre, an Indian proselyte, who, in weakness of
flesh, ran away when the season of Lent drew near.

The strength of the Jesuits was increased in the spring of 1633 by the
arrival of four new priests. Of these the most remarkable was Jean de
Brébeuf, the descendant of a noble family in Normandy, and destined to
prove his own nobility by an intrepid zeal and an almost incredible

Le Jeune's distressful experiment with a band of wandering Algonquins
had convinced the Jesuits that their schemes of mission-conquest could
not bear much fruit if they were confined to the vagrant tribes of
the north. Farther west in the peninsula of the great lakes lived
Indians of fixed habits and domicile, and otherwise further advanced
towards civilisation than the improvident hunting tribes round about
Quebec. Of these the most notable were the Hurons. As long before as
1615 the Récollet Le Caron had gone among them, and several years
later Brébeuf had made the perilous lodges of Ihonatiria his
habitation, but had at length returned to France. On his coming to
Quebec again in the spring of 1633, Brébeuf anxiously turned his
thoughts towards his former mission, awaiting only a favourable
opportunity to forsake the comparative safety of the city of Quebec
for the gloomy shores of Lake Huron and "the greater glory of God."

Midsummer brought the annual swarm of Hurons to the trading fair at
Quebec. For a week the all but naked savages overran the little
settlement, their animal curiosity almost driving the French to
distraction, and their casual peculations causing much annoyance. But
their presence was a necessary evil, if the Fur Company was to declare
its dividends. Hence long-suffering courtesy became essential both to
the peace of the city and to future interests so much at stake.

A powerful consideration with the community was the anxiety of the
Jesuits to go back with the Indians to their villages on Lake Huron.
Champlain, when governor, had espoused this project in the most
seductive of his speeches. "These are our fathers," he had announced
to the sixty chiefs gathered for the nonce in the quadrangle of the
Fort. "We love them more than we love ourselves. The whole French
nation honours them. They do not go among you for your furs. They have
left their friends and their country to show you the way to the happy
hunting-grounds. If you love the French, as you say you do, then love
and honour these our fathers, and care for them in your distant

But the wind bloweth where it listeth, and the Indian mind was no more
sure. Above all else it lacked definiteness; it was touched by
rhetoric. Champlain's auditors had been thrilled with deep emotion.
They were for embarking at once with the Jesuits. Then they had
faltered, and by the next day they had decided to depart without them.
For another year, therefore, the fathers had remained at Notre Dame
des Anges, studying the Huron language for future use, and caring
meantime for the spiritual welfare of the half-hundred French
residents of Quebec.

The summer of 1634 once more saw the city given over to the visiting
Hurons. The old persuasive palaver was repeated, and this time with
more success. When the trading fair was over, Brébeuf, Daniel, and
Davost set off with the savage fleet, each in a different canoe,
facing a journey of nine hundred miles fraught with many perils, but
with none so ominous as the sullen and menacing mood of their heathen

Week after week they pressed toilfully up the St. Lawrence and Ottawa;
barefooted they struggled over the rocky portages, with a pittance of
pounded maize for their daily ration, and mother-earth for their
nightly couch. Davost's guide robbed and abandoned him at an island in
the Upper Ottawa. Daniel was likewise deserted; but the giant Brébeuf
yielded to no hardships, and surpassed even the seasoned savages in
strength and endurance. On the shore of the Georgian Bay, however, his
guide at length abandoned him. But Brébeuf had been here in a former
year, and his instinctive woodcraft guided him twenty miles through
the forest to the palisaded village of Ihonatiria.

"Echom has come again," cried the inhabitants, as they recognised the
towering figure of the Jesuit who had departed from them five years
before; and they opened again their lodges to the missionary.


After days of anxious waiting, Brébeuf had the joy of seeing Daniel
and Davost arrive at Ihonatiria. The hardships and dangers they had
endured, and the indignities they had suffered from their brutal
guides, were only outweighed by their zealous delight in reaching at
length the scene of their devoted labours. The Hurons aided them in
the construction of a log mission-house; and when the fathers had
decorated the interior with highly-coloured pictures of the saints and
the glittering regalia of the Church, the red men filled it to
overflowing. A striking clock and a magnifying glass, however, were
the chief objects of wonderment, and the credulous Indians regarded
the priests as the workers of miracles. This awe and respect the
fathers turned to good account, gathering the children into the
mission-house for daily instruction. With a mind also to the physical
welfare of their flock, they succeeded in reconstructing the palisades
and fort of the Huron village.

Yet with all the outward respect in which the Jesuits were held, their
doctrines made little or no impression upon the Indian mind. The adult
Hurons had a superstitious fear of baptism, and shunned the sign of
the cross as a spell. Under these difficulties the Jesuits laboured,
saving stricken children from a dark hereafter by the furtive
administration of the dreaded sacrament.

With what boldness they dared to assume, Brébeuf and his companions
condemned the infernal practices of the so-called medicine-men, whose
accomplishments ranged from the curing of snake-bites to the casting
out of devils. To them all diseases of the body called for much the
same treatment, varied only in the proportion of vehemence allowed in
their incantations and at medicine-feasts. The disgraceful orgies
attending these "cures" led the priests to interfere: a policy which
enraged the sorcerers of the tribe, and presently put the lives of the
missionaries in jeopardy.

The summer of 1635 was marked by a great drought. The maize and beans
withered in the sun; and in spite of the hoarse invocations of the
medicine-men and the fierce efforts of the tribal rain-maker the sky
stayed cloudless. Thereupon the Jesuits were accused. The cross upon
the mission-house had frightened the bird of thunder[6] away from
Ihonatiria. Such were the charges which the sorcerers brought against
the Jesuits; and the superstitious Hurons believed that they were
true. However, a timely vow was made to St. Joseph, the chosen
protector of the Hurons, and in answer to their ardent prayers the
rain fell in welcome torrents--so Brébeuf writes--and calamity was
averted for a time.

Meanwhile the work of the Jesuits extended. With headquarters still at
Ihonatiria, they made visits to the neighbouring villages; and for the
greater success of the mission, new priests were drawn from Quebec. By
1640 those labouring among the Hurons and the neutral nation further
south numbered thirteen.

[Footnote 6: The Indian belief regarding thunder was as follows: "It
is a man in the form of a turkey-cock. The sky is his palace, and he
remains in it when the air is clear. When the clouds begin to grumble,
he descends to the earth to gather up snakes and other objects which
the Indians call _okies_. The lightning flashes wherever he opens or
closes his wings. If the storm is more violent than usual, it is
because his young are with him and aiding in the noise as well as they
can."--_Relation des Jesuits_, 1636.]

[Illustration: BRÉBEUF]

It is not possible within the limits of a single chapter to portray
the character and follow the fortunes of all those heroic souls, who
gave up home and country and worldly ambition to bury themselves in
the unknown wilds of the West, and to walk with their lives in their
hands among the cannibal tribes of New France. The motto which
Ignatius Loyola had adopted for his order was, "Ad Majorem Dei
Gloriam," and in their perilous missions its members practised
absolute obedience to quasi-military discipline. To name but four,
Brébeuf, Lalement, Garnier, and Jogues were all destined to tragic
deaths, and the story of their martyrdom is one of the most sorrowful
in the history of the land.

[Illustration: LALEMENT]

The suffering caused by the pestilence of 1637 was much more severe
than those periodical afflictions by which the Indians were visited.
Virulent smallpox was a feature of the plague, and the pious offices
of priests and the incantations of the medicine-men alike proved
unavailing. Clearly, some black spell had been cast upon the nation.
First it was ascribed to a serpent, then to a spotted frog, then to a
demon in the muskets of the French. The Jesuits were accused of
compassing death by magic. The striking clock, which aforetime had
merely astonished them, was now an engine of calamity; and the
litanies floating out through the windows of the mission-house were
fatal incantations. Yet the Indians were afraid to lay hands upon
these dealers in death. Awe held them back from wreaking their
sinister designs upon the fearless men who went as ever into the
pestilential tepees, that through the mystic drop and sign they might
rescue the poor victims from an eternity of woe.

At length it became clear to the Jesuits that fear alone would not
much longer stay the hatchets of the now hopeless Hurons. Daily they
expected to meet a violent death, and a letter, still extant, drawn up
by five priests in the form of a last testament, shows the unfaltering
fortitude of men whose dearest ambition was a martyr's death. The
intervention of a squaw saved Du Peron from the tomahawk uplifted to
brain him; an unseen hand delivered Ragueneau; Le Mercier and Brébeuf
confounded their assailants with the courage of their demeanour; and
only Chaumont suffered, being assaulted and severely wounded. Knowing,
however, that their death had been finally decided upon, the Jesuits
gave a _festin d'adieu_--one of those farewell feasts which Huron
custom enjoined on those about to die; and the courageous resignation
of this band of martyrs filled even the tents of the ungodly with a
superstitious awe. Once more the annihilating blow was averted; and
from this time forward the peril threatening the Jesuit mission came
not from the Hurons themselves, but from their implacable enemies, the

The year 1640 was drawing to a close when, after a few years' respite,
the terrible war-whoop of the Five Nation Indians again rang through
Canadian woods. Quebec was continually threatened by the Mohawks,
whose highway of attack was the river Richelieu; and the Hurons were
assailed by the Western tribe of the Iroquois confederacy. The
pestilence of 1637 had ruined Ihonatiria, and for greater security the
Jesuits resolved upon a large central establishment, in lieu of small
missions in the several Huron villages. They chose for a site the
mouth of the river Wye, which empties into Matchedash Bay. Here, in
1639, they built the mission of Ste. Marie. In the extreme peril of
Indian warfare, the Hurons fled thither for food and baptism; and the
hunger of three thousand neophytes and refugees soon put the fortified
mission on short rations.

Isaac Jogues and a score of Huron warriors were despatched to Quebec
for food and clothing. They reached the city in safety, although the
St. Lawrence was closely beset by hostile Iroquois. Returning in
twelve canoes laden with necessaries for the destitute Ste. Marie,
Father Jogues and his companions fell into the hands of a Mohawk
war-party. Some were killed on the spot, and the others were carried
up the Richelieu and across Lake Champlain to a more awful fate. First
they were made to run a gauntlet of Mohawk war-clubs; then they were
placed upon a scaffold, where the women lacerated them with knives and
clam-shells, and the children applied fire-brands to their naked
bodies. This torture was repeated in each of the three Mohawk
villages. Goupil, a lay brother, was soon afterwards murdered, and
Jogues lived the life of a slave until some Dutch settlers on the
Hudson effected his ransom and put him on board a ship bound for

In the following year, however, Jogues came back to Quebec, and on
behalf of the suffering city he undertook to negotiate a peace with
the Mohawks. Armed with gifts and belts of wampum, he set out
fearlessly to face his former tormentors. For a short time the wampum
saved him, but he was soon obliged to return to Quebec. The French,
however, were determined to win the Iroquois, politically and
religiously, and no danger was great enough to check them.
Accordingly, in the late summer of 1646, Jogues was again despatched
to the post which by this time had come to be known as the Mission of
the Martyrs; and at last, on the 18th of October, he was foully
murdered in the lodge of a Mohawk chief.

In the preceding winter Anne de Nouë, a Jesuit of noble descent and
frail physique, set off from Quebec to minister to the garrison at
Fort Richelieu. In spite of his sixty-three years, he did not shrink
from the perils of frost and snow which lay before him. On his
snow-shoes and with a few days' provisions he set forth upon the path
of sacrifice. A blizzard overtook him on the frozen river, he lost his
way, and some days later his martyred body was discovered kneeling in
the snow.

Meanwhile the dangers farther west were not decreasing. Iroquois
attacks and Huron reprisals were ever threatening the Jesuit missions,
and the last great blow was soon to fall. In the summer of 1648 an
Iroquois war-party crept up to the gates of St. Joseph. Most of the
warriors had gone to Quebec, but the palisade still contained Father
Daniel and close upon a thousand women and children and old men. An
early Mass had crowded the chapel, and the priest, clothed in full
vestments, was exhorting the neophytes to be strong in the faith, when
the dreaded war-cry rang through the village. The panic-stricken
Hurons sought in vain to save themselves from stark slaughter, but
Daniel met his death calmly at the door of his burning church. Seven
hundred prisoners were taken, and the retiring Iroquois left of St.
Joseph only a heap of ruins.

The destruction of the mission was, however, but the prelude to the
final extinction of the Huron nation. Terror-stricken they awaited the
blow, in spite of the efforts of the Jesuits to rouse them to strong
defence. All winter a formidable war-party of the Mohawks and Senecas
roved through the Huron woods, and in early spring they fell upon St.
Ignace and St. Louis. The first village was burned with no show of
resistance, and its four hundred inhabitants were either tomahawked or
kept for torture. Only three escaped, and these fled to St. Louis,
about a league away. Here Brébeuf and Lalement endeavoured to rally
the panic-stricken villagers. By sunrise the invaders were upon them.
Brought to bay, the Hurons fought bravely. The giant Brébeuf stood in
the breach and cheered them by his hopeful courage. Twice the Iroquois
fell back, but at their third advance drove in the shattered palisade.
Those of the Hurons who still lived were made prisoners; the two
Jesuits were bound together, and the clustering cabins of St. Louis
were given to the flames.

Returning to the ruins of St. Ignace, the Iroquois made preparations
for the despatch of their prisoners. Brébeuf and Lalement were
stricken to the soul by the carnival of blood; yet their own
martyrdom was to be made the most cruel of all. Brébeuf was first
bound to a stake, all the while continuing to speak words of comfort
to his fellow-captives. Enraged by this behaviour, the Iroquois tore
away his lower lip and thrust a hot iron into his throat. No sound or
sign of pain escaped the tortured priest. Then Lalement was also led
out, that each might witness the other's pangs. Strips of bark smeared
with pitch enveloped the naked body of Lalement, and after making him
fast to a stake they set the bark on fire. Round Brébeuf's neck a
collar of red-hot hatchets was hung; and in mockery of baptism the
savages poured kettles of scalding water upon the heads of both.
Brébeuf was scalped, his tormentors drinking the blood, thus to endow
themselves with his unflinching courage. After four hours the noblest
Jesuit of all was dead; but Lalement was kept alive for seventeen
hours, until a pitiful hatchet ended his voiceless misery. So died two
men whose memory has ennobled the history of the land for which they
laboured, and adds to the fame and honour of their race.

At Ste. Marie, Bressani, Ragueneau, and their French companions
awaited the Iroquois onslaught. But the fugitive Hurons, gathering for
a last resistance, had checked the Iroquois' further advance, and
after a fierce battle the latter withdrew southward with an army of
wretched captives.

That day the Hurons as a nation ceased to exist. Abandoning their
remaining villages, they dispersed in small bands to roam northward
and eastward, while a few established themselves at Isle St. Joseph,
thinking to protect themselves here from their inveterate foes. As for
the Jesuits, Garnier and Chabanel still laboured among the Tobacco
nation farther to the south; but they too became the victims of the
Iroquois before this fatal year was over.

Famine and the rigours of winter presently worked sad havoc upon the
little band to whom Ragueneau now ministered at Isle St. Joseph, and
in the spring renewed attacks of the Iroquois led the Hurons to decide
upon a remarkable enterprise. This was to migrate to Quebec and take
refuge under the guns of Fort St. Louis.

On the 10th of June all was ready for the departure, the sorrowing
Hurons bidding good-bye to the home of their fathers, and the Jesuits
to the country consecrated by the blood of their martyrs. Proceeding
by the Georgian Bay, Lake Nipissing, the Ottawa and the St. Lawrence,
the fleet of canoes reached Quebec before the end of July, 1650. And
while Quebec was ready to open her gates to the sorrowful remnant of a
once great nation, her own position was sorely beset. Food was scarce
and lodgings scarcer in the palisaded city. However, the Ursulines and
the nuns of the Hospital made every effort to provide shelter for the
exiled race, and the Jesuits themselves bore the chief burden of their
converts. In the following year, 1651, four hundred more Hurons found
their way to Quebec, and together they established a settlement on the
Island of Orleans. Here, in sight of the protecting ramparts of the
city, this decimated people lived for a time secure. But the Iroquois
were set upon nothing less than their annihilation, and in 1656 they
made a descent upon the quiet island and carried off many captives.
The terrified Hurons were then removed to the city itself and lodged
in a square enclosure almost adjoining Fort St. Louis. A map of 1660
places the "Fort des Sauvages" on the site of the present _Place
d'Armes_. Here they dwelt for about ten years in the same uncertain
security enjoyed by Quebec itself. Then they removed to Ste. Foye,
four miles west of the city, and again changing their abode six years
later, they founded the village of Old Lorette.

Standing to-day on Dufferin Terrace, the observer sees spread beneath
him the picturesque Côte de Beaupré, a graceful upland losing itself
in the Laurentian foot-hills. A shining spire in the middle distance
arrests the eye. It marks the village of Ancient Lorette, a nine
miles' drive from Quebec, where a pitiful moiety of Canada's noblest
Indian tribe ekes out an existence by the making of baskets and beaded
moccasins, and by that nonchalant culture of the soil which still
marks the primitive man.



In the year 1660 the French population of Quebec numbered something
over six hundred. The fur company continued to drive a fair trade in
peltries, but the prosperity of the city itself was woefully retarded
by the constant menace of the Iroquois. The Baron d'Avaugour held the
office of Governor, and his strong sense of military authority brought
him into conflict with the Church, by this time become the real
controller of the State. This revered power was still further to
impose its authority and influence through and by the person of
François-Xavier Laval, the first Bishop of Canada, a man of as great
ability as piety, an ecclesiastical statesman trained in the school of
Mazarin. His career gives significance to a later epoch.

The fur traders had always found brandy their most attractive
commodity in dealing with the thirsty savage; and Père Lalement gives
a sad picture of the misery entailed. "They have brought themselves
to nakedness," he writes, "and their families to beggary. They have
even gone so far as to sell their children to procure the means of
satisfying their raging passion. I cannot describe the evils caused by
these disorders to the infant Church. My ink is not black enough to
paint them in proper colours. It would require the gall of the dragon
to express the bitterness we have experienced from them. It may
suffice to say that we lose in one month the fruits of the toil and
labour of thirty years." Accordingly, the Church now decided to
prohibit it entirely, and a law was passed making it a capital
offence. Two men paid the extreme penalty; and a woman also was
condemned to the scaffold. When, however, the clergy interfered to
save her, the rigorous but consistent D'Avaugour declared he would
punish no more breaches of this law. Brandy now flowed like water, and
the thunder of the pulpit was henceforth disregarded. Exasperated by
this treatment, the priests carried their grievance to the Louvre,
where they received little satisfaction.

[Illustration: COLBERT]

In the same year a deputy of another sort journeyed to France. Pierre
Boucher's mission was to lay before the King the desperate condition
of the colony, particularly in the matter of defence. Louis XIV. had
but recently ascended the throne of the Bourbons, and Richelieu and
Mazarin had been in turn succeeded by Colbert as the royal adviser.
The envoy from Quebec was presently received at the Court, and the
tale of suffering and neglect which he unfolded convinced Colbert that
the Company of One Hundred Associates was scandalously evading the
obligations imposed by its charter. Accordingly, in 1663, a royal
edict went forth revoking its powers and privileges. This was a
turning-point in the history of New France; for although the company
founded by Richelieu was succeeded by an unwieldy corporation of
Colbert's design, from this time forward the Crown itself took over
the control of the distant colony.

The Grand Monarch, indeed, took a finely comprehensive view of his
position. He held himself in every sense the father of his people, and
by a nice condescension the citizens of Quebec were included in the
patriarchal fold. The far-away city on the borders of the world was no
longer to be abandoned to the avaricious whims of a trading company:
the King himself would now take it under his royal care. Daniel de
Rémy, Sieur de Courcelles, was appointed Governor, with Jean Baptiste
Talon as Intendant; and the valorous Marquis de Tracy was commissioned
to New France as the King's personal representative, with instructions
to settle the domestic friction of the colony, and to deal a fatal
blow to the Iroquois, the "scourge of Canada."

    *    *    *    *    *

On the 30th of June, 1665, De Tracy's caravels cast anchor in the
basin of Quebec, the ships of De Courcelles and the Intendant being
still at sea. The cannon of Fort St. Louis boomed a welcome down the
gorge of the St. Lawrence, while the eager burghers crowded the
ramparts and prepared to welcome the most distinguished company in the
most brilliant pageant yet seen upon the soil of New France.

The royal pennant flew at the flag-ship's masthead, and the decks were
thronged with the brilliant uniforms of the regiment of
Carignan-Salières, whom the King had sent to destroy the enemies of
New France. In the midst stood the stately Marquis, gorgeous in
vice-regal robes and attended by a suite of nobles and gallants from
the court of Fontainebleau. The mysteries and wonders of the West had
stirred the romantic minds of the volatile courtiers, and the mission
to convert New France to the Catholic faith gave to De Tracy's
expedition the complexion of a mediæval crusade.

Presently the gaily-decked pinnace drew in to the landing-stage of the
Cul-de-sac, where stood the notables of the New World city. Bishop
Laval in pontificals, surrounded by the priests of his diocese,
awaited the royal envoy at the top of Mountain Hill, which was then
the only practicable highway between the Lower and the Upper Town.
To-day the visitor landing at the quay reaches the terrace by the same
route; but the present graceful declivity of Mountain Hill is little
like the tortuous pathway of corduroy by which De Tracy and his
glittering retinue made their toilsome way to the public square by the
Jesuits' College. First came a company of guards in the royal livery,
then four pages and six valets, and by the side of the King's
Lieutenant-General, resplendent in gold lace and gay ribbons, walked
the young nobles of his train. The cathedral bells pealed forth
joyously, and the _Te Deum_ began a day of public rejoicing.

The vessels bearing the new Governor and Intendant, however, suffered
the most hapless violence. Talon's ship was 117 days at sea, and De
Courcelles' was hardly more fortunate; but at length they, too, cast
anchor beneath the rocky battlement, and Quebec was now flooded with
soldiers of the regiment of Carignan-Salières. These bronzed veterans
of Savoy came to New France fresh from the Turkish wars, and the sight
of their plumed helmets and leathern bandoleers, as they marched
through the narrow streets, promised the colonists a speedy riddance
of their enemies. The health of Louis XIV. was nowhere in his broad
dominions drunk more heartily than in Quebec.

At the close of the year extensive preparations were made for the
chastisement of the Iroquois. De Courcelles had determined upon a
stroke of almost foolhardy boldness: to march over the snow into the
country of the Mohawks, a distance of three hundred leagues. Thick ice
had formed on the St. Lawrence, and on the 9th of January the
audacious Governor set off at the head of his fiery columns.

Officers and men alike shared the burdens of transport, but the
soldiers of Europe were embarrassed by the unaccustomed snow-shoes
which the deep snow forced them to use. Some got no farther than
Three Rivers, but the more hardy held their way up the valley of the
Richelieu to Lake Champlain and across the Hudson. An unfortunate
circumstance, however, had deprived them of guides, and all efforts to
find and surprise the Mohawk towns proved unsuccessful. Wandering by
mistake beyond Saratoga Lake, they came near to the Dutch village of
Corlaer,[7] where, half-frozen and half-starved, they bivouacked in
the neighbouring woods. A few days later envoys appeared from Albany
to demand why the French had invaded the territories of the Duke of
York; and then, for the first time, De Courcelles learned that the New
Netherlands had passed into English hands.

De Courcelles' explanation was courteously accepted, and having been
supplied with provisions, he prepared to retrace his steps to Quebec.
His intended victims, the Mohawks, harassed the retreat, killing and
taking prisoners; while sixty of his men perished from hunger and
exposure before he came in sight of the St. Lawrence, and many more
fell before he reached Quebec.

In spite of apparent failure, however, this expedition, like that
undertaken by Daulac, had a good effect upon the Iroquois, who had
come to regard themselves as too remote for French assault.

[Footnote 7: Now Schenectady.]

They now sent embassies to Quebec seeking a treaty of peace, an idea
to which, naturally, the French were not opposed. But the occasion was
too much for Iroquois malice and lust of blood; for even whilst terms
were under discussion, a band of French hunters was set upon by the
Mohawks. The Marquis de Tracy, now thoroughly aroused to the
sufferings of his countrymen, determined to strike a sudden and
crushing blow. The Iroquois deputies, still in Quebec praying for
peace, were seized and imprisoned, and a formidable force once more
prepared to invade the country of the Five Nations.

It was in early October, 1666, that De Tracy and De Courcelles left
Quebec at the head of thirteen hundred men. Of these, six hundred were
regulars of Carignan-Salières, an equal number were irregulars from
Quebec, under command of Répentigny, and a hundred Indian scouts from
the missions ranged the woods. A hundred rugged colonists, commanded
by the brave Charles le Moyne, joined the advancing column at
Montreal. With confidence this imposing force swept on to annihilate
the enemies of New France.

At the mysterious sound of the French drum-beat the Mohawks of the
first village fled in terror, and the invaders pressed on to the
second, third, and fourth towns, to find them also deserted. At
Andaraqué, their largest village, the Mohawks prepared to make a final
stand; but the first appearance of the French army and the roll of
their "devil-drums" as they emerged from the forest put the savages to
instant flight. Andaraqué, the last native stronghold, being thus
abandoned, with its stores of corn and winter supplies, the French
took what provisions they needed for their return journey, set fire to
the town, and having planted on the site a white cross in the name of
the King, they turned their faces homeward. The remaining Indian
villages were given to the flames, and although the Mohawks had
escaped with their lives, the French were content to leave them to the
severities of coming winter.

This policy was successful, for by the time spring came again, not
only the Mohawks, but their four confederate nations, were anxious to
make a sincere peace with the avenging soldiers of New France.
Hostages were exchanged, several representative chiefs remaining in
Quebec. The Jesuits again undertook the Mission of the Martyrs,
desiring both to win the savages into the fold of the Church and at
the same time to wean the Iroquois from their friendliness towards the
colonies of England, with whom the French were soon to enter into
deadly conflict for the mastery of the North American continent.

The Marquis de Tracy, having in due time fulfilled the King's
commission, embarked for France, and with him departed the glittering
_entourage_ which for almost two years had cast upon the court of
Quebec some reflection of the glories of Versailles. The regiment of
Carignan-Salières was disbanded, but its officers, for the most part,
elected to remain in Canada and accept the gift of seigneuries which
the King distributed on conditions of fealty and homage. The soldiers
settled on the fiefs as _censitaires_ and became the retainers of the
seigneurs. The feudal system, with all its antique forms, was thus
imported into French Canada, further to cripple her progress in the
race with the English colonies, where the individual was allowed to
develop freely, evolving his own laws, and creating conditions best
suited to his new estate. Talon became the royal instrument of a
system which had its beginning and end in the maintenance of kingly



The Canadian seigneur held his lands of the King, and the _habitants_,
or cultivators of the soil, held theirs of the seigneur upon the
performance of specific duties and the payment of _cens et rente_.
These tributes varied curiously in kind and amount; and on St.
Martin's Day, when the _censitaires_ commonly liquidated the
obligations of their tenure, the seigneurie presented an animated
scene. Here were gathered all the tenants, bearing wheat, eggs, and
live capons to pay for their long narrow farms, at a rate ranging from
four to sixteen francs.

The annual delivery of his handful of sous and his bundle of produce
did not, however, complete the obligations of the _censitaire_.
Throughout the year he must grind his grain at the seigneur's mill,
paying one bushel in every fourteen for the service, bake his bread in
the seigneur's oven, work for him one or two days in the year, and
forfeit one fish in every eleven to the lord of the manor. Military
service, however, was no part of the _habitant's_ duty as a tenant;
for the judicious Colbert, jealous always for the power of the
monarchy, had clipped this ancient feature from Canadian feudalism,
and given absolute military control of the country to the Governor at
Quebec. The seigneur's judicial powers varied according to the
importance of his fief. Barons were empowered to erect gallows and
pillories, but the ordinary judicial powers of a Canadian seigneur
were confined to Middle and Low justice, which comprehended only minor

The solicitous interest of Louis XIV. in the affairs of New France
promised much for the country's prosperity; and every ship sailing to
the St. Lawrence carried out a fresh batch of emigrants. For all of
these the King paid out of his own pocket, and it cost him a pretty
penny to respond to Intendant Talon's persistent appeals for more
settlers. Agencies were established at several points in France to
recruit colonists, and grants of money and land were held out as
inducements to new settlers. In this way the King and Colbert managed
to send out about three hundred men each year. But, as might be
expected of emigration state-aided and scarcely voluntary, Quebec
became a city of men chiefly, there being few women besides cloistered
nuns. There had always been a demand for wives, but now that the
soldiers and officers of the Carignan-Salières had elected to remain
in the country, the scarcity of women induced a matrimonial famine.

Talon speedily apprised Colbert of the situation, and the most comely
inmates of the refuge hospitals of Paris and Lyons were summoned to
fill this void. In 1665 one hundred of the "King's girls" arrived in
Quebec, almost instantly to be provided with partners; and although
the supply was doubled in the following year, it yet remained below
the conjugal demand.

To supply the needs of the seigneurs also became a real problem.
Talon, with grim humour, demanded a consignment of young ladies; and
in 1667 he was able to announce as follows: "They send us eighty-four
girls from Dieppe and twenty-five from Rochelle; among them are
fifteen or twenty of pretty good birth; several of them are really
_demoiselles_, and tolerably well brought up." Amusing evidence,
however, of the exceeding delicacy of such a market is found in a
letter, in which the match-making Intendant alludes to the supply of
the year 1670. "It is not expedient," he ungallantly writes to
Colbert, "to send more _demoiselles_. I have had this year fifteen of
them instead of the four I asked for."

La Hontan, writing a few years later, cannot refrain from exercising
keen but slanderous wit at the expense of these fair cargoes from
Quebec so gladly received. His description, albeit scandalous, is
amusing: "After the regiment of Carrigan was disbanded, ships were
sent out freighted with girls of indifferent virtue, under the
direction of a few pious old duennas, who divided them into three
classes. These vestals were, so to speak, piled one on the other in
three different halls, where the bridegrooms chose their brides as a
butcher chooses his sheep out of the midst of the flock. There was
wherewith to content the most fantastical in these three harems; for
here were to be seen the tall and the short, the blond and the brown,
the plump and the lean; everybody, in short, found a shoe to fit him.
At the end of a fortnight not one was left. I am told that the
plumpest were taken first, because it was thought that, being less
active, they were more likely to keep at home, and that they could
resist the winter cold better. Those who wanted a wife applied to the
directresses, to whom they were obliged to make known their
possessions and means of livelihood before taking from one of the
three classes the girl whom they found most to their liking. The
marriage was concluded forthwith, with the help of a priest and
notary, and the next day the Governor caused the couple to be
presented with an ox, a cow, a pair of swine, a pair of fowls, two
barrels of salted meat, and eleven crowns in money."

On their part the girls were permitted to reject any suitor who
displeased them; and at these annual marriage fairs the contest for
favour was keen on both sides. But the paternalism of the Grand
Monarch went even farther than the mere enlistment of wives for the
colonists. Bounties were offered on early marriages; and the maid who
married before she was sixteen received the "King's gift" of twenty
livres, in addition to her ordinary dowry. Bachelors who refused to
marry were rendered as uncomfortable as possible, and were taxed for
their abstinence or timidity. Children were likewise made a good
asset, and blessed was the man whose house was full of them. Thus runs
an edict of the time: "...In future all inhabitants of the said
country of Canada who shall have living children to the number of ten,
born in lawful wedlock, not being priests, maids, or nuns, shall each
be paid out of the moneys sent by His Majesty to the said country a
pension of three hundred livres a year, and those who shall have
twelve children, a pension of four hundred livres, and that, to this
effect, they shall be required to declare the number of their children
every year in the months of June and July to the Intendant of justice,
police, and finance, established in the said country, who, having
verified the same, shall order the payment of said pensions, one-half
in cash, and the other half at the end of each year."

It was not by accident but by design that an aristocratic class was
created in French Canada. The perpetual contrast between the English
and the French systems of colonisation was but the difference between
natural evolution and artificial construction. The Canadian
aristocracy was a consistent detail of the latter and in keeping with
Louis' ambitious scheme of personal government. The caste system
grafted upon the stem of the colonial plant was a picturesque
adornment to the life of Quebec, but a doubtful experiment from any
other point of view, as time proved.

For the most part the Canadian _noblesse_ were either officers of the
disbanded Carignan-Salières regiment, or _gentilhommes_ who had come
to the New World in search of adventure or gain. In both cases they
were unsuited to the hard and restrictive conditions of a rugged
country. The soldiers steadfastly refused to beat their swords into
ploughshares or their spears into pruning-hooks, and most of them
accepted a state not far removed from actual want, rather than stain
their martial hands with manual labour. The leisured class thus became
the starving class, and the King's annual subsidies alone kept these
families from destitution. Many of them were also in receipt of the
bounties granted to large families--an ineffective resource, inasmuch
as hungry children but consumed the supply and renewed the demand.
Disdaining work of any sort, the Canadian _gentilhomme_ yet gave
himself airs that were in amusing contrast to his shabby coat and
empty stomach. The world, he held, owed him a living without the
labour of his hands, and to him "the world" was Louis the perpetual

The official correspondence of the period describes in some detail the
pangs of these ill-conditioned gentry. "Two days ago," writes the
Governor of Quebec in 1686, "Monsieur de Saint-Ours, a gentleman of
Dauphiny, came to me to ask leave to go back to France in search of
bread. He says that he will put his ten children in charge of any one
who will give them a living, and that he himself will go into the army
again. His wife and he are in despair; and yet they do what they can.
I have seen two of his girls reaping grain and holding the plough.
Other families are in the same condition. They come to me with tears
in their eyes. All our married officers are beggars; and I entreat you
to send them aid. There is need that the King should provide support
for their children, or else they will be tempted to go over to the

Nor was this impecunious _noblesse_ merely a passive burden to New
France, for the dignified hardships of their estate soon bred active
conditions equally distressing to those in authority. Having no
inducement to remain peacefully at home, the sons of the seigneurs
took to the woods, often enticing the more unsettled of their own
_habitants_ to follow them thither to a life of unbridled freedom and
outlawry. Reckless bushrangers, they carried on an illicit trade with
the Indians, diverting peltries from the fur company at Quebec, and
demoralising the savage proselytes of the missions. In this
unfortunate way the _gentilhomme_ and his children compromised with
labour and managed to keep body and soul together.

Harsh edict and cruel ordinance were repeatedly launched against the
practices of these well-bred offenders, but the ready covert of the
forest made the evasion of the King's justice an easy matter.
Moreover, the Church, while it suffered much from such children, did
not venture to reprove too strongly their flagrant excesses, lest they
should thenceforth dispense altogether with her sacraments; for a
furtive life in the wild woods did not prevent the superstitious
_coureurs de bois_ from occasionally coming to confession or to Mass.


A royal edict ordered that any person going into the woods without a
license should be whipped and branded for the first offence, and sent
for life to the galleys for the second; while a third offence was
punishable by death. The whole criminal code of Quebec was, indeed, of
a piece with this; and an obvious feature was the quasi-religious
character of most of the offences. The edict against blasphemy read as
follows: "...All persons convicted of profane swearing or blaspheming
the name of God, the most Holy Virgin, His Mother, or the Saints,
shall be condemned for the first offence to a pecuniary fine according
to their possessions and the greatness and enormity of the oath and
blasphemy; and if those thus punished repeat the said oaths, then for
the second, third, and fourth time they shall be condemned to a
double, triple, and quadruple fine; and for the fifth time they shall
be set in the pillory on Sunday or other festival days, there to
remain from eight in the morning till one in the afternoon, exposed to
all sorts of opprobrium and abuse, and be condemned besides to a heavy
fine; and for the sixth time they shall be led to the pillory, and
there have the upper lip cut with a hot iron; and for the seventh time
they shall be led to the pillory and have the lower lip cut; and if,
by reason of obstinacy and inveterate bad habit, they continue after
all these punishments to utter the said oaths and blasphemies, it is
our will and command that they have the tongue completely cut out, so
that thereafter they cannot utter them again."[8]

A citizen who had the temerity to eat meat during Lent without
priestly permission was condemned to be tied three hours to the public
stake, then led to the door of the church, there on his knees to ask
pardon of God and the King. For approving of the execution of Charles
I. by his English subjects, one Paul Dupuy was held to have libelled
the monarchy and to have encouraged sedition. He was condemned to be
dragged from prison by the public executioner, led in his shirt, with
a rope about his neck and a torch in his hand, to the gate of the
fort, there to beg pardon of the King; thence down Mountain Hill to
the pillory of Lower Town to be branded on the cheek with a
fleur-de-lis, and set in the stocks. Poor Dupuy's crime was not yet
expiated, for, according to the remainder of the sentence, he was to
be "led back to prison and put in irons till the information against
him shall be completed."[9] Convicts and felons were sometimes
tortured before being strangled. The execution usually took
place at _Buttes-à-Neveu_, a little hillock on the Plains of
Abraham,--afterwards to become more justly celebrated and less
notorious,--and the dead body, enclosed in an iron cage, was left
hanging for months at the top of Cape Diamond, a terror to children
and a gruesome warning to evildoers.

[Footnote 8: _Edit du Roy contre les Jureurs et Blasphémateurs_,

[Footnote 9: _Jugements et Délibérations du Conseil Supérieur_.]

[Illustration: NEW PALACE GATE]

The people of Quebec were regularly apprised of the laws under which
they lived. On Sundays after Mass the ordinances of the Intendant were
read at the doors of the churches. These related to any number of
subjects--regulations of inns and markets, poaching, sale of brandy,
pew-rents, stray hogs, mad dogs, tithes, domestic servants,
quarrelling in church, fast driving, the careful observance of feast
days, and so on.

Law-breakers were tried by the Superior Council, which met for that
purpose every Monday morning in the ante-chamber of the Governor's
apartment at Fort St. Louis. The Governor himself presided at the
Round Table, the bar of justice; on his right sat the bishop, and on
his left the Intendant, the councillors sitting in order of
appointment. Such at least was the _venue_ until about 1684, when the
old brewery which Talon had built in Lower Town on the bank of the
river St. Charles was transformed into a _Palais de Justice_. The
altered structure served also as a residence for the King's judicial
proxy, and was commonly known as the Palace of the Intendant.[10] It
was an imposing mixture of timber and masonry, and at the close of the
seventeenth century was the most considerable building in Quebec.
While lacking the glorious site of the Castle of St. Louis, in point
of interior decoration it far eclipsed this château of the Governor.

[Footnote 10: The declivity above its site is still known as Palace

[Illustration: INTENDANT'S PALACE]

The present dilapidated tenements clustering about the foot of Palace
Hill can, of course, give no idea of the natural position of the
ancient _Palais de l'Intendant_. La Potherie, who visited Quebec in
1698, and Charlevoix, who writes in 1720, describe this district as
the most beautiful in the city. Instead of the crowded quays of
to-day there was a terraced lawn bordered with flower gardens; and
where now the winches creak and rattle, and the railway engines hiss
and scream, birds sang among willow-trees, and the Angelus echoed
through a quiet woodland. Across the St. Charles lay the well-ordered
grounds of the Jesuit monastery, and farther to the west the lonely
spire of the General Hospital peeped through the ancient trees.

Such were the pleasing _environs_ of the block of buildings which went
by the name of _Le Palais_. In form it was almost a square, each side
measuring about one hundred and twenty feet. An arched gateway, facing
the sheer cliff, led into a large courtyard in which were situated the
entrances to the Intendant's residence, the Court of Justice, the
King's stores, and the prison. Soon it was also to be the site of _La
Friponne_, the scene of the ribald revels of Bigot.



The picturesque figure of Count Frontenac now enters upon the stage of
Canadian history. Broken in health, De Courcelles had asked to be
recalled; and ominous signs of Iroquois hostility showed the need of a
strong man for the dangerous post of governor. This strong man was
Frontenac, whose courageous and vigorous administration in a period of
_Sturm und Drang_ has induced Goldwin Smith to call him "the Clive of

Born in 1620, of ancient Basque family, he was the son of a
distinguished member of the household of Louis XIII., the King himself
being the child's godfather. Frontenac's youthful passion was to be a
soldier, and at the early age of fifteen he went to the war in Holland
to serve under the Prince of Orange. Within the next few years he took
a distinguished part in the sieges of Hesdin, Arras, Aire, Callioure,
and Perpignan. At twenty-three he commanded a Norman regiment in the
Italian wars, and at twenty-six he was raised to the rank of Maréchal
de Camp. This was wonderful progress in the profession of war, even in
an age when war was the sport of kings and soldiers fought for the
mere love of fighting. Frontenac at least was one of these devotees,
and when, in 1669, a Venetian embassy came to France to beg for a
general to aid them against the Turks in Candia, the great Turenne
selected him for this honourable duty.

Returning from the campaign in Candia with increased honour and
distinction, Frontenac was appointed Governor of New France in 1672.
The text of the royal commission indicates the extent of the
activities which Frontenac had crowded into a life of fifty-two years,
giving him his full title as: "_Louis de Buade, Comte de Palluau et
Frontenac, Seigneur de l'Isle Savary, Mestre de camp du régiment de
Normandie, Maréchal de camp dans les armées du Roy, et Gouverneur et
Lieutenant-Général en Canada, Acadia, Isle Terreneuve, et autre pays
de la France septentrionale...._"

There appear, however, to have been reasons other than his eminence
which led to the New World appointment of Frontenac. Far back, in
1646, he had contracted an unfortunate marriage. The dashing
brigadier-general of twenty-eight had won the immature affections of
Anne de la Grange-Trianon, a maid of sixteen. Her father's opposition
to the match made it necessary for the lovers to resort
surreptitiously to the little Church of St. Pierre aux Boeufs, which
had the privilege of uniting couples without the consent of their
parents. But Frontenac and his bride were ill-mated. Both were
possessed of imperious tempers and wayward minds. For a time they held
together, then suddenly they separated--Frontenac to find a soothing
excitement in the clash of arms, and the precocious Comtesse to divert
herself in the brilliant _salons_ of Mademoiselle de Montpensier, the
grand-daughter of Henry of Navarre.

The memoirs of the Duc de Saint-Simon allude with a humorous sympathy
to Frontenac's appointment: "He was a man of excellent parts"--writes
this garrulous chronicler--"living much in society, and completely
ruined. He found it hard to bear the imperious temper of his wife; and
he was given the government of Canada to deliver him from her, and
afford him some means of living." A more scandalous report of the
motive which sent Frontenac to Quebec is to be found in a whimsical
ditty which gained quiet currency in the Louvre--

    "Je suis ravi que le roi, notre sire,
    Aime la Montespan;
    Moi, Frontenac, je me creve de rire,
    Sachant ce qui lui pend;
    Et je dirai, sans être des plus bestes,
    Tu n'as que mon reste,
    Tu n'as que mon reste."

[Illustration: FRONTENAC]

Be these things as they may, Frontenac came on the scene of his new
dominion with the evident purpose of devoting himself to its best
interests. The city turned out in its best finery to welcome the new
Governor; but to the lifelong courtier, bred in the household of
royalty itself, this display appeared primitive and garish. As he
recalled the usual brilliance of even the provincial courts of France,
the rude and rugged walls of Castle St. Louis loomed before his
critical eye in depressing contrast. And yet in his reception
spectacular features were not entirely wanting. The Hurons from
ancient Lorette flocked to the city to greet their new white chief;
the _coureurs de bois_ in bold effrontery came to take the measure of
their new antagonist; the sombre Jesuits with much misgiving hailed
the arrival of so virile an executive; and the soldiers of the
garrison acclaimed the gallant bearer of such prowess with salvos of
artillery and a _feu de joie_.

Once duly installed, Frontenac could see no reason why even the
wilderness-colony of New France should forgo the rightful forms and
functions of a royal province. His mind wandered back regretfully to
the old days of the Estates General, which the kings of France were
carefully burying in the cemetery of disuse. Technically they still
existed, although the makers of absolute monarchy gave them no place
in the machinery of government. Loving pomp and circumstance,
Frontenac conceived the idea of reproducing the Estates General in New

The Jesuits were more than ready to constitute the order of the
clergy, the small groups of _gentilhommes_ made eager nobles, while
the Quebec _bourgeoisie_, although they had never played the part
before, called themselves the _Tiers État_, and meekly awaited the
further pleasure of the commanding Frontenac.

By and by all was ready, and heralds posted at the door of the
Jesuits' church, which had been gorgeously decorated for the occasion,
sounded the assembly. Frontenac, brilliantly apparelled, took his
place upon the dais; the gallant _noblesse_, in various attire,
grouped themselves protectingly about his person; the sable Jesuits
looked critically on; while the Third Estate hung breathlessly upon
the gracious motions of his Excellency. A sunbeam from Versailles had
fallen upon the rock in the wilderness, and Quebec once more basked in
the splendour of a royal province.

One person of eminence, however, looked askance at the assembled
"States." The Intendant Talon too well knew the temper of the King to
play with this fire so like to kindle his wrath. A disciple of
Colbert, he knew that all constitutional or traditional forms standing
in the path of absolutism were doomed to destruction.

[Illustration: OLD ST. LOUIS GATE]

As for Frontenac, he went his own unheeding way until a letter came
from Colbert in this strain: "Your assembling of the inhabitants to
take the oath of fidelity, and your division of them into three
estates, may have had a good effect for the moment; but it is well for
you to observe that you are always to follow, in the government of
Canada, the forms in use here; and since our kings have long regarded
it as good for their service not to convoke the States General of the
kingdom, in order, perhaps, to abolish insensibly this ancient usage,
you, on your part, should very rarely, or to speak more correctly,
never, give a corporate form to the inhabitants of Canada. You should
even, as the colony strengthens, suppress gradually the office of the
syndic who presents petitions in the name of the inhabitants; for it
is well that each should speak for himself, and no one for all."

Thus at one fell swoop perished the only chance which ever came to
French Canada of growing into a self-governing colony and of working
out its own destiny. The physical conditions and administrative
necessities of the land were, indeed, from first to last,
misapprehended by its distant rulers.

For a time Frontenac nursed the chagrin natural to a proud and haughty
nature thwarted in its purposes. Straightway he fell foul of Talon,
and the latter withdrew to France. It was natural also that he should
quarrel with the Jesuits and the Bishop, for where there was any
question of mastery, he was always ready to contend. As an instance,
the Bishop had pronounced the sale of brandy to the Indians a sin; and
in view of the fact that the traffic was licensed under royal
authority, Frontenac with his accustomed vehemence pronounced the
prohibition seditious. He accused the Jesuits of keeping the Indians
in perpetual wardship, and of thinking more of beaver-skins than of

The next conflict was with a foeman well worthy of his steel. An
officer named Perrot had been appointed Governor of Montreal through
the influence of Talon, his uncle by marriage; and as it was a matter
of common knowledge that Perrot was the patron and shared the profits
of the _coureurs de bois_, the enmity of Frontenac was roused against
him, gaining vigour from the fact that Perrot carried his head too
high. Bizard, another officer, was despatched with three guardsmen to
Montreal, to arrest one Lieutenant Carion, who had assisted certain
notable _coureurs de bois_ in their escape from justice; and Perrot,
frenzied by this trespass upon his own domain, seized the Governor's
officers. On hearing of such a reprisal, Frontenac's wrath was kindled
sevenfold. He knew, however, that Perrot was only to be apprehended by
strategy, and accordingly a letter was despatched, inviting him to
come to Quebec to explain the affair. Perrot, already alarmed at his
own boldness in resisting vice-regal authority, obediently set out for
the court of Frontenac, attended by a Sulpitian priest, the Abbé
Salignac de Fénelon.

High words marked the interview of Frontenac and Perrot, and as a
result the latter found himself a prisoner in Château St. Louis. In
due time he was brought before the sovereign council and convicted of
obstructing the King's justice. He was confined for almost a year, and
then, as the priests also joined in protest against the autocratic
governance of Frontenac, it was judged prudent to refer the matter to
the King. Perrot was accordingly taken from prison and shipped to
France for a new trial. The result, however, was the vindication of
Frontenac, both Louis and Colbert being determined to uphold the royal
authority. Perrot was sentenced to three weeks in the Bastile, after
which he tendered submission to Frontenac, and was again commissioned
Governor of Montreal.

