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Title: The Conquest of Canada, Vol. 2
Author: Warburton, George, 1816-1857
Language: English
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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.

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In the year 1750, commissioners met at Paris to adjust the various
boundaries of the North American territories, M. de Galissonière and M.
de Silhouette on the part of France, and Messrs. Shirley and Mildmay on
the part of Great Britain. The English commissioners, however, soon
perceived that there was little chance of arriving at a friendly
arrangement. The more they advanced in their offers, the more the French
demanded; futile objections were started, and unnecessary delays
continued; at length Mr. Shirley[1] and his colleague broke up the
conference, and returned to England. [1752.] It now became evident that
a decisive struggle was at hand.

Under the rule of M. de la Jonquière, a great and growing evil cankered
the spirit of Canada. The scanty salaries[2] allowed to the government
officers afforded a great inducement to peculation, especially as the
remoteness of the colony rendered retribution distant and uncertain. The
Indian trade opened a field for enormous dishonesty: M. Bigot, the
intendant, discontented with his inadequate stipend, ventured to farm
out trade licenses for his own profit and that of his creatures, and
speedily accumulated considerable wealth; he, the governor, and a few
others, formed themselves into a company, and monopolized nearly all the
commerce of the country, to the great indignation of the colonists. M.
de la Jonquière and his secretary, St. Sauveur, also kept exclusively to
themselves the nefarious privilege of supplying brandy to the Indians:
by this they realized immense profits.

At length a storm of complaints arose against the unworthy governor, and
even reached the dull ears of his patrons at the court of France. Aware
that his case would not bear investigation, he demanded his recall; but,
before a successor could be appointed, he died at Quebec on the 17th of
May, 1752,[3] aged sixty-seven years. Though not possessed of brilliant
gifts, M. de la Jonquière was a man of considerable ability, and had
displayed notable courage and conduct in many engagements; but a
miserable avarice stained his character, and he died enormously wealthy,
while denying himself the ordinary necessaries of his rank and
situation.[4] Charles Le Moine, Baron de Longueuil, then governor of
Montreal, being next in seniority, assumed the reins of power until the
arrival of a successor.

The Marquis du Quesne de Menneville was appointed governor of Canada,
Louisiana, Cape Breton, &c., on the recall of M. de la Jonquière in
1752. He was reputed a man of ability, but was of haughty and austere
disposition. Galissonière, who had recommended the appointment,
furnished him with every information respecting the colony and the
territorial claims of France: thus instructed, he landed at Quebec in
August, where he was received with the usual ceremonies.

The orders given to the new governor with regard to the disputed
boundaries were such as to leave little doubt on his mind that the sword
alone could enable him to secure their execution, and the character of
his stubborn though unwarlike rivals promised a determined resistance to
his views.[5] His first attention was therefore directed to the
military resources of his command. He forthwith organized the militia[6]
of Quebec and Montreal under efficient officers, and attached bodies of
artillery to the garrison of each city; the militia of the country
parishes next underwent a careful inspection, and nothing was neglected
to strengthen the efficiency of his army.

In 1753, several French detachments were sent to the banks of the
Ohio,[7] with orders to establish forts, and to secure the alliance of
the Indians by liberal presents and splendid promises. The wily savages,
however, quickly perceived that the rival efforts of the two great
European powers would soon lead to a war of which their country must be
the scene, and they endeavored, to the utmost of their ability, to rid
themselves of both their dangerous visitors. Disregarding these efforts
and entreaties, both the English and French advanced nearer to each
other, and the latter fortified several posts upon the Allegany and the
Ohio. When the hostile designs of France became thus apparent, Mr.
Dinwiddie, governor of Virginia,[8] which was the most exposed of the
British provinces, undertook to check these aggressions, upon his own
responsibility, and formed a regiment of militia for the purpose. A
small detachment, raised by the Ohio Company, was immediately sent to
protect the traders, and take possession of the Forks of the Ohio and
Monongahela, the precise spot where the first efforts of the French
would probably be made. They had scarcely begun the erection of a fort,
when M. de Contrecoeur, with 1200 men, arrived from Venango in 300
canoes, drove them from the ground,[9] and completed and occupied their
fortification: to this since well-known spot he gave the name of Fort du
Quesne.[10] In the mean time the Virginia militia marched to the aid of
the English, and met them on their retreat at Will's Creek; the colonel
of this body had died soon after it took the field, and the command
devolved upon the officer next in seniority--GEORGE WASHINGTON, the
father of the Great Republic.

To gain intelligence of the movements of the Virginians, frequent
expeditions were dispatched from Fort du Quesne. [1754.] One of these,
forty-five in number, commanded by M. Jumonville,[11] was surprised by
Colonel Washington, and destroyed or captured with the exception of one
man.[12] The victors immediately proceeded to intrench themselves on the
scene of action, a place called Little Meadows, with the view of holding
their ground till re-enforcements should arrive: they gave to their
little stronghold the name of Fort Necessity. They were soon after
joined by the remainder of the Virginia militia and a company from South
Carolina, which raised their strength to about 400 men. When M. de
Contrecoeur received intelligence of Jumonville's disaster, he sent M.
de Villiers, with 1000 regular troops and 100 Indians, to obtain
satisfaction. Colonel Washington resolved to await the attack in the
fort, and trust to the arrival of some troops promised by the state of
New York for his relief. He was, however, so warmly assailed by the
French on the 3d of July, that he found it necessary to surrender the
same evening, stipulating to march out with all the honors of war, and
every thing in his possession except the artillery. The capitulation[13]
was scarcely signed when it was most shamefully broken, the baggage was
plundered, the horses and cattle destroyed, and the officers detained
for some time as prisoners. At length Colonel Washington retired as he
best might, and met at Winchester the re-enforcements that but a day
before would have enabled him to stem the tide of French usurpation: he
was then, however, fain to content himself with erecting Fort
Cumberland[14] at Will's Creek, where he held his ground.

Meanwhile the governor of the British colonies transmitted reports of
these events to London, and the embassador[15] at Paris was instructed
to remonstrate firmly against the French aggressions in America; but
that court disregarded these communications, and took no further pains
to conceal their hostile intentions. They publicly gave orders for the
speedy re-enforcement of their colonies, especially Quebec, with men and
military stores, and prepared to follow up with vigor the success at
Fort Necessity.

The English government only noticed these formidable preparations by
letters of instruction to their colonial authorities, ordering them to
unite for their common defense, and encouraging them to resist every
aggression, without, however, furnishing any assistance. Commissioners
were also appointed to meet the Indian chiefs in congress at Albany, and
to endeavor to secure those important allies to the British power. The
red warriors did not display much enthusiasm in the cause, but finally
they accepted the presents offered them, and expressed a desire to
receive vigorous assistance from the English to drive the French from
their invaded hunting grounds. At this congress a general union of the
funds and forces of the colonies was proposed, but clashing interests in
comparatively unimportant matters defeated these salutary designs.

While this congress continued its almost useless deliberations, Governor
Shirley, of Massachusetts, marched upon the Kennebec River with about
1000 men, and erected forts at the most exposed points to secure the
northeastern frontier; he also accomplished the important object of
gaining the confidence of the Indians, and their consent to his military
occupation of the country. During the remainder of the year he
repeatedly represented to the English ministry[16] the dangerous
condition of the colonies, and the urgent need of powerful assistance to
defeat the hostility of France. Shirley's appeal was successful; two
regiments--Halket's, the 44th, and Dunbar's, the 48th, were ordered from
Ireland to America,[17] and Major-general Braddock was appointed to the
command of all the British forces on the Western continent; the governor
of Massachusetts was at the same time thanked by the king, and empowered
to concert measures for attacking the French settlements in the Bay of
Fundy. The disbanded colonial regiments, Shirley's and Pepperel's, were
also re-established, and recruits were rapidly raised through the
several provinces to form an army for the approaching war.

General Braddock arrived by the end of February, 1755, and immediately
convened the governors of the different British colonies to meet him in
council at Alexandria, in Virginia, on the 14th of April. It appeared
his orders from home[18] were positive that he should at once move upon
Fort du Quesne, notwithstanding the danger, difficulty, and expense of
carrying the war across the rugged barrier of the Allegany Mountains,
instead of assailing the Canadian settlements, where the facility of
transport by water, and their proximity to his resources, offered him
every advantage. However, no alternative remained, and he obeyed. At the
same time, Shirley's and Pepperel's newly-raised regiments[19] were
directed upon Niagara, and a strong body of provincial troops,
commanded by General Johnson, was commissioned to attack the French
position of Fort Frederic, called by the English Crown Point.

While these plans were being carried out, Colonel Monckton,[20] with
Colonel Winslow, marched against the French settlements in the Bay of
Fundy; their force of nearly 3000 men was aided by the presence on the
coast of Captain Rous, with three frigates and a sloop. The Acadian
peasants,[21] and some regular troops with a few cannon, endeavored to
oppose his passage at the River Massaquash, but were speedily
overpowered. Thence he moved upon Fort Beau-sejour, and forced the
garrison to capitulate after a bombardment[22] of four days. He left
some troops to defend this position, which he now called Fort
Cumberland, and proceeded the next day to a small intrenchment on the
River Gaspereau, where the French had established their principal dépôt
for the Indian trade, and the stores of arms, ammunition, and
provisions; he then disarmed the peasantry to the number of 15,000 men.
At the same time Captain Rous destroyed all the works erected by the
French on the River St. John. By this expedition the possession of the
extensive province of Nova Scotia was secured to the British crown
almost without the loss of a man.

The court of France in the mean time hastened the equipment of a
considerable fleet at Brest, under the orders of Admiral Bois de la
Mothe. On board were several veteran regiments, commanded by the Baron
Dieskau, who had distinguished himself under the celebrated Marshal

The Marquis du Quesne had demanded his recall from the government of
Canada, with the view of re-entering the naval service of France. His
departure caused little regret, for though his management of public
affairs was skillful and judicious, a haughty and domineering temper had
made him generally unpopular in the colony. The Marquis de Vaudreuil de
Cavagnac was appointed his successor, at the request of the Canadian
people, who fondly hoped to enjoy, under the rule of the son of their
favorite, the same prosperity and peace which had characterized his
father's administration. The new governor, who arrived in M. de la
Mothe's fleet, was received with great demonstrations of joy by the
inhabitants of Quebec.

Hearing of these hostile preparations, the English ministry, in the
month of April, 1755, dispatched Admiral Boscawen, with eleven sail of
the line, to watch the French squadron, although at the time no formal
declaration of war had been made. The rival armaments reached the Banks
of Newfoundland almost at the same time: the friendly fogs of those
dreary latitudes saved De la Mothe's fleet; two of his vessels, indeed,
fell into the hands of his enemies,[23] but the remainder entered the
Canadian ports in safety. On the news of this attack reaching Paris, M.
de Mirepoix, the embassador, was recalled from London, and loud
complaints were made by the French against Boscawen's conduct. On the
part of Great Britain it was answered, that the aggressions of the
Canadians in Virginia justified the act of hostility.[24]

On the 8th of May General Braddock joined the head-quarters of the army
at a village on the Potomac; on the 10th he marched to Will's Creek, and
encamped on a hill near Fort Cumberland. Here he remained till the 28th,
passing the time in horse-races, reviews, and conferences with the
Indians. These red warriors were astonished at the number of the
British, their uniform dress, and their arms, the regularity of their
march, the tremendous effect of their artillery, and the strange noises
of their drums and fifes; but, unfortunately, the haughty general was
not wise enough to conciliate his important allies, or to avail himself
of their experience in forest warfare; he, however, with disdainful
generosity, gave them numerous presents, and provided the warriors with
arms and clothing.

The force now assembled in camp at Fort Cumberland consisted of the 44th
(Sir Peter Halket's) and the 48th (Colonel Dunbar's) regiments, each of
700 men, with three New York and Carolina companies of 100, and ten of
Virginia and Maryland (fifty strong), a troop of Provincial light horse,
thirty seamen, and twelve pieces of field artillery: in all, 2300
men.[25] The Delawares and other friendly Indians, whose services were
unfortunately so lightly valued, added considerably to the numbers of
this formidable body.

Braddock was aware that the French garrison of Fort du Quesne only
numbered 200 men, and earnestly desired to advance in early spring with
his overwhelming force, but by an unfortunate exercise of corrupt
influence at home his troops had been ordered to land in Virginia, where
the inhabitants, altogether engrossed with the culture of tobacco, were
unable to supply the necessary provisions and means of transport. Had
they been landed in the agricultural state of Pennsylvania, all demands
could have been readily supplied, their march shortened, and a large
outlay saved to the British government. When the general found that the
Virginians could not meet his views, he made a requisition on the
neighboring state for 150 wagons, 300 horses, and a large quantity of
forage and provisions: these were readily promised, but not a tenth part
arrived at the appointed time. His disappointment was, however, somewhat
mitigated by a small supply which Mr. Franklin sent shortly after from
Philadelphia. By the exertions of this energetic man, Braddock was at
length furnished with all his requisitions,[26] and then prepared to

The unfortunate selection of the chief of this expedition was, however,
more fatal than difficulty[27] or delay; his character was unsuited for
such a command in every point except that of personal courage: haughty,
self-sufficient, and overbearing, he estranged the good-will, and
rejected the counsel of his Indian and Provincial allies.[28] His troops
were harassed by the endeavor to enforce a formal and rigid discipline,
which the nature of the service rendered impracticable. Through the
tangled and trackless passes of the Alleganies, he adhered with stubborn
bigotry to a system of operations only suited to the open plains of
civilized Europe. But his greatest and worst error was to despise his
foe: in spite of the warnings of the Duke of Cumberland, his patron and
friend, he scorned to take precautions against the dangerous ambush of
the American savage.

On the 29th, Major Chapman, with 600 men and two guns, marched from the
camp: Sir John St. Clair, quarter-master general, some engineers, and
seamen, accompanied this detachment to clear the roads and reconnoiter
the country. From that time till the 10th of June an incredible amount
of useless and harassing toil was wasted in widening and leveling the
forest paths, and erecting unnecessarily elaborate bridges. At length,
on the 10th, Braddock followed with the rest of his army, and reached
the Little Meadows that night, a distance of twenty-two miles. In spite
of the facilities afforded by the labors of the pioneers, great
difficulty was experienced in the conveyance of the heavy stores. During
the route still to be pursued, where no preparations had been made,
greater delays were to be expected. At the same time the general was
stimulated to activity by information that the French soon expected a
re-enforcement at Fort du Quesne of 500 regular troops; with more of
energy than he had yet displayed,[29] he selected 1200 men, and taking
also ten guns, the seamen, and some indispensable supplies of provisions
and ammunition, he pushed boldly on into the pathless and almost unknown
solitudes of the Alleganies. Colonel Dunbar, with the rest of the army
and the heavy luggage, followed as they best might.

To trace the unfortunate Braddock through his tedious march of 130 miles
would be wearisome and unnecessary. His progress was retarded by useless
labors in making roads, or rather tracks, and yet no prudent caution was
observed; he persisted in refusing or neglecting the offers of the
Provincials and Indians to scour the woods and explore the passes in his
front.[30] Sir Peter Halket and other British officers ventured to
remonstrate in strong terms against the dangerous carelessness of the
march, but their instances seemed only to confirm the obstinate
determination of the general. Washington, who acted as his aid-de-camp,
also urged an alteration of arrangement, and with such vehement
pertinacity that the irritated chief ordered his Virginian companies to
undertake the inglorious duties of the rear-guard.

M. de Contrecoeur, commandant of Fort du Quesne, had received
information of all Braddock's movements from the Indians. With the view
of embarrassing the English advance rather than of offering any serious
resistance, he dispatched M. de Beaujeu, with 250 of the marine, or
colony troops, toward the line of march which Braddock was expected to
take; this detachment was afterward strengthened by about 600 Indians,
principally Outamacs, and the united force took up a favorable position,
where the underwood and long grass concealed them from the approaching

Intelligence of a contradictory nature as to the strength and movements
of the French had been every day carried to the unfortunate Braddock by
Indians professing to be his friends, and by doubly traitorous
deserters. Still, under a fatal conviction of security, he had pursued
his march, meeting with no interruption, except in taking "eight or nine
scalps, a number much inferior to expectation." On the 8th of July,
following the winding course which the difficulty of the country
rendered necessary, he crossed the Monongahela River, encamped upon the
bank at the opposite side from Fort du Quesne, and sent Sir John St.
Clair forward to reconnoiter the enemy's fort. The quarter-master
general was successful in attaining the desired information: he reported
that the defenses were of timber, and that a small eminence lay close
by, from whence red-hot shot could easily be thrown upon the wooden

At seven in the morning of the 9th of July, an advance guard of 400 men,
under Colonel Gage, pushed on and took possession of the fords of the
river, where it was necessary to recross, unopposed, but somewhat
alarmed by the ominous appearance of a few Indians among the neighboring
thickets. A little before mid-day the main body began to cross the broad
stream with "colors flying, drums beating, and fifes playing the
Grenadiers' March:" they formed rapidly on the opposite side, and, not
having been interrupted in the difficult passage, recommenced their
march in presumptuous security.

Three guides and six light horsemen led the way toward Fort du Quesne,
through an open space in the forest, followed by the grenadiers of the
44th and 48th: flanking parties skirted the edge of the woods on both
sides. The 44th regiment succeeded with two guns; behind them were the
48th, with the rest of the artillery and the general: the Virginian
companies, in unwilling obedience, sullenly brought up the rear. In this
order they advanced with as much regularity as the rough road permitted.
When within seven miles of the fort, they left a steep conical hill to
the right, and directed their march upon the extremity of the open
space, where the path disappeared between the thickly-wooded banks of a
small brook: so far all went well.

At length the guides and the light horse entered the "bush" in front and
descended the slope toward the stream, while a number of axmen set
vigorously to work felling the trees and clearing the underwood for the
advance of the army, the grenadiers acting as a covering party. Suddenly
from the dark ravine in front flashed out a deadly volley, and before
the rattle of the musketry had ceased to echo, three fourths of the
British advance lay dead and dying on the ground. The French had coolly
taken aim from their unseen position, and singled out the officers with
fatal effect, for every one was killed or wounded in that first
discharge; only two-and-twenty of the grenadiers remained untouched;
they hastily fired upon the copse containing their still invisible foes,
then turned and fled. One of these random shots struck down the French
chief, De Beaujeu, and for a short time checked the enemy's triumph. He
was dressed like an Indian, but wore a large gorgiton to denote his
rank. At the moment of his death he was waving his hat and cheering his
men on at a running pace.

Braddock instantly advanced the 44th regiment to succor the front, and
endeavored to deploy upon the open space, but simultaneously on all
sides from the thick covert burst the war-whoop of the Indians, and a
deadly fire swept away the head of every formation. The 44th staggered
and hesitated. Sir Peter Halket and his son,[31] a lieutenant in the
regiment, while cheering; them on, were shot dead side by side;
Braddock's horse was killed, and two of his aids-de-camp wounded; the
artillery, although without orders,[32] pressed to the front, and their
leading guns plied the thickets with grape and canister, but in a few
minutes all the officers and most of the gunners were stretched bleeding
on the field. The broken remnant of the grenadiers who had formed the
advance now fell back upon the disordered line, and threw it into utter

With stubborn purpose and useless courage the general strove to re-form
his ruined ranks; most of the officers nobly stood by him, but the
soldiers were seized with uncontrollable terror. Assailed on every side
by foes, unseen save when a savage rushed out from his woody stronghold
to tear the scalp from some fallen Englishman, they lost all order, and
fell back upon the 48th, which was now rapidly advancing to their aid
under Colonel Burton. Braddock, with these fresh troops, made several
desperate efforts to gain possession of the conical hill, from whence a
strong body of the French galled him intolerably, but his well-drilled
ranks were broken by the close trees and rocks, and shattered by the
flanking fire of the Indians. Again and again he endeavored to rally the
now panic-stricken soldiers, without, however, any effectual movement of
advance or retreat. His ill-judged valor was vain; the carnage
increased, and with it his confusion. At length, after having had four
horses shot under him, while still encouraging his men, a bullet
shattered his arm and passed through his lungs. The luckless but gallant
chief was placed in a wagon by Colonel Gage and hurried to the rear,
although he was "very solicitous to be left on the field."[33]

The remains of the two British regiments now broke into utter disorder
and fled, leaving all the artillery and baggage[34] in the hands of the
enemy, and, worst of all, many of their wounded comrades, who were
scalped by the Indians without mercy. This horrible occupation, and the
plunder of the wagons, for a time interrupted the pursuers, and enabled
Colonel Washington, the only mounted officer still unwounded, to rally
the Virginian companies, who had as yet borne little share in the
action. He succeeded in holding the banks of the Monongahela River[35]
till the fugitives had passed, and then himself retired in tolerable
order. One of his captains was Horatio Gates, afterward Burgoyne's
conqueror in the Revolutionary war. This young officer distinguished
himself by courage and conduct in the retreat, and was carried from the
field severely wounded.

The routed army fled all through the night, and joined Colonel Dunbar
the following evening at a distance of nearly fifty miles from the scene
of their defeat.[36] Braddock ordered that the retreat should be
immediately continued, which his lieutenant readily obeyed, as his
troops were infected with the terror of the fugitives. A great quantity
of stores were hurriedly destroyed, that the wounded officers and
soldiers might have transport, and the remaining artillery was spiked
and abandoned. The unfortunate general's sufferings increased hourly,
aggravated by the most intense mental anguish. On the 12th of July,
conscious of the approach of death, he dictated a dispatch acquitting
his officers of all blame, and recommending them to the favor of his
country: that night his proud and gallant heart ceased to beat. His
dying words expressed that astonishment at his defeat which had
continued to the last: "Who would have thought it! we shall know better
how to deal with them another time."[37]

May he sleep in peace! With sorrow and censure, but not with shame, let
his name be registered in the crowded roll of those who have fought and
fallen for the rights and honor of England.

The number of killed, wounded, and missing, out of this small army,
amounted to 896 men, and sixty-four officers, as appeared by the returns
of the different companies after the battle. Some few, indeed, of these
ultimately reappeared, but most of the wounded and missing met with a
fate far more terrible from their savage enemies than a soldier's death
upon the field. Of fifty-four women who had accompanied the troops, only
four escaped alive from the dangers and hardships of the campaign. The
French, on the other hand, only report the loss of their commander, De
Beaujeu, and sixty men in this astonishing victory.

On Braddock's death, Colonel Dunbar fell back with disgraceful haste
upon Fort Cumberland; nor did he even there consider himself safe.
Despite the entreaties of the governors of Virginia, Maryland, and
Pennsylvania, that he would remain to protect the frontier, he continued
his march to Philadelphia, leaving only a small garrison of two
Provincial companies at the fort. From Philadelphia the remains of the
army, 1600 strong, was shipped for Albany by the order of General
Shirley, who had succeeded to the command of the British American

In consequence of this lamentable defeat and the injudicious withdrawal
of the remaining British troops, the western borders of Pennsylvania and
Virginia were exposed during the ensuing winter to the ruthless
cruelties of the victorious savages, and the scarcely less ferocious
hostilities of their European allies. The French not only incited the
Indians to these aggressions, but rewarded them by purchasing their
hapless captives at a high price, and in turn exacted large ransoms for
the prisoners' release. Their pretense was to rescue the English from
the torture, their real motive gain, and the rendering it more
profitable for the savages to hunt their enemies than the wild animals
of the forest.

From the presumptuous rashness of Braddock and the misconduct of the
44th and 48th regiments,[38] followed results of a far deeper importance
than the loss of a battle and the injury of a remote province. The
conviction formerly held by the colonists of the superior prowess of
English regulars was seriously shaken, if not destroyed, and the
licentious and violent conduct of Dunbar's army to the inhabitants
during the retreat excited a wide-spread feeling of hostility. "They are
more terrible, to us than to the enemy," said the discontented: "they
slighted our officers and scorned our counsel, and yet to our Virginians
they owe their escape from utter destruction." Some far-sighted and
ambitious men there were, who, through this cloud upon the British
arms, with hope espied the first faint rays of young America's ascending

The second expedition, set on foot by the council at Alexandria, was
that under General Shirley: two Provincial regiments[39] and a
detachment of the royal artillery were assembled by his order at Albany,
to march against Niagara.[40] All the young men who had been, during
more peaceful times, occupied by the fur trade in the neighboring
country, were engaged to man the numerous bateaux for the transport of
the troops and stores to Oswego. Part of the force commenced their
westward journey in the beginning of July, and the remainder were
preparing to follow, when the disastrous news of Braddock's ruin reached
the camp. This struck a damp upon the undisciplined Provincial troops,
and numbers deserted their colors, while the indispensable
bateaux-men[41] nearly all fled to their homes, and resisted alike
threats and entreaties for their return. The general, however, still
vigorously pushed on, with all the force he could keep together. Great
hopes had been formed of the assistance likely to be rendered to the
expedition by the powerful confederacy of the Five Nations, but these
politic savages showed no inclination to trust to the then doubtful
fortunes of the British colonies, and even remonstrated against the
transit of their territories by the army, alleging that the Oswego fort
was established and tolerated by them as a trading-post,[42] but not as
a place of arms for hostile purposes. After having undergone
considerable hardships and overcome great difficulties, Shirley reached
Oswego by the 18th of August:[43] his whole force, however, had not
arrived till the end of the month. Want of supplies and the lateness of
the season defeated his intention of attacking Niagara that year. On the
24th of October he withdrew from the shores of Lake Ontario, without
having accomplished any thing of the slightest importance. Leaving 700
men under Colonel Mercer to complete and occupy the defenses of Oswego,
and those of a new fort to be called Fort Ontario, he retraced the
difficult route to his old quarters at Albany.[44]

The expedition against Crown Point was the last in commencement of those
planned by the council at Albany, but the first in success. By the
advice of Shirley, the command was intrusted to William Johnson,[45] an
Irishman by birth. This remarkable man had emigrated to New York at an
early age, and by uncommon gifts of mind and body, united to ardent
ambition, had risen from the condition of a private soldier, to wealth,
consideration, and a seat at the council-board of his adopted country.
For some years he had been settled on the fertile banks of the Mohawk
River, where he had built two handsome residences and acquired a large
estate. He associated himself intimately with the Indians of the Five
Nations, learned their language, habits, and feelings, and gained their
affection and respect. In war, he was their chief and leader; in peace,
the persevering advocate of their rights and interests. Accordingly,
when called to the command of the army, Hendrick, a Mohawk sachem, and
300 warriors of that tribe, followed him to the camp.

General Johnson had never seen a campaign, his troops had never seen an
enemy, with the exception of a few companies that had shared the glories
of Louisburg, but his ability and courage, and their zeal and spirit,
served instead of experience. To this force was intrusted the most
difficult undertaking in the checkered campaign, and it alone gained a
share of honor and success.

By the end of June, 6000 men, the hardy militia of the Northern
States,[46] had mustered at Albany under Johnson's command. He soon
after sent them forward, with Major-general Lyman, to the carrying-place
between Lake George and the Hudson River, sixty miles in advance. Here
they established a post called Fort Edward, in a strong position, while
the artillery, provisions, and boats for the campaign were being
prepared under the general's eye. Toward the end of August, Johnson
joined his army at the carrying-place, and proceeded to the southern
extremity of Lake George, leaving Colonel Blanchard with 300 men to
garrison the newly-erected fort.

Here all the Indian scouts brought the news that the French had
intrenched themselves at Ticonderoga, on the promontory between the
Lakes George and Champlain, but that the works were still incomplete.
Johnson promptly prepared for the offensive; soon, however, his plans
were changed by the news of Baron Dieskau's arrival on the lake with a
considerable force of regular troops from Old France. The well-known
ability and courage of the enemy, together with his formidable force,
alarmed Johnson for the safety of the British settlements; he therefore
immediately dispatched an earnest entreaty for re-enforcements to the
provincial governments, who loyally responded to the appeal, but the
danger had passed before their aid reached the scene of action.

Baron Dieskau had been ordered to reduce the Fort of Oswego, on Lake
Ontario, as the primary object of his campaign; but, on hearing that a
British force was in motion upon Lake George, he determined first to
check or destroy them, and pressed on rapidly against Johnson with 2000
men, chiefly Canadians and Indians. The English chief was apprized of
this movement, but could form no estimate of the enemy's strength, his
savage informants being altogether ignorant of the science of numbers:
he nevertheless made every possible preparation for defense, and warned
Colonel Blanchard to concentrate all his little force within the fort:
that officer was, however, slain in the mean time by an advance party of
the French.

Johnson now summoned a council of war, which recommended the rash step
of dispatching a force of 1000 men and the Mohawk Indians to check the
enemy: Colonel Ephraim Williams was placed in command of the detachment.
Hardly had they advanced three miles from the camp, when suddenly they
were almost surrounded by the French, and, after a gallant but hopeless
combat, utterly routed, with the loss of their leader, Hendrick, the
Indian chief, and many of the men. The victors, although they had also
suffered in the sharp encounter, pursued with spirit, till checked near
the camp by Colonel Cole and 300 men, sent by Johnson in the direction
of the firing. By this delay the British were enabled to strengthen
their defenses, and to recover, in some measure, from the confusion of
their disaster. The most vigorous efforts of the officers were needed to
overcome the panic caused by Williams's defeat and death, and by their
ignorance of the advancing enemy's force.

After a brief pause, Dieskau made a spirited attack upon the British
intrenchments, but his Canadians and Indians were suddenly checked by
Johnson's guns;[47] they at once gave way, and, inclining to the right
and left, contented themselves with keeping up a harmless fire on the
flanks of the works. The French regulars, however, bravely maintained
their ground, although surprised by the strength of Johnson's position,
and damped by finding it armed with artillery. But they could not long
bear the brunt alone; after several gallant attacks, the few remaining
still unhurt also dispersed in the forest, leaving their leader mortally
wounded on the field.[48] Early in the action General Johnson had
received a painful wound, and was obliged unwillingly to retire to his
tent; the command then devolved upon Lyman, who pursued the routed enemy
for a short distance with great slaughter. The French loss in this
disastrous action was little short of 800 men, and their regular troops
were nearly destroyed.

The Canadians and Indians, who had fled almost unharmed, halted that
evening at the scene of Williams's defeat to scalp the dead and dying.
Finding they were not molested, they prepared for rest and refreshment,
and even debated upon the renewal of the attack. The heavy loss already
sustained by the English (upward of 200 men), and the consequent
disorganization, prevented them from following up their victory: this
forced inaction had well-nigh proved the destruction of 120 men sent
from Fort Edward to their aid under Captain Macginnis. This gallant
officer, however, had secured his march by every proper precaution, and
was warned by his scouts that he was close upon the spot where the still
formidable enemy was bivouacked. He promptly formed his little band, and
sustained a sharp engagement for nearly two hours, extricating his
detachment at length with little loss, and much honor to himself. The
brave young man was, however, mortally wounded, and died three days
afterward in Johnson's camp. The remnant of the French army then
dispersed, and sought shelter at Ticonderoga.[49]

Though the brilliance of this success was obscured by the somewhat timid
inaction that followed,[50] the consequences were of great importance.
The English troops, it must be owned, were become so accustomed to
defeat and disaster, that they went into action spiritless and
distrustful. Now that a formidable force of the enemy had yielded to
their prowess, confidence began to revive, and gradually strengthened
into boldness. Had the French been successful in their attack, the
results would have been most disastrous for the British colonies:
nothing would have remained to arrest their progress into the heart of
the country, or stem the tide of ruin that had followed on their track.
The value of this unusual triumph on the Western continent was duly felt
in England: a baronetcy by royal favor, and a grant of £5000 by a
grateful Parliament, rewarded the successful general.