Henceforth friendship took the place of enmity, and the two governors
now conspired to patronise the _coureurs de bois_. These were halcyon
days for the picturesque banditti, whose periodical visits disturbed
the wonted calm of the saintly city. The inhabitants shut themselves
up in their houses while these bacchanals ran riot in the streets,
bedecked in French and Indian finery, and making hideous both day and
night with their ribald _chansons_. Yet even these roystering forest
rovers were destined to bear a part in building up French empire in
the West.

The _coureurs de bois_ were in fact the most intrepid explorers of New
France, and their rovings were turned to account under the tactful
guidance of Talon. Talon's aim was to occupy the interior of the
continent, control the rivers which watered it, and hold this vast
forest domain for France against all other nations; and for this
Imperial work he enrolled the daring Jesuit priests and the
adventurous fur-traders. His chief reliance, however, was upon those
Frenchmen whose civilised _ennui_ had driven them to the restless life
of the woods.

In the pursuit of this "forward" policy, the Jesuits had already
established missions on Manatoulin Island, at Sault Ste. Marie, at
Michillimackinac, at La Pointe on the western end of Lake Superior,
and at Green Bay near the foot of Lake Michigan. These remote posts
were visited from time to time by Indians from the far west, who
brought news of a great river flowing southwards. Talon's enthusiasm
for enterprise in the unknown west was doubled by the report, and he
forthwith despatched an expedition under the leadership of Joliet and
Père Marquette to take possession of the Father of Waters.

Louis Joliet was a native French Canadian, born at Quebec in 1645. His
exceptional brilliancy while a student at the Jesuits' College
attracted the attention of Talon; but at the age of seventeen, the
forest proved more alluring than the priesthood, and he became an
adventurous fur-trader. His companion, the Père Marquette, was a
fearless Jesuit, who in 1670 had undertaken a mission at the western
end of Lake Superior. The destruction of this post, however, sent him
back to Michillimackinac, where he was working when ordered westward
with Joliet.

Leaving St. Ignace in the middle of May, 1673, the two voyageurs
proceeded to the head of Lake Michigan, ascended the Fox River,
portaged to the Wisconsin, and on the 17th of June reached the
Mississippi. They descended this broad and rapid stream as far as the
mouth of the Arkansas. It now seemed clear that the great river
emptied, not into the Vermilion Sea[11] as was currently conjectured,
but into the Gulf of Mexico; and fearing to fall into the hands of the
Spaniards, the explorers decided to retrace their steps. They reached
Green Bay before the end of September, and here the Jesuit remained to
recruit his failing strength, while Joliet kept on his way to Quebec.
Nine years were to pass by before the navigation of the Mississippi,
thus begun, was to be completed by the greatest of all Canadian

[Footnote 11: Gulf of California.]


Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, was born at Rouen, of a family of
wealthy merchants, on the 2nd of November, 1643. As a child he was
sent to a Jesuits' school; and although, like Joliet, he soon
abandoned all idea of entering the priesthood, he nevertheless
retained a pious enthusiasm which gave a mediæval colouring to the
stirring romance of his after-life. With a small allowance from his
family, La Salle embarked for Canada in 1666. Through his brother, a
priest of St. Sulpice, he was granted a feudal fief at Lachine, and
under his resolute occupation the hitherto dangerous seigneury became
a strong bulwark for the trembling settlement of Montreal. Young,
gallant, and winning, La Salle drew the Indians about him by his
dashing courage and by the magnetism of his person; and, whether
through weakness of flesh or strength of spirit, he disappeared among
them and withdrew from civilisation for the space of three years, a
term which he employed in achieving mastery of Indian dialects and
gaining knowledge of their character. On his return to Quebec in 1673,
he found favour in the eyes of Frontenac, and an inexplicable sympathy
united the proud veteran of a hundred fights and the debonair
_coureur de bois_, beneath whose dreamy countenance the Governor read
reckless valour and invincible determination.

In 1677 La Salle was despatched to France to procure royal authority
for following up the explorations of Joliet and Marquette. He also
applied for a patent of nobility; and as this request was strongly
supported by Frontenac, he was made seigneur over a large tract of
land, including the fort of Cataraqui,[12] and was empowered to build
and occupy other forts in furtherance of exploration. The opening
sentences of this instrument show the King's anxiety to extend his
vast dominions in the New World: "Louis, by the grace of God, King of
France and Navarre, to our dear and well-beloved Robert Cavelier,
Sieur de la Salle, greeting. We have received with favour the very
humble petition made us in your name, to permit you to labour at the
discovery of the western parts of New France; and we have the more
willingly entertained this proposal since we have nothing more at
heart than the exploration of this country, through which, to all
appearances, a way may be found to Mexico...."

[Footnote 12: Later called Fort Frontenac, and the site of the present
city of Kingston.]

To La Salle the commission was full of promise, for his ardent mind
was filled with bold designs. He foresaw a time when French
enterprise, leaving the rugged civilisation on the banks of the St.
Lawrence, would seize upon the rich valley of the Mississippi; a
fortified post at the mouth of the Father of Waters would hold the
interior of the continent against the Spaniards; and the peltries and
buffalo hides of the great West would fill his forts with gold. With
Henri de Tonty, La Motte de Lussière, Father Hennepin, and thirty men,
La Salle hastened to Quebec in the summer of 1678, and without loss of
time he organised his first expedition to the distant Mississippi.

The story of that enterprise is a tale of disaster which has few
parallels in history. A perilous passage over Lake Ontario in a
ten-ton vessel brought them to Niagara. Above the falls they built
_The Griffin_, a schooner of forty-five tons, to carry the necessities
of the Mississippi settlement westward by way of the Great Lakes. This
vessel was lost by some obscure calamity, and the conjecture is that
she foundered in Lake Michigan. La Salle now found himself at the head
of a mutinous company stranded at Fort Crèvecoeur on the Illinois,
facing a winter with practically no provisions. Six of his men
deserted, and on two occasions treachery all but deprived him of his

In the circumstances La Salle saw only one possible course before him:
to return to Fort Frontenac for fresh supplies and material for
further progress. Leaving Tonty his trusted lieutenant in charge of
Fort Crèvecoeur, he set out with an Indian guide and four Frenchmen.
The hardships and disasters of the journey deprived him of his
companions, one by one, but he pressed on alone. "During sixty-five
days he had toiled almost incessantly, travelling about a thousand
miles through a country beset with every form of peril and
obstruction.... In him an unconquerable mind held at its service a
frame of iron, and taxed it to its utmost endurance. The pioneer of
Western pioneers was no rude son of toil, but a man of thought,
trained amid arts and letters."[13]

This first chapter of his reverses, however, was not yet completed;
for even while La Salle was getting succour for his company on the
Illinois, a letter arrived from Tonty telling him of the mutiny of the
garrison and the wilful destruction of Fort Crèvecoeur with all it
held. The calamitous news would have killed the spirit of any one less
courageous than La Salle; but the bold explorer, whose whole life was
a long grapple with adversity, prepared with all haste to return to
the rescue of Tonty, who, he hoped forlornly, had survived the
mutinous treachery. By the 10th of August he was ready, and with a new
outfit and twenty-five men he set out once more for the distant

[Footnote 13: Parkman, _La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West_,
chap. xiv.]

After three months of toil and hardship he came again to Fort
Crèvecoeur. Anxiety for Tonty and his faithful companions had
consumed him all the way. Yet he was unprepared for the shocking sight
that met his eyes. The once populous town of the Illinois was now a
valley of dry bones; the bodies of women and children strewed the
plain, and the charred trophies of Illinois warriors hung tragically
upon blackened stakes. Such were the terrible marks of an Iroquois

Wolves ran howling away as the Frenchmen drew near, and voracious
buzzards wheeled overhead. Anxiously La Salle sought among the
revolting remnants for any sign of Tonty; but none was to be found,
and although the relief expedition continued for weeks and months to
search for their missing comrades, it was spring before the explorer
heard with joy that his lieutenant had found refuge among the
Pottawattamies. Meanwhile, his resources for the Mississippi
expedition had been again dissipated, and once more he returned to
Fort Frontenac for fresh supplies.

Soon, for the third time, the persistent adventurer set his face
towards the west. His company now included twenty-three Frenchmen and
eighteen Indians, equipped with all the care his former experiences
could suggest. Summer had gone before his plans were completed; but
all seasons were alike to La Salle, and in the early autumn his
expedition began. Lake Huron was reached in October, Fort Miami a few
weeks later, and on the 6th of February their canoes glided out of the
Illinois into the eddying current of the Mississippi.

Down past the turbid Missouri they swept, and beyond the mouth of the
Ohio. Every day brought them newer signs of spring, and every day saw
the spirits of La Salle rising at the happy consciousness of fulfilled
ambition. On the 13th of March they encamped near the mouth of the
Arkansas, and three hundred miles below they were well received by the
Natchez Indians. On the 6th of April the great river divided before
them into three wide channels: La Salle followed that of the west;
Tonty took the middle course; and D'Autray descended the eastern
passage. On the 19th of April the three parties met on the Gulf of
Mexico. A cross bearing the arms of France was set up, and the country
was named Louisiana after the Grand Monarch.

The Louisiana of to-day conveys no idea of the vast tract of country
defined by La Salle's proclamation of 1682. To the explorer it meant
the extent of the mighty continent, stretching westward from the
Alleghanies to the Rockies, and north and south from Lake Superior to
the Gulf of Mexico. All former accessions of territory were small
beside it, and to his eyes it seemed the fertile Canaan of French
enterprise. Yet the very magnitude of this new success made for the
undoing of New France, by scattering her feeble forces over the length
and breadth of a continent and distending her line of defence so far
that it could be easily pierced. La Salle, however, was driven
irresistibly forward by the hot ambition which ruled him. His romantic
vision pictured a greater New France in the valley of the Mississippi,
governed by himself--a prosperous trading colony shipping cargoes of
beaver-skins directly to Europe by way of the Gulf of Mexico. Quebec,
however, was the home of his enemies. His former reverses had
shattered the faith of creditors, while the Canadian merchants envied
him the monopoly of the Western trade. They heaped calumny upon his
enterprises, labelled him a _coureur de bois_, and persistently
wrecked his schemes. Final success enabled La Salle in a measure to
disregard these annoyances; but when the new Governor, La Barre, went
the length of seizing Fort Frontenac--thus cutting off the far west
from its supplies--and even declared him an outlaw, La Salle, although
he had but lately recovered from a fever, made up his mind to carry
his cause to France.

In the spring of 1684, therefore, the weatherbeaten woodsman of the
New World stood before the throne of the Grand Monarch; and although
the Court had greater terrors for him than the Canadian forests, yet
he was able to set forth the rights of his case with the honest
boldness of a frontiersman and the force of a cultured intellect.
Louis followed his words with deepest interest, and was moved to carry
out a purpose which for some time had possessed his mind. Within three
months four armed vessels, bearing nearly four hundred men, set sail
from Rochelle for the Gulf of Mexico. A new commission empowered the
explorer to establish a fort on the southern gulf, from which to
harass the Spaniards, and to fortify a base near the mouth of the
Mississippi for the effective control of Louisiana.

But the story of this, the final enterprise of La Salle, is a
sickening record of disaster. After a stormy passage three of the four
vessels reached St. Domingo, the _St. Francois_ having fallen a prey
to Spanish buccaneers. At St. Domingo a violent fever threatened the
leader's life and mind, and delayed further progress for almost two
months. At length, near the end of December, they entered the Gulf of
Mexico; but the uncertainties of its navigation were further increased
by dense fogs; and when, after days of anxious searching, the fleet
came to anchor off a low-lying marshy coast, La Salle had sailed four
hundred miles beyond the mouth of the river he sought. Unaware of his
mistake, he determined to land and build a temporary fort; but the
frigate _Aimable_, laden with stores, was wrecked upon a reef;
Beaujeu, the recreant commander of the _Joly_, deserted his leader and
made sail for France, and presently La Salle was left with only the
little frigate _Belle_. Soon afterwards this vessel also sank beneath
the stormy waters of the forbidden sea.

Thus, by accident and by disease the imposing expedition which had
left Rochelle in the midsummer of 1684 was now reduced to a wretched
band of starvelings, huddled together on the malarial sands of the
Mexican gulf. In this last extremity La Salle saw one hope of
salvation, and the magnitude of his new project was characteristic of
the invincible adventurer whom fate had so often buffeted in vain. At
the head of half his followers he boldly set out for Canada overland,
hoping to bring back succour to the desolate maroons who still
remained at Matagorda Bay.

Throughout his undertakings the virile mind of La Salle had always
held his fellows in willing or unwilling subjection. The weak were
glad to lean upon his strength, and to these he was the "guardian
angel."[14] To others, however, his fine reserve and distinguished
manner were causes of gnawing discontent. This evident lack of
frankness in dealing with his companions contrasted strangely with
that keen appreciation of the character of the Indians which had
brought him such success in his intercourse with them. The handful of
men with whom he set out from Matagorda Bay on the 7th of June, 1687,
besides a few whose admiration for their leader knew no bounds, also
included others who, like the children of Israel, thirsted for the
life of him who had led them out into the wilderness to die.

[Footnote 14: "...Notre Ange tutélaire, le Sieur de la

Week after week the little band of Frenchmen struggled on, now through
a sea of prairie grass, now wading through deep savannahs, and
presently swimming or fording streams which blocked their progress.
Despair invaded the camp, and hostile murmurings arose against La
Salle and the little group who remained true to him. A terrible plot
was on foot. Presently the blow fell. Moranget, La Salle's nephew, was
despatched with an axe; Nika, the faithful Shawanoe, and Saget, the
leader's servant, were murdered as they slept. As for La Salle, a
wanton bullet pierced his brain. Thus the man who had braved the
poisoned arrows of the Iroquois and the hatchets of Indians without
number, against whose iron strength deadly fevers had stormed in vain,
whose fortitude had been unbroken by the almost incredible
perversities of fortune--this paladin of the wilderness was at last
laid low by the hand of a traitor. The New World has no more piteous
tale than that of the unabated sufferings of La Salle, who knew no
fear and acknowledged no defeat, even at the hands of a relentless
destiny. It has no nobler record than the tale of his life.



At Quebec, Frontenac did what he could to promote the bold designs of
La Salle. Nevertheless, the explorer had been forced to furnish his
own men and supplies, getting trading privileges in return--an
arrangement by which the King had all the glory without any of the
risk. There were those in Quebec, indeed, who suspected the Governor
of having a personal interest in La Salle's adventures, and enemies
were not slow to credit him further with a share in profits from
illegal trade in furs. The Intendant Duchesneau fomented these
suspicions, and his letters to the King and the minister were filled
with black charges against Frontenac. The latter, in his turn, called
the Intendant to account; and Quebec was then ranged into two
camps--the Bishop and the Jesuits siding with the Intendant, while the
Récollet friars and the merchants supported Frontenac. Every ship
carried home to France a budget of letters filled with charges and
countercharges, until it became apparent to the Court that a bitter
civil strife was raging in the distant colony; and the King, unable to
judge between the antagonists, finally recalled them both.

The new Governor, La Barre, met with ill-omens on arrival. His
predecessor had scarce departed when Quebec was visited by the first
of those destructive fires which were destined to rage so often
through its winding streets. The summer of 1682 had been exceptionally
dry, and on the night of the 4th of August a fire began in the house
of Étienne Planchon and spread with dreadful speed over the whole of
Lower Town. Fifty-five houses were burnt to the ground on this
occasion, and Lower Town became a heap of ashes. One house alone
escaped, that of the merchant Aubert de la Chesnaye; and more than
half the wealth of Canada was destroyed.

If so be that misfortunes ever come singly, the history of Quebec at
least has never been able to afford an example; and as if destructive
fire were an insufficient visitation of angry fate, other misfortunes,
no less cruel, now came upon the city. In these years, indeed, it
seemed that Nature herself was leagued with the enemies of Quebec; for
in the _Jesuit Relations_ we have a circumstantial if highly
imaginative account of a violent earthquake which visited the
Province in 1663:--

   "Many of the French inhabitants and Indians," says the
   writer, "who were eye-witnesses to the scene, state that
   a great way up the river of Trois Rivières, about
   eighteen miles below Quebec, the hills which bordered the
   river on either side, and which were of a prodigious
   height, were torn from their foundations and plunged into
   the river, causing it to change its course and spread
   itself over a large tract of land recently
   cleared;...lakes appeared where none ever existed before;
   mountains were overthrown, swallowed up by the gaping
   earth, or precipitated into adjacent rivers, leaving in
   their place frightful chasms or level plains....Rivers in
   many parts of the country sought other beds, or totally
   disappeared. The earth and mountains were violently split
   and rent in innumerable places, creating chasms and
   precipices whose depths have never yet been ascertained.
   Such devastation was also occasioned in the woods, that
   more than a thousand acres in one neighbourhood were
   completely overturned."

Another account of this event is given by an Ursuline sister:--

       "The first shock of earthquake took place on 5th
   February, 1663, about half-past five in the evening. The
   weather was calm and serene, when we heard a terrible
   noise and humming sound like that of a great number of
   heavy carriages rolling over a paved floor swiftly. After
   this one heard, both above and below the earth and on all
   sides, as it were a confused mingling of waves and
   billows, which caused sensations of horror. Sounds were
   heard as of stones upon the roof, in the garrets, and
   chambers; a thick dust spread around; doors opened and
   shut of themselves. The bells of all our churches and
   clocks sounded of themselves; and the steeples as well as
   the houses swayed to and fro, like trees in a great wind.
   And all this in the midst of a horrible confusion of
   furniture turned over, stones falling, boards breaking,
   walls cracking, and the cries of domestic animals, of
   which some entered the houses and some went out; in a
   word, it seemed to be the eve of the Day of Judgment
   whose signs were witnessed. Very different impressions
   were made on us. Some went forth for fear of being buried
   in the ruins of our house, which was seen to jog as if
   made of cards; others prostrated themselves at the foot
   of the altar, as if to die there. One good lay sister was
   so terrified that her body trembled for an hour without
   ability to stop the agitation. When the second shock
   came, at eight o'clock the same evening, we were all
   ranged in our stalls at the choir. It was very violent,
   and we all expected death every moment, and to be
   engulfed in the ruins of the building....No person was
   killed. The conversions were extraordinary, and one
   ecclesiastic assured me that he had taken more than eight
   hundred confessions."

Such things as these seemed not to dampen the ardour of those whose
fortunes were cast in New France. Personal prowess and force of
character were the natural result of trouble and disaster. La Barre,
however, proved a dire exception to the rule. His hands shook in the
hour of trial; he weakly grasped occasion. The magnificent but
tragical career of La Salle had annexed a vast domain to the French
possessions in North America, while Du Lhut, La Durantaye, Nicolas
Perrot, and the rest of the _coureurs de bois_ had, by their
adventurous trading, given even the remote Sioux and Assiniboins an
interest in the fur trade of France. By this rapid expansion of French
influence the Five Nation Indians at last saw themselves hemmed in by
tribes under the influence of Quebec, their hunting grounds limited to
a small and now partly exhausted area. In order to procure guns and
ammunition from their English friends they were compelled to take
thought for the decreasing peltries. A destructive raid into the
Illinois valley was the first step in their new policy, which was the
annihilation of all those tribes which traded with the French, and the
diversion of the beaver trade to the wealthier merchants of New

At all hazards New France was bound to prevent this dire blow from
falling upon her allies, whose adherence to the pact rested upon the
ability of French arms to protect them. But French prestige among the
Indians so suffered under the weak-kneed administration of La Barre,
that the Iroquois became bolder in contravening the treaty of peace,
while the Western tribes were on the point of going over to the
English. These circumstances prompted the expedition of 1684.

With a hundred regulars, an equal number of Canadians, and a composite
band of Indians, La Barre set out from Quebec to destroy the Senecas.
News had been sent to the French trading posts of the north, and it
was arranged that the main column should be joined at Niagara by a
force of Hurons, Ottawas, Ojibwas, Pottawattamies, and Foxes, whom the
_coureurs de bois_ had rallied for a last supreme effort. But in spite
of the strength of this array, it was not expected by those who knew
the vacillating Governor that he would be successful. Even the most
sceptical, however, were not prepared for the woeful fiasco which
followed. Instead of advancing to destroy his enemies, La Barre
summoned them to a council, where the Seneca deputies were not slow to
perceive the weakness of their foe, and contemptuously dictated terms
of peace. Thus the French were degraded in the eyes of their Indian
allies, who returned disgusted to their homes. The event being taken
seriously in France, La Barre was recalled, and the Marquis de
Denonville appointed in his place.

It was now becoming clearer that English intrigue was behind all these
troubles with the Iroquois. Dongan, the Catholic Governor of New York
at this period, a resourceful and adroit politician, formed the design
of absorbing the territory of the Iroquois into the domain of James
II. of England; and the Indians, while they resisted his ulterior
purpose, were yet glad enough to get English guns for their warfare
against the French. Besides this direct official action, Dongan
encouraged English traders to go among the Canadian Indians and wean
them from their alliance with Quebec.

At first the rivalry was but a diplomatic duel between Denonville and
Dongan, England and France being then at peace. Soon, however, the
colonies of the two nations were waging a border warfare of their own.
While the English were urging the Iroquois against their rivals, the
furtive hand of the French was evident in the raids of the Abenakis
upon the woods of Acadie; but at this early stage of the dispute the
two Powers disclaimed all approval of these savage reprisals.

In 1687 Governor Denonville, mustering a strong force at Quebec, moved
quickly up the St. Lawrence upon the Senecas. Like La Barre he invited
a number of chiefs to a conference, but when they came he
treacherously seized and sent them to the galleys of France. He then
crossed from Fort Frontenac, ravaging and burning their villages and
towns. Not only the Senecas but the whole Iroquois confederacy burned
to avenge the terrible warfare of Denonville. In small bands they
ranged the woods round about Quebec and the river settlements, darting
to and fro like silent shadows, so that for months the French suffered
daily the anguish of battle, murder, and sudden death. Disciplined
soldiers were helpless against this stealthy warfare, and a man walked
in danger of his life even within the palisades.

Great as was their distress, however, it was but a prelude to one of
the cruellest incidents in Canadian history. The night of the 4th of
August, 1689, being heavy with thunderclouds, fifteen hundred Iroquois
warriors, under cover of the darkness, crept upon the settlement of
Lachine, at the western end of the Island of Montreal. They scattered
stealthily among the cabins, and at a given signal surprised the
victims in their beds. More than two hundred men, women, and children
were tomahawked in cold blood or carried off to a lingering death, the
lurid flames of the burning seigneury telling their bitter tale to the
watchers at Montreal. New France was faint with horror; and once more
she sighed for the strong protecting arm of Frontenac.

Meanwhile, the English Revolution of 1688 had driven James II. from
the throne, and the French king had taken up the cause of the Stuarts
against William of Orange. England and France were face to face in
Europe, and in the New World the veiled conflict between the rival
colonies now gave place to open war. The King by this time realised
that Frontenac, for all his seventy years and his reputation for
rashness, was the only man qualified to fill the difficult post of
Governor, and accordingly sent him again to New France. He reached
Quebec about the middle of October. It was evening, and the citizens
had gathered at the quay with torches of welcome, while fireworks and
illuminations blazed in his honour over the streets of the Upper Town.
Vigorous in spite of his years, the grizzled hero of the siege of
Arras stood once more on the soil of New France, and notwithstanding
the perfunctory homage of the Jesuits and the studied reserve of the
Intendant Champigny, a feeling of relief thrilled Quebec. An
enterprise of almost incredible difficulty was to be laid upon the
shoulders of the veteran ruler. This was nothing less than an attack
upon New York as a preliminary step to the overthrow of all New
England. A land force was to descend on Albany, proceeding by way of
the Richelieu, Lake Champlain, and the Hudson, while two frigates were
to assail New York from the sea. The naval project, however, was so
feeble and uncertain, so ill-starred, that adverse winds on the
Atlantic brought it to an untimely end.

Having abandoned for the moment the expedition against New York,
Frontenac turned his attention first to the ever-present Indian
problem. The defection of the north-western tribes was becoming more
and more probable notwithstanding the strenuous efforts of the
_coureurs de bois_. Indians were fast losing faith in French
protection, and before all else it was necessary to make the Iroquois
understand that the great _Onontio_[15] had returned to chastise them.
Aiming therefore at the revival of French prestige, the Governor
organised "The three war-parties," a step which may be considered as
the initial move in that desperate conflict which left the flag of
England floating over the citadel of Quebec.

The three war-parties, each consisting of regulars, _coureurs de
bois_, and Indians, were now despatched from Montreal, Three Rivers,
and Quebec. The deep snows of a Canadian winter lay upon the ground as
these forces of destruction sallied forth. Leaving Montreal, the first
party passed down the frozen St. Lawrence, and into the wintry ravines
of the Richelieu, and after a march of terrible hardship, now plunging
through snow-drifts, now benumbed by frost, wading knee-deep through
the melting swamps, they came at last to the unguarded palisades of
the Dutch settlement of Corlaer, or Schenectady. It was midnight as
they stole through the streets of the sleeping village, now suddenly
wakened by a hideous war-whoop, the signal for a massacre as terrible
as that of Lachine.

[Footnote 15: The Indian name for Count Frontenac.]

With a similarity of grim details the other two war-parties attacked
the rival colonies of New England. Under cover of the night the band
from Three Rivers fell upon Salmon Falls, a village on the borders of
New Hampshire, and put its inhabitants to the sword. The victors then
joined the column which Portneuf had led from Quebec, and together
they moved down Casco Bay to Fort Loyal, where the settlers of the
district had assembled for a vigorous defence. The New Englanders held
out for several days against the French and the Abenakis, but at
length agreed to surrender with the honours of war. Portneuf's pledge
of protection, however, was shamelessly broken, and the Indian allies
fell upon the helpless captives without restraint.

Such success amply fulfilled the expectations of Frontenac, and the
wavering tribes of the West now hastened to Quebec to confirm their
allegiance. In New France elation took the place of gloom, and
bonfires burned among the settlements along the St. Lawrence. In New
England, however, the threefold atrocity produced an effect that
boded ill for Canada. In their eagerness to avenge this outrage, the
Atlantic colonies, up to this time disunited and isolated, now pledged
themselves to union against a common peril, and planned the conquest
of the country. A force of colonial militia set out from Albany
against Montreal, while a naval attack was directed against Port Royal
and Quebec. Sir William Phipps sailed from Nantasket with a fleet of
seven vessels, appearing on the 11th of May before Port Royal, whose
commandant surrendered without a blow.

The admiral who won this bloodless victory is one of the most notable
figures in New World history. William Phipps was born on the Kennebec
in 1650, and spent his early life tending sheep in the rude border
settlement of New England. But ambition and love of adventure not
being satisfied by a pastoral life, the youth soon adopted the trade
of a ship-carpenter and came to Boston. Here fortune in the form of a
wealthy widow smiled upon him, and he is next found searching for a
wrecked treasure-ship in the Spanish Main. The romantic sailor was,
however, at first unsuccessful in his quest; but as he had awakened
the interest of the Duke of Albemarle, he obtained from this nobleman
a frigate for a similar adventure off the coast of Hispaniola. In the
course of this latter voyage his buccaneer crew rebelled, and
single-handed the powerful Phipps drove them from the quarter-deck.
Success at length rewarded him, the treasure-ship was raised, and
through the influence of his illustrious patron the bucolic New
Englander received a knighthood. Sir William Phipps thus returned to
his castle in the Green Lane of North Boston with the glamour of the
court upon him, and was chosen by the colonists of Massachusetts to
carry out their bold designs against Quebec.

Meanwhile, Frontenac anticipated coming danger by strengthening the
city. Nature had made the position impregnable on the river side, but
in the rear it was still open to attack. All through the winter gangs
of men were employed in cutting timber in the forest, and dragging
hewn palisades to the city, where Frontenac superintended the erection
of stout barricades. While the Governor was thus engaged news reached
him that Winthrop was marching upon Montreal, and thither he hastened
with all speed. Circumstances, however, had conspired to render futile
the expedition from New York and Connecticut; and intestine quarrels,
followed by Iroquois defection, wrecked the English enterprise before
it had come within striking distance of Montreal.

[Illustration: SIR WILLIAM PHIPPS]

In the meantime Sir William Phipps had sailed for Quebec with a fleet
of more than thirty sail, two thousand men, and four months' supplies.
The hope of receiving help from England had somewhat delayed the
expedition, and it was the 9th of August before the admiral slipped
his cables in the harbour of Nantasket. As this American armada
comprised vessels ranging in size from the flag-ship _Six Friends_,
with forty-four guns, down to the fishing smacks of Gloucester, its
progress was slow. The most serious difficulty, however, was the
absence of a pilot who knew the dangerous navigation of the St.
Lawrence. Nevertheless, Phipps decided to grope his way up the river.
However, news of the invasion had already reached Quebec, and Prévost,
the town Mayor, despatched a messenger to Frontenac at Montreal,
pressing on meanwhile with the fortifications already so well under

Nature had left the cliffs of Quebec accessible at only those three
points where later stood Prescott, Hope and Palace Gates, and Prévost
secured these by means of barricades and earthworks. The strand of the
St. Charles, from the Palace of the Intendant to the Sault-au-Matelot,
was protected by a continuous palisade, and the fortifications begun
by Frontenac in the previous winter having since been completed, now
afforded adequate protection upon the landward side of the town.
Moreover, several batteries were disposed at salient points. In the
garden which flanks the present Dufferin Terrace was a battery of
eight guns; while the high cliff of the Sault-au-Matelot and the
barricade at Palace Hill were each defended by six guns. The windmill
on Mount Carmel was converted into a small battery, a number of light
pieces also being collected in the square opposite the Jesuits'
College, to serve as a reserve battery for any weak spot in the
defences. Six, eighteen, and twenty-four pounders were mounted on the
wharves of Lower Town. For several days the men from the surrounding
parishes had been flocking into the city, and by the evening of the
15th of October about twenty-seven hundred regulars and militia were
gathered within the fortifications. Next day the sun rose upon the New
England fleet moored in the expansive basin of Quebec.

[Illustration: PLAN OF FORT ST. LOUIS, 1683]

All that was possible in the way of defence had been accomplished, but
in the face of such imposing naval strength the assault was awaited
with anxiety. The women and children repaired to the stone convents
for refuge, and the men stood by the guns. The siege, however, was not
to open with a cannonade, but a parley. A boat put out from the _Six
Friends_ with a flag of truce, and soon an English lieutenant landed
at the Cul-de-sac, bearing a letter for the commander of the garrison.
Before receiving the missive, Frontenac devised a useful and whimsical
stratagem to raise the prestige of the beleaguered city. Phipps's
messenger was first of all blindfolded. Then two sergeants led the
bewildered envoy by a devious route from the quay up to Fort St.
Louis, and over the triple barricades of Mountain Hill, while the
noisy soldiers thronged him, and the din of the streets was designedly
increased. Finally they took the bandage from his eyes. Before him
stood the haughty Frontenac in the brilliant uniform of a French
marshal, and the council-room of the Château was crowded with the
officers of his staff, tricked off in laces of gold and silver with
ribbons and plumes, powder and perukes.


Withal, the English envoy was equal to the occasion. If the strength
of Quebec and its garrison filled him with surprise, he gave no sign
of it, but with a dignity rivalling that of the French Governor
delivered his admiral's summons to surrender. "Your answer positive
in an hour," recited the postscript, "returned by your own trumpet
with the return of mine, is required upon the peril that will ensue."

Frontenac and his _aides_ were not in the least prepared to accept the
brusque demands of Sir William Phipps. Fort Royal, it is true, had
been cowed into an immediate surrender, but the blustering sailor of
New England had mistaken Quebec and its commandant.

For a moment the fiery Count controlled his temper, then it blazed
forth with wonted ardour. "Tell your General," he exclaimed, "that I
will answer him only by the mouths of my cannon, that he may learn
that the fortress of Quebec is not to be summoned after this fashion.
Let him do his best, and I shall do mine."

Blindfolded once more, the bearer of the flag of truce again scrambled
over the barricades, and was led down to the river's brink.

To Phipps, the challenge of Frontenac seemed to outdo his own in
boldness, and he was filled with doubt by the envoy's accounts of the
strength of Quebec. The black rock of Cape Diamond now seemed to tower
above him more grimly than ever, and with some misgiving he at length
adopted a bold plan of assault. The infantry, under Major Walley, were
to land on the flats of Beauport, cross the St. Charles when the tide
was out, and assail the flank of the town on the side of the Côte Ste.
Geneviève; while Phipps himself was to cannonade the city from the
river, land a storming party, and gain the Upper Town by way of the

For two more days he delayed putting this plan into operation; and
when attempted it was badly managed. Frontenac had despatched
Sainte-Hélène[16] with three hundred sharpshooters to oppose any
landing on the Beauport shore, a force which was unequal to the task;
for Major Walley, though harassed by their fire, succeeded in making
his way at the head of 1300 men to the ford on the river St. Charles.

Phipps, however, instead of co-operating with the land force, had made
a premature movement, and leaving his moorings had sailed up the
channel opposite the city, there to engage in a terrific duel with the
guns of Fort St. Louis and the several batteries of Upper Town. Cannon
and mortars belched forth their missiles with the rapidity of
musketry, making an uproar as of a great battle. The English gunners
made poor practice, however, and the projectiles falling within the
city did almost no damage. Twenty-six cannon-balls dropped harmlessly
in the garden of the Ursuline convent, and furnished new ammunition
for the garrison. On the other hand, the decks of the attacking
vessels were swept by fire from the cliffs. One shot carried away the
ensign of the flag-ship, and another tore away her rigging and
shattered her mizzen, and the rest of the fleet was similarly

[Footnote 16: Of the gallant Le Moyne family, of whom also was
d'Iberville, the soldier, explorer, and governor.]

This unequal cannonade continued for two days before Phipps realised
its futility. On shore, Walley persisted for three days in attempting
to force his way across the St. Charles; but his field-pieces were
half buried in the mud, sickness had attacked his camp, and the rain
and sleet of an early winter completed his discomfiture. Seeing,
moreover, that their admiral had now ceased to fight, and that
Frontenac was thus able to concentrate defence upon the landward side,
the militiamen felt the hopelessness of further assault and returned
to the ships. After this rebuff Phipps weighed anchor and dropped down
stream with his battered armada.


Quebec had been saved, though not without dire peril and sore straits;
for before the withdrawal of the enemy the crowded city had already
felt the pinch of famine, and the violence of the batteries had all
but emptied her magazines. Throughout the bombardment a picture of the
Holy Family had hung inviolate on the spire of the Basilica, defying
the heretical cannonade; and in cloister and chapel the beleaguered
citizens had ceaselessly invoked their favourite saints. To one and
all the victory was of Heaven, and in the midst of her rejoicing
Quebec did not forget to redeem her vows. The little chapel of Notre
Dame de la Victoire, hidden among the quaint windings of the streets
below the Terrace, still stands as a monument to that religious
fidelity with which the citizens of Quebec had faced another of their
many perils.



The great strength of its natural position had enabled the city to
withstand the late siege; but Frontenac saw clearly that the defences
would not be sufficient to meet a resolute assault, and it was
resolved to reconstruct the fortifications on a larger scale. The
great engineer Vauban furnished plans which were carried out under
Frontenac's personal direction. For twenty leagues around the
_habitants_ were pressed into this service, and such was the general
anxiety to make the city impregnable, that even the _gentilhommes_
gave themselves to pick and spade. A line of solid earthworks soon
extended on the flank of the city from Cape Diamond to the St.
Charles; and at the summit of the Cape, now for the first time
embraced within the fortifications, a strong redoubt with sixteen
cannon was constructed to command both the river and the Upper Town.

A copper plate[17] bearing the following inscription in Latin was
deposited in the stone foundation:--

    "In the year of Grace, 1693, under the reign
    of the Most August, Most Invincible, and Most
    Christian King, Louis the Great, Fourteenth of that
    name, the Most Excellent and Most Illustrious
    Lord, Louis de Buade, Count of Frontenac, twice
    Viceroy of all New France, after having three years
    before repulsed, routed, and completely conquered
    the rebellious inhabitants of New England, who
    besieged this town of Quebec, and who threatened to
    renew the attack this year, constructed, at the charge
    of the King, this citadel, with the fortifications
    therewith connected, for the defence of the country
    and the safety of the people, and for confounding
    yet again a people perfidious towards God and
    towards its lawful king. And he has laid this first

[Footnote 17: Discovered at the demolition of the old wall in 1854.]

The repulse of Phipps, while postponing indefinitely any further
undertakings of the New England government against Quebec, had
conveyed no lesson to the implacable Iroquois. These fatal hornets of
the woods continued to harass the settlements, roving through the
forest in small marauding bands. A large force also established a camp
on the Ottawa to intercept the furs destined for Quebec, and their
blockade was so effective that the city soon felt the pinch of want,
and the trading ships sailed empty back to France. So bold were the
assaults that many settlers fled from their farms to Montreal, Three
Rivers, or Quebec; while those who had the hardihood to remain went
about in armed groups to reap their harvests. The massacre of La
Chesnaye was a typical incident; but perhaps the most characteristic
story of these troublous years is the _Récit de Mlle. Magdelaine de
Verchères_, well known through a renowned historical narrative.

The seigneury of Verchères lay upon the south shore of the St.
Lawrence, seven leagues below Montreal, and from its exposed position
as well as from its former tribulation, had earned the name of Castle
Dangerous. Its history dated back to the disbandment of the
Carignan-Salières regiment, when M. de Verchères, a dashing officer of
Savoy, took possession of the fief, building there a fort and

It was already late October, 1692. The seigneur had gone down to
Quebec for duty, and the lady of the manor was in Montreal. Their
three children, Madeleine aged fourteen, and the two boys aged twelve
and ten, had been left behind protected by the feeble garrison of the
fort, consisting of two soldiers and an old man of eighty, the
servants and _censitaires_ being busy with the autumn work of the

One morning as Madeleine was playing near the water's edge, she was
startled by the sound of firing. A band of Iroquois had fallen upon
the field-workers. Commending herself to the Holy Virgin, the girl ran
towards the fort. Bullets whistled past her as she flew towards the
palisade crying "To arms! To arms!" The two soldiers had already fled
in terror to the blockhouse, but by her resolute words she shamed them
into a defence of the fort; and picking up a gun, she said to her two
young brothers:--

       "Let us fight to the death. We are fighting for our
   country and our religion; remember that our father has
   taught you that gentlemen are born to shed their blood
   for God and the King."[18]

Taking their positions at the loopholes, the little company maintained
such a vigilant defence that the Iroquois were completely deceived as
to the strength of the garrison.

[Footnote 18: The narrative has been preserved in the heroine's own
words, through the care of the Marquis de Beauharnois, sometime
Governor of Canada.]

       "After sunset," continues the narrative, "a violent
   north-east wind began to blow, accompanied by snow and
   hail, which told us that we should have a terrible night.
   The Iroquois were all this time lurking about us; and I
   judged by their movements that, instead of being deterred
   by the storm, they would climb into the fort under cover
   of the darkness. I assembled all my troops, that is to
   say, six persons, and spoke to them thus: 'God has saved
   us to-day from the hands of our enemies, but we must take
   care not to fall into their snares to-night. As for me, I
   want you to see that I am not afraid. I will take charge
   of the fort with an old man of eighty, and another who
   never fired a gun; and you, Pierre Fontaine, with La
   Bonté and Gachet, will go to the blockhouse with the
   women and children, because that is the strongest place;
   and if I am taken do not surrender, even if I am cut to
   pieces and burned before your eyes. The enemy cannot hurt
   you in the blockhouse if you make the least show of
   fight.' I placed my young brothers on two of the
   bastions, the old man on the third, and I took the
   fourth; and all night, in spite of wind, snow, and hail,
   the cries of 'All's well' were kept up from the
   blockhouse to the fort, and from the fort to the
   blockhouse. One would have thought the place was full of
   soldiers. The Iroquois thought so, and were completely
   deceived, as they confessed afterwards to Monsieur de
   Callières, whom they told that they had held a council to
   make a plan for capturing the fort in the night, but had
   done nothing because such a constant watch was kept....

   "At last the daylight came again; and as the darkness
   disappeared our anxieties seemed to disappear with it.
   Everybody took courage except Mademoiselle Marguerite,
   the wife of the Sieur Fontaine, who, being extremely
   timid, as all Parisian women are, asked her husband to
   carry her to another fort.... He said, 'I shall never
   abandon this fort while Mademoiselle Madeleine is here.'
   I answered him that I would never abandon it; that I
   would rather die than give it up to the enemy; and that
   it was of the greatest importance that they should never
   get possession of any French fort.... I may say with
   truth that I did not eat or sleep for twice twenty-four
   hours. I did not go once into my father's house, but kept
   always on the bastion, or went to the blockhouse to see
   how the people there were behaving. I always kept a
   cheerful and smiling face, and encouraged my little
   company with the hope of speedy succour.

   "We were a week in constant alarm, with the enemy always
   about us. At last Monsieur de la Monnerie, a lieutenant
   sent by Monsieur de Callières, arrived in the night with
   forty men. As he did not know whether the fort was taken
   or not, he approached as silently as possible. One of our
   sentinels hearing a slight sound, cried 'Qui vive?' I was
   dozing at the time, with my head on the table and my gun
   lying across my arms. The sentinel told me that he heard
   a voice from the river. I went up at once to the bastion
   to see whether it was Indians or Frenchmen. I asked,
   'Who are you?' One of them answered, 'We are Frenchmen;
   it is La Monnerie, who comes to bring you help.'

   "I caused the gate to be opened, placed a sentinel there,
   and went down to the river to meet them. As soon as I saw
   Monsieur de la Monnerie, I saluted him, and said,
   'Monsieur, I surrender my arms to you.' He answered
   gallantly, 'Mademoiselle, they are in good hands.'
   'Better than you think,' I returned.

   "La Monnerie inspected the fort and found everything in
   good order, and a sentinel on each bastion. 'It is time
   to relieve them, Monsieur,' I said; 'we have not been off
   our bastions for a week.'"[19]

The inner politics of Quebec shared fully the unrest of this critical
time. The place had all the intrigue of an Italian republic; and with
its political, religious, and social cleavages, the wonder is that a
city so divided against itself was able to stand in the hour of
outward adversity. To make clear the underlying causes of such civil
strife, it is necessary to go back to the year 1659, when the most
notable ecclesiastic in the history of New France arrived in Quebec.

[Footnote 19: Parkman's _Frontenac_ c.14 (quoting from _Collection de
l'Abbé Ferland_).]

François-Xavier Laval was born in 1622 at Montigny-sur-Avre. Brought
up at the College of the Jesuits at Laflèche, a prolonged sojourn in
the famous Hermitage of Caen set the seal of a militant mysticism upon
his life. While still young the death of an elder brother had made him
heir to the title and wealth of one of the most distinguished families
in France; but the ardent student renounced these feudal glories that
he might devote himself entirely to the service of God. To him this
service consisted of a perpetual mortification of the flesh, practised
chiefly in the hovels of the poor, or by beds of loathsome disease.

Of a mind and temper so austere, he seemed to the Jesuits the
heaven-called head for the Canadian Church; and it was doubtless
through their influence, acting upon the Queen Mother, Anne of
Austria, and Cardinal Mazarin, that Laval was appointed titular Bishop
of Petræa, _in partibus infidelium_, and Vicar-Apostolic of all New

The first bishop of Canada was welcomed by pealing bells and general
applause; but the excitement of his advent had scarcely subsided
before a sharp ecclesiastical quarrel occurred. M. l'Abbé de Queylus,
a Sulpitian priest, had lately been appointed spiritual head of Quebec
by the Archbishop of Rouen, who had been wont to regard Canada as a
part of his own diocese; and the Sulpitian so vigorously refused to be
superseded by the new bishop, that Governor D'Argenson, acting upon
the King's orders, had him arrested and sent back to France. The
quarrel, however, was not so soon decided, and supremacy was not
finally conceded to Laval until both contestants had referred the
matter to the Pope and the Grand Monarch.

Success in this churchman's conflict, however, had not softened the
autocratic temper of the new bishop. In France he had already
supported the contention of the Jesuits against the Jansenists that
the power of the Pope was above that of the King, and that the Church
was superior to the State. Laval insisted that his acolytes should
precede the Governor in receiving the consecrated bread, in the
distribution of boughs on Palm Sunday, in the adoration of the Cross
on Good Friday, and in the presentation of holy water. For a time the
gallant old soldier D'Argenson did his best to live in harmony with
the Vicar-Apostolic, even under the annoying conditions created by the
churchman's imperious temper. But the forbearance of the Governor was
not sufficient to save him from his opponent's powerful friends at
Court, who finally compassed his recall. His successors, the Baron
D'Avaugour and M. de Mézy, however, soon took up the intermitted
quarrel on behalf of the State, until the new order of government in

The institution of royal government in that year had a visible effect
upon the ecclesiastical power. Louis XIV. had declared himself to be
the State, and thus acquired a personal and selfish interest in the
controversy. Moreover, Talon, the skilled agent of Colbert, wishing to
readjust and balance the disproportionate elements of the body
politic, had written in 1670 advising the re-introduction of the
Récollet priests, who arrived eight years later to counterbalance the
Jesuit forces.

The advent of Frontenac, likewise, had been a severe blow to the
priestly autocracy, his strong and reckless character stamping him as
a man who required careful handling. In fact, Laval and the Jesuits
preferred a vicarious warfare, and confined themselves to supporting
the Intendant Duchesneau in his quarrels with the Governor.

Notwithstanding these rebuffs, however, the great prelate accomplished
a lasting work. To this day a daily procession of schoolboys walks
through the streets of Upper Town arresting attention by their
singular dress--a battalion similar to that which, two hundred years
ago, appeared in the like quaint costume. These are the boys of the
_Seminaire de Laval_. This seminary of Quebec was Laval's most notable
foundation; and though many generations have slipped away since it
began, the classic school above the Sault-au-Matelot still remains to
recruit and train the ranks of a priesthood whose attainments, piety,
and character are honoured throughout the Catholic world.

Late in the afternoon fourscore of these youthful devotees swing out
along the Rue St. Jean to the Ste. Foye road for recreation. They go
in orderly rows, from the youngest and smallest back to the two
priests, in black _soutanes_ and broad-brimmed hats, who bring up the
rear. _Régimes_ have come and gone, but this perennial column still
marches out of the past incongruously garbed in peaked caps, black
frockcoats faced with green braid, and girt at the waist with a green
woollen scarf. This is the daily memorial of the eccentric, despotic,
but beneficent bishop, who lived a life of almost abject poverty,
devoting the revenues of the most wealthy seigneury in New France[20]
to the maintenance of his beloved _Seminaire_. He has left his name
also to the splendid university which completes the work so well begun
by the _Seminaire_.

[Footnote 20: Laval was the owner of the Seigneury of Beauport and the
Isle d'Orleans, which by royal edict had been freed from feudal
burdens. By the census of 1667 it was found to contain more than
one-fourth of the entire population of Canada.]

For almost forty years Laval had dominated the Church of New France,
the whole period of his supremacy being disturbed by the never-ending
quarrel between Church and State. The Bishop proposing to alter the
ecclesiastical system of the colony by the institution of movable
priests, both the King and Colbert objected strongly to a scheme which
would have centralized all spiritual power in the hands of one man,
and he a spiritual despot, however sincere and high-souled. But the
inflexible Laval contrived for a time to evade or disobey the royal
instructions that were sent to him, until at length, in 1688, he asked
to be relieved of his office, and the King freely granted his request.
Thereupon, he handed over the episcopal office to Saint-Vallier, and
retired to the seclusion of his cherished school.

The destruction of the college by fire in 1701 almost broke the heart
of the venerable prelate; but with invincible energy and spirit he
began at once the work of restoration. In four years the new building
was completed, and in it he passed the evening of his days, until, at
the age of eighty-six, he closed his eyes for ever on the scene of a
strenuous, stormy, and holy life.

Time and events meanwhile had been treating Frontenac with equal
sternness. The danger from New England had for a time relieved him of
domestic troubles; but with the failure of Sir William Phipps, his
clerical enemies at Quebec once more began their machinations, in
spite of which the versatile old Governor still contrived to hold his
way and course. Politically, the city was divided on the question of
keeping control of the far west; for while some saw danger in
dissipating the strength of the colony, and therefore advised the
maintenance of a smaller but more compact territory, Frontenac, the
fur traders, and the _coureurs de bois_, on the other hand, were
determined to hold the West and to maintain the allegiance of the
Indian allies.

Such, up to the last, was the attitude of the martial Governor, who,
at the age of seventy-six, was ready once more to undertake the
punishment of the Iroquois. He would fain have walked and toiled like
the rest of the twenty-two hundred men who composed his column; but
the Indian allies, unable to see him endure the hardships of the
march, bore him triumphantly on their shoulders. Their faith in the
great Onontio was without measure, and French prestige among them was
now at its highest point. The Onondagas fled before their advance; the
Oneidas begged for peace. The villages of the enemy were given to the
flames, and the savages, thus rendered homeless, became a charge upon
the friendly English settlements, only to increase the enmity which
already marked the relations of the latter with the French colony.

Frontenac returned once more in triumph to Quebec, and a semblance of
peace reigned in North America--the ominous calm before a storm which
was soon to shake the Continent. The Castle of St. Louis now became a
centre of gaiety, despite the grey hairs of its distinguished
occupant, whose spirits and buoyancy were still unquenched. Quebec
was giving unmistakable signs of a social revolt against the rigorous
subjection in which the Church had held her. Exiled from
Fontainebleau, the officers of the Governor's suite did their best to
improvise a counterpart, and the ladies of the ambitious _noblesse_
were not loth to join in the crude but brilliant revels of the castle.
The winter carnival, then, as now, afforded merriment to a gay
company, the King's representative being as keen a pleasure-seeker as
the rest. On Frontenac's suggestion, private theatricals were added to
the polite diversions of Quebec. The Marquis de Tracy's ball far back
in 1667 had given grievous offence to the Jesuits, and the unholy
acting of plays was now declared an open profanity. _Nicomède_ and
_Mithridate_ were condemned as immoral; but when _Tartuffe_, Molière's
mordant satire upon religious hypocrisy, was put upon the boards, the
limits of endurance were reached and overpassed.

La Motte Cadillac, a staff officer, thus describes the excitement
raised by these performances: "The clergy beat their alarm drums,
armed _cap-à-pie_, and snatched their bows and arrows. The Sieur
Glandelet was the first to begin, and preached two sermons in which he
tried to prove that nobody could go to a play without mortal sin. The
Bishop issued a mandate, and had it read from the pulpits, in which he
speaks of certain impious, impure, and noxious comedies, insinuating
that those which had been acted were such. The credulous and
infatuated people, seduced by the sermons and the mandate, began
already to regard the count as a corrupter of morals and a destroyer
of religion. The numerous party of the pretended devotees mustered in
the streets and public places, and presently...persuaded the Bishop to
publish a mandate in the church whereby the Sieur de Mareuil, a
half-pay lieutenant, was interdicted the use of the sacraments."


In the midst of it all, death was slowly creeping upon the central
figure of so many stormy scenes. The treaty concluded at Ryswick in
1697, and proclaimed in Canada, improved the position of the French
in America, encouraging them to new aspirations of conquest. Already
on the brink of the grave, the indomitable Frontenac cast his
challenge in the teeth of New England, claiming the Iroquois as the
recalcitrant subjects of Louis XIV. The gage was duly taken, and
although the challenger could not await the issue, his visor remained
closed till the end. Even in death Count Frontenac set his face
against the Jesuits, for he was buried in the Récollet Chapel. When he
was laid to rest the province was stricken with genuine grief, for all
men felt that the best bulwark of New France had been laid in mortal



Frontenac's best legacy to Quebec and to Canada was the pacification
of the Indian tribes. Under his stern rule the prestige of France had
been restored, and to the new Governor, De Callières, was left the
duty of arranging the formalities of peace with the ancient enemy, the
Iroquois. A treaty, however, was only concluded in the face of
strenuous opposition from New England, which now beheld with grave
concern the changed front of the "Five Nations," who, for the space of
a hundred years, had been the sharpest thorn in the side of New
France, and whose territory had been as armour-plate about their own

In opportune time the Treaty of Ryswick had nominally settled all
points of contention between France and England in both hemispheres,
and it was soon followed by the cessation of hostilities between the
whites and Indians. The Governor of New France summoned deputies from
all the tribes to a grand council, at which, after many days of
debate, he skilfully persuaded them to bury the hatchet and submit
their internecine differences to Quebec for arbitration. Belts of
wampum were exchanged, and the calumet of peace was passed forthwith
between the followers and colleagues of De Callières and the painted
chiefs of a dozen tribes.

The conclusion of this treaty was a fortunate stroke of French
diplomacy, as not many months were to pass before Europe became once
more involved in a war, into which the colonies of the rival powers
were naturally drawn. Apart from the recognition of the English
Pretender in France, the immediate cause of war in Europe was the
question of the Spanish succession; for while Louis XIV. claimed the
throne for his grandson, Philip of Anjou, England, on the other hand,
recognised that this union of France and Spain would upset the balance
of power on both sides of the Atlantic, and that her American
possessions would be exposed to a cross fire from both north and

The great battles of Blenheim, Ramilies, Oudenarde, and Malplaquet of
the European conflict had their counterpart in the _petite guerre_
which was waged by the opposing colonies in America. French privateers
issuing from Port Royal swept along the coast of New England, the
settlements of Acadia suffering reprisals in kind. At last the
ruthless destruction of the little village of Haverhill on the
Merrimac by a Canadian war-party roused the English colonists to fury,
and they loudly demanded the conquest of Canada. The authorities were
already predisposed to this large undertaking by the arguments of one
Samuel Vetch, whom the Governor of Massachusetts had formerly
despatched on a special mission to Canada. Vetch soon perceived that
the defences of Quebec and Montreal were not too formidable to be
overcome by a well-devised assault; and proceeding to England he made
representations to the advisers of Queen Anne, who, in 1709, sent him
back to Boston with command to contrive an expedition against the
fortress of Canada. A land force from New England was to proceed
northward by way of the Richelieu, and to co-operate with an English
fleet on the St. Lawrence.

Once more, however, fortune intervened to save Quebec. England long
delayed in sending the promised fleet, and it was already late autumn
before the colonial forces were ready to set out. While Colonel
Nicholson, its leader, perceived the hopelessness of so unseasonable
an assault upon the city, he was yet unwilling to remain inactive.
Moreover, Acadia lay close by, and the stronghold of Port Royal
challenged his arms. He determined on its subjection. The brave
highspirited Subercase[21] was commandant of the town, and although
his garrison was ill-provisioned and almost destitute of ammunition,
the fort was defended with the utmost boldness against the
overwhelming force of the besiegers. Subercase saw the hopelessness of
his situation from the first, but in the end his invincible courage
secured an honourable capitulation, and, with a pomp and circumstance
contrasting strangely with their starved faces and ragged uniforms,
the little garrison of Port Royal marched proudly out of the fort.
Nicholson took possession of the stronghold and changed its name to
Annapolis in honour of the British sovereign. So fell the first of
these fortresses, which were the counters in that long game played on
the chess-board of a continent.

The capture of Port Royal strengthened the determination of the
English colonists to drive the French out of Canada by destroying
their grim stronghold upon the St. Lawrence. The home government fell
in readily with the project, and despatched seven regiments of the
line, fresh from Marlborough's campaigns, together with a fleet of
fifteen warships under Admiral Sir Hovenden Walker. This powerful
auxiliary to the strength of the colonies arrived duly at Boston,
where the details of the invasion of Canada were arranged; and when
at length all was ready, the English admiral sailed from Boston for
the St. Lawrence, Nicholson at the same time setting out overland for
Montreal with a force of twelve thousand men.

[Footnote 21: This was the officer who, years before, had striven to
rescue the victims of the massacre of Lachine.]

In the meanwhile Vaudreuil had succeeded De Callières as Governor at
Quebec, a post which long military experience in Canada fitted him to
hold in the warfare now enveloping New France. At this time the total
population of the country was not much more than fifteen thousand
souls, and of fighting men--those whose ages ranged from fifteen years
to sixty--Montreal possessed twelve hundred, Three Rivers four
hundred, and the district of Quebec twenty-two hundred. On the other
hand, the population of the New England colonies was something over
one hundred thousand, the colony of New York alone twice outnumbering
New France.

Such disparity in the populations of the warring colonies was,
however, somewhat discounted by another consideration; for while the
power of New France was well organised and capable of skilful
direction, the English colonists could carry out no enterprise with
the undisciplined soldiery at their disposal. This explains why the
French were able to survive for more than half a century the attacks
of antagonists richer, more numerous, and not less valorous than
themselves. It further shows why, throughout their continuous border
warfare, the more audacious and better-trained soldiery of New France
triumphed so often over the raw levies of Connecticut and New York.

    *    *    *    *    *

Sir Hovenden Walker's armada set sail from Boston harbour on the 30th
of July, 1711, fore-doomed, through the incapacity of its leader, to
the most ignominious failure yet befalling any expedition against
Quebec. By reason of his former mission to Canada, Colonel Vetch had
been commanded to accompany the fleet, and his _Journal of a Voyage
Designed to Quebec_ furnishes the mournful details of this ill-fated

By the Admiral's direction, Vetch was on board the _Sapphire_, the
smallest of the frigates, with orders to pick out the safe channel for
the rest of the fleet; and although but a landsman, he did his best to
act as a pilot. All went well until they reached the wide mouth of the
St. Lawrence. There, instead of depending upon one of the smaller
ships to lead the way, the Admiral imprudently sailed with his
flag-ship in the van. By a singular want of judgment, moreover, he
chose to follow the channel north of the Island of Anticosti.

In the fairest of weathers this reef-strewn passage is full of peril,
and a dense fog enveloped the fleet on that disastrous August evening.
Although advised to anchor until the fog should lift, the Admiral
scoffed at fear. Driven by a whistling wind, the ships of the line
leaped forward, shaping a course north-north-west, until suddenly the
sound of breakers burst upon them; and as if in relentless mockery,
the rising moon lit up the angry reefs of Egg Island. Helms were put
hard down, and the Admiral's vessel swung round to the wind; but eight
of the tall battleships were too late to avoid their doom. Eight
hundred and eighty-four persons were drowned, thirty-four of these
being women.

A council of war was held three days later, but instead of pressing on
up the river with the rest of the ships, Sir Hovenden Walker and
Brigadier Hill,[22] the commander of the forces, decided to abandon
the expedition. The _Sapphire_ was despatched to Boston to recall the
land force; and on the shores of Lake Champlain these inglorious
orders overtook the sturdy Nicholson, who regretfully led his column
back to Albany.

Meanwhile, Quebec had awaited this her third siege in a fever of
anxiety. Vaudreuil had disposed a thousand men, under De Ramézay, at
the new stone fort at Chambly to check the invasion by land, and
strengthened the city with all available forces, regular and
irregular. The _habitants_ of the long Côte de Beaupré had hidden
away their goods, and flocked within the walls of the city with all
the provisions they could transport. Prayers for deliverance rose
unceasingly from the altars of the churches and convents, while the
nuns devoted themselves to a nine days' Mass at Notre Dame de Pitié.

[Footnote 22: Brigadier John Hill was the brother of Mrs. Masham,
Queen Anne's favourite, to whom, and not to his merit, he owed his

Upon this anxiety came the tidings of the wreck at Egg Island. Once
more Providence had intervened to save them, and Quebec was delirious
with joy. Every belfry in New France pealed forth its hymn of
thanksgiving. The little church on the Lower Town market-place changed
its name from _Notre Dame de la Victoire_ to _Notre Dame des
Victoires_, and the citizens added a portico in token of their
exultation and gratitude.

    *    *    *    *    *

The Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, which brought the war of the Spanish
succession to a close, deprived France of many of her American
possessions. Chief of these were Acadia, Newfoundland, and the
Hudson's Bay Territory, all of which were now ceded to England. In the
Gulf of St. Lawrence, France retained only the Isle Royale, Isle of
St. John,[23] and the two tiny rocks of St. Pierre and Miquelon. New
France was, however, unwilling to give up her hold on the Atlantic
seaboard, and procured a grant of thirty million francs from the home
government to build the fortress of Louisbourg at the entrance to the
river St. Lawrence. Vauban, the great French engineer, drew the plans
of that vast fortification on the rocky headland of Cape Breton, which
was destined to play so important a part in the final storm then
gathering over the American continent.

[Footnote 23: Now called Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island

In the meantime New France had entered upon a season of unexpected
peace--unexpected because for at least two generations the conflict
with the English colonists had been so continuous that Quebec had
almost come to regard warfare as her normal state. The respite
following upon the Treaty of Utrecht was the more welcome; and in that
breathing space of almost thirty years it seemed as if a real
prosperity had at last visited the St. Lawrence. The cultivation of
flax and hemp and the weaving of cloth, which had been but a feeble
industry since the days of Talon, now assumed real importance. Furs
were still the main resource of the colony; but grain, fish, oil, and
leather also found their way to France in increasing quantities.
Quebec became the centre of a considerable shipping trade, and
sea-going vessels were launched from the stocks on the bank of the
little St. Charles.

Moreover, the energies of the people presently found another and
alluring field. In 1716 a missionary to the Sault Indians discovered
the gensing root, which, as a medical drug, was quoted in European
markets at its weight in silver. At first its price in Quebec was only
forty sols per pound, but when the people saw its value rising to
almost as many _livres_, the rush of searchers to the woods left all
other industries at a standstill. Agriculture furnished a slow road to
wealth by comparison with the hunt of the gensing plant, and Quebec
passed through the fever of a modern gold-rush. Natural and economic
conditions, however, had provided their own remedy; and in time the
glut of the market and the extirpation of the gensing plant sent the
feverish botanists back to their wonted pursuits. Then ensued a period
of peace and quiet progress, of patriotic co-operation of the
officials and the people for the good of the land.

In 1725 the long and beneficent rule of the first Vaudreuil came to an
end, and the Marquis de Beauharnois succeeded to the governorship of
Quebec. The features of this and the succeeding administrations were
the further expansion westward of New France and the construction of
that chain of forts by which she sought finally to fasten her grip
upon the continent. One by one these fortresses rose up in the far
wilderness to hem in the English between the sea and the Alleghanies,
and one by one they were demolished, as England and her colonies
slowly rolled down the curtain on the drama of French dominion in
North America.

Nearer home, also, that is to say, nearer to Quebec, French enterprise
had taken the form of building and manning forts; and as the fate of
these scattered strongholds closely affects the story of Quebec, a
brief outline of their location is here given.

Port Royal had passed for ever out of French hands, and to take its
place the giant bastions of Louisbourg had risen on a ridge of rock
which made one arm of Gabarus Bay. On the river Missaguash, which the
French claimed to mark the northern boundary of English Acadia, stood
Fort Beauséjour. Chambly, Sorel, and St. Thérèse, on the Richelieu,
were Indian forts of old foundation; and as a further defence against
the English, Beauharnois built Crown Point at the narrows of Lake
Champlain. The stronghold of Carillon was situated a few miles beyond.
On the Alleghany river, Forts Venango and Le Boeuf barred the westward
growth of Pennsylvania; and Fort Duquesne, begun as an English fort by
the Ohio Company, guarded the junction of the Alleghany and the
Monongahela. Fort Niagara, near one end of Lake Ontario, and Fort
Frontenac at the other, were also to figure in the closing stages of
the conflict.

The exploit of the Sieur de la Vérendrye, which marked this period,
was perhaps the most picturesque achievement Quebec had witnessed
since the days of La Salle. In the spring of 1731, La Vérendrye, with
his three sons and a handful of adventurous _coureurs de bois_, set
off from the trading post of Michillimackinac to take possession of
the West. By a long succession of paddles and portages. La Vérendrye
came to the Lake of the Woods. Then, threading his way through its
myriad islands, he found and followed a wild stream which bore him
down to Lake Winnipeg. From here he passed into the Red River, and at
its junction with the Assiniboine built Fort Rouge. From this base the
bold explorers made their way as far north as the forks of the
Saskatchewan; and by 1743 the distant peaks of the Rocky Mountains had
rewarded the vision of a younger La Vérendrye. To no avail: for this
wide dominion was destined to pass to hands firmer to hold, if slower
to acquire.

[Illustration: The Earl of Chatham from the collection in the
possession of Lord Bridport]



The growing power of England, on the sea, in America, and in India,
was only equalled by the increasing jealousy of the Catholic nations
of Europe, and especially of her ancient rival France. The question of
the Austrian succession, in which these two conspicuous opposites
stood for and against Maria Theresa, supplied a pretext for war; yet
it hardly concealed the real purpose of each power to destroy the
other; and the battles of Fontenoy, Nollwitz, and Dettingen, though
fought in the heart of Europe, were as decisive for an Eastern and a
Western empire as was the warfare on the frontiers of India, or the
sullen conflict in the Ohio valley.

Across the Atlantic, France, as usual, dealt the first blow. With a
thousand soldiers from Louisbourg, Du Vivier assailed Annapolis Royal;
but neither by investment nor assault could the French overcome the
small but indomitable garrison; and at length, after weeks of useless
cannonade, the besiegers stole back to their stronghold in Cape
Breton. This gallant repulse of a desperate attempt to regain Acadia
prompted New England to an expedition against the strong fortress of
Louisbourg--the standing menace to peaceful colonial development. Were
it but reduced, the English seaboard would be henceforth free from all
danger of French attack.

Such large considerations fired the English colonists with an
enthusiasm which took little thought for the grave dangers attending
such an enterprise. Excepting the citadel of Quebec itself, there was
no fortress on the American continent to compare in strength with
Louisbourg. Built on a narrow rocky cape which projected out into the
Atlantic, the ocean girded it on three sides, and on the fourth side a
morass made it difficult of approach. A powerful fortification, known
as the Island Battery, protected the mouth of the harbour, and the
guns of Grand Battery frowned over the inner basin. The French
garrison numbered thirteen hundred chosen men. Such was the fortress
which Governor Shirley of Massachusetts planned to destroy, and
against which the daring Pepperell presently threw the ill-trained
levies of New England.

One night, when the citadel of Louisbourg was brilliant with
festivity, the colonists dancing and all unconscious of danger, a
hundred transports from New England entered Gabarus Bay. The citizens
would have held it a foolish dream that any attempt could be made to
capture Louisbourg, but there, in the early morning of April 30th,
1745, Pepperell's army was disembarking before their eyes, and in the
offing Commodore Warren, with four British battleships, stood
blockading the harbour. The bells of the martial little town rang
madly in alarm, and the booming of cannon at once brought the dismayed
citizens to the ramparts.


Without loss of time Pepperell began to make his way across the
marshes lying between his camp and Louisbourg, erecting batteries as
he went to answer the cannonade of the garrison. Each morning saw the
intrepid besiegers closer to the walls, having advanced their
intrenchments under cover of the darkness. A daring assault had
meanwhile carried the grand battery, and from a salient post on
Light-house Point Pepperell's guns were soon able to silence the
island redoubt at the mouth of the harbour. The battle swayed from
side to side as the desperate garrison made a sortie, or the besiegers
impetuously rushed to the attack. But even the walls of Louisbourg
could not for long withstand that furious and ceaseless cannonade,
which shattered the heaviest bastions; and when the gallant fort could
hold out no longer, a white flag fluttered from the broken ramparts,
and the brave Duchambon, his veteran garrison decimated, marched out
with the honours of war.

The loss of Louisbourg was the severest blow yet sustained by New
France, and without delay a powerful expedition was organised to
recapture the fortress and take revenge upon the enemy. No such
formidable and menacing armada had ever left the shores of France as
now sailed out of Rochelle, under command of the Duc d'Anville.
Thirty-nine ships of the line convoyed transports bearing a veteran
army westward; and the English colonists trembled for its coming.
However, the advance tidings of this terrible flotilla were all that
reached the New World; for hardly had D'Anville lost sight of the
French coast before two of his ships fell a prey to British gunboats,
and a succession of storms scattered the rest in all directions.

At length, after weeks of delay, the surviving vessels struggled one
by one into the harbour of Chedabucto. In deadly dejection, D'Anville
had succumbed to apoplexy; moreover, his successor, the Admiral
D'Estournelle, had committed suicide; and the new commander was
La Jonquière, a distinguished naval officer, then on his way to
Quebec to assume the office of Governor-General. His sorry fleet
notwithstanding, La Jonquière decided to strike a blow at Annapolis.
Thither he shaped his course; but again a violent storm overtook them
on the way, and the ships, unable to weather the tempest, steered
straight for France once more.

Even in the face of these dark disasters France was unwilling to
abandon Louisbourg, and in 1747 another powerful naval force under La
Jonquière set out for Acadia. Like its magnificent but hapless
predecessor, this fleet had hardly cleared the Bay of Biscay before it
came to grief. Falling in with a British squadron under Admiral Anson
off Cape Finisterre, it was almost totally destroyed.

In other quarters, however, France had received amends from fortune,
and in the following year the European powers signed the Treaty of
Aix-la-Chapelle, Louisbourg being restored to France in exchange for
the Indian province of Madras, which had passed from English hands
during the war. To New England, whose blood and valour had achieved
the demolition of the frowning fortress, this restitution was a
sorrowful blow. But only ten years were to pass before this menace was
removed for ever.

La Jonquière, Governor-designate of Quebec, had been taken prisoner at
the naval battle of Finisterre; and, pending his release, the Marquis
de la Galissonière presided over the fortunes, or misfortunes, of New
France. The indefiniteness of the western boundary between French and
English territory was perhaps the chief source of his perplexity; and
to put an end to persistent English encroachments in the valley of the
Ohio, Galissonière sent Céloron de Bienville, a colonial captain, to
establish a formal boundary line. This expedition nominally
accomplished its purpose; but, judging from the report submitted to
the Governor of Quebec, its chief result was a painful revelation. It
was shown that, in spite of an expensive chain of fortified posts, the
great West was fast slipping from the martial grasp of New France, and
passing under the stronger influence of English trade. The huge,
unwieldy empire was clearly falling to pieces, and La Jonquière's
arrival in Quebec brought no improvement to the situation. Of high
merit as a naval officer, the new Governor had less distinction in
morals, and he had frankly come to Canada to mend his fortune. His
administration marks the advent of that official robbery which
disgraced Quebec and sapped the remaining vitality of the country.
Though the country had prospered materially under Vaudreuil, the
subsequent war had stopped all progress, and the people were dreaming
of empire when they needed bread.

[Illustration: BIENVILLE
(Governor of Louisiana, 1732)]

To-day, walking down Palace Hill and turning near the bottom into the
Rue St. Vallier, you will find yourself close to the site of the
ancient intendancy, where the official ruin of New France began. Here
it was that François Bigot, the evil genius of Quebec, held corrupt
sway in the guise of a royal minister. Here stood, in mordant comment,
the Palais de Justice, so wickedly profaned by the last of the
intendants. Through several fires and two sieges of later generations
parts of this ancient structure persisted in surviving. Only a few
years ago the heavier timber still hanging together was called "The
King's Wood-yard." But nothing now remains of it, and imagination only
summons the haunting spirit of this creature of La Pompadour, whose
mischievous influence lost Louis XV his colonial empire, and whose
infamies sealed the fate of the Bourbons.

François Bigot arrived at Quebec in 1748, a year in which the fortunes
of New France had reached so low an ebb that nothing but the most
loyal administration might now save her. Even then a strong honest
man might possibly have weathered the storm already lowering over this
New World dominion; but, with pitiable perverseness, every trait in
Bigot's character helped it on to ruin. In private life vain, selfish,
heartless, extravagant to the point of folly; in public life mercenary
and venal beyond shame--such were the characteristics of the man whom
Louis's favourite chose to be civil administrator at Quebec, where the
patriotic faith and labour of a gallant and high-hearted people were
rewarded by plunder, mis-rule, and that neglect which gave them at
last into the hands of the conqueror.

[Illustration: DE BOUGAINVILLE
(General under Montcalm, 1759)]

On his arrival, the Intendant speedily surrounded himself by
sycophants and knaves who joined him in the reckless pursuit of
pleasure, and became ready instruments to further his darker designs.
A man of ability, adroitness, and culture, Bigot might have won public
favour, but his habits instantly estranged the better people of the
colony. The _honnêtes gens_, a party which included the great
Montcalm, the brave Bougainville, La Corne de St. Luc, M. de Lévis,
and M. de Saint-Ours, would have nothing to do with him, and he was
left in the hands of servile flatterers, ready enough to serve him.
Deschenaux, his _fidus Achates_, was a cobbler's son, whom experience
alone had educated and fate and unscrupulousness had advanced. Cadet,
his commissary-general, was the gross son of a butcher, and had spent
his dissatisfied youth in the pasture-fields of Charlesbourg.
Hughes Péan was the town major of Quebec, but his chief hold on Bigot
lay in the beauty of his wife, the charming Angélique des Meloises.
This woman, whose beauty, wit, and _diablerie_ are a subject of
popular tradition, possessed a fascination which gave her an influence
at the intendancy analogous to that exerted at Versailles by her
notorious contemporary, La Pompadour.

Ruled by this coterie of dark spirits, Quebec became the scene of a
profligacy unparalleled in her history. The Palace, instead of being a
hall of justice, was the abode of debauchery and gambling; and the mad
revellers, whom a cynical fate had placed at the head of affairs,
allowed the ship of state to drift upon the rocks. Even the fine
palace within the city gave too little scope for the diversion of the
Intendant and his confederates, and, accordingly, a rustic château was
built near the high hill of Charlesbourg. Here they paused when tired
of the chase, and the revels of the mysterious _Maison de la Montagne_
added sad but vivid colouring to the closing decade of French rule.
To-day there is an air of pathetic interest about the picturesque ruin
of Château Bigot. The high walls are covered with ivy, and its graded
walks and beds of flowers have disappeared long since. The immense
thickness of the walls has enabled "Beaumanoir" to elude destroying
Time, but only enough now remains to suggest the hapless revels of a
bygone day.

These things, however, are of the private sins of Bigot and his
_entourage_. Their public malefactions were more flagrant. The
Intendant's salary could by no means meet his appalling extravagances,
and he therefore robbed the country and the King by falsifying
official accounts as they passed through his hands. As Intendant it
was his duty to supply the needs of those chains of forts by which
France held her vast dominion; but while he shamelessly neglected
these outposts, he did not fail to debit the royal treasury for
supplies which were never forwarded. In this way he and his intriguing
friends enriched themselves. They presently adopted another and more
contemptible device. Constant hostility towards the British had
deprived the farms of their cultivators, and the supply of wheat was
greatly reduced throughout the colony. Every day the land grew more
distressed, and it was not difficult to foresee a time of famine. Not
far from _Le Palais_ stood a huge building which went by the name of
the King's Storehouse, and the Intendant resolved to fill this with
wheat. He had an ancient precedent in Egyptian history, but his motive
was not that of provident Joseph. Fixing the price of grain by an
edict, and imposing penalties on those who refused to sell, his agents
went through the country gathering up maize and wheat; and when
famine came at length, the starving people flocked to the warehouse in
Lower Town, and were compelled to buy back their grain at exorbitant
prices. They called this warehouse _La Friponne_--the Cheat--and they
cursed the name of Bigot who had so deceived them.


The interesting legend of _Le Chien d'Or_ has its origin in the
mercenary practices of this last Intendant of Quebec. Among the
merchants of the city was one Nicholas Jaquin, _dit_ Philibert, whose
warehouse stood at the top of Mountain Hill, on the site of the
present Post-Office. Philibert was one of the _honnêtes gens_, and he
devoted his wealth and energy to a commercial battle with _La
Friponne_, determined to supply the people with food at low prices.
The enmity between Philibert and the Intendant was common talk, and
over his doorway the merchant had hung, beneath the figure of a dog in
bas-relief, the following whimsical quatrain:--

[Illustration: LE CHIEN D'OR]

    "Je suis un chien qui ronge l'os,
    En le rongeant je prends mon repos;
    Un jour viendra, qui n'est pas venu,
      Que je mordrai qui m'aura mordu."

The bitter conflict continued until Philibert was murdered in the
street. The escape of the assassin was well contrived; but there was
no avoiding the vengeance of Philibert's son, who, after years of
searching, struck down his father's slayer in far-off Pondicherry.

    *    *    *    *    *

Meanwhile the walls and bastions of Louisbourg were rising stronger
than ever upon their old foundations, and the French Acadians, relying
upon the Cape Breton stronghold and the nearer fortress of Beauséjour,
grew more and more restless beneath the English yoke. By founding
Halifax in 1749, England had taken faster hold upon the peninsula, and
through every possible means she had endeavoured to secure the true
allegiance of her Acadian subjects. In spite of all these efforts,
however, Acadia was sown with treason, and when at last disloyalty
became intolerable and dangerous, the innocent as well as the guilty
must reap the harvest of tears and bitterness. There could only be one
end to it all; and however hard the fate, the land of Acadia now
ceased to be the home of its makers, who had been goaded and inveigled
into covert rebellion and treason.

    "This is the forest primeval; but where are the hearts that
       beneath it
    Leaped like the roe, when he hears in the woodland the voice of
       the huntsman?
    Where is the thatch-roofed village, the home of Acadian farmers,
    Men whose lives glided on like rivers that water the woodlands,
    Darkened by shadows of earth, but reflecting an image of heaven?
    Waste are those pleasant farms, and the farmers for ever departed!
    Scattered like dust and leaves, when the mighty blasts of October
    Seize them, and whirl them aloft, and sprinkle them far o'er the
    Nought but tradition remains of the beautiful village of Grand Pré."

So sang Longfellow in his sorrowful tale of _Evangeline_; and the cold
page of history is hardly less mournful.

The 5th of September, 1755, was a day memorable alike to the Acadians
and to those whose bitter duty it was to carry out King George's
orders for their expulsion from the peninsula. At three o'clock in the
afternoon the peasants of Grand Pré, Piziquid, Chipody, and the other
parishes assembled in their chapels to listen to a royal proclamation
declaring their lands and houses forfeited to the Crown, and
themselves condemned to exile. The scenes following this unexpected
order wrung the hearts of the rugged soldiers who were sent to execute
the sentence. Reluctantly and forbearingly they carried out the royal
command, and soon six thousand Acadians, who had persistently refused
allegiance to the English in the vain belief that New France would
regain the peninsula, found themselves transported to the English
colonies farther south. Those who swore allegiance were left
undisturbed; while many, escaping both deportation and the oath of
subjection, fled to Quebec. These were doomed, however, to misery far
greater than that of their comrades who were set down as strangers
among the English colonists. Quebec, which had fomented and abetted
their treason, now declined to share the burden of their misfortune.

The years of Bigot's _régime_ were the lean years of the city, and
this influx of a thousand new starvelings was a most unwelcome
addition to the population. Yet even the unfavourable circumstances of
the time cannot justify the official neglect and the cruel
inhospitality with which the miserable exiles were received in the
capital of New France. "In vain," says a chronicler, "they asked that
the promises they had received should be kept, and they pleaded the
sacrifices they had made for France. All was useless. The former
necessity for their services had passed away. They were looked upon as
a troublesome people, and if they received assistance they were made
to feel that it was only granted out of pity. They were almost reduced
to die of famine. The little food they obtained, its bad quality,
their natural want of cleanliness, their grief, and their idleness
caused the death of many. They were forced to eat boiled leather
during the greater part of the winter, and to wait for spring in the
hope that their condition would be bettered. On this point they were

"To supplement a miserable daily ration of four ounces of bread and
horseflesh," says another writer, "they were obliged to seek scraps
in the gutters; and those who survived starvation were brought low
with a virulent smallpox, which carried off whole families in its
loathsome tumbril."

[Footnote 24: Archives of Nova Scotia.]

    *    *    *    *    *

In the meantime, a series of events had happened in the Ohio valley
which set the New World on fire. Céloron de Bienville had indeed
staked out his boundary line, but the new Governor of Quebec, the
Marquis Duquesne, saw clearly that a line of bayonets was the only
limit which English expansionists would respect. Accordingly, a strong
French force marched into the troublesome valley, and established
themselves at a new post called Fort Le Boeuf.

The report of this incursion was evil news for Governor Dinwiddie of
Virginia, the most diligent and watchful of the thirteen governors of
the English colonies. Having never ceased to regard Lake Erie as a
northern boundary of British territory, this latest invasion on the
part of the French was to him beyond endurance, and he forthwith
despatched the Adjutant-General of the Virginia Militia to deliver
England's protest to the French commander. The messenger was a tall
handsome youth of twenty-one, and the message was the first important
commission of George Washington.

[Illustration: Plan of the

(Paymaster of Wolfe's Forces)]

In spite of the studied courtesy of his reception by Legardeur de
Saint-Pierre, the English envoy saw the hopelessness of his errand,
and hastened back to Williamsburg with his report. Dinwiddie thereupon
resolved to meet force with force. Although he scarcely persuaded the
disunited colonies to take a serious view of the French invasion, he
was presently able to send George Washington back again into the Ohio
valley at the head of a company of regulars and three hundred
soldiers of the Old Dominion.

Meanwhile the French had seized an English trading-post at the
junction of the Ohio and Monongahela rivers, and named it Fort
Duquesne. This post was Washington's immediate objective, and as he
approached it his advance-guard met a French reconnoitring party under
Jumonville, sent, it is alleged, by the commandant of Fort Duquesne to
warn the Virginians off French soil. The precise purpose served by
this handful of Frenchmen has never, however, been fully determined.
Jumonville's movements are certainly hard to reconcile with the theory
of a peaceful mission, and to Major Washington they certainly appeared
hostile. In the sharp fight which followed, Jumonville and nine others
were killed, while of the remaining twenty-three only one escaped. By
the English, the affair was described as a successful skirmish, by the
French as the "_Assassinat de Jumonville_"; for all it meant
precipitation of the death-struggle for North America.

Anticipating the French attack, Washington fell back upon Great
Meadows, and the hasty and inadequate intrenchments which he there
threw up received the name of Fort Necessity. Here he awaited an
assault with a short supply of ammunition and almost no provisions.
Nor was his patience long tried; for nine hundred Frenchmen under
Coulon de Villiers, brother of the unfortunate Jumonville, were
already marching against him through the woods. Wishing to entice them
to an immediate attack, Washington had arrayed his men on the open
meadow before the fort; but as his opponent declined to be drawn from
the cover of the surrounding hills, the Virginians also took shelter
in their shallow intrenchments. A blind fusillade now began in
torrents of rain and was maintained for nine hours, punctuated by the
booming of a few light swivel guns upon the ramparts.

At nightfall, however, the French proposed a parley, and having
weighed the chances of his little army against such overwhelming
numbers, Washington agreed to capitulate. Next day the English marched
out of Fort Necessity with beating drums and flying colours; but
heart-sick and weary they toiled back over the mountains to Virginia,
leaving the valley of the Ohio in the full possession of the enemy.
Moreover, the defeat at Fort Necessity was a double blow, for it threw
the fickle Indians back into the arms of the French, a consideration
of great weight in border warfare.

In Europe the rival powers were still maintaining the semblance of
peace, while yet secretly abetting the open enmity of their American
colonies. The despatch of Major-General Braddock with two regiments
of the line, although accounted for by the lips of diplomacy, was,
with equally pacific assurances, promptly checkmated by France.
Eighteen ships of war, carrying the six battalions of La Reine,
Bourgogne, Languedoc, Guienne, Artois, and Béarn, and convoyed by an
auxiliary squadron of nine battleships, were hurried off to New France
under the joint command of Baron Dieskau and the Marquis de Vaudreuil,
the new Governor of Quebec. As in the case of former expeditions on so
large a scale, some of the vessels failed to reach their destination,
and two frigates fell into the hands of Admiral Boscawen, who had
secret orders to intercept this French flotilla.

Braddock and his thousand regulars were now regarded as the salvation
of the English colonies, whose representatives had at last agreed upon
a scheme for defending their frontiers. The English general, it was
decided, should destroy Fort Duquesne, Governor Shirley attacking the
French fort of Niagara; while Colonel William Johnson, a settler of
the Upper Hudson, and chiefly remarkable for his influence with the
Mohawks, was to proceed against Crown Point. None of these intentions
was fulfilled in its entirety, although Johnson, in the course of his
operations in the district of Lake Champlain, was able to inflict a
crushing defeat upon the French under Dieskau, and on the scene of
his triumph to erect Fort William Henry.

(Raised first English flag over Quebec, 1759)]

The feature of the summer campaign of 1755 was, however, the fate of
Braddock and his column. Setting out from Fort Cumberland on the
Potomac, the English General made his way north-westward at the head
of twenty-two hundred men, four hundred and fifty of these being
veteran Virginians under the command of Colonel George Washington. But
the overweening Braddock considered these raw colonials to be the
least effective of his troops. From the first the progress of this
imposing force was painfully slow. "Instead of pushing on with vigour
without regarding a little rough road," writes George Washington, "we
were halted to level every mole-hill, and compelled to erect bridges
over every brook, by which means we were four days in getting twelve
miles." Declining colonial advice, Braddock preferred to regulate his
motions by the text-book of war; and as he knew nothing of the country
through which he made his way, and still less of the tactics of his
foe, the sequel was almost inevitable.

       "It was the 10th of June," says Parkman, "before the army
   was well on its march. Three hundred axemen led the way,
   to cut and clear the road; and the long train of
   pack-horses, waggons, and cannon toiled on behind, over
   the stumps, roots, and stones of the narrow track, the
   regulars and provincials marching in the forest close on
   either side. Squads of men were thrown out on the flanks,
   and scouts ranged the woods to guard against surprise;
   for, with all his scorn of Indians and Canadians,
   Braddock did not neglect reasonable precautions. Thus,
   foot by foot, they advanced into the waste of lonely
   mountains that divided the streams flowing into the
   Atlantic from those flowing into the Gulf of Mexico--a
   realm of forests ancient as the world. The road was but
   twelve feet wide, and the line of march often extended
   four miles. It was like a thin, long, parti-coloured
   snake, red, blue, and brown, trailing slowly through the
   depth of leaves, creeping round inaccessible heights,
   crawling over ridges, moving always in dampness and
   shadow, by rivulets and waterfalls, crags and chasms,
   gorges and shaggy steeps. In glimpses only, through
   jagged boughs and flickering leaves, did this wild
   primeval world reveal itself, with its dark green
   mountains, flecked with the morning mist, and its distant
   peaks pencilled in dreamy blue. The army passed the main
   Alleghany, Meadow Mountain, and traversed the funereal
   pine-forest afterwards called the Shadows of Death."[25]

Meanwhile, French scouts had brought news of the approaching column,
and Beaujeu, an officer at Fort Duquesne, conceiving the idea of
attacking Braddock as he came up a deep wooded ravine lying about
eight miles from the fort, repaired thither with a force of nine
hundred men, including French regulars, Canadians, and Indians.

The English troops toiled on, and when the defenceless vanguard was
well advanced up the pass, Beaujeu gave the signal which sent down a
hail of deadly bullets upon them. Still the redcoats held their
ground bravely, firing steady volleys against the hidden foe. By this
time the main army also had entered the pass, only to be thrown into
instant confusion, their solid ranks offering a target to the French
sharpshooters. Bewildered by the converging fire, the column huddled
together at the bottom of the pass, while the bullets mowed them down
pitilessly. The brave but headstrong general exhorted them to preserve
the order of their ranks, and when they would have fled in terror, he
beat them back into line with his own sword. The Virginians alone knew
how to avert a massacre, and spreading out quickly into skirmish
order, they took cover behind the trees and rocks to meet their wily
foe on even terms. But the brave and stubborn Braddock was blind to so
obvious an expedient, and with oaths he ordered the irregulars back
into the death-line.

[Footnote 25: Parkman, _Montcalm and Wolfe_, vol. i. chap. vii.]

All the long July afternoon the carnage continued. Four horses fell
dead beneath the indomitable General, and two were killed under the
gallant Washington who, with his Virginian rangers, covered the
retreat of Braddock's miserable remnant when at last they resolved on
flight. Only six hundred escaped out of that fatal valley, while the
General himself, in spite of his command that they should leave him
where he fell, was borne away fatally wounded in the lungs.

So ended the summer campaign of 1755; and even Johnson's brilliant
success at Fort William Henry could not offset the terrible disaster
which had befallen British arms in the valley of the Ohio.



For all its sombre background bright threads run through the warp and
woof of the _ancien régime_. From Normandy, Brittany, and Perche they
came, these simple folk of the St. Lawrence, to brave the dangers of
an unknown world and wrestle with primeval nature for a livelihood. If
their hands were empty their hearts were full, Gallic optimism and
child-like faith in their patron saints bringing them through untold
misfortunes with a prayer or a song upon their lips. The savage Indian
with his reeking tomahawk might break through and steal, the moth and
rust of evil administration might wear away the fortunes of New
France, yet the _habitant_ ever found joy in labour and made light of
hard circumstance.

[Illustration: THE CITY OF QUEBEC IN 1759]

In every language there is a pensive attraction in the words "the good
old days"; and even to-day the phrase brings a tear to the eye of the
French Canadian as his mind dwells on the time before the Conquest;
for while conscious of his growth in freedom and wealth, the
sentiment for past days and vanished glory obscures in his mind the
thought of these material blessings. Spirits of the _ancien régime_
still haunt the dreamy firesides of the Province, yet their presence
does not impair the loyalty of these adopted sons of Britain.

[Illustration: BARON GRANT
(Whose family represents the Barony of Longueil, the only existing
French Canadian Barony of the old _régime_)]

When Wolfe came to Quebec, the flight of a century and a half had
transformed Champlain's "Habitation" and its clustering huts into the
strongest and fairest city of the New World. Churches, convents, and
schools huddled together, and composed a varied picture upon the
uneven summit of a towering rock; cannon thrust their black muzzles
through the girdling walls of stone; and the bastioned citadel rose
over all, commanding the river, the city, and the graceful country
rolling inland from high Cape Diamond.

Sunshine reflected from the spires and towers of the town made a
beacon of hope to the peasant as he laboured on the seigneuries
leagues and leagues away. Far down the Côte de Beaupré, beyond the
Mont Ste. Anne, from the rich farms of Orleans, and across on the Lévi
shore, the glistening light on the city roofs by day, and at night the
twinkling candles in the windows, were as guiding stars to these
children in the wilderness. Twice in the early days, so their folklore
told them, miraculous intervention had saved their city from the
invader; and was she not impregnable still? And as he gazed happily
across the uplands towards his Mecca, the _habitant_ could conceive of
no power which might prevail against her stony ramparts. To this day
the emblems of their faith abound, scattered along the wayside; and
here and there a little wooden cross, set on with two or three rough
steps, invites the wayfarer to pause and pray. Bareheaded, the pilgrim
waits before the holy symbol to whisper an _Ave_ or to tell his beads.
Rough bushmen cease from riot and laughter, and touch their caps as
they pass. All down the côtes, these casual shrines exhort the simple
peasant to his twofold duty--to God and to his neighbour. Throughout
the river parishes the size and richness of the churches contrasts
strangely with the poverty of the rough-cast cottages, revealing the
devout spirit of the villagers, to whom the church stands before all

(Of the sole remaining Barony of the old _régime_)]

Seven leagues below the city of Quebec is the greatest of all these
shrines, _L'Église de la bonne Ste. Anne._ In the foreground, the wide
bosom of the St. Lawrence stretches across to the Isle of Orleans,
while Mont Ste. Anne rises in graceful lines upon the flank, making a
green background for the stone Basilica, which draws nearly two
hundred thousand pilgrims every year to its healing altars. Perhaps,
as you enter the village, the rich chimes of Ste. Anne are ringing a
processional, and the cripples are thronging through the pillared
vestibule. Some of these pious sufferers have come a thousand miles to
wait, like those in days of old, for the moving of the waters. Inside
the church, the pillars are covered with cast-off crutches, which
faithful pilgrims leave behind when they go forth healed.

The history of the shrine of Ste. Anne de Beaupré goes back almost to
the time of Champlain. A traditional account of its foundation relates
that some Breton mariners, being overtaken by a violent storm on the
St. Lawrence, vowed a sanctuary to Ste. Anne if she would but bring
them safe to shore. Their prayers were heard, and forthwith they
raised a little wooden chapel at Petit-Cap, seven leagues below
Quebec. History, however, gives 1658 as the date of the first chapel
of Ste. Anne; and it was while engaged in its construction that Louis
Guimont became the subject of the first miraculous cure. Other cures
rapidly followed, and soon the shrine became renowned for its
miracles. The Marquis de Tracy made two pilgrimages; and Anne of
Austria, the mother of Louis XIV. accorded her patronage, sending to
the little chapel a vestment embroidered by herself.


During two and a half centuries the church of Ste. Anne has been
several times rebuilt. The present imposing structure dates from 1886,
and has been raised by the Pope to the rank of a Basilica Minor.
Beaupré has become the Lourdes of the New World, where the halt, the
maimed, the sick, and the blind piously contend together in effort to
reach the healing shrine.

In the old days once or twice a week, according to the season and the
distance of the city, the peasant made his way to Quebec, to take up
his stand on the market-place, and sell his produce to the
townspeople. The practice still survives, and on a Saturday half the
women of Upper Town busily drive their bargains outside St. John's
Gate, while at the river's brink Champlain Market is equally alive.

When the ancient Seigneur came to town his sword was upon his thigh,
and he wore his smartest toilet of peruke, velvet, and lace. The
Château upon the cliff was his Versailles, and hither came the quality
of the district to pay their court and attend the receptions of the
Governor. The Seigneur's wife was gowned according to the latest
intelligence from Paris, with _coiffe poudre_, court-plaster, ribbons,
and fan. She could curtsey with fine grace and dance the stately
minuet; and her sprightly conversation was the amazement of those
visitors who have recorded their impressions of Quebec. La Potherie,
in 1698, and Charlevoix, in 1720, both remarked upon the purity of the
French language as spoken in these _salons_ of the far-distant West.

In spite of clerical anathema, the first ball in Canada was given at
Fort St. Louis as early as 1646, and from that time forward social
life at Quebec steadily progressed. The Marquis de Tracy with his
suite of nobles and the regiment of Carignan-Salières brought unwonted
lustre to the remote court; and when a native order of noblesse was
founded a few years later, the Château on the St. Lawrence reflected
the elegance and gaiety of France itself.

[Illustration: NEW ST. JOHN'S GATE]

The account of Madame de Vaudreuil's reception at Versailles in 1709,
or the Duc de Saint-Simon's comment upon that lady's wit and
deportment, affords a high certificate of the _savoir vivre_ of the
old fortress town; and the letters of the Marquis de Montcalm, keen
connoisseur of social arts, show that the drawing-rooms of the Rue du
Parloir were far from uncongenial. Moreover, the fascinating Angélique
des Meloises was something more in the history of New France than the
prototype of the heroine in _Le Chien d'Or_.

Towards the close of the French period Quebec had a population of
about seven thousand, of whom more than half lived in the Lower Town.
Here, on the narrow strand beneath the cliff, the tenements stood in
irregular groups, parted by winding streets. Up the hill, too, these
tortuous pathways ran, changing, now and then, to breakneck stairs
where the declivity was specially steep. The graded slope of Mountain
Street zigzagged from the harbour up to the Castle, while on the St.
Charles side the ascent was commonly made by way of Palace Hill. The
Upper Town was chiefly occupied by public buildings, which comprised
the Château, the Cathedral, churches, schools, and convents. Here also
the streets followed no definite plan, but ambled hither and thither
along the uneven summit. Out through the city gates ran the roads of
St. Louis and St. John, highways to the straggling suburbs, which yet
hung close to the protecting ramparts.


The houses were built of wood or of grey stone, usually to the height
of one story, being also surmounted by a tall, steep roof, through
which the tiny dormer windows peeped in picturesque disorder. Inside,
a slight partition divided the dwelling into two chambers. In the end
of the living-room stood a large open fireplace, the household
cooking-pots swinging from an iron crane. A sturdy table occupied the
centre of the floor, and benches or blocks of wood were ranged as
chairs around the walls. The inevitable cradle, consecrated to the
service of two, three, or four generations, pounded monotonously to
and fro upon the uneven floor, and by the low-set window the thrifty
housewife wove her flaxen homespun in a venerable loom. Saints, in
pictures of fervid tints, looked down serenely from low, unplastered
walls, while from the rafters of the ceiling were hung the weapons of
the family arsenal--flint-lock muskets and hilted hunting-knives, and
sometimes too an ancestral sword or silver-handled pistol.

[Illustration: OLD PRESCOTT GATE]

In the matter of dress, social distinctions were punctiliously
regarded. The _gentilhomme_ was as careful as his wife to follow the
latest vogue at Versailles. His hair was curled, powdered, and tied in
a _queue_, his headgear was the ceremonious three-cornered hat. A
stately, coloured frockcoat, an embroidered waistcoat, knee-breeches,
silk stockings, and high-heeled buckled shoes completed the toilette
of the Canadian seigneur.