General Johnson turned his attention immediately after the battle to
strengthen the position he had successfully held, with the view of
securing the frontiers from hostile incursion when he should retire into
winter quarters. The fort called William Henry[51] was forthwith
constructed by his orders; guns were mounted, and a regiment of
Provincial troops, with a company of rangers, left to garrison it and
Fort Edward. On the 24th of December Johnson fell back to Albany, and
from thence dispersed the remainder of his army to their respective
provinces. In the mean time, Captain Rogers, a daring and active
officer, made repeated demonstrations against the French in the
neighborhood of Crown Point,[52] cut off many of their detached parties,
and obtained constant intelligence of their proceedings. By these means
it was known that the French had assembled a force of no less than 2000
men, with a proportion of artillery, and a considerable body of Indians,
at Ticonderoga; the British were therefore obliged to use every
vigilance to secure themselves against sudden attack from their
formidable enemies, and to hasten, by all means in their power, the
preparations for defense.

The fatal consequences of the unfortunate Braddock's defeat were rapidly
developed in the southwestern frontiers. The French were aroused by
success to an unusual spirit of enterprise, and, together with the
Indians, they carried destruction into the remote and scattered hamlets
of the British settlements. To put an end to these depredations, the
government of Virginia marched 500 men to garrison Fort Cumberland, and
160 more to the southern branch of the Potomac, lately the scene of a
cruel massacre. But these isolated efforts were of little more than
local and temporary advantage; as the marauders were checked or baffled
in one district, they poured with increased ferocity upon another. The
province of Pennsylvania now became their foray-ground; and the
inhabitants, the faithful but fanatic men of peace, actually denied all
assistance to their governor for defense, and zealously preached against
any warlike preparations, recommending patience and forbearance as the
best means of securing their properties and lives.

This fatal delusion was not even dispelled by the intelligence that 1400
Indians and 100 French were already mustered on the banks of the
Susquehanna, only eighty miles from Philadelphia, with the object of
again dividing and sweeping the whole country in separate parties. Soon
after, news arrived that the peaceful and prosperous settlement of Great
Cove was utterly destroyed, and all the inhabitants massacred or carried
into captivity. Still the men of peace refused to use the arm of flesh.
The spirited governor in vain urged the necessity of action upon his
unmanageable Assembly, till the sudden arrival of some hundreds of
ruined fugitives strengthened his argument. These unfortunates crowded
to the State House, dragging a wagon loaded with the dead and mutilated
bodies of their friends, who had been scalped by the Indians at a place
only sixty miles distant; they threw the bleeding corpses at the door,
and threatened violence if their demands for protection and revenge were
not instantly complied with. The Assembly, either moved by their
distress, or overawed by their menaces, at length gave up its scruples,
and passed a bill to call out the militia and appropriate £62,000 to the
expenses of the war.

It must be said, at the same time, that the other English colonies,
where no such scruples as those of the Quakers existed, were far from
being active or united in raising supplies of men and money for their
common safety. Those, however, where danger was most imminent,
addressed strong and spirited appeals to their rulers for protection and
support, and denounced in vigorous language the aggressions and
usurpations of the French. These remonstrances had at length the desired
effect of disposing the minds of the local authorities to second the
views of the court of London for curbing the advances of Canadian power.
On the 12th of December, 1755, a grand council of war was assembled at
New York, consisting of as many provincial governors and superior
officers as could be collected for the purpose. General Shirley
presided, and laid before them the instructions which had been given to
Braddock, his unfortunate predecessor. He exerted himself with energy
and success to create a good understanding among the several
governments, and was particularly happy in effecting a union for mutual
protection and support between the important states of New England and
New York. He also succeeded in regaining to his cause many of the
Indians, who had either already gone over to the French or withdrawn to
a cold neutrality.

The measures Shirley now proposed to the council were in accordance with
the tenor of General Braddock's instructions; they were cheerfully
assented to by that body, through his successful negotiations. It was
agreed to strengthen the naval force on Lake Ontario, and to form an
army of 6000 men upon its shores, while 10,000 more were to be directed
against the French intrenchments at Ticonderoga. Another attempt was
also proposed upon Fort du Quesne, and a movement against the Canadian
settlements on the Chaudière, provided that these schemes should not
interfere with the main objects of the war. The council then unanimously
gave their opinion that a re-enforcement of regular soldiers was
indispensable for the assertion and security of the British sovereign's
rights on the American continent.

The English government,[53] though sensible of General Shirley's
abilities as a negotiator, had not sufficient confidence in his military
capacity to intrust him with the execution of extensive warlike
operations. The command in chief of all the forces in America was
therefore conferred upon the Earl of Loudon, a nobleman of amiable
character, who had already distinguished himself in the service of his

[Footnote 1: Mr. Shirley was born in England, and brought up to the law.
In that profession he afterward practiced for many years in the
Massachusetts Bay, and in 1741 was advanced to the supreme command of
that colony. Upon the conclusion of the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle he was
chosen as one of the British commissioners at Paris, and when the
conference there broke up, he resumed his government in New England (in

[Footnote 2: "The salaries allotted to the officers of the civil
departments in the French colonial governments were extremely moderate,
and inadequate to support their respective situations. In 1758, that of
the Marquis de Vaudreuil, governor and lieutenant general of Canada,
amounted to no more than £272 1_s._ 8_d._ sterling, out of which he was
to clothe, maintain, and pay a guard for himself, consisting of two
sergeants and twenty-five soldiers, furnishing them with firing in
winter, and with other necessary articles. The pay of the whole officers
of justice and police was £514 11_s._ sterling, and the total sum
appropriated for the pay of the established officers, composing the
various branches of the civil power, did not exceed £3809 8_s._
sterling."--Heriot's _Travels in Canada_, p. 98.]

[Footnote 3: "On the 1st January of this year England adopted the New
Style, which had been long before in use among all civilized nations
except Russia and Sweden. They, with England, still clung to the
exploded system, for no better reason, apparently, than because it was a
Pope who established the new. 'It was not, in my opinion,' writes
Chesterfield, 'very honorable for England to remain in gross and avowed
error, especially in such company.' The bill for the reformation of the
calendar was moved by Lord Chesterfield in a very able, and seconded by
Lord Macclesfield in a very learned speech, and it was successfully
carried through both Houses. The bill had been framed by these two
noblemen in concert with Dr. Bradley and other eminent men of science.
To correct the old calendar, eleven nominal days were to be suppressed
in September, 1752, so that the day following the 2d of that month
should be styled the 14th. The difficulties that might result from the
change, as affecting rents, leases, and bills of exchange, were likewise
carefully considered and effectually prevented."--Lord Mahon's _History
of England_, vol. iv., p. 23.]

[Footnote 4: "He amassed, while governor of Canada, by commerce alone,
more than a million livres, besides which, he had for many years sixty
thousand livres from his appointments and pensions. Yet, notwithstanding
his riches, his avarice was in many instances so extreme, that he denied
himself the common necessaries of life. During his last illness, he
ordered the wax tapers that were burning in his room to be changed for
tallow candles, observing that 'the latter would answer every purpose,
and were less expensive.'"--Smith's _Hist. of Canada_, vol. i., p. 223.]

[Footnote 5: "While Britain claimed an indefinite extent to the west,
France insisted on confining her to the eastern side of the Allegany
Mountains, and claimed the whole country whose waters run into the
Mississippi, in virtue of her right as the first discoverer of that
river. The delightful region between the summit of those mountains and
the Mississippi was the object for which these two powerful nations
contended, and it soon became apparent that the sword alone could decide
the contest."--Marshall's _Life of Washington_, vol. i., p. 294;
Belsham, vol. ii., p. 363, 364.

"Thus France would have enjoyed, in time of peace, the whole Indian
trade, and the English colonies, in time of war, must have had a
frontier of 1200 miles to defend against blood-thirsty savages,
conducted by French officers, and supported by regular troops. It was,
in fact, to attempt the extinction of the British settlements, and yet,
without such interior communication as was projected between Canada and
Louisiana, the French settlements on the St. Lawrence and Mississippi
could never, it was said, attain any high degree of consequence or
security; the navigation of one of those rivers being at all seasons
difficult, and that of the other blocked up with ice during the winter
months, so as to preclude exterior support or relief. This scheme of
usurpation, which is supposed to have long occupied the deliberations of
the court of Versailles, was ardently embraced by M. de la Jonquière,
now commander-in-chief of the French forces in North America, and by La
Galissonière, a man of a bold and enterprising spirit, who had been
appointed governor of New France in 1747. By their joint efforts, in
addition to those of their predecessors, forts were erected along the
Great Lakes, which communicate with the River St. Lawrence, and also on
the Ohio and Mississippi. The vast chain was almost completed from
Quebec to New Orleans, when the court of England, roused by repeated
injuries, broke off the conferences relative to the limits of Nova
Scotia."--Russell's _Modern Europe_, vol. iii., p. 273.]

[Footnote 6: See Appendix, No. LXV.]

[Footnote 7: "The governors of Canada, who were generally military men,
had, for several preceding years, judiciously selected and fortified
such situations as would give their nation most influence with the
Indians, and most facilitate incursions into the northern English
provinces. The command of Lake Champlain had been acquired by erecting a
strong fort at Crown Point, and a connected chain of posts was
maintained from Quebec up the St. Lawrence and along the Great Lakes. It
was now intended to unite these posts with the Mississippi, by taking
positions which should enable them to circumscribe, and at the same time
annoy, the frontier settlements of the English. The execution of this
plan was probably in some degree accelerated by an act of the British
government. The year after the conclusion of the war with France,
several very influential persons, both in England and Virginia, who
associated under the name of the Ohio Company, obtained from the crown a
grant for 600,000 acres of land, lying in the country which was claimed
by both nations. Several opulent merchants, as well as noblemen and
gentlemen, being members of this company, its objects were commercial as
well as territorial; and measures were immediately taken to derive all
the advantages expected from their grants in both these respects, by
establishing houses for carrying on their trade with the Indians. The
governor of Canada, who obtained early intelligence of this intrusion,
as he deemed it, into the dominions of his Christian majesty, wrote
immediately to the governors of New York and Pennsylvania, informing
them that the English traders had encroached on the French territory by
trading with the Indians, and warning them that, if they did not desist,
he should be under the necessity of seizing them wherever they should be
found. This threat having been disregarded, it was put in execution by
seizing the British traders among the Twightwees,[55] and carrying them
as prisoners to a fort on Lake Erie."--Marshall's _Life of Washington_,
vol. i., p. 297.]

[Footnote 8: "The country taken possession of by the French troops had
actually been granted as a part of the territory of Virginia to the Ohio
Company, who were, in consequence, commencing its settlement."--Marshall's
_Life of Washington_, vol. i., p. 298.]

[Footnote 9: "Which was the less to be wondered at," remarks Major
Washington, in his journal, "as the garrison of the fort consisted but
of thirty-three effective men." They were commanded by Captain Trent.]

[Footnote 10: This name was given in honor of the then governor of
Canada, the Marquis du Quesne de Menneville. Fort Du Quesne is now
called Pittsburg.]

[Footnote 11: Smollett says that "Jumonville bore a summons to Colonel
Washington, requiring him to quit the fort, which he pretended was built
on ground belonging to the French or their allies. So little regard was
paid to this intimation, that the English fell upon this party, and, as
the French affirm, without the least provocation, either slew or took
the whole detachment. De Villiers, incensed at these unprovoked
hostilities...."--Smollett, vol. iii., p. 421.]

[Footnote 12: "This skirmish, of small importance, perhaps, in itself,
was yet among the principal causes of the war. It is no less memorable
as the first appearance in the pages of history of one of their
brightest ornaments--of that great and good man, GENERAL
WASHINGTON."--Lord Mahon's _History of England_, vol. iv., p. 65.

"This event was no sooner known in England than the British embassador
at Paris received directions to complain of it to the French ministry,
as an open violation of the peace."--Smollett, vol. iii., p. 421.]

[Footnote 13: "The capitulation was written in French, and as neither
Mr. Washington nor any of his party understood that language, a
foreigner was employed to read it to them in English. But, instead of
acting the part of a faithful interpreter, when he came to the word
'assassination,'[56] employed in the capitulation to designate M. de
Jumonville's defeat and death, he translated it 'the defeat of M. de
Jumonville.' This I have the best authority to assert; the authority of
the English officers who were present. Indeed, the thing speaks for
itself. It can not be supposed that these gentlemen should know so
little of what they owed to themselves, both as men and as soldiers, as
not to prefer any extremity rather than submit to the disgrace of being
branded with the imputation of so horrid a crime. After all, had they
been guilty of this charge, they could scarce have been worse used than
they were."--_History of the late War in America_ by Major Thomas Mante,
p. 14 (London, 1772).]

[Footnote 14: "The coal measures of this part of Maryland are usually
called the Cumberland coal-field, from Fort Cumberland, famous for the
wars of the English with the French and Indians, in which General
Washington took part before the American Revolution. The carboniferous
strata are arranged geologically in a trough about twenty-five miles
long from north to south, and from three to four miles broad. Professor
Silliman and his son, who surveyed them, have aptly compared the shape
of the successive beds to a great number of canoes placed one within
another."--Lyell's _Geology_, vol. ii., p. 17.]

[Footnote 15: "An able diplomacy in Europe exerted betimes would
probably have allayed the rancor of these feuds in America. But, for our
misfortune, we had then at Paris as embassador the Earl of Albemarle, an
indolent man of pleasure."--Lord Mahon's _History of England_, vol. iv.,
p. 66. London, 1844.

"Between you and me, for this must go no further, what do you think made
Lord Albemarle, colonel of a regiment of Guards, governor of Virginia,
groom of the stole, and embassador to Paris, amounting in all to £16,000
or £17,000 a year? Was it his birth? No; a Dutch gentleman only. Was it
his estate? No; he had none. Was it his learning, his parts, his
political abilities and application? You can answer these questions as
easily and as soon as I can ask them. What was it, then? Many people
wondered, but I do not, for I know, and will tell you: it was his air,
his address, his manners, and his graces."--_Lord Chesterfield to his
Son_, May 27, 1752.

Lord Albemarle died suddenly at his post in December, 1754. "You will
have heard, before you receive this, of Lord Albemarle's sudden death at
Paris. Every body is so sorry for him--without being so; yet as sorry as
he would have been for any body, or as he deserved. Can any one really
regret a man who, with the most meritorious wife and sons in the world,
and with near £15,000 a year from the government, leaves not a shilling
to his family, but dies immensely in debt, though when he married he had
near £90,000 in the funds, and my Lady Albemarle brought him £25,000
more."--Walpole's _Letters to Sir H. Mann_, Jan. 9, 1755.

Lord Hertford was named to succeed Lord Albemarle as embassador to
Paris, but war being soon declared between the two nations, he never
went there.]

[Footnote 16: "On the 6th of March, 1754, the calm and languid course of
public business had been suddenly broken through by the death of the
prime minister,[57] Mr. Pelham. 'Now I shall have no more peace!'
exclaimed the old king, when he heard the news; and the events of the
next few years fully confirmed his majesty's prediction. At the tidings
of his brother's death--a death so sudden and unlocked for--the the mind
of Newcastle was stirred with the contending emotions of grief, fear,
and ambition. The grief soon passed away, but the fear and the ambition
long struggled for the mastery. After a dishonest negotiation with Henry
Fox (younger son of Sir Stephen Fox, a brother of the first Earl of
Ilchester), the duke, finding him not sufficiently subservient, bestowed
the seals of secretary upon Sir Thomas Robinson. It was certainly no
light or easy task which Newcastle had thus accomplished: he had
succeeded in finding a secretary of state with abilities inferior to his
own.... The new Parliament met in November, 1754. Before that time a
common resentment had united the two statesmen whom rivalry had hitherto
kept asunder, Pitt and Fox. 'Sir Thomas Robinson lead us!' exclaimed
Pitt to Fox: 'The duke might as well send his jackboot to lead us!' ...
At length, in January, 1755, the Duke of Newcastle renewed his
negotiations with Fox. The terms he offered were far less than those Fox
had formerly refused, neither the head of the House of Commons nor the
office of Secretary of State, but admission to the cabinet, provided Fox
would actively support the king's measures in the House, and would in
some sort lead without being leader.... The conduct of Fox to Pitt (in
accepting these terms) seems not easy to reconcile with perfect good
faith, while the sudden lowering of his pretensions to Newcastle was,
beyond all doubt, an unworthy subservience. On one or both of these
grounds he fell in public esteem. By the aid of Fox and the silence of
Pitt the remainder of the session passed quietly. But great events were
now at hand. The horizon had long been dark with war, and this summer
burst the storm."--Lord Mahon's _History of England_, vol. iv., p. 65;
Belsham, vol. ii., p. 354, 355.]

[Footnote 17: "The French have taken such liberties with some of our
forts that are of great consequence to cover Virginia, Carolina, and
Georgia, that we are actually dispatching two regiments thither. As the
climate and other American circumstances are against these poor men, I
pity them, and think them too many if the French mean nothing farther,
too few if they do. Indeed, I am one of those that feel less resentment
when we are attacked so far off: I think it an obligation to be eaten
the last."--Walpole's _Letters to Sir H. Mann_, Oct. 6, 1754.

"A detachment of fifty men of the regiment of artillery embarked with
the 2d battalion, No. 44 and No. 48, under the command of Major-general
Braddock, for America.... This detachment was mostly cut to pieces near
Fort du Quesne, on the Monongahela, on the 9th of July, 1755."--_Memoirs
of the Royal Regt. of Artillery_, 1743. MSS., Col. Macbean, R.A.
Library, Woolwich.]

[Footnote 18: The Duke of Cumberland was then at the head of the
regency, during the absence of his father, George II., on the

[Footnote 19: Officers were appointed for two regiments, consisting of
two battalions each, to be raised in America, and commanded by Sir
William Pepperel and Governor Shirley, who had enjoyed the same command
in the last war.[58]]

[Footnote 20: "Although the force to be employed was to be drawn almost
entirely from Massachusetts, the command of the expedition was conferred
on Lieutenant-colonel Monckton, a British officer, in whose military
talents more confidence was placed than in those of any provincial. The
troops of Massachusetts embarked at Boston on the 20th of May, 1755,
together with Shirley's and Pepperel's regiments, commanded by
Lieutenant-colonel Winslow, who was a major general of the militia, and
an officer of great influence in the province. About four miles from
Fort Lawrence they were joined by 300 British troops and a small train
of artillery."--Marshall's _Life of Washington_, vol. i., p. 310.]

[Footnote 21: "In the obstinate conflict which was commencing between
the French and English crowns, the continuance of the Acadians in Nova
Scotia was thought dangerous on account of their invincible attachment
to France; and to expel them from the country, leaving them at liberty
to choose their place of residence, would be to re-enforce the French in
Canada. A council was held, aided by the Admirals Boscawen and Morty,
for the purposes of deciding on the destinies of these unfortunate
people, and the severe policy was adopted of removing them from their
homes and dispersing them among the other British colonies. This harsh
measure was immediately put into execution, and the miserable
inhabitants of Nova Scotia, banished from their homes, were in one
instant reduced from ease and contentment to a state of beggary. Their
lands and movables, with the exception of their money and household
furniture, were declared to be forfeit to the crown; and to prevent
their being able to subsist themselves, should they escape, the country
was laid waste, and their habitations reduced to ashes."--Minot, quoted
by Marshall, vol. i., p. 312.]

[Footnote 22: "When the French were in possession of this garrison, they
had no artillery; however, they were not at a loss to deceive their
enemies at Fort Lawrence, for they provided a parcel of birch, and other
hard, well-grown trees, which they shaped and bored after the fashion of
cannon, securing them from end to end with cordage, and from one of
these they constantly fired a morning and evening gun, as is customary
in garrisons; but upon the reduction of the place, and a spirited
inquiry after the cannon, they found themselves obliged to discover this
ingenious device."--Knox's _Hist. Journal_, vol. i., p. 58.]

[Footnote 23: "Captain, afterward Lord Howe, after an engagement in
which he displayed equal skill and intrepidity, succeeded in taking the
two French ships, the _Alcide_ and the _Lys_."--Lord Mahon's _History of
England_, vol. iv., p. 68.]

[Footnote 24: "At home, in the king's absence, our councils were most
feeble and wavering.... A great difference appeared among the members of
the regency. The Duke of Cumberland, always inclined to vigorous
measures, wished to declare war at once, and to strike the first
blow.... The Duke of Newcastle, trimming and trembling as was ever his
wont, thought only of keeping off the storm as long as possible, and of
shifting its responsibility from himself.... At length, as a kind of
compromise, it was agreed that there should be no declaration of war;
that our fleet should attack the French ships of the line, if it fell in
with any, but by no means disturb any smaller men-of-war or any vessels
engaged in trade. When, at the Board of Regency, these instructions came
round to the bottom of the table to be signed by Fox, he turned to Lord
Anson, the First Lord of the Admiralty, and asked if there were no
objections to them. 'Yes,' answered Anson, 'a hundred; but it pleases
those at the upper end of the table, and will signify nothing, for the
French will declare war _next week, if they have not done it
already_.'[59] While the prospects of peace grew darker and darker,
there was also gathering a cloud of popular resentment and distrust
against the minister. It was often asked whether these were times when
all power could be safely monopolized by the Duke of Newcastle? Was
every thing to be risked--perhaps every thing lost--for the sake of one
hoary jobber at the Treasury?"--Lord Mahon's _History of England_, vol.
iv., p. 72.]

[Footnote 25: _MS. Journal of Major-general Braddock's Expedition
against Fort du Quesne_, 1755. Royal Artillery Library, Woolwich.]

[Footnote 26: "Mr. Franklin had observed that Sir John St. Clair's
uniform (the quarter-master general) was of the hussar kind, and this
gave him a hint which he immediately improved: he caused a report to be
propagated among the Germans that, except 150 wagons could be got ready
and sent to the general within a certain time, St. Clair, who was a
hussar, would come among them, and take away what he found by force. The
Germans, having formerly lived under despotic power, knew the hussars
too well to doubt their serving themselves, and believing that General
St. Clair was indeed a hussar, they provided, instead of 150, 200
wagons, and sent them within the time that Franklin had limited. The
Pennsylvanians also advanced a further sum above the king's bounty, and
sent him 190 wagons more, laden with a ton of corn and oats, four wagons
with provisions and wine for the officers, and 60 head of fine cattle
for the army."--_Gentleman's Magazine_, August, 1755.]

[Footnote 27: "Those who have experienced only the severities and
dangers of a campaign in Europe can scarcely form an idea of what is to
be done and endured in an American war. In an American campaign every
thing is terrible--the face of the country, the climate, the enemy.
There is no refreshment for the healthy nor relief for the sick. A vast
inhospitable desert surrounds the troops where victories are not
decisive, but defeats are ruinous, and simple death is the least
misfortune that can happen to a soldier. This forms a service truly
critical, in which all the firmness of the body and the mind is put to
the severest trial, and all the exertions of courage and address are
called out. If the actions of these rude campaigns are of less dignity,
the adventures in them are more interesting to the heart, and more
amusing to the imagination than the details of a regular war."--(Burke,
_Annual Register_, 1763.) "Yet Adam Smith ventures to assert, in the
plenitude of learned ignorance and ingenious error, that 'nothing can be
more contemptible than an Indian war in North America.' ... Colonel
Barré, who had served in America, declared, in his celebrated speech
upon American taxation, in 1765, that the Indians were as enemies 'the
most subtile and the most formidable of any people upon the face of
God's earth.'"--Graham's _History of the United States_, vol. iv., p.

[Footnote 28: "You will see ... the condition of the troops in this
country, particularly that of the infamous Free Companies of New
York."--_Letter from General Braddock to Colonel Napier, Adjutant
General._ Williamsburg, Feb. 24, 1754.]

[Footnote 29: "The (Duke of Cumberland), who is now the soul of the
regency, is much dissatisfied at the slowness of General Braddock, who
does not march as if he was at all impatient to be scalped. It is said
for him that he has had bad guides, that the roads are exceedingly
difficult, and that it was necessary to drag as much artillery as he
does. This is not the first time, as witness in Hawley, that the duke
has found that brutality did not necessarily constitute a general.
Braddock is a very Iroquois in disposition."--Walpole's _Letters to Sir
H. Mann_, Aug. 21, 1755.]

[Footnote 30: "Want of intelligence and reconnoitering parties was the
sole cause of defeat."--General Kane's _Mil. Hist. of Great Britain to

[Footnote 31: "After the successful expedition against Fort du Quesne in
1758, General Forbes resolved to search for the relics of Braddock's
army. As the European soldiers were not so well qualified to explore the
forests, Captain West, the elder brother of Benjamin West, the painter,
was appointed, with his company of American Sharp-shooters, to assist in
the execution of this duty; and a party of Indians were requested to
conduct him to the places where the bones of the slain were likely to be
found. In this solemn and affecting duty, several officers belonging to
the 42d regiment accompanied the detachment, and with them Major Sir
Peter Halket, who had lost his father and brother in the fatal
destruction of the army. It might have been thought a hopeless task that
he should be able to discriminate their remains from the common relics
of the other soldiers; but he was induced to think otherwise, as one of
the Indian warriors assured him that he had seen an officer fall near a
remarkable tree, which he thought he could still discover; informing
him, at the same time, that the incident was impressed on his memory by
observing a young subaltern, who, in running to the officer's
assistance, was also shot dead on his reaching the spot, and fell across
the other's body. The major had a mournful conviction in his own mind
that those two officers were his father and brother; and, indeed, it was
chiefly owing to his anxiety on the subject that this pious expedition,
the second of the kind that is on record, was undertaken. Captain West
and his companions proceeded through the woods and along the banks of
the river toward the scene of the battle. The Indians regarded the
expedition as a religious service, and guided the troops with awe and in
profound silence. The soldiers were affected with sentiments not less
serious; and as they explored the bewildering labyrinths of those vast
forests, their hearts were often melted with inexpressible sorrow, for
they frequently found skeletons lying across the trunks of fallen trees:
a mournful proof to their imaginations that the men who sat there had
perished of hunger in vainly attempting to find their way to the
plantations. Sometimes their feelings were raised to the utmost pitch of
horror by the sight of skulls and bones scattered on the ground, a
certain indication that the bodies had been devoured by wild beasts; and
in other places they saw the blackness of ashes amid the relics, the
tremendous evidence of atrocious rites. At length they reached a turn of
the river, not far from the principal scene of destruction, and the
Indian who remembered the death of the two officers stopped: the
detachment immediately halted. He then looked round in quest of some
object which might recall distinctly his recollection of the ground, and
suddenly darted into the wood. The soldiers rested their arms without
speaking; a shrill cry was soon after heard; and the other guides made
signs for the troops to follow them toward the spot from which it came.
In a short time they reached the Indian warrior, who, by his cry,
announced to his companions that he had found the place where he was
posted on the day of battle. As the troops approached, he pointed to the
tree under which the officers had fallen. Captain West halted his men
round the spot, and, with Sir Peter Halket and the other officers,
formed a circle, while the Indians removed the leaves which thickly
covered the ground (the leaves of three seasons). The skeletons were
found, as the Indian expected, lying across each other. The officers
having looked at them for some time, the major said that as his father
had an artificial tooth, he thought he might be able to ascertain if
they were indeed his bones and those of his brother. The Indians were
therefore ordered to remove the skeleton of the youth, and to bring to
view that of the old officer. This was done, and after a short
examination, Major Halket exclaimed, "It is my father!" and fell back
into the arms of his companions. The pioneers then dug a grave, and the
bones being laid in it together, a Highland plaid was spread over them,
and they were interred with the customary honors."--Galt's _Life of

[Footnote 32: "The whole was in disorder, and, it is said, the general
himself, though exceedingly brave, did not retain all the _sang froid_
that was necessary."--Walpole's _Letters to Sir Horace Mann_, August 28,

[Footnote 33: _MS. Journal of Major-general Braddock's Expedition
against Forte du Quesne_, 1755. Royal Artillery Library, Woolwich.

"He was borne off the field by some soldiers whom his aid-de-camp had
bribed to that service by a guinea and a bottle of rum to each."--Lord
Mahon's _Hist. of England_, vol. iv., p. 70.]

[Footnote 34: "Among the rest, the general's cabinet, with all his
letters and instructions, which the French court afterward made great
use of in their printed manifestoes."--Smollett's _Hist. of England_,
vol. iii., p. 448; Belsham, vol. ii., p. 369.]

[Footnote 35: "Major Washington acquired on this occasion, in the midst
of defeat, the honors and laurels of victory."--Belsham, vol. ii., p.

"They had seen a chosen army from that country, which, reverencing as a
mother, they had fondly believed invincible; an army led by a chief who
had been selected from a crowd of trained warriors for his rare military
endowments, disgracefully routed by a handful of French and Indians, and
only saved from annihilation by the spirit and coolness of a Virginian
boy, whose riper fame has since diffused itself with the steady influence
of moral truth to the uttermost confines of Christendom."--_Last of the

[Footnote 36: "Though the enemy did not so much as attempt to pursue,
nor even appeared in sight, either in the battle or after defeat. On the
whole, this was, perhaps, the most extraordinary victory that ever was
obtained, and the farthest flight that ever was made."--Smollett's
_Hist. of England_, vol. iii., p. 440.]

[Footnote 37: "I have already given you some account of Braddock; I may
complete the poor man's history in a few more words. He once had a duel
with Colonel Gumly, Lady Bath's brother, who had been his great friend.
As they were going to engage, Gumly, who had good-humor and wit
(Braddock had the latter), said, 'Braddock, you are a poor dog! here,
take my purse; if you kill me, you will be forced to run away, and then
you will not have a shilling to support you.' Braddock refused the
purse, insisted on the duel, was disarmed, and would not even ask his
life. However, with all his brutality, he has lately been governor of
Gibraltar, where he made himself adored, and where never any governor
was endured before. Adieu! Pray don't let any detachment from
Pannoni's[60] be sent against us: we should run away."--Walpole's
_Letters to Sir H. Mann_, August 28, 1755.]

[Footnote 38: "The European troops, whose cowardice has thus injured
their country, are the same that ran away at Preston Pans. To prevent,
however, any unjust national reflections, it must be remarked, that,
though they are called Irish regiments, they are not regiments of
Irishmen, but regiments on the Irish establishment, consisting of
English, Irish, and Scotch, as other regiments do. It is, however, said,
that the slaughter among our officers was not made by the enemy; but as
they ran several fugitives through the body to intimidate the rest, when
they were attempting in vain to rally them, some others, who expected
the same fate, discharged their pistols at them, which, though loaded,
they could not be brought to level at the French. On the other hand, it
is alleged that the defeat is owing more to presumption and want of
conduct in the officers than to cowardice in the private men; that a
retreat ought to have been resolved upon the moment they found
themselves surprised by an ambuscade; and that they were told by the
men, when they refused to return to the charge, that if they could see
their enemy they would fight him, but that they would not waste their
ammunition against trees and bushes, nor stand exposed to invisible
assailants, the French and Indian rangers, who are excellent marksmen,
and in such a situation would inevitably destroy any number of the best
troops in the world."--_Gentleman's Magazine_, August, 1755.]

[Footnote 39: "The American regulars, consisting of Shirley's and
Pepperel's regiments, constituted the principal force relied on for the
reduction of Niagara."--Marshall's _Life of Washington_, vol. i., p.

[Footnote 40: "The fort of Niagara had been repaired by the French in
1741, in consequence of the apprehension they felt that the
trading-house at Oswego, just established by the English at the mouth of
the Onondaga River, would deprive them of a profitable trade, and of the
command of the Lake Ontario."--Marshall's _Life of Washington_, vol. i.,
p. 286.

"This fort was in other respects a very important post, for the lakes
are so disposed that, without a somewhat hazardous voyage, one can not,
any otherwise than by Niagara Fort, pass from the northeast to the
southwest of North America for many hundred miles."--_New Military
Dictionary_, London, 1760.]

[Footnote 41: "Bateaux are a kind of light, flat-bottomed boats, widest
in the middle and pointed at each end, of about fifteen hundred weight
burden, and managed by two men, called bateaux-men, with paddles and
setting poles, the rivers being in many places too narrow to admit of
oars."--Smollett's _Hist. of England_, vol. iii., p. 457.]

[Footnote 42: "Mr. Burnet,[61] governor of New York and New Jersey,
deemed it an object of great magnitude to obtain the command of Lake
Ontario, and, in pursuance of this plan, he had, in 1722, erected a
trading-house at Oswego, in the country of the Senecas, which soon
became of considerable importance. After ineffectual remonstrances, both
in America and in Europe, against the re-establishment of Niagara Fort,
Governor Burnet, to countervail as much as possible its effects, erected
at his own expense a fort at Oswego."--Marshall's _Life of Washington_,
vol. iv., p. 287.]

[Footnote 43: "The preparations for General Shirley's expedition against
Niagara were not only deficient, but shamefully slow, though it was well
known that even the possibility of his success must in a great measure
depend upon his setting out early in the year, as will appear to any
person who considers the situation of our fort at Oswego, this being the
only way by which he could proceed to Niagara. Oswego lies on the
southeast side of Lake Ontario, near 300 miles almost due west from
Albany, in New York. The way to it from thence, though long and tedious,
is the more convenient, as the far greater part of it admits of
water-carriage by the Mohawk River, Wood's Creek, Lake Oneida, and the
River Onondaga, which, after a course of twenty or thirty miles, unites
with the River Seneca, and their united streams run into the Lake
Ontario at the place where Oswego Fort is situated."--Smollett, vol.
iii., p. 458.]

[Footnote 44: "Though repeated advice had been received that the French
had there at least 1000 men at their Fort of Frontenac, on the same
lake; and, what was still worse, the new forts (that of Ontario, and a
new fort bearing the same name as the old, Oswego) were not yet
completed, but left to be finished by the hard labor of Colonel Mercer
and his little garrison, with the addition of this melancholy
circumstance, that if besieged during the winter, it would not be
possible for his friends to come to his assistance."--Smollett's
_England_, iii. p. 461.]

[Footnote 45: Russell's _Modern Europe_, vol. iii., p. 279.

"The justly celebrated Sir William Johnson held an office difficult both
to define and execute. He might, indeed, be called the Tribune of the
Five Nations; their claims he asserted, their rights he protected, and
over their minds he possessed a greater sway than any individual had
ever attained. He was an uncommonly tall, well-made man, with a fine
countenance, which, moreover, had rather an expression of dignified
sedateness, approaching to melancholy. He appeared to be taciturn, never
wasting words on matters of no importance, but highly eloquent where the
occasion called forth his powers. He possessed intuitive sagacity, and
the most entire command of temper and of countenance. He did by no means
lose sight of his own interest, but, on the contrary, raised himself to
power and wealth in an open and active manner, not disdaining any
honorable means of benefiting himself. He built two spacious and
convenient places of residence on the Mohawk River, known afterward by
the name of Johnson Castle and Johnson Hall. The Hall was his summer
residence. Here this singular man lived like a little sovereign; kept an
excellent table for strangers and officers, whom the course of their
duty now frequently led into these wilds; and by confiding entirely in
the Indians, and treating them with unwearied truth and justice, without
ever yielding to solicitation that he had once refused, he taught them
to repose entire confidence in him. So perfect was his dependence on
those people, whom his fortitude and other manly virtues had attached to
him, that when they returned from their summer excursions, and exchanged
the last years furs for fire-arms, &c., they used to pass a few days at
the Castle, when his family and most of his domestics were down at the
Hall. There they were all liberally entertained by Sir William; and 500
of them have been known for nights together, after drinking pretty
freely, to lie around him on the ground, while he was the only white
person in a house containing great quantities of every thing that was to
them valuable or desirable. Sir William thus united in his mode of life
the calm urbanity of a liberal and extensive trader, with the splendid
hospitality, the numerous attendance, and the plain though dignified
manners of an ancient baron."--_Memoirs of an American Lady_, vol. ii.,
p. 61.

Sir William Johnson was regularly appointed and paid by government as
Superintendent of Indian Affairs.]

[Footnote 46: "Few countries could produce such dexterous marksmen, or
persons so well qualified for conquering those natural obstacles of
thick woods and swamps, which would at once baffle the most determined
European. Not only were they strong of limb, swift of foot, and
excellent marksmen, the hatchet was as familiar to them as the musket;
in short, when means or arguments could be used powerful enough to
collect a people so uncontrolled and so uncontrollable, and when headed
by a leader whom they loved and trusted, a well-armed body of New York
Provincials had nothing to dread but an ague or an ambuscade, to both of
which they were much exposed on the banks of the lakes, and amid the
swampy forests they had to penetrate in pursuit of an enemy."--_Memoirs
of an American Lady_, vol. i., p. 203.]

[Footnote 47: "Our artillery then began to play on them, and was served,
under the direction of Captain Eyre ... in a manner very advantageous to
his character."--_Letter from General Johnson to the Governor of New
York._ Camp at Lake George, Sept. 9th, 1755.]

[Footnote 48: "Just arrived from America, and to be seen at the New York
and Cape Breton Coffee-house, in Sweeting's Alley, from 12 to 3, and
from 4 till 6, to the latter end of next week, and then will embark for
America in the _General Webb_, Captain Boardman, a famous Mohawk Indian
warrior! the same person who took M. Dieskau, the French general,
prisoner, at the battle of Lake George, where General Johnson beat the
French, and was one of the said general's guards. He is dressed in the
same manner with his native Indians when they go to war; his face and
body painted, with his scalping knife, tom-ax, and all other implements
of war that are used by the Indians in battle: a sight worthy the
curiosity of every true Briton.

"Price one shilling each person.

"*** The only Indian that has been in England since the reign of Queen
Anne."--_Public Advertiser_, 1755.]

[Footnote 49: "There are flying reports that General Johnson, our only
hero at present, has taken Crown Point."--Walpole's _Letters to Sir H.
Mann_, Dec. 4, 1755.]

[Footnote 50: "General Johnson complained that his troops seemed
impressed with apprehensions of the enemy, from the boldness with which
they had been attacked, and were unwilling, from the insufficiency of
their clothing, want of provisions, and other causes, to proceed further
on the enterprise; and, although urged by General Shirley, now
commander-in-chief (since Braddock's death), to attempt Ticonderoga,
even that object was abandoned."--Marshall's _Life of Washington_, vol.
i., p. 318.]

[Footnote 51: "They erected a little stockaded fort at the nether end of
Lake George, in which they left a small garrison as a future prey for the
enemy, a misfortune which might have been easily foreseen."--Smollett,
vol. iii., p. 456.

This was Fort William Henry. Between Lake George and the River Hudson,
twelve miles of high table-land intervened; at its extremity was the
portage or carrying-place for the River Hudson. Here Fort Edward had
been erected a few weeks before.]

[Footnote 52: Crown Point was called Fort Frederic by the French. It was
situated at the south end of Lake Champlain or Lake Corlaer. At fifteen
miles' distance, at the north end of Lake George, the French were now
beginning to fortify the post of Ticonderoga.]

[Footnote 53: "Three days before the meeting of Parliament, November
1755, Sir Thomas Robinson, secretary of state, from an honest and
sincere consciousness of his incapacity to conduct the business of
Parliament in the House of Commons, had resigned the seals, which were
directly transferred to Mr. Fox, secretary at war, who unquestionably,
in respect of political ability, had at this time no rival in the House
of Commons, Mr. Pitt only excepted.... There had been vain attempts at a
negotiation with Pitt during the summer, but his positive refusal to
consent to 'a system of subsidies' threw the Duke of Newcastle into
Fox's power, and the seals were now given to him upon his own
terms."--Belsham, vol. ii., p. 379; Lord Mahon's _History of England_,
vol. iv., p. 76, 77.

"This session of Parliament was distinguished by an act of generosity
and humanity, which conferred the highest honor upon the Parliament and
nation. The city of Lisbon was almost totally destroyed by a tremendous
earthquake on the 1st of November, 1755. A message from the throne
informed both houses of this dreadful calamity, and the sum of £100,000
was instantly and unanimously voted for the use of the distressed
inhabitants.... Amid the millions and millions expended for the purposes
of devastation and destruction, a vote of this description seems as a
paradise blooming in the wild!"--Belsham, vol. ii., p. 381. See Lord
Mahon's _History of England_, vol. iv., p. 87; Southey's _Peninsular
War_, vol. iii., p. 388, 8vo edition.]

[Footnote 54: Smollett, vol. iii., p. 520.

"The Earl of Loudon, an officer of reputation and merit."--Belsham, vol.
ii., p. 370.

"If it had been the wish or intention of the British ministers to render
the guardian care of the parent state ridiculous, and its supremacy
odious to the colonists, they could hardly have selected a fitter
instrument for the achievement of this sinister purpose than Lord
Loudon. Devoid of genius, either civil or military; always hurried and
hurrying others, yet making little progress in the dispatch of business;
hasty to project and threaten, but mutable, indecisive, and languid in
pursuit and action; negligent of even the semblance of public virtue;
impotent against the enemy whom he was sent to destroy, formidable only
to the spirit and liberty of the people whom he was commissioned to
defend, he excited alternately the disgust, the apprehension, and the
contemptuous amazement of the colonists of America."--Graham's _History
of the United States_, vol. iv., p. 4.]

[Footnote 55: The Twightwees were Indians who lived on the banks of the

[Footnote 56: Washington makes a labored defense of his conduct in the
affair of M. de Jumonville, in the "Journal of his Expedition to the
Ohio." In M. de Villiers's "Journal of his Campaign," he always uses the
term "assassination" with reference to his brother's death. The only
notice he takes of the broken terms of the capitulation is, "The
consternation of the English was so great, when they heard the French
savages laid claim to the pillage, that they ran away and left behind
them even their flag and a pair of their colors."--_Translation of M. de
Villiers's Journal_, July 4th, 1754.

The following is the testimony of the Canadian historian, Garneau: "Le
17 Mai (1754), au soir M. de Jumonville s'était retiré dans une vallon
profond et obscur, lorsque des sauvages qui rôdaient le découvrirent et
en informèrent le Colonel Washington, qui arrivait dans le voisinage
avec ses troupes. Celui-ci marcha toute la nuit pour le cerner, et le
lendemain au point du jour il l'attaqua avec précipitation, marchant
comme à une surprise à la tête de son détachment. Jumonville fut tué
avec neuf hommes de sa suite. Les Français prétendent que ce deputé fit
signe qu'il était porteur d'une lettre de son commandant, que le feu
cessa, et que ce ne fut qu'après que l'on eût commencé la lecture de la
sommation que les assaillans se remirent à tirer. Washington affirme
qu'il étoit à la tête de la marche, et qu'aussitôt que les Français le
virent, ils coururent à leurs armes sans appeller, ce qu'il aurait dû
entendre s'ils l'avaient fait. Il est probable qu'il y a du vrai dans
les deux versions: l'attaque fut si précipitée qu'il dût s'ensuivre une
confusion qui ne permit pas de rien démêler; mais s'il n'y a pas eu
d'assassinat, on se demandera toujours pourquoi Washington avec des
forces si supérieures à celles de Jumonville, montra une si grande
ardeur pour le surprendre au point du jour comme s'il eût été un ennemi
fort à craindre? Ce n'était point certainement avec 30 hommes que
Jumonville était en état d'accepter le combat.... Tels sont les humbles
exploits par lesquels le futur conquérant des libertés Américaines
commença sa carrière.... La victoire que M. de Villiers venoit
d'obtenir, fut le premier acte de ce grand drame de 29 ans, dans lequel
la puissance Française et Anglaise devait subir de si terribles échecs
en Amérique."--_Histoire du Canada_, vol. ii., p. 541 (Quebec, 1846).]

[Footnote 57: "Another revolution about this period (November, 1744)
took place in the British cabinet. Lord Carteret, now become Earl of
Granville, had insinuated himself so far into the good graces of his
sovereign as to excite apprehension and dislike of the Duke of Newcastle
and his brother Mr. Pelham. They therefore effected the downfall of this
ambitious and haughty minister, whose power they envied, and whose
talents they feared. Mr. Pelham, who, on the death of Lord Wilmington,
had succeeded to the direction of the Board of Treasury, was now
nominated Chancellor of the Exchequer, and may be considered from this
period as first minister."--Belsham, vol. ii., p. 313.]

[Footnote 58: "To reward Colonel Pepperel and Governor Shirley for the
conquest of Louisburg in 1745, a regiment, to be raised in America, was
bestowed on each."--Marshall's _Life of Washington_, vol. i., p. 280.]

[Footnote 59: War was not declared against France until May in the
following year.]

[Footnote 60: Pannoni's coffee-house of the Florentine nobility, not
famous for their courage of note.--_Ibid._]

[Footnote 61: He was the son of Bishop Burnet.]


The campaign of 1755 had opened with evil promise for the cause of
France in the Western world; four formidable armies were arrayed to
check her progress, and turn back the tide of war upon her own
territory. A powerful fleet, under the brave and vigilant Boscawen,
swept the Atlantic coast, insulted her eastern harbors, and captured her
re-enforcements and supplies. The doubtful allegiance of many of her
Indian neighbors was far overbalanced by the avowed hostility of others
no less numerous and powerful.

But the close of the year presented results very different from those
that might have been anticipated. Braddock was defeated and slain; the
whole of that vast Valley of the Mississippi, whose unequaled fertility
is now the wonder of mankind, had been freed from the presence of a
British soldier by one decisive victory. Niagara was strengthened and
unassailed; Crown Point had not been compromised by Johnson's partial
success. The undisputed superiority upon Lake Ontario was upon the
Canadian shore. From dangerous foes, or almost as dangerous friends, the
forest tribes had generally become zealous allies, and thrown themselves
with ready policy into the apparently preponderating scale; the ruined
settlements and diminished numbers of the British frontier colonists
marked the cruel efficiency of their co-operation. Notwithstanding the
check of the Baron Dieskau's detachment, there still remained to the
French more than 3000 regular troops, with a large force of the Canadian
militia, who were in some respects even better qualified for forest
warfare than their veteran brethren from the mother country. All these,
united under one able chief, formed a much more formidable military
power than the English colonies, with their jarring interests and
independent commanders, could bring forward. Nova Scotia, again severed
from the territories of New France, and the Acadian peasants reduced to
British rule, formed but a slight offset to these hostile gains.

The civil progress of the French colony was, however, far from
satisfactory. For two years past the scarcity of grain and other
provisions had almost amounted to famine. The inhabitants of the
country, constantly employed in warfare against their English neighbors
were forced to neglect the cultivation of the soil, till absence from
their own homesteads was almost as ruinous to themselves as their
destructive presence to the enemy. Although the scanty supply of corn
was too well known, the intendant Bigot, with infamous avarice, shipped
off vast quantities of wheat to the West Indies for his own gain and
that of his creatures. The price of food rose enormously, and the
commerce of the country, hampered by selfish and stupid restrictions,
rapidly declined.

The Marquis de Vaudreuil de Cavagnac, the successor of the Marquis du
Quesne as governor, soon lost the confidence of his people. To him they
had looked hopefully and earnestly for protection against the fatal
monopolies of the Merchant Company, but they found that he readily
sanctioned the oppression under which they suffered, and, indeed, rather
increased its severity. Great stores of wheat had been purchased from
the settlers by the company in anticipation of a scarcity; when they had
obtained a sufficient quantity to command the market, they arranged with
the intendant to fix the price at an immense advance, which was
maintained in spite of the misery and clamors of the people. Again, the
intendant pretended that the dearth was caused by the farmers having
secreted their grain, and, in consequence, he issued an order that the
city and troops should be immediately supplied at a very low rate, and
those who would not submit to these nefarious conditions had their corn
seized and confiscated without any remuneration whatever.

Abuses and peculations disgraced every department of the public service;
the example set in high places was faithfully followed by the petty
officials all over the colony. The commissaries who had the supply of
the distant posts enriched themselves at the cost of the mother country;
and, to the detriment of the hardy and adventurous men occupying those
remote and dreary settlements, boats were not allowed to visit them
without paying such heavy fees that the venture became ruinous, and thus
the trade was soon altogether confined to the commissaries.

Vessels sent to Miramichi with provisions for the unfortunate Acadians,
returned loaded with that people, who, faithful to their king and
nation, had left their happy homes, refusing the proffered protection of
their conquerors. When they reached Quebec they met with a cruel
reception. The intendant gave to a creature named Cadet the office of
ministering to their wants. This heartless man shamefully abused the
trust, and only considered it as a means of selfish profit, providing
them with unwholesome and insufficient food: thus many fell victims to
his cruel avarice. Some, indeed, who settled on lands belonging to the
governor or his favorites, were amply supplied, for the private
advantage of the proprietors.

Loud and constant were the complaints of the colonists against these
shameful abuses of power; but they fell either upon ears determined not
to hear, or were misrepresented and refracted by the medium through
which they passed. The outer aspect of New France was bold and
formidable, but within all was corruption, languor, and decay. The
seignorial tenure[62] and the custom law of Paris fatally embarrassed
agricultural improvement, and the monopoly of the Merchant Company
paralyzed trade. The absolute system of government, and the intrusive
exercise of imperial power in even the most trivial matters of colonial
interest, cramped individual energy by the constraining force of
centralization. The military[63] system of feudal organization turned
the plow-shares and reaping-hooks of the most active among the
population into weapons of war, and the settlements, that were little
else than scattered barracks for troops, made but small progress in the
truly glorious war against the desolation of the wilderness. While the
hardy _voyageurs_ of the Ottawa and the farmers of the rich Valley of
the St. Lawrence reaped the laurels of the bloody fight at Fort du
Quesne, the canoes, once richly laden with the furs of the Western
country, floated idly in the stream, and the exuberant soil by the banks
of the Great River was overrun with a harvest of useless or noxious
weeds. Thus it was that, while the military superstructure of this great
French colony was strong and imposing, the social and political
foundations were false and feeble.

On the other hand, the dangerous British rivals had rapidly advanced to
prosperity and to the possession of formidable resources. The State of
Massachusetts alone mustered 40,000 men capable of bearing arms, by one
third a greater number than all Canada could produce. The militia of
Connecticut was 27,000 strong, and that of New Hampshire and Rhode
Island also considerable. Pennsylvania, Virginia, and other states were
also in themselves powerful, but in military matters New England ever
took the lead. The sturdy Nonconformists who first peopled that country
had been long accustomed to encounter and overcome difficulties: they
had continually waged a war of mutual extermination with the Indians.
The unbending spirit of their ancestors lost nothing under such
training. Each separate settlement possessed an independent vitality;
the habit of self-government engendered a feeling of confidence in their
own power, and they who had marched with steady step over the barriers
of an almost impenetrable forest, and swept away the warlike hordes of
its savage inhabitants, were no mean foes to match even against the
brilliant chivalry of France.

The peculiar and distinct institutions of these British colonies, while
they fostered the development of individual energy and stimulated
general prosperity, forbade, at the same time, that compact and
centralized organization which rendered the external power of New
France so formidable. It was difficult or impossible to unite all the
different states in one great effort, and hopeless to induce them to act
in concert. The borderers of Maine or Massachusetts heard with almost
indifference of Indian massacres upon the banks of the Susquehanna, and
the men of Virginia felt but little sympathy with the victors of the
north. English colonization had already progressed to unheard of
prosperity in its component parts, in spite of its utter want of large
and comprehensive system, while that of France, planned on a scheme of
magnificent ambition, had proved but a sickly exotic under the
over-anxious care of the founders. In the one, powerful elements formed
but a disjointed and unwieldy aggregate; in the other, indifferent
materials were rendered strong by the firm frame-work in which they were

The defensive power of the British colonies was, however, very great. In
cases of real peril, when the farmer tore himself from his fields, the
merchant from his store-house, and the hunter from the chase, a militia
formidable in numbers and composition was at the service of the state,
while the vast extent and the scattered situations of the settlements
would have rendered complete conquest difficult, and occupation

The campaign of 1756 opened with a partial success of the French arms.
The Marquis de Vaudreuil had learned that the British had erected a
chain of small forts to protect their route to Oswego, and that they
purposed building ships at that port to command the navigation of Lake
Ontario, and thus break up the chain of his communications. He therefore
ordered a detachment of about 350 Canadians and Indians, under M.
Chaussegros de Léry, to march to Montreal, from whence they proceeded
westward on the 17th of March.

After a harassing journey of great length through the wilderness, they
came upon one of the small English forts on the Oswego route, garrisoned
by Lieutenant Bull and twenty-five men. The British officer at once
rejected the proposal of a capitulation, and prepared to offer a
vigorous resistance; he was, however, speedily overpowered, and he and
his little party, with the exception of two, were massacred and scalped
by the Indians, whose ferocity could not be repressed; the fort was then
blown up, and the ammunition destroyed.

The French, fully alive to the danger of allowing their enemies to hold
possession of the important position of Oswego, were determined to spare
no efforts to drive them away. Another expedition was accordingly
prepared to accomplish this grand object, consisting of 300 men, led by
M. de Villiers. They proceeded to within a short distance of Oswego,
where they constructed a small fort, placed among the dense woods in
such a manner as to be unseen by the enemy: from this hiding-place they
frequently intercepted parties with provisions destined for Oswego. When
the Iroquois became aware of the designs of the French, they summoned
Sir William Johnson, whom they greatly respected, to meet them in
council, for the purpose of considering the means of diverting
hostilities from their country. He strongly advised them, if possible,
to prevent the attack upon the fort, and thus avoid a war that would
deluge the frontier with blood. Pursuing this counsel, they dispatched
thirty deputies to Montreal to assure M. de Vaudreuil that they wished
to preserve the strictest neutrality, and to entreat him not to draw the
sword in their country or interrupt their communications. The governor
answered that he would seek his enemies wherever he could find them, but
that the people of the Five Nations should be protected from every
insult as long as they did not join the English.

From this time the war was to assume a more important form, and new and
more illustrious actors were to appear upon the stage. The British
government[64] determined to increase its efforts in North America; and
as the Earl of Loudon, lately appointed general-in-chief of the forces
on that continent, was unavoidably detained in England for some time,
Major-general Abercromby was ordered to precede him and hold command
until his arrival. Lord Loudon was intrusted with extraordinary powers,
to enable him to promote the essential object of union among the English
colonies; he was also appointed governor of Virginia, and made colonel
of a regiment of four battalions, chiefly officered by foreigners,
called the Royal American.[65]

In the mean time, the preparations were made in British America to
forward the execution of the plans[66] recommended by the great council
of war, and the militia of the several provinces were assembled at
Albany, where they awaited the arrival of the English general.
Abercromby did not reach the army till the latter end of June, 1756, and
at that time only brought with him two regiments, the 35th and the 42d,
or Murray's Highlanders. The British troops in North America at this
time consisted of those two corps, the 44th and 48th of the line,
Shirley's and Pepperel's battalions, eight independent companies from
New York and Carolina, and a large body of the Provincial militia.

General Abercromby considered the force under his command insufficient
to carry out the extensive schemes recommended by the council at Albany;
he was, however, cordially agreed with them upon the advantages to be
gained by their execution. Desirous to avoid responsibility, he
determined to await the arrival of the commander-in-chief, but in the
mean time he marched the Provincial forces upon Fort William Henry,
under the command of General Winslow,[67] who there awaited
re-enforcements previous to his advance against Crown Point.

In the West, however, British energy and courage found employment under
the able and adventurous Lieutenant-colonel Bradstreet. He determined to
execute, as far as in his power lay, the resolves of the council at
Albany, and left Schenectady with about 300 boatmen, bearing supplies
and military stores to strengthen the important post of Oswego. His
detachment consisted of raw Irish recruits, utterly unacquainted with
discipline, and unaccustomed to the sight of an enemy; but their native
courage overcame all disadvantages, and they bravely did their duty, as
their countrymen have ever done when striving for a good cause, and led
by a worthy chief. Bradstreet passed in safety up the Onondaga River,
reached Oswego, and accomplished his object. The French, being apprized
of this expedition, collected in force some miles to the eastward of
Oswego, and detached 700 men to intercept their enemy. Happily, however,
they became embarrassed in the tangled wilderness, and lost their way:
when, at last, after much difficulty, they reached the banks of the
Onondaga, the English had already passed up the stream in safety. They
well knew, however, that Bradstreet must soon return by the same route;
they therefore patiently awaited their opportunity, concealed beneath
the favoring cloak of the dense forests surrounding the river.

The English chief--either informed of this ambuscade, or mistrusting the
facility with which the dangerous navigation had been before
accomplished--took the only precaution his difficult position permitted.
To scour the neighborhood of the rapid stream with light troops would
have been impossible, owing to the thick underwood every where arresting
the human foot; and yet, from each dark clump of cedars, or from behind
each projecting crag on the rugged banks, he might at any moment expect
to see the deadly flash of the Canadian musket, and to hear the
war-whoop of the savage. Bradstreet therefore determined on the
precaution of proceeding in three divisions of canoes, within easy
distances of each other; that thus, if any one were attacked, his stout
boatmen might land from the others, and on equal terms encounter the
assailants on the shore. He entered the first canoe; his gallant men
followed with somewhat tumultuous good will. The day of their departure
was the 3d of July; in that burning season the stream was low and
difficult of navigation, and the stately trees and luxuriant underwood,
rich in leafy honors, afforded complete concealment to the dangerous

For nine miles the party forced their way up the Onondaga, laboriously
but without interruption; at length they reached a spot where the waters
flow in shallow rapids past a small island, and the dense woods throw
their shade over the very margin of the stream. Suddenly, from the north
shore, a loud volley, and a louder yell, broke through the silence of
the wilderness. This first fire fell with deadly effect upon the leading
division; but Bradstreet, with six of the survivors, forced their canoes
quickly across the eddying current toward the island. Twenty of the
enemy had at the same time plunged into the river, and, taking advantage
of the ford, arrived before him; nevertheless, Bradstreet threw himself
on shore, and with desperate courage faced the foe. After a sharp
struggle, he even dislodged them from the island, and drove them back
upon the main land. When the remaining canoes of the advanced division
joined, his little force amounted to no more than twenty men. The
French, enraged at their first repulse, vigorously renewed the attack
with doubled numbers, but they were again beaten, and, leaving many of
their foremost dead in the stream, returned to the shelter of the shore.
A third time, however, the assailants, brave even in defeat, pushed
across the ford with seventy men, and threw themselves upon the little
knot of English. For nearly an hour, with fiery courage on the one side
and stubborn resolution on the other, they fought among the rocks and
trees, till the secluded spot, where perhaps human foot had never before
trodden, was red with human blood. At length the French gave way, and,
scattered and depressed, fell back upon the main body of their

While this stout fight was raging on the little island, the boatmen of
the remaining divisions had landed in safety lower down on the southern
shore, and moved in good order to the support of their hard-pressed
comrades. The main body of the French pressed rapidly along the opposite
bank toward another ford about a mile higher up the river, and many
succeeded in crossing before Bradstreet's stout boatmen could intercept
them. By this time, however, the British leader had arrived from the
little island, and put himself at the head of his two last divisions.
With prompt determination he threw himself upon the French advance, and,
bravely supported by his followers, after a stubborn strife, forced it
back into the river. Many of the conquered were struck down by the
English marksmen in the close bush-fight, and even a greater number
perished in their hurried passage of the stream.

In Bradstreet's absence, another large body of the French swarmed across
the ford by the little island where they had been before repeatedly
repulsed, but this last effort was even more disastrous than the
preceding. Before they could form in the tangled swamps, the boatmen and
their gallant chief came down at a running pace, flushed with recent
success. One short struggle on the woody bank, and the assailants were
forced back in utter rout. The remainder of the enemy dispersed in the
forest and attacked no more, but above 100 of their number had perished
in the stream or had fallen by the sword, while seventy prisoners and a
great quantity of arms rewarded the successful valor of the conquerors.
Many of the French regular soldiers, strangers to the American
wilderness, became bewildered in its mazes, and died miserably of
starvation. On the other hand, no less than sixty of Bradstreet's
boatmen were killed and wounded in this gallant action.[68]

The English were too much fatigued and weakened by their hard-won
victory to venture on pursuit, and prepared to rest that night upon the
battle-field; they were, however, soon aroused by the approach of a body
of troops, which, to their great joy, proved to be a detachment of their
own grenadiers, on the march to Oswego, and the next morning 200 men
also joined them from that garrison. But, in the mean time, the rain had
poured down in torrents, and the stream of the Onondaga swelled to an
angry flood; to cross and follow up their success was therefore
impossible, and the remnant of the French found refuge in their vessels
on the waters of Lake Ontario. After a time, when the subsiding flood
permitted, the detachment and the grenadiers descended the river to
Oswego, and the victorious boatmen, with their leader, pushed on for
Schenectady, where they arrived in safety on the 14th of July. The
following day Bradstreet set out for Albany to warn General Abercromby
of the designs of the French against Oswego: the prisoners had informed
him that a force of 1200 men was encamped on the shores of the lake, not
far from the eastern fort of that port, where the thick covert of the
forest concealed them from the British garrison. Abercromby at once
ordered the remains of the 44th regiment, under Colonel Webb, to hasten
to Oswego, but, owing to the interference of the Provincial
governors,[69] a fatal delay intervened before this corps was put in

On the 26th of July Lord Loudon arrived at New York from Europe; on the
29th he reached Albany, and assumed the command of the army. He found a
body of nearly 3000 regular troops, besides a large Provincial force,
under his orders at Albany[70] and Schenectady, including the survivors
of the two unfortunate regiments which had been crippled and broken in
Braddock's disaster.[71] In the fort of Oswego[72] were mustered 1400
bayonets, principally of Shirley's and Pepperel's regiments, besides
sailors and peasants,[73] and nearly 500 men, in scattered detachments,
preserved the difficult communications through the Iroquois territories.

On the other hand, the French held Crown Point and Ticonderoga with 3000
veterans, and found means to assemble a still more formidable force at
Fort Frontenac for the purpose of attacking Oswego.