   "The dress of the _Habitants_," says an observer of a
   much later date than Saint-Simon or Montcalm,[26] "is
   simple and homely; it consists of a long-skirted cloth or
   frock, of a dark grey colour, with a hood attached to it,
   which in winter time or wet weather he puts over his
   head. His coat is tied round the waist by a worsted sash
   of various colours, ornamented with beads. His waistcoat
   and trousers are of the same cloth. A pair of moccasins,
   or swamp boots, complete the lower part of his dress. His
   hair is tied in a thick long _queue_ behind, with an
   eelskin; and on each side of his face a few straight
   locks hang down like what are vulgarly called 'rat's
   tails.' Upon his head is a _bonnet rouge_, or in other
   words, a red night-cap. The _tout ensemble_ of his figure
   is completed by a short pipe, which he has in his mouth
   from morning till night. A Dutchman is not a greater
   smoker than a French Canadian.

   "The visage of the _Habitant_ is long and thin, his
   complexion sunburnt and swarthy, and not unfrequently of
   a darker hue than that of the Indian. His eyes, though
   rather small, are dark and lively; his nose prominent,
   and inclined to the aquiline or Roman form; his cheeks
   lank and meagre; his lips small and thin; his chin sharp
   and projecting."

[Footnote 26: Lambert, _Travels_, vol i. p. 158.]

In winter, rich and poor alike were wrapped in homespun blanket
_paletots_, whose vivid colours made a charming picture, as the
wayfarers trudged over the deep white snow-fields on their buoyant
snow-shoes, or coasted through the clear and bracing air on swift
toboggans. In the evening they flocked to a chosen _rendezvous_, where
a home-bred violinist tuned them through gay quadrilles; and anon the
lonely violin would be drowned in the lusty voices of the dancers, who
suited a folk-song to their steps--

    "Malbrouck s'en va-t-en guerre,
    Mironton, mironton, mirontaine;
    Malbrouck s'en va-t-en guerre,
    Ne sait quand reviendra.
    Il reviendra z-à Pâques
    Ou à la Trinité.
    La Trinité se passe,
        Malbrouck ne revient pas."

Moreover, winter, the idle half of the year, was the season of social
visits; and in these courtesies the _habitants_ were assiduous.
Between Christmas and Ash Wednesday they strove, it would seem, to
fill themselves with gaiety against the coming grey season of Lent. An
unbidden throng of visitors would drive to a selected house, and sheer
bankruptcy would indeed have been the housewife's portion if this
welcome invasion had been wholly unexpected; but to meet such an
emergency cooked meats and pies stood ready upon her pantry shelves,
while _croquignoles_ and sweet pasties needed only a few moments in
the oven before a meal was ready. Thus during the days of snow they
went gaily from homestead to homestead, all being victimised in turn
by these "surprise parties." For _la haute noblesse_ also, the winter
season was the gayest of the year. Their quaint carrioles sped
jingling over the snow from one manor-house to another; here a
dinner-party, there a dance, and everywhere a frugal happiness.

[Illustration: A CARRIOLE]


In _Les Anciens Canadiens_ De Gaspé portrays the life of this
seigneurial class to which he himself belonged. The manor-house was
usually a long, low, stone-built structure, surmounted by overhanging
gables and a lofty roof. A wing was sometimes added at right angles,
and always a group of strongly-built outhouses, stables, and sheds
clustered near by; among them standing a stone mill which had perhaps
served as a tower of refuge in the troublous times of the Iroquois
raids, but which the _censitaires_ now used merely to grind their
grain. If the Seigneur was possessed of power to execute high, middle,
and low justice, a gallows and a pillory might be found within the
precincts; but towards the close of the _ancien régime_ these crude
implements of punishment had happily fallen into disuse. The parish
church was never far away, the Seigneur being at all times the patron
of the _presbytère_, as well as the potent bulwark of the feudal
village springing up within sight of his manor-house.

These country mansions were much the same as those of Quebec, and
there was little difference in the manner of living within and without
the city walls. At eight o'clock the _gentilhomme_ and his family
breakfasted on rolls, white wine, and coffee; while dinner was served
at noon, and supper at seven in the evening. The dining-room of a
fashionable household was tastefully arranged. One end of the room was
completely occupied by the massive side-board, filled with ancestral
silver and china. Upon a shelf apart stood cut-glass decanters for the
table service, and as a _coup d'appétit_ cordials were handed round in
the drawing-room. On coming into the dining-room the guest might, if
he chose, rinse his hands in a blue and white porcelain water-basin,
which stood upon a pedestal in one corner of the room. Arrived at the
table, he found his _couvert_ to consist of a napkin, plate, silver
goblet, fork and spoon, being expected to supply his own knife. For
these occasions men usually carried knives in their pockets, the
ladies wearing them in a leathern, silken, or birch-bark sheath. This
peculiar custom caused some embarrassment to those English officers
who were billeted in French houses after the capture of the city.[27]

[Footnote 27: Captain Knox's _Journal of the Siege_.]

The maple sugar season brought to the _habitants_ their first
relaxation from the severities of Lent. Huge caldrons of sap hung on
poles over the roaring fires, and the children gathered round to taste
the syrup, and salute with songs of welcome the coming of jocund
spring. May-day soon followed, "the maddest merriest day" in all the
calendar. In the early morning the _habitant_ repaired to the
seigneury to assist in erecting the May-pole. Almost every one he
knew--man, woman, or child--was there with similar intent. Presently
the tall fir-tree, stripped of its bark, was firmly planted in the
farmyard, and a deputation waited upon the Seigneur to beg his
acceptance of this homage. A fusillade of blank musket shots was now
kept up until the May-pole was thoroughly blackened. This done, the
doors of the manor-house were thrown wide open in welcome; and the
rest of the day was one long banquet. The Seigneur's tables groaned
beneath burdens of roasted veal, mutton, and pork, huge bowls of stew,
pies, and cakes, to which was added white whiskey and tobacco. Songs,
stories, and homely wit sped the day until the banqueters were weak in
flesh and spirit. Baptisms, betrothals, and weddings also were
occasions of feasting; and the long-suffering Seigneur hardly escaped
standing godfather to every child born within seven leagues of the

Even the holy sisters came under the spell of the joyous life in which
they moved; and one of the Ursuline nuns who came to Quebec with
Madame de la Peltrie, thus writes in 1640:--

    "Although confined in a small hole, with insufficient
    air, yet we continue in good health. If in
    France one eat only bacon and salt fish, as we do
    here, one might be ill without a word said; but we
    are well, and sing better than in France. The air is
    excellent, and this is a terrestrial paradise, where the
    difficulties and troubles of life come so lovingly, that
    the more one is piqued, the more one's heart is filled
    with amiability."

Behind all this gaiety, however, brooded the Church; for even in her
lightest moments Quebec never strained far on her sacred leash. From
its foundation as a mission trading-post to its consecration as an
episcopal see, the rock city remained a fortress of the faith. Its
early governors, Champlain, D'Ailleboust, and Montmagny, were monks
military, dividing their services equally between faith and
fatherland. First the Récollets, then the Jesuits, came into spiritual
possession; and later on, episcopal rule succeeded to the influence of
Loyola's disciples. The relative estimation in which these various
orders of the Church were held being illustrated by a Canadian
proverb: "Pour faire un Récollet, il faut une hachette, pour un Prêtre
un ciseau, mais pour un Jesuit, il faut un pinceau."

[Illustration: THE BASILICA]

Thus, and in spite of resistance from D'Argenson, D'Avaugour, and
Frontenac, Quebec had been held fast under a firm ecclesiastical
control. Alternating penance with persuasion, the priests imposed
their will upon the people. Absence from church and confession brought
its sufficient penalty; and the calendar was filled with special days
for prayer and purification. Priests, monks, and nuns crowded the
city, in numbers disproportionate to the lay population. The place was
heavy with the incense of a constant worship--the very atmosphere
redolent of piety. From the unrestrained hands of the early governors,
the administration of justice passed to the _Conseil Supérieur_, a
body comprising the governor, the bishop, the intendant, and a varying
number of councillors. Their code took special account of offences
against religion, sins for which the bishop was careful to exact
proper expiation. The pillory, the stocks, and a certain wooden horse
with a sharp spine were the ready instruments of correction.
Proclamations were made either from the pulpit or read at the
church-door after Mass. Royal edicts and ordinances of the _Conseil
Supérieur_ prescribed the duties of citizens, and stated without
vagueness the penalties which would overtake breakers of the law. Yet
in spite of this apparent harshness, the laws were administered in so
patriarchal a spirit as to justify the observation: "It requires great
interest for a man to be hung in Canada."

The peasants, moreover, were far from rebelling against the
impositions of their seigneurs, which they took as part of the order
of nature; and General Murray, writing after the Conquest, thus bears
testimony to the feeling of good-fellowship prevailing between the two
classes: "The tenants, who pay only an annual quit-rent of about a
dollar a year for about a hundred acres, are at their ease and
comfortable. They have been accustomed to respect and obey their
noblesse; their tenures being military in the feudal manner, they have
shared with them the dangers of the field, and natural affection has
been increased in proportion to the calamities which have been common
to both, from the conquest of the country. As they have been taught to
respect their superiors, and are not yet intoxicated with the abuse
of liberty, they are shocked at the insults which their noblesse and
the King's officers have received from the English traders and lawyers
since the civil government took place."

[Illustration: JESUITS' BARRACKS]

Each householder was responsible for the street before his property,
being compelled to keep it clean of snow and refuse. Innkeepers
required a license, and had to conform to rigid laws. Cattle, pigs,
and sheep were impounded if found straying in the streets, and the
Intendant strictly regulated the possession of live-stock.

The first horse seen in New France had been brought out by the
Governor Montmagny about 1636; but before the end of the century many
more were shipped from Havre, and it was not long before the law began
to regulate this new feature of social life. An ordinance forbade any
_habitant_ to possess more than two mares and one colt. In riding away
from service on Sunday the horseman was forbidden to break into a
canter until he had travelled ten arpents from the church. Private
baptism of children was refused except in cases of absolute necessity.
The order in which the personages of Quebec should receive the
sacrament was precisely established. Roads, bridges, and churches were
built by forced labour. The construction of houses, both as to
material and design, was regulated by law. Builders were required to
conform to a line and face their houses on the highway. Certain
personages, however, claimed exemption from this rule, and to these
was accorded the right--_d'avoir pignon sur rue_--to have the gable on
the street, the purpose being to secure a certain degree of privacy by
means of an entrance away from the public highway.

[Illustration: MODERN CALÈCHES]

As to the law of inheritance, the testator was bound to divide his
estate fairly among all his children, the title and the largest share
going to the eldest son. This legislation, which affected seigneur and
_censitaire_ alike, subdivided the country into ribbon-like farms,
with narrow frontages on the river and running back long distances
inland. This attenuated appearance of the rural holdings strikes the
stranger forcibly as he travels through the province of Quebec even at
this day, and denotes a condition which prevailed in England also in
the most primitive days of agriculture. The system had some
justification, however, in the necessity which each peasant felt of
having access to the St. Lawrence, the most convenient, and, for
nearly a hundred years, the only highway to the city of Quebec.
Moreover, it enabled the settlers to build their houses close
together, thus protecting themselves against the ever-present danger
of Indian raids. Even now the river St. Lawrence looks like a
gigantic road bordered by homely white-washed cottages.

Examples of the quaint laws and customs of the _ancien régime_ might
be multiplied indefinitely; but perhaps enough has already been said
to show the paternalism of the legal system and the medievalism of the
social life which prevailed. Before the Conquest the French Canadian
had nothing whatever to do with the making of his own laws; and so far
from struggling to obtain this right, he preferred to be without it.
The Curé knew all about the laws, and the _habitant_ was willing to
leave the matter to him!

On the whole, if we except the wicked exactions of the Intendant Bigot
and his confederates, Quebec was happily governed. From generation to
generation the light-hearted _habitant_ cheerfully paid his _dîme_ to
the Church, his _cens et rente_ to the Seigneur, his military service
to the Governor. If the call came for a raid upon New England, he took
down his musket and his powder-horn, and set out blithely upon his
snow-shoes for the rendezvous of war; if to rally to the defence of
Quebec, he was equally ready to bury his chattels and take his place
upon the city ramparts, or to withstand a landing on the Beauport

Such were the people who drew from the first British Governor a
generous testimony: "I glory," says General Murray, "in having been
accused of warmth and firmness in protecting the King's Canadian
subjects, and of doing the utmost in my power to gain to my royal
master the affections of that brave, hardy people, whose emigration,
if it should ever happen, would be an irreparable loss to this

[Illustration: QUEBEC (FROM LÉVI)]

So sped life beside the broad St. Lawrence, within and around Quebec.
So flew the days of the _ancien régime_; some sunshine, some shadow,
and always an honest fearless people who served God, honoured the
King, and stood ready to die for New France and the golden lilies.



Realising that even a nominal peace could no longer be maintained,
England threw down the gauntlet in the spring of 1756 by formally
declaring war. Three weeks later France responded to the challenge,
and presently the four corners of the earth were shaken by the most
terrible conflict of the century. England's alliance with Prussia drew
Austria and Russia into the war on the other side; and notwithstanding
the smallness of his kingdom, the military genius of Frederick the
Great was able to hold the three proudest powers of Europe at bay,
while Clive and Wolfe smote off the heads of the triple alliance in
India and North America. The history of Quebec is concerned with only
the latter campaign.

The Marquis de Montcalm, the newly appointed commander of the forces
in Canada, arrived about the middle of May, bringing with him the
Chevalier de Lévis, Bourlamaque, and Bougainville, all of them better
generals than those to whom the fatuous Duke of Newcastle entrusted
the leadership of the English army. Montcalm himself is indeed one of
the most heroic and gallant figures in French Canadian history--the
personage, _par excellence_, of the closing chapter of French

Born at his father's château in Candiac in 1712, he inherited all the
martial impetuosity of the southern noblesse. At fifteen he was an
ensign in the regiment of Hainaut, at seventeen a captain; and, in the
campaigns of Bohemia and Italy, his conspicuous valour won him quick
promotion. At forty-four he was a General, commanding the troops of
Louis XV. in New France. In appearance he was under middle height,
slender, and graceful in movement. Keen clear eyes lighted up a
handsome face, and wit sparkled upon his lips.

The Governor, Vaudreuil, son of a former ruler, was a Canadian by
birth, and accordingly prejudiced against officers who came from
France. A veiled antagonism springing up between himself and Montcalm
was a source of weakness to the French cause in America, and darkened
the closing struggle of the devoted French Canadians to keep the land
for their mother-country.

Montcalm on his arrival at once took stock, so to speak, of his
command. His two battalions of La Sarre and Royal Roussillon added
about twelve hundred men to the troops of the line already in New
France. These, it will be remembered, consisted of the battalions of
Artois and Bourgogne,--now the garrison at Louisbourg,--and the
battalions of La Reine, Languedoc, Guienne, and Béarn, numbering in
all about three thousand men. Besides these, about two thousand
_troupes de la marine_ constituted the permanent military
establishment. Last of all came the militia, nominally made up of all
the male inhabitants of Canada between the ages of sixteen and sixty,
but rarely mustering more than two thousand men. Such was the soldiery
in New France under Montcalm; and to them were added the Indian
allies, whose numbers rose or fell with the fortune of war.

Against a Canadian population of less than seventy thousand, the
English colonies could count more than a million souls; and although
they lacked cohesion, and, indeed, regular military establishment of
any kind, their greater wealth and numbers fore-told the inevitable
result of the struggle. At first the tide of war set against the
English: an event to be expected with Newcastle guiding the ship of
state, and believing in his generals, Loudon, Webb, and Abercrombie,
vain and obtuse military martinets, who fumbled their opportunities,
mismanaged their campaigns, and learned no lessons from their

From Oswego, on the south-east corner of Lake Ontario, the English
had planned to attack Fort Frontenac and Fort Niagara, so cutting off
New France from her western outposts. But Montcalm, with the speed and
energy that marked his character, determined to act upon the
offensive. With three thousand men he hurried to Fort Frontenac, and
crossed the lake under cover of the night. In the morning the garrison
of Oswego found themselves besieged. The cannonade on both sides was
brief but vigorous; but the French fought with greater spirit, their
dash and resource were disconcerting, and presently this, the most
important English stronghold of the west, was compelled to capitulate.
Sixteen hundred prisoners, a hundred pieces of artillery, and a vast
quantity of stores and ammunition fell into the hands of the
triumphant French. Having thus secured the west, Montcalm hurried back
to Lake Champlain, and intrenched himself at Carillon, by this means
to prevent an invasion of Canada by way of the Richelieu. Owing to the
lateness of the season, however, his opponents undertook no new
expedition that year, and waited for the spring.

In 1757 Loudon conceived the idea of attacking Louisbourg, and
accordingly he withdrew his troops to Halifax in order to co-operate
with an English squadron under Admiral Holbourne. Loudon's
incompetency alone would have fore-doomed so hazardous an undertaking;
but once more the elements fought on the side of France, and
Holbourne's fleet was shattered by a storm.

So far Montcalm had maintained a defensive attitude in the Richelieu
valley, but taking advantage of Loudon's diversion towards Louisbourg,
he now resolved upon attacking Fort William Henry, strongly held by
over two thousand English troops. Moving out of his intrenchments at
Carillon, therefore, and supported by Lévis and Bougainville, he
advanced up the valley with six thousand soldiers and over a thousand
Indians. Monro, the British commandant, sharply rejected the summons
to surrender, and Montcalm began the investment of the fort.

Fourteen miles away, General Webb lay encamped at Fort Edward with
twenty-six hundred men, and to him Monro sent for assistance. But the
timorous Webb had no stomach for a fight. Huddling behind his
breastworks, he listened to the booming of the fierce cannonade across
the hills, but made no move to save Fort William Henry. Monro, seeing
himself thus abandoned, his powder gone, his ramparts and bastions
shattered by Montcalm's heavy artillery, at length asked for terms.
Surrendering their arms, the garrison marched out with the honours of
war, drums beating; but they also marched into one of the most
shameful disasters recorded in American history.

[Illustration: DE LÉVIS]

Frenzied by the protracted siege, and burning with vengeance for
their slain in the trenches, the savage allies of the French burst all
restraint and fell upon the disarmed garrison. In vain Montcalm,
Lévis, and Bourlamaque begged, threatened, and even interposed their
own bodies to prevent a massacre. Defenceless men, women, and children
were tomahawked in cold blood, or reserved for more leisurely
torment. Some of the poor fugitives, fleeing at the first war-whoop,
reached Fort Edward through the woods. Four hundred of the captives
were eventually rescued by the French, while the Indians, decamping
after their carnival of blood, carried two hundred wretched victims
back to their lodges. Then followed the work of demolishing Fort
William Henry, and soon its blazing ruins, a funeral pyre for the
slaughtered garrison, lit up the summer night, and cast a lurid flame
soon to kindle the avenging wrath of England.

To these ill-boding events, moreover, the loss of Minorca was now
added, until England at last refused to endure longer the incapacity
of Newcastle, and clamoured for the appointment of Pitt. "England has
long been in labour," commented Frederick of Prussia, "and at last she
has brought forth a man." From that moment the fortune of war was
changed. Corruption and divided counsels no longer paralysed the
government, and the Great Commoner, healthy minded, rugged, and
enthusiastic, now stood to middle-class England as an embodiment of
strength and purpose, which sent new blood coursing through her veins
and braced her for the gathering storm.

To America, where the clouds were darkest, Pitt first turned his
attention. Louisbourg, Carillon, Duquesne, and Quebec must be brought
low, if, as was his purpose, French power was not only to be crushed
but absolutely destroyed. And towards this goal Pitt moved swiftly at
the head of a nation as resolute as himself. Loudon and Webb were
instantly recalled, and Amherst, Wolfe, and Howe were appointed in
their places, the last being ordered to second Abercrombie, whom Pitt
had reluctantly retained in his command.

The years since 1745 had been years of growing strength for
Louisbourg, and in 1758 it almost equalled Quebec itself in
importance. Its capable commandant, the Chevalier de Drucour, counted
four thousand citizens and three thousand men-at-arms for his
garrison; while twelve battleships, mounting five hundred and
forty-four guns, and manned by three thousand sailors and marines,
rode at anchor in the rock-girt harbour, the fortress itself, with its
formidable outworks, containing two hundred and nineteen cannon and
seventeen mortars. Bold men only could essay the capture of such a
fortress, but such were Wolfe, Amherst, and Admiral Boscawen, whose
work it was to do.

The fleet and transports sailed from Halifax, bearing eleven thousand
six hundred men full of spirit and faith in their commanders. All
accessible landing-places at Louisbourg had been fortified by the
French; but in spite of this precaution and a heavy surf, Wolfe's
division gained the beach and carried the redoubts at Freshwater
Cove. A general landing having been thus effected, Wolfe marched round
the flank of the fortress to establish a battery at Light-house Point.
The story may only be outlined here. First the French were forced to
abandon Grand Battery, which frowned over the harbour, then the Island
Battery was silenced. On the forty-third day of the siege, a frigate
in the harbour was fired by shells, and drifting from her moorings,
destroyed two sister ships. Four vessels which had been sunk at the
mouth of the harbour warded Boscawen's fleet from the assault, but did
not prevent six hundred daring blue-jackets from seizing the _Prudent_
and _Bienfaisant_, the two remaining ships of the French squadron.

Meanwhile, zigzag trenches crept closer and closer to the walls, upon
which the heavy artillery now played at short range with deadly
effect. Bombs and grenades hissed over the shattering ramparts and
burst in the crowded streets; roundshot and grape tore their way
through the wooden barracks; while mortars and musketry poured a hail
of shell and bullet upon the brave defenders. Nothing could save
Louisbourg now that Pitt's policy of Thorough had got headway. On the
26th of July a white flag fluttered over the Dauphin's Bastion; and by
midnight of that date Drucour had signed Amherst's terms enjoining
unconditional surrender.

Then the work of demolition commenced. The mighty fortress, which had
cast a dark shadow over New England for almost half a century, "the
Dunkirk of America," must stand no longer as a menace. An army of
workmen laboured for months with pick and spade and blasting-powder
upon those vast fortifications; yet nothing but an upheaval of nature
itself could obliterate all traces of earthwork, ditch, _glacis_, and
casemate, which together made up the frowning fortress of Louisbourg.
To-day grass grows on the Grand Parade, and daisies blow upon the
turf-grown bastions; but who may pick his way over those historic
mounds of earth without a sigh for the buried valour of bygone years!

In the Richelieu valley, meanwhile, the armies of England and France
had met in even fiercer conflict. Montcalm lay intrenched at Carillon
at the head of the battalions of La Sarre, Languedoc, Berry, Royal
Roussillon, La Reine, Béarn, and Guienne, three thousand six hundred
men in all. To this high rocky battlement overlooking Lake Champlain,
the French had hastily added a rugged outwork of felled trees on the
crest of a flanking hill. The ridge thus fortified now looked down
upon a valley stripped of its timber, but covered with rugged stumps
and a maze of stakes and branches, which, while affording no cover for
an enemy, presented insuperable obstacles to his advance.

On came Abercrombie at the head of fifteen thousand men, offering the
most imposing military spectacle yet seen in the New World. They
advanced in three divisions--the regulars in the centre, commanded by
the gallant Lord Howe, and a blue column of provincials on either
flank. To the martial music of their bands or the shrill notes of the
bagpipe they gaily marched through the midsummer woods, the
Forty-Second Highlanders in the van.

As the army drew near to the French position, Lord Howe pressed
forward to reconnoitre the approaches. This young nobleman, although
but thirty-four years of age, had already reached the top of his
profession. Keen and daring, with a hand of steel in a glove of
velvet, and a magnetism that charmed the regular and the provincial
alike, Lord Howe had become the soul of Abercrombie's army; and as he
fell in this engagement, shot through the breast by a skirmisher's
bullet, that army at once declined to its ruin.

Notwithstanding this loss, Abercrombie swept on along the Indian
trail; and when Montcalm looked down from the rough ramparts of
Carillon upon that splendid pageant, all hope of saving his stronghold
was banished. All hope save one. The indiscretion of the English
General might lead him to decide upon assault instead of siege. The
inept Abercrombie did not disappoint him--Carillon was to be taken at
the point of the bayonet!

All day long the fearless battalions of Old and New England hurled
themselves against the fatal breastwork; all day long those steady
columns of British infantry, headed by Campbell's Highlanders,
brilliantly valiant, pressed up the rough _glacis_ under a cross-fire
which swept them front and flank. At night two thousand of
Abercrombie's stubborn soldiery lay dead upon the field. Their
splendid valour had been all in vain against the invisible musketeers
of Montcalm, Lévis, and Bourlamaque.

Among the slain was the brave Duncan Campbell of Inverawe, of whom
Parkman relates the following legend:--

       "The ancient castle of Inverawe stands by the banks of
   the Awe, in the midst of the wild and picturesque scenery
   of the Western Highlands. Late one evening, before the
   middle of the eighteenth century, as the laird, Duncan
   Campbell, sat alone in the hall, there was a loud
   knocking at the gate; and opening it, he saw a stranger,
   with torn clothing and kilt besmeared with blood, who, in
   a breathless voice, begged for asylum. He went on to say
   that he had killed a man in a fray, and that the pursuers
   were at his heels. Campbell promised to shelter him.
   'Swear on your dirk!' said the stranger; and Campbell
   swore. He then led him to a secret recess in the depths
   of the castle.

   "Scarcely was he hidden when again there was a loud
   knocking at the gate, and two armed men appeared. 'Your
   cousin Donald has been murdered, and we are looking for
   the murderer!'

   "Campbell, remembering his oath, professed to have no
   knowledge of the fugitive; and the men went on their way.

   "The laird, in great agitation, lay down to rest in a
   large dark room, when at length he fell asleep. Waking
   suddenly in bewilderment and terror, he saw the ghost of
   the murdered Donald standing by his bedside, and heard a
   hollow voice pronounce the words: '_Inverawe! Inverawe!
   blood has been shed. Shield not the murderer!_'

   "In the morning, Campbell went to the hiding-place of the
   guilty man, and told him that he could harbour him no
   longer. 'You have sworn on your dirk!' he replied; and
   the laird of Inverawe, greatly perplexed and troubled,
   made a compromise between conflicting duties, promised
   not to betray his guest, led him to the neighbouring
   mountain, and hid him in a cave.

   "In the next night, as he lay tossing in feverish
   slumbers, the same stern voice awoke him, the ghost of
   his cousin Donald stood again at his bedside, and again
   he heard the same appalling words: '_Inverawe! Inverawe!
   blood has been shed. Shield not the murderer!_' At the
   break of day he hastened, in strange agitation, to the
   cave; but it was empty, the stranger was gone. At night,
   as he strove in vain to sleep, the vision appeared once
   more, ghastly pale, but less stern of aspect than before.
   '_Farewell, Inverawe!_' it said; '_farewell, till we meet
   at Ticonderoga!_'[28]

   "The strange man dwelt in Campbell's memory. He had
   joined the Black Watch, or Forty-Second Regiment, then
   employed in keeping order in the turbulent Highlands. In
   time he became its major; and a year or two after the war
   broke out he went with it to America. Here, to his
   horror, he learned that it was ordered to the attack of
   Ticonderoga. His story was well known among his brother
   officers. They combined among themselves to disarm his
   fears; and when they reached the fatal spot they told him
   on the eve of the battle, 'This is not Ticonderoga; we
   are not there yet; this is Fort George,' But in the
   morning he came to them with haggard looks. 'I have seen
   him! You have deceived me! He came to my tent last night!
   This is Ticonderoga! I shall die to-day!'

   "And his prediction was fulfilled."[29]

[Footnote 28: Ticonderoga, the Indian name for the fort of Carillon.]

[Footnote 29: Parkman, _Montcalm and Wolfe_, vol. ii., Appendix.]

However magnificent was the triumph of the French arms at Carillon, it
could not balance the loss of Louisbourg; and before the summer of
1758 had ended, the heart of Quebec was wrung with news of further
disasters. Crossing Lake Ontario with a force of three thousand
colonials, Colonel Bradstreet appeared suddenly before Fort Frontenac.
In spite of the abundant store of furs, ammunition, and implements of
war which the lake fort contained, its garrison had been hopelessly
weakened to supply troops for the Richelieu district, and when
surprised by Bradstreet it consisted of but one hundred and ten
soldiers. Without firing a shot, the commandant, De Noyan, surrendered
the position.

This blow cut New France into halves, severing the western forts from
their base of supplies, and effectually destroying what remained of
French influence over the wavering Indian tribes. Meanwhile, General
Forbes, with six thousand men, was marching from Philadelphia to
attack Fort Duquesne. After three months of hardship he arrived at the
junction of the Ohio and Monongahela; but the commandant De Ligneris
had not awaited his coming, and the fort now lay in ashes, having been
destroyed by its own garrison when it became clear that succour could
no longer be expected from Quebec.

Quebec itself, though up to this time beyond the range of actual war,
was in the usual throes of civil discord. If Vaudreuil, the Governor,
had previously been jealous of Montcalm, the recent success achieved
by the latter at Carillon now doubled his resentment. Casting about
for any conceivable point of criticism, Vaudreuil blamed the General
for not turning Abercrombie's retreat into a rout. Regarding this
inspiration, Montcalm writes to Bourlamaque: "I ended by saying
quietly 'that when I went to war I did the best I could; and that when
one is not pleased with one's lieutenants, one had better take the
field in person.' He was very much moved, and muttered between his
teeth that perhaps he would; at which I said that I should be
delighted to serve under him. Madame de Vaudreuil wanted to put in her
word. I said: 'Madame, saving due respect, permit me to have the
honour to say that ladies ought not to talk war.' She kept on. I said:
'Madame, saving due respect, permit me to have the honour to say that
if Madame de Montcalm were here, and heard me talking war with
Monsieur le Marquis de Vaudreuil, she would remain silent.'"

Thus the cloaked strife between the General and the so-called Canadian
party proceeded. Vaudreuil wrote earnestly to the Court to have
Montcalm recalled; while Montcalm, who was not blind to the
malversations of Bigot and his clique, made this matter the burden of
some of his official letters. The result was a rebuke administered to
Vaudreuil and the Intendant, which further heated their feeling
against Montcalm. Bougainville was despatched to France to lay an
account of the dire distress of Canada before the Court. Montcalm's
letters highly commended the envoy, but Vaudreuil as promptly
described him as a creature of the General, and their quarrel did not
help New France at the Royal Court. Berryer, the Colonial Minister,
received Bougainville coldly, and to his appeal for help replied: "Eh,
Monsieur, when the house is on fire one cannot concern one's self with
the stable." But the Canadian envoy responded, with caustic wit, "At
least, Monsieur, nobody will say that you talk like a _horse_."

Berryer's remark, however, exactly described the state of affairs.
Worsted by Clive at Plassey, and by Frederick the Great at Leuthen and
Rossbach, even the loss of Louisbourg, the Forts Duquesne and
Frontenac, could hardly add to France's cup of bitterness, and to save
herself in Europe she was prepared for sacrifice in America. Within
the single twelvemonth during which Pitt had been at the helm of
England, France had altered her pretentious claim upon almost the
whole of North America to the extremely reasonable demand for a
foothold on the river St. Lawrence. Even this last claim was now
assailed; and as she fell back into her last intrenchments, the armies
of England advanced to the final encounter.

[Illustration: GOVERNOR OF NEWFOUNDLAND, 1759]

The general hopelessness of the situation in Canada is reflected in
a letter written by the Minister of War, M. de Belleisle, to Montcalm,
under the date 19th February, 1759: "Besides increasing the dearth of
provisions, it is to be feared that reinforcements, if despatched,
would fall into the power of the English. The King is unable to send
succours proportional to the force the English can place in the field
to oppose you....You must confine yourself to the defensive, and
concentrate all your forces within as narrow limits as possible. It is
of the last importance to preserve some footing in Canada. However
small the territory preserved may be, it is indispensable that _un
pied_ should be retained in North America, for if all be once lost it
would become impossible to recover it."

And Montcalm wrote in reply: "For my part, and that of the troops
under me, we are ready to fall with the colony, and to be buried in
its ruins." And later: "If we are left without a fleet at Quebec, the
enemy can come there; and Quebec taken, the colony is lost....If the
war continues, Canada will belong to the English in course of this
campaign or the next. If peace be made, the colony is lost unless
there be a total change of management." Lévis bore similar testimony
to the discouragement caused to the colonials by the indifferent
attitude of the Government of France. "I see," he wrote, "that it is
necessary to defend ourselves foot by foot, fighting to the death;
for it will be better for the King's service that we should die with
arms in our hands than for us to accept disgraceful terms of surrender
like those permitted at the capitulation of Cape Breton."

The plan of the campaign of 1759 embraced simultaneous attacks upon
Quebec and Montreal. The former was entrusted to Wolfe and Admiral
Saunders, and the latter to Amherst. The French, on their part,
disposed their troops entirely upon the defensive, Montcalm and
Vaudreuil, commanders of the regulars and the militia, concentrating
their soldiers round Quebec; while Bourlamaque, with less than four
thousand men, was despatched to hold the gateway of the Richelieu
against Amherst.

Bourlamaque first took up his position at Carillon, but on the
approach of the English he blew up the walls of his fortress and
retired to Crown Point. Meanwhile the deliberate Amherst marched
slowly forward, building forts as he went, in this mistaken zeal for
military efficiency defeating the purpose of Pitt, which was, to make
a strong diversion for covering Wolfe's movement upon the St.
Lawrence. It was August before he arrived at Crown Point. This
fortress, however, the wily Bourlamaque had previously abandoned for
the stronger position of Isle-aux-Noix, at the outlet of Lake

Even then Amherst refrained from hurrying forward to overwhelm the
French with his superior numbers; and when at length autumn came, he
was still advancing cautiously from Crown Point. But Wolfe no longer
needed his help.



In spite of her strong position, Quebec did not await the arrival of
the enemy with folded hands. Since 1720 walls and bastions of grey
stone had completely girded the city, but within that time no invasion
had tested its strength. Even now, in the midst of the most desperate
war the New World had ever known, Vaudreuil loudly proclaimed that the
fortress was impregnable; and his letters, promising annihilation to
his foolhardy foes, are painful gasconade. Yet with all this show of
assurance, he was careful to send through the parishes, calling out to
service every available man, and in some cases boys of thirteen and
fourteen years of age; while the women and children, hiding the
household valuables, withdrew from the river to places of safety.

A council of war had in the meantime decided to place the city under
cover of an intrenched camp, which Montcalm was at first in favour of
locating on the Plains of Abraham; but in view of the fact that the
bastions of the citadel and the batteries erected on the quays of
Lower Town were already in full command of the river, another site was
finally selected. Assuming that the enemy could never force his way up
the river past the city batteries, he concluded that the enemy must
land by way of the lowlands below the town; and Wolfe himself had a
like opinion until long after the investment had begun.

Since spring, when the proclamation of Vaudreuil had been read at the
doors of the country churches, a constant stream of men and boys had
been flowing towards Quebec; and by the middle of June Montcalm found
himself in command of more than sixteen thousand men, including
regulars, militia, and Indians. The mouth of the St. Charles had been
closed with a heavy boom of logs, in front of which was moored a
floating battery mounting five cannon; and behind it two stranded
hulks, armed with heavy ordnance, were able to sweep the Bay. From
this point to the height where, seven miles away, the Montmorency
leaped foaming over its dizzy precipice, the lowlands of Beauport had
been strongly fortified and intrenched. Redoubts had been erected at
all possible landing-places; and behind these vast earthworks which
followed the curving shore, the Canadian forces lay securely encamped.
The right wing, composed of the militia regiments of Quebec and Three
Rivers, under M. de Saint-Ours and M. de Bonne, took up its position
facing the city on the flats known as La Canardière; the centre,
stretching from the St. Charles to the Beauport river, consisted of
two thousand regulars under Brigadier Sénézergues; and the left,
including the Montreal militia, held the road from the Beauport to the
Montmorency. Montcalm established his headquarters in the centre,
wisely entrusting the left wing to the capable De Lévis, the right
being assigned to Bougainville.


[Illustration: _General the Marquis de Montcalm_]

Within the walls, the Chevalier de Ramézay commanded a garrison of
above a thousand men. Every gate but one had been closed and
barricaded, the Porte du Palais being left open to afford
communication between the city and the camp by way of a bridge of
boats across the St. Charles. Vaudreuil transferred the seat of
government to Beauport, taking up his quarters at the centre with
Montcalm; and those of the citizens who were not required to man the
ramparts removed themselves and their valuables for safety to the
country. Quebec was armed to the teeth. Three hundred feet above the
river rose the battery of the citadel; on a lower level the Castle
Battery frowned over towards Point Lévi, the Grand Battery commanding
the harbour; while, on the wharves of Lower Town, the Queen's,
Dauphin's, and Royal batteries were able to sweep the narrows. Even
though the English fleet might run this gauntlet of heavy ordnance,
the high cliffs for miles above the city remained practically
inaccessible, and at almost any point a hundred resolute men would
suffice to beat back an army. In the face of these preparations, it
seemed an act of madness to attempt the reduction of Quebec. But
within defences so secure the ardent spirits of the Canadian troops
were chafing at enforced inaction; for although diligently exercised
by their commanders, they still had leisure to think of the homes they
loved, where the corn would never be garnered.

On the English side Captain Cook, as his biographer relates, "was
employed to procure accurate soundings of the channel between the
Island of Orleans and the shore of Beauport--a service of great
danger, which could only be performed in the night-time. He had
scarcely finished when he was discovered, and a number of Indians in
canoes started to cut him off. The pursuit was so close that they
jumped in at the boat's stern as Cook leaped out to gain the
protection of the English sentinel. The boat was carried off by the
Indians. Cook, however, furnished the admiral with as correct a draft
of the channel and soundings as could afterwards have been made when
the English were in peaceable possession of Quebec."

[Illustration: HOPE GATE]

At length, towards the end of June, the invading ships sailed up the
channel south of the Isle of Orleans; twenty ships of the line, twenty
frigates, and a swarm of transports, bearing in all about nine
thousand men. But Quebec, so often threatened in the past, and ever
fortunate in resistance, gazed complacently down upon this imposing
fleet. Montcalm feared but one contingency, the co-operation of
Amherst with Wolfe from the west; and this, as we have seen, was a
needless anxiety. Disembarking, Wolfe pitched his camp at the western
end of the Isle of Orleans, four miles from Quebec. Before him rose
the portentous batteries of the city, and, on his right, the long
battle-line of Montcalm flaunted a desperate challenge. Remembering,
however, that defences stronger still had been carried at Louisbourg,
the English General confidently drew up his plans.

(Under Wolfe before Quebec)]

The only vantage-ground left unoccupied by the French was the Heights
of Lévi, opposite the city, Montcalm having thought it unwise to
isolate there any portion of his force. Thither, accordingly,
Monckton's brigade was now despatched; and English batteries, rising
darkly on the high cliffs, were soon directing across the narrow
channel of the river that hail of shot which, within a month, had left
the Lower Town a heap of ashes, and dropped destruction upon the
crowded summit of the citadel. So galling grew this fire, that at last
a force was sent to destroy the English camp; and on the night of July
the 12th, fifteen hundred soldiers and Indians stole silently from
Sillery across the river. But as they picked their way through the
dark woods, trembling with the excitement of a dangerous adventure, a
sudden panic seized them, and in the confusion, the students of the
Seminary, who formed part of the column, opened fire upon their own
men. Discipline and order were at once discarded, and the whole party
rushed back in terror to the boats. At dawn they returned from this
unhappy and futile expedition, bringing new terrors to their
fellow-citizens, who nicknamed this bloodless effort the "Scholars'
Battle"; and Quebec again endured the misery of ceaseless bombardment.

With strange fatuity the French employed another device to destroy the
fleet of the invaders and carry terror into their ranks. A flotilla of
fire-ships was loaded to the gunwale with pitch, tar, powder bombs,
grenades, and scrap-iron; and towards midnight these floating
hell-boats slipped their moorings and drifted with the tide towards
the English fleet riding at the Point of Orleans. Tide and stream bore
them swiftly through the gloom; and at a given signal, fuses were
ignited and the crews escaped in boats. Sharp tongues of flame ran
along the bulwarks, and the loose powder sputtered and hissed. Then,
suddenly, the night was rent by explosion after explosion,
reverberating through the canons of the distant Laurentides, and
echoing along the river walls beyond Cap Tourmente. A lurid glare lit
up the broad harbour, the towers and minarets of the beleaguered city,
revealing in red light the full tents of the French army along the
Beauport lowlands.

To the English it was "the grandest fireworks that can possibly be
conceived"; but the French were in no mood to enjoy its harmless
effulgence. The fuses had been lighted half an hour too soon, and
before the tide of the north channel carried them to the English
fleet, the magnificent flotilla, upon which Quebec had squandered a
million _livres_, had become a squadron of blazing hulks which the
British sailors grappled and towed to shore. All night long their
impotent fires lit up the Bay, and by sunrise another hope of New
France had turned to ashes.

Although the unquenchable batteries of Point Lévi continued to pour
destruction upon Quebec, Wolfe saw that the defeat of Montcalm must
precede the capture of the city; and to this end he now directed his
attention. Beyond the rocky gorge of the Montmorency, a high open land
seemed to offer a possible avenue of attack upon the French camp
across the river, and thither the English General resolved to transfer
his main camp. On the night of the 8th of July he embarked with three
thousand men--the brigades of Townshend and Murray, a body of
grenadiers, light infantry, and the Sixtieth Regiment, or Royal
Americans. Before dawn they made a landing at the village of L'Ange
Gardien, and gained the heights after a slight skirmish with an
irregular body of native militia. Earthworks were hastily thrown up,
fascine batteries were erected, and Montcalm's reveille next
morning was a heavy cannonade from this new quarter.


Wolfe had now divided his army into three camps, each so far removed
from the other that little or no help could be expected in case of
separate attack. Yet it was in vain that he tempted Montcalm to
battle. For weeks his guns roared challenge across the Montmorency;
but the cautious French General only shrugged his shoulders and
remarked: "Let him amuse himself where he is. If we drive him off he
may go to some place where he can do us harm." To discover this
vulnerable spot Wolfe would have risked much, as appears from his
daring instructions of the 18th of July. On this day the _Sutherland_
and several small frigates ran the gauntlet of the city batteries, and
racing through the hail of lead and iron falling from a hundred guns
upon the ramparts, they reached Cap Rouge above Quebec.

To the French the impossible had happened. Montcalm, therefore,
hastily detailed a small force to defend the cliffs; and the right
wing of the army under Bougainville was charged with the protection of
the city upon its flank, or landward side. To Wolfe, however, who
himself made the hazardous voyage in the _Sutherland_, the result of
the reconnaissance was not cheering. No point upon those rugged cliffs
seemed to offer a favourable landing; and he came back to his camp on
the Montmorency more than ever convinced that Montcalm's army could be
defeated only by a direct assault upon its strong intrenchments. This
desperate enterprise he essayed on the last day of July.

When the tide runs out past the Isle of Orleans, it leaves a wide
sandy beach at the foot of the cliffs between Beauport and
Montmorency, the mouth of the latter river also being hardly more than
knee-deep at ebb-tide. Aware of these conditions, the French had
erected a strong redoubt at the edge of the strand, and posted a large
force of musketeers in the intrenchments capping the heights above it.
This was the point which Wolfe selected for attack.

In the morning at high tide the _Centurion_, of sixty-four guns, took
up a position near the Montmorency ford and opened fire upon the
French redoubt. During this movement two armed transports detailed to
second her cannonade, running too close upon the shore, were stranded
with the receding tide. At the same time, the batteries of Wolfe's
camp across the river were pounding the enemy's flank. Towards noon
five thousand British soldiers pressed towards the point of attack;
some in boats from Point Lévi and Orleans, some crossing the ford from
Townshend's camp. The first to reach the spot were thirteen companies
of grenadiers and a detachment of Royal Americans, who having landed
from the boats, instead of waiting for Monckton's brigade which was
close behind, dashed boldly forward across the strand. The French gave
way before their impetuous rush, and abandoned the redoubt at the foot
of the hill. Then, suddenly, the crest of the ridge above them blazed
with musketry, and the cross-fire from the trenches poured a hail of
death upon their panting ranks. Up the terrible _glacis_ they still
strove to climb in the face of a splashing downpour of bullets. At
that moment the sky became overcast, and from the pall of cloud
hanging over Beauport a wild storm of rain broke over the battlefield.
It was impossible to scale the slippery rocks, the powder was drenched
and useless. Seeing the madness of further attack, Wolfe now sounded a
retreat. A force of less than a thousand men had attempted to storm a
bristling cliff whose double line of defence consisted of the muskets
of Canadian sharpshooters and the bayonets of Béarn, Guienne, and
Royal Roussillon; and before the order to retire was given, nearly
half their number had fallen in this bootless conflict on the Beauport

It was now August, and the hopes of Quebec rose higher with the
advancing season. So far the English had scored no perceptible
success; and although the batteries of Point Lévi had laid the Lower
Town in ruins, and were still pounding at the high ramparts, the
defences of the city remained practically as strong as ever. The
steady bombardment, however, was causing much suffering and anxiety to
those inhabitants who had been unable to flee from the city; and for
two full days the Lower Town was in flames, the large company of
sappers and miners, detailed as a fire brigade, being powerless
against the conflagration. The walls of Notre Dame des Victoires kept
guard upon the poor wreck of its venerated altars, while in the Upper
Town the Cathedral tower had been shot away, and the Basilica itself
was half a ruin. Some of the rampart batteries were buried beneath the
_débris_ of demolished houses, and bursting shells ploughed up the
streets; moreover, the wooden palisade, hastily erected in the
Quartier du Palais to provide against a possible assault by way of the
St. Charles, had been destroyed by fire. At last forsaking the
dangerous walls of their exposed convents, the Ursulines and the nuns
of Hôtel-Dieu sought shelter further afield. The Hospital Général,
established by Bishop St. Vallier, Laval's successor, on a bend of the
St. Charles, being beyond the range of the English artillery, the
homeless poor flocked thither for refuge, until the convent and all
its _dépendances_ were filled to overflowing with miserable refugees.
The chapel was pressed into service as a ward for the wounded; and
holy Masses were said by special permission in the _choeur_. During
this time of trial Bishop Pontbriand remained in the city, exhorting
its defenders to be of good courage and cheering the wounded by his
ministrations; while, as if to counteract his influence for good, the
more heartless spirits were tempted to robbery and pillage--a
shameless addition to the general suffering promptly checked by a
gallows in the Place d'Armes.

[Illustration: General Sir Jeffery Amherst.
To whom Montreal surrendered 1760.]

Provisions had been plentiful enough up to midsummer; but as the siege
was prolonged beyond harvest time, and as Wolfe's soldiers were laying
the country waste in every direction as far as eye could see, it was
no wonder that Montcalm felt some anxiety for the feeding of fifteen
thousand troops. Moreover, an unexpected consequence of Wolfe's
repulse at Beauport now brought a new anxiety to the French; for
British operations were presently begun at a point above the city, to
the great peril of its food-supply. Admiral Holmes's division had
forced a passage up the river, soon to be joined by twelve hundred men
under Brigadier Murray, who had instructions to menace the city upon
its flank. Up and down the river this composite squadron cruised,
making feints now here, now there, exhausting the energies of
Bougainville and his column of fifteen hundred men, who were thus
forced to cover an exposed shore for a distance of fifty miles. Murray
attempted a landing at Pointe-aux-Trembles, but was beaten back; at
La Muletière he was also unsuccessful; but at Deschambault, forty-one
miles above the city, he was able to destroy a large quantity of
French stores without the loss of a man. Up to this time the French
had conveyed their supplies from Batiscan to St. Augustin by water,
and thence overland to Quebec, a distance of thirteen miles. But the
presence of Admiral Holmes's squadron rendered this method of
transport precarious, and an attempt was made to drive supplies
overland from Batiscan; but as this place was sixty-seven miles
distant from Quebec, famine laid its hand upon the city before they
could arrive. French transports were therefore compelled to run the
perilous blockade of the vigilant English fleet.