This year had arrived at Quebec from France a large body of regulars,
under the command of the MARQUIS DE MONTCALM, with the Brigadier de
Levi, and Colonel de Bourlemaque. Montcalm remained but a few days at
Quebec, and then hastened on with his veteran re-enforcements to
strengthen the force destined to act against Oswego. Rigaud de
Vaudreuil, with a large body of Canadian militia raised at Montreal, was
detached as the vanguard of the army, and arrived undiscovered on the
9th of August within a mile and a half of the British position; on the
night of the 10th the first division also arrived; on the 12th, at
midnight, the second division joined. Then the French chief, having made
all necessary preparations, opened his trenches before Fort Ontario,[74]
which was situated at the opposite side of the river from the important
position of Oswego.

From break of day until six in the evening Montcalm kept up a heavy
fire, which was vigorously replied to by the defenders; then, however,
the resistance suddenly ceased. The unpardonable neglect of the British
authorities had left this important post almost unprovided with
ammunition, and in the hour of extremest need the scanty supply failed.
Further defense was impossible; the survivors of the little garrison
spiked their cannon, and retreated without interruption to the
neighboring position of Fort Oswego, on the opposite side of the river.
When the French perceived that the defenders had yielded the post, they
quickly took possession, and turned such of the guns as in the hurry of
retreat had been still left uninjured upon the walls of the remaining
stronghold. The defenses of the feeble fort soon crumbled beneath the
crushing fire from Montcalm's battering train and the now hostile guns
of Fort Ontario. Colonel Mercer, the English chief, and many of his men,
were struck down, and the remainder, hopeless of a successful defense,
surrendered upon not unfavorable terms on the evening of the 14th of

Seven armed vessels, mounting from 8 to 18 guns each, 200 bateaux, a
vast quantity of provisions and warlike stores, with 1200
prisoners,[75] were gained by the victors; and for a brief space,
several British flags, the unwonted trophies of French conquest, decked
with drooping folds the walls of the Canadian churches. This brilliant
and important success was, however, stained by cruelty and doubtful
faith.[76] Notwithstanding the terms of the capitulation, the savages
were permitted to plunder all, and massacre many of the captives;[77]
and, to the shame of Montcalm, the sick and wounded who had been
intrusted to his protection were slain and scalped under the Indian
knife. The remaining prisoners, however, were escorted to Montreal,
where they were treated with kindness and consideration, and soon
afterward exchanged.[78] The French, having demolished the works at
Oswego, returned to the eastern part of the province.

This conquest established Montcalm's already rising reputation. Canada
rejoiced, and the British colonies were proportionately discouraged.
The sad news was first carried to Albany by some French deserters, but
remained unconfirmed for several days, till two sailors arrived who had
escaped subsequently to the disaster. Indian rumor was also busy with
the melancholy tale. It was for a time believed that the whole garrison
of Oswego had been put to the sword,[79] and that the bodies of the
slain were left unburied upon the desolate shores of Lake Ontario. A
panic spread. Colonel Webb, with the 44th regiment, nearly 900 strong,
and 800 boatmen, stopped short in his advance, now useless through
culpable delay, and employed his whole force in felling trees to block
up the navigation of the important passage of Wood Creek,[80] while the
French, equally anxious to avoid collision, performed a similar labor
higher up the river.

The province of New York was the first to suffer by the unhappy loss of
Oswego, and the pusillanimous retreat of Webb. The rich and beautiful
settlements called the German Flats were speedily desolated by the
Indians and the scarcely less vindictive Canadians; the crops were
destroyed, the houses and homesteads burned, and such of the inhabitants
as could not escape were captured, or slain and scalped.

It has been before stated that all the resources of the British colonies
were taxed to enable General Winslow to act against Crown Point, with a
view to master the important navigation of Lake Champlain, and to
demolish the French forts upon its shores,[81] but these preparations
produced no results beyond that of strengthening Forts Edward and
William Henry. No blow was struck,[82] notwithstanding the opportunity
afforded by the withdrawal of nearly all the French regular troops from
that neighborhood to aid the Oswego expedition. The inglorious campaign
concluded by the retirement of the British regiments of the line to
Albany, and the return of the Provincials to their several localities.

But while the genius and good fortune of Montcalm raised the military
reputation of New France and strengthened her external power, tyranny
and corruption withered her budding prosperity, and blighted it with
premature decay. The paltry peculations and narrow despotism of the
petty magnates of colonial government are nauseous and ungrateful
subjects. The "habitans" were oppressed and plundered, the troops were
defrauded of their hard-earned stipend, traders were ground down under
infamous extortions, and the unhappy Acadian refugees robbed of the
generous bounties of the state. Eminent among the perpetrators of these
shameless wrongs stood Bigot, the intendant; Cadet and others of his
creatures were worthy of their principal. A scarcity almost amounting to
famine, which inflicted the severest privations upon the colony, was
again seized as an opportunity of gain by these relentless men, under
the pretense of the general good; great stores of provisions were bought
by them at a low, compulsory price, and resold at an enormous advance
for their private benefit. Even the sacred calling of the missionaries
did not in all instances preserve them from the taint of these unworthy
acts; and where wealth, was thus largely and by such means increased,
morals were naturally deteriorated.

The loss of Oswego was in some degree compensated to the English by the
progress of Colonel Lawrence in Acadia, but sad it is to say that the
stain of cruelty tainted our success, as it had the victory of Montcalm.
When the French settlers refused to acknowledge allegiance to the
British crown and laws, they were pursued with fire and sword, their
villages and farms destroyed, and at last many thousands were suddenly
shipped off, and dispersed among the Atlantic colonies, where friends
and kinsfolk might never meet again; thus, to use the language of the
time, "establishing peace and tranquillity throughout the whole
province." In the ensuing February, some of these ill-fated Acadians
with a few allied Indians, about 300 in all, unexpectedly sallied out
upon the new English settlements, driven by desperation from the snowy
forests; but Lieutenant-colonel Scott promptly called together an equal
force of Provincials, and drove them back, with heavy loss, upon the
inhospitable wilderness.

In the month of August of the year 1756, a small post on the borders of
Pennsylvania, called Fort Granville, was surprised by a party of French
and Indians, and the garrison carried into captivity. At the same time,
the Moravian savages from the banks of the Ohio, rejoicing in the
opportunity afforded by the contentions of the white men, suddenly burst
upon the English western frontier, and massacred no less than 1000 of
the scattered settlers. Then the thirst of vengeance burned among the
hardy colonists. Infuriated rather than appalled by this horrid
butchery, 280 men hastily assembled, and with untiring energy pushed on
toward the rugged Alleganies to an Indian town called Kittaning, the
rendezvous of the fierce marauders. The road was rude and difficult, the
distance 150 miles, but the furious hatred of the pursuers spurred them
forward, and on the morning of the fifth day the foremost scouts brought
word that the Indian murderers were close at hand, celebrating their
bloody triumph in songs and dances.

When morning light first chased away the darkness of the forest, the
English Provincials burst upon the Indian camp. Armstrong, their leader,
offered quarter, but the savages, conscious of their unpardonable
cruelties, dared not submit. Then ensued a terrible slaughter; the
Indians were beaten down in furious rage, or shot in attempting to fly,
or shut up in their wooden huts and burned to death; some were seized
and scalped, in horrible imitation of their own ferocity, and not a few
were blown up and destroyed by the stores of ammunition they had
collected during their late incursion. Terrible as was this vengeance,
it availed but little. On almost every other part of the British
frontiers, parties of the Indians, and their almost equally savage
French allies, swarmed among the woods, concealed in ambush during the
day, and by night busied in their bloody work.

In the mean time, the season had become too far advanced for the
commencement of any important enterprise; the English colonies were
divided in spirit, and all efforts for the general good were perpetually
thwarted by jealousy and parsimony. Lord Loudon, with his armament, had
not reached New York till the end of July; by that time little remained
practicable but to strengthen some frontier forts, and push forward
parties of observation into the French territories. Thus closed the
campaign of 1756. England had a sorry account of her wasted blood and
treasure in these Western wars; opportunities had been neglected,
resources wasted, laurels lost.[83] The Indian trade and the commerce of
the great lakes had been forfeited by the surrender of Oswego. To us
only remained the barren boast of Bradstreet's gallant victory. The
Indians were not slow to perceive the weakness of British councils, and
Sir William Johnson's powerful influence was barely sufficient to
restrain the politic Iroquois from openly declaring for the enemy.

[Footnote 62: See Appendix, No. LXIII.]

[Footnote 63: "Thus was introduced into America the feudal system, so
long the ruin of Europe."--Raynal, vol. viii., p. 143.

"Nothing has reduced the families of the ancient French seigneurs to
misery more than the division and subdivision of their lands by their
own law; a law which, though it appears at first to breathe more the
spirit of democracy than of monarchy, yet in fact is calculated for a
military government only, because nobles so reduced can and will only
live by the sword."--Gray's _Canada_, p. 346.]

[Footnote 64: "War was at length declared in form by Great Britain
against France in May, 1756, and in the following month by France
against Great Britain; and in the manifesto published by the latter,
much pains were taken to contrast the moderation and equity of the court
of Versailles with the intemperate violence of the court of London, and
particularly stigmatizing the seizure of the French ships of war and
commerce, before a declaration of war, as piracy and perfidy."--Belsham,
vol. ii., p. 396.]

[Footnote 65: "The next object of the immediate attention of Parliament
in this session (1755--May, 1756) was the raising of a new regiment of
foot in North America, for which purpose the sum of £81,178 16s. was
voted. This regiment, which was to consist of four battalions of 1000
men each, was intended to be raised chiefly out of the German and Swiss,
who, for many years past, had annually transported themselves in great
numbers to the British plantations in America, where waste lands had
been assigned them upon the frontiers of the provinces; but, very
injudiciously, no care had been taken to intermix them with the English
inhabitants of the place, so that very few of them, even of those who
have been born there, have yet learned to speak or understand the
English tongue. However, as they were all zealous Protestants, and, in
general, strong, hardy men, accustomed to the climate, it was judged
that a regiment of good and faithful soldiers might be raised out of
them, particularly proper to oppose the French; but to this end it was
necessary to appoint some officers, especially subalterns, who
understood military discipline and could speak the German language; and
as a sufficient number of such could not be found among the English
officers, it was necessary to bring over and grant commissions to
several German and Swiss officers and engineers. But as this step, by
the Act of Settlement, could not be taken without the authority of
Parliament, an act was now passed for enabling his majesty to grant
commissions to a certain number of foreign Protestants who had served
abroad as officers or engineers, to act and rank as officers or
engineers in America only. The Royal American Regiment is now the 60th
Rifles."--Smollett's _History of England_, vol. iii., p. 483.]

[Footnote 66: The northern colonies were enabled to comply, in some
degree, with the requisitions made on them, by having received from the
British government, in the course of the summer, a considerable sum of
money as a reimbursement for the extraordinary expenses of the preceding
year. One hundred and fifteen thousand pounds had been apportioned among
them, according to their respective exertions,[84] and this sum gave new
vigor and energy to their councils.]

[Footnote 67: The command of the expedition against Crown Point was
given to Major-general Winslow, whose conduct in Nova Scotia had very
much increased both his reputation and his influence.--Marshall's _Life
of Washington_, vol. i., p. 325.

Mr. Beckford thus speaks of General Winslow in a letter to Mr. Pitt,
dated Fonthill, Dec. 18, 1758: "There is a brave, gallant officer, by
name Winslow, who has acted as general in North America, and done signal
service. This man is in England, and is only a captain on half pay. I
wish you would think of him; he might furnish you with useful
hints."--_Correspondence of the Earl of Chatham_, vol. i., p. 378.]

[Footnote 68: "Bradstreet had but three Indians of the Six Nations
(Iroquois) with him at this attack. Of these, one took to his heels; a
second fought bravely; but the third went over to the enemy, and
assisted in pointing out our officers."--_A Review of the Military
Operations in North America from 1753 to 1756._]

[Footnote 69: "Mr. Shirley and the Provincial chiefs wanted that Webb's
(the 44th) and my regiment (the 48th) should march to Forts Edward and
William Henry, taking it for granted that Oswego was in no
danger."--_Letter from General Abercromby_, dated Albany, 10th of
August, 1756.

"The detaching any troops to Oswego was strongly opposed by a party at
Albany, who thought that while Crown Point remained in the hands of the
French, there could be no security for the province of New York. General
Winslow, who was to command an expedition against Crown Point, was
already more than sufficiently strong for that purpose, yet this party
insisted on his being re-enforced with two or three regiments of regular
troops, and that an army should likewise remain at Albany to defend it,
in case the troops sent against Crown Point should happen to be
defeated. Nay, they strongly opposed the departure of the regiment which
General Abercromby had already ordered for Oswego. Some of the New
England colonies joined those of New York in this opposition, so that it
was not without the greatest difficulty Lord Loudon, who did not think
proper to do any thing material without their approbation, could so much
as prevail on them to let Colonel Webb depart for Oswego; therefore it
was the 12th of August before that officer could leave Albany; too late
to save Oswego. Thus the public safety of the whole British empire in
North America was made to yield to the private views of some leading
people in the provinces of New England and New York."--Mante, p. 64.]

[Footnote 70: "The Provincials do not exceed 4000, mostly vagabonds
picked up by the New Englanders at random, by the high premium given
them in order to save themselves from service."--_Letter from General
Abercromby_, Albany, 30th of August, 1756.]

[Footnote 71: The 44th (then Halket's, now Webb's) and the 48th (then
Dunbar's, now Abercromby's). They were regiments that ran away at
Preston Pans.]

[Footnote 72: "The garrison of Oswego was insensibly increased to 1400
men; only 700 had been left there by Mr. Shirley the autumn
before."--Mante's _Hist. of the War_, p. 63.]

[Footnote 73: "The greatest part of Shirley's and Pepperel's regiments
is there.... By all account, Shirley's and Pepperel's are by much the
worst corps on this continent. With such troops, what can we
do?"--_Letter from General Abercromby_, Albany, 30th of Aug., 1756.]

[Footnote 74: "General Shirley's troops, after the attack on Niagara was
relinquished in the autumn of the preceding year, had been employed in
the erection of two new forts, one of them 450 yards from the old Fort
Oswego, and bearing the same name, the other on the opposite side of the
Onondaga River, to be called Fort Ontario. They were erected on the
south side of Lake Ontario, at the mouth of the Onondaga, and
constituted a port of great importance. The garrison, as we have already
observed, consisted of 1400 men, chiefly militia and new-raised
recruits, under the command of Colonel Mercer, an officer of experience
and courage; but the situation of the forts was very ill chosen, the
materials mostly timber or logs of wood, the defenses wretchedly
continued and unfinished, and, in a word, the place altogether untenable
against any regular approach."--Smollett's _History of England_, vol.
iii., p. 535.]

[Footnote 75: "Such an important magazine, deposited in a place altogether
indefensible, and without the reach of immediate succor, was a flagrant
proof of egregious folly, temerity, and misconduct."--Smollett's _Hist.
of England_, vol. iii., p. 536.]

[Footnote 76: _Ibid._, p. 535.]

[Footnote 77: "Montcalm, in direct violation of the articles, as well as
in contempt of common humanity, delivered up above twenty men of the
garrison to the Indians, in lieu of the same number they had lost during
the siege."--_Ibid._]

[Footnote 78: "The negligence and dilatoriness of our governors at
home,[85] and the little-minded quarrels of the regulars and irregular
forces,[86] have reduced our affairs in that part of the world (America)
to a most deplorable state. Oswego, of ten times more importance even
than Minorca, is so annihilated that we can not learn the
particulars."--Walpole's _Letters to Sir H. Mann_, Nov. 4, 1756.]

[Footnote 79: "The massacre at Oswego happily proves a romance. Part of
the two regiments[87] that were made prisoners there are actually
arrived at Plymouth, the provisions at Quebec being too scanty to admit
additional numbers."--Walpole's _Letters to Sir H. Mann_, Nov. 13,

[Footnote 80: Wood Creek was one of the streams that formed a nearly
uninterrupted water communication between Albany, in New York, and the
mouth of the River Onondaga, where Oswego was situated.]

[Footnote 81: Crown Point, or Fort Frederic, and Ticonderoga, which had
been lately fortified.]

[Footnote 82: Abercromby writes from Fort Edward, 30th of September,
1756; "Upon intelligence of the enemy's whole force being collected at
Crown Point, in order to make an attempt on this fort or that of Fort
William Henry, I arrived here the 26th with the Highlanders: to-morrow I
shall have three regiments.... Our works here are far from being
finished. However, though the fort is not finished we are throwing up
lines, and shall be able to repel the enemy's force.--8th of Oct. Lord
Loudon is now here: he has left Webb to take care of Otway's at Albany.
General Winslow (he was at Fort William Henry) holds daily

[Footnote 83: Every where. "I see it with concern, considering who was
Newcastle's associate" (he alludes to his friend Fox); "but this was the
year of the worst administration that I have seen in England, for now
Newcastle's incapacity[88] was left to its full play."--Walpole's
_Memoirs_, vol. ii., p. 54.

"In the course of this unfortunate year, 1756, we were stripped of
Minorca and Oswego (the East India Company, by the loss of Calcutta,
received a blow which would have shaken an establishment of less
strength to its foundation), we apprehended an invasion of Great Britain
itself, our councils were torn to pieces by factions, and our military
fame was every where in contempt."--_Annual Register._

Burke was the writer of the "History of Europe" in the early volumes of
the _Annual Register_.]

[Footnote 84: To Massachusetts, £54,000; to Connecticut, £26,000; to New
York, £15,000; to New Hampshire, £8000; to Rhode Island, £7000; to New
Jersey, £5000,--Marshall's _Life of Washington_, vol. i., p. 328.]

[Footnote 85: The ministry of the Duke of Newcastle and Fox, which was
forced out of office by the public indignation at the loss of Minorca,
and on the 13th of Nov., 1756, Pitt kissed hands as secretary of state.]

[Footnote 86: "The regulations of the crown respecting rank had given
great disgust in America, and rendered it extremely difficult to carry
on any military operations which required a junction of British and
Provincial troops. When consulted on this delicate subject, General
Winslow assured General Abercromby of his apprehensions that, if the
result of the junction should be placing the Provincials under British
officers, it would produce very general discontent, and perhaps
desertion. His officers concurred with him in this opinion. On the
arrival of Lord Loudon, the subject was revived, and the colonial office
gave the same opinion. The request that Lord Loudon would permit them to
act separately was acceded to."--Marshall's _Life of Washington_, vol.
i., p. 327.]

[Footnote 87: Shirley's and Pepperel's.]

[Footnote 88: "A minister the most incapable though the most ambitious,
the weakest though the most insolent, the most pusillanimous though the
most presumptuous"--Mr. Potter's _Speech in the House of Commons_. "It
would, however, be injustice not to allow the Duke of Newcastle the
merit of disinterestedness as to the emoluments of office, and of zeal
for the general interests of his country."--Belsham, vol. ii., p. 381.]


Stimulated by the general success of their arms during the campaign of
1756, the French suffered not their energies to slumber even through the
chilly Canadian winter. With detachments of Indians and hardy
"habitans," they scoured the northern frontiers of the British colonies,
and gained intelligence of every movement. From information thus
acquired, Montcalm determined to move a force suddenly on Fort William
Henry,[89] at the southern extremity of Lake George,[90] where the
English had formed a dépôt for a vast quantity of provisions and warlike
stores, which was as yet unprotected by any sufficient garrison. Fifteen
hundred men, of whom four hundred were Indians, led by Rigaud de
Vaudreuil and the Chevalier de Longueuil, were dispatched to surprise
and escalade the fort, and, in case of failure, to destroy the stores
and buildings beyond the protection of its walls, and also the shipping
and bateaux on the neighboring lake. On the 19th of March, at the dead
of night, the French noiselessly approached the little fortress, but the
vigilant sentries discovered them in time, and alarmed the defenders,
who drove them back with a brisk fire of cannon and musketry. Having
failed to surprise, they invested the place the following day, and twice
again vainly attacked the fort. On the 21st they summoned the
commandant, Major Eyres, to surrender, which demand he instantly
refused. The French assailed the stronghold a fourth and even a fifth
time; but, having been repulsed in every attack, contented themselves by
destroying the undefended property without. Furthermore, they
strengthened Ticonderoga and Crown Point with two battalions, and sent
Captain Pouchot as commandant to Niagara, with orders to fortify that
important post as he best might. They then returned to Montreal. Shortly
afterward they gained an advantage of some value over a detachment of
400 men, led by Colonel Parker, which had been sent by water to attack
their advanced guard near Ticonderoga. By a cleverly devised ambuscade,
and the opportune arrival of a re-enforcement, they completely
overpowered the British troops, and slew or captured more than half the

In the mean while the Earl of Loudon exerted himself to the utmost in
collecting a sufficient force to strike a decisive blow. The favorite
object of carrying Crown Point was laid aside, and the grander scheme of
reducing the formidable stronghold of Louisburg, in Acadia, adopted
instead.[91] There the naval power of England could be brought to bear,
and the distracting jealousies of the several colonies might not
interfere to paralyze vigorous action. Preparations for this enterprise
were rapidly pushed on in England, and by the end of January, 1757,
seven regiments of infantry and a detachment of artillery, all commanded
by Major-general Hopson, were ordered to assemble at Cork, and await the
arrival of a powerful fleet of fourteen line-of-battle ships, destined
to bear them to America. June had nearly closed,[92] however, before
this powerful armament, under Admiral Holborne, arrived at the place of
rendezvous. Lord Loudon had arranged to meet the expedition at Halifax
with all the force he could collect; to accomplish this transport, he
was injudiciously led to lay an embargo on all the ships in the British
North American ports. This arbitrary measure at once aroused a storm of
indignation among the merchants and planters, whose trade it ruinously
affected. The home government, ever jealous of commercial liberty,
immediately disapproved the high-handed proceeding, and issued
peremptory orders against its repetition.

On the 20th of June, 1757, Lord Loudon had embarked at New York with a
considerable force drawn from the protection of the vast colonial
borders. Sir Charles Hardy commanded a fleet of four ships of war and
seventy transports for the troops; each ship had orders, in case of
separation, to make the best of her way to Halifax. On the 30th they all
reached that port, where they found eight vessels of war and some
artillery, with two regiments of infantry. The troops were landed as
soon as possible, and busied in various and somewhat trivial
occupations, while fast-sailing vessels were dispatched to examine the
French strength at Louisburg, and also to watch for the arrival of the
remainder of the English fleet under Holborne. By the 9th of July the
whole of the enormous armament had assembled. Nineteen ships of the
line, with a great number of smaller craft, and an army of thirteen
battalions in high spirit and condition, were now at the disposal of the
British leaders.

Much valuable time was wasted at Halifax in unnecessary drills and silly
sham fights; at length, however, on the 1st and 2d of August, the troops
were embarked, with orders to proceed to Gabarus Bay, to the westward of
Louisburg; but on the 4th, information received by a captured sloop that
eighteen ships of the line and 3000 regular troops, with many
militia-men and Indians, were prepared to defend the harbor, altered the
views of the English chiefs. The attack was abandoned,[93] the troops
were directed to land in various places on the Acadian peninsula, while
the fleet was to cruise off Louisburg and endeavor to bring the French
to action. About the middle of the month, a dispatch from Boston,
containing the disastrous news of the loss of Fort William Henry,
reached Lord Loudon; in consequence, his orders were again altered.[94]
The luckless general himself, with a part of the troops and fleet, made
sail for New York; the remaining regiments, not before landed, were
directed upon the Bay of Fundy, and Admiral Holborne, with the bulk of
this vast armament, bore away for the harbor of Louisburg.

The objects of this cruise can hardly be even conjectured; some imagine
that curiosity was Holborne's sole motive. It is obvious that he did not
mean to engage the enemy; for, when he approached within two miles of
the hostile batteries, and saw the French admiral's signal to unmoor, he
immediately made the best of his way back to Halifax. Being re-enforced
by four ships of the line about the middle of September, Holborne again
sailed within sight of Louisburg, being then certain that the French
would not leave the shelter of their batteries to encounter his superior
strength, and thus risk unnecessarily the safety of their colony.

While continuing this useless demonstration, a violent storm from the
southwest assailed the British fleet on the 24th of October, at the
distance of about forty leagues from the rock-bound coast. In twelve
hours the ships were driven almost to within gunshot of the shore, when
a happy shift of wind saved them from total destruction. But the
Tilbury, a magnificent vessel of sixty guns, went to pieces on Cape
Breton, and 225 of her crew perished in the waves; the Newark drove into
Halifax crippled and damaged; others subsequently gained the same
shelter, dismasted, and in a still more disastrous plight. When the
weather moderated, Admiral Holborne made the best of his way for
England with the remainder of the fleet, leaving, however, a small
squadron, under Lord Colville, to protect the British traders in those
northern seas.[95]

While the main force of the British armies had been occupied in the
ill-fated expedition against Louisburg, Colonel Stanwix had marched to
protect the Western frontier with a detachment of regular troops, and
nearly 2000 of the Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia militia. At the
same time, the borders of Carolina were intrusted to the care of Colonel
Bouquet with a nearly similar force. But to the north, the province of
New York and the New England states were feebly held by Colonel Webb
with about 4000 men, and Colonel Monro with his garrison of Fort William
Henry, against the able and vigilant Montcalm. Although Webb could not
but be aware of the movements of his dangerous enemy, he unaccountably
neglected to avail himself of the means of defense within his reach.
With an indifference bordering on infatuation, he abstained from calling
out the numerous and hardy militia of the surrounding states, in
themselves a force sufficient to overpower his active antagonist. At
length, when the white banner of France had actually been unfurled on
the shores of Lake Champlain, Webb awoke from his lethargy, but only to
make a precipitate and disgraceful retreat. He fell back upon Fort
Edward the following day, leaving Colonel Monro, with about 2000 men, to
bear the brunt of battle, and defend the post which he had thus
shamefully abandoned.

When Lord Loudon had put to sea with the main army, Montcalm instantly
seized the opportunity of renewing his favorite project of gaining the
command of Lake George, through the reduction of Fort William Henry. He
rapidly concentrated his forces at Ticonderoga, including a considerable
body of Indians, numbering altogether 8000 men, well appointed and
provisioned, with a proportionate force of artillery, and, without
delay, pushed on a large division of his army, under M. de Levi, along
the shores of the lake. On the 1st of August he followed with the
remainder, who, together with the heavy ordnance and warlike stores,
were embarked in canoes and bateaux. On the night of the 2d, both
divisions met in a bay near the English fort, and soon afterward the
general learned from some prisoners, who were the survivors of a party
surprised by the Indians, the retreat of Webb and the weakness of the
British garrison. He immediately advanced upon the fort in three
columns, sending M. de Levi, with all his savage allies, to scour the
neighboring woods; these fierce warriors suddenly fell upon a small
foraging party of the English, slew and scalped forty of their number,
and carried off fifty head of cattle.

Montcalm spent the 3d of August in reconnoitering the fort and
neighborhood,[96] and in erecting batteries; but the Indians scorned the
delays of regular warfare, and urged an immediate attack without waiting
for the aid of artillery. The chief listened not unwillingly to this
daring counsel; first, however, he determined to try the virtue of
negotiation, and dispatched a peremptory summons to Colonel Monro,
demanding an immediate surrender. The English chief, although but too
well aware of his own weakness, returned a spirited answer to this
haughty message: "I will defend my trust," said he, "to the last

This bold reply quickened the ardor of the French: during the 4th and
5th, day and night, their labors ceased not; they dug and delved into
the earth with vindictive and untiring zeal, pushing on the trenches of
the attack close to the ramparts of the fort. At daybreak on the 6th,
ten guns and a large mortar broke the silence of the morning with a
salvo upon the beleaguered garrison. The British paid back the deadly
salute vigorously, but with far inferior power. Meanwhile, the Indians
and some Canadian sharp-shooters swarmed around at every point; some
hiding behind the stumps of the forest trees, others finding shelter in
an adjoining garden, from their covert swept the works of the defenders
with a murderous fire. The odds were great, but in a vain hope that Webb
would not see him lost without an effort, Monro held out with stubborn
courage. His loss was heavy, his defenses rapidly giving way under the
crashing artillery of the French, yet still he resisted the threats and
promises of the enemy. At length ammunition failed; the savages soon
perceived this, and redoubled their fire, crowding closer round the
failing defenders. While yet they strove to hold their ground, an
intercepted letter from Webb to Monro was sent in by the French general;
this destroyed the last remaining hope, for it stated that no timely
relief could reach them, and advised that they should make the best
terms in their power. Monro then no longer hesitated, and a capitulation
was signed, with conditions such as a chivalrous conqueror should give
to those who had nobly but unsuccessfully performed their duty.

The sequel of this gallant defense is as sad as it is unaccountable. The
Indians despised the rights of the conquered. When they saw the garrison
march out on the following day with arms and baggage, and protected by a
French escort, their rage knew no bounds; but with savage cunning they
suffered their victims to proceed uninterruptedly till a place was
reached favorable to their murderous designs, when suddenly, with
horrible yells, they burst from the woods, upon the English column. This
unexpected onslaught paralyzed with terror the men who but the day
before had fought with dauntless bravery; few attempted to resist, some
were instantly struck down by the tomahawks of the savages, others found
tardy protection from the French escort, and about 600 dispersed among
the woods, and finally reached Fort Edward in miserable plight.

The endeavor to clear the memory of the illustrious Montcalm from the
dark stain of connivance with this ferocious treachery is now a grateful
task. While the dreadful story was fresh on the English ear, few voices
were raised in his defense; the blood of the murdered men was laid at
his door; the traitor to a soldier's faith was held in scornful
detestation. But time, "that reverses the sentence of unrighteous
judges,"[97] has served to clear away the cloud that shaded the
brightness of the gallant Frenchman's fame. He may, indeed, still be
censured for not having provided a sufficient escort for the surrendered
garrison. Surely, however, he may well have deemed 2000 men, such as
those who had before defended themselves with becoming bravery against
his host, might hold their own against an inferior number of savages.
When the onslaught began, he used his utmost endeavor to arrest it; he
rushed into the bloody scene, and strove earnestly to stop its progress.
Baring his breast, he called upon the savages to slay him, their father,
but to spare the English for whom his honor was plighted. Then, finding
his interference useless, he called upon the prisoners to defend
themselves, and fire upon their pursuers; it was in vain, however, so
overpowering were the terrors of the Indian tomahawk.[98] Montcalm's
officers also threw themselves in the way of the vindictive savages, and
some were even wounded in the attempt.[99]

Immediately after the victory Montcalm demolished the fort, destroyed
all the English vessels and boats upon the lake, triumphantly carried
off the artillery, warlike stores, and baggage, 100 live oxen, and
provisions for six months for a garrison of 5000 men. They did not
endeavor to push further their important advantages, but once again
retired within their own territories.[100]

The Marquis de Vaudreuil took the earliest opportunity to inform the
court of France that his gallant general's expedition had been thus
eminently successful. He moreover accompanied the cheering news by
earnest demands for aid in troops, artillery, and warlike stores, and
prayed that he might be speedily informed of the intentions of the
ministry, and their plans for the defense of the still endangered

Meanwhile, peculation and corruption had frightfully increased among
those intrusted with the Provincial administration. The Associates'
Company cast aside all decent seeming of honesty, and robbed the
government, the settlers, and the Indians with unblushing effrontery.
The officers in command of outposts followed this infectious example.
Under pretext of supplying the savages, they made frequent and large
demands for goods, which, when obtained, were applied to their own use;
and, not even content with this wholesale plunder, they gave
certificates, amounting to large sums of money, for articles never
furnished: from this source arose that immense amount of paper currency
which deluged the colony at the time of the conquest, leaving no less
than eighty millions of livres then unprovided for. This enormous
dishonesty brought down its own punishment; agriculture and trade were
paralyzed, loyalty shaken, while diminished resources and a discontented
people hastened the inevitable catastrophe of British triumph.