[Illustration: GENERAL HOSPITAL]

Meanwhile, upon the report of the slow but successful advance of
Amherst in the Richelieu Valley, news had come of the fall of Fort
Niagara. New France now retained no vestige of her Western empire.
Except for Bourlamaque at Isle-aux-Noix, Montreal had no defence
against British attack; and thither, on the ninth of August, Montcalm
despatched Lévis with eight hundred men. Even though Wolfe had failed
to carry the city by assault, the garrison were now thoroughly alarmed
at the protracted siege, and prayed for an early winter which must
drive the English out of the river. The militia of Montcalm's army
were deserting by hundreds, their fortitude breaking down as they saw
the sky reddened with the flames of the river parishes, and languished
under the strain of short rations.

Montcalm himself felt the pinch of a failing commissariat, but with
good-humour he made the best of the position. An example of his
whimsical mood and gay fortitude may be found in a menu he presents in
a letter to Lévis--

          "Petits pâtés de cheval, à l'Espagnole.
                    Cheval à la mode.
                  Escalopes de cheval.
    Filet de cheval à la brochu avec une poivarde bien liée.
              Semelles de cheval au gratin."

On the other hand, the English army had its own discouragements. Night
after night, Canadian irregulars and Indians crept up to Wolfe's lines
to murder and scalp the outposts and sentries. Fever invaded the camp,
and, more than all else, the serious illness of the General himself
depressed the spirits of his men. Ceaseless anxiety over a hitherto
ineffective campaign had played sad havoc with the nervous,
high-strung temperament of the English commander; and the grey,
inaccessible city still rose grimly to mock his schemes. Only the most
invincible spirit could have borne so frail a body through those weeks
of hope deferred. A vague melancholy marked the line of his tall
ungainly figure; but resolution, courage, endurance, deep design,
clear vision, dogged will, and heroism shone forth from those
searching eyes, making of no account the incongruities of the sallow
features. Straight red hair, a nose thrust out like a wedge, and a
chin falling back from an affectionate sort of mouth, made, by an
antic of nature, the almost grotesque setting of those twin furnaces
of daring resolve, which, in the end, fulfilled the yearning hopes of

August had nearly gone, and the gallant General, only thirty-two years
of age and already touched by the finger of death, lay sick in a
farmhouse at Montmorency. Success seemed even further away than it
had been in the early summer. Yet, in consultation with his three
brigadiers--Monckton, Townshend, and Murray--Wolfe had decided upon a
new and desperate plan.

       "I know perfectly well you cannot cure me," he said to
   the surgeon; "but pray make me up so that I may be
   without pain for a few days, and able to do my duty; that
   is all I want," To Pitt he wrote--and this was his last
   despatch: "The obstacles we have met with in the
   operations of the campaign are much greater than we had
   reason to expect, or could foresee; not so much from the
   number of the enemy (though superior to us), as from the
   natural strength of the country, which the Marquis de
   Montcalm seems wisely to depend upon. When I learned that
   succours of all kinds had been thrown into Quebec--that
   five battalions of regular troops, completed from the
   best inhabitants of the country, some of the troops of
   the colony, and every Canadian that was able to bear
   arms, besides several nations of savages, had taken the
   field in a very advantageous situation,--I could not
   flatter myself that I should be able to reduce the place.
   I sought, however, an occasion to attack their army,
   knowing well that with these troops I was able to fight,
   and hoping that a victory might disperse them....I found
   myself so ill, and am still so weak, that I begged the
   general officers to consult together for the general
   utility. They are all of opinion that, as more ships and
   provisions are now got above the town, they should try,
   by conveying up a corps of four or five thousand men
   (which is nearly the whole strength of the army after the
   Points of Lévi and Orleans are left in a proper state of
   defence), to draw the enemy from their present situation
   and bring them to an action. I have acquiesced in the
   proposal, and we are preparing to put it into execution."

Carrying out this new plan, Wolfe first abandoned his camp at
Montmorency, and for the moment concentrated his strength at Lévi and
Orleans. Then Admiral Holmes's division in the river above the city
was strengthened, and on the night of the 4th of September ships and
transports, carrying five months' provisions, silently and
successfully ran the blockade of the citadel's guns and anchored off
Cap Rouge. On the 5th, Murray, Monckton, and Townshend marched seven
battalions overland from Point Lévi to the mouth of the river
Etechemin opposite Sillery Cove; and on the 6th, Wolfe found himself
cruising above the town with twenty-two ships and thirty-six hundred

Meanwhile, Montcalm and Vaudreuil were greatly perplexed and all
unconscious of the new designs and movements of the enemy. The
position at the Point of Orleans still seemed to be strongly occupied,
for every day Colonel Carleton paraded his men up and down in full
view of the camp at Beauport; the batteries at Point Lévi thundered
with their accustomed vehemence, and Admiral Saunders's division still
lay threateningly in the basin below the city. Thus the weakening of
these camps by twelve hundred men, who marched up the south shore to
join Wolfe, was not perceived by Montcalm. Above Quebec, Bourlamaque
was not less perplexed by the mysterious movements of Holmes's
squadron and the army transports. Up and down the river they sailed,
now threatening to land at Pointe-aux-Trembles, now at Sillery, and
greatly confusing the right wing of the French army by their complex

At last the great night came, starlit and serene. The camp-fires of
two armies spotted the shores of the wide river, and the ships lay
like wild-fowl in coveys above the town. At Beauport, an untiring
General of France, who, booted and spurred, through a hundred days had
snatched but a broken sleep, in the ebb of a losing game, now longed
for his adored Candiac, grieved for a beloved daughter's death, sent
cheerful messages to his aged mother and to his wife, and by the
deeper protests of his love, foreshadowed his own doom. At Cap Rouge,
a dying soldier of England, unperturbed and valiant, reached out a
finger to trace the last movement in the desperate campaign of a life
that had opened in Flanders at the age of sixteen, now closing as he
took from his bosom the portrait of his affianced wife, and said to
his old schoolfellow, "Give this to her, Jervis, for we shall meet no
more." Then, passing from the deck, silent and steady, no signs of
pain upon his face--so had the calm come to him as to nature, and to
this beleaguered city, before the whirlwind--he viewed the clustered
groups of boats filled with the flower of his army, settled down into
a menacing tranquillity. There lay the Light Infantry, Bragg's,
Kennedy's, Lascelles', Anstruther's Regiments, Fraser's Highlanders,
and the much-loved, much-blamed Louisbourg Grenadiers. Steady,
indomitable, silent as cats, precise as mathematicians, he could
trust them, as they loved his awkward, pain-twisted body and ugly red
hair. "Damme, Jack, didst ever take hell in tow before?" said a sailor
to his comrades as the marines, some days before, had grappled with a
second flotilla of French fire-ships. "Nay, but I've been in tow of
Jimmy Wolfe's red head; that's hell-fire, lad!" was the reply.

(Piloted Wolfe's Army up the Harbour of Quebec)]

From boat to boat the General's eye passed, then shifted to the
ships--the _Squirrel_, the _Leostaff_, the _Seahorse_, and the
rest--and lastly, to the spot where lay the army of Bougainville. Now
an officer came towards him, who said, quietly, "The tide has turned,
sir." For reply, he made a swift motion towards the _Sutherland's_
maintop shrouds, and almost instantly lanterns showed in them. In
response, the crowded boats began to cast away. Immediately descending
the General passed into his boat, drew to the front, and drifted in
the current ahead of his gallant forces.

It was two hours after midnight when the boats began to move, and
slowly they ranged down the stream, silently steered and carried by
the ebbing tide. No paddle, no creaking oarlock broke the stillness;
but ever and anon the booming of a thirty-two pounder from the Point
Lévi battery echoed up the river walls.

To a young midshipman beside him, the General turned and said, "How
old are you, sir?"

"Seventeen, sir," was the reply.

"It is the most lasting passion," he said, musing. Then, after a few
moments' silence, he repeated aloud these verses from Gray's _Elegy_--

    "The curfew tolls the knell of parting day;
    The lowing herds wind slowly o'er the lea;
    The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
    And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

     *     *     *     *     *

    "The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
    And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
    Await alike the inevitable hour--
    The paths of glory lead but to the grave."

"Gentlemen," he said, "I would rather have written those lines than
take Quebec."

Meanwhile, the tide had swept the foremost boats round the headland
above the _Anse du Foulon_,[30] a tiny bay where Wolfe had determined
to land. Suddenly, down from the dark heights there came a challenge:
"_Qui vive?_"

"_La France_," answered an officer of Fraser's Highlanders, who had
learned French in Flanders.

"_À quel Régiment?_"

"_De la Reine_," responded the Highlander; and to disarm suspicion he
added, "_Ne faites pas de bruit, ce sont les vivres._" From a
deserter, the English had learned that a convoy of provisions was
expected down the river that night; and the officer's response
deceived the sentry.

[Note 30: Now known as Wolfe's Cove.]

The boats of the Light Infantry swung in to the shore. The twenty-four
volunteers, who had been given the hazardous task of scaling the cliff
and overpowering Vergor's guard at the top of the path, now commenced
the ascent. On the strand below, the van of Wolfe's army breathlessly
waited the signal to dash up the cliff to support their daring scouts.
Presently quick ringing shots told the anxious General that his men
had begun their work, and in a few moments a thin British cheer
claimed possession of the rocky pathway up which Wolfe's battalions
now swarmed in the misty grey of early morning.

While this army climbed up the steep way to the Heights of Abraham,
Admiral Saunders was bombarding Montcalm's intrenchments, and boats
filled with marines and soldiers made a feint of landing on the
Beauport flats, while shots, bombs, shells, and carcasses burst from
Point Lévi upon the town. At last, however, the French General grew
suspicious of the naval manoeuvres, and in great agitation he rode
towards the city. It was six in the morning as he galloped up the
slope of the St. Charles, and in utter amazement gazed upon the
scarlet ranks of Britain spread across the plain between himself and
Bougainville, and nearer to him, on the crest, the white-coated
battalion of Guienne which, the day before, he had ordered to occupy
the very heights where Wolfe now stood.

Montcalm summoned his army from the trenches at Beauport. In hot haste
they crossed the St. Charles, passed under the northern rampart of the
city, and in another hour the gates of St. Jean and St. Louis had
emptied out upon the battlefield a flood of defenders. It was a
gallant sight. The white uniforms of the brave regiments of the
line--Royal Roussillon, La Sarre, Guienne, Languedoc, Béarn--mixed
with the dark, excitable militia, the sturdy burghers of the town, a
band of _coureurs de bois_ in their picturesque hunters' costume, and
whooping Indians, painted and raging for battle. Bougainville had not
yet arrived from Cap Rouge, and for some mysterious reason Vaudreuil
lagged behind at Beauport. Nevertheless, Montcalm determined to attack
the English before they had time to intrench themselves. As for Wolfe,
he desired nothing better, for while the two forces were numerically
not unequal, yet every man among the invaders could be depended upon,
while even Montcalm had yet to test fully the undisciplined valour of
his Canadian militia.

[Illustration: _Admiral Earl St. Vincent_
_from a portrait by Hoppner_.]

Outside the city gates, the French at first took up their position on
a rising ground in three divisions, having an irregular surface
towards the St. Lawrence on their left, and extending across the
St. Louis and Ste. Foye roads towards the St. Charles on their right.
Indian and Canadian marksmen were posted among the trees and bushes
which skirted the plains. Montcalm himself took command of the centre,
at the head of the regiment of Languedoc, supported by the battalion
of Béarn. M. de Sénézergues led the left wing, composed of the
regiments of Guienne and Royal Roussillon, supported by the militia of
Three Rivers. The right, under M. de Saint-Ours, consisted of the
battalion of La Sarre and the militia of Quebec and Montreal.

Wolfe had first drawn up his army with its front towards the St. Louis
road, and its right towards the city, but afterwards he altered his
position. Confronting the French formation Brigadier Townshend, with
Amherst's and the Light Infantry, and Colonel Burton, with a battalion
of the Royal Americans, made up the British left, holding a position
near the Ste. Foye road, to meet the advance of Bougainville from the
west. The centre, under Murray, was composed of Lascelles',
Anstruther's, and Fraser's Highlanders; while Monckton commanded the
right, which included Bragg's, Otway's, Kennedy's, and the Louisbourg
Grenadiers, at whose head, after he had passed along the line, Wolfe
placed himself for the charge.

At eight o'clock the French sharpshooters opened fire upon the
British left, and skirmishers were thrown out to hold them in check,
or drive them from the houses where they sheltered themselves and
galled Townshend's men. Three field-pieces, brought from the city,
opened on the British brigades with roundshot and canister. The
invaders, however, made no return, and were ordered to lie down. No
restlessness, no anxiety marked those scarlet columns, whose patience
and restraint had been for two months in the crucible of a waiting
game. There was no man in all Wolfe's army but knew that final victory
or ruin hung upon the issue of that 13th of September.

From bushes, trees, coverts, and fields of grain came a ceaseless hail
of fire, and there fell upon the ranks a doggedness, a quiet anger,
which settled into grisly patience. These men had seen the stars go
down, the cold mottled light of dawn break over the battered city and
the heights of Charlesbourg; they had watched the sun come up, and
then steal away behind slow-travelling clouds and hanging mist; they
had looked over the unreaped cornfields, and the dull slovenly St.
Charles, knowing full well that endless leagues of country, north and
south, east and west, now lay for the last time in the balance. The
rocky precipice of the St. Lawrence cut off all possibility of
retreat, and their only help was in themselves. Yet no one faltered.

At ten o'clock Montcalm's three columns moved forward briskly, making
a wild rattle--two columns moving towards the left and one towards the
right, firing obliquely and constantly as they advanced. Then came
Wolfe's command to rise, and his army stood up and waited, their
muskets loaded with an extra ball. Suppressed rage filled the ranks as
they stood there and took that damnable fire without being able to
return a shot. Minute after minute passed. Then came the sharp command
to advance. Again the line was halted, and still the withering
discharge of musketry fell upon the long silent palisade of red.

At last, when the French were within forty yards, Wolfe raised his
sword, a command rang down the long line of battle, and with a crash
as of one terrible cannon-shot, the British muskets sang out together.
After the smoke had cleared a little, another volley followed with
almost the same precision. A light breeze lifted the smoke and mist,
and a wayward sunlight showed Montcalm's army retreating like a long
white wave from a rocky shore.

Thus checked and confounded, the French army trembled and fell back in
broken order. Then, with the order to charge, an exultant British
cheer arose, the skirling challenge of the bagpipes and the wild
slogan of the Highlanders sounding high over all. Like sickles of
death, the flashing broadswords of the clansmen clove through and
broke the battalions of La Sarre, and the bayonets of the
Forty-Seventh scattered the soldiers of Languedoc into flying

Early in the action Wolfe had been hit in the wrist by a bullet, but
he concealed this wound with his handkerchief. A few minutes later,
however, as he pressed forward, sword in hand, at the head of the
charging Louisbourg Grenadiers, a musket ball struck him in the
breast. They bore him, mortally wounded, to the rear.

"It's all over with me," he murmured. The mist of death was already
gathering in his eyes.

"They run; see how they run!" exclaimed Lieutenant Brown of the
Grenadiers, who supported him. "Who run?" demanded the General like
one roused from sleep. "The enemy, sir," responded the subaltern. "Go,
one of you, to Colonel Burton," returned Wolfe, with an earnestness
that detained the spirit in his almost lifeless body; "tell him to
march Webb's regiment down to the St. Charles to cut off their retreat
from the bridge."

Then, overcome at last, he turned on his side and whispered, "Now, God
be praised, I will die in peace!"



Within the beleaguered city the sights and sounds of battle caused
sickening excitement. An enemy who had gained the heights by such
determined valour was destined for victory; and the weary garrison and
townsfolk, as they watched and waited anxiously on the ramparts, were
more than half prepared for the view presently to meet their eyes. A
fresh wind lifting the thick clouds of smoke from the battlefield
revealed the scattered legions of France in flight before a conquering
army, wildly dashing towards the city gates or the bridge of boats
crossing the St. Charles. Montcalm sought in vain to rally his
stricken battalions, and was borne backward in the confusion of their
mad retreat, until suddenly, pierced by a bullet, he sank in the
saddle. Bravely keeping his seat with support from a soldier on either
side, he succeeded in entering the city by the St. Louis Gate. Here
the excited crowd, which had gathered to hear the latest news from the
field, raised a troubled cry at sight of their vanquished chief pale
and streaming with blood. "_Mon Dieu, O mon Dieu! le Marquis est
tué!_" they wailed. "It is nothing, it is nothing, do not distress
yourselves for me, my good friends," responded the broken hero.

His black charger slowly bore him down the _Grande Allée_ and along
the Rue St. Louis, leading a sad procession to the house of Arnoux the
surgeon. Being carried inside, he was told that his wound was mortal.
"How long have I to live?" he asked. "Twelve hours perhaps," responded
the surgeon. "So much the better," said Montcalm; "I am happy that I
shall not live to see the surrender of Quebec." Then, turning to
Commandant de Ramézay and the colonel of the Regiment of Royal
Roussillon, who stood by, he said: "Gentlemen, to your keeping I
commend the honour of France. Endeavour to secure the retreat of my
army to-night beyond Cap Rouge. As for myself, I shall pass the night
with God, and prepare for death."

[Illustration: _General Gage_
_1st Military Governor of Montreal_]

Yet ever mindful of the wretched people who hung upon him, he
addressed this note to the commander of the English army--

    "Monsieur, the humanity of the English sets my
    mind at peace concerning the fate of the French
    prisoners and the Canadians, Feel towards them as
    they have caused me to feel. Do not let them perceive
    that they have changed masters. Be their
    protector as I have been their father."

[Illustration: NEW KENT GATE]

By dawn the next morning his gallant soul had fled. And when another
day had gone, and night came again, a silent funeral passed, by the
light of a flambeau, to the chapel of the Ursulines for the lonely
obsequies. A bursting shell had ploughed a deep trench along the wall
of the convent, and there they sadly laid him--fitting rest for one
whose life had been spent amid the din and doom of war. In 1833 his
skull was exhumed; and to-day it is reverently exposed in the
almoners' room of the Ursuline convent--all that remains of as fine a
figure, as noble a son of his race as the years have seen.

Here also an interesting tablet, erected by Lord Aylmer in 1835, bears
the sympathetic inscription--

           LA VICTOIRE

Besides Montcalm, the French army lost its second and third in
command, De Sénézergues having expired on one of the English ships,
while M. de Saint-Ours was killed in the same bloody charge in which
Wolfe also met his death. The French losses in killed and wounded
numbered almost fifteen hundred officers and men, the British record
being fifty-eight killed, and five hundred and ninety-seven wounded.

When Wolfe was slain the chief command of the British army in Canada
had passed to Brigadier Townshend.[31] Expecting every moment to be
attacked by Bougainville, Townshend called back his battalions from
the charge, and drew them up anew, a movement scarcely accomplished
before Bougainville's army was seen advancing from Cap Rouge.
Bougainville, however, soon perceived signs of Montcalm's defeat, and
unwilling to risk an engagement with a wholly victorious enemy, he
retreated without a blow.

[Footnote 31: Afterwards Marquis of Townshend.]

Meanwhile, Governor Vaudreuil had held a council of war in the
hornwork which protected the St. Charles bridge. Roused now to
intelligent action, he was for making an immediate junction with
Bougainville and attacking Townshend before the English position could
be strengthened. Bigot recommended the same course; but all the other
officers were against it, and the brave but vacillating Vaudreuil was
overborne by their counsel. A despairing note was despatched to the
little garrison at Quebec; and an army that still outnumbered the
British forces began a march thus described by one of the
participants: "It was not a retreat, but an abominable flight, with
such disorder and confusion that, had the English known it, three
hundred men sent after us would have been sufficient to cut all our
army to pieces. The soldiers were all mixed, scattered, dispersed, and
running as hard as they could, as if the English army were at their
heels." Their tents were left standing at the Beauport camp, where in
their inglorious haste they had even abandoned their heavy baggage.
Passing through Charlesbourg, Lorette, and St. Augustin, by the
evening of the 15th they had covered the thirty miles intervening
between Quebec and the Jacques-Cartier river.

This desertion by the army was a cruel blow to those who still manned
the ramparts of the city. For more than two months they had mended the
breaches and fought the fires kindled by the guns of Point Lévi; they
had stood by their feeble batteries for weary weeks, toiling night and
day on half-rations. And now ignominious abandonment was their
reward! Of the total population within the walls, twenty-six hundred
were women and children, ten hundred were invalids, while the
able-bodied defenders, all told, numbered less than a thousand, and
even these were worn out by privations.

De Ramézay, the commandant, called a council of war which fourteen
officers attended, and all of these but one were in favour of
capitulation. The citizens assembled at the house of M. Daine the
Mayor, and drew up a petition praying that De Ramézay would not expose
the city and its inhabitants to the further horrors of assault. The
citizens' memorial recited the tribulations they had already
undergone, and pointed out that neither a bombardment continued for
sixty-three days, nor ceaseless fatigue and anxiety had sufficed to
kill their spirit; that though exhausted by famine, yet in the
constant hope of final victory they had forgotten the gnawings of
their hunger. But now, deserted by the army, they were not justified
in making further sacrifices. Even with the most careful distribution,
only eight days' rations remained in the city. Moreover, a conquering
army was encamped between Quebec and its source of supply. While there
was yet time, they pleaded, honourable terms of capitulation should be

All this time the _milice de la ville_, naturally brave, but unwisely
led, were fleeing to their neglected homesteads. Some even crossed
over to the enemy's camp; and a sergeant actually deserted with the
keys of the city gates in his pockets. Meantime Townshend, fully aware
of the danger of his position, determined to force the city without
delay if the enemy should show a resolute face. In a few weeks at the
most, the approach of winter would compel the fleet to leave the
river, and should the English army then find itself outside the walls,
the fruits of the Battle of the Plains would be entirely lost.
Accordingly, he was ready to grant almost any terms of capitulation.

The English trenches drew closer and closer to the walls, and on the
evening of the 17th the fleet made a movement as if to bombard the
Lower Town, while a column of troops threatened Palace Gate. The drums
of the garrison beat the alarm; but the citizens failed to rally, and
in despair De Ramézay at last resolved to surrender. A white flag
showed upon the ramparts, and as the stars came out, an envoy appeared
in the English camp to ask for terms. At eight o'clock the next
morning, September 18th, the articles of capitulation had been signed
by De Ramézay, Townshend, and Admiral Saunders. Their provisions were,
in brief: That the garrison should be accorded the honours of war, and
march out bearing their arms and baggage, with flying colours and
beating drums; that the troops should be conveyed to France; that the
inhabitants, on laying down their arms, should retain their houses,
property, and privileges, at least until the treaty of peace should be
signed by the sovereigns of England and France. Artillery and military
stores were to be surrendered; the sick were to be cared for, and
guards were to be posted to protect the convents and churches against
possible outrage.

The general orders for the 18th of September describe, prospectively,
the formal cession of the fortress town--

       "The gates to be taken possession of by Colonel Murray
   and three companies of Grenadiers, after which the hour
   will be appointed when the army should march in. Fifty of
   the Royal Artillery, officers in proportion, one
   field-piece with a lighted match following them, will
   march to the Grand Parade, followed by the Commanding
   Officer and his party, sent to take possession of the
   town, to whom all the keys of the forts will be
   delivered, from which party officers' guards will
   immediately be sent to take possession of all ports and
   outlets from the town....During this time the Commanding
   Officer of Artillery will hoist the Union flag of Great
   Britain at the most conspicuous place of the garrison;
   the flag-gun will be left on the Grand Parade, fronting
   the main guard."

[Illustration: _The Hon. Robert Monckton Major General_
_Sometime Governor of New York under Wolfe at Quebec 1759_.]

Thus passed Quebec into British hands. And the surrender was made none
too soon; for even as the garrison yielded, horsemen dashed up to the
city gates to announce the return of the French army. M. de Lévis,
hurrying from Montreal, when the danger of Amherst's advance no
longer threatened, had come upon the retreating army of Vaudreuil soon
after its arrival at Jacques-Cartier. Notwithstanding their appalling
want of discipline, he soon made his presence felt among the
fugitives, and despatching courtiers to De Ramézay to admonish him
against surrender, this worthy successor of Montcalm marched on to the
relief of Quebec. But it was now too late; for when, having made a
junction with Bougainville at Cap Rouge, De Lévis drew near the city,
he saw the red flag of Britain floating from the bastion of Cape

On the 19th of September, the day after the capitulation, a fast
frigate left for England, bearing the news of victory, together with
the embalmed body of the gallant general to whom it was due. Though
the event was celebrated there with bonfires and shouts of triumph,
yet the nation's tears could not be restrained. "The incidents of
dramatic fiction," writes Walpole in his _Memoirs of George II._,
"could not be conducted with more address to lead an audience from
despondency to sudden exultation, than accident prepared to excite the
passions of a whole people. They despaired, they triumphed, and they
wept; for Wolfe had fallen in the hour of conquest. Joy, curiosity,
astonishment was painted on every countenance. The more they inquired,
the more their admiration rose. Not an incident but was heroic and
affecting." Wolfe's body was laid beside that of his father in
Greenwich church; and Parliament erected a monument to his honour in
Westminster Abbey. On the Plains of Abraham, also, a large stone was
set up to mark the spot where he had fallen; but in 1835 this
primitive memorial was superseded by a beautiful pillar, upon which
Lord Aylmer, then Governor-General, caused to be inscribed the simple

        "HERE DIED

Eight years before, in 1827, Lord Dalhousie laid the first stone of
the beautiful obelisk overlooking what is now known as Dufferin
Terrace, to commemorate the heroism of Wolfe and Montcalm, and bearing
this impartial inscription--

        WOLFE         MONTCALM
            FAMAM HISTORIA
             A.D. 1827.

But to return to the newly conquered city. It was indeed a scene of
desolation. The Lower Town was a heap of ruins, and the streets were
all but impassable. In the Upper Town, the Bishop's Palace was in
ruins, and of the Cathedral only the shattered walls remained. The
Church of the Récollets, which faced upon the Place d'Armes, was a
wreck of masonry, while that of the Jesuits was battered beyond
repair. The three convents, Ursuline, Hôtel-Dieu, and Hospital
Général, although further removed, had not escaped the terrific
cannonade. The Jesuit College, situated in the midst of the town,
seemed to have suffered least. As for the inhabitants, they had seen
their possessions dissolve in smoke, and were now for the most part
dependent upon the English garrison for provisions; in truth, it is
difficult to exaggerate the misery and ruin which became the care of
the new garrison.


Nor were the French the only sufferers. At the first sign of winter
the English fleet departed for home, Admiral Saunders and General
Townshend sailing away on the 22nd of October, followed four days
later by the wounded Brigadier Monckton with the remaining ships. All
available stores had been landed, but General Murray was compelled to
limit the number of his garrison owing to the scarcity of supplies;
and now, with about seven thousand men on short rations, he must hold
Quebec until English ships could return to his relief in spring. Such
was the doubtful situation in which Murray stood in November; and to
add to his danger, De Lévis and Bougainville lay encamped only a few
leagues away, with a force far more numerous than his own, and
untroubled by anxiety as to supplies.

The hardships of that winter are detailed in the journals of General
Murray and Captain Knox. The first distress was a famine of firewood,
to meet which detachments of soldiers were detailed to fell trees in
the woods of Ste. Foye. They harnessed themselves to the timber like
horses, and dragged it thence over the snow to the city. The storms
and keen frosts of a Canadian winter were a painful experience for the
ill-clothed soldiery, who adopted the most eccentric devices to keep
themselves from freezing. "Our guards at the grand parade," writes
Knox, "make a most grotesque appearance in their different dresses;
and our inventions to guard us against the extreme rigours of this
climate are various beyond imagination. The uniformity, as well as
the nicety, of the clean, methodical soldiers is buried in the rough,
fur-wrought garb of the frozen Laplander; and we rather resemble a
masquerade than a body of regular troops, insomuch that I have
frequently been accosted by my acquaintances, whom, though their
voices were familiar to me, I could not discover, or conceive who they
were." So long as the troops relied upon their regimental uniforms,
the Highlanders necessarily suffered most of all from cold, until the
nuns of the Hospital took pity upon them and fell to knitting long
woollen hose.

By the first week in December it became necessary to relieve the guard
every hour instead of every two hours; but even then frozen ears and
fingers and toes were common casualties. Discipline relaxed, and the
soldiers began to solace themselves by debauch. Drunkenness became so
frequent that Murray cancelled the tavern licenses; and any man
convicted of that offence received twenty lashes every morning until
he divulged the name of the liquor-seller. Theft and pillage were
strenuously dealt with, one man expiating his offence upon the citadel
gibbet. Finding that many of his soldiers were deserting, the General
banished from the city certain priests whom he suspected of intrigue.
On the other hand, he proved a generous friend to those well-disposed
Canadians who had laid down their arms and maintained their
neutrality, allowing them all the liberty and freedom consistent with
the dangers of his own predicament. No French inhabitants, however,
were allowed to work upon the batteries or fortifications, to walk
upon the ramparts, or to frequent the streets after dark without a
lantern; and if found abroad after tattoo-beating they were arrested.

So great was the fear of treason and surprise that a strong force
constantly held the gates, the guard-houses always containing about a
thousand men, who permitted none to pass without a permit from the
General. To protect the approaches of the town, strong outposts were
maintained at Ste. Foye and Lorette; and on the other side of the
river, at Point Lévi, a detachment of two hundred men held the south
shore against surprises. As the winter wore away, it became
increasingly evident that an attempt to recapture Quebec would not
long be delayed. But although more than a thousand of the garrison
were on the sick list, owing mainly to the tainted water of the wells,
the laborious commandant kept good heart for the struggle, being in
temperament cheerful, generous, and full of resource. Events proved,
moreover, that he was daring even to the point of indiscretion.

It was now March, and the campaign opened with a series of skirmishes
round the newly-fortified English outposts. Sharp fights took place at
Point Lévi and at Lorette; and Captain M'Donald, with five hundred
men, even ventured as far up the river as St. Augustin to attack the
strong post which Bougainville had established at Le Calvaire. Within
the walls of Quebec, fever, dysentery, and scurvy grew so malignant
that by the middle of April hardly more than three thousand men were
fit for duty; and all the while evidence of the concentration of the
French forces grew more apparent. So long before as the 26th of
January, Lieutenant Montresor had been despatched over the snow with
twelve rangers to apprise General Amherst of the plight of the city;
and on the 21st of April the battered schooner _Lawrence_, the only
craft upon which Murray could lay hands, was sent eastward to hasten
Lord Colville's fleet when it should arrive in the river.

Still, the vigilant defenders of Quebec were only half aware of the
threatening danger; and even as the _Lawrence_ raced down the stream
to bring help, the French army was advancing upon the city. Starting
at Montreal in a fleet of bateaux, the forces of De Lévis and
Vaudreuil had picked up the river garrisons as they advanced; and by
the time they arrived at Pointe-aux-Trembles, their numbers had
swelled to nine thousand men, while no word of their approach had as
yet reached Quebec. On the night of the 26th of April, however, a
remarkable incident brought timely warning.

Darkness lay upon the river, and as they saw the creaking ice-floes
sweeping up and down with stream or tide--a condition of the river
known in Quebec as "the chariot,"--the watchmen shivered, and thanked
the fates which kept them on dry land on such a night. Suddenly a cry
of distress blew up from the river--the moaning of the wind, thought
the guard who paced the quay of the Cul-de-sac. But again the plaint
fell upon his ears; and as he peered through the darkness, holding his
breath to listen, he knew it was a human voice. A boat put out amid
the drifting ice, and guided by the cries, the sailors found a man
half dead upon a tiny floe. With difficulty he was rescued and carried
ashore; and when cordials had revived him he told his story. He was a
sergeant of artillery in the army come to retake Quebec. In attempting
to land at Cap Rouge his boat had come to grief; all his companions
had been drowned before his eyes; but he had contrived to drag himself
upon the drifting ice.[32] It was three o'clock in the morning when
General Murray was awakened to receive this disturbing news. At once
the reveille was sounded, and while it was yet dark the troops stood
under arms. At dawn a strong detachment marched out through the St.
John and St. Louis gates, skirted along the plains, and came to the
declivity in which, at Ste. Foye, the plateau of Quebec falls away to
the lowlands. Here, in a strong position, they awaited the enemy. On
swept De Lévis to the city he had sworn to recapture; and as his army
emerged from the wood, the strengthened outpost of Ste. Foye opened
its guns upon them. Discouraged by the brisk cannonade and musketry
fire, De Lévis, who was ignorant of the comparative weakness of the
English force, made no attempt to storm the heights, but ordered his
men to fall back, his new plan being to outflank the enemy by a night
march. As for the English, seeing how impossible it was to hold the
outpost against so large an army, they spiked their guns, destroyed
their works, and finally withdrew to the city.

[Footnote 32: This romantic story is not fully established. Parkman
cites it as historical, but Kingsford considers it disproved by
General Murray's _Journal_. Its original source is the diary of the
Chevalier de Lévis, but it also appears in _The Campaign of 1760_,
attributed to the Chevalier Johnstone, Montcalm's Scotch


Once again Quebec was on the eve of invasion, and as Murray
contemplated his serious position, it is hardly a matter of wonder
that his plan of defence savoured more of boldness than of prudence.
The breached ramparts offered but a feeble defence; the frost-bound
earth made it impossible to protect the city by an intrenched camp;
and the commissariat department could not sustain a long investment.
The situation is well summarised in the General's letter to Pitt: "The
enemy was greatly superior in number, it is true; but when I
considered that our little army was in the habit of beating the enemy,
and had a very fine train of field artillery; that shutting ourselves
at once within the walls was putting all upon the single chance of
holding out for a considerable time in a wretched fortification, I
resolved to give them battle; and half an hour after six in the
morning we marched with all the force I could muster, namely, three
thousand men."

[Illustration: General Sir A. P. Irving,
2nd Governor of Canada 1766.]

It was the 28th of April, and the snow still lay upon the ground.
Murray's army marched out through the gates in two columns, and
took up a strong position on that rolling mound upon the Plains which
was known as _Les Buttes-à-Neveu_. The force was disposed as follows:
The right wing, consisting of the divisions of Amherst, Anstruther,
and Webb, with the second battalion Royal Americans, was commanded by
Colonel Burton; Colonel Fraser was in charge of the left, which
comprised Kennedy's and Bragg's divisions, and Lascelles' Highlanders;
while Otway's and the third battalion Royal Americans, commanded by
Colonel Young, formed a corps of reserve. Major Dalling, with the
Light Infantry, covered the right; and Hazen's Rangers and a company
of volunteers, under Captain Donald M'Donald, were on the left. Each
battalion had two field-pieces.

As the English troops were thus forming, Murray rode ahead to
reconnoitre the enemy's position. Their vanguard had already reached
the brink of the cliff above the _Anse du Foulon_, where they were
hastily engaged in throwing up redoubts; and further away, the main
body was moving along the road from Ste. Foye. Even as he looked, the
two foremost brigades swung across the plateau towards Sillery woods.
Now, thought Murray, was the most favourable moment for attack, De
Lévis being still on the march; and hurrying back, he ordered his
columns to the attack. With a cheer the red lines swept forward,
dragging their howitzers and field-pieces through the heavy slush of
mud and snow; and when at length they halted and opened fire at short
range, their artillery caused such disorder in the forming French
lines, that De Lévis was forced to withdraw the brigades composing the
left wing to the cover of the woods upon their flank. The English
mistook this movement for a retreat, and pressing forward Murray soon
found himself on less advantageous ground. His right division stood
knee-deep in a meadow of melting snow, where the guns could only be
served with the greatest difficulty, and upon this disabled wing the
French left once more swept out of the woods. Before their impetuous
rush the Light Infantry gave way, and so great was the disorder of
this brigade that it could take no further part in the action. The
English left was meeting a similar repulse, and from Sillery wood,
where the French had taken temporary cover, there issued such a storm
of musketry, that Fraser's column recoiled before it. Murray was
outnumbered all along the line, and when De Lévis overlapped both left
and right and threatened his enemy's flank, the English General gave
the order to retire. The guns, however, being immovably fixed in the
snow and mud, had to be spiked and abandoned. With muttered curses the
grisly veterans retreated unwillingly towards the city walls; but they
had inflicted on De Lévis so decided a check that he judged it
prudent to refrain from pursuit.

[Illustration: MANOR HOUSE, SILLERY]

Such was the battle of Ste. Foye, without doubt the most severe of the
campaign. The English lost more than a thousand, or more than a third
of the whole army; the losses of the French have been variously
estimated, but they were probably as heavy as those of their foe.
Officially reported by De Lévis, they numbered eight hundred and

It is a pretty walk to-day, out through St. John's Gate and along the
Ste. Foye road. For a mile or two the leafy avenue is lined with
villas till the picturesque heights are reached, overlooking the
valley of the St. Charles, where Murray and De Lévis met in fateful
conflict. Here, where the April snow was dyed by the blood of two
valorous armies, is set up a tall pillar of iron, surmounted by a
statue of Bellona, the gift of Prince Napoleon Bonaparte in 1855.

    |                 |
    |  AUX BRAVES[33] |
    |                 |

This is its simple inscription--to the brave of both nations whose
sons contended for the mastery of a wide dominion. The heroes of
Quebec, French and English, have shared more than one common monument,
and this community of interest and tradition, nursed from wise
beginnings, and accepted as a matter of course for a century and a
half of good understanding, has with a subtle and gracious alchemy
helped to solve a national problem.

[Footnote 33: Aux braves de 1760, érigé par la Société St. Jean
Baptiste de Québec.]

The defeat of Murray at Ste. Foye is sometimes called the Second
Battle of the Plains. Its issue was so far from decisive that De Lévis
no longer thought of redeeming Quebec by assault, believing that if
the city was again to fall into the hands of France, it could only be
through regular investment and siege. Accordingly, moving his lines
forward to the high ground of _Les Buttes-à-Neveu_, he there began his
intrenchments. Meanwhile, the soldiers in the city were working night
and day to better its defences. Barricades were erected in the
streets, fascines strengthened the ramparts, the St. Jean and St.
Louis gates were closed, the latter being placed under the protection
of an outwork. Men and officers alike toiled ceaselessly, harnessing
themselves to the guns, and working on the batteries with pickaxe and
spade. Even the wounded demanded employment, the convalescent filling
sand-bags for the fortifications, while those in the hospitals made
wadding for the cannon which night and day belched shot and shell upon
the besiegers' trenches. When, however, the enemy's field-pieces were
in position, the city once more tasted the horror of bombardment. But
within the walls, in spite of scurvy, fever, and short rations, the
most resolute spirit prevailed. Murray's energy and resource fired the
enthusiasm of his men, who saw that only the failure of food and
ammunition could bring them to defeat. Both besiegers and besieged
dwelt in hourly expectation of ships from Europe--De Lévis, because he
had sent to France for help at once upon Montcalm's defeat, and Murray
because the return of the English fleet was part of the first plan of
campaign. Both knew that the fate of Quebec belonged to the fleet
arriving first.

At last, on the 9th of May, a ship of war was descried in the river.
The gaunt and toil-worn garrison were almost prostrate with
excitement. Slowly the frigate beat up into the basin before the town,
not yet displaying her ensign. Through a mishap to the halyards, no
flag floated over the high bastion of Cape Diamond; but to make the
stranger declare herself, Murray ordered a sailor to climb up the
citadel flag-staff with the colours. Immediately the Union Jack ran up
to the frigate's masthead, and the pent-up feelings of the garrison
found relief. It was the _Leostaff_, no stranger, indeed, to Quebec;
and she brought news that Colville's fleet was already in the river.
"The gladness of the troops," writes Captain Knox, "is not to be
expressed. Both officers and soldiers mounted the parapets in the face
of the enemy, and huzzaed with their hats in the air for almost an
hour. The garrison, the enemy's camp, the bay, and circumjacent
country resounded with our shouts and the thunder of our artillery,
for the gunners were so elated that they did nothing but fire and load
for a considerable time."

The French commander, however, was not the man to abandon the siege on
account of a single warship, for as yet he did not know that the
_Leostaff_ was but the herald of further arrivals; and his guns
continued to hurl grenades and roundshot into the city. The English
batteries returned their fire with so much violence that De Lévis
again determined to try and carry the place by direct assault.
Scaling-ladders and battering-rams were made ready, but no opportunity
came to use them. Another week of vigorous siege passed; and at
nightfall, on the 15th of May, to the unspeakable joy of the harassed
garrison, the _Vanguard_ and the _Diana_, British ships of war, came
to anchor in the basin. Next morning the three vessels made their way
up the river past Quebec, and attacked the French squadron which had
brought the army of De Lévis from Montreal. These were the ships, it
will be remembered, which withdrew up the river on the approach of
Holmes's fleet in the summer of 1759. The naval engagement was fierce
but decisive, the French commander Vauquelin behaving with the utmost
gallantry, and refusing to strike his flag even when his powder was
spent and his ship a wreck. "Our ships," says Knox, in describing the
battle, "forced _La Pomone_ ashore and burned her, then pursued the
others; drove _l'Atalanta_ ashore near Pointe-aux-Trembles, and set
her on fire; took and destroyed all the rest, except a small sloop of
war which escaped to Lake St. Peter." On the English side, the
_Leostaff_ wrecked on the rocks.

To De Lévis the destruction of the French squadron was the greatest
possible catastrophe, for the ships carried his supplies. No
alternative but retreat remained; and next morning, when Murray
marched out for a sortie, he found the French camp deserted by all
save the sick and wounded, whom in a letter left behind De Lévis had
commended to his care. Their tents still stood upon the Plains, and
their guns and mortars gaped silently in the trenches; but the French
army had already passed over the Cap Rouge, and the fourth siege of
Quebec had come to an end.

So, too, had the _ancien régime_: for although Bougainville still held
his strong position at Isle-aux-Noix, and Montreal, whither Vaudreuil
had transferred his government, was not subdued till the 8th of
September, 1760, when three British columns under Amherst, Murray, and
Haviland compelled Vaudreuil to make a formal surrender of that city
and of the whole of Canada; still, the key of New France had passed
into English hands. Quebec, the Gibraltar of America, was never more
to salute the Bourbon lilies, and French empire in the Western world
had ceased to be.



The period which immediately succeeded the capitulation of Canada is
known as the _règne militaire_; but the administration so sternly
named was remarkable for the most careful equity. Allowing for
circumstances which made military rule a necessity, it was in fact an
era of almost unexampled tenderness; for though still on the threshold
of her colonial empire, England already realised that the lightest
yoke is the longest borne. She had annexed the vast domain of Canada,
and the sentiment of its seventy thousand French inhabitants was her
first concern. These must be won to a new loyalty and schooled in the
free institutions of a progressive nation.

The note of the new administration was struck in the general orders
issued by General Amherst, September 9th, 1760: "The General is
confident that when the troops are informed that the country is the
King's, they will not disgrace themselves by the least appearance of
inhumanity, or by unsoldierlike behaviour in taking any plunder, more
especially as the Canadians become now good subjects, and will feel
the good effects of His Majesty's protection." This confidence in a
policy of conciliation was fully justified by the event.

Ever since the Battle of the Plains, the _habitants_ and the citizens
of Quebec had been slowly but steadily settling to allegiance, and
now, when the fall of Montreal had destroyed the last vestige of
French dominion, the people generally came forward to enroll
themselves. And that they were received into the British fold with
something more than a perfunctory welcome is proved by an extract from
Amherst's instructions: "These newly acquired subjects," he writes to
General Gage, "when they have taken the oath, are as much His
Majesty's subjects as any of us, and are, so long as they remain
deserving of it, entitled to the same protection. I would have you
particularly give it in charge to the troops to live in good harmony
and brotherhood with them, and avoid all differences soever."

Naturally enough, the recent belligerents were deprived of their
weapons; and commissioners went through the different parishes
administering the oath and collecting arms. A firelock was left to
each native militia officer, and, under certain conditions, the rank
and file also could retain guns for hunting.

[Illustration: _General Townshend_
(_afterwards 1st Marquess of Townshend_)]

The Canadians were allowed the free exercise of their religion; and
although nothing was said about the retention of the French language,
its employment followed as a matter of course, since only the soldiers
of the garrison knew English. The adjustment of civil disputes was
placed in the hands of the officers of militia, who met for that
purpose every Tuesday; and from their tribunal an appeal to the
Governor was also allowed.

Criminal cases were submitted to a court of military officers, civil
misdemeanours being defined in the police regulations. To secure the
city as far as possible from her ancient scourge of fire, and to
lessen the chances of incendiarism, it was ordered that chimneys were
to be swept at least once a month under penalty of six _livres_. The
fire-brigade of the capital consisted, _ex officio_, of all the
carpenters, who were required to attend with axes, the citizens being
compelled to assemble with buckets. The _habitants_, while forbidden
to harbour English deserters, received due recompense for any of the
garrison billeted upon them. For the better regulation of prices, they
were forbidden to sell their produce to strangers--"_coureurs de
côte_"--but were required to bring it to market. Through
representations made by the English Government, France at length
consented to redeem the _billets d'ordonnance_ with which her moribund
administration had hopelessly flooded the country. The hand of the
new government was light, the civic burden easy. The days of the
_corvée_ were now passed, and harsh impressment no longer compelled
the _habitant_ to fight on short rations and without pay. Very soon
the French Canadian, as he felt the improvement in his condition,
ceased to feel resentment against his English conqueror.

That the military rule succeeding to the conquest of the country was
benevolent, that its quality of mercy was not strained, is shown by
the citizens of Montreal, who at the death of George II. "placed
themselves in mourning," and presented the following robust address to
the Governor:--

       "To His Excellency General Gage the Governor of Montreal
   and its dependencies.

   "The address of the Officers of Militia and Merchants of
   the City of Montreal.

   "Cruel Destiny has thus Cutt short the Glorious Days of
   so Great & so Magnanimous a Monarch! We are come to pour
   out our Grief into the paternal Bosom of Your Excellency,
   the sole Tribute of Gratitude of a People who never Cease
   to Exhalt the mildness and Moderation of their New
   Masters. The General who has conquered Us has rather
   treated Us as a Father than a Vanquisher, & has left us a
   precious Pledge (_gage_) by Name & Deed of his Goodness
   to Us; What acknowledgments are we not beholden to make
   for so many Favours?

   "They shall be for ever Engraven in our Hearts in
   Indelible Character. We Entreat Your Excellency to
   continue Us the Honour of Your Protection. We will
   endeavour to Deserve it by our Zeal & by the Earnest
   Prayers We shall ever offer up to the Immortal Being for
   Your Health and Preservation."

[Illustration: _A Perspective View of MONTREAL in Canada, 1760_

On the other hand, there were those whose temperaments were opposed to
acceptance of the new order of things--those to whom conquest by the
hereditary enemy was intolerable. These irreconcilable spirits were
mainly civil and military officers, seigneurial families, and
_émigrés_ of the first generation. To them estates in the New World
meant much, but the motherland and the Bourbon lilies meant yet more;
and as for the more recent arrivals, not having yet struck deep root
in the land of their adoption, they were content to return to France.
Accordingly, many of these availed themselves of the transportation
provided for in the terms of capitulation, and their departure robbed
Canada of much of her best blood. The new government was hard pressed
to find ships to accommodate these distinguished passengers, as well
as the two thousand disarmed soldiers of De Lévis. At last, however,
they were all embarked, and the crowded vessels set sail, only to be
attacked by furious gales. De Lévis narrowly escaped a watery grave
off the rocks of Newfoundland, while the ship carrying Vaudreuil and
his suite fared little better.