Immediately on Lord Loudon's return from the disgraceful expedition to
Halifax,[102] he repaired to Fort Edward, which was the English advanced
post in the direction of Canada since the loss of Fort William
Henry.[103] As soon as he had given directions for its defense, he took
up his winter quarters at Albany: thence he dispatched Captain Rogers,
with a small party, to capture stragglers of the enemy, and gain
intelligence of their movements. This officer succeeded in ascertaining
that the important posts of Ticonderoga and Crown Point had been left
insufficiently garrisoned. The English general formed designs, and even
made extensive preparations to take advantage of the opportunity thus
offered, but, with vacillating weakness, soon abandoned the project. In
Acadia some ineffectual marching and counter-marching was performed by
his orders, and the troops suffered considerably from privation and from
the harassing enmity of the French and Indians.

The feeble conduct and the contemptible results of this campaign
demonstrated the inability of the English chief for military command;
but Lord Loudon's merits in council should not be overlooked, while he
stands condemned as a general. He aroused the different colonial
governments from a dangerous apathy, induced them to unite, in some
measure, their great but disjointed power, and exert for the general
good the means which Providence had abundantly supplied. These favorable
conditions were improved by the politic wisdom of his successors in the
post of commander-in-chief in North America.

The return of Holborne's shattered fleet and the news of the resultless
maneuvers of Lord Loudon aroused a storm of indignation in England.
Enormous preparations had proved fruitless, a vast force had warred only
against the hardships of the wilderness or the dangers of the ocean.
Twenty thousand regular troops, with a large Provincial army, had wasted
the precious season of action in embarkations and disembarkations,
disgraceful retreats, and advances almost equally disgraceful. Twenty
magnificent ships of the line had left the British ports for the
American shore in the pride of irresistible power, and, without firing a
gun for the honor of their flag, returned to whence they came, or,
maimed and dismantled, sought refuge in friendly ports. England had to
lament her gallant children, her stately ships, her hard-earned
treasures, and, above all, her military glory, lost in the Western
deserts or swallowed up in the waters of the Atlantic.

[Footnote 89: "In the French accounts of this transaction, Fort George
is the name given to the fort. This was a strong position at a short
distance from Fort William Henry. In the vicinity of the village of
Caldwell is situated the site of the old Fort William Henry, and a short
distance beyond the ruins of Fort George, which was built during the
campaign of Amherst."--_Picturesque Tourist_, p. 104.]

[Footnote 90: "Lake George, called by the Indians Horican, is justly
celebrated for its romantic and beautiful scenery, and for the
transparency and purity of its waters. They were exclusively selected by
the Jesuit missionaries to perform the typical purification of baptism,
which obtained for it the appropriate title of Lac Sacrament. The less
zealous English thought they conferred sufficient honor on its unsullied
fountains when they bestowed the name of their reigning prince, the
second of the house of Hanover."--_Last of the Mohicans_, p. 2.]

[Footnote 91: "The abandonment of the enterprise against Crown Point, on
which they had securely relied, was a severe disappointment to the New
England States."--Graham's _Hist. of the United States_, vol. iv., p. 5.

"The attack on Louisburg was a scheme very favorable to the views and
interests of France at this period, as it left M. de Montcalm entirely
at liberty to prosecute his plans of conquest, and Louisburg was so
strongly defended that little apprehension was entertained for its
safety."--Belsham, vol. ii., p. 371.]

[Footnote 92: "Upon our anchoring in Chebucto harbor, our commanding
officer went ashore, and waited on his excellency the Earl of Loudon,
who, with Major-general Abercromby, expressed great pleasure at our
arrival, with the information they received of the fleet, and
re-enforcements we had parted with at sea; and his lordship said, 'We
had staid so long, he had almost despaired of us,' but being assured our
delay proceeded principally from an obstinate set of contrary winds,
that had retarded us in Ireland above two months after our arrival at
the port of embarkation, his lordship seemed pleased. (As the fate of
the expedition to Louisburg in this campaign depended, in a great
measure, on the speedy sailing and junction of the fleet and forces from
Europe with those of the Earl of Loudon, it was for this reason I judged
it necessary to commence this work with the first orders to the troops
in Ireland to march and embark for foreign service; and it will thereby
appear that the earliest measures were taken at home to forward this
enterprise, which, without doubt, would have succeeded, if the armament
could have sailed when first intended)."--Knox's _Historical Journals of
the Campaigns of North America_, vol. i., p. 14.

The same cause--impossibility of exactly combining fleets and
armies--had proved the ruin of every expedition, on a grand scale,
undertaken by either French or English, in America, for years before.]

[Footnote 93: "It was resolved, according to the custom of this war, to
postpone the expedition to another opportunity."--Belsham, vol. ii., p.

"I do not augur very well of the ensuing summer; a detachment is going
to America under a commander whom a child might outwit or terrify with a
pop-gun."--Walpole's _Letters to Sir H. Mann_, Feb. 13, 1757.]

[Footnote 94: "It being now universally known at Halifax that the
expedition against Cape Breton is laid aside for this season, the clerk
of the Church, to evince his sentiments upon the situation of affairs,
gave out and sung the 1st, 2d, 9th, 10th, 11th, 13th, and 26th verses of
Psalm xliv., of the New Version. A Jew merchant and another man were
this morning committed to jail by the governor for circulating a false
report of there being only five ships of war and three frigates at
Louisburg; but the Earl of Loudon, being superior to such mean
resentments, ordered them to be released in the evening."--Knox's
_Historical Journal_, vol. i., p. 24.

The extraordinary ardor of Major-general Lord Charles Hay, having made
him much louder than others in condemning Lord Loudon's conduct, upon
this occasion, a council of war was called to consider the tendency of
his reflections, and the consequence was his being put under arrest.
General Hopson's letter to Lord Loudon in October, three months
afterward, mentions Lord Charles Hay being still under arrest, and
complains of three regiments, with their commanding officers at their
head, having gone "in corps" to wait upon him.]

[Footnote 95: "Shortly after came letters from the Earl of Loudon, the
commander-in-chief in North America, stating that he found the French
21,000 strong, and that, not having so many, he could not attack
Louisburg, but should return to Halifax. Admiral Holborne, one of the
sternest condemners of Byng, wrote at the same time that he, having but
seventeen ships and the French nineteen, dared not attack them. There
was another summer lost! Pitt expressed himself with great vehemence
against the earl, and we naturally have too lofty ideas of our naval
strength to suppose that seventeen of our ships are not a match for any
nineteen others."--Walpole's _George II._, vol. ii., p. 231.

"Admiral Holborne declined to attack the French, because, while he had
seventeen ships of the line, they had eighteen, and a greater WEIGHT OF
METAL, 'according to the new sea phrase,' says Chesterfield,
indignantly, 'which was unknown to Blake!' (_Letter to his Son_, Sept.
30, 1757.) He adds, 'I hear that letters have been sent to both
(Holborne and Loudon) with very severe reprimands.'"--Lord Mahon's
_History of England_, vol. iv., p. 168.

"The recent fate of Admiral Byng, who was shot on the 14th of March,
1757, for incapacity in a naval engagement, is supposed to have
paralyzed the energy of many British officers at this juncture."--Graham's
_United States_, vol. iv., p. 6.

"Dans ce pays-ci il est bon de tuer de tems en tems un amiral pour
encourager les autres."--_Candide_, ch. xxiii.

"The miserable consequences of our political divisions (in 1757)
produced a general unsteadiness in all our pursuits, and infused a
languor and inactivity into all our military operations; for while our
commanders abroad knew not who would reward their services or punish
their neglects, and were not assured in what light even the best of
their actions would be considered (having reason to apprehend that they
might not be judged of as they were in themselves, but as their
appearances might answer the end of some ruling faction), they naturally
wanted that enterprising resolution, without which the best capacity,
and intentions the most honest, can do nothing in war."--_Annual

[Footnote 96: "Directly on the shore of the lake, and nearer to its
western than to its eastern margin, lay the extensive earthen ramparts
and low buildings of William Henry. Two of the sweeping bastions
appeared to rest on the water, which washed their bases, while a deep
ditch and extensive morasses guarded its other side and angles. The land
had been cleared of wood for a reasonable distance around the work, but
every other part of the scene lay in the green livery of nature, except
where the limpid water mellowed the view, or the bold rocks thrust their
black and naked heads above the undulating outline of the mountain
ranges. In its front might be seen the scattered sentinels who held a
weary watch against their numerous foes.... Toward the southeast, but in
immediate contact with the fort, was an intrenched camp, posted on a
rocky eminence, that would have been far more eligible for the work
itself.... But the spectacle which most concerned the young soldier was
on the western bank of the lake, though quite near to its southern
termination. On a strip of land, which appeared from its stand too
narrow to contain such an army, but which, in truth, extended many
hundreds of yards from the shores of Lake George to the base of the
mountain, were to be seen the white tents and military engines for an
encampment of 10,000 men."--_Last of the Mohicans_, p. 144.]

[Footnote 97: "I was a little child when this transaction took place,
and distinctly remember the strong emotions which it every where
excited, and which hitherto time has not been able to efface."--Dwight.
The _Last of the Mohicans_ has given an immortal interest to the fate of
Fort William Henry.--Graham's _United States_, vol. iv., p. 8.]

[Footnote 98: " ... Committing a thousand outrages and barbarities, from
which the French commander endeavored in vain to restrain them. All this
was suffered by 2000 men, with arms in their hands, from a disorderly
crew of savages."--Burke, _Annual Register for the year 1758_.]

[Footnote 99: "Montcalm says in his letter to Monro, August 3d, 1757, 'I
am still able to restrain the savages, and to oblige them to observe a
capitulation, as none of them have been killed; but this control will
not be in my power under other circumstances.'"--Russell's _Modern

"Of the scene of cruelty and bloodshed that took place at Fort William
Henry, the accounts which have been transmitted are not less uniform and
authentic than horrible and disgusting. The only point which is wrapped
in obscurity is _how far_ the French general and his troops were
voluntarily or unavoidably spectators of the violation of the treaty
which they stood pledged to fulfill. According to some accounts, no
escort whatever was furnished to the British garrison. According to
others, the escort was a mere mockery, both in respect of the numbers of
the French guards, and of their willingness to defend their civilized
enemies against their savage friends. It is certain that the escort, if
any, proved totally ineffectual; and this acknowledged circumstance,
taken in conjunction with the prior occurrences at Oswego, is sufficient
to stain the character of Montcalm with a suspicion of treachery and
dishonor."--Graham's _History of the United States_, vol. iv., p. 7.]

[Footnote 100: "Webb, roused at length from his lethargy by personal
apprehension, had hastily invoked the succor of the states of New
England. The call was promptly obeyed, and a portion of the militia of
Massachusetts and Connecticut was dispatched to check the victorious
progress of the French. Montcalm, whether daunted by this vigorous
demonstration or satisfied with the blow which he had struck, and
engrossed with the care of improving its propitious influence on the
minds of the Indians, refrained from even investing Fort Edward, and
made no further attempt at present to extend the circle of his
conquests."--Graham's _History of the United States_, vol. iv., p. 8.]

[Footnote 101: "Mais malgré les instantes demandes des Canadiens, le
gouvernement de Madame da Pompadour ne songeoit point à leur envoyer des
secours. M. Pitt, au contraire, apportant une même vigueur dans tous les
départemens de la guerre, avoit destiné des forces considérables, à
subjuguer dans toutes les parties de l'Amérique les François, qui
abandonnés à eux-mêmes ne pouvoient tarder plus long tems à
succomber."--Sismondi's _Hist. des Français_, vol. xxix., ch. liv.]

[Footnote 102: "We had a torrent of bad news yesterday from America.
Lord Loudon has found an army of 20,000 French, gives over the design on
Louisburg, and retires to Halifax. Admiral Holborne writes that they
have nineteen ships to his seventeen, and that he can not attack them.
It is time for England to slip her own cables, and float away into some
unknown ocean!--Walpole's _Letters to Sir H. Mann_, Sept. 3, 1757.

"To add to the ill-humor, our papers are filled with the new loss of
Fort William Henry, which covered New York. That opulent and proud
colony, between their own factions and our folly, is in imminent danger;
but I will have done--nay, if we lose another dominion, I think I will
have done writing to you; I can not bear to chronicle so many
disgraces."--Walpole's _Letters to Sir H. Mann_, Oct. 12, 1757.

"When intelligence of these new losses and disgraces reached England,
the people, already sufficiently mortified by their losses and disgraces
in Europe,[104] sank into a general despondency; and some moral and
political writers, who pretended to foretell the ruin of the nation, and
ascribed its misfortunes to a total corruption of manners and
principles, obtained general credit. Of these writers the most
distinguished was Dr. Brown, whose _Estimate of the Manners and
Principles of the Times_, abounding with awful predictions, was bought
up and read with incredible avidity, and seemed to be as much confided
in as if he had been divinely inspired."--Russell's _Modern Europe_,
vol. iii., p. 324.]

[Footnote 103: The lengthened sheet of Lake Champlain stretched from the
frontiers of Canada nearly half the distance between Canada and New
York. On the Canada side the River Richelieu formed a communication with
the River St. Lawrence; on the New York side Lake George extended the
water communication twelve leagues further to the south, and then a
portage of twelve miles over the high land, which interposed itself to
the further passage of the water, conducted the traveler to the banks of
the Hudson, at a point where the river became navigable to the
tide.[105] It was this almost uninterrupted water communication between
the rival states of Canada and New York that rendered the forts on Lake
Champlain[106] and Lake George[107] such important objects of attack or

[Footnote 104: The capitulation of Closterseven, or Convention of Stade,
was signed in September of this year.]

[Footnote 105: Here Fort Edward was situated.]

[Footnote 106: Ticonderoga and Fort Frederick, or Crown Point.]

[Footnote 107: Fort William Henry.]


During the disastrous campaign of 1757, a strife of greater importance
than that on the American continent was carried on in the English House
of Commons. In the preceding year, the falsehood and incompetency of the
Duke of Newcastle, prime minister of England, had aroused a storm of
indignation, to which the shameful losses of Minorca and Oswego had
given overwhelming force. Mr. Fox, the only commoner of character and
ability who still adhered to the ministry, determined to lend his name
no longer to the premier's policy, and in the month of October resigned
the seals of office. This blow proved fatal for the tottering cabinet.
To the almost universal joy of the people, the Duke of Newcastle did not
dare the encounter with his gifted rival in the approaching session of
Parliament, and reluctantly yielded up those powers the exercise of
which, in his hands, had led the nation to embarrassment and shame.

By the wish of the king, Mr. Fox endeavored to induce Mr. WILLIAM PITT
to join him in the conduct of the national councils. The "Great
Commoner," however, decisively rejected this overture.[108] The Duke of
Devonshire, lord lieutenant of Ireland, a man more remarkable for
probity and loyalty than for administrative capacity, next received the
royal commands to form a ministry; he sacrificed his personal
predilections toward Mr. Fox to the public good, and at once appointed
Pitt Secretary of State, with Legge as Chancellor of the Exchequer. Most
of the subordinate members of the cabinet retained their places, but
several of Pitt's relatives received appointments to important offices.

Almost the first step of the new cabinet was to apply to Parliament for
the means of aiding the King of Prussia against "the vindictive designs
of France." Notwithstanding the great popularity of the ministry, and
the general confidence in its capacity and integrity, the apparent
contrast between this proposition and former protestations against
continental interference excited the hostility of many, and the
observation of all. The supplies, however, were voted to the full extent
demanded by the minister.

Despite these concessions to the king's Hanoverian interests, nothing
could overcome the personal dislike of his majesty to Pitt, and to his
brother-in-law Lord Temple. The appointment of the Duke of Cumberland to
command the British force on the Continent gave opportunity for the
manifestation of this royal hostility. The duke refused to undertake his
duties while such an anti-Hanoverian as Pitt remained as virtual head of
the ministry. The king's love for his son, and hatred of his gifted
servant, combined to prompt him to the decided step of dismissing the
great minister from his councils. An interval of nearly three months
elapsed in vain attempts to form a cabinet from which Pitt should be
excluded. There was, however, another party interested in these
arrangements, which neither prerogative nor parliamentary influence
might long venture to oppose--the British nation. As with one voice, all
ranks and classes spoke out their will that Pitt should hold the helm.
His rivals saw that it was impossible to stem the stream, and wisely
counseled the king to yield to the wishes of his people. In June the
patriot minister was once again the ruler of England's destiny.[109]

This illustrious man knew no party but the British nation, acknowledged
no other interest. To exalt the power and prosperity of his country, and
to humble France, was his sole aim and object. Personally disagreeable
to the highest power in the state, and from many causes regarded with
hostility by the several aristocratic confederacies, it needed the
almost unanimous voice of his countrymen, and the unacknowledged
confidence of those powerful men whose favor he neither possessed nor
desired, to sweep away these formidable difficulties, and give to
England in the hour of need the services of her greatest son.

For the remainder of the campaign of 1757, however, the energy and
wisdom of Pitt were too late brought to the council, and the
ill-conducted schemes of his predecessors bore, as has been shown, the
bitter fruit of disaster and disgrace. But no sooner was he firmly
established in office, and his plans put in execution, than the British
cause began to revive in the Western hemisphere, and, although still
checkered with defeat, glory and success rewarded his gigantic efforts.
He at once determined to renew the expedition against Cape Breton, and,
warned by previous failures, urged upon the king the necessity of
removing both the naval and military officers who had hitherto conducted
the operations. With that admirable perception which is one of the most
useful faculties of superior minds, he readily discerned in others the
qualities requisite for his purpose--his judgment ever unwarped and his
keen vision unclouded by personal or political considerations. In
Colonel Amherst he had discovered sound sense, steady courage, and an
active genius; he therefore recalled him from the army in Germany, and,
casting aside the hampering formalities of military rule, promoted him
to the rank of major-general, and to the command of the troops destined
for the attack of Louisburg.[110] At the same time, from the British
navy's brilliant roll, the minister selected the Hon. Edward Boscawen as
admiral of the fleet, and gave him also, till the arrival of General
Amherst, the unusual commission of command over the land forces. With
vigorous zeal the equipments were hurried on, and on the 19th of
February a magnificent armament sailed from Portsmouth for the harbor of
Halifax on the Acadian peninsula. The general was delayed by contrary
winds, and did not reach Halifax till the 28th of May, where he met
Boscawen's fleet coming out of the harbor; the admiral, impatient of
delay, having put all the force in motion, with the exception of a corps
1600 strong left to guard the post. No less than 22 ships of the line
and 15 frigates, with 120 smaller vessels, sailed under his flag; and 14
battalions of infantry, with artillery and engineers, in all 11,600,
almost exclusively British regulars, were embarked to form the army of
General Amherst. The troops were told off in three brigades of nearly
equal strength, under the brigadier-generals Whitmore, Lawrence, and

At dawn on the 2d of June the armament arrived off Cape Breton, where
the greatest part of the fleet came to anchor in the open roadstead of
Gabarus Bay. Amherst entertained a strong hope to surprise the garrison
of Louisburg, and with that view issued an order to forbid the slightest
noise, or the exhibition of any light, on board the transports near the
shore; he especially warned the troops to preserve a profound silence as
they landed. But the elements rendered these judicious orders of no
avail. In the morning a dense fog shrouded the rocky shore, and as the
advancing day cleared away the curtains of the mist, a prodigious swell
rolled in from the Atlantic, and broke in impassable surf upon the
beach. Nevertheless, in the evening the general, with Lawrence and
Wolfe, approached close to the dangerous shore, and reconnoitered the
difficulties which nature and the enemy might oppose to their landing.
They found that the French had formed a chain of posts for some distance
across the country, and that they had also thrown up works and batteries
at the points where a successful debarkation seemed most probable. The
next morning the sea had not abated, and for six successive days the
heavy roll of the ocean broke with undiminished violence upon the rugged
shore. During this interval the enemy toiled day and night to strengthen
their position, and lost no opportunity of opening fire with guns and
mortars upon the ships.

On the 8th the sea subsided into calm, and the fog vanished from the
shore. Before daybreak the troops were assembled in boats, formed in
three divisions; at dawn Commodore Durell examined the coast, and
declared that the landing was now practicable. When his report was
received, seven of the smaller vessels at once opened fire, and in about
a quarter of an hour the boats of the left division began to row in
toward the shore: in them were embarked twelve companies of Grenadiers,
550 Light Infantry men, with the Highlanders and a body of Provincial
Rangers: Brigadier-general Wolfe was their chief. The right and center
brigades, under Whitmore and Lawrence, moved at the same time toward
other parts of the shore, and three sloops were sent past the mouth of
the harbor to distract the attention of the enemy.

The left division was the first to reach the beach, at a point a little
eastward of Fresh-water Cove, and four miles from the town.[112] The
French stood firm, and held their fire till the assailants were close in
shore; then, as the boats rose on the dangerous surf, they poured in a
rattling volley from every gun and musket that could be brought to bear.
Many of the British troops were struck down, but not a shot was
returned. Wolfe's flag-staff was shivered by a bar-shot, and many boats
badly damaged; still, with ardent valor, the sailors forced their way
through the surging waves, and in a very few minutes the whole division
was ashore, and the enemy flying in disorder from all his intrenchments.
The victors pressed on rapidly in pursuit, and, despite the rugged and
difficult country, inflicted a heavy loss on the fugitives, and took
seventy prisoners. At length the cannon of the ramparts of Louisburg
checked their further advance. In the mean time the remaining British
divisions had landed, but not without losing nearly 100 boats and many
men from the increasing violence of the sea.

During the two following days the fury of the waves forbade all attempts
to land the artillery and the necessary stores for the attack of the
hostile stronghold; on the 11th, however, the weather began to clear,
and some progress was made in the preparations. Hitherto the troops had
suffered much from want of provisions and tents; now their situation was
somewhat improved.

Louisburg is a noble harbor: within is ample shelter for the largest
fleets England or France have ever sent from their shores. A rugged
promontory, on which stood the town and somewhat dilapidated
fortifications, protects it from the southwest wind; another far larger
arm of the land is its shelter to the southeast. About midway across the
entrance of this land-locked bay stands Goat Island, which at that time
was defended by some works, with a formidable array of guns; a range of
impassable rocks extends thence to the town. From an elevation to the
northwest of the harbor, the grand battery showed a threatening front to
those who might seek to force the entrance of the Sound. For the defense
of this important position, M. de Drucour, the French chief, had at his
disposal six line-of-battle ships; five frigates, three of which he
sank, to impede the entrance of the harbor; 3000 regular troops and
burgher militia, with 350 Canadians and Indians.

On the 12th the French withdrew all their outposts, and even destroyed
the grand battery that commanded the entrance of the harbor,
concentrating their whole power upon the defense of the town. Wolfe's
active light troops soon gave intelligence of these movements, and the
following day the brigadier pushed on his advance round the northern and
eastern shores of the bay, till they gained the high lands opposite Goat
Island with little opposition; there, as soon as the perversity of the
weather would permit, he mounted some heavy artillery, but it was not
till the 20th that he was enabled to open fire upon the ships and the
land defenses. On the 25th the formidable French guns on Goat Island
were silenced. Wolfe then left a detachment in his battery, and hastened
round with his main force to a position close to the town, where he
erected works, and from them assailed the ramparts and the shipping.

For many days the slow and monotonous operations of the siege continued,
under great difficulties to the assailants, the marshy nature of the
ground rendering the movement of artillery very tedious. The rain poured
down in torrents, swamping the labors of the engineers; the surf still
foamed furiously upon the shore, embarrassing the landing of the
necessary material and impeding the communication with the fleet. On the
night of the 9th of July, the progress of the besiegers was somewhat
interrupted by a fierce and sudden sally; five companies of light
troops, supported by 600 men, burst upon a small English work during the
silence of the night, surprising and overwhelming the defenders. The
young Earl of Dundonald, commanding the grenadiers of the 17th, who held
the post, paid for this want of vigilance with his life; his lieutenant
was wounded and taken, and his men struck down, captured, or dispersed.
Major Murray, however, with the Grenadiers of the 22d and 28th, arrived
ere long, and restored the fight. After a time the French again betook
themselves to the shelter of their walls, having left twenty of their
men dead upon the scene of strife, and eighty more wounded or prisoners
in the hands of the besiegers.

Meanwhile the British generals pushed on the siege with unwearied zeal,
and, at the same time, with prudent caution, secured their own camp by
redoubts. Day and night the batteries[113] poured their ruinous shower
upon the ramparts, the citadel, and shipping. On the 21st, three large
vessels of war took fire in the harbor from a live shell, and the
English gunners dealt death to those who sought to extinguish the
flames. The next day the citadel was in a blaze; the next, the barracks
were burned to the ground, and Wolfe's trenches were pushed up to the
very defenses of the town. The French could no longer stand to their
guns. On the night of the 25th, two young captains, La Forey and
Balfour, with the boats of the fleet, rowed into the harbor under a
furious fire, boarded the two remaining vessels of war, and thus
destroyed the last serious obstacle to British triumph.[114] The
following morning, M. de Drucour surrendered at discretion.

In those days, the taking of Louisburg was a mighty triumph for the
British arms: a place of considerable strength, defended with skill and
courage, fully manned, and aided by a powerful fleet, had been bravely
won; 5600 men, soldiers, sailors, and marines were prisoners; eleven
ships of war taken or destroyed; 240 pieces of ordnance, 15,000 stand of
arms, and a great amount of ammunition, provisions, and military stores,
had fallen into the hands of the victors, and eleven stand of colors
were laid at the feet of the British sovereign: they were afterward
solemnly deposited in St. Paul's Cathedral.

But while the wisdom and zeal of Amherst, and the daring skill of
Wolfe,[115] excite the gratitude and admiration of their countrymen, it
must not be forgotten that causes beyond the power and patriotism of man
mainly influenced this great event. The brave admiral doubted the
practicability of the first landing.[116] Amherst hesitated, and the
chivalrous Wolfe himself, as he neared the awful surf, staggered in his
resolution, and, purposing to defer the enterprise, waved his hat for
the boats to retire. Three young subaltern officers, however, commanding
the leading craft, pushed on ashore, having mistaken the signal for what
their stout hearts desired--the order to advance; some of their men, as
they sprung upon the beach, were dragged back by the receding surge and
drowned, but the remainder climbed up the rugged rocks, and formed upon
the summit. The brigadier then cheered on the rest of the division to
the support of this gallant few, and thus the almost desperate landing
was accomplished.

Nor should due record be omitted of that which enhances the glory of the
conquerors--the merit of the conquered. To defend the whole line of
coast with his garrison was impossible; for nearly eight miles,
however, the energetic Drucour had thrown up a chain of works, and
occupied salient points with troops; and when at length the besiegers
effected a landing, he still left no means untried to uphold the honor
of his flag. Hope of relief or succor there was none; beyond the waters
of the bay the sea was white with the sails of the hostile fleet. Around
him, on every side, the long red line of British infantry closed in from
day to day. His light troops were swept from the neighboring woods; his
sallies were interrupted or overwhelmed. Well-armed batteries were
pushed up to the very ramparts; a murderous fire of musketry struck down
his gunners at their work; three gaping breaches lay open to the
assailants;[117] his best ships burned or taken; his officers and men
worn with fatigue and watching; four fifths of his artillery disabled;
then, and not till then, did the brave Frenchman give up the trust which
he had nobly and faithfully held. To the honor of the garrison, not a
man deserted his colors through all the dangers, privations, and
hardships of the siege, with the exception of a few Germans who served
as unwilling conscripts. This spirited defense was in so far successful
that it occupied the bulk of the British force, while Abercromby was
being crushed by the superior genius and power of Montcalm. By thus
delaying for seven weeks the progress of the campaign, the season became
too far advanced for further operations, and the final catastrophe of
French American dominion was deferred for another year.[118]

On the 7th of August detachments were sent, under Major Dalling and Lord
Rollo, to take possession of the other settlements in Cape Breton, and
of the Isle de St. Jean, now Prince Edward's Island. This latter
territory had long been an object of great importance to Canada; the
fertility of the soil, the comparative mildness of the climate, and the
situation commanding the navigation of the Great River, rendered it
invaluable to the settlers of New France.

On the 15th the French prisoners were dispatched to Europe in
transports. On the 28th, Admiral Sir Charles Hardy, with seven ships of
the line and three frigates, conveying a force of some Artillery, and
three battalions of Infantry, was sent round to the Gulf of St.
Lawrence. The object of this expedition was to destroy the French
settlements at Miramichi, the Baye de Chaleurs, Gaspé, and as far up the
banks of the Great River as the season might permit; then to disperse or
carry away the inhabitants: by this it was hoped that the troublesome
marauders on the English frontier might be chastised and kept in check,
and that a portion of the enemy's strength might be diverted from
Abercromby's front. The execution of this painful duty was committed to
Brigadier-general Wolfe.

These stern orders were punctually obeyed, but as much humanity as was
possible tempered the work of destruction. All the Acadian villages on
the northeastern coast were laid in ruins: some hundreds of the
inhabitants were borne away to captivity, and the rest driven from
their blackened hearths and desolated farms to the grim refuge of the
wilderness. Among the settlements devastated by this expedition was the
flourishing fishing station of Mont Louis.[119] The intendant in charge
of the place offered a ransom of 150,000 livres to save the stores and
provisions his people's industry had created, but the relentless law of
retribution took its course, and the hoarded magazines of corn, fish,
and other supplies for their own use and for the market of Quebec, were
totally destroyed. Colonel Monckton, with three other battalions, was
sent on a similar errand to the Bay of Fundy and to the River St. John,
and in like manner fulfilled his task.

It may, perhaps, be partial or unjust to single out one tale of woe from
among the crowded records of this war's gigantic misery to hold up in
the strong light of contrast with the glory of the recent victory. But
we may not hear, without a blush of shame and sorrow, how the simple
Acadian peasantry were made to pay the penalties of banishment and ruin
for the love of France and for loyalty to their king, at a time when
Pitt was the minister, Amherst the general, and Wolfe the lieutenant.

Having executed his orders, Wolfe repaired to Halifax and assumed the
command of the troops in garrison. Admiral Boscawen and General Amherst
came to a conclusion that for that season nothing more could be effected
by them against the power of France. They therefore agreed, although
their instructions did not extend to any part of the continent beyond
Nova Scotia, that it would be advisable to detach a portion of the army
to strengthen Abercromby, and assist him to repair his disaster, of
which they were informed. Accordingly, Amherst sailed for Boston on the
30th of August with five battalions, arrived on the 13th of September,
and the next day landed his troops. Despite the interested
remonstrances of the local authorities, he soon pushed on through the
difficult district of the Green Woods, by Kinderhook Mills, and through
Albany to Lake George. Having there held counsel with the unfortunate
Abercromby, and delivered over his seasonable re-enforcement, he
returned to Boston, and finally to Halifax, where he had been instructed
to await orders from the English government.

[Footnote 108: "But though Pitt desired high office, he desired it only
for high and generous ends. He did not seek it for patronage like
Newcastle, or for lucre like Fox. Glory was the bright star that ever
shone before his eyes, and ever guided him onward--his country's glory
and his own. 'My lord!' he once exclaimed to the Duke of Devonshire, 'I
am sure that I can save this country, and that no one else can.'"--Lord
Mahon's _Hist. of England_, vol. iv., p. 77.]

[Footnote 109: At this period commenced the brilliant era justly called
MR. PITT'S ADMINISTRATION, in which he became the soul of the British
councils, conciliated the good-will of the king, infused a new spirit
into the British nation, and curbed the united efforts of the house of

The following picture of affairs at the moment when Pitt became
secretary of state (29th of June, 1757) is contained in a letter from
Lord Chesterfield to Mr. Dayrolles: "Whoever is in or whoever is out, I
am sure we are undone both at home and abroad: at home, by our increasing
debt and expenses; abroad, by our ill luck and incapacity.... The French
are masters to do what they please in America. We are no longer a nation.
I never yet saw so dreadful a prospect."--_Correspondence of the Earl of
Chatham_, edited by William Stanhope Taylor, Esq., vol. i., _note_,
p. 238.]

[Footnote 110: "What alarms me most, is the account Lady Hester brought,
of some men-of-war, a few, very few, being got into Louisburg; because,
upon the issue of that attempt I think the whole salvation of this
country and Europe does essentially depend," (Letter of Earl Temple to
Mr. Pitt, Stowe, July 3, 1758.)--_Chatham Correspondence_, vol. i., p.

[Footnote 111: See Appendix, No. LXIV.]

[Footnote 112: The place where the British troops landed, near
Fresh-water Cove, before the successful siege of Louisburg, was called
Cormoran Creek.]

[Footnote 113: "It may not be amiss to observe that a cavalier, which
Admiral Knowles had built, at enormous expense to the nation, while
Louisburg remained in the hands of the English during the last war, was
in the course of this siege entirely demolished by two or three shots
from one of the British batteries; so admirably had this piece of
fortification been contrived and executed, under the eye of that
profound engineer."--Smollett, vol. iv., p. 303.]

[Footnote 114: "The renowned Captain Cook, then serving as a petty
officer on board of a British ship of war, co-operated in this exploit,
and wrote an account of it to a friend in England. That he had honorably
distinguished himself may be inferred from his promotion to the rank of
lieutenant in the royal navy, which took place immediately
after."--Graham's _United States_, vol. iv., p. 28.]

[Footnote 115: "Brigadier Wolfe has performed prodigies of valor.... We
could not land before the 8th, which we fortunately effected after
encountering dangers that are almost incredible." (Letter from the camp
before Louisburg.)--Knox's _Historical Journal_, vol. i., p. 144.]

[Footnote 116: "Captain Ferguson, an old, brave, and distinguished navy
officer, earnestly prayed the admiral not to put the fate of the
expedition on the uncertain chances of a council of war,[120] but at
once to attempt the landing, despite all difficulties. His spirited
appeal was successful."--_The Field of Mars_; Article, Louisburg.
London, 1801.]

[Footnote 117: So ruinous were the fortifications, that "General Wolfe
himself was obliged to place sentinels upon the ramparts, for the
private men and the sutlers entered through the breaches and gaps with
as much ease as if there had only been an old ditch."--_Translation of a
Letter from M. de Drucour to M. ----_, dated Andover, October 1, 1758,
when he was a prisoner in England.]

[Footnote 118:


"Camp, August 8, 1758.

"I have your letter this morning, to which I can say no more to you than
what I have already done: that my first intentions and hopes were, after
the surrender of Louisburg, to go with the whole army (except what is
absolutely necessary for Louisburg) to Quebec, as I am convinced it is
the best thing we could do, if practicable. The next was, to pursue my
orders as to future operations; and this affair unluckily happening at
Ticonderoga, I quitted the thoughts of the future operations in part, as
ordered, to assist Major-general Abercromby by sending five or six
regiments to him, which I told Brigadier Lawrence he should command, in
case we could not go to Quebec.... I have proposed this to the admiral
for the day after the surrender of the town, and I am thoroughly
convinced he will not lose one moment's time in pursuing every thing for
forwarding and expediting the service.... Whatever schemes you may have,
or information that you can give to quicken our motions, your
communicating of them would be very acceptable, and will be of much more
service than your thoughts of quitting the army, which seem by no means
agreeable, as all my thoughts and wishes are confined at present to
pursuing our operations for the good of his majesty's service; and I
know nothing that can tend more to it than your assisting in it.

"I am, dear sir, your most obedient humble servant,


--_Chatham Correspondence_, vol. i., p. 332.]

[Footnote 119: "The Bay of Mont Louis is situated upon the southern side
of the River St. Lawrence, bounded on one side by the inaccessible
mountains of Nôtre Dame. It is nearly half way between Quebec and the
sea, and all the vessels that ascend to Quebec pass within
view."--Charlevoix, tom. iii., p. 325.]

[Footnote 120: "Lord Clive declared to the Parliamentary Committee of
Inquiry, instituted A.D. 1773, that 'he never called a council of war
but once, which was previous to his passing the Ganges on his famous
expedition to Moorshedabad; and if he had then followed the decision of
the council, the company had been undone.'"--Belsham, vol. ii., p. 401.]


From the brilliant successes on the island of Cape Breton, it is now
necessary to turn to the painfully checkered course of events on the
American continent, where the execution of Pitt's magnificent
designs[121] was unhappily intrusted to very different men from the
conquerors of Louisburg. The great minister's plan of operations had
embraced the whole extent of French American dominions, from the
embattled heights of Louisburg and Quebec, to the lone but luxuriant
wilderness of the West. By the protracted defense of the loyal and
skillful Drucour, the overwhelming forces of Amherst and Boscawen were
delayed till the advancing season had rendered impossible, for that
year, their descent upon the Valley of the St. Lawrence.

The next British expedition in order and in importance was directed
against Ticonderoga and Crown Point. By the possession of these
strongholds the French had long been enabled to harass the English
frontier almost with impunity, and to command the navigation of the
extensive lakes which formed the high road to the heart of Canada.

The third army was destined to march upon Fort du Quesne, of disastrous
memory, and to establish the British power in the Valley of the Ohio,
for the possession of which the sanguinary war had commenced, and the
spot where blood had first been shed. By the success of this object, all
communication between the French of Canada and Louisiana would be
effectually cut off, and the countries watered by the St. Lawrence and
the Mississippi left at the mercy of England's naval power.

The same express that bore the tidings of Lord Loudon's recall, conveyed
a circular letter from Mr. Pitt to the colonial governors, declaring the
determination of the British cabinet to repair, at any cost, the losses
and disasters of the last campaign.[122] To encourage the vigorous
co-operation of the colonists, they were informed that his majesty would
recommend Parliament to grant the several provinces such compensation
for the expenses which they might incur as their efforts should appear
to justly merit, and that arms, ammunition, tents, provisions, and boats
would be furnished by the crown. At the same time, the colonial
governors were required to raise as numerous levies of Provincial
militia as their districts would supply, to pay and clothe them, and
appoint their officers. Inspired by the energy of the great minister,
and excited to a generous emulation with the awakened spirit of the
parent state, the American colonies came nobly forward in the common
cause, and used their utmost efforts to strengthen, by their
co-operation, the promised armament from England. Massachusetts raised
7000 men, Connecticut 5000, and the thinly-peopled State of New
Hampshire 900; the numbers of the Rhode Island, New York, and New
Jersey levies have not been specified. These troops were ordered to take
the field early in May, but the muster proceeded slowly and irregularly,
insomuch that no movements were made toward the scenes of action until
the middle of June, 1757.

The largest European army ever yet seen on the American continent was
assembled at Albany and in the neighborhood, under the command of
Abercromby, the general-in-chief since Lord Loudon's recall. A
detachment of the Royal Artillery, and seven strong battalions of the
line, amounting altogether to 6350 regulars, with 9000 of the Provincial
militia, composed this formidable force. Their object was the
destruction of Ticonderoga and Crown Point. Toward the end of June they
broke up from Albany, and encamped upon the ground where the melancholy
ruins of Fort William Henry still remained. On the 5th of July, the
cannon, ammunition, and stores arrived, and on that day the army
embarked on the waters of Lake George: 1035 boats conveyed this powerful
expedition, and a number of rafts, armed with artillery, accompanied
them, to overcome any opposition that might be offered to the landing.

The armament continued its progress steadily through the day. When
evening fell, Abercromby gave the signal to lie to at a place called
Sabbath Point, on the shores of the lake: there the troops landed for a
time, and lighted large fires to distract the attention of the enemy. In
the dead of night they were suddenly re-embarked, and hurried on to the
Narrows, where the waters contract into the stream that communicates
with Wood Creek:[123] there they arrived at five o'clock the following
morning. An advanced guard of 2000 men was thrown ashore at first dawn
under the gallant Bradstreet, and these having encountered no enemy, the
remainder of the army was rapidly landed. As the troops disembarked they
were formed into four columns, some Light Infantry were sent on to scour
the line of march, and the advance was sounded. They soon reached a
small encampment which had been occupied by a detachment of the regiment
of Guienne, but found it abandoned, the ammunition and provisions
destroyed, the camp itself in flames.

Ticonderoga,[124] the first object of the British attack, was a fort of
some strength, situated on the most salient point of the peninsula
between Lakes George and Champlain. To the eastward the rugged shore
afforded sufficient protection; to the west and north regular lines of
defense had been erected by the French engineers, and an extensive
swamp, spreading over nearly all the landward face, embarrassed the
approaches of an enemy. The neighboring country was a dense and tangled

Early in the summer of this year, the Marquis de Vaudreuil, governor of
Canada, had received intelligence of Abercromby's extensive preparations
to gain the positions of Ticonderoga and Crown Point,[125] and with them
the command of the important chain of waters leading to the River St.
Lawrence and the heart of the French possessions. The governor saw the
necessity of defeating this enterprise at any cost. He called to his aid
Montcalm, already famous by deserved success, and placed at his disposal
all the troops that could be spared from every part of the colony: on
the 20th of June they reached the position, they were directed to

On the first of July Montcalm sent an advance of three regiments, under
M. de Bourlemaque, along the northwestern shores of Lake George; he
himself followed with three regiments, and the second battalion of Berry
to a place called the Falls, at the head of the lake, where he encamped.
The following day, two active and intelligent officers, Captains de
Bernard and Duprât, with some light troops, were pushed on over the
mountains toward the lower end of the lake where Abercromby's army lay.
When the boats of the English force covered the waters on the morning of
the 5th of July, these French detachments signalized to their general
that the time for action was come. M. de Bourlemaque immediately
dispatched 300 men, under the command of Captain de Trépézé, to watch
the hostile armament from the shore, and, if possible, to oppose its
landing. The next day, however, when the British disembarked, they were
in such force as to render opposition hopeless; this corps of
observation therefore fell back upon M. de Bourlemaque, and he too
retired toward the main body, under the command of Montcalm.

So difficult and tangled were the woods on their retreat, that, in spite
of their knowledge of the country, one French column of 500 men lost
their way, fell into confusion, and in their bewilderment almost
retraced their steps. The English pressed rapidly on in pursuit, and,
from the ignorance of the guides, their divisions also became
confounded, and mixed up together in alarming disorder. The officers
vigorously exerted themselves to restore the broken ranks, but, in the
midst of their efforts, the right center column, led by the good and
gallant Lord Howe, was suddenly fronted by the body of the enemy who had
gone astray in the forest. They joined in bitter strife: almost hand to
hand, in the swamps, or from tree to tree on the hill side, the stout
Frenchmen held their own against the British troops, and, nothing
daunted by the unexpected danger, disdained to yield.[126] At the first
shock many of Howe's Light Infantry went down; he himself, hurrying to
the front, was struck by a musket ball in the breast, and instantly
expired.[127] His men, infuriated by the loss of their beloved
leader,[128] swarmed on through the thick woods, and finally overpowered
or destroyed the enemy; not, however, till four fifths of the French
were wounded, slain, or taken, and some of the conquerors killed and
disabled, did they yield their ground.

That night the victors occupied the field of battle; to this their
advantage was confined, for the disorganization of the troops had
frightfully increased during the unpropitious march, in the hard-fought
skirmish, and by the loss of their best and most trusted chief. The
vigor and spirit of Abercromby's army seemed to pass away with Lord
Howe. This gallant man, from the time he had landed in America, had
wisely instructed his regiment for the peculiar service of that
difficult country: no useless incumbrance of baggage was allowed; he
himself set the example, and encountered privation and fatigue in the
same chivalrous spirit with which he faced the foe. Graceful and kind in
his manners, and considerate to the humblest under his charge, his
officers and soldiers heartily obeyed the chief because they loved the
man. At the fatal moment when he was lost to England, her glory and
welfare most needed his aid. He lived long enough for his own honor, but
not for that of his country.

The price of this slight advantage was ruinous to the English army. From
the unhappy moment when Lord Howe was slain, the general lost all
resolution, and, as a natural consequence, the troops lost all
confidence. Order and discipline were no longer observed, and the
after-operations can only be attributed to infatuation. At dawn on the
day subsequent to the combat, Abercromby actually marched his forces
back to the place where they had disembarked the day before, through the
dreary and almost impassable wilderness, traversed with the utmost
difficulty but a few hours before. However, on the return of the army to
the landing place, a detachment was sent to gain an important post held
by the French at some saw-mills, two miles from Ticonderoga. Colonel
Bradstreet was selected for this duty; with him were sent the 44th
regiment, six companies of the 60th, some Rangers, and a number of
boatmen; among them were those who had forced the passage of the
Onondaga River: altogether nearly 7000 men.

The point to be assailed was approachable only by one narrow bridge;
this the French destroyed, and, not caring to encounter a very superior
force, fell back toward their stronghold. Bradstreet was not to be
deterred by difficulties. Accustomed to the necessity of finding
resources, the stream was soon spanned by a temporary arch. With
unwearied zeal he urged on the exertions of his men, and that very
night, not only his own command, but the whole British army, was once
more advanced across the stream, and established in an advantageous
position near Ticonderoga.

At earliest light, Colonel Clark, chief engineer, and several officers
of rank, reconnoitered the enemy's position to the best of their power.
They could discover but little: a dense forest and a deep morass lay
between them and Ticonderoga. They observed, indeed, a breast-work, with
some felled trees in front, rising out of the only accessible part of
the dreary swamp, but as to its nature, strength, and disposition for
defense, their military skill and experience could afford them no light.
Their report included a variety of opinions: some treated the defenses
as slight and inconsiderable, and presenting only a deceptive show of
strength; others, and they far better qualified to judge, acknowledged
their formidable strength. Abercromby unfortunately adopted the former
opinion, and rashly resolved to attack without waiting the essential aid
of his artillery: his penalty was severe.

Prisoners informed the English chief that his enemies had assembled
eight battalions, with some Canadians and Indians, and that they
mustered altogether a force of 6000 men. They were encamped at a place
called Carillon, in front of the fort, and busily occupied in
strengthening their position, that they might make good their defense
till the arrival of M. de Levi, who hastened to their aid, with 3000
men, from the banks of the Mohawk River, where he had been making an
incursion against the British Indian allies. General Abercromby was
determined by this information, which, however, subsequently proved much
exaggerated. M. de Levi's force had in fact already arrived, and was
only 800 strong, and the French regular troops in the position barely
reached 3000 men, although battalions of the splendid, but then much
reduced regiments of La Reine, La Sarre, Bearn, Guienne, Berry,
Languedoc, and Royal Roussillon were present in their camp.

On the morning of the 8th of July the French garrison was called to
arms, and marched into the threatened intrenchments. The regiments of
Bearn, La Reine, and Guienne, under M. de Levi, occupied the right of
the defenses; those of La Sarre, Languedoc, and two strong detachments
under M. de Bourlemaque, the left. In the center Montcalm held under his
own command the regiments of Berry, Royal Roussillon, and the light
troops. The colonial militia and Canadian irregulars, with the Indians,
were posted behind some field-works in the plain on the flanks of the
main defense, supported by a small reserve. The French intrenchment
presented in front, as was too late discovered, an almost impassable
barrier: a solid earthen breast-work of eight feet in height protected
the defenders from the hostile shot, and the gradual slope from its
summit was covered for nearly 100 yards with abattis of felled trees
laid close together, the branches sharpened and turned toward the foe.
However, on either flank this grim position was open; no obstacle
presented itself that could have stopped the stride of an English
grenadier. Of this the hapless Abercromby was ignorant or unobservant.
The French chief knew it well, and gave orders that, in case of the
assailants appearing on either of these weak points, his troops should
abandon the field and retreat to their boats as they best might.

With the rashness that bears no relation to courage, the British general
determined to throw the flower of his force upon the very center of the
enemy's strength. While the army was forming for the ill-starred attack,
Sir William Johnson arrived with 440 Indians, who were at once pushed
forward into the woods to feel the way and occupy the enemy. The
American Rangers formed the left of Abercromby's advance, Bradstreet's
boatmen were in the center, and on the right some companies of Light
Infantry. Behind these, a line of the Massachusetts militia extended its
ranks on either side toward Lake Champlain and Lake George. Next were
ranged the British battalions of the line, with the 42d, Murray's
Highlanders,[129] and the 55th, the corps trained by Lord Howe, in
reserve: on them fell the brunt of this desolating day. A numerous mass
of the Connecticut and New Jersey Provincial regiments formed the rear
guard. Strict orders were issued that no man should fire a shot till he
had surmounted the breast-work; then the arrangements were complete.
During these formations and through the forenoon, some French
detachments came forward and skirmished with the advance, but they were
always overpowered with ease, and driven hurriedly back to shelter.

At one o'clock, when the mid-day sun poured down its burning rays upon
the scene of strife, Abercromby gave the fatal order to attack. As his
advance felt the fire, the light troops and the militia were moved
aside, and the regular battalions called to the front. The Grenadier
companies of the line led the way, Murray's Highlanders followed close
behind. With quick but steady step, these intrepid men pressed on
through the heavy swamp and tangled underwood, their ranks now broken by
the uneven ground, now shattered by the deliberate fire of the French:
impeded, though not confused, they passed the open ground, and, without
one faltering pause or random shot, the thinned but unshaken column
dashed against the abattis.

Then began a cruel and hopeless slaughter. With fiery valor the British
Grenadiers forced themselves through the almost impenetrable fence; but
still new obstacles appeared; and while, writhing among the pointed
branches, they threatened the inaccessible enemy in impotent fury, the
cool fire of the French from behind the breast-work smote them one by
one. The Highlanders, who should have remained in reserve, were not to
be restrained, and rushed to the front; they were apparently somewhat
more successful; active, impetuous, lightly clad and armed, they won
their way through the felled trees, and died upon the very parapet;[130]
ere long, half of these gallant men[131] and nearly all their officers
were slain or desperately wounded. Then fresh troops pressed on to the
deadly strife, rivaling the courage and sharing the fate of those who
had led the way. For nearly four hours, like the succeeding waves of an
ebb tide, they attacked again and again, each time losing somewhat of
their vantage-ground, now fiercely rushing on, unflinchingly enduring
the murderous fire, then sullenly falling back to re-form their broken
ranks for a fresh effort. It was vain at last as it was at first: the
physical difficulties were impassable, and upon that rude barrier--which
the simplest maneuver would have avoided, or one hour of well-plied
artillery swept away[132]--the flower of British chivalry was crushed
and broken. The troops that strove with this noble constancy were surely
worthy of a better fate than that of sacrificing their lives and honor
to the blind presumption of such a general.

An accident at length arrested this melancholy carnage. One of the
British columns, in a hurried advance, lost their way, and became
bewildered in the neighboring forest. When, after a time, they emerged
upon the open country, a heavy fire was perceived close in front, as
they thought, from the French intrenchments. With unhappy promptitude,
they poured a deadly volley upon the supposed enemy; but when a breeze
from the lake lifted the curtain of the smoke from the bloody scene,
they saw that their shot had fallen with fatal precision among the red
coats of their countrymen. Then indeed hesitation, confusion, and panic
arose in the English ranks; their desperate courage had proved vain; a
frightful loss had fallen upon their best and bravest; most of their
officers were struck down; the bewildered general gave them no orders,
sent them no aid; their strength was exhausted by repeated efforts under
the fiery sun; and still, from behind the inaccessible breast-work, the
French, steady and almost unharmed, poured a rolling fire upon their
defenseless masses. The painful tale must now be told: the English
Infantry turned and fled. The disorder in a few minutes became
irretrievable; those who had been foremost in the fierce assault were
soon the first in the disgraceful flight. Highlanders and Provincials,
Rangers and Grenadiers, scarce looked behind them in their terror, nor
saw that no man pursued. In this hour of greatest need, General
Abercromby remained at the saw-mills, nearly two miles from the field
of battle.[133]

When the fugitives found that the French did not venture to press upon
their rear, they in some measure rallied upon a few still unbroken
battalions that were posted around the position occupied by the general.
Scarcely, however, had any thing of confidence been restored, when an
unaccountable command[134] from Abercromby, to retreat to the
landing-place, renewed the panic. The soldiers instantly concluded that
they were to embark with every speed to escape the pursuit of the
victorious enemy, and, breaking from all order and control, crowded
toward the boats. Happily, the brave Bradstreet still held together a
small force, like himself, unshaken by this groundless terror: with
prompt decision, he threw himself before the landing place, and would
not suffer a man to embark. To this gallant officer may be attributed
the preservation of Abercromby's army: had the disordered masses been
allowed to crowd into the boats, thousands must have perished in the
waters of the lake. By this wise and spirited step, regularity was in a
little time again restored, and the troops held their ground for the

The loss remains to be recorded: 1950 of the English army was slain,
wounded, and missing; of these, 1642 were regular troops, with a large
proportion of officers. The French had nearly 390 killed and disabled;
but, as their heads only were exposed above the breast-work, few of
those who were hit recovered. It is unnecessary to speak of their
admirable conduct and courage, or of the merit of their chief: their
highest praise is recorded with the deeds of those they conquered.[135]

The sad story of Ticonderoga is now seldom told and almost forgotten;
the disasters or triumphs of that year's campaign have left upon its
scene no traces more permanent than those of the cloud and sunshine of
an April day. In the eventual century since passed, our country has
emerged from the direst strife that ever shook the world, triumphant by
land and sea, great in power and in wisdom, proudest among the nations
of the earth, still humblest in reverence of Heaven. The memory of this
remote disaster can not now, even for a moment, dim the light of
"England's matchless glory." But such records give a lesson that may not
be forgotten. Men bearing the same name have each at different periods
played important parts in British military history; though both have
long since passed away, their examples are still before us.[136] The
British soldier, in time of danger, will not hesitate to elect between
the fate of Abercromby who survived the shameful rout of Ticonderoga,
and that of the stout Sir Ralph who fell upon the Egyptian plains.[137]

On the 9th the troops were ordered to embark and retire to Fort William
Henry, which place they reached that night. Even when there the general
did not consider his army safe till he had strengthened the defenses.
Still diffident, he sent the artillery and ammunition on to Albany, and
afterward even to New York. By this defensive attitude he neutralized
the advantage which his greatly superior strength gave him over the
enemy, and thus for another year was deferred the acquisition of the
"Gates of Canada"--the Lakes George and Champlain, and the Richelieu

When Abercromby was fully secured in his old position, and discipline in
a measure re-established in the army, he hearkened to the earnest
solicitations of the indefatigable Bradstreet, that a force might be
sent to revenge on Fort Frontenac the ruin of Oswego, and thus to gain
the command of Lake Ontario. The carrying out of this plan was worthily
committed to him who had designed it, and a detachment of Artillery, and
two companies of regulars, with 2800 Provincial militia and boatmen,
were allotted for the task. The pusillanimous destruction of the
navigation of Wood Creek by General Webb in 1756 proved a most vexatious
and harassing difficulty in this expedition. But the resolution and
energy of Bradstreet overcame every obstacle; with immense labor and
hardship, his men removed the logs from the river, and at length
rendered it navigable. On the 13th of August the artillery and stores
were embarked, and the same day the army moved by land to the Oneida
Lake; thence, by the stream of the Onondaga, past the scene of their
leader's brilliant victory, to the waters of Lake Ontario, where they
again embarked.

On the 25th, Bradstreet landed without opposition within a mile of Fort
Frontenac; he found this famed position[138] weakly fortified and worse
garrisoned, through the unaccountable negligence of the Marquis de
Vaudreuil. After the victory at Ticonderoga, the French governor had
dispatched the Chevalier de Longueuil, with immense presents, to meet
the chiefs of the Iroquois at Oswego, with a view of gaining their
important alliance, and of inducing them to abandon all relations with
the English, by representing their cause as ruined through Abercromby's
defeat. He in some measure succeeded in his mission; the Indian deputies
assured him of their attachment, but said that, as all their brethren
had not been consulted, they must communicate with them before giving a
decisive answer. When the conference ended, the chevalier returned to
Montreal by Fort Frontenac, where he stopped for a day, and informed M.
de Noyan, the commandant, of the danger that threatened his position
from Bradstreet's advance. Every thing was speedily done to strengthen
the fort which the limited means at hand permitted; but De Noyan, well
aware that without aid resistance would be vain, urged upon De Longueuil
to send him re-enforcements as soon as he could reach the governor. This
the chevalier neglected, and Fort Frontenac and its worthy commandant
were left to their fate. When too late indeed, the Marquis de Vaudreuil
dispatched M. de Plessis Fabiot, with 1500 Canadian militia, toward Lake
Ontario, but by the time they reached La Chine intelligence arrived that
caused the greater part of the force to return to whence they came.

Bradstreet at first threw up his works at 500 yards from the fort.
Finding that the distance was too great, and the fire of the enemy
little to be feared, he pushed closer on, and gained possession of an
old intrenchment near the defenses, whence he opened fire with vigor and
effect. A little after seven o'clock on the morning of the 27th, the
French surrendered, being without hope of succor, and of themselves
alone utterly incapable of a successful defense. The garrison,
consisting of only 120 regular soldiers and forty Indians, became
prisoners of war; and sixty pieces of cannon, sixteen mortars, an
immense supply of provisions, stores, and ammunition, with all the
shipping on the lake, fell into the hands of the victors. Among the
prizes were several vessels richly laden with furs, to the value, it is
said, of 70,000 louis d'ors. The attacking army had not to lament the
loss of a single soldier.[139]

The fort thus easily won was a quadrangle, each face about 100 yards in
length; thirty pieces of cannon were mounted upon the walls, and the
rest of the artillery was in reserve, but the garrison was altogether
insufficient for the defense of the works. The very large amount of
stores, ammunition, and provision which were thus left exposed were of
vital importance to the supply of the distant Western forts, and the
detachments on the Ohio, at Fort du Quesne and elsewhere. In obedience
to an unaccountable order of General Abercromby, Bradstreet had no
choice but to burn and destroy the artillery, provisions, and stores of
every kind, and even the shipping, except two vessels which were
retained to convey the valuable peltries to the southern shores of the
lake. The fort was also ruined and abandoned; however, M. du Plessis
Fabiot sent on a detachment from La Chine, with M. de Pont le Roy, the
engineer, who speedily restored it. At the same time, another body of
troops was sent to strengthen the distant post of Niagara. In the mean
while, Bradstreet re-embarked his force and returned to the British
colonies by the same route as he had advanced.[140]

At this time Fort Frontenac was the general rendezvous of all the
Northern and Western Indian nations, the center of trade not only with
the French, but also among themselves. Thither they repaired from all
directions, even from the distance of 1000 miles, bearing with them
their rich peltries, with immense labor, to exchange for European goods.
The French traders had learned the art of conciliating these children of
the forest, and among them attachment and esteem overcame even the force
of interest. It was notorious that the British merchants at Albany could
supply far better and cheaper articles, and actually forwarded large
stores of all kinds to furnish the warehouses of their Canadian rivals;
yet the savages annually passed by this favorable market, and bore the
spoils of the chase to the French settlement on the distant shores of
Lake Ontario.

These annual meetings of the Red Men, however, had another object
besides that of commerce; the events of the preceding year were related
and canvassed, and council held upon the conduct of the future. Here
feuds were reconciled by the good offices of neutral tribes, old
alliances were strengthened, and new ones arranged. In these assemblies,
the actual presence of the French gave them an important influence over
the deliberations, and colored, to a considerable extent, the policy of
the Indian nations. On every account, therefore, the destruction of Fort
Frontenac was a great gain to the British cause.

It now remained for the Marquis de Vaudreuil to announce the loss of
Fort Frontenac to the court of France, and to endeavor to make it appear
that he was free from blame in the unfortunate transaction. He
determined at all hazards to conceal the fact that his neglecting to
forward the required re-enforcements was the direct cause of the
disaster. The only mode of escape which suggested itself to his mean
mind was to throw the blame upon another; the unhappy commandant, De
Noyan, was selected as the victim of his falsehood. To prevent that
officer from forwarding to France his own statement of the case, the
treacherous governor himself undertook to represent the affair in a
light that could not fail to clear De Noyan of all responsibility. The
snare was successful; the brave commandant, guileless himself, doubted
not the honor of his chief, and blindly trusted him. De Vaudreuil,
unmindful alike of truth and justice, threw the whole weight of blame
upon his subordinate, and ascribed without scruple the loss of the fort
to the pusillanimity of the defenders. De Noyan, when too late, found
that he had been cruelly deceived; he appealed in vain, again and again,
to the court for redress, and at length retired from the service in
which he had met only with treachery and injustice.

While Abercromby's intrenchments afforded him complete security, the
presence of his great but now useless army gave no protection to the
English frontier. The ever active and vigilant Montcalm lost no
opportunity of harassing outposts, assailing remote settlements, and
intercepting convoys. On the 17th of July, a party of twenty
Provincials, with three officers, was destroyed by the French light
troops in the neighborhood of Half-way Brook, and ten days afterward,
near the same place, 116 wagoners, with their escort of sixteen Rangers,
were surprised and horribly massacred, in spite of the late severe
warning. At length the general was aroused to exertion: he selected
Major Rogers, already famous in partisan warfare, and, with a force of
700 men, sent him to seek the marauders; they, however, effected their
escape unharmed. When the British were returning from this vain pursuit,
a dispatch arrived from head-quarters, directing them to scour the
country to the south and east of Lake Champlain, and retire by the route
of Fort Edward.