But the most distressing disaster of all befell the _Auguste_, a
frigate bearing the French officer La Corne, his family, his friends,
and a large number of soldiers. Scarcely had the ill-fated ship passed
the island of Anticosti when a dreadful storm overtook her from the
west and drove her into the Gulf. A few days later, a fire broke out
in the cook's galley, which was extinguished only by the most
desperate energy of passengers and crew, and not before most of the
provisions had been destroyed. Off Isle Royale another storm arose, in
which they helplessly tossed for several days, being finally driven
upon the coast. The _Auguste_ went to pieces on the reefs. La Corne
and six companions gained the shore, and unable to render assistance,
saw their families drown in the surf. De Gaspé, in his work _Les
Anciens Canadiens_, recounts the tragic story in the words of La Corne

       "From the 13th to the 15th [of November] we were driven
   at the mercy of a violent storm, without knowing where we
   were. We were obliged as best we could to replace the
   crew, for the men, worn out with fatigue, had taken
   refuge in their hammocks and would not leave them;
   threats, promises, even blows, had been tried in vain.
   Our mizzen-mast being broken, our sails torn to shreds,
   and incapable of being clewed up or lowered, the first
   mate proposed as a last resource in this extremity to run
   into shore. It was a desperate act. The fatal moment
   arrived! The captain and mate looked sadly at me with
   clasped hands. I but too well understood this mute
   language of men who from their profession were accustomed
   to brave death. We made the land to starboard, where we
   perceived the mouth of a river, which might prove to be
   navigable. Without concealing anything, I informed the
   passengers of both sexes of this manoeuvre, which was for
   life or death....Who could describe the fury of the
   waves! The storm had burst upon us in all its violence;
   our masts seemed to reach up to the clouds, and then to
   plunge into the abyss. A terrible shock told us that the
   ship had touched the bottom. We then cut away the cordage
   and masts to lighten her and try to float her again; this
   came to pass, but the force of the waves turned her over
   on her side....As the ship was already leaking in every
   part, the passengers all rushed on deck; and some...threw
   themselves into the sea and perished....The passengers
   and crew had lashed themselves to the shrouds and spars
   in order to resist the waves which, breaking over the
   ship, were snatching fresh victims every moment....Our
   only remaining resource was the two boats, the larger of
   which was carried away by a wave and dashed to pieces.
   The other was lowered into the water....I hastily seized
   a rope, and by means of a tremendous leap fell into the
   boat; the same wave which saved my life carried away my
   two children....It would be difficult to describe the
   horror of this terrible disaster, the cries of those
   still on board the ship, and the harrowing spectacle of
   those who, having thrown themselves into the waves, were
   making useless efforts to gain the beach....Seven living
   men at last found themselves on the shore of that unknown
   land...and (in the evening) it was a heartrending sight
   which presented itself when a hundred and fourteen
   corpses were stretched on the sand, many of them with
   arms and legs broken, or bearing other marks of the fury
   of the elements."

For weeks the fugitives wandered about the woods, and at last were
rescued by a party of Indians thirty leagues from Louisbourg. The
indefatigible La Corne crossed in a birch-bark canoe from Cape Breton
to the mainland, and, travelling five hundred and fifty leagues on
snow-shoes, came again to Quebec. Here, in spite of his own dire
predictions, he found a gaiety and contentment which fairly startled
him. Within the walls of the grim old river-fortress the ancient foes
were making peace in the reconstruction of industry. The wise
forbearance of the conquerors, and the facile temper of the
conquered, provided, far beyond hope, a solution for what was, _prima
facie_, a difficult situation. "It is very surprising," writes an
officer of the Highlanders, "with what ease the gaiety of their
tempers enables them to bear misfortunes which to us would be
insupportable. Families, whom the calamities of war have reduced from
the height of luxury to the want of common necessaries, laugh, dance,
and sing, comforting themselves with this reflection--_Fortune de
guerre_. Their young ladies take the utmost pains to teach our
officers French; with what views I know not, if it is not that they
may hear themselves praised, flattered, and courted without loss of
time," Those who remained behind, sacrificing allegiance to their old
flag for the sake of allegiance to the soil, were indeed far happier
than the irreconcilables who had elected to return to the motherland,
bereft of all but their movable property. And among these homing
Frenchmen were some whose reception caused them a very reasonable
anxiety. Vaudreuil, Bigot, Péan, Cadet, Varin, Penisseault, and
several others who had held offices in Canada, were cast into the
Bastille, charged with the corruptions which had sapped the life-blood
of New France. For months they contemplated their misdeeds in the
sombre silence of the dungeon, and the next year were brought forth
for trial. Vaudreuil, for lack of evidence, was acquitted properly
acquitted, so far as can be known, his chief fault having been a fatal
ill-judgment; but a just fate overtook Bigot, Cadet, and their knavish
parasites. The Intendant was banished from France for life, and all
his property confiscated; Cadet was banished for nine years and fined
six million _livres_; the others received sentences in keeping with
the measure of their guilt.

     *     *     *     *     *

Meanwhile, in Quebec, a decade of English rule slipped uneventfully
by, marked chiefly by new perceptions of citizenship on the part of
the French. The _ancien régime_ had been conducted on the principle of
centralised authority, allowing no place to personal liberty. Neither
on its civil nor its military side were any rights extended to the
individual. Up to the Conquest, the citizens of Quebec had been no
more than cogs in the wheel of State, driven fast or slow according to
the spasmodic interest felt by the Home government in her always
troublesome colony--a land which had first claimed consideration as
the gateway to Cathay, and presently appeared to be nothing better
than a "thousand leagues of snow and ice." This decline from the
equator of enthusiasm to the north pole of neglect indicated the
unstable fortunes of the colony. National spirit was left to fill up
the ranks of her army when danger threatened the frontiers; and to
the simple _habitant_, who had no interest to keep alive the memory of
France, Quebec and Louisbourg were the ends of the earth, and the
annals of his parish the Alpha and Omega of knowledge.

With British rule all this was changed. In Quebec the _Tiers État_
awoke to its latent destiny thirty years before the same realisation
came to Paris; and it was the new principles of government which
achieved this bloodless revolution. The rights of man were no longer
confined to the Governor, Intendant, and the Sovereign Council; and
the plainest citizen felt a new pulse within him as soon as he saw the
trend of the English system. Instead of being kept in the dark as to
what was taking place in the outside world, he found a strange
solicitude in high quarters to keep him informed on every subject of
public importance. Under General Murray a newspaper was established,
the _Quebec Gazette_, which began as a weekly in 1764.[34] The first
issue of this pioneer of Canadian journalism consisted of four folio
pages, two columns to a page, one French, one English; and the outline
of its policy is given in the _Printer's Address to the Public_,

       "A view of foreign affairs and political transactions
   from which a judgment may be formed of the interests and
   connections of the several powers of Europe; to collect
   the transactions and occurrences of our mother-country;
   and to introduce every remarkable event, uncommon
   debates, extraordinary performances, and interesting turn
   of affairs that shall be thought to merit the notice of
   the reader as matter of entertainment, or that can be of
   service to the public as inhabitants of an English
   colony....And here we beg leave to observe that we shall
   have nothing so much at heart as the support of virtue
   and morality and the noble cause of liberty. The refined
   amusements of literature and the pleasing veins of
   well-pointed wit shall also be considered as necessary to
   the collection--interspersed with other chosen pieces and
   curious essays extracted from the most celebrated
   authors--so that, blending philosophy with politics,
   history, etc., the youth of both sexes will be improved,
   and persons of all ranks agreeably and usefully
   entertained."[35] With such a high conception of its
   functions, the _Quebec Gazette_ launched itself
   twenty-four years in advance of the London _Times_, and
   fourteen years before Benjamin Franklin founded the
   _Montreal Gazette_.

[Footnote 34: It was changed into a bi-weekly in 1818, and in 1874 was
merged into the _Chronicle_ as a daily paper.]

[Footnote 35: Article by John S. Reade in the Centenary number,
_Quebec Gazette_, 1864.]

Since the Conquest, Quebec had been governed under the terms of a
royal proclamation which, remarkable to relate, prescribed no definite
forms of administration; and by the articles of capitulation almost
everything was left to the discretion of the Governor. General Murray
proved himself a discreet ruler; but friction of some sort was almost
inevitable in a situation presenting such conflicting interests and
delicate problems; and it now came from those few hundred British
settlers who wrongly supposed that their nationality gave them
privileges over ten times their number of French fellow-subjects.
Governor Murray, fortunately, held no partisan views; and his policy
was followed with equal firmness and greater success by Sir Guy
Carleton, who next assumed the administration in 1766.

The new Governor had, indeed, a remarkable connection with the history
of Quebec. In 1759 he had accompanied his friend James Wolfe to the
siege of the city, and like his General, was wounded on the Plains of
Abraham. He remained with Murray in Quebec during the trying winter of
1760, and fought in the battle of Ste. Foye. And now, after a
brilliant campaign in the West Indies, the gallant soldier was
returning to the fortress on the St. Lawrence at another critical
moment in its history.

Events were rapidly moving to a crisis in the English colonies to the
south. In spite of Burke and Pitt, England was blindly imperilling her
possessions in America by the imposition of the Stamp Act, and a
failure to realise that the Thirteen Colonies had long outgrown a
state of tutelage, and were not prepared to accept legislation from
the motherland. But as a preliminary measure of offence, the newly
assembled congress determined to detach Canada from the British crown,
and, naturally, they counted most of all upon disaffection among the
French Canadian population. It is not possible to give in full the
letter which George Washington despatched on this occasion to "The
Inhabitants of Canada"; but the following is part of it:--

       "FRIENDS AND BRETHREN--The unnatural contest between the
   English colonies and Great Britain has now risen to such
   a height that arms alone must decide it. The colonies,
   confiding in the justice of their cause, and the purity
   of their intention, have reluctantly appealed to that
   Being in whose hands are all human events....Above all,
   we rejoice that our enemies have been deceived with
   regard to you. They have persuaded themselves, they have
   even dared to say, that the Canadians were not capable of
   distinguishing between the blessings of liberty and the
   wretchedness of slavery;...but they have been deceived;
   instead of finding in you a poverty of soul and baseness
   of spirit, they see with a chagrin, equal to our joy,
   that you are enlightened, generous, and virtuous; that
   you will not renounce your own rights, or serve as
   instruments to deprive your fellow-subjects of theirs.
   Come then, my brethren, unite with us in an indissoluble
   union, let us run together to the same goal....Come then,
   ye generous citizens, range yourselves under the standard
   of general liberty, against which all the force and
   artifices of tyranny will never be able to prevail.

                                      GEORGE WASHINGTON."

The blandishments of the Thirteen Colonies, or "The Provincials," as
they were called, found almost no response in Canada. Sir Guy Carleton
had left nothing undone to foster loyalty in the hearts of the French
Canadians; and the passing of the Quebec Act in 1774, which secured to
them freedom of worship and confirmed their own system of
jurisprudence, held the French fast to their allegiance at a time when
disaffection would have been ruinous to the Empire.

Controversies still rage over the propriety of legalising the French
language in a British dominion; but any one who examines well the
circumstances which induced it must see that not only justice but
military expediency required liberal treatment and wide consideration
for seventy thousand subjects speaking an alien tongue, if the fruits
of the Seven Years' War were not to be heedlessly thrown away. The
solution of the language problem lies in the peaceful assimilation
which time and growing population alone can bring. Almost a thousand
years ago a Norman race was grafted upon a Saxon stock, and the
blending of these elements has produced Great Britain, the strongest
nation of the modern world. In Canada religious, industrial, and
social conditions have as yet prevented definite fusion of the two
races; but the march of events and the pressure of common interests
must secure it in good time.



Besides Sir Guy Carleton, Wolfe's army of 1759 contained other
officers who were destined to reappear in the history of the city. One
of these was Richard Montgomery, then a lieutenant in the Seventeenth
Foot, but now, after a lapse of sixteen years, a brigadier-general,
and charged with a far different commission. Moses Hazen and Donald
Campbell, two officers who figured prominently in the battle of Ste.
Foye, were likewise returning in different guise to the scene of their
former exploits; and Benedict Arnold, no stranger in Quebec, came
there once more. All of these had made merry at Freemasons' Hall, the
festive hostelry at the top of Mountain Hill, which had been a jovial
rendezvous in the days of military rule. Here they had toasted and
sung, little dreaming that one day they would assail that fort they
had so dearly won, and face in battle their former messmates. Yet fate
had so ordained; and when the thirteen revolting colonies determined
to strike the mother-country by an attack on Canada, it was to
Richard Montgomery and Benedict Arnold that Congress gave the command
of the two invading armies. The former was despatched against
Montreal, the latter was sent to take Quebec.

[Illustration: General Sir James Henry Craig, K.C.B.
Governor General of Canada 1807-1811.]

Down the Richelieu came Montgomery, and the forts of Ticonderoga,
Crown Point, St. John, and Chambly fell before him. Sir Guy Carleton
hurried to Montreal, but as he was unable to rally the citizens to
their own defence, the town soon fell into the hands of the impetuous
invader. General Carleton escaped in the guise of a peasant through
the provincial lines, and paddled to Quebec in a canoe. There his
first step was to purge of treason the city upon which the hope of all
Canada now rested. Citizens suspected of disaffection were banished
beyond the walls; and though the garrison numbered only eighteen
hundred men, French and English, the loyalty of all was secure,
begetting confidence in their power to meet the attack. A contemporary
diary, that of James Thompson, refers thus to the defences: "I
received order from General Carleton to put the extensive
fortifications of Quebec in a state of repair at a time when there was
not a single article of material in store with which to perform such
an undertaking....My first object was to secure stout spar timber for
palisading a great extent of open ground between the gates called
Palace and Hope, and again from half-bastion of Cape Diamond along
the brow of the cliff towards Castle St. Lewis. I began at Palace
Gate, palisading with loopholes for musketry, and made a projection in
the form of a bastion, as a defence for a line of pickets, in the
gorge of which I erected a blockhouse, which made a good
defence....Also a blockhouse on the Cape under Cape Diamond
bastion....I also had a party of the carpenters barricading the
extremities of the Lower Town by blockading up all the windows of the
houses next to the riverside and those facing the water, leaving only
loopholes for musketry, as a defence in case the St. Lawrence should
freeze across....At this time, the nights being dark, I strongly
recommended the use of lanterns extended on poles from the salient
angles of all the bastions. By means of these lights even a dog could
be distinguished if in the great ditch in the darkest night. This we
continued in the absence of the moon, with the exception of a
composition burned in iron pots, substituted for candles."

(Fell at Quebec 1775)]

It was November, and up to this time General Carleton had feared only
the arrival of Montgomery's army from Montreal. Suddenly, however, a
new enemy appeared at Point Lévi. Benedict Arnold, at the head of
seven hundred men, had accomplished an amazing journey. Through the
tangled forests of New Hampshire and Maine, beset by the driving
storms of an early winter, this intrepid army toiled overland from
Boston to Point Lévi. On the night of the 14th of November, Arnold's
force crossed the river, and gained the Plains of Abraham without
opposition. Three weeks later Montgomery's army arrived from Montreal,
and the united forces established themselves at Ste. Foye. Both
Montgomery and Arnold had counted upon the co-operation of the French
Canadians; and owing to the success of the army against Montreal, some
of the fickle _habitants_ were persuaded to join the invaders. In
general, however, the French population were not forgetful of the just
treatment they had met at the hands of the British, and if they were
not to be depended upon for a powerful defence, they at least rendered
no assistance to the besiegers. About half of those whom Carleton had
kept within the walls were French, but these, as has been said, were
wholly trustworthy.

The Governor paid no heed to Montgomery's call to surrender. His
envoys were turned away from the gates, and the resolute equanimity of
the town disturbed him. That his temper hardly stood the strain is
evident from the following letter to the Governor:--

       "SIR--Notwithstanding the personal ill-treatment I have
   received at your hands, and notwithstanding your cruelty
   to the unhappy prisoners you have taken, the feelings of
   humanity induce me to have recourse to this expedient to
   save you from the destruction which hangs over you. Give
   me leave, sir, to assure you, I am well acquainted with
   your situation. A great extent of works, in their nature
   incapable of defence, manned with a motley crew of
   sailors, the greatest part our friends, of citizens who
   wish to see us within their walls, and a few of the worst
   troops who ever styled themselves soldiers. The
   impossibility of relief, and the certain prospect of
   wanting every necessary of life, should your opponents
   confine their operations to a simple blockade, point out
   the absurdity of resistance....I am at the head of troops
   accustomed to success...and so highly incensed at your
   inhumanity, illiberal abuse, and the ungenerous means
   employed to prejudice them in the minds of the Canadians,
   that it is with difficulty I restrain them till my
   batteries are ready....Beware of destroying stores of any
   kind, public or private....If you do, by Heavens, there
   will be no mercy shown!

                                "RICHARD MONTGOMERY,
                                    Continental Army, G.C."

If there was one man who knew the impracticability of a "simple
blockade," it was the General in command of the Continental army. No
one stood in greater need of "stores of any kind, public or private."
The spirit of his army was doubtless as he described it; but he had
wholly mistaken the temper of the garrison.

Kirke, Phipps, Wolfe, and Lévis had all left their mark upon Quebec,
and now the battered walls were once more threatened by Montgomery.
The Provincial army had taken possession of every point of vantage
outside the gates, the General having established his headquarters at
Holland House, by the Ste. Foye road, while Arnold occupied the suburb
of St. Roch towards Charles River. The houses of the _habitants_, the
General Hospital, and the Intendant's Palace were thronged with
soldiers, who found their tents poor protection against the rigours of
a winter campaign. A six-gun battery was erected within three hundred
paces of St. John's Gate, a battery of two guns thundered from the
bank of the St. Charles, while a third belched impotent fire across
the river from Point Lévi. From the cupola of the Intendant's Palace a
body of riflemen continued to pick man after man off the ramparts,
until Sir Guy Carleton at last trained his guns upon it. It was a hard
thing for the Governor to destroy perhaps the finest building of all
Quebec, but the rigours of the siege seemed to leave him no
alternative; and soon the venerable building lay in ruins, having
witnessed the chequered history of the city since the days of the
great Talon.

Day and night the cannon on the ramparts answered the enemy's
howitzers, and once again the river gorge echoed back the roar of
artillery. Shells and grenades burst continually in the streets, and
as weeks wore away the citizens became inured to the dangers of battle
or sudden death by roundshot, grape, and canister. Outside the walls,
the enemy suffered in like manner, running the gauntlet of Carleton's
artillery and exposed to the musketry of the garrison. One day as
Montgomery dashed over the snow-covered plain in a carriole his horse
was killed by a cannon shot. Such casual dangers, however, were the
least cause of his anxiety, which was especially due to the
prolongation of the siege. His men were ill-clothed, depending for
rations largely upon the goodwill of the _habitants_, who anxiously
weighed the chances of British prowess. Moreover, desertion and
sickness thinned his ranks; and at last, having resolved upon a _coup
de main_, he formed his plans and awaited a dark night for their

Meantime, the wary Carleton neglected no means of informing himself of
the enemy's intentions. When this latest resolution of the invader
came to his ears, the night watches of Quebec were doubled, and he and
his devoted officers slept in their clothes at the Récollet Convent,
whence, at a moment's notice, they could hasten to a threatened
quarter. On the 30th of December a deserter from Montgomery's camp,
being allowed within the gates, confirmed Carleton's suspicions by
affirming that the Continental army had received final instructions,
with permission to plunder the city on its capture. Once more the
Governor inspected the fortifications and the barriers of the Lower
Town, and anxiously awaited the assault.

Having accurate knowledge of the city's defences, Montgomery saw but
one plan promising success to his enterprise. This was to divide his
force and attack the Lower Town from two directions. From St. Roch
Arnold was to force the barrier below the Sault-au-Matelot, while he
himself should creep along through Près-de-Ville, at the base of Cape
Diamond, carry the barrier and blockhouse standing in his way, and
reach the foot of Mountain Hill. Uniting at this point, the two
columns would gain the Upper Town and overpower the garrison, the real
assault being conducted under cover of a simulated attack upon the
ramparts from the Plains. The plan was desperate, but at least not
more hopeless for the ill-conditioned troops of the invaders than a
long and cruel siege.

It was the last night of the year 1775, the stars were winter bright,
but the fleecy clouds of impending storm were driven across the sky.
Silently, the guards paced the ramparts of the watchful city, gazing
eagerly over the glimmering Plains of Abraham, and across the river
where the lights of the Lévi outposts twinkled against the dark sky.
Midnight passed, the stars were obscured, and snowflakes began to
fall, at first slowly, then swiftly blown upon the rising wind.
Presently, as the clock in the guard-house struck four, two rockets
shot up from the enemy's camp and burst in a fiery shower beyond the
Cape. Captain Malcolm Fraser of the Highlanders stopped short in his
round of inspection: "Guard, turn out!" he shouted. Having raised the
guard, he rushed down St. Louis Street sounding the alarm, and at the
Récollet Convent found General Carleton and his staff. In five minutes
every bell within the walls was ringing, drummers were beating the
assembly, and every soldier of the fort was at his post.

Meanwhile, the two forces of the Continental army were marching to the
attack. Arnold's division, having the shorter distance to traverse,
reached its objective first. "When we came to Craig's house, near
Palace Gate," writes a participant,[36] "a horrible roar of cannon
took place, and a ringing of the bells of the city, which are very
numerous and of all sizes. Arnold, leading the forlorn hope, advanced
perhaps one hundred yards before the main body....The snow was deeper
than in the fields, because of the nature of the ground; and the path
made (by the advance guard) was almost imperceptible because of the
falling snow. Covering the locks of our guns with the lappets of our
coats, holding down our heads (for it was impossible to bear up our
faces against the imperious storm of wind and snow), we ran along the
foot of the hill in single file....In these intervals we received a
tremendous fire of musketry from the ramparts above us. Here we lost
some brave men, when powerless to return the salutes we received, for
the enemy was covered by his impregnable defences....They were even
sightless to us; we could see nothing but the blaze from the muzzles
of the muskets....We proceeded rapidly, exposed to the long line of
fire from the garrison, for now we were unprotected by any buildings.
The fire had slackened in a small degree. The enemy had been partly
called off to resist the General (Montgomery), and strengthen the
party opposed to Arnold in our front. Now we saw Colonel Arnold
returning, wounded in the leg and supported by two gentlemen....(He)
called on the troops in a cheering voice as we passed, urging us
forward, yet it was observable among the soldiery, with whom it was my
misfortune to be now placed, that the Colonel's retiring damped their
spirits....Thus proceeding, enfiladed by an animated but lessened
fire, we came to the first barrier, where Arnold had been wounded at
the onset. This contest had lasted but a few minutes, and had been
somewhat severe, but the energy of our men prevailed. The embrasures
were entered when the enemy were discharging their guns. The guard,
consisting of thirty persons, were either taken or fled, leaving their
arms behind them....From the first barrier to the second there was a
circular course along the sides of the houses and partly through the
streets....This second barrier was erected across and near the mouth
of a narrow street adjacent to the foot of a hill which opened into a
larger, leading soon into the main body of the Lower Town. Here it was
that the most serious contention took place....Confined in a narrow
street, hardly more than twenty feet wide, and on lower ground,
scarcely a ball, well aimed or otherwise, but must take effect upon
us....A crowd of every class of the army had gathered into the narrow
pass, attempting to surmount the barrier, which was about twelve feet
or more high, and so strongly constructed that nothing but artillery
could effectuate its destruction....Within the barrier, and close into
it, were two ranges of musketeers, armed with musket and bayonet,
ready to receive those who might venture the dangerous leap....This
was near daylight,...and all hope of success having vanished, a
retreat was contemplated....The moment (however) was foolishly lost
when such a movement might have been made with tolerable success...and
Captain Laws, at the head of two hundred men, issuing from Palace
Gate, most fairly and handsomely cooped us up. Many of the men, aware
of the consequences, and all our Indians and Canadians, escaped across
the ice which covered the Bay of St. Charles....This was a dangerous
and desperate adventure, but worth while the undertaking, in avoidance
of our subsequent sufferings. Its desperateness consisted in running
two miles across shoal ice, thrown up by the high tides of this
latitude; and its danger, in the meeting with air-holes, deceptively
covered by the bed of snow...."

[Footnote 36: _Siege of Quebec_, 1775, 1776, by John Joseph Henry.]

[Illustration: Sir John Cope Sherbrooke.
Governor General of Canada 1816-1818.]

With the other wing of the invading army, the issue was even less
doubtful and far more tragic. Montgomery had pushed through the storm,
along the base of the cliffs from Wolfe's Cove to the base of Cape
Diamond. Deep snow covered the rocky pathway, and spray from the
fretting river had rendered it slippery with ice. Every man in the
chosen company knew the peril of the enterprise, and moved forward
stealthily. Soon the advance guard led by Montgomery in person could
discern through the driving snow the first straggling houses of the
Lower Town. A barrier crossed the roadway, but no sight or sound gave
evidence that the guard was on the alert. Forward they crept, silent
and full of desperate purpose. Suddenly, when they were within thirty
yards of the barrier and counting fully upon the surprise of the
outpost, four cannon and a score of muskets pounded forth a deadly
fire. Itself taken by surprise, the Continental army broke and fled.
No sound reached the wakeful guard save the groans of the wounded who
had gone down before that fatal barrier; but, distrustful even of the
silence, their battery continued to sweep the pass.

At dawn a reconnoitring party ventured forth from the guard-house.
Thirteen bodies lay half buried in the snow, and the only remains of
the invading army were General Montgomery, his two aides-de-camp,
Cheeseman and M'Pherson, a sergeant, and eight men. All but the
sergeant were dead, and he too died within an hour. As for the
General, only an arm appeared above the snow, and a drummer-boy picked
up his sword close by. The English soldiers, uncertain whose body it
was, fetched a prisoner, one of Arnold's forlorn hope, who could not
restrain his grief for the brave General who had been the idol of his
troops. Widow Prentice, of Freemasons' Hall, also recognised
Montgomery by the sabre-cut upon his cheek; and Sir Guy Carleton
having no further doubt as to his identity, gave orders that the
slain General should have honourable burial. Up Mountain Hill they
bore him to the small house in St. Louis Street, still known as
Montgomery House, and later in the same day he was laid in a coffin
draped with black, and borne by soldiers to a new-made grave in the
gorge of the St. Louis bastion. A brass tablet now marks the spot near
the present St. Louis Gate.

[Illustration: CAPE DIAMOND
(Près-de-Ville, where Montgomery fell)]

Although both divisions of their army were defeated, over four hundred
prisoners taken, and their General slain, the invaders were yet
unwilling to give up the struggle against the grim walls of Quebec.
They were sore beset by cold, hunger, and the hardships of active
warfare; and smallpox carried off nearly five hundred of their
number. On the death of Montgomery, Arnold had succeeded to the chief
command, but it was April before his wound was healed. Meanwhile, they
had quickly erected a new battery at Point Lévi, and once again the
guns of the citadel entered upon an artillery duel with that historic
ravelin. From time to time rockets sent up from the enemy's camp threw
the defenders of the city into unusual alarm, and once or twice, when
the signals seemed more pregnant, the whole force turned out and
swiftly took up their assigned positions. General Carleton on the
other side, not having enough soldiers to dislodge the besiegers, had
been content to hold fast and wait until spring should bring him
reinforcements from England. No vigilance on the part of the garrison
was relaxed, and throughout the cold and dreary winter the sentries
marched night and day upon the ramparts.

Towards late spring the increased activity of the besiegers caused a
corresponding restiveness among the many prisoners within the city.
Sir Guy Carleton had treated them with as much liberality as was
possible under the circumstances; but on an attempt on the part of
some of the officers to bribe the guard, he speedily placed the
offenders in irons. On the last day of March a large number of
prisoners made an attempt to escape from the Dauphin barracks, just
inside St. John's Gate. Their plan was to overpower the guard, whose
strength was necessarily small, capture the adjacent city gate, and
hold it open for their comrades on the Plains. The plot was
discovered, however, and the prisoners were transferred to the British
gunboats in the harbour.

As the weeks went by, the anxiety of an ever threatened attack told
heavily on the garrison, and even the convalescent were called upon
for guard-house duty. A blockade extending over four or five months
was exhausting their provisions; and for fuel they were at length
reduced to tearing down wooden houses in the suburb of St. Roch. For
half a year the Richelieu, Montreal, and Three Rivers, in fact the
whole of Canada, had been virtually in the enemy's hands; Quebec alone
remained, but, commanded by Carleton, Quebec was a fortress in the
most real sense.

It was the evening of the 3rd of May, and in the gathering darkness a
ship rounded Point Lévi and drew near to the ships in the basin.
Cheers rose from the garrison and a saluting gun boomed from the
citadel. Still the strange craft made no salute, and a heavy crash of
artillery burst from the Grand Battery. For answer, flames leaped up
the rigging and along the bulwarks of the approaching schooner. It was
the _Gaspé_, which the enemy had fitted up as a fire-ship and sent
into the harbour. The crew, being disconcerted by the alert challenge
of the garrison, hastily lighted the fuses and escaped in small boats,
but only to see the impotent fire-ship carried down the river by the
ebbing tide.

Meanwhile, the invading army had drawn near to the ramparts, intending
to assault the town under the confusion caused by the _Gaspé_. To
these dogged troops, steeled for their last great effort, the failure
of the fire-ship was a severe blow. Moreover, their slight remaining
hope vanished a day or two later when the British frigate _Surprise_,
arrived in the harbour, having boldly forced its way through the
ice-packs which still beset the lower river. Not long afterwards the
_Isis_, fifty guns, and the sloop-of-war _Martin_ also rounded Point

After six months of toil, privation, and suspense the brave garrison
was at last relieved. Once more in Quebec numberless joy-bells rang
out, and artillery crashed triumphantly across the tide. Flags ran up
on every bastion and parapet within the walls, and the cheers of the
reinforced garrison carried dark despair to the enemy's camp across
the Plains.

The siege was immediately raised, the invaders thinking only of
escape. General Carleton, with a force of only a thousand men, marched
out by the city gates and tried to fall upon the enemy's flank. So
rapid had been their flight, however, that only the van of his column
was able to come up with the Provincials, who, in their hurried
retreat, had not only abandoned their artillery, ammunition, and
scaling-ladders, but had left their sick and wounded in the tents of
Ste. Foye. Once more the invader had failed to seize the key of all
Canada; and another successful conflict was written in the annals of
Quebec. Never again was a hostile army to beset those grim grey walls.
"Twice conquered and thrice conquering" became the pregnant summary of
two centuries of the history of the fortress, and the lapse of still
another hundred years makes no amendment necessary. Like her younger
sister, New Orleans, the city upon the St. Lawrence had often been the
battlefield of the nations, but, for both, the centuries have brought
prosperity and peace.



Quebec had passed through her last ordeal of fire and sword, and for
many years the 31st of December was celebrated with enthusiasm as the
anniversary of the victory. But although the effort to detach the
French Canadians from their allegiance to Great Britain resulted
miserably in the defeat of Montgomery and Arnold, the Thirteen
Colonies did not quite relinquish the hope of accomplishing their end.
Instead of an army, Congress now despatched commissioners to Canada,
Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Chase, and Charles Carroll of Carrollton
being of the number. The mission, however, was without success; for
the ancient capital, although the most foreign in speech and custom of
all places in British North America, remained steadfast under the
temptation to swerve from her allegiance. Franklin, indeed, added
nothing to his reputation by his general relations with the
settlements on the St. Lawrence. For twenty-four years he had held the
position of Deputy-Postmaster General for the English colonies, Quebec
being regarded as in some sense within his jurisdiction; and the
unsatisfactory monthly service between Quebec and Montreal as well as
the absence of intermediate post-offices, had made him unpopular along
the Canadian river. It is not surprising, therefore, that he failed to
arouse the enthusiasm of the French, especially for a cause which
their strong monarchical principles failed to approve.

(One of the four American Commissioners to Canada in 1776)]

It is estimated that more than twenty-five thousand United Empire
Loyalists crossed the border at the end of the American Revolutionary
War to live under the British flag. These, for the most part, went to
Upper Canada, the settlements along Lake Ontario and the Bay of
Quinte, being centres of vigorous life and progress; while not a few
settled in Quebec, adding to the sound character of its sturdy

A further accession, moreover, was made by the arrival of two
regiments of Hessians and Brunswickers, who came out to garrison the
citadel. Many of these presently obtained their discharge in order to
marry and settle down in Quebec. The current directory discloses many
names of German origin, names now high up in the roll of citizenship,
but once in the books of the Hanoverian regiments of George III.

A memorable figure passes across the stage of Quebec history just at
this time. In 1782 the frigate _Albemarle_, twenty-eight guns, lay in
the harbour, and her brilliant, handsome commander was Horatio Nelson.
This paragon of fortune had entered His Majesty's Navy as a child of
twelve; at fourteen he was captain's coxswain on the expedition of the
_Carcass_ to the North Pole; and now, with an astonishing experience
crowded into a life of twenty-four years, he dropped anchor before the
rock of Quebec.

(One of the four American Commissioners to Canada in 1776)]

The sober Haldimand was Governor, and the _Sturm und Drang_ of the
American Revolution had cast a cloud upon the social life of Canada.
For if Quebec was not what it had been in the days of Sir Guy and
Lady Carleton, the sterner _régime_ of Haldimand had deeper influences
behind it than the militarism of a rigid soldier. Nevertheless, Nelson
and his gay company helped to lighten the heavy cloud, and for the
space of a few weeks dinners and dances, on shore and on board the
_Albemarle_, enlivened the autumn season in the capital. Southey's
_Life of Nelson_ contains rather a quaint picture of the commander of
the _Albemarle_ about this time. Prince William Henry, then known as
the Duke of Clarence, regarded him as the merest boy of a captain he
had ever seen. Dressed in a full-laced uniform, an old-fashioned
waistcoat with long flaps, and his lank, unpowdered hair tied in a
stiff Hessian tail of extraordinary length, he made altogether so
remarkable a figure that, to use the Prince's own words, "I had never
seen anything like it before, nor could I imagine who he was nor what
he came about. But his address and conversation were irresistibly
pleasing; and when he spoke on professional subjects, it was with an
enthusiasm which showed he was no common being."

[Illustration: The Fourth Duke of Richmond.
Governor General of Canada 1818-1819.]

Freemasons' Hall, at the top of Mountain Hill, was the fashionable
rendezvous ashore, and not since the days of Murray's garrison had the
old stone hostel been so merrily possessed. One Miss Mary Simpson
appears to have been a _belle_ of the period; and Sir James Le Moine,
the antiquary, has identified her as the lady whose charms might have
changed the course of history. "At Quebec," writes his biographer,
"Nelson became acquainted with Alexander Davison, by whose
interference he was prevented from making what would have been called
an imprudent marriage. The _Albemarle_ was about to leave the
station, her captain had taken leave of his friends, and was gone down
the river to the place of anchorage, when, the next morning, as
Davison was walking on the beach, to his surprise he saw Nelson coming
back in his boat. Upon inquiring the cause of his reappearance, Nelson
took his arm to walk towards the town, and told him he found it
utterly impossible to leave Quebec without again seeing the woman
whose society contributed so much to his happiness, and then and there
offering her his hand. 'If you do,' said his friend, 'your utter ruin
must inevitably follow.' 'Then let it follow,' cried Nelson; 'for I am
resolved to do it.' 'And I,' replied Davison, 'am resolved you shall
not.' Nelson, however, on this occasion was less resolved than his
friend, and suffered himself to be led back to the boat."[37]

[Illustration: SAMUEL CHASE
(One of the four American Commissioners to Canada in 1776)]

It is not clear why Nelson's utter ruin should "inevitably follow" his
marriage with Mary Simpson. Was it on account of his youth? Or was the
statement due to Davison's distrust of marriage in general? If this
was the reason, it is evident that Nelson was not greatly moved by his
friend's pessimism; for not much more than a year later we find him
making an unsuccessful proposal of marriage to Miss Andrews, the
daughter of an English clergy-man at St. Omer, France, a rebuff for
which, in the following year, he found consolation in an alliance with
Mrs. Nesbit.

[Footnote 37: Southey's _Life of Nelson_, chap. i.]


The settlement of the United Empire Loyalists in Canada greatly
altered the political complexion of the conquered country. The terms
of the Quebec Act of 1774, though necessary in the circumstances,
were distinctly opposed to the views of the English minority, who
strongly resented the employment of French civil law. And now these
newcomers greatly increased the strength of this English faction, the
peculiar conditions under which they chose to throw in their lot with
Canada giving them a claim upon the Home government which could not be
disregarded. The continuous agitation for parliamentary government
which marked the years from 1783 to 1790, was not confined to the
English section of the population. With the English, however, it took
the special form of a demand for a separate province west of the river
Beaudette, the capital of which should be Cataraqui,[38] "with the
blessings of British laws, and of British Government, and an exemption
from French tenures."

In the midst of this political turmoil, Sir Guy Carleton, who, for his
distinguished services, had been raised to the peerage with the title
of Lord Dorchester, returned to Canada as Governor-General; and on the
23rd of October, 1786, Quebec welcomed her former deliverer at the
landing-stage, the whole population, French and English, uniting to
give him an honourable and joyous reception. Every one felt indeed
that Dorchester was the man to solve the political difficulty of the
period; and with these omens of success he set to work forthwith,
dividing the province into four administrative districts on an
English pattern, and preparing for the English government a careful
report on the social, political, and judicial conditions of his
province, to facilitate remedial legislation.

[Footnote 38: Now the City of Kingston, Ontario.]

[Illustration: Admiral Viscount Nelson]

In the spring of 1791 the younger Pitt introduced into the British
House of Commons a Bill providing for the political needs of Canada.
It proposed the division of the country into two provinces, the
special character of each being preserved through the medium of an
elective assembly. This naturally raised strenuous opposition among
the English minority whom this division would still leave in the
province of Lower Canada. It was all very well, they declared, for the
English of Upper Canada to be accorded representative government, but
for themselves this measure would mean a further decrease of influence
in Quebec. On behalf of the English section of the population, Adam
Lymburner, an influential merchant of the city, proceeded to England,
and was heard at the bar of the House of Commons. The debate was keen
and fierce. Pitt supported the Bill in its original form, contending
that the territorial separation would put an end to the strife between
the old French inhabitants and the new settlers from Britain and the
New England colonies. Edmund Burke, whose speech related mainly to the
French Revolution, was of opinion that "to attempt to amalgamate
two populations composed of races of men diverse in language, laws,
and customs, was a complete absurdity." Fox, opposing the division of
the province, accused Burke of irrelevancy in his address, and made a
speech which provoked a memorable quarrel and brought to an end the
friendship of the two greatest Parliamentary orators of the century.

At last, however, the Bill became law under the title of the
Constitutional Act; and on the 17th of December, 1792, the first
legislature of Lower Canada assembled in the chapel of the Bishop's
Palace, which had been fitted up as a council chamber. From the
seventeenth century this hoary structure of stone had overlooked the
Grand Battery from the top of Mountain Hill, commanding a view of the
basin and the attenuated Côte de Beaupré, of which from the time of
Laval it had been the seigneurial manor-house. In appropriating the
episcopal palace for legislative purposes, the Imperial government
recompensed the Catholic see of Quebec by an annuity. The old French
building was demolished in 1834, and the new House of Parliament, soon
afterwards erected on the same site, served to indicate the wonderful
political development of the French province as an integral part of
the British Empire.

The proclamation of the Constitutional Act, on the 26th of December,
1791, was the signal for great public rejoicings in Quebec. During the
day the regimental bands played to the trooping of the colours on the
Esplanade, and in the evening the streets were ablaze with lights and
torches, while fountains of fireworks broke from the high bastions of
the citadel. A public dinner, attended by one hundred and sixty
gentlemen, brought the _fête_ to a close.

[Illustration: Lord Dalhousie.
Governor General of Canada 1820-1828.]


An unusual feature of these celebrations was the presence of His Royal
Highness Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, son of George III., who had come
to Quebec in the preceding summer as colonel of the Seventh Fusiliers.
The transfer of this gay regiment from the Gibraltar of the Old World
to the Gibraltar of the New did more than merely decorate the social
annals of Quebec; for the visible presence of a prince of the blood
contributed not a little to crystallise the loyalty of a French
province not quite beyond the influence of the great revolutionary
fires of Europe. Although he was but twenty-five, Prince Edward had
the tact and _savoir faire_ of riper years; and during his three
years' residence in the garrison, exerted a great and far-reaching
influence on the fidelity of French Canada. The reception of the
gallant Prince when he landed at the head of his regiment in August
1791 was marked by all that enthusiasm which the Gallic city had
learned of old. Long since, in 1665, the Marquis de Tracy had
schooled her in these august pageants, and now when Commodore Sawyer's
squadron, consisting of the _Leander_, the _Resource_, the _Ariadne_,
the _Thisbe_, the _Ulysses_, and the _Resistance_, dropped anchor in
the basin, Quebec was streaming with flags and bunting and resounding
with music. Next day his Royal Highness held a _levée_ at Château St.
Louis, where the civic authorities assembled to do him honour.


Prince Edward established himself at Kent House, the sombre mansion in
St. Louis Street, which Bigot had built for the fascinating Angélique
des Meloises almost half a century before. Here he held his court; but
his heart was in the country, and except upon public occasions, he
preferred the stately retirement of Haldimand House, a rustic retreat
still standing near the brink of Montmorency Falls. Gaily he made his
promenade along the Beauport Road, or shot over the marshes of La
Carnardière; and at his own or the neighbouring homestead of M. de
Salaberry, the genial company whiled away many an evening with whist.
Frequent balls and receptions in the old Château recalled the days of
Frontenac's merry court; or, still further back, that night of
Canada's first ball, the 4th of February, 1667, when the courtly
soldiers of the Carignan-Salières regiment led the grand dames of New
France through the mazes of a Versailles quadrille. From a child,
indeed, Quebec had conned the worldly wisdom of Fontainebleau. Her
wholesome reputation for the social graces is reflected in the
compliment paid by George III. to the first Canadian lady who had the
honour to be presented at the Court of St. James's: "Madame, if the
ladies of Canada are at all like you, I have indeed made a conquest!"


It was among these gracious spirits that Prince Edward's lines were
fallen; and within the space of three years the large-hearted Duke had
bound the hearts of French Canada more firmly to the throne upon which
his own daughter was to sit as Queen Victoria.

    *    *    *    *    *

Meanwhile, in Europe, the feudalism which had lost Canada to France
was in its mortal throes. The shock of the French Revolution was
quivering through the hemisphere, and the convulsion was felt heavily
in the New World. In the United States, Washington was President,
Hamilton was at the Treasury, and Jefferson was Secretary of State,
with Madison as a colleague in the Cabinet. In the early stages of the
Revolution the United States had given enthusiastic sympathy to the
movement; but as it grew in violence, all but the mob and Jefferson
and Madison were alienated. No degree of tyranny appeared to offend
the sensibilities of these latter statesmen; and when the French
Convention declared war against England, their approval of that
measure all but committed the United States to the principles of red
republicanism. Genet, the French Ambassador to the United States, with
an insolence that defeated itself, carried on unblushing intrigues
until his recall was requested. For a time, moreover, the populace
cried out for war with England, and only the calm resolution of
Washington averted such a catastrophe. John Jay was presently
despatched to England to negotiate the "Treaty of Amity and Commerce,"
but it required all the weight of the sober-minded portion of the
population to secure its final ratification.

This, however, did not prevent M. Adet, the new French Ambassador to
the United States, from sending an address to the French Canadians,
informing them of the success of the arms of France against the allied
powers of Europe, and calling upon them to rally round the standard of
the Republic. The response to this appeal in the Province of Lower
Canada was absurdly feeble. The greatest power in all Canada--the
Church--shrank in horror from the blood-stained banner of regicide
France; and zealous always for the monarchy, the Catholic hierarchy
indignantly spurned the overtures of a republic whose most cherished
principle was atheism--which had abandoned the worship of God for the
cult of Reason. "For God and the King" had been the priestly motto
from time immemorial, and the new Republic repudiated obligation not
to one only but to both. Accordingly, the vast influence of the Church
was exerted on the side of loyalty to Great Britain.

It must not be assumed, however, that the intrigues which the French
Republic carried on by way of the United States, found no response
whatever in Lower Canada; for naturally enough there were some whose
habitual discontent made them ready for treasonable enterprise. Yet
the promoters of disaffection miscalculated the numbers and strength
of their party, and the resulting demonstration was factitious and

Lord Dorchester was withdrawn from Canada in the midst of this small
and abortive mutiny. For sixteen years, all told, this gallant soldier
of Wolfe's army had administered the country he helped to conquer, and
no Governor before or since has earned a more deserving fame. Quebec
and Montreal strove to outdo each other in the protestations of
loyalty and regret marking their valedictory addresses. On the 9th of
July, 1796, the frigate _Active_ embarked the veteran Governor, and
sailed for England. The vessel was wrecked, however, off the island of
Anticosti, fortunately without loss of life; and in small boats Lord
Dorchester and his companions reached Isle Percée, where they were
afterwards picked up by a ship from Halifax and conveyed to England.

General Prescott, who succeeded to the governorship, was a man of
harsher temperament. But although his anxiety for the loyalty of the
French province was much increased by the intrigues of revolutionary
agents, he soon perceived their plans to be fatuous and their
enterprise devoid of importance. While the forward spirits in Quebec
were leavening the mass of the _habitants_ with specious reports of a
French fleet ready to co-operate with them, a force composed for the
most part of ill-disposed Americans was to percolate into Canada from
Vermont. This so-called fleet consisted of a ship, ironically called
the _Olive Branch_, which had sailed from Ostend bound for Vermont
with twenty thousand stand of arms, several pieces of artillery, and a
quantity of ammunition. She had not got far on her way, however,
before a British cruiser seized her and bore her into Portsmouth

Meanwhile, Du Millière, an alleged French General, was scattering
money about on the borders of Vermont, while a plausible American was
intriguing at Quebec. With timber cutters and the simplest of artisans
as his confederates, this misguided revolutionist hatched his
theatrical conspiracy in the neighbouring woods. He proposed to
overcome the city-guard with laudanum; and fifteen thousand men were
only awaiting the uplifting of his hand! These and similar illusions
possessed a poor dupe named M'Lane, until the Government having
decided upon the apprehension of the leading conspirators, M'Lane was
arrested and charged with high treason. Chief Justice Osgoode
presided at the trial, and a jury condemned him to death.

[Illustration: PERCÉE ROCK]

On the 21st of July, 1797, above two thousand troops were drawn up in
the streets of Quebec as the chief conspirator was led forth to his
execution on the _glacis_ just outside St. John's Gate. "I saw M'Lane
conducted to the place of execution," writes De Gaspé excitedly. "He
was seated with his back to the horse on a wood-sleigh whose runners
grated on the bare ground and stones. An axe and a block were on the
front part of the conveyance. He looked at the spectators in a calm,
confident manner, but without the least effrontery. He was a tall and
remarkably handsome man. I heard some women of the lower class
exclaim, whilst deploring his sad fate, 'Ah, if it were only as in
old times, that handsome man would not have to die! There would be
plenty of girls ready to marry him in order to save his life!' And
even several days after the execution I heard the same thing repeated.
This belief, then universal among the lower class, must, I suppose,
have arisen from the fact that many French prisoners, condemned to the
stake by the savages, had owed their lives to the Indian women who had
married them. The sentence on M'Lane, however, was executed in all its
barbarity. I saw all with my own eyes, a big student named Boudrault
lifting me up from time to time in his arms so that I might lose
nothing of the horrible butchery. Old Dr. Duvert was near us, and he
drew out his watch as soon as Ward the hangman threw down the ladder
upon which M'Lane was stretched on his back, with the cord round his
neck made fast to the beam of the gallows....'He is quite dead,' said
Dr. Duvert, when the hangman cut down the body at the end of about
twenty-five minutes....The spectators who were nearest to the scaffold
say that the hangman then refused to proceed further with the
execution...and it was only after a good supply of guineas that the
sheriff succeeded in making him execute all the sentence, and that
after each act of the fearful drama his demands became more and more
exorbitant. Certain it is that after that time Mr. Ward became quite
a personage, never walking in the streets except with silk stockings,
a three-cornered hat, and a sword at his side. Two watches, one in his
breeches pocket and the other hanging from his neck by a silver chain,
completed his toilet."

(First Chief Justice of Upper Canada)]

With Black, the ship-carpenter who turned king's evidence against
M'Lane, the reward was far different. Blood-money failed to solace him
for the contumely heaped upon him; and, according to the historian
Garneau, he was so overcome by public contempt that after some years
he was reduced to begging his bread in the streets of Quebec.