According to these orders, Rogers pursued his difficult march, without,
however, much success in distressing the enemy, as, from the superior
information furnished to the French by the Indians, they always managed
to avoid the unequal combat. On the 8th of August, however, they
assembled a force of about 500 men, and, choosing a favorable situation,
in some measure surprised the British detachment, despite the unsleeping
caution of its able chief. Rogers's strength had been by this time,
through hardship, desertion, and other causes, reduced almost to a level
with that of his present opponents, and it was not without extreme
difficulty that he succeeded in holding his ground. In the first onset a
major and two lieutenants fell into the hands of the enemy, and several
of his advance guard were slain. However, under his brave and skillful
conduct, the British soon, in turn, won the advantage, and, after a
sharp and sanguinary combat of an hour's duration, the assailants
abandoned the field, leaving no less than 190 of their men killed and
wounded. Although the victors lost only forty of their number, fatigue,
and the cautions observed by the enemy during the retreat forbade
pursuit. Rogers therefore continued his march homeward, and arrived at
head-quarters without any thing further worthy of record having

Brigadier-general Stanwix had been detached, with a considerable force
of Provincial troops, to erect a fort in a favorable position on the
important carrying place between Wood Creek, at the Oneida Lake, and the
Mohawk River, with a view to encourage and protect the friendly Indians
in those districts from the enmity of the French and their allies. He
performed this valuable but unostentatious service with ability and
success; the works which he there established and garrisoned still bear
his name.[141]

We must now return to the third expedition of the campaign against Fort
du Quesne, led by General Forbes. Although this chief had put his army
in motion before Abercromby marched upon the Northern Lakes, he had not
been able to get his last division out of Philadelphia till the 30th of
June: 350 of the 60th, or Royal American regiment, 1200 of the 77th,
Montgomery's Highlanders,[142] and upward of 5000 Provincials, composed
his force.

The march over the Alleganies was long and difficult; the defiles,
forests, swamps, and mountains were in themselves formidable obstacles,
had there even been no hostile force in front. But the judicious
arrangements of the general overcame alike the impediments and the
perils of the advance, and some dangerous attacks of the Indians were
repelled with vigorous alacrity. When the army reached Raystown,[143] a
place about 90 miles from Fort du Quesne, Forbes halted his main body,
and detached Lieutenant-colonel Bouquet, with 2000 men, to take post in
advance of Loyal Hanning, while he constructed a new road, being
determined not to avail himself of the route used by Braddock.

Bouquet was unfortunately fired with ambition to reduce the hostile
stronghold before the arrival of his chief, and accordingly he detached
Major Grant and 800 Highlanders to reconnoiter the works of Fort du
Quesne. The major, probably with a similar ambition to that of his
chief, endeavored to induce the French to give battle, and drew up his
men on a neighboring height, beating a march as a challenge. The combat
was accepted; the garrison sallied out, and, after a very severe action,
routed the Highlanders with loss, and took 300 prisoners, including the
commander. The broken remnant of Grant's force fell back in great
disorder upon their comrades at Loyal Hanning.[144]

Cautioned, but not dispirited, by this untoward occurrence, Forbes
advanced with his whole army as rapidly as the rugged country and
unfavorable weather would permit, although so debilitated from illness
that he was obliged to be borne on a litter. Several parties of French
and Indians endeavored to impede his march, but were always repulsed;
once, however, in a night attack, some loss and confusion were
occasioned by the Highlanders and the Virginian Provincials firing upon
each other through mistake. The French were not sufficiently elated by
their victory over Grant to venture any serious opposition to Forbes's
advance, and the loss of Fort Frontenac, from whence they had been
expecting a supply of provisions and warlike stores, rendered successful
resistance hopeless: M. de Lignières, their leader, therefore dismantled
and abandoned the celebrated fort, and dropped down the stream of the
Ohio to the friendly settlements on the Mississippi. The following day,
the 25th of November, the British took possession of the deserted
stronghold, and at once proceeded to put it in repair. Under the new
owners, Pittsburg[145] was substituted for the former name of disastrous
memory--Fort du Quesne.[146]

This advantage was of considerable importance to the British; the
respect for their power among the Indians, which recent disasters in
that country had much shaken, was fully restored, and most of the
Western native tribes sent to offer aid, or, at least, neutrality.
Brigadier-general Forbes lived but a brief space to enjoy the credit
gained by this success; his naturally weak constitution was broken by
the hardships of the expedition, and he died soon afterward at
Philadelphia, in honor, and regretted by all who knew him.

With this expedition concluded the campaign of the year 1758. Although
its events were checkered with disaster and disgrace, the general result
was eminently favorable to England, and honorable to the illustrious
minister who then directed her councils. The reduction of Louisburg and
its dependencies would have been of itself sufficient to reward the
sacrifices so freely made by her patriotic people. Now in possession of
a magnificent harbor--the key of the River St. Lawrence, it would be an
easy task to intercept any succor which France might endeavor to send to
prop her tottering sway in Canada. The reduction of the Forts Frontenac
and du Quesne had paralyzed the enemy's power in the West, and given to
England all the territory for the possession of which the war had
arisen. Abercromby's defeat had been solely a negative event; his
overwhelming force still hung like a thunder-cloud upon the shores of
the lakes, and Montcalm well knew that he owed his brilliant victory to
the incapacity of the British general, not to the want of military
virtue in the British troops. The men--whose desperate valor had been
wasted against the impassable barrier at Carillon--burning with ardor to
avenge their defeat under an abler chief, were still straining, like
bloodhounds on a leash, by the Canadian frontier.

With the full accord of the British king and people, the great minister
distributed honor and punishment to the principal actors in the
important events of the past campaign. General Abercromby was superseded
in his command,[147] and Amherst, the conqueror of Louisburg, appointed
chief of the American armies in his place. Immediately on receiving this
commission, the new general embarked at Halifax for Boston, and thence
proceeded to New York, where he arrived on the 12th of December, and
assumed the command of the forces. On the 24th of January following, the
unhappy Abercromby sailed for England in the Remmington man-of-war.
Brigadier-general Wolfe accompanied him, in consequence of permission
granted in his original order of service to return when the expedition
had succeeded. Colonel Monckton was left in command at Nova Scotia.

[Footnote 121: "Le Comte de Chatam, Guillaume Pitt, génie vaste,
audacieux, intrépide, procure en peu d'années à l'Angleterre des succès
si prodigieux, que l'evénement seul en prouvoit la possibilité."--Millot,
tom. v., p. 47.]

[Footnote 122: "An immediate conquest of the settlements of the French
seemed to be requisite to the vindication of British power. How far such
conquest, if effected, ought in policy to be preserved, was a more
perplexing question; and, on the whole, the British minister was rather
animated to prosecute hostilities than fixed in decisive purpose with
regard to their ultimate issue.... From the extent and precision of
political information for which Pitt was so justly renowned, it is
impossible to suppose that he was unacquainted with the doubts which had
been openly expressed, both in Britain and America, of the expediency of
attempting the entire conquest of the French settlements in the New
World; and a conviction prevailed with many American politicians that
this conquest would destroy the firmest pledge which Britain possessed
of the obedience of her transatlantic colonies."--Graham's _Hist. of the
United States_, vol. iv., p. 24-26.]

[Footnote 123: The Wood Creek connected with Lakes George and Champlain
is to be distinguished from the Wood Creek more frequently mentioned in
these wars, which was situated between the Mohawk River and Oneida

[Footnote 124: "This place was originally called Che-on-der-o-ga by the
Indians, signifying, in their language, _noise_. Its name was afterward
slightly changed by the French into its present appellation, which it
has borne ever since it was first occupied and fortified by them in
1756. It was sometimes called Fort Carillon. This fortification cost the
French a large sum of money, and was considered very strong both by
nature and art. Its ruins are situated in the town of Ticonderoga, Essex
county, they are among the most interesting in the country, and are
annually visited by a great number of travelers."--_Picturesque
Tourist,._ p. 209.]

[Footnote 125: "The ruins of the old fortifications of Crown Point
present an interesting object from the water. The embankments are
visible, and indicate an immense amount of labor expended to make this
place invulnerable to an approaching foe, either by land or water. Crown
Point is eighteen miles north of Ticonderoga."--_Picturesque Tourist_,
p. 113.]

[Footnote 126: Graham, whose authority is always questionable where the
comparative merits of the British regulars and Provincials[148] are
concerned, asserts that "the French party consisted of regulars and a
few Indians; and, notwithstanding their surprise and inferiority of
numbers, displayed a promptitude of skill and courage that had nearly
reproduced the catastrophe of Braddock.... The suddenness of their
assault, the terror inspired by the Indian yell, and the grief and
astonishment created by the death of Lord Howe, excited a general panic
among the British regulars; but the Provincials, who flanked them, and
were better acquainted with the mode of fighting practiced by the enemy,
stood their ground and soon defeated them."--Graham's _Hist. of the
United States_, vol. iv., p. 30.]

[Footnote 127: "He was," says General Abercromby, "the first man that
fell; and as he was, very deservedly, universally beloved and respected
throughout the whole army, it is easy to conceive the grief and
consternation his untimely fall occasioned."--_Letter from the Right
Honorable G. Grenville to Mr. Pitt_, Wotton, August 23d, 1758.

"The great number of officers and men in the regular troops killed and
wounded, and particularly the grievous loss we have sustained in the
death of Lord Howe, are circumstances that would cloud a victory, and
must therefore aggravate our concern for a repulse. I was not personally
acquainted with Lord Howe, but I admired his virtuous, gallant
character, and regret his loss accordingly. I can not help thinking it
peculiarly unfortunate for his country and his friends that he should
fall in the first action of this war, before his spirit and his example,
and the success and glory which, in all human probability, would have
attended them, had produced their full effect on our own troops and
those of the enemy. You have a melancholy task indeed, affected as you
justly are with this public and private sorrow, to communicate the death
of Lord Howe to a brother that most tenderly loved him.

 "I am ever your most affectionate brother,

--_Chatham Correspondence._

Even Graham admits that "Lord Howe exhibited the most promising military
talents, and his valor, virtue, courtesy, and good sense, had
wonderfully endeared him both to the English and to the Provincial
troops. He was the first to encounter the danger to which he conducted
others, and to set the example of every sacrifice which he required them
to incur. He was the idol and soul of the army."--Vol. iv., p. 29. See
Smollett's _History of England_, vol. iv., p. 306.

"Lord Howe's memory was honored by a vote of the Assembly of
Massachusetts for the erection of a superb cenotaph at the expense of
the province, among the heroes and patriots of Britain, in the
collegiate church of Westminster."--Belsham, vol. ii., p. 205.

"The popularity of his name has been, perhaps, impaired by the
circumstance that his brother, Sir William Howe, commanded the British
army in the Revolutionary war in America. It is still doubtful whether
Lord Howe fell by the fire of the enemy, or by a misdirected shot from
some unhappy hand among his own confused and startled soldiers."--Graham's
_History of the United States_, vol. iv., p. 30.

Lord Howe was succeeded in his title by his brother Richard, afterward
the celebrated admiral. He had already distinguished himself by the
capture of the Alcide and the Lys.]

[Footnote 128: See Appendix, No. LXV.]

[Footnote 129: "The 42d regiment was then in the height of deserved
reputation; in it there was not a private man that did not consider
himself as rather above the lower class of people, and peculiarly bound
to support the honor of the very singular corps to which he belonged.
This brave, hard-fated regiment was then commanded by a veteran of great
experience and military skill, Colonel Gordon Graham,[149] who had the
first point of attack assigned to him: he was wounded at the first
onset. How many this regiment, in particular, lost of men and officers,
I can not now exactly say; what I distinctly remember having often heard
of it since is, that of the survivors, every one officer retired wounded
off the field. Of the 55th regiment, to which my father had newly been
attached, ten officers were killed, including all the field officers. No
human beings could show more determined courage than this brave army
did."--_Memoirs of an American Lady_, vol. ii., p. 81.]

[Footnote 130: "Captain John Campbell and a few men forced their way
over the breast-work, but were instantly dispatched with the
bayonet."--Stewart's _Sketches of the Highlanders_, vol. ii., p. 61.]

[Footnote 131: It was at this period that Pitt commenced his bold, yet,
as it proved, most safe and wise policy of raising Highland regiments
from the lately disaffected clans. I have already alluded to this
measure by anticipation. Let me now add only the glowing words which
Chatham himself applied to it in retrospect. "My lords, we should not
want men in a good cause. I remember how I employed the very rebels in
the service and defense of their country. They were reclaimed by this
means; they fought our battles; they cheerfully bled in defense of those
liberties which they had attempted to overthrow but a few years
before."--Lord Chatham's _Speech in the House of Lords_, December 2d,
1777, quoted by Lord Mahon, _History of England_, vol. iv., p. 133.]

[Footnote 132: "So misinformed or so presumptuous was General
Abercromby, that he expected to force this strong position by musketry
alone, and had resolved to commence the attack without awaiting his
artillery, which, for want of good roads, was yet lagging in the
rear."--Lord Mahon's _History of England_, vol. iv., p. 203.]

[Footnote 133: Entick's _Hist._, vol. iii., p. 258; Mante's _Hist. of
the War_, p. 151.]

[Footnote 134: "How far Mr. Abercromby acquitted himself in the duty of
a general, we shall not pretend to determine; but if he could depend
upon the courage and discipline of his forces, he surely had nothing to
fear, after the action, from the attempts of the enemy, to whom he would
have been superior in number, even though they had been joined by the
re-enforcement which he falsely supposed they expected. He might,
therefore, have remained on the spot, in order to execute some other
enterprise, when he should be re-enforced in his turn, for General
Amherst no sooner heard of his disaster than he returned with the troops
from Cape Breton to New England, having left a strong garrison in
Louisburg,"--Smollett's _History of England_, vol. iv., p. 309; Smith's
_History of Canada_, vol. i., p. 265.

"The British army, still amounting to nearly 14,000 men, greatly
outnumbered the enemy; and if the artillery had been brought up to their
assistance, might have overpowered with little difficulty the French and
their defenses at Ticonderoga. Next to the defeat of Braddock, this was
the most disgraceful catastrophe that had befallen the arms of Britain
in America."--Graham's _History of the United States_, vol. iv., p. 32.]

[Footnote 135: Letter from the Earl of Bute to Mr. Pitt:

"August 20, 1751.

"MY DEAR FRIEND--I feel most sensibly this cruel reverse, and the loss
of so many gallant men; but when I reflect on the part they have acted,
I congratulate my country and my friend on the revival of that spirit
which in former times was so conspicuous in this island. I think this
check, my dear Pitt, affects you too strongly. The general (!!) and the
troops have done their duty, and appear by the numbers lost to have
fought with the greatest intrepidity; to have tried all that men could
do to force their way. The commander seems broken-hearted at being
forced (!!) to a retreat.

"Adieu, my dear Pitt, your ever most affectionate


--_Chatham Correspondence_, vol. i., p. 336.]

[Footnote 136: "Thus does history transmit the virtues of one age to
another, and thus does it hold forth warning of shame."--Bolingbroke.]

[Footnote 137: See Appendix, No. LXVII.]

[Footnote 138: "M. de Courcelers originated the design of building the
fort at Catarocouy, but, being recalled before it could be carried into
execution, M. de Frontenac carried out his plans in 1672, and gave his
name to the fort. Lake Ontario also, for a long time afterward bore the
name of Frontenac."--Charlevoix, tom. ii., p. 245.

"This fort was rebuilt by Frontenac in 1695, against the orders of M. de
Pontchartrain. The after importance of this celebrated position fully
justified Frontenac's opposition to the wishes of the French minister.
The connection between Canada and Louisiana mainly depended upon the
possession of Fort Frontenac, as was manifest upon its loss by the
French. Kingston stands on the site of old Fort Frontenac; next to
Quebec and Halifax, it is considered the strongest military position in
British America."--_Picturesque Tourist_, p. 222.]

[Footnote 139: Extract of a letter from an officer in Albany to a member
of Parliament here (London), dated Sept. 13, 1758: "Frontenac (called
here Cadaraque) was of great consequence to the French, both as to their
influence on the Indians, by keeping up a communication between Fort du
Quesne and Canada, and annoying us on the Mohawk River.... Colonel
Bradstreet is a captain in our regiment.... He is a man of great spirit
and activity; has been most of his life in this country, and understands
things very well.... Col. Bradstreet has been near three years pressing
the commanding general in North America to let him go against this fort,
but they thought the undertaking too desperate, which he has now
accomplished without the loss of a man, and at a very critical
juncture.... Thus the French expedition against the German Flats, and
probably this very town, is happily prevented; their shipping on the
Lake Ontario, which made them so formidable, is destroyed; they have no
vessels to send provisions into the other forts, and their fort, which
kept the Indians so much in their interest, is destroyed; and the Six
Nations (who, all but the Mohawks, would have left us) will now be more
in our interest than ever. The taking of Frontenac gave more joy to the
inhabitants of this place than even Louisburg itself, for it more nearly
concerned them, and they say there will be now no more scalping."--_The
Public Advertiser_, Jan. 20, 1759.]

[Footnote 140: Extract of a letter from New York, dated Nov. 20, 1758:
"Our army is gone into winter quarters, and I hope, when we make an
attack again, to succeed; but we must first have more regulars from
England. Our militia are not fit for a campaign. Our English soldiers
will kill ten Provincials in point of fatigue. The affair of Colonel
Bradstreet was a brave thing for us, but not one in five could go
through that tiresome affair; for, after the place was taken, they
buried thirty and forty in a day at Schenectady."--_The Public
Advertiser_, Feb. 3, 1759.]

[Footnote 141: "The village of Rome, fourteen miles west of Utica, is
situated near the head waters of the Mohawk: it stands on the site of
old Fort Stanwix, which was an important post during the Revolutionary
and French wars."--_Picturesque Tourist_, p. 139.]

[Footnote 142: "Several soldiers of this and other regiments fell into
an ambush, and were captured by the Indians. Allan Macpherson, seeing
his comrades horribly tortured to death, and knowing that the same fate
awaited him, told the savages, through an interpreter, that he knew a
wonderful secret of a certain medicine, which, if applied to the skin,
would render it proof against any weapon. His tale was believed by the
superstitious Indians, and, anxious to see the proof, they allowed him
to gather herbs, and, having mixed and boiled them, to apply the
concoction to his neck; he then laid his head upon a block, and
challenged the strongest man to strike. A warrior came forward, and, to
prove the virtue of the medicine, struck a blow with his tomahawk at
full strength; the head flew off several yards. The Indians stood at
first amazed at their own credulity, but were afterward so pleased at
the Highlander's ingenuity in escaping the torture, that they refrained
from inflicting further cruelties on their surviving victims."--Stewart's
_Sketches of the Highlanders_, vol. ii., p. 61.

Some of the Highland regiments sent to America were newly raised, and
still, in a great degree, retained the wildness of their Celtic
countrymen, as the following anecdote illustrates: "A soldier of another
regiment, who was a sentinel detached from an advanced guard, seeing a
man coming out of the wood with his hair hanging loose, and wrapped up
in a dark-colored plaid, he challenged him repeatedly, and, receiving no
answer (the weather being hazy), fired at him and killed him. The guard
being alarmed, the sergeant ran out to know the cause, and the unhappy
sentinel, strongly prepossessed that it was an Indian, with a blanket
about him, who came skulking to take a prisoner, or a scalp, cried out,
'I have killed an Indian! I have killed an Indian!' but upon being
undeceived by the sergeant, who went to take a view of the dead man, and
being told that he was one of our own men and a Highlander, he was so
oppressed with grief and fright that he fell ill, and was despaired of
for some days. In consequence of this accident, most of these young
soldiers being raw and inexperienced, and very few of them conversant in
or able to talk English (which was particularly his case who was
killed), these regiments were ordered to do no more duty for some
time."--Knox's _Historical Campaign_, vol. i., p. 48.]

[Footnote 143: Raystown is near Bedford.]

[Footnote 144: Loyal Hanning, when fortified by General Forbes, on his
return to Philadelphia, was called Fort Ligonier.]

[Footnote 145: "With the unanimous concurrence of his officers, he
altered the name of Fort du Quesne to Pittsburg, a well-earned
compliment to the minister who had planned its conquest."--Lord Mahon's
_History of England_, vol. iv., p. 203.]

[Footnote 146: "New York, Dec. 13. Early on Monday last an express
arrived hither from the westward, and brought sundry letters which gave
an account that General Forbes was in possession of Fort du Quesne; one
of those letters said: 'Fort du Quesne, Nov. 26, 1756. I have now the
pleasure to write to you from the ruins of the fort.... We arrived at
six o'clock last night, and found it in a great measure destroyed. There
are two forts about twenty yards distant; the one built with immense
labor, small, but a great deal of strong works collected into little
room, and stands at the point of a narrow neck of land at the confluence
of the two rivers: it is square, and has two ravelins, gabions at each
corner, &c. The other fort stands on the bank of the Allegany, in the
form of a parallelogram, but not near so strong as the other. They
sprung a mine, which ruined one of their magazines; in the other we
found sixteen barrels of ammunition, &c., and about a cart-load of
scalping-knives. A boy, who had been their prisoner about two years,
tells us ... that they had burned five of the prisoners they took at
Major Grant's defeat, on the parade, and had delivered others to the
Indians, who were tomahawked on the spot. We found numbers of dead
bodies within a quarter of a mile of the fort, unburied, so many
monuments of French humanity. Mr. Bates is appointed to preach a
thanksgiving sermon for the remarkable superiority of his majesty's
arms. We left all our tents at Loyal Hanning, and every conveniency,
except a blanket and a knapsack.' Another letter mentions that 'only
2500 picked men marched from Loyal Hanning ... that 200 of our people
were to be left at Fort du Quesne, now Pittsburg--100 of the oldest
Virginians, the others of our oldest Pennsylvanians.... The French
judged rightly in abandoning a fort, the front of whose polygon is only
150 feet, and which our shells would have destroyed in three days. We
have fired some howitzer shells into the face of the work, which is made
of nine-inch plank, and rammed between with earth, and found that, in
firing but a few hours, we must have destroyed the entire face."--_The
Public Advertiser_, Jan. 20, 1757.]

[Footnote 147: "He was a person of slender abilities, and utterly devoid
of energy and resolution, and Pitt too late regretted the error he had
committed in intrusting a command of such importance to one so little
known to him, and who proved so unfit to sustain it."--Graham, vol. IV.,
p. 19.]

[Footnote 148: "It was a circumstance additionally irritating and
mortifying to England, that the few advantages which had been gained
over the French were exclusively due to the colonial troops, while
unredeemed disaster and disgrace had attended all the efforts of the
British forces (1757)."--Graham's _Hist. of the United States_, vol.
iv., p. 16.]

[Footnote 149: Graham, in his "History," falls into the mistake of
supposing that Lord John Murray commanded the 42d regiment, because it
bore his name.]


It will now be advisable to consider the state of the two great rival
races on the North American continent, before entering upon the relation
of the eventful campaign which was but the crisis of a surely
approaching fate. Although the decisive blow that forever crushed the
power of France was doubtless dealt by the immortal Wolfe upon the
Plains of Abraham, the slow but certain conquest of Canada had
progressed for many a previous year; with the wisdom and rectitude of
the counselor, with the ax and plow of the settler, with the thrift and
adventure of the merchant, with the sober industry of the mechanic, and
the daring hardihood of the fisherman, was the glorious battle won.
Against weapons such as these the chivalry of Montcalm and of his
splendid veteran regiments vainly strove. To them victory brought glory
without gain, inaction danger, and disaster ruin. Despite their courage,
activity, and skill, the rude but vigorous British population, like
surging waves, gained rapidly on every side, and at length burst the
opposing barriers of military organization, and poured in a broad flood
over the dreary level of an oppressed and spiritless land.

In the year 1759, the population of Canada had only reached to 60,000
souls, and it was found to have decreased during the last twenty years
of war and want; of these, 6700 dwelt under the protection of the
ramparts of Quebec, 4000 at Montreal, and 1500 at the little town of
Three Rivers. The greater part of the remainder led a rural life on the
fertile banks of the St. Lawrence and its tributaries, while a few
wandered with gun and rod among Indian tribes scarcely more savage than
themselves, over the prairies, and on the shores of the great lakes and
rivers of the West. The settlements on both shores below Quebec were
then almost as advanced as now: small white houses, dainty in the
distance, stretched in rows for many miles along the level banks, or
dotted the hill side in picturesque irregularity. Here and there, neat
wooden churches, of a peculiarly quaint architecture, stood the centers
of hamlets and knots of farms. In their neighborhood this encumbering
forest was usually cleared away with careful industry, and each fertile
nook and valley, and the borders of each stream, were rich with waving
corn. Through these lower settlements a sort of rude track extended for
many miles by the water side. On the large and beautiful island of
Orleans many thousand acres of corn and pulse were sown, the farms
carefully separated by wooden paling, and intersected with tolerable

Between Quebec and Montreal, the banks of the Great River were hardly in
so advanced a state as those toward the sea; the churches were fewer and
more distant, the houses ruder and more scattered. There were many
miles, indeed, where no traces of human industry greeted the traveler's
eye. The shores of the great lakes, or, rather, expansions of the
stream, were dreary swamps and thickets, and the slopes of the distant
hills still bore the primeval forest. On the sandy flats of Three
Rivers, in a scattered village, dwelt a population more numerous than
that of the present day; a small surrounding district was cleared and
cultivated, but the main occupation and support of the inhabitants was
the fur trade with the Indians, who resorted thither from the unknown
north by the waters of the broad streams here uniting with the St.

The rich and fertile island of Montreal was already generally cleared,
and extensively but thinly peopled. The city, at times called Ville
Marie in old maps, ranged somewhat irregularly for more than a mile
along the river side, and was even then remarkable for the superiority
of its public buildings over those of its colonial neighbors.

The Fathers of the Sulpician Order, by virtue of a grant in the year
1663, were proprietors of the whole of this rich district. They had
established three courts of justice in the city, and erected a stately
church of cut stone at a great expense. The Knights Hospitallers also
possessed a very handsome building. A large, solid rampart of heavy
beams, with eleven separate redoubts, protected the landward face of
Montreal, and two platform batteries commanded the streets from end to

Here was the great dépôt of the northwestern fur trade, and here, also,
the best market for the plentiful crops of the adjoining island, of the
prairie, and of the Richelieu district.

In the month of June the savages came hither in canoes from places even
at 500 miles' distance, to exchange their peltries for guns, ammunition,
clothes, weapons, and utensils of iron and brass. The meeting or fair
lasted for nearly three months, and during that time the town presented
a strange and sometimes fearful spectacle; motley groups of fierce and
hostile Indians occupied the streets, now engaged in bloody strife,
again sunk in brutal intoxication. The French used every effort to
prevent the sale of ardent spirits, but in vain, although sentinels were
posted night and day to forbid the supply of the maddening liquor, and
to preserve something of order in the wild gathering: all precautions
proved ineffectual, and the drunkard frequently became also a murderer.
At one time the little town of Chambly rivaled Montreal in the gainful
but dangerous traffic; however, in 1759, there only remained a fort to
prevent the English from enjoying the doubtful advantage of this trade.
At Sorel, the entrance of the Richelieu River, an agricultural village
had also arisen, rather beyond the neighboring settlements in extent and

Southwest of Montreal there was no town of any consideration. Near where
the modern Kingston stands, a few poor hamlets were indeed grouped round
Fort Frontenac, but on the shores of the sheltered Bay of Toronto, where
20,000 British subjects now ply their prosperous industry, myriads of
wild fowl then found undisturbed refuge from the stormy waters of the
lake. At Niagara there was a small village round the fort; there were
trading posts at Detroit, Michillimackinac, and elsewhere; but the
splendid tract of country lying between the northern shores of Erie and
Ontario was almost unknown, save to the wandering Indian.

At this period, the first in importance, as well as population, among
the settlements of New France, unquestionably was Quebec, the seat of
government and of the supreme tribunals of justice. From its lofty
headland the successors of the wise Champlain looked down upon the
subject stream of the St. Lawrence, and held the great highway of Canada
as if by a gate. No doubtful or hostile vessel could elude their
vigilance; more than one powerful fleet had already recoiled shamed and
crippled from before their embattled city. Here were deposited the
public records, with most of the arms, ammunition, and resources of the
colony; here, too, the principal establishments of religion, law, and
learning were first founded and best sustained. The citizens and
neighboring peasantry were less lowered by Indian intercourse than their
other countrymen, and among them the refreshing immigration from the
fatherland produced its most invigorating effect.

On the summit of the rocky height, a number of large and somewhat
imposing public buildings, grouped irregularly together, with the
well-built private dwellings of the wealthier inhabitants, formed the
upper town. The lofty spires of no less than nine large ecclesiastical
edifices arose within this comparatively limited space.

There were the bishop's palace, the courts of judicature, and the house
of the Knights Hospitallers, the latter built of stone, extensive,
handsome, and adorned with two stately pavilions. There, also, in a
commanding situation, stood the Jesuits' college and their church, which
was almost magnificent in the interior decorations. The governor's
palace, however, erected in 1639, was the proudest ornament of the
colonial capital.

Southwest of the Upper Town, on the crest of the headland, was the
citadel, a large, imperfectly quadrangular fort, with flanking defenses
at each corner, only protected, however, by a wall on the inner side.
Further on, a large work of great design, but not yet finished, crowned
the height of Cape Diamond:[150] from the northern angle of this work,
an irregular line of bastioned defenses ran across the whole promontory
to the River St. Charles. Some rude and imperfect field-works, with
redoubts, strengthened the front toward the Plains of Abraham.

The Lower Town covered the beach of the Great River under the cliffs of
the promontory: the dwellings, stores, and offices of the merchants,
many of them handsome and solid, filled up this narrow space. The only
edifice of note, however, was the church of Nôtre Dame de Victoire,
built to commemorate Phipps's defeat in 1690. The defense of this part
of the city was a large platform battery on the most salient point of
the shore, placed scarcely above the level of the waters. The access
from the Lower to the Upper Town was steep, narrow, and difficult, and
protected by flanking loop-holed walls.

There was also a considerable suburb called St. Roch's, on the side of
the River St. Charles, where dwelt the chief part of the laboring
population, in irregular streets of mean and temporary houses. A large
portion of the now valuable space was unoccupied, and here and there the
rocky hill side remained as nature had made it. A few of the primeval
forest trees still ornamented the gardens and terraces of the city, and
clothed the neighboring cliffs.

In the wide plain lying by the banks of the River St. Charles, many
handsome country houses and pleasant seats, with well-cultivated gardens
and rich orchards, met the eye, and, on the slopes beyond, the trim
villages of Charlesburg, Lorette, and Beauport; the distant mountain
range, with its forest covering, formed, as now, the background of the
broad and beautiful picture.

From the Falls of Montmorency[151] to Quebec, a continuous chain of
intrenchments defended the northern bank of the St. Lawrence. A large
boom lay across the mouth of the River St. Charles, and the bridge,
about a quarter of a mile high up the stream, was protected by a "tête
du pont." All these various works and fortifications were, however, rude
and imperfect; the strength, as well as the beauty, of this magnificent
position, was chiefly due to the bountiful hand of Nature.