[Illustration: NEW ST. LOUIS GATE]

Since the enactment of this gruesome tragedy more than a century ago,
the steep declivity which joins the Lower to the Upper Town, just
outside St. John's Gate, has retained the name of Gallows Hill. No
other executions appear to have taken place upon the spot, a
well-known hillock upon the Plains of Abraham having been for many
years the Golgotha of Quebec, while Gallows Hill only served this
purpose during a transition period. By 1814 we find an execution
taking place from the gaol erected four years before in St. Stanislaus
Street within the walls. On the 20th of May in this year, Patrick
Murphy paid the extreme penalty of the law for the wilful murder of
Marie Anne Dussault of the Parish of Les Escuriels. Four years later
Charles Alarie and Thomas Thomas were executed at the same place, "for
stealing to the value of forty shillings in a vessel on a navigable
river." The same register chronicles the dire fate of John Hart, a
Nova Scotian who, for larceny, was sentenced to six months'
imprisonment, and to be publicly "whipt between ten and twelve in the
market-place." Hart had no stomach for this ignominy, and escaped from
gaol on the 14th of February, 1826. Having been recaptured three days
later, in November of that year he stood with the noose about his neck
upon the fatal door.


It is doubtful, indeed, whether the unfortunate creatures behind those
stout walls on the Côte St. Stanislaus ever breathed the prayer
contained in a quaint inscription which till lately survived upon the
lintel of their prison-house: "_Carcer iste bonos a pravis vindicare
possit._"[39] To-day the building itself serves a more kindly purpose,
though the pious legend over the doorway might need but slight
revision. Morrin College occupies one wing, and the other contains the
well-stocked library of the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec.
Valuable manuscripts have taken the place of useless malefactors in
the donjon keep, and the vaults are full of the gold and myrrh of


[Footnote 39: "May this prison cause the wicked to bear testimony to
the just."]

The punishment of crime undoubtedly underwent more change in the last
half of the nineteenth century than during several of the preceding
centuries. There is, for instance, a striking resemblance between the
public whipping of John Hart and the chastisement of offenders so long
before as the time of Frontenac. In the year 1681, one Jean Rattier
was condemned to death, but his sentence was commuted on condition of
accepting the post of public executioner. Fourteen years afterwards
Rattier's own wife was apprehended for theft, and according to her
sentence, she was publicly whipped in the Lower Town Market-place by
the dutiful husband.



But now to leave the fortress city for a little space, and see its
influence working in the wilds which it had commanded by the valour of
its adventurers and traders. While England and France had been
contending on the St. Lawrence for mastery, and the struggle to gain
or to retain the Gibraltar of America had dragged its length through
generations, far off in the white north another strife between the
civil energies of both nations was being waged. The English
explorers--Frobisher, Davis, Hudson, and Baffin--had been the first to
reach the northern coast from the sea, giving their names to water and
territory which have since become familiar to the civilised world.
Theirs was the old dream--a north-western route to India and China. No
such vision, however, had presented itself to the French explorers
who, about the same time as the English, planted their flag upon those
barren shores, and pushed up from the south, partly to explore, but
more certainly to develop the trade in furs which the _Compagnie
des cents Associés_, founded by Richelieu in 1627, had already worked
to advantage. The charter of this Company, indeed, did not include the
regions of Hudson's Bay, but was confined to the province of Canada
alone. To-day, Canada comprises all the vast territory north of the
49th parallel of latitude, even to the pole; then its sphere of
influence stretched westward to the Missouri and the Mississippi, and
southward to Louisiana; while those regions now called Manitoba,
Saskatchewan, Athabasca, Assiniboine, and the Klondike were as yet
unknown. When Hearne, the Hudson's Bay Company explorer, pushed his
way northward and westward to the copper mine on the Copper River, it
seemed as if the ultimate ends of the world had been reached, and that
the vast region of ice and snow, inhabited by wandering tribes of
Indians, would be for ever the property of a trading company.

[Illustration: Gen. Lord Aylmer. Born in 1775.
Governor General of Canada.

So far back as 1630 an agency of commerce and exploration was founded
in Quebec, under the name of the Beaver Company. This was forty years
before the Hudson's Bay Company received its charter from the second
Charles. The French went so far in their eagerness for territory that
they even claim to have discovered Hudson's Bay, through one Jean
Bourdon, in 1656. This claim is not admitted, however, in the _Jesuit
Relations_, where, in 1672, Father Albanel writes: "Hitherto this
voyage had been considered impossible to Frenchmen, who, after having
undertaken it three times, and not having been able to surmount the
obstacles, had seen themselves to abandon it in despair of success."
The claims of England to the territory were undoubted; but there can
be no question that Frenchmen were the first traders in the vicinity
of Hudson's Bay.

[Illustration: MR. SAMUEL HEARNE
(Explorer of the Hudson's Bay Company and Chief Factor
at Prince of Wales Fort, Hudson's Bay)]

The names of two stand out clearly, first as agents of French
enterprise, and afterwards of successful English adventure, in this
early commercial history of the far north; where, for nearly two
centuries and a half, British energy and justice, and the honesty of
English rule has, through the Hudson's Bay Company, worked southward
to meet the ever increasing territory owned by the French until 1759.
The Frenchmen whose names are so identified with the early history of
Hudson's Bay were Medard Chouart, called also Groseilliers, and Pierre
Radisson. They had emigrated from France as young men in the middle
years of the century, and settled at first in Three Rivers. After a
somewhat intricate matrimonial experience, Radisson had established
relations which afterwards stood them both in good stead, at the same
time typifying the ambiguous nature of international relations in the
far north. On the French side he was son-in-law to Abraham Martin,
whose name was given to the Heights of Abraham; he was also
son-in-law to Sir John Kirke, a brother of the English admiral to whom
Champlain surrendered Quebec; while to bind him closer to the
companion of his adventurous life, he was brother-in-law to

[Illustration: The Territory of the
HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY, 1670 to 1870.]

Thus allied by disposition and relationship the two enterprising
Frenchmen, allured by visions of fortune and adventure in the unknown
regions of the north, soon abandoned the safe comforts of town life;
and having served a probation in several short expeditions, they at
last applied to the reigning powers in Quebec for leave to operate on
a larger scale. The existing Company, however, jealous for its
monopoly, hedged them round with such difficult conditions that the
young men broke impatiently from all control and plunged into the
wilds of the West, penetrating at least as far as Lake Winnipeg. But
Quebec was a stern step-mother, and when they returned, instead of
meeting congratulation, they were arrested and fined for illicit
trading. After a vain appeal to Paris, finding themselves rejected and
discredited among their own countrymen, the two adventurers performed
the first of those political somersaults which made them a nine days'
wonder alternately in London and Paris, and finally brought to one, at
least, an inglorious competency of £10 a month. Fifty eventful years
were, however, to roll past before that anti-climax to the drama of
their lives. To begin with, when they had shaken off the dust of New
France, they repaired to Boston, propounding to the New England
traders the novel scheme for furnishing an expedition to be sent round
to Hudson's Bay by way of the sea; at the same time offering their own
experience for service in the undertaking. Although disposed to favour
the proposal, the Boston merchants had no available ships of their
own, but advised an application to the English Court. Arriving in
England in 1667, the two friends were introduced by Lord Arlington,
then ambassador in Paris, to Prince Rupert, the natural patron of all
adventurers at the time, and who, moreover, was then expecting a grant
of territory in America as a reward for his services to the royal
cause. Already the merchants of London had been roused to the
possibilities of this trade by the recent arrival of the first cargo
of furs from New Amsterdam; and now when the two impartial Frenchmen
pointed out to them that the trade was being choked in Quebec, and
that England had a golden opportunity of profitable enterprise, two
vessels, the _Nonsuch_ and the _Eagle_, were fitted out without delay,
and one Captain Gillam received instructions to investigate and

[Illustration: PRINCE OF WALES'S FORT, HUDSON'S BAY, 1777]

[Illustration: PRINCE RUPERT]

Such was the beginning of the Hudson's Bay Company. Having spent a
winter at Fort Charles, the first fort on the Bay, so named after
the royal patron, the adventurers returned to England in 1670 with
such solid proofs of the soundness of the speculation, that the new
Company received a charter from the King under the title of "_The
Governor and Company of Adventurers of England, Trading into Hudson's
Bay_." The Company were constituted lords and proprietors of the
territories round Hudson's Bay, now called Rupert's Land, having
powers like those of the feudal lords of an earlier time--"to employ
ships of war, to erect forts, to make reprisals, to send home English
traders who neglected their licenses, and to declare war or make peace
with any people not Christian." Although the Declaration of Rights in
1689 limited the rights granted by exclusive charters, and allowed
British subjects to trade freely to any quarter, yet the Hudson's Bay
Company had in the twenty years previous to that date obtained such a
hold upon the new territory, especially by the erection of forts, that
they easily left all competitors behind.

The spirit of discovery was never so alive among the French as during
those years following the expulsion of Radisson and Groseilliers; yet
the Government in Quebec was slow to realise the serious nature of the
menace in the north; and from the official papers afterwards prepared
for the British delegates at Utrecht, their easy confidence is thus

       "Mr. Bailey, the Company's first Governor of their
   factories and settlements in that Bay, entertained a
   friendly correspondence by letters and otherwise with
   Monsieur Frontenac, then Governor of Canada, not in the
   least complaining, in several years, of any pretended
   injury done to France by the said Company's settling a
   trade and building a fort at the bottom of Hudson's Bay,
   nor making pretensions to any right of France on that
   Bay, or to the countries bordering on it, till long after
   this time."

Trouble, however, came in due course. With a natural distrust of
renegade Frenchmen, Governor Bailey suspected the two friends of being
concerned in a plot set on foot by certain Jesuit agents of the
Intendant Talon in 1673, by which the loyalty of the Indians was to be
alienated from the English traders. After scenes of personal violence,
the alleged traitors justified the suspicions of the Governor by
severing once more the slender tie of their allegiance and returning
to the service of France. Nor was it long before new fruits of their
restless energy appeared. In 1681 the _Compagnie du Nord_ was
organised as a rival to the "Adventurers of England"; and in the same
year the Intendant Duchesneau complained to his Government of the
aggressions of the English traders.

"They" (the English), he wrote, "are still in Hudson's Bay on the
north and do great damage to our fur trade....The sole means to
prevent them succeeding in what is prejudicial to us would be to drive
them by main force from that Bay, which belongs to us. Or, if there
would be an objection in coming to that extremity, to construct forts
on the rivers falling into the lakes, in order to stop the Indians at
these points."

From this time to the peace of Utrecht there was war between the
Hudson's Bay Company and the French. A veiled expedition set out from
Quebec in 1682, under the guidance of Groseilliers and Radisson, to
attack the forts on the Bay; and by their effrontery and good
generalship they at last became possessed of the newly built Fort
Nelson, with Bridgar its Governor, and returned next year with their
prisoners and spoils to Quebec. But this triumph was soon converted by
their lawless temper into disgrace and condemnation; and to escape
penalty for misappropriating large quantities of fur, the two leaders
were compelled to fly from New France for the second time, and once
more take refuge in Paris.

But now the English Company decided to make another bid for the
services of these versatile bushrangers, who once more proved their
graceful facility for playing a double game. Radisson was sent by the
English ambassador to London, where he became a lion of society, and
was presented to Charles II. John Selwyn thus describes his

       "To the Duke's Playhouse, where Radisson, the American
   fur-trader, was in the royal box. Never was such a
   combination of French, English, and Indian savage as Sir
   John Kirke's son-in-law....He was not wont to dress so
   when he was last here, but he has got him a new coat with
   much lace upon it, which he wears with his leather
   breeches and shoes. His hair is a perfect tangle. It is
   said he has made an excellent fortune for himself."

[Footnote 40: Quoted by Beckles Willson, _The Great Company_, vol. i.
p. 141.]

[Illustration: The Earl of Durham.
Governor General of Canada May-Oct. 1838.]

Radisson's star, however, was almost set, for although he enriched his
new masters with fresh cargoes of spoil from the north, his reckless
disposition had again involved him in a quarrel with a powerful agent
of the Company, and on returning to England he found himself
discredited and neglected. With a pension of ten pounds a month, paid
by the Company only after the strenuous Radisson had had recourse to
law, he continued to live in obscurity until 1720, his friend
Groseilliers having died ten years before. He had paid dearly for his
lack of patriotism. An affected or assumed distrust of him on the part
of the Hudson's Bay Company, who had profited enormously by his
services, was the unconvincing reason given for mean neglect and an
injustice only at last set right by the law invoked through Sir
William Young and Richard Cradock, members of the Company. Brigand or
traitor though he was, as such he had been the agent of the Hudson's
Bay Company, and his bold services were worthy of reward.

Meantime the Company's servants were being hard pressed in the Bay,
confronted as they were by one of the best commanders of the time, the
famous Sieur d'Iberville, who gained his first laurels in this
obscure conflict. Although the glory of the campaign was reaped by
their French assailants, who, between the years 1682 and 1688,
inflicted losses on the Company to the extent of seven ships with
their cargoes, and six forts and factories, yet the material
advantages turned out in the end to be on the side of the English
traders. Among other indiscretions, the conquerors fell to quarrelling
with the Indian tribes, who soon made their position on the shores of
Hudson's Bay intolerable; while the _coureurs de bois_, spreading out
from their headquarters at Michillimackinac, diverted the Indian
trappers from French and English forts alike.

On the other hand, the Hudson's Bay Company were able, in 1690, to
declare a dividend of seventy-five per cent on their original stock;
and on the accession of William III. they presented him with a
substantial proof of the progress of their undertaking:--

       "On this happy occasion," so their address ran, "we
   desire also most humbly to present to your Majesty a
   dividend of 225 guineas upon a £300 stock in the Hudson's
   Bay Company...and although we have been the greatest
   sufferers of any Company from those enemies of all
   mankind, the French, yet when your Majesty's just arms
   shall have given repose to all Christendom, we also
   shall enjoy our share of these great benefits, and do not
   doubt but to appear often with this golden fruit in our
   hands, under the happy influence of your Majesty's most
   gracious protection over us and all our concerns."

William acknowledged this manifestation of loyalty by granting the
Company a confirmation of their charter, and by including a statement
of their grievances in his first declaration of war against France;
but it is evident that the Home Government at that time took little
real heed to the interests of this distant dependency, and by a casual
clause in the Treaty of Ryswick the most important ports on Hudson's
Bay were ceded to the French.

The Company's prospects after that surrender were indeed gloomy;
shares fell low, indifference and ignorance prevailing in high places;
and the faithful remnant could only hope for a renewal of the war. But
at last Fortune began to smile again; for although no important
battles were ever afterwards fought in the region of the Bay, the
brilliant campaigns of Marlborough in Europe reflected glory upon the
struggling traders in the New World, and gave them prestige and power;
until finally, by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, the huge undefined
domain of Hudson's Bay was unconditionally yielded up to Great
Britain. After many years one more hapless attempt was made to
capture the forts of the north; but thenceforth the French put forward
no regular claim to the territory so long disputed.

Although the merchants of New England in due course made efforts to
secure a share of the fur trade, the only real competition, from first
to last, was offered by the French explorers. In 1684 Du Lhut had been
sent westward by Governor La Barre to counteract the influence of the
Hudson's Bay Company with the Indians, and he had only reported to his
master that in two years not a single savage would visit the English
at Hudson's Bay. Iberville's victories in the north, however, had
distracted the attention of the Government from this enterprise, and
the work was left to be carried on by independent traders. A
profitable trade in furs sprang up on the lines of La Vérendrye's
discoveries, and the forts of Michillimackinac and Sault Ste. Marie
continued to flourish until the traders were finally withdrawn from
all the outlying regions to defend Quebec against the English.

It had been a gallant fight, in which the native qualities of both
races had been seen to advantage. Ardent, brave, adventurous, the
Frenchman had ever been the best of pioneers. With a faculty for
acquiring languages and dialects, he quickly adapted himself to the
ways of the Indian, won their sympathy, and treated them with an
equality and freedom which made their path of peaceful conquest easy
and trade a cheerful jugglery. From first to last there entered into
the life of the French trader and adventurer an element of patriotism
and romance--conquest for conquest's sake and for the glory of French
enterprise. He must ever remain the more eloquent, the more
picturesque figure, the more admired pioneer of the Far North. But his
rival, the Briton, had qualities which outwore him, and the
patriarchal and stable methods of the Hudson's Bay Company prevailed
in the end.

The heroic age of the Company had passed away; and now a long and
uneventful period began, in which, as in the Middle Ages, the energies
of men were slowly gathering for the more strenuous activity of modern

"_Pro pelle cutem_," the chosen motto of the Company, was perhaps
humorously understood as conveying loosely the notion of an exchange
of peltries; for certainly the vindictive principle, "a skin for a
skin," did not mark their dealings with the Indian tribes. From the
first they were fortunate in encountering more peaceable races than
those opposing the colonists further south; and a regular trade was
conducted upon the basis of a fixed scale of values, the unit of
calculation being one beaver skin. Thus a gun could be procured for
eight, or ten, or twelve winter beavers, according to the
classification of the skin by size and weight. One beaver was the
equivalent of a hatchet, or four pounds of shot, or half a pound of
beads, or a pound of tobacco. A laced coat was worth six beavers, and
a looking-glass and comb cost two beavers; and so on through all the
luxuries and necessities of Indian life, other pelts being always
reduced to the terms of beaver skins.

A traveller[41] who visited the country at a somewhat later period of
the eighteenth century has drawn a picture of the ornate ceremony,
which, on the Indian side at least, transformed barter into a solemn
function, and provided the exiled traders with a comedy of manners. He
describes how, salutes having been fired on both sides, the Indians
are elaborately welcomed within the fort, where, after long silence
and much tobacco-smoking, the subject of the visit is distantly
broached, and the chief receives propitiatory gifts of brightly
coloured apparel: "A coarse cloth coat, either red or blue, lined with
baize, and having regimental cuffs; and a waistcoat and breeches of
baize. The suit is ornamented with orris lace. He is also presented
with a white orris shirt; his stockings are of yarn, one of them red,
the other blue, and tied below the knee with worsted garters; his
Indian shoes are sometimes put on, but he frequently walks in his
stocking feet; his hat is coarse, and bedecked with three ostrich
feathers of various colours, and a worsted sash tied round the crown;
a small silk handkerchief is tied round his neck, and this compleats
his dress."

[Footnote 41: Umfreville, _Present State of Hudson's Bay_, 1790.]

The Chief thus gaily equipped is conducted back from the fort to his
own tent. "In the front a halbard and ensign are carried; next a
drummer beating a march; then several of the factory servants bearing
the bread, prunes, pipes, tobacco, brandy, etc. Then comes the Captain
[Chief], walking quite erect and stately, smoaking his pipe, and
conversing with the Factor."

Afterwards came the smoking of the sacred calumet, the pledge of peace
and unity, followed by the inspection of the merchandise, and a speech
from the Chief in this wise:--

       "You told me last year to bring many Indians to trade,
   which I promised to do; you see I have not lied; here are
   a great many young men come with me; use them kindly, I
   say; let them trade good goods; I say! We lived hard last
   winter and hungry, the powder being short measure and
   bad, I say! Tell your servants to fill the measure, and
   not to put their thumbs within the brim; take pity on us,
   take pity on us, I say! We paddle a long way to see you;
   we love the English. Let us trade good black tobacco,
   moist and hard twisted; let us see it before it is
   opened. Take pity on us, take pity on us, I say! The
   guns are bad; let us trade light guns, small in the hand
   and well shaped, with locks that will not freeze in the
   winter, and red gun cases. Let the young men have more
   than measure of tobacco; cheap kettles, thick and high.
   Give us good measure of cloth; let us see the old
   measure; do you mind me? The young men love you, by
   coming so far to see you; take pity, take pity, I say;
   and give them good goods; they like to dress and be fine.
   Do you understand me?"

By such yearly functions, by gifts, and a sober friendliness never
dissociated from the authority of the ruling race, the English company
held its sway after the French had retired.

(Celebrated North-West explorer)]

About this time, however, loud complaints were heard on all hands of
the want of enterprise of the Hudson's Bay Company in not seizing the
opportunities afforded by the charter. Its trade was lethargic, its
traders were timid or slothful, its people possessed none of that
audacity and adventure which had sent Frenchmen like Du Lhut and La
Vérendrye into the wilds intent on territory or trade. They yawned and
were content with the trade which came their way. It seemed as though
they smugly counted on their business virtue to attract, and their
yearly gifts and patronage to allure the fur-hunting tribes. A world
lay spread around them, and they remained at the doors of their posts
and forts. No joy of the woods possessed them, no faith in the future
drew them on; they followed the makers of Empire, guessing nothing of
what Empire meant, hating their rivals for gifts they neither
possessed nor desired. One Joseph Robson, who worked as surveyor in
the northern forts in 1744, relates a conversation held that year with
the captain at York Factory:--

       "I expressed my surprise," he writes, "that the Company
   did not send Englishmen up the rivers to encourage and
   endear the natives, and by that means put a stop to the
   progress of the French....He said that he believed the
   French would have all the country in another century. To
   which I could not help immediately replying that such an
   alienation could only be effected through the remissness
   of the English." Robson next requested leave to travel
   inland; and "this brought on dismal tales of the
   difficulties to be encountered in such an expedition; and
   when I talked of going up rivers, I was told of
   stupendous heaps of ice and dreadful waterfalls, which
   would not only obstruct my passage but endanger my life.
   To confirm this, he said that Governor Maclish once
   attempted to go a little way up Nelson River to look for
   timber in order to build a factory, but found such heaps
   of ice in the river that they were discouraged from
   proceeding any higher."[42]

Umfreville, the writer and traveller already quoted, likewise
challenges the Company for its "total want of spirit, to push on its
work with that vigour which the importance of the contest deserves.
The merchants from Canada," he continues, "have been heard to
acknowledge that were the Hudson's Bay Company to prosecute their
trade in a spirited manner, they must be soon obliged to give up all
thoughts of penetrating into the country; as from the vicinity of the
Company's factories to the inland parts, they can afford to undersell
them in every branch."

[Footnote 42: Robson, _Six Years' Residence in Hudson's Bay_, 1752.]

[Illustration: Sir John Colborne, (afterwards Lord Seaton)
Governor General of Canada 1838-1841.]

This advantage enabled the older Company to reach the stations on the
Bay at an earlier season of the year than was possible for their
rivals by the overland route. Yet such was the zeal animating the
Canadian companies that, conquering all difficulties of season and
situation, they delivered goods to the Indians in their villages and
tepees, thus anticipating their journey to the north; and some time
after the Conquest forty canoes of about four tons burden each left
the St. Lawrence every year for the interior.

The fall of Quebec marked a crisis in the affairs of the Hudson's Bay
Company, and for a time indeed it seemed as if it also would pass away
with the old _régime_. Their foes at this time began to multiply; for
while the veteran _coureurs de bois_ of Canada were ready enough,
after the Conquest, to take service under their new masters, the
Colonial forces were now further augmented by a large body of Scotch
settlers, partly Jacobite refugees, and partly soldiers of the
Highland regiments of Amherst and Wolfe. With vitality thus renewed
the Canadians now turned to the west, their emissaries penetrating as
far westward as Sturgeon Lake on the Saskatchewan, where a trading
station was erected to divert the Indians from the forts at Hudson's
Bay. But suddenly the "Adventurers of England" awoke from their long
sleep, and Hearne, their agent, was forthwith sent to open up new
territories, across which a chain of stations soon marked the
successive stages of their progress, from Cumberland House to distant
Athabasca. The spirit of competition was now aflame, and on many
occasions in the course of the next fifty years it caused the opposing
Companies to pass the limits of commercial strife and contend in open
warfare, until mutual interest and vice-regal authority at last
combined to reconcile them.

A great and threatening rival to the Hudson's Bay Company had come.
The North-West Company, founded at Montreal in 1782, under the
leadership of Simon McTavish, was founded on principles which made it
a power against the older organisation, its agents receiving a
stimulus to enterprise from a share in the profits of the undertaking
and pay double that given by the English Company. These advantages
proved so potent, that soon after beginning operations the
North-Westers were able to send abroad skins to four times the value
of those exported by their great rival.

But this zeal was met in a new and robust spirit which held the issue
of the conflict long in doubt. The beginning of the new century saw
its force increase--a civil war carried on beyond the vision of the
nations in the vast forests of the north. The story of this Homeric
struggle, however, with its romantic episodes and opposing
heroes--Cuthbert Grant, Colin Robertson, Duncan Cameron, and the
rest--the battle of Greys against Blues, in which the chiefs of the
north, issuing with their wild _bois brûles_ from the stronghold of
Fort William,[43] raided and harried the despised "old countrymen,"
the "Pork-eaters," the "Workers in gardens," or suffered reprisals
from these underestimated rivals; the history of Lord Selkirk's
settlement in the Red River, around which the final battle wound in
the year when Europe was witnessing the last great effort of
Napoleon--all this does not fall within the scope of the present work.

[Footnote 43: Founded in honour of William M'Gillivray in 1805.]

[Illustration: SIMON M'TAVISH
(Founder of the North-West Company in 1783)]

In 1821, under pressure from the Duke of Richmond, the Greys and Blues
agreed to merge their forces in an equal partnership, which,
retaining the name of the older Company, was framed on the
co-operative principle so effective in the success of the
North-Western concern. Having received a fresh charter from the
Government, the new Company began a peaceful and not less profitable
career, until in exchange for an indemnity of three hundred thousand
pounds, and a grant of seven million acres in the best districts of
the North-West Territories, the feudal rights of the Hudson's Bay
Company were at last taken over by the Dominion of Canada. The
Company, however, still pursues its prosperous way. Its forts and
posts are sources of influence, centres of safety; its officers and
men a devoted and upright band who have proved their right to the
gratitude of the empire--unliveried policemen of good government and
national integrity.

[Illustration: EARL OF SELKIRK
(Founder of Selkirk Settlement, 1820)]



Quebec entered upon the nineteenth century equipped with the machinery
of constitutional government, which was, however, clogged in action by
unhappy divisions within the city. The four years of Sir James Craig's
rule were disturbed by a truceless war between the Legislative
Assembly and the Governor, whose arbitrary temper ill qualified him to
lead a people still groping for standing-ground within the area of
their new constitution. He looked at popular institutions with the
distrust natural to an old soldier, and the period of his
administration became known in the annals of the province as "the
reign of little King Craig." Born at Gibraltar, he had entered the
army at the tender age of fifteen, and having earned rapid promotion
on many battlefields, he finally reached the rank of major-general at
the close of the American revolutionary war. Further experience in
India and the Mediterranean increased his reputation, and in the
autumn of 1807 he arrived in Quebec full of military honours, and
imbued with the high political views then held by the most exclusive
wing of the Tory party. The members of the Legislative Council and the
administrative clique drew close about the person of this new
champion, and in the same degree the French majority in the
Legislative Assembly held aloof. The burning questions of the day,
whether the judges should sit and vote in Parliament, whether the
Assembly could communicate directly with the Home Government--these
were but the occasions of an antagonism really due to diversity of
race and temperament; for, as Lord Durham discovered a generation
later, "this sensitive and polite people" revolted, not so much
against political disability, as against the exclusive manners and
practices of a ruling class far removed from themselves by language
and mode and code, who ruffled their racial pride at every turn.


The new Governor was now the forcible instrument of this unsympathetic
power. With an undue sense of the importance of the vice-royalty, the
_ipse dixit_ of "the little king" dissolved Parliament on more than
one occasion. On the other side, _Le Canadien_, the journal of the
French party, rhetorically stood for liberty, fraternity, and equality
as against arbitrary government. Moderate men, wavering for a time,
were at last scandalised by its editorial violence, and rallied to the
side of the Governor. The situation quickly became acute, and
stringent measures of repression were adopted by Sir James Craig and
his councillors. The offending journal was suppressed; five
recalcitrant officers of militia were relieved of their command; and,
finally, the city guards were strengthened to meet the peril of a
possible insurrection. Soon a new element of danger appeared in the
threatened war between England and the United States, offering to the
aggrieved party a tempting occasion for redress. Fortunately, however,
neither the unwisdom of the English Government nor the neighbourhood
of a hostile power availed to drive or lure the Canadians into the
crooked path of rebellion. As the past had already proved, their
country's peril was sufficient to unite in hearty concord all parties,
French and English, in the defence of the common heritage; the
experience of half a century of British rule having convinced even the
survivors of the _Ancien Régime_ that however haughty or aloof
officials might be, security, order, and justice prevailed under the
British flag.

[Illustration: Lord Sydenham.
Governor General of Canada 1839-1841.]

Considering the especial temptations to treason bearing upon the
French population at this crisis, such loyal conduct is the more
praiseworthy. In the first place, it was maintained throughout a war
which was part of England's life-and-death struggle against France,
the mother-country of French Canadians. Again, apart from this natural
affinity with the chiefest enemy of England, material causes operated
yet further to strain their faith; for the enterprise of Montgomery
and Arnold was about to be resumed; and the French must choose either
to suffer the terrors of a hostile invasion, or to join the armies of
the United States in driving the British power for ever from the
Continent. Finally, as if these tests of loyalty were not enough, the
port of Quebec was invaded by English press-gangs, who terrorised the
quays of the Lower Town and kidnapped able-bodied youths of both
races. But notwithstanding so many temptations to swerve from
allegiance, when news came in June, 1812, that the Americans had
declared war against England, the loyal sentiment of the Canadians was
unanimous, the Maritime Provinces joining their forces with those of
Lower and Upper Canada to repel the invaders; and Major-General Isaac
Brock, the Lieutenant-Governor, in his speech to the Legislature of
the Upper Province, thus expressed the feeling of the entire

       "We are engaged," he declared, "in an awful and eventful
   contest. By unanimity and despatch in our councils, and
   vigour in our operations, we may teach the enemy this
   lesson, that a country defended by free men
   enthusiastically devoted to the cause of their king and
   constitution can never be conquered."

Thus, instead of the support on which they calculated, the invading
army was to encounter a resolute and united foe. Nor were the causes
of Canadian loyalty far to seek. The French population, by nature
loyal and content, were unwilling to sever the ties of noble
monarchical tradition binding them to the past, and embark upon the
troubled seas of American politics, there to be lost among loose and
powerful majorities out of sympathy with their conservative ideals,
their temperament, and those racial rights so fully acknowledged by
England after the Conquest. Also east and west, the Maritime Provinces
and Upper Canada contained an element already devotedly attached to
the Crown. The sacrifices of the United Empire loyalists made almost
sacred the soil of Upper Canada, now Ontario. Men who had already
braved the anger of their fellow-citizens in the American Colonies,
and abandoned their homes to witness to the ideal of a united empire,
were not likely at the last to throw away their crown of service and
stultify themselves before the world.

(Lieut.-Governor of Upper Canada, December 1813 to April 1815)]

Upper Canada was already a flourishing colony, containing at the
outbreak of this American war about a quarter of the population of the
two provinces combined. To balance inferiority in point of numbers,
the peculiar circumstances of the English colonists--affinity of race
to the mother-country, a fertile territory, the memory of special
benefits received--combined to bring the zealous British sentiment of
the new province into special prominence at this crisis. Inspired by
the wise counsels of Sir Guy Carleton, the British Government had
there formerly pursued a generous policy now about to bear opportune
fruit; for when, at the end of the War of Independence, the loyalist
refugees were crowding to the appointed places of rendezvous along the
northern frontier, facing the future unprovided, the large sum of
£3,000,000 sterling had been granted to recompense their losses, in
addition to further help allowed more needy settlers. Under the four
years of Colonel Simcoe's sympathetic rule (1791-95), the province had
trebled its population, a vigorous immigration policy enticing crowds
of wavering loyalists or enterprising speculators from the south.
"Where," asks Brock in his proclamation at the opening of the war,
"where is to be found, in any part of the world, a growth so rapid in
prosperity and wealth as this colony exhibits?"

Yet the inhabitants of Upper Canada, for all their special interest in
the British connection, hardly exceeded the Lower Province in the zeal
with which they rose to meet the new invasion. Indeed, the United
States had entirely miscalculated the strength of this spirit of
loyalty, which proved a more potent inspiration than their own
vaunted superiority in resources and population: for, on the American
side, recruits came slowly forward, and the movement had none of the
spontaneity evident among their adversaries. The "Loyal and Patriotic
Society," established by Bishop Strachan, then rector of York,
undertook to provide for the national wants of Canada created by the
war. The sum of £120,000 was raised in Upper Canada and the Maritime
Provinces, while the Quebec Legislature contributed no less than
£250,000 towards preparations for defence. At the same time, the
colonials were zealously enlisting, all men between the ages of
sixteen and forty-five being required to serve in the militia; and
their strength was further supplemented by more than four thousand
regulars, scattered throughout the country.

The Commander-in-Chief of these forces was Sir George Prevost, who had
come to Quebec as Governor in succession to Sir James Craig, a change
much welcomed by the French Canadians; for although the new Governor
was not an able general, he possessed the gentle art of conciliation,
a gift of almost equal value at that critical time. As the New England
States had been averse to war from the beginning, the adjoining
Maritime Provinces of Canada were spared the trial of invasion, and
the quarrel was fought out along the southern border of Upper and
Lower Canada.

(Administrator of Upper Canada, 1812)]

The American Commander, General Dearborn, divided his army of invasion
into three parts, intending first to secure a base of operations at
the three important points of Detroit, Niagara, and Queenston, and
thence to overrun the Upper Province. He was confident that, with the
help of the disaffected colonists, these columns would soon be able
to converge and march together upon the capital. General Hull, of
Michigan, commanded the army of the west; Van Rensselaer led the army
of the centre against Niagara and Queenston; while the army of the
north, under Dearborn himself, moved from Albany by Lake Champlain
towards Ontario.

On the Canadian side, Major-General Brock appeared to realise most
clearly the need for decided measures. His commanding presence--he was
six feet three inches in height--and his immense muscular strength
were joined to an intense and chivalrous spirit which was a deciding
influence in uniting the colonists to energetic defence. His practical
sense appears in an order directing officers "On every occasion when
in the field to dress in conformity to the men, in order to avoid the
bad consequence of a conspicuous dress,"--an expedient only lately
adopted in more modern warfare, and not until bitter necessity forced

In other respects, however, we have outgrown the ideas entertained at
that time on the subject of martial appearance, for the writer of the
_Ridout Letters_[44] says, immediately after the battle on Queenston

       "The American prisoners, officers, and men are the most
   savage-looking fellows I ever saw. To strike a greater
   terror in their enemies they had allowed their beards on
   their upper lips to grow. This, however, had no other
   effect upon us than to raise sensations of disgust."

[Footnote 44: _Ten Years of Upper Canada in Peace and War_, 1805-1815,
_being the Ridout Letters, with Annotations_, by Matilda Edgar, 1891.]

Brock was a native of the Island of Guernsey, and had served with the
armies of Britain in many parts of the world, being also present with
Nelson at Copenhagen; but had already served officially in Canada for
ten years before the war. He now found himself opposed to the
vainglorious Hull; nor was it long before he justified his reputation
and won glory for the arms of Canada by capturing the American General
at Detroit, together with 2500 troops and thirty-three cannon. Brock's
ally on this occasion was the Chief Tecumseh, an Indian of reputed
supernatural birth, the natives having been induced to throw in their
lot with the British colonists in consequence of the seizure of the
old port of Michillimackinac by a small force of regulars and Canadian
voyageurs. Following his career of victory, Brock was soon afterwards
confronted by the army of the Centre, consisting of six thousand
Americans, and engaged in the memorable battle on Queenston Heights.
Here, after a long and doubtful fight, the colonial forces were once
more successful, though they paid a heavy price for victory in the
loss of their wise and brave commander, whose name is endeared to all
Canadians, and whose renown grows with succeeding generations.

Meanwhile General Dearborn had undertaken the invasion of Lower Canada
with the army of the north, setting out from Albany to attack Montreal
by way of Lake Champlain; and to oppose him Colonel De Salaberry, at
the head of the French Canadian regiment of Voltigeurs, together with
three hundred Indians and a force of rural militia, held an advanced
post on the River Lacolle. De Salaberry was distinguished by long
experience of foreign service in the British army, having already
confronted the Americans, when as a mere boy-subaltern he had covered
the evacuation of Matilda. In 1795 he commanded a company of
Grenadiers in the expedition to Martinique; and some years later held
the post of honour with the Light Brigade at the capture of Flushing.
And now at last he brought his experience to the defence of his native
province, where his name and fame are not more deeply venerated than
in the English provinces.

Reaching the outpost of Lacolle late in November, a strong force of
Dearborn's army found the Canadian militia securely intrenched at
Blairfindie. But the season was already far advanced; and now
successive blows fell in the news of Hull's surrender at Detroit and
of the defeat on the Oueenston Heights; so that at last the American
commander despaired of success against the spirited defenders of Lower
Canada, and decided to abandon the plans against Montreal and to fall
back forthwith on Albany. Thus, apart from some successes won by the
United States upon the sea, the result of the first campaign was
altogether favourable to the Colonies.

The second year of the war put the loyalty of Lower Canada to more
crucial tests. Once more the Americans planned and exploited a
threefold attack, in the west, centre, and east. In the west, they
were repulsed at Frenchtown by General Proctor; but in the centre this
loss was more than counter-balanced by the control of Lake Ontario by
American vessels, leading to the capture of Fort York,[45] the capital
of the Upper Province, and of Fort George, near Niagara, the Canadian
generals, Sheaffe and Vincent, being compelled to fall back upon
Kingston and Burlington Heights. In following up these successes,
however, the Americans were severely checked at Stoney Creek, near
Hamilton; while another blow was inflicted upon them by the skilful
strategy of Lieutenant Fitzgibbon, who, having been warned of the
enemy's advance by the heroic Laura Secord, devised a trap in which,
with a handful of Canadians and Indians, he captured a large force
under Colonel Boerstler, at Beaver Dams.

[Footnote 45: Now Toronto.]

[Illustration: Sir Charles Bagot.
Governor General of Canada 1842-1843.]

[Illustration: DE SALABERRY

But the tide of war turned once more against the Canadians, when the
British fleet on Lake Erie surrendered to Commodore Perry, and
Proctor, the victor of Frenchtown, met with a humiliating defeat at
the hands of General Harrison, a future President of the Republic,
Chief Tecumseh being among the slain. On the ocean, however, British
naval prestige was restored, and among the events of this year was the
celebrated duel between the _Shannon_ and the _Chesapeake_. But while,
in the west and centre, the issue was hanging thus in doubt, events
more decisive were happening in the east.

The army of the north was sent once more against Montreal and Quebec,
this time in two divisions, the first of which was to march northward
from Albany, and at Châteauguay to effect a junction with the second
division, coming down the St. Lawrence in three hundred boats from
Sackett's Harbor. The St. Lawrence army, commanded by General
Wilkinson, was intercepted by a force of French Canadians, and
sustained a memorable defeat at Chrystler's Farm, near Long Sault
Rapids; and the force from Albany was now to meet a similar fate. Late
in September this first division, under General Hampton, crossed the
Canadian frontier south of the historical outpost of Isle-aux-Noix;
but as De Salaberry was once more in command of the advanced line of
defence, again holding a strong position at Blairfindie, the enemy, in
order to effect the necessary junction with the other division, was
compelled to make a long detour by way of the Châteauguay River. In
spite of the difficulties of the route, they pressed forward towards
the shore of Lake St. Louis. De Salaberry was not dismayed by this new
movement, and hastening westward from Blairfindie, he ascended the
Châteauguay and took up a strong position on ground intersected by
deep ravines. The same tactics which had destroyed Braddock's legion
at Monongahela in 1775, were now brought to bear with equal effect
upon the Americans themselves. The Canadian general, having destroyed
the bridges, erected a triple line of defence, under cover of which he
held his force, consisting of only three hundred Canadians, a band of
Indians, and a few companies of Highlanders. Early in the morning of
October 26th, the American army advancing to the ford, the banks of
the river suddenly blazed with musketry fire. For four hours the
invaders strove in vain to force the passages of the river in the face
of De Salaberry's death-dealing trenches, bravely attempting to
outflank the Voltigeurs; but before those unyielding breastworks,
numbers and impetuosity were both unavailing; and, at last, after
heavy losses, Hampton was constrained to recall his men and retire
from the field. This victory, nobly fought and won by the French
Canadians, ranks with Carillon in the annals of the Lower Province,
and the bullet-riven flags of both engagements are still shown among
the trophies of Quebec. The loyalty and courage of the French
population had decided the issue of another campaign in favour of
Great Britain.


In 1814 the chief events of the war in Canada happened once more about
Lake Champlain and Niagara. The invaders were again driven back with
loss at Lacolle Mill; but at the end of the season they recovered
ground in this quarter by dispersing the British army and the fleet
of Lake Champlain at Plattsburg, an engagement which led to the recall
of Sir George Prevost, whose bad generalship was blamed for this
reverse. Meanwhile, the hottest battle of all the war had been fought
in the Upper Province, when the American armies, planning to reach
Kingston, and having won some minor successes, were finally scattered
at Lundy's Lane, near Niagara Falls, and compelled to fall back upon
Lake Erie.


But apart from the fortunes of war, when peace was finally proclaimed
by the Treaty of Ghent in 1814, the chief gain to the British cause,
so far at least as Canada was concerned, lay not so much in the
undoubted advantage held throughout those three trying years, but
rather in the sure knowledge that the people of French Canada had
remained loyal at a crisis when their disaffection would have turned
the scale and lost to England her remaining North American colonies.
As De Salaberry wrote to the House of Assembly, in reference to the
victory at Châteauguay: "In preventing the enemy from penetrating into
the province, one common sentiment animated the whole of my three
hundred brave companions, and in which I participated, that of doing
our duty, serving our sovereign, and saving our country from the evil
of an invasion. The satisfaction arising from our success was to us
adequate recompense...."

Temptations to treason had been multiplied; for besides many
grievances at home, the French inhabitants were constantly exposed to
the emissaries of the United States, who preached specious doctrines
of liberty throughout the parishes of Quebec; and it was indeed
fortunate that the unique influence of the Catholic clergy, powerfully
led by Bishop Plessis, was actively exerted on the side of loyalty,
just as at a later time they earned a sincere tribute from Lord
Durham, and "a grateful recognition of their eminent services in
resisting the arts of the disaffected."

       "I know of no parochial clergy in the world," wrote Lord
   Durham, "whose practice of all the Christian virtues,
   and zealous discharge of their clerical duties, is more
   universally admitted, and has been productive of more
   beneficial consequences.... In the general absence of any
   permanent institutions of civil government, the Catholic
   Church has presented almost the only semblance of
   stability and organisation, and furnished the only
   effectual support for civilisation and order."

But the loyalty of the French population, which would not permit them
to take advantage of the foreign difficulties of their rulers, was
soon to be further tried and shaken through a prolonged period of
political agitation.

[Illustration: General Earl Cathcart.
Governor General of Canada 1846-1847.]



The history of Quebec in the period succeeding the war of 1812 is a
long record of internecine strife, due to certain conditions of the
Canada Act of 1791, a measure halting midway between military rule and
responsible government. The Act had been well intended, and it was,
maybe, a necessary stage in constitutional development; but its
immediate result was to organise opposing factions into formal
assemblies, each bent on checking the policy of the other, and
bringing the government of the country to a deadlock. On one side, the
interests of the English were identified with the Legislative Council,
a body appointed by the King for life, and owing no responsibility to
the suffrages of the people; while, on the other, a French majority
ruled in the popular assembly, whose authority, powerful in influence,
impotent in administration, controlled neither the executive officers
nor financial affairs. Accordingly, the dispute between the Assembly
and the English ascendency, or "Family Compact," soon resolved itself
into a struggle for and against responsible government.

[Illustration: CITY HALL, QUEBEC]

An insoluble problem was now presented to successive
governors--Sherbrooke, Richmond, Dalhousie, Kempt, Aylmer, Gosford.
All in turn addressed themselves to the work of pacification, and all
retired baffled by that racial egotism which granted favours with airs
of patronage, or met continued concessions with ever increased
demands. The English were naturally apprehensive of a French
dominance, which might prove dangerous to the security of
constitutional union; the French Canadians were too keenly alert for
signs of tyranny, too suspicious of a power sullied by nepotism and
greed of office. Of all the long series of viceroys, perplexed,
discomfited, yet honourably bent on doing their duty to both races and
to the constitution, one of the wisest was Sir John Cope Sherbrooke,
to whom Prevost resigned the reins of government in 1815. He early saw
the expediency of liberal measures, and his wise administration led
moderate men to believe that a peaceful era of constitutional progress
was forward. Unhappily, however, these hopes were dashed by the
succession of the Duke of Richmond two years later--a chivalrous but
uncompromising advocate of the extreme views of his party in England.
The Duke, however, almost atoned for the political narrowness of his
administration by the stimulus he brought to the social life of the
capital and the sincerity of his belief that by personal influence he
could harmonise contending factions. Under his magnificent patronage
Château St. Louis became once more the scene of lavish hospitality.
Dinners, dances, and theatricals were the order of the day; and
fashionable officers, issuing from their quarters in the citadel,
found distractions in St. Louis Street and the Grande Allée, due
compensation for all they had left at home. For the exiled sportsman,
too, there was the racecourse on the Plains of Abraham, riding to the
hounds on the uplands of Lorette, snipe at Sillery Cove, and ducks on
the St. Charles Flats.

[Illustration: LIEUT.-COLONEL JOHN BY, R. E.
(Founder of Bytown, now Ottawa)]

With pomp and circumstance the Duke of Richmond made progress through
his dominions, everywhere speaking, entertaining, endeavouring to
conciliate. He travelled up the St. Lawrence by steamer and thence by
canoes along the shore of Lake Ontario to Toronto and Niagara. Next,
he undertook the more arduous journey in the course of which he was to
meet a tragic end.

The little settlement of Richmond, named after the Governor himself,
lay thirty miles from Perth, at some distance west from the Ottawa
river. Here, following the trail through the woods, the Duke had
penetrated in search of adventure. That night he and his small staff
stayed at the village inn, and the next day they started in canoes on
their way down to the junction with the Rideau river. Hardly had they
commenced their journey, however, when the Duke's actions began to
excite alarm. The attendants sought in vain to restrain his violence,
and the boats drawing in to shore the party landed. Breaking loose
from all control, the Duke plunged into the woods, and was found soon
afterwards lying exhausted in a fit of hydrophobia, the result of a
bite by a tame fox two months before at Sorel. He died the same night;
and the body was presently carried back to Quebec, where for two days
it lay in state at the Château. An impressive service was held in the
English cathedral, and the body of one who had been Canada's most
splendid governor since the days of De Tracy and Frontenac, was
deposited in the cathedral vault. Minute guns boomed forth from the
citadel, and Quebec was plunged from gaiety into mourning.

(Lieut.-Governor, Upper Canada, Aug. 1818 to Nov. 1828; also
Administrator as Governor for Canada in 1820)]

The social brilliance of the Duke of Richmond's rule, however, could
not blind the popular party to the inadequacy of the policy for which
he stood; and discontent soon began to take a bitter and dangerous
form. The concessions grudgingly doled out by Dalhousie and Kempt,
succeeding governors, did not touch the main issue of the question,
and even when Lord Aylmer removed the last serious grievance, only
withholding from the Assembly the right to vote upon the salaries of
civil officers, it might have seemed that there was no further ground
for agitation. But the essential grievance lay not so much in
material disabilities as in the limitation of the abstract right to
self-government; and Joseph Papineau, the eloquent and ardent leader
of the movement, summed up his party's political creed in the new
watchword--_La nation Canadienne._ Parry and thrust, the fight grew
faster, and the temper of the combatants became heated. Papineau was
elected to the speakership of the Assembly, a challenge the Governor
answered by prorogation. Next, the Progressives demanded an elective
council, and the Government replied that such a step would mean
abandoning the province wholly to the French, who were yet unprepared
to wield complete popular power, and would moreover endanger the
interests of the English minority. The demand was formally rejected by
Lord John Russell on the return of Lord Gosford's commission in 1835.


The fiery eloquence of Papineau now led the more ardent of his
followers to the point of rebellion; and for a time it seemed as if
Lower Canada would throw away the name for steadfast loyalty she had
earned through so many years. The rebellion of 1837, however, met with
no serious support throughout the Province of Canada; and, except as
an original centre of agitation, Quebec did not figure in it at all.
At the same time defensive measures were not omitted, the leading
citizens, both French and English, forming themselves into a regiment
at the disposal of the Governor-General. Parliament House was set
apart for a drill-hall and guard-house, and garrison duty was
performed here during the whole of an anxious winter. Montreal,
however, suffered violence at the hands of a misguided mob; and in the
country parishes the _habitants_ were harangued after Mass on Sunday
by deputies of the _Fils de Liberté_. Yet, while they punctuated these
fervent addresses with shouts of "_Vive Papineau_" and "_Point de
despotisme!_" they neither knew nor cared what the struggle for
responsible government really meant. In the parishes along the
Richelieu, indeed, Papineau and his followers made a greater
commotion; but, except in Bellechasse and L'Islet, the contented
_habitants_ of the St. Lawrence forgot the seditious procession almost
as soon as it passed. These ingenuous _enfants du sol_ had no
political aspirations beyond the preservation of their religion, their
language, and their ancient customs; and, in spite of the bitter
prophecies of peripatetic agitators, they refused to believe that
their peace and comfort and quiet life were in any real danger from
English oppression. The Government easily coped with this factitious
rising, which nowhere reached the importance of an organised revolt.
But while the military problem was soon solved, important political
results followed hard upon such palpable tokens of discontent. English
ministers now turned most serious attention to the constitutional
defects of the colony, and decided to make a full and authoritative
inquiry. Gosford's successor, Sir John Colborne, was now recalled;
and on April 24th, 1838, the Earl of Durham sailed for Canada as High
Commissioner, and he proved to be the keenest statesman, save
Frontenac, who had figured in the history of the country.


Lord Durham was at this time forty-six years of age, and into that
comparatively short life he had already crowded a remarkable political
record. At twenty-one he entered the House of Commons as member for
the county of Durham, at once identifying himself with the party of
parliamentary reform--indeed, he is even credited with the drafting of
the first Reform Bill. An experience of five years in the cabinet with
Grey and Palmerston, and of two years as ambassador at St. Petersburg,
marked him out as a politician and diplomatist of the first rank. A
certain stateliness and formality of character appears, however, to
have made him many enemies in England, and they did not scruple to
gratify their dislike or jealousy during his mission to Canada. Their
enmity is echoed in a trivial paragraph in _The Times_, describing an
incident which happened on the outward journey:--

       "A letter from Portsmouth states that on the evening of
   Lord Durham's arrival in Portsmouth, his lordship and
   family dined at one table and his staff at another, in
   the same room and at the same hour. We suppose we shall
   soon hear of Lord Durham's reviving the old custom of
   arranging his guests above and below the

On the 27th of May, 1838, H. M. S. _Hastings_ and a squadron of
gunboats and frigates dropped anchor in the harbour of Quebec. Flags
were flying gaily from tower and bastion to welcome the High
Commissioner, who was attended ashore by a retinue eclipsing in
brilliance even that of the Duke of Richmond, and further guarded by
two cavalry regiments, on their way to reinforce the regular forces in
the country. As such a suite could not be accommodated in the old
Château, Parliament House was fitted up as a residence; and here Lord
Durham established himself with a magnificence suitable to a monarch,
but unusual in a viceroy of Quebec. On his daily drives he was
accompanied by three or four equerries in scarlet and gold, who
galloped before his carriage to clear the road; and at his frequent
entertainments guests received only the most stately hospitality. It
is not unnatural that this large ceremony in a new and poor country
impaired his influence, and at first increased the difficulties of his

[Footnote 46: _The Times_, 3rd May, 1838.]

[Illustration: The Earl of Elgin,
Governor-General of Canada 1847-1854.]

The situation was indeed one requiring the wisdom of a ripe
diplomatist. Previous to the rebellion of 1837, government had become
impossible owing to the antagonism of the racial elements existing
together in the province; and on Lord Durham's arrival he found the
constitution of the Colony suspended, supreme power being lodged in
his own person as High Commissioner, whose slightest indiscretion
might lose the vast territory to the Crown. That he was keenly alive
to the delicacy of his task is shown by the chivalrous, almost
romantic generosity with which he met the natural prejudices of the
French, and tolerated their utmost bitterness against his own
compatriots; and although this imaginative and liberal spirit met with
disapproval from the ruling powers in England, and was finally the
cause of his withdrawal, his conciliatory policy was amply justified
by the event. Indeed, it is certain that the insular assurance--by no
means absent from subsequent public life in England--which prompted
Lord Gosford, the previous Governor, to declare that the ulterior
object of the French Canadian politicians was "the separation of this
country from England, and the establishment of a republican form of
government," and who met the imaginary demand with a sharp and
scornful negative, would soon have brought Canada to the verge of a
revolutionary war.


The proclamation published immediately on Lord Durham's arrival in
Canada gave promise of fair dealing to all parties. "I invite from
you," he assures them, "the most free, unreserved communications. I
beg you to consider me as a friend and arbitrator, ready at all times
to listen to your wishes, complaints, and grievances. If you, on your
side, will abjure all party and sectarian animosities, and unite with
me in the blessed work of peace and harmony, I feel assured that I can
lay the foundations of such a system of government as will protect
the rights and interests of all classes....

       "In one province the most deplorable events have rendered
   the suspension of its representative constitution,
   unhappily, a matter of necessity; and the supreme power
   has devolved upon me. The great responsibility which is
   thereby imposed on me, and the arduous nature of the
   functions which I have to discharge, naturally make me
   most anxious to hasten the arrival of that period when
   the executive power shall again be surrounded by all the
   constitutional checks of free, liberal, and British

The problem to be solved is stated and partly solved in the famous
report on the affairs of Canada subsequently published by the High
Commissioner--perhaps the most remarkable document in British colonial
history. It showed the keenest insight into knotted complications, and
at the same time it made practical and far-seeing suggestions, which
reduced the problem to its simplest terms, and prepared the way for a
legislative union upon a sovereign scale, and with a provincial
autonomy having the happiest results.

"I expected," he declared, "to find a contest between a government and
a people; I found two nations warring in the bosom of a single state."

[Footnote 47: _Quebec Gazette_, 29th May, 1838.]

Nor could any lasting reform be accomplished unless the hostile
divisions of Lower Canada were first reconciled. As far as the French
population were concerned, he found an explanation of their
antagonism, not so much in their unjust exclusion from political
power, as in the grudging and churlish patronage with which privileges
were one by one conceded; while, on the other hand, the Loyalists were
intolerant to a degree, regarding every favour shown to their rivals
as a slight put upon themselves, and professing principles which were
thus summed up by one of their leaders: "Lower Canada must be
_English_ at the expense, if necessary, of not being _British_."
Elsewhere Lord Durham confesses the overbearing character of
Anglo-Saxon manners, especially offensive to a proud and sensitive
people, who showed their resentment, not by active reprisal, but by a
strange and silent reserve. The same confession might still be made
concerning a section of English-speaking Canadians, who seem to
consider it a personal grievance that French Canadians should speak
the French language. Lord Durham would probably have reminded them
that conquest does not mean that birthright, language, and custom,
spirit and racial pride, are spoils and confiscations of the

[Illustration: Lord Lisgar.
Governor General of Canada 1868-1872.]

As for the grievances he came to remedy, Lord Durham dwells upon the
circumstances which practically excluded French Canadians from
political power, leaving all positions of trust and profit in the
hands of the English minority; for although they numbered only one in
four of the inhabitants, this privileged class claimed both political
and social supremacy as though by inherent right. Owing no
responsibility whatever to the legislature, they could afford to smile
at the protestations of that superfluous body, and pursue their own
wilful course.

Coming to practical counsel, the High Commissioner pointed out that
there was no need for any change in the principles of government, or
for any new constitutional theory to remedy the disordered state. The
remedy already lay in the British constitution, whose principles, if
consistently followed, would give a sound and efficient system of
representative government. His first suggestion was the frank
concession of a responsible executive. All the officers of state, with
the single exception of the Governor and his secretary, should be made
directly answerable to the representatives of the people; these
officers, moreover, should be such as the people approved, and should
therefore be appointed by the Assembly. He further advised that the
Governor should be forbidden to employ the resources of the British
Constitution in any quarrel between himself and the Legislature,
resorting to imperial intervention only when imperial interests were
at stake.

His second recommendation was to bring the Upper and Lower Provinces
together by a legislative union. He met the threatened danger of a
disaffected people endowed with political power by an appeal to
arithmetic: "If the population of Upper Canada is rightly estimated at
400,000, the English inhabitants of Lower Canada at 150,000, and the
French at 450,000, the union of the two provinces would not only give
a clear English majority, but one which would be increased every year
by the influence of English emigration....I certainly shall not like,"
he continues, "to subject the French Canadians to the rule of the
identical English minority with which they have so long been
contending; but from a majority emanating from so much more extended a
source, I do not think that they would have any oppression or
injustice to fear."

This plea for unity among all the elements of political life in
Canada, premature as it was, marked, perhaps, the limitation of Lord
Durham's scheme. But although he was mistaken in the degree of
allowance to be made for the distinct individuality of the French
province--a defect afterwards made good on Dominion Day--the work he
did, the counsel he gave, made an epoch in the progress of Canadian
nationality, and prepared the ground for the completer measures of the


The treatment of rebels was the most critical question with which Lord
Durham had to deal, and it was ultimately the cause of his withdrawal,
so timid and unchivalrous was the Government of the day in the face of
political and journalistic criticism. While granting a general amnesty
to the rank and file of the offenders, the High Commissioner offended
constitutional pedants by deporting eight of the leading
revolutionists without trial to Bermuda; and although this measure was
taken advisedly, with the purpose, as it turned out, of saving the
prisoners from the heavier penalty they would certainly have received
from a regular court, the Viceroy's numerous enemies did not scruple
to use this technical omission as a basis for attacks upon his policy.
Moreover, when he was bitterly denounced in the House of Lords by
Brougham and Lyndhurst, the ministry of Melbourne offered but a feeble
defence of their representative; with the result that Durham, on
hearing of this desertion by the Cabinet which had appointed him, sent
in his resignation.

The departure of the High Commissioner was deeply regretted by those
who were able to appreciate the wisdom and sincerity of his
administration, though indeed it was otherwise regarded by the leaders
of that social clique in Quebec whose family compact he had resolutely
condemned. Yet he had builded better than England or Canada or himself
then knew, and his tireless energy and imagination left behind him the
material for a sound structure. Besides the masterly report of his
commission, a visible, if less important, monument to his beneficent
work for Canada still stands in the magnificent terrace at Quebec,
known to-day under an improved form and by another name, yet in a
larger measure his conception and his achievement. He sailed from
Quebec on the 1st of November, 1838, the ceremony of his departure
being hardly less imposing than that marking his arrival five months
before. Troops lined the streets from the Governor's residence to the
Queen's wharf, the bands playing "Auld Lang Syne" to express the
regret felt at parting from a sincere and strong administrator, thus
sacrificed to his enemies by a vacillating Ministry. At this last
evidence of sympathy and appreciation the _hauteur_ of the Viceroy
relaxed, and, as he passed on board the frigate _Inconstant_ homeward
bound--as he himself records--his heart went out towards the people of
Canada, by whom, at least, his motives were understood and honoured;
and this feeling of gratitude to perhaps the most simple and sincere
of all British peoples remained with him to the end.

By an act brought forward by Lord John Russell, the provinces of Upper
and Lower Canada were formally united, and the first Parliament of the
two Canadas was opened in the city of Kingston in June, 1841. This
experiment partly meeting the needs of the country, and satisfying
that high civic and national sense which make Britishers confident
that they can govern themselves, opened up the way for that freer
union which has since 1867 made a nation of a series of scattered

The legislative union of the Upper and Lower Provinces had not been
concluded without sharp opposition; for the citizens of Quebec foresaw
that her influence must inevitably wane under the new conditions, and
they set themselves strongly to defeat the measure. However, the
ancient city lay too far east to remain the capital of the expanding
territories, and with an almost exclusively French population it could
not remain the political pivot of a British dependency. Opposition was
overborne in due time, and the Act of Union shifted the national
centre of gravity farther west.

Canada was now embarked upon a course of self-government, and was
never again to feel the hand or obey the voice of England in her
internal politics. So much the union had accomplished. The problems of
the succeeding period concerned Canada alone, and she was now free to
seek a better way to her national organisation. A responsible
legislature had been conceded, yet with defects in constitution
bearing hardly upon the character and traditions of the French
element. Thus, although the population of the Lower Province numbered
two hundred thousand more than that of her partner, the two provinces
were allowed an equal number of representatives in the new house; the
French language was cast aside; and the united assembly was saddled
with the heavy debts previously contracted by the western province. It
was not long before an agitation was started to readjust the
relations between Upper and Lower Canada, and free the French from
conditions which pressed heavily upon their material interests and
racial sentiment. The new problem was, to find a way by which the
principle of self-government recently conceded to Canada as a whole
might be reconciled with the free action and growth of its component
provinces; and for twenty-five years this question engaged the
politicians of the country.

[Illustration: SIR GEORGE CARTIER]

Time, however, brought a decided change in the attitude of the two
opposing sections of the legislature, as one by one the grievances of
the French were removed. In 1848 the restrictions placed upon the use
of their language in the Parliament were done away; and by the
surprising advance of the West, the hardship of disproportionate
representation was taken over by Upper Canada. Twenty years after the
Union, the Western Province had already a population greater by three
hundred thousand than that of her rival. In the later period of the
discussion, therefore, the position of parties was reversed, the
French defending the existing order, the Upper Province calling out
for reconstruction. But statesmen on both sides now began to aim at
larger and more patriotic ends than the exclusive advantage of their
own province; and in 1860 a scheme for a federal government was
proposed by George Brown, a Liberal statesman, intended to bring the
interests of the provinces into line with those of the country at
large. The movement was premature; but four years later a convention
met at Quebec to discuss the union of all the provinces of British
North America, the chairman being Étienne Paschal Taché, who
died before the work was consummated. There met the fathers of
Confederation, John A. Macdonald, chief of them all--George Brown,
George Étienne Cartier, Alexander Galt, Thomas D'Arcy M'Gee,
William M'Dougall, Alexander Campbell, Hector Langevin, James
Cockburn--together with Charles Tupper and other representatives of
the Maritime Provinces. It was agreed that "the system of government
best adapted under existing circumstances to protect the diversified
interests of the several provinces, and secure harmony and permanency
in the working of the Union, would be a general government charged
with matters of common interest to the whole country; and local
government for each of the Canadas, and for all the Provinces of Nova
Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, charged with the control
of local matters in their respective sections."

[Illustration: The Marquis of Dufferin.
Governor General of Canada 1872-1878.]

[Illustration: SIR JOHN A. MACDONALD]

These proposals were well received in London, and in 1866 the Canadian
Legislature met for the last time under the old conditions. The
British North America Act became law in March of the following year,
the Earl of Carnarvon being Colonial Secretary; and on the 1st of July
the new Dominion, under command of John A. Macdonald, was launched by
Governor-General Viscount Monk on that prosperous course which still
conducts the premier colony of England into an ever brighter future.

Valiant in asserting her predominance there was, however, a siege
against which the fortress and bastions of Quebec were of no avail.
Left behind in the march of progress, commercial and political, her
prestige as a centre of national influence slowly declined, and
Montreal and Toronto took over that pre-eminence which had been hers
for centuries. Yet nothing could rob the city of her maternal
grandeur. She saw no longer in the West the wild prospects and the
fertile wastes, but a sturdy nation settling down to its destiny, and
spreading out over half a continent; so realising her ancient
prophecy, so fulfilling her laborious hopes, the reward of zealous
toil and martyrdom. Colbert's dream was now come true, save for the
flag which floated over the happy homesteads in the peaceful land.
These homesteads of the West, in the region of the great lakes, were
indeed to be centres of growth and progress and vast wealth; yet the
venerable fortress on the tidal water ever was, and still remains, the
noblest city of the American continent. There still works the antique
spirit which cherishes culture and piety and domestic virtue as the
crown of a nation's deeds and worth. There still the influence of a
faithful priesthood, and a university in some respects more
distinguished than any on the American continent, keep burning those
fires of high tradition and a noble history which light the way to
national grace of life, if not to a sensational prosperity. Apart from
the hot winds of politics--civic, provincial, and national--which blow
across the temperate plains of their daily existence, the people of
the city and the province live as simply, and with as little greedy
ambition as they did a hundred years ago.


The rumble of the calèches and the jingling of the carrioles in the
old streets are now pierced by the strident clang of the street-car;
and the electric light sharpens garishly the hard outlines of the
stone mansions which sheltered Laval, Montcalm, and Murray; but modern
industry and municipal emulation sink away into the larger picture of
fortress life, of religious zeal, of Gallic mode, of changeless
natural beauty. No ruined castles now crown the heights, but the grim
walls still tell of

    "Old, far-off, unhappy things,
    And battles long ago."

The temper of the people is true. Song and sentiment are much with
them, and in the woods and in the streams--down by St. Roch and up by
Ville Marie--chansons of two hundred years ago mark the strokes of
labour as of the evening hour when the professional village
story-teller cries "_cric-crac_" and begins his tale of the
_loup-garou_, or rouses the spirit of a pure patriotism by a crude
epic of some valiant atavar; when the parish fiddler brings them to
their feet with shining eyes by the strains of _O Carillon_. They are
not less respectful to the British flag, nor less faithful in
allegiance because they love that language and that land of their
memories which they know full well is not the Republican France of
to-day when their Church suffers at the hands of the State. If ever
the genius of the Dominion is to take a high place in the fane of Art,
the soul and impulse of the best achievement will come from Old
Quebec, which has produced a sculptor of merit, Hébert; a renowned
singer, Albani; a poet crowned by the French Academy, Louis Fréchette;
and has given to the public life of the country a distinction, an
intellectual power, and an illuminating statesmanship in the persons
of Étienne Taché, Sir George Cartier, and Sir Wilfrid Laurier.
Enlarged understanding between the two peoples of the country will
produce a national life marked by courage, energy, integrity, and
imagination. Though Quebec has ceased to be an administrative centre
of the nation, the influence of the people of her province grows no
less, but is woven more and more into the web of the general progress.
The Empire will do well to set an enduring value on that New France so
hardly won from a great people, and English Canada will reap rich
reward for every compromise of racial pride made in the interests of
peace, equality, and justice.



_Early Viceroys and Lieutenant-Generals._

    Sieur de Roberval, 1540.

    Marquis de la Roche, 1598.

    Charles de Bourbon, Comte de Soissons, 1612 (Champlain Governor).

    Henri de Bourbon, Prince de Condé, 1612.

    Duc de Montmorency, 1619.

    Henri de Lévis, Duc de Vantadour, 1625.

_Governors under the Company of One Hundred Associates._

    Samuel de Champlain, 1633.

    M. Bras-de-fer de Chastefort, 1635.

    M. de Montmagny, 1636.

    M. d'Ailleboust, 1648.

    M. Jean de Lauson, 1651.

    M. Charles de Lauson, 1656.

    M. d'Ailleboust, 1657.

    Viscomte d'Argenson, 1658.

    Baron d'Avaugour, 1661.

_Governors-General under Royal Government._

    M. de Mézy, 1663.

    Seigneur de Courcelles, 1665. (Marquis de Tracy, Viceroy, 1665-67.)

    Count Frontenac, 1672.

    M. de la Barre, 1682.

    M. de Denonville, 1685.

    Count Frontenac, 1689.

    M. de Callières, 1699.

    Marquis de Vaudreuil, 1703.

    Marquis de Beauharnois, 1726.

    Count de Galissonière, 1747.

    Marquis de la Jonquière, 1749.

    Marquis du Quesne, 1752.

    Marquis de Vaudreuil-Cavagnac, 1755.

_Governors of the Province of Quebec._

    Gen. Sir Jeffrey Amherst, 1756.

    Gen. James Murray, 1763.

    Gen. Sir Guy Carleton, 1768 (Lieutenant-Governor from 1766).

    Gen. Sir Frederick Haldimand, 1778.
       (Henry Hamilton and Col. Henry Hope Lieutenant-Governors, 1785-87.)

    Lord Dorchester (Sir Guy Carleton), Governor-General of British
    North America, 1787.

_Governors-General during the Fifty Years when Canada was divided._

    Lord Dorchester, 1791.

    Gen. Robert Prescott, 1797-1805 (Lieutenant-Governor, 1796).

    Sir James Craig, 1807.

    Sir George Prevost, 1811.

    Sir John Cope Sherbrooke, 1816.

    Duke of Richmond, 1818.
      (Hon. James Monck and Gen. Sir Peregrine Maitland administrators,

    Earl of Dalhousie, 1820.

    Sir James Kempt, 1828.

    Lord Aylmer, 1830.

    Lord Gosford, 1835.

    Sir John Colborne, 1838.

    Lord Durham, 1838.

    Hon. C. Poulett Thompson (afterwards Lord Sydenham), 1839.

_Governors-General from the Union of the Canadas until Confederation._

    Lord Sydenham (C. P. Thompson), 1841.

    Sir Charles Bagot, 1842.

    Lord Metcalfe, 1843.

    Earl Cathcart, 1846.

    Earl of Elgin, 1847.

    Sir Edmund Bond Head, 1854.

    Viscount Monk, 1861-67.

_Governors-General of the Dominion._

    Viscount Monk, 1867.

    Lord Lisgar (Sir John Young), 1868.

    Earl Dufferin, 1872.

    Marquis of Lorne, 1878.

    Marquis of Lansdowne, 1883.

    Earl of Derby (Lord Stanley of Preston), 1888.

    Earl of Aberdeen, 1893.

    Earl of Minto, 1898.



    Hon. Robert Baldwin and Louis H. Lafontaine, 1841.

    Sir Dominick Daly, 1843.

    Hon. W. H. Draper, 1844.

    Hon. H. Sherwood, 1847.

    Robert Baldwin and Hon. Louis H. Lafontaine, 1848.

    Sir Francis Hincks, and Hon. A. N. Morin, 1851.

    Sir Allan M'Nab and Sir E. P. Taché, 1855.

    Sir John A. Macdonald, 1856.

    Hon. George Brown, 1858.

    Sir George E. Cartier and Sir John A. Macdonald, 1858.

    Hon. John Sandfield Macdonald and Hon. Antoine A. Dorion, 1861.

    Sir E. P. Taché, 1864.

    Sir N. Belleau, 1865.

_Prime Ministers since Confederation, 1867._

    Sir John A. Macdonald, 1867-73.

    Hon. Alexander Mackenzie, 1873-78.

    Rt. Hon. Sir John A. Macdonald, 1878-91.

    Sir J. J. C. Abbott, 1891-92.

    Rt. Hon. Sir J. S. D. Thompson, 1892-94.

    Sir Mackenzie Bowell, 1894-96.

    Sir Charles Tupper, Bart., 1896 (April-July).

    Rt. Hon. Sir Wilfrid Laurier, 1896.



    Ministère Chauveau                1867

    Ministère Ouimet                  1873

    Ministère de Boucherville         1874

    Ministère Joly                    1878

    Ministère Chapleau                1879

    Ministère Mousseau                1882

    Ministère Ross                    1884

    Ministère Taillon                 1887

    Ministère Mercier                 1887

    Ministère de Boucherville         1891

    Ministère Taillon                 1892

    Ministère Flynn                   1896

    Ministère Marchand                1897

    Ministère Parent                  1900


Abercrombie, General, 248, 253, 256

Abraham, Heights of, origin of name, 396

Acadians, expulsion of, 203

Adet, M., 384

Aiguillon, Duchesse d', 52

Ailleboust, D', 238

Aix-la-Chapelle, Treaty of, 191

Albanel, Père, 396

Albemarle, Duke of, 145

American Revolution, 342 _sqq._, 428

Amherst, General, 253, 266, 273, 295, 307, 313, 317, 324

Andaraqué, attack on, 93

Andrews, Miss, 370

Angélique des Meloises, 199, 227, 380

Annapolis, so named, 178

Anne of Austria, 166, 225

_Anse du Foulon_, 292, 317

Anson, Admiral, 191

Anstruther's Regiment, 295, 317

Anville, Duc d', 190

Argenson, D', Governor, 166 _sqq._

Arlington, Lord, 400

Arnold, Benedict, 344 _sqq._

Arnoux, the surgeon, 300

Austrian Succession, 187

Autray, D', on the Mississippi, 128

Avaugour, Baron d', 85, 167

Aylmer, Lord, 301, 308, 444, 447

Baffin, the explorer, 394

Bailey, Governor, 404 _sqq._

Beauharnois, Marquis de, 162 _n_., 184

Beaujeu, Captain, 131, 215

Beaumanoir, 199

Beaver Company, 395

Beaver Dams, Battle of, 434

Belleisle, M. de, Minister of War, 265

Bellona, statue of, 320

Berryer, French Colonial Minister, 262

Bienville, Céloron de, 192

Bigot, François, 195 _sqq._, 244, 261, 303, 336, 337, 380

Bizard, sent to Montreal, 119

Black, the informer, 389

Blasphemy, law against, 102

Boerstler, Colonel, 434

_Bois brûles_, 419

Bonne, M. de, 270

Boscawen, Admiral, 212, 253

Boucher, Pierre, 86

Bougainville, General de, 196, 246, 250, 262, 270, 279, 283,
  302 _sqq._, 307, 310 _sqq._

Bourdon, Jean, 395

Bourlamaque, General, 246, 266, 289

Braddock, Major-General, 211 _sqq._, 436

Bradstreet, Colonel, 260

Bragg's regiment, 295, 317

Breakneck Stairs, 43

Brébeuf, Père, Jean de, 34, 41, 67 _sqq._, 80 _sqq._

Bressani, Père, 81

Bridgar, Governor, 406

British North America Act, 468

Brock, Major-General Sir Isaac, 426, 431 _sqq._

Brougham, Lord, 462

Brown, George, 466

Brulé, Étienne, 32

Brunswicker Regiment, 366

Burke, Edmund, 374

Burton, Colonel, 295, 298, 317

_Buttes-à-Neveu_, 105

Cabot, the brothers, 3, 4

Cadet, 196, 335, 336

Caen, Émery de, 34, 39, 40

Cahiagué, the Huron capital, 32

Callières, M. de, 163 _sqq._, 175

Cambrai, Peace of, 5

Cameron, Duncan, 418

Campbell, Alexander, 467

Campbell, Donald, 342

Campbell, Duncan, 257

Campbell's Highlanders, 257

Canada, Act of, 1791, 443

Canada, population in 1700, 179

Canada, Upper, 374, 427

Carignan-Salières, regiment of, 89 _sqq._, 92, 94, 96, 100,
  161, 226, 380

Carillon, 249, 255 _sqq._

Carion, Lieutenant, 119

Carleton, Sir Guy. See Dorchester, Lord

Carnarvon, Earl of, 468

Carnival, 172

Carroll, Charles, 364

Cartier, George Étienne, 466

Cartier, Jacques, life and voyages of, 5 _sqq._

"Castle Dangerous," 161

Cataraqui, or Fort Frontenac, now Kingston, Ont., 124, 373

Censitaires, 94

Chabanel, Père, 82

Chabot, Philippe de Brion, 5, 12

Champigny, Intendant, 142

Champlain, Samuel de, life and discoveries of, 19 _sqq._, 238

Champlain's Chapel, 43

"Chariot, the," 314

Charles I., execution of, 104

Charles II., 406

Charles V., The Emperor, 5, 12

Charlesburg-Royal, 14, 16

Charlevoix describes Quebec, 106

Chase, Samuel, 364

Chastes, Sieur de, 20, 45

Château Bigot, 199

Châteauguay River, battle of, 436

Chatham, William Pitt, Earl of, 252 _sqq._

Chaumont, Père, 76

Cheeseman, Captain, 356

_Chesapeake_ and _Shannon_, 435

Chien d'Or, 201

Chrystler's Farm, battle of, 436

Church, and the French Revolution, 384

Church, influence of, 45, 54, 66 _sqq._, 85, 238 _sqq._

Church, the first in New France, 30

Clarence, Prince William Henry, Duke of, 368

Clergy, influence of, 441

Clive, General Robert, 262

"Clive of Quebec, the," 110

Cockburn, James, 467

Colbert, Jean Baptiste, 86, 96, 117, 120, 168, 169, 468

Colborne, Sir John, 451

Colombo, Francisco, 20

Colonisation, French and English contrasted, 39, 45, 46, 48, 100

Columbus, Christopher, 3, 4

Colville, Admiral, Lord, 313, 322

Compagnie des cents Associés. See Hundred Associates, Company of One

Compagnie du Nord, 405

Condé, Prince de, 29

Confederation, 466 _sqq._

Conseil Supérieur, 239

Constitutional Act, 375 _sqq._

Cook, Captain James, at Quebec, 271

Copernicus, 3

Corlaer, or Schenectady, 91, 144

Cortès, Hernando, 5

Coudouagny, Indian god, 10

Couillards, family of, 38

Courcelles, Daniel de Rémy, Sieur de, 88, 110

_Coureurs de bois_, 33, 102, 119, 143, 171, 408, 417

_Coureurs de côte_, 327

Cradock, Richard, 407

Craig, Sir James, 422 _sqq._

Criminal law, 102

Crown Point, 212

Daine, Mayor of Quebec, 304

Dalhousie, Earl of, 444, 447
  Obelisk to Wolfe and Montcalm, 308

Dalling, Major, 317

Daniel, Père, 41, 49, 69 _sqq._, 79 _sqq._

Daulac, or Dollard, Adam, 60

Davis, the explorer, 394

Davison, Alexander, 368

Davost, Père, 41, 70 _sqq._

Dearborn, General, 431, 433

Declaration of Rights (1689), 404

Denis of Honfleur, 4

Denonville, 140

Deschenaux, 196

Des Ormeaux, Sieur. See Daulac

Dieskau, 212

Dinwiddie, Governor, 206

Dolbeau, Father, 31

Dollard. See Daulac

Dominion, formation of the, 468

Dongan, Governor of New York, 140

Donnacona, Indian chief, 8, 10

Dorchester, Lord (Sir Guy Carleton) 288, 341, 343, 373, 385, 428

Drucour, Chevalier de, 253

Duchambon, 190

Duchesneau, Intendant, 134, 168, 405

Dufferin Terrace, 308

Du Lhut, discoveries of, 138, 410, 414

Du Millière, General, 386

Dunkirk of America, _i.e._ Louisbourg, 255

Du Peron, Père, 76

Dupuy, Paul, sentence on, 104

Duquesne, Marquis, 206

Durantal, Indian chief, 33

Durham, Earl of, 423, 441, 451 _sqq._

Dussault, Marie Anne, 391 _sqq._

Duvert, Dr., 388

Du Vivier, attacks Annapolis, 187

Earthquake, in Quebec, 136

"Echom," Indian name for Brébeuf, 70

Edgar, Matilda, _Ridout Letters_, 431

Emigration from France to Canada, 96

Esquimaux, 32

Estates General, 116

Estournelle, Admiral D', 191

Exploration, French and English, 411

"Family Compact," 444, 462

Federation, 466 _sqq._

Fénelon, Abbé Salignac de, 119

Feudal system, imported into New

France, 94

"Fils de Liberté," 450

Fire in Quebec, 135

Fitzgibbon, Lieutenant, 434

"Five Nations." See Indians, Iroquois

Fontaine, Mlle. Marguerite, 164

Forbes, General, 260

Fort Charles, 400

Fort Crèvecoeur, 125 _sqq._

"Fort des Sauvages," 83

Fort Duquesne, 185, 210, 260

Fort Necessity, 211

Fort William, 419

Fort William Henry, 213, 217, 250

Fort York, now Toronto, 434

Forts built by the French, 185

Fox, Charles James, 375

Francis, of Angoulême, 5

Francis I., 45

Franciscans, arrival at Quebec, 30

Franklin, Benjamin, 338, 364

Fraser, Captain Malcolm, 352

Fraser, Colonel, 317

Fraser's Highlanders, 295

Frederick the Great, 246, 252, 262

Freemasons' Hall, 368

French exploration, character of, 19

French Revolution, 383

_Friponne_, La, 109, 201

Frobisher, 394

Frontenac, Count, 110 _sqq._, 134, 143 _sqq._, 168 _sqq._,
  175, 380, 404

Froude, J. A., 3

Fur trade, 395 _sqq._

Gage, General, 326

Gallows Hill, 390

Gait, Alexander, 466

Gamache, Marquis de, 49

Garneau, Dr., 389

Garnier, Père, 74, 82

Gaspé, De, _Les Anciens Canadiens_, 234, 332, 387

Genet, French Ambassador to U. S., 383

Gensing root, 183

George II., death of, 328

George III., Court of, 380

Ghent, Treaty of, 440

Gillam, Captain, 400

Glandelet, Sieur, 172

Gosford, Lord, 444, 449, 454

Goupil, a Jesuit, 78

Governors of Canada, 473

Grant, Cuthbert, 418

Gray's _Elegy_, 292

Grey, Earl, 452

Groseilliers, Medard Chouart, called, 396 _sqq._

Guimont, Louis, 224

Habitants, described, 218 _sqq._

Habitation, built by Champlain, 24

Haldimand, Governor, 366, 367

Haldimand House, 380

Halifax, founding of, 203

Hamilton, Treasurer, 383

Hampton, General, 436, 439

Hanoverian regiments, 366

Hanseatic League, 2

Harrison, President, U.S.A., 435

Hart, John, sentence on, 391

Haverhill, destruction of, 177

Haviland, General, 324

Hazen, Moses, 342

Hazen's Rangers, 317

Hearne, Samuel, 395, 417

Hébert, family of, 38

Hébert, Louis, 39, 47, 55

Hennepin, Père, 125

Henrietta Maria, Queen, 39

Henry, John Joseph, _Siege of Quebec_, 352

Henry IV., of France, 20

Hessian regiment, 366

Highlanders, 256 _sqq._, 295, 297, 311, 317, 417

Hill, Brigadier John, 181

Hochelaga, the site of Montreal, discovery of, 10

Holbourne, Admiral, 249

Holmes, Admiral, 283, 284, 323

Hospital Général, 282

Houses of Quebec in 1750, 235 _sqq._

Howe, General Lord, 253, 256

Hudson, the explorer, 394

Hudson's Bay Company, 395 _sqq._

Huguenots excluded from France, 35

Hull, General, 432

Hundred Associates, Company of One, 35, 48, 87, 395

Iberville, Sieur d', 155, 408, 410

Ignatius Loyola, Saint, motto of, 74

Ihonatiria, village of, 70, 77

Indian fair at Quebec, 40

Indians, 6, 8, 10, 39, 44 _sqq._, 175 _sqq._, 211, 252, 412
  Abenakis, 140, 144
  Algonquins, 28, 39, 44
  Assiniboins, 138
  Foxes, 139
  Hurons, 28, 32, 44 _sqq._, 68 _sqq._, 80, 139
  Iroquois, 21, 28, 32, 44, 91 _sqq._, 139, 160, 175
  Mohawks, 77, 78, 212
  Montagnais, 28, 31
  Ojibwas, 139
  Oneidas, 171
  Onondagas, 171
  Ottawas, 139
  Pottawattamies, 139
  Senecas, 80, 139
  Sioux, 138
  Tobaccos, 82

Intendant's Palace, 106, 349

Inverawe Castle, 257

Isabella of Castile, 3

Italy, influence of, in the Middle Ages, 2

James II., American estates, 140 dethroned, 142

James Stuart, the Chevalier, 176

Jansenists and Jesuits, 167

Jaquin, Nicholas, 201

Jay, John, 384

Jefferson, Thomas, 3rd President, U.S.A., 383

Jervis, Captain, Wolfe's companion, 290

Jesuit Missions, 49 _sqq._, 121

_Jesuit Relations_, 135, 395

Jesuits, 34, 56 _sqq._, 118

Jesuits and Jansenists, 167

Jogues, Isaac, 77

Johnson, Col. William, 212, 217

Johnstone, Chevalier, 314

Joliet, Père Louis, 121 _sqq._

Joseph, in Egypt, 200

Jumonville, Captain, 210

Kempt, Sir James, 444, 447

Kennedy's regiment, 295, 317

Kent, H.R.H. the Duke of, 376

"King's Girls," 97

Kirby, Mr., novel by, 227

Kirke, Sir David, 36

Kirke, Sir John, 399

Kirke, Lewis, 38

Kirke, Thomas, 38

Knox, Captain, _Journal of the Siege_, 236, 310, 322

La Barre, Governor, 129, 135 _sqq._, 410

La Chesnaye, Aubert de, 135

La Chesnaye, massacre of, 161

Lacolle Mill, battle of, 439

La Corne, Captain, 332, 334

La Durantaye, M. de, 138

_La Friponne_, 109, 201

La Galissonière, Marquis de, 192

La Grange-Trianon, Anne de, 111

La Hontan, opinion of the female emigrants, 97

La Jonquière, Admiral, 191

Lake of the Woods, discovery of, 186

Lalement, Père, 34, 75 _sqq._, 80 _sqq._, 85

Lambert's Travels quoted, 232

La Monnerie, M. de, 164

La Motte Cadillac, 172

La Motte de Lussière, 125

"La nation Canadienne," 448

Land tenure, 95

Langevin, Hector, 467

Language question, 327, 341, 458

La Peltrie, Madame de, 50 _sqq._

La Pompadour, Mme. de, 195

La Potherie describes Quebec, 106

La Salle, Robert Cavelier, Sieur de, 122, 134

Lascelles' regiment, 295, 317

Laval, Bishop François-Xavier, 85 _sqq._, 167

Laval Seminary, students at the siege, 275

La Vérendrye, Sieur de, 185 _sqq._, 410, 414

Laws, Captain, 355

_Le Canadien_, 424

Legardeur de Saint-Pierre, 206

Le Jeune, Père, 39, 40, 49 _sqq._, 67 _sqq._

Le Masse, Enemond, 34

Le Mercier, Père, 76

Le Moine, Sir James, 368

Le Moyne, Charles, commands force of colonists, 92

Le Moyne, family of, 155 _n._

Lévis, Chevalier de, 196, 246, 250, 270, 307, 310, 313 _sqq._, 331

Ligneris, Commandant de, 260

Liquor traffic, 86, 118

Longfellow, H. W., _Evangeline_ quoted, 203

Loudon, General, 248, 249, 253

Louis XIII., 110

Louis XIV. and New France, 86 _sqq._, 96 _sqq._, 120,
 129, 168, 174

Louis XV., 195

Louisbourg, fortifications at, 183, 188, 249 _sqq._, 253

Louisbourg Grenadiers, 295, 298

Louisiana, 128

Loyalty, French, 426 _sqq._, 436, 441

Lundy's Lane, battle of, 440

Lymburner, Adam, 374

Lyndhurst, Lord, 462

M'Donald, Captain Donald, 313, 317

Macdonald, Rt. Hon. Sir John A., 466 _sqq._

M'Dougall, William, 467

M'Gee, Thomas D'Arcy, 467

M'Gillivray, William, 419

M'Lane, 388

Maclish, Governor, 416

M'Pherson, Captain, 356

M'Tavish, Simon, 418

Madison, James, 4th President, U.S.A., 383

Madras exchanged for Louisbourg, 191

_Magdelaine de Verchères, Récit de Mlle_., 161

_Maison de la Montagne_, 199

"_Malbrouck s'en va-t-en guerre_," 233

Maple sugar season, 236

Mareuil, Sieur de, excommunicated, 173

Marguerite, Roberval's niece, 14 _sqq._

Maria Theresa, 187

Marie de l'Incarnation, 52

Market at Quebec, 226

Marlborough, Duke of, 409

Marquette, Père, 121

Martin, Abraham, 396

Matagorda Bay, 131

Mazarin, Cardinal, 86, 166

Medicine men, 72

Melbourne, Lord, 462

Mercoeur, Duc de, 20

Mézy, M. de, 167

Michillimackinac, mission at, 121

Military dress, 431

Minorca lost by England, 252

Mission of the Martyrs, 78, 93

Mississippi exploration, 122 _sqq._

Molière's plays acted in Quebec, 172

Monckton, General, 287, 310

Monckton's brigade, 273, 281

Monro, Captain, 250

Montcalm, Marquis de, 196, 227, 246 _sqq._, 249, 255 _sqq._,
  260 _sqq._, 299

Montgomery, General Richard, 342 _sqq._

Montmagny, M. de, 48, 54, 58, 185, 238

Montmorency, Duc de, 34

Montpensier, Mlle. de, 112

Montreal, address by the citizens in 1760, 328

_Montreal Gazette_, 338

Montresor, Lieutenant, 313

Monts, Sieur de, 21

Moranget, La Salle's nephew, 132

Morrin College, 392

Murphy, Patrick, executed, 390

Murray, General, 240, 245, 276, 283 _sqq._, 287, 295,
  310 _sqq._, 314, 323, 339

Napoleon Bonaparte, Prince, 320

Nelson, Lord, 368 _sqq._, 432

Nesbit, Mrs., 370

Newcastle, Duke of, 247, 248

New England's claims in the West, 206

New England colonies, population, 179, 248

New Orleans, 363

Nicholson, Colonel, 177

Nicollet, an interpreter, 49

Nika, in La Salle's company, 132

Noblesse, Canadian, 100 sqq.

Norembega, Lord of, 13

Northmen in America, 4

North-West Company, 418

"Notre Dame de la Victoire," 157

"Notre Dame des Victoires," 182

Nouë, Anne de, 39, 79

Noyan, Commandant de, 260

Ohio valley, war in, 206

Old Lorette founded, 84

"Old Régime," 218, 324, 336

"Onontio," Indian name for Frontenac, 143, 171

Ontario in 1812, 427

Osgoode, Chief-Justice, 387

Oswego, capitulation of, 249

Otway's regiment, 295, 317

_Palais de Justice_, 106

Palmerston, Lord, 452

Papineau, Joseph, 448 _sqq._

Parkman, Francis, quoted, 14, 60, 126, 214, 259, 314

Parliament House, 375

Péan, 335

Penisseault, 335

Pepperell, General Sir William, 189 _sqq._

Perrot, Nicolas, Governor of Montreal, 119, 120, 138

Perry, Commodore, 435

Philibert, or Nicholas Jaquin, 201

Philip of Anjou, 176

Phipps, Sir William, 145

Pitt, William, the elder. See Chatham, Earl of

Pitt, William, the younger, 374

Planchon, Étienne, house of, 135

Plattsburg, battle of, 440

Plessis, Bishop, 441

Political progress, 422 _sqq._, 443 _sqq._

Polo, Marco, 1

Pontbriand, Bishop, 283

Pontgravé, 27

Population of Canada in 1700, 179;
  in 1758, 248

Population of Quebec in 1660, 85;
  in 1750, 227

Population, Upper and Lower Canada, 460, 466

Portneuf, Captain, 144

Port Royal, capture of, 178

Portuguese, discoveries by, 3

Premiers of Canada, 476

Prentice, Widow, 356

Prescott, General, 385 _sqq._

Press-gangs, 425

Prévost, Mayor of Quebec, 149

Prevost, Sir George, 429 _sqq._, 440, 445

Proctor, General, 434, 435

"Provincials," 341

Quebec Act of 1774, 341, 370

_Quebec Chronicle_, 337

_Quebec Gazette_, 337, 457

Quebec Literary and Historical Society, 392

Queenston Heights, battle of, 432

Queylus, Abbé de, 166

Radisson, Pierre, 396 _sqq._

Ragueneau, Père, 76, 81

Ramézay, Commandant de, 181, 270, 300, 304 _sqq._

Rattier, Jean, sentence on, 393

Rebels, treatment of, 461

Récollets, arrival at Quebec, 30
  expelled, 41
  farm of the, 47

Récollets, re-introduced into America, 168

_Regne militaire_, 325

Rensselaer, General Van, 431

Répentigny, commander of colonial force, 92

Richelieu, Cardinal, 35, 48, 395

Richmond, Duke of, 419, 444 _sqq._

_Ridout Letters_, 431

Robertson, Colin, 418

Roberval, Sieur de, 12, 16, 45

Robson, Joseph, 416

Rupert, Prince, 400

Rupert's Land, 404

Russell, Earl, 449, 463

Ryswick, Treaty of, 173, 175, 409

Saget, La Salle's servant, 132

Sainte-Anne de Beaupré, 224 _sqq._

Ste. Foye, battle of, 315 _sqq._

St. Germain-en-Laye, Treaty of, 39, 66

Sainte-Hélène, Captain, 155

St. Lawrence, Gulf of, discovery of, 7

Saint-Luc, La Corne de, 196, 332

Ste. Marie, mission at, 77

Saint-Ours, M. de, 101, 196, 270, 295, 302

Saint-Simon, Duc de, Memoirs, 112, 227

Saint-Vallier, Bishop, 170

Salaberry, General de, 380, 433 _sqq._, 435 _sqq._, 439

Sault Ste. Marie, 121

Saunders, Admiral, 266, 289, 293, 305, 310

Sawyer, Commodore, 379

"Scholars' Battle," 275

Scotch settlers, 417 _sqq._

Secord, Laura, 434

Seigneur, position of the, 218 _sqq._

Selkirk, Lord, 419

Selwyn, John, 406

"Seminaire de Laval," 168 _sqq._

Sénézergues, Brigadier, 270, 295, 302

"Seven Years' War," 246

_Shannon_ and _Chesapeake_, 435

Shawanoe, in La Salle's Company, 132

Sheaffe, General, 434

Sherbrooke, Sir John Cope, 444 _sqq._

Shirley, Governor, 188, 212

Sillery, M. de, 49

Simcoe, Colonel, 428

Simpson, Miss Mary, 370

Smith, Prof. Goldwin, 110

Social life, 218 _sqq._, 366 _sqq._

Soissons, Comte de, 29

Southey, Robert, _Life of Nelson_, 370

Spanish, discoveries by, 3

Spanish succession, war of, 176

Stadaconé, the site of Quebec, discovery of, 9

Stamp Act, 339

Stoney Creek, battle of, 434

Subercase, Commandant at Port Royal, 178

Taché, Étienne Paschal, 466

Talon, Intendant, Jean Baptiste, 88, 96, 116, 118, 120, 168, 405

Tecumseh, Indian chief, 432, 435

Tessouat, Algonquin chief, 29

Theatre in Quebec, 172

Thompson, James, diary of, 343

Thunder, Indian beliefs, 73

Ticonderoga, or Carillon, 259

_Tiers État_, 337

_Times_, _The_, 452

Tonty, Henri de, 125

Townshend, Brigadier, afterwards Marquis of, 276, 287, 295,
  302 _sqq._, 310

Tracy, Marquis de, 88, 172, 225, 376

Trading, Indian, 412 _sqq._

Tupper, Sir Charles, 467

Turenne, Vicomte de, Maréchal de France, 111

Umfreville, _Present State of Hudson's Bay_, 412, 416

Union, Act of, 460, 463

United Empire loyalists, 365, 370, 427

United States and Canada, 364 _sqq._, 424 _sqq._

Ursuline nun, quoted, 136, 238

Utrecht, Treaty of, 182, 404, 409

Varin, 335

Vauban, engineer, 159, 183

Vaudreuil, Mme. de, 227

Vaudreuil, Marquis de, 179, 195, 212

Vaudreuil, Pierre François Rigaud, Marquis de, 247, 260 _sqq._,
  302 _sqq._, 313 _sqq._, 324, 335

Vauquelin, Commander, 323

Ventadour, Henri Lévis, Duc de, 34

Verchères, M. de, 161

Verchères, Mlle. Magdelaine de, 161

Verchères, Seigneury de, 161

Vergor, Captain, 293

Verrazzano, 3 _sqq._, 45

Vespucci, Amerigo, 2

Vetch, Samuel, 177, 180

Vignau, Nicolas de, story of a route to Cathay, 29

Ville Marie, or Montreal, 60

Villiers, Coulon de, 211

Vincent, General, 434

Voltigeurs, 433 _sqq._

Walker, Sir Hovenden, 178 _sqq._

Walley, Major, at Quebec, 154

Walpole, Horace, 307

Ward, the executioner, 388

Warren, Commodore, 189

Washington, George, 206 _sqq._, 213 _sqq._, 340, 383

Webb, General, 248, 250, 253

Webb's regiment, 317

Western exploration, 192 _sqq._

Wilkinson, General, 436

William III., 142, 408 _sqq._

Willson, Beckles, _The Great Company_, 406

Winthrop, Governor, 146

Wolfe, General, 253, 254 _sqq._, 266, 302, 307, 342

Young, Colonel, 317

Young, Sir William, 407

    *    *    *    *    *

Transcriber's notes:

1. Spelling of 'Cap la Hêve' was retained, even though geographically

2. Page 271--typographical error 'spirts' corrected to 'spirits'

3. Page 338--typographical error 'Engish' corrected to 'English'

4. Page 349--typographical error 'posession' corrected to 'possession'

5. Several instances of hyphenation have been changed for the sake
   of consistency.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Old Quebec - The Fortress of New France" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.