The cultivation of the fertile Canadian soil was of a very rude
description; but even the feeble industry of the "habitan" was generally
repaid by rich and plentiful crops. The animals of the chase, and the
inexhaustible supplies of fish in their lakes and rivers, were resources
that better suited the thriftless and scanty population than the
toilsome produce of the field. Tillage was neglected; they cared not to
raise more grain than their own immediate wants demanded. The
unparalleled monopolies of the colonial government deprived labor of the
best stimulant--the certain enjoyment of its fruits. The farmer hardly
cared to store up his superabundant harvest, when his haggard was
exposed to the licensed plunder of cruel and avaricious officials, or
served but as a sign where the domineering soldiery of Old France might
find free quarters. He that sowed the seed knew not who might reap the
crop. Often, when the golden fields were almost ripe for the sickle, the
war-summons sounded in the Canadian hamlets, and the whole male
population were hurried away to stem some distant Indian onslaught, or
to inflict on some British settlement a ruin scarcely more complete than
their own. In the early wars with the fierce Iroquois, this rude militia
had ever answered their leaders' call with ready zeal, and fought with
worthy courage; when the haughty savage was subdued and humbled, and a
new and more dangerous foe arose in the hereditary enemies of their
fatherland, the Canadians again took the field, strong in the spirit of
national hatred. But as, year after year, the vain strife continued,
and, despite their valor and even success, the British power hemmed them
more closely in, their hearts sickened at the hopeless quarrel, and they
longed for peace even under a stranger's sway. Their fields desolate,
their villages deserted, their ships driven from the seas, what cared
they for the pride of France, when its fruit to them was ruin,
oppression, and contempt![152] What cared they for the Bourbon lily,
when known but as the symbol of avarice and wrong!

The manufactures of this neglected though splendid colony scarcely merit
even a passing notice. Flax and hemp were worked only sufficiently to
show how much was lost in their neglect, and the clothing of this simple
peasantry was chiefly of a coarse gray woollen stuff, the produce of
their own wheels and looms. At the forges of St. Maurice, near Three
Rivers, indeed, iron works were carried on with some skill, and profit
to the employed, if not to the employers.

The commercial spirit of the French, such as it was, the fur trade
almost wholly engrossed; the fisheries were never carried on with any
vigor by the colonists; some adventurers, indeed, from the home ports,
bore the produce of the northern waters, with Canadian timber and
provisions, to the tropical islands, but even this limited trade was
monopolized by a privileged few, through the corrupt connivance of the
authorities. In the official returns of the colonial customs, there
appears every year an enormous surplus of imports over exports, which
can only be accounted for by the clandestine shipment of great
quantities of furs and other goods, to restore in some measure the
necessary balance of exchange. The sole view of the local officials was
rapidly to accumulate wealth at the expense of the state or of their
Canadian fellow-subjects; such of their books and accounts as fell into
the hands of the English were so confused and irregular that it was
difficult or impossible to discover the exact nature of their undoubted

The French East India company enjoyed the exclusive privilege of
exporting the valuable furs of the beaver; they had therefore an agent,
director, and controller in each separate government of Montreal, Three
Rivers, and Quebec. A stated price was fixed for each skin, and on the
hunter presenting it at the store, he received a receipt which became
current in the colony as money, and was held to the last in higher
estimation than the notes of the royal treasury. It has already been
stated that bills of exchange to an immense amount on the government of
France were afloat in the colony at a considerable depreciation; in the
emergency of the year 1759, they ceased to be negotiable at any price.

Although the Canadian population was at this time poor, rude, and
dispersed, it presented in some respects features usually characteristic
of older and more prosperous communities. The emigration from whence it
mainly sprung contained within itself the embryo forms of organization;
nobility, clergy, merchants, and peasants were sent out from the
fatherland, and commissioned especially for their several offices. No
voluntary influx of ambitious, truculent, but energetic men swelled the
population or disturbed the fatal repose of the young nation; no free
development was permitted to its infant form, but, clothed in the
elaborate garments of maturer years, the limbs were cramped, and the
goodly proportions of nature dwarfed into a feeble frame. No
safety-valve offered itself to the quick spirit of the young Canadian;
military rank was limited to the favorites of the powers at home;
mercantile success was debarred by vile and stupid monopolies;
territorial possessions were unattainable but by interest or wealth:
here the proud man, for a time, chafed and murmured, and at length
strode away to the Far West, and sought the irresistible attractions of
free and savage life.

No colony was ever governed by a succession of more able and excellent
men than that of New France, perhaps none (except Algiers) has been
apparently so much indebted to the mother country in tender infancy;
none ever exhibited more thorough failure. A fertile soil, invigorating
climate, and unsurpassed geographical advantages also offered themselves
to the men of France; royal liberality and power lent them every aid;
but, clogged by the ruinous conditions of their ecclesiastic and feudal
organization, healthy action was impeded, and the seed, thus freely sown
and carefully tended, grew up into a weak and sickly exotic. Experience
has amply proved, as wisdom might have suggested, that in colonies,
certainly, "the best government is that which governs least." When bold
and vigorous men struggle forth from among the crowded thousands of the
old communities, let them start in a fair race in the land of their
adoption; the difficulties are great, let high hope cheer them; Nature
there only opens her rich stores and bestows her treasures to brave and
patient industry; the uncertain seasons, the Indian, and the wolf, are
check and tax sufficient. The fatal error of despotic restraint cost
France Canada by conquest, and cost us the noblest land God ever gave to
man, by the deeper disgrace of a deserved and violent divorce.

The Canadian nobility, or rather gentry, were descended from the civil
and military officers who from time to time settled in the country;
through their own influence or that of their ancestors, this privileged
class was altogether supported by royal patronage. Some enjoyed grants
of extensive seigneuries;[153] others were speedily enriched by an
appointment to the command of a distant post, where ample opportunities
of dishonest aggrandizement were afforded and improved. Even the largest
and least fortunate class were provided for by the less profitable favor
of commissions in the colonial corps.

These favorites of power were generally vain and indolent men; they
disdained trade and agriculture alike as beneath their high-born
dignity; but they did not scruple to grasp at every convenient
opportunity of easy profit, whether lawful or contraband; and they
exacted, frequently with unequal justice, a large portion of the fruits
of the earth from their peasant vassals. The feeble complaints of
poverty against oppression were seldom loud enough to awake the
attention of judges who were themselves often as guilty as the accused.
From the especial favor enjoyed by the Canadian gentry under the rule of
France, they were stanch to the last to her and to their own interests,
and, as far as they went, were the most effective garrison in the
colony: to them the prospect of British conquest was hateful and
ruinous; with it must end their reign of corruption and monopoly.

At the time of the first settlement of Canada, the feudal system existed
in the mother country in all its Gothic rigor, and thus it was naturally
established in spirit and in letter as the basis of the new society.
Every territorial possession in New France was originally held by grants
under the strictest form of these iron laws; but, as the country became
more populous and of increasing importance, a variety of modifications
was gradually introduced, tending to curb the exorbitant power of the
seigneurs, and proportionally to elevate the condition of their vassals.
By degrees, many of the more obnoxious features of feudalism were
effaced; and the nature of the tenure became to a certain extent adapted
to the peculiar circumstances of the colony. The independent holdings by
"free and common soccage" were not, however, effectually introduced till
thirty years after the conquest.

The favored classes of the Canadians were devoted to social amusements;
excursions by day, parties for gaming, and the dance at night, occupied
their summer; and in winter, sleighing, skating, snow-shoeing, and
evening réunion, turned that dreary time into a season of enjoyment.
Lively, free, and graceful in manners, their vanity and want of
education were little noticeable in the intercourse of daily life.[154]
They were inclined to ostentation and extravagance;[155] the means,
often unscrupulously procured, were squandered with careless profusion,
and they generally endeavored to keep up an appearance of wealth beyond
that which they really possessed. Henri de Pont Brian, bishop of Quebec,
in his remarkable address to the Canadian people immediately before the
conquest, draws a dark picture of the religious and moral condition of
the inhabitants at the time, and attributes the threatened danger to the
"especial wrath of Heaven for the absence of pious zeal--for the profane
diversions--the insufferable excesses of games of chance--the contempt
of religious ordinances--open robberies--heinous acts of
injustice--shameful rapines. The contagion is nearly universal." Making
every allowance for the worthy ecclesiastic's probable exaggeration of
the causes which excited his indignation, the evidence of their own
spiritual pastor must bear heavily against the reputation of the French

The clergy were usually classed in the second rank of Canadian
precedence; in actual importance, however, they had no superior. Those
holding the higher offices of the Church were chiefly or exclusively of
French origin, and some among them were men of high talents and
attainments; the parochial ministers and curates were generally
colonists, sprung from the humble orders of society, locally educated,
and limited in their ideas. Nevertheless, their influence over the still
simpler parishioners was very great. These inferior clergy were placed
under the absolute control of their bishops, by them promoted, removed,
or dispossessed at pleasure; a certain degree of jealousy, therefore,
not unnaturally mingled itself with the curate's reverend awe of his
alien prelate, whose lessons of humility were often less strongly
inculcated by example than by precept. Although many of the country
priests exerted themselves zealously against the English, under the
impression that a heretic conquest would be the ruin of their Church,
they were not altogether contented with the intimacy of the connection
that bound them to France. The idea had arisen, increased, and ripened
among them, that from their own body a discriminating government could
have selected wise and holy men upon whose heads the apostolic miter
might have been judiciously placed. The arrival of a new bishop or other
ecclesiastical dignitary from France was no more a matter of rejoicing
to the reverend fathers of Canada than that of a Parisian collector or
intendant to the provincial merchant and farmer. In the year 1759,
however, the Bishop of Quebec, the Abbé de la Corne, was of Canadian
origin; notwithstanding which, he was at that critical time in France.
When the Bishopric of Quebec was erected by Louis XIV. in 1664, he
endowed the new see with the revenues of the two abbacies, Benevent and
l'Estrie; subsequently these were resigned to a general fund for the
increase of small livings, from which a yearly income of 8000 livres was
allowed instead for the colonial bishopric. The chapter was also
enriched by a royal pension and an abbey in France, together valued at
12,000 livres annually.

Besides some liberal allowances from the French crown, the Hôtel de
Ville, and other external sources, no less than one fourth of all the
granted lands was bestowed upon the Church establishment, and the
several religious, educational, and charitable institutions of the
colony, and a tithe of a twenty-sixth part of all the produce of the
fields was also appropriated to the support of the parochial clergy.

First in establishment, and beyond all compare foremost in importance
among the religious orders in the colony, was that of the Jesuits: to
their particular care were intrusted the education of youth and the
Indian missions. Here, as in all other countries where that mysterious
and once terrible brotherhood had taken root, the traces of their
vampire energy were plainly and painfully visible. We can not, however,
but regard with admiration the courage and unquenchable zeal of these
extraordinary men; their union of strange and contradictory qualities
astounds us: the strong will of the tyrant, the enterprise of the
freeman, and the discipline of the slave. With variety and versatility
of power, but singleness of purpose, they pursued their appointed
course; whether warping the minds of their civilized pupils in the chill
tranquillity of the cloister, or denouncing idols among the fiercest of
the heathen, ever devoted and unwearied.

The mission of the Jesuit priests was to bring the savage, on any terms,
within the pale of the visible Church; not to advance him in
civilization, but to tame him to the utmost possible docility. They
overleaped the tedious difficulties of conversion, and proselyted whole
tribes in a single day. At times they even adapted the forms of
Catholicism to the ferocious customs of the Indians. On one occasion,
when the Christian Hurons were about to torture and slay some heathen
Iroquois taken in battle, the missionary, by bribes and prayers, gained
permission to baptize the victims, but made no intercession to save them
from an agonizing death: while under the torments of the fire and the
knife, they recited their new creed instead of chanting the last
war-song. The Jesuit historian of this dreadful scene calls on his
readers to rejoice in the providential mercy that brought the captured
Iroquois within the blessed fold of the Church. In the triumph of
Christianizing the heathen, he despised the task of humanizing the

Even the wise and benevolent Charlevoix seemed to have forgotten that
Christianity is "the religion of civilized man," and that its doctrine
and practice are utterly incompatible with the habits of savage life.
He, in common with his Jesuit brethren, ever exhibited a jealous
hesitation and dislike to the enlightenment of the Indians by secular
instruction, or to the improvement of their physical condition; any
effort made by others with this object caused them deep uneasiness.
When, in 1667, M. de Talon, the intendant, urged by the far-sighted
Colbert, endeavored to introduce the language and civilization of Europe
among the savages, he was defeated by the determined opposition of the
missionaries, who alone at that time exercised influence over the red
children of the forest. Nearly twenty years afterward the same policy
was pressed upon M. de Denonville, and by him attempted; but, as
Charlevoix complacently says, when the French were brought into contact
with the Indians for this purpose, "the French became savages instead of
the savages becoming French." This readiness in adapting themselves to
the habits of the natives, which for a time gained them great power and
popularity,[156] was ultimately fatal to their success as colonists. The
Anglo-Americans, on the other hand, despising their Indian neighbors,
and, in return, hated and feared by them, were seldom or never infected
by the contagion of savage indolence.

M. de Frontenac writes, in the year 1691, that "the experience of twelve
years' residence in Canada has convinced me that the Jesuit missions
ought not to be separated as they are from the settlements of the
French, but that free intercourse should be encouraged between the
Indians and Europeans; thus they might become '_francisé_' at the same
time that they are Christianized, otherwise more harm than good will
accrue to the king's service."

But on this question of the improvement of the Indians, the civil and
the military authorities of the colony were at perpetual issue with the
formidable brotherhood; the Canadian people generally concurred with
their temporal rulers on this point, hence it resulted that in later
years the Jesuits were little loved or esteemed in the colony.

More than a century after the missionaries first penetrated the Indian's
country, their writers describe his condition as disgusting and
degraded, rather with contentment than with regret. From their
observations we may learn the views of the Jesuits, and in a measure see
the result of their practice. "It must nevertheless be confessed that
things have somewhat changed on this point (native civilization) since
our arrival in this country; some of the Indians already begin to
provide for future wants in case of the failure of the chase, but it is
to be feared that this may go too far, and by creating superfluous
wants, render them more unhappy than they now are in their greatest
poverty. The missionaries, however, can not be blamed for causing this
danger; they well know that it is morally impossible to keep the 'juste
milieu,' and provide the proper restraint; they have rather desired to
share with the Indian the hardships of his lot, than to open his eyes to
the dangerous means of its amelioration."

When at one time the Christianized Iroquois had remained at peace for
the unusual period of six months, they almost forgot the neighborhood of
deadly and implacable enemies; the missionaries could not prevail upon
their careless disciples to take the necessary precautions for defense;
they therefore redoubled their endeavors to sanctify, and prepare for
the worst fate, those whom they could not preserve from it. In this
respect the Indian proved perfectly docile, and became readily imbued
with the sentiments suitable to his perilous position: he was, in
consequence, soon reduced to a degree of indolence and indifference
which has perhaps no parallel in history. Enthusiasts in the cause, the
Jesuits, Charlevoix says, regarded "every simple Indian who perished as
an additional intercessor above for them and their labor of charity."

Almost the only civilization, and permanent religious faith and
practice, was established among the Indians by the labors of Protestant
missionaries. They, from the beginning, sought to cherish habits of
industry and forethought, and to give their converts a taste for the
comforts of life. In every instance of successful effort in the cause of
civilization, from the earliest time to the present day, the native
population has increased in numbers, and become gradually exempt from
that mysterious curse of decay which seems to cling to all the rest of
their savage brethren.[157]

The descendants of the now neglected Jesuit converts are in no wise
distinguishable from other savages. By the labors of the brotherhood no
permanent impression was stamped upon the Indians; they yielded
themselves up in a great measure to the guidance of their missionary,
who, in return, taught them the outward form and ceremony of his faith,
but nothing more. He was the mind and the soul of the community; he
alone exercised forethought, guarded against danger, and measured out
enjoyment; to a certain extent he improved the temporary circumstances
of his disciples, but he robbed them of their native energy, and crushed
all freedom of thought and of individual action: he being removed, the
body remained deprived of all directing intellect: the condition of the
Christianized but uninstructed savage soon became almost the lowest of
human existence, till weakness, hardship, and famine swept him away from
the scene of earthly suffering.

A very able writer on colonization ascribes the rapid decay in numbers
of all Jesuit congregations, whether in the snows of Canada, or the
burning sunshine of Paraguay, to the unnatural restraint in which they
live. No vigilant superintendence, moral instruction, and physical
well-being can compensate for the loss of freedom of action and the
habit of self-guidance. The necessity of taking thought for himself, and
living by the sweat of his brow, seems indispensable to the healthy
action of man's nature. It can not be denied that many of these
communities have held together for generations free from the corroding
cares and corrupting vices of civilization; amply supplied (superstition
apart) with religious instruction, and free from crime and punishment;
and many may be tempted favorably to contrast the feeble innocence of
this theocracy with the turbulent passions and vices which deform more
advanced societies, and to forget that the man whose mind is thus
enslaved is sunk below the level of his kind: his contentment and
simplicity are apathy and ignorance, and his obedience is degradation.

Although the evident aim of the brotherhood is to paralyze intellectual
life in others, nothing is left undone to give vitality to their own.
The Jesuit regards his society as the soul or citadel of Catholic
theocracy, and sacrifices to it every social tie, his free will, and his
life: fired with its gigantic ambition and its pride, they become his
faith and morals; his constant idea is the hope of his order's universal
sway; in darkness and secrecy, with patience and invincible
perseverance, he works on at the labor of centuries, devoted to the one
great purpose, the fulfillment of which his dilating eye sees through
the vista of unborn generations. Yet this wonderful organization holds
the eternal passion of its deep heart riveted upon an object ever
unattainable; for the Jesuit seeks not to rear the supremacy of his
Church upon the firm foundations of virtue, truth, and reason; his
earnest toil is wasted on the shifting quicksands of ignorance and
superstition; the loftier the building, the more complete and extensive
must be the ruin. Nevertheless, through failure and success alike, his
faith's somber fire burns unceasingly upon the inward altar of his soul.

The merchants of Canada were chiefly of French, the retail dealers of
native birth. From the nature of the colonial system, trade conferred
neither wealth nor respect, except to the favored few enjoying
monopolies. Every one in business was deeply involved by the depreciated
bills of exchange upon the home government, and their only hope of
ultimate payment rested upon the maintenance of the connection with the
parent state. The trading classes may therefore be counted as generally
hostile to the British power, but their importance was very small; like
all the French race, they were more inclined to small trading
transactions than those on a larger scale, and preferred enterprise to
industry. It has been seen that one of the leading objects in the
establishment of the colony was the trade in fur, especially that of the
beaver; but the very abundance of this commodity ultimately proved of
great detriment: the long and frequent journeys for the purpose of
obtaining it gave the Canadians idle and wandering habits, which they
could not shake off even when the low value of the now over-plentiful
fur rendered their enterprises almost unprofitable.

The Canadian peasantry, or "habitans," were generally a healthy, simple,
and virtuous race, but they were also extremely ignorant; indeed, the
jealousy of their rulers would never suffer a printing-press to be
erected in the country; few could read or write, and they were
remarkably credulous of even the grossest fabrications which emanated
from their superiors. Chiefly of Norman origin, they inherit many
ancestral characteristics: litigious, yet impetuous and thoughtless;
brave and adventurous, but with little constancy of purpose. The
resemblance of the interior of a peasant's dwelling in Normandy, and on
the banks of the St. Lawrence, was remarkable to a practiced eye: with
the exception of the flooring--which in Canada is always of wood, and
in France of stone--every thing is nearly the same; the chimney always
in the center of the building, and the partitions shutting off the
sleeping apartments at each end of the large room where the inhabitants
dwell by day.

The French minister, Colbert,[158] in his instructions to M. de Talon
and the Sieur de Courcelles, dwelt much on the dangerous practice of the
early Canadian colonists building their residences without rule or
order, wherever convenience suited, and neglecting the important point
of settling near together for mutual assistance and defense. This system
being obviously a serious obstacle to successful colonization, an edict
was issued by the king that henceforth there should be no clearing of
lands except in close neighborhood, and that the dwellings should all be
built according to rule: this ordinance proved useless, as it would have
been necessary for the habitans to commence the toilsome task of new
clearing, and to abandon the lands where their fathers had dwelt. In
1685, however, the French government again renewed the attempt to alter
this pernicious system, but Charlevoix says that "every one agreed that
their neighbor was in danger, but no one could be got to fear for
himself in particular." Even those who had been the victims of this
imprudence were not rendered wiser by experience;[159] any losses that
could be repaired were repaired as soon as possible, and those that
were irreparable were speedily forgotten. The sight of a little present
advantage blinded all the habitans to the future. This is the true
savage instinct, and it appears to be inspired by the air of the
country. In the present day an evil of exactly the opposite description
exists; as population became denser, the settlements became continuous,
and the holdings smaller. The habitans, who are social to a vice, can
not be induced to separate and clear new lands on a fresher but remoter

In 1689 the King of France was urgently entreated by Comte de Frontenac
to make a great effort against the English at New York. His answer was
that he could spare no forces from Europe for America, and that the
Canadians, by settling in closer neighborhood, would be fully capable of
defending themselves. Thus, while the king could not understand the
difficulty of the habitans giving up their old and cherished homes to
seek others closer together, on the other hand they could not be
convinced of his inability to send supplies; and, indeed, the system
advocated by the crown would have been more costly in property than the
most vigorous aggressive campaign could have proved.

Before the continuous wars with the English colonies, and internal
corruption, had exhausted the sap of Canada, no people in the world
enjoyed a happier lot than the simple habitans; they were blessed in a
healthy climate, in the absence of all endemic diseases, in a fertile
soil and an unlimited domain. These advantages might at least have
retained in the colony those to whom it gave birth, and who could not be
ignorant of its advantages; but love of change, hatred of steady labor,
and impatience of restraint, have always urged many of the young and
energetic, the life-blood of the population, to seek the irresistible
allurements of the distant prairie and of the forest.

The Canadians were accused of an excessive greed of gain even by their
greatest panegyrists; no enterprise was too difficult or dangerous that
offered a rich reward. They were, however, far from miserly, and often
dissipated their hardly-won treasures without restraint or
consideration. Like all people in isolated communities, they had a high
opinion of their own merits: this was not without some advantages, as
it strengthened self-reliance, and gave spirit to overcome difficulties.
The form and stature of the Canadian ranked high in the scale of
mankind, but his vitality, though great, was not lasting; at a
comparatively early age his frame exhibited symptoms of decline, and the
snows of time descended upon his head.

Father Charlevoix simply remarks upon the intellectual powers of the
Canadians, that "they are supposed to be incapable of any great
scientific acquirements, or of patient study and application: I can not,
however, answer for the justice of this remark, for we have never yet
seen any one attempting to follow such pursuits." He gives them credit,
however, for a rare taste for mechanics, and states that they frequently
arrive at great perfection in trades to which they have never been

To reduce this volatile people to rules of military discipline was
always found extremely difficult, but, in many respects, their own
peculiar manner of waging war, at least against the Indians, was far
more efficient in the wild scenes of savage contest: they were more to
be depended upon for a sudden effort than for the continuous operations
of a campaign, and in a time of excitement and under a commander whom
they could trust, they have shown themselves capable of deeds of real
daring. They were not commendable for filial affection, but elicited the
warmest eulogiums from the reverend father (Charlevoix) on their piety
and zeal. The sum of their virtues and vices denoted the promise more of
a good than of a great people.

The Provincial revenue, produced by custom dues on imports and exports,
charges on the sales of land, duties on spirituous liquors, rights on
intestate deaths, shipwrecks, and miscellaneous sources, amounted to
something under £14,000 sterling the year of the conquest, and the aid
from the coffers of France to the ecclesiastical, civil, and military
establishments was nearly £4760. These resources could not provide
liberal salaries for the numerous colonial officials; as before stated,
however, they made up for the deficiency by shameless and enormous

All the male inhabitants of the colony, from ten to sixty years of age,
were enrolled by companies in a Provincial militia, except those who by
birth or occupation enjoyed the privileges of nobility. The captains
were usually the most respectable men in the country parishes, and were
held in great respect. When the services of the militia were required,
their colonels, or the town majors, transmitted the order of levy to the
captains, who chose the required numbers, and conducted them under
escort to the town; there each man received a gun, ammunition, and a
rude sort of uniform: they were then marched to their destination. This
force was generally reviewed once or twice a year for the inspection of
their arms; that of Quebec was frequently exercised, and had attached
thereto an efficient company of artillery. Many duties of law, police,
and the superintendence of roads in the country districts were also
imposed on the captains of militia: the governor-general was every year
accustomed to bestow a quantity of powder and ball by way of
gratification upon these useful officials.

Besides this numerous but somewhat uncertain militia force, there were
in Canada ten veteran battalions of French infantry. These, however,
were much reduced from their original strength by desertion, fatigue,
and the casualties of war. The peculiar nature of the service, and the
necessity of quartering the troops abroad in small detachments, had
relaxed the rigor of European discipline, but the loss in this respect
was more than counterbalanced by the knowledge of the country, and the
habit of braving the severity of the climate. Their high military virtue
was still well worthy of men who had fought under Marshal Saxe. The
proud carriage and domineering conduct of these soldiers of Old France
rendered them little loved by the Canadian people, and, as their
pretensions were invariably supported by the government, it shared in
the general unpopularity.

The one hundred and fifty years that had elapsed since Champlain first
planted the banner of France upon the headland of Quebec told with
terrible effect upon the Red Men: already among the Canadian hamlets on
the banks of the Great River they were well-nigh forgotten. Whole
tribes had sunk into the earth, and left not a trace behind; others had
wandered away, and were absorbed among those more fortunate races as yet
undisturbed by the white man's neighborhood; while some, in attempting a
feeble and fatal imitation of civilized life, had dwindled to a few
wretched families, who had cast away the virtues of savage life, and
adopted instead only the vices of Europe. The Hurons of Jeune Lorette,
near Quebec, were, however, as yet, a happy exception to this general
demoralization. Many years before, they had been driven from the fertile
countries between Lakes Huron and Erie, and found refuge upon the Jesuit
lands: they lived much in the same manner as the Canadian peasantry,
tilled the soil with equal success, and dwelt in comfortable houses. But
in one respect they had not escaped the mysterious curse which has ever
hung upon the red race in their contact with their European brethren;
from year to year their numbers diminished in an unchecked decay.

[Footnote 150: See Appendix, No. LXVII.]

[Footnote 151: "Cette cascade a été nommée le Sault de Montmorenci et le
pointe porte le nom de Lévi. C'est que la Nouvelle France a en
successivement pour Vice-Rois l'Amiral de Montmorenci et Henri de Lévi,
le Duc de Ventadour, son neveu."--Charlevoix.]

[Footnote 152: "Pour les natifs du pays, laissons les à leur vie errante
et laborieuse dans le bois avec les sauvages, à leurs exercices
militaires; ils en seront moins opulents, mais plus robustes, plus
braves, plus vertueux, c'est à dire, plus propre à servir l'état, et
plus fidèles à le vouloir."--_Lettre de M. le Marquis de Montcalm à M.
de Berryer_, Montreal, April 4, 1757.]

[Footnote 153: The better part of the regiment de Carignan Salières had
remained in Canada, and at the end of the war against the Iroquois, they
became habitans, having obtained their dismissal on this condition. Many
of their officers had obtained lands with all the rights of seigneurs:
they established themselves in the country, married there, and their
posterity are still there. The greatest part were gentlemen, and thus
Canada has more of the "ancienne noblesse" than any of the other
colonies, perhaps than all the others together.--Charlevoix.]

[Footnote 154: "Les Canadiens, c'est à dire, les Créoles du Canada,
respirent en naissant un air de liberté qui les rend fort agréables dans
le commerce de la vie, et nulle part ailleurs on ne parle plus purement
notre langue. On ne remarque même ici aucun accent."--Charlevoix. tom.
v., p. 117.

"I confess I have a strong sympathy for the French Canadians; they are
'si bons enfans.' I remember, canvassing at Boston with an American
gentleman, the expression used with regard to French Canada by a late
English traveler, 'that it was a province of Old France, without its
brilliancy or its vices.' My friend's remark was, 'What remains after so
large a subtraction?' But I thought, and still think, the expression
graphic and just."--Godley's _Letters from America_, vol. i., p. 89.]

[Footnote 155: "The Frenchmen who considered things in their true light
complained very much that a great part of the ladies in Canada had got
into the pernicious custom of taking too much care of their dress, and
squandering all their fortunes, and more, upon it, instead of sparing
something for future times."--Professor Kalm, 1747.]

[Footnote 156: "Of all the Europeans, my countrymen are most beloved by
the Indians. This is owing to the gayety of the French, to their
brilliant valor, to their fondness for the chase, and, indeed, for the
savage life, as if the highest degree of civilization approximated to
the state of nature."--Chateaubriand's _Travels in America_, &c., vol.
i., p. 173.]

[Footnote 157: "Mr. N. (a missionary among the Mohawk Indians[160] in
Canada) has been for a long time among the Indians, and knows them well:
he has a better opinion of them, and of their capacity for acquiring
domestic and industrious habits, than most white men to whom I have
spoken.... Mr. N. is by no means without hopes that, in a generation or
two, these Indians may become quite civilized: they are giving up their
wandering habits, and settling rapidly upon farms throughout their
territory; and in consequence, probably, of this change in their mode of
life, the decrease in their numbers, which threatened a total extinction
of the tribe, has ceased of late years. If it turns out as he expects,
this will form an exception to the general law which affects their
people."--Godley's _Letters from America_, vol. i., p. 163. See
Appendix, No. LXX.]

[Footnote 158: "The great Colbert introduced order into the French
finances in the reign of Louis XIV.; he encouraged the arts, promoted
manufactures with extraordinary success (only arrested by the revocation
of the Edict of Nantes), and may be said to have created the French
navy. 'Je vous dois tout, sire,' said the dying Mazarin to Louis XIV.,
'mais je crois m'acquitter en quelque sorte avec votre Majesté en vous
donnant Colbert.'"--_Biographie Universelle_, art. Colbert.]

[Footnote 159: "Unlike their Anglo-American neighbors ... and now they
founded schools and courts of justice (in Virginia), and the plantation
was extended 140 miles up the river on both sides. But now, when the
English were secure, and thought of nothing but peace, the savages came
suddenly upon them, and slew of them 347 men, women, and children....
This massacre happened by reason they had built their plantations remote
from one another in above thirty several places, which made them now,
upon consultation, to reduce them all to five or six places, whereby
they may better assist each other, since which time they have always
lived in good security."--Baker's _Chronicle_, p. 447. 1674.]

[Footnote 160: These Indians lost their possessions in the States by
adhering to Great Britain in the Revolutionary war, and received in
compensation a settlement in Canada of 160,000 acres. Since that time
they have decreased considerably, and now consist of not more than 2200


During the early part of the eighteenth century, the British North
American provinces had made extraordinary progress in population and
wealth--a progress then unequaled in the world's history, and only now
excelled by that of the Australian settlements. From many of the
European nations, swarms of the energetic and discontented poured into
the land of plenty and comparative freedom. By far the greater number of
immigrants, however, were from the British islands, and their national
character in a great measure, absorbed the peculiarities of all the
rest. The natural increase of the population also far exceeded that of
European states; the abundant supply of the necessaries of life, and
immunity from oppressive restraint, produced their invariable results.
In the absence of any harassing care for the future, early marriages
were almost universally contracted. The man who possessed no capital
but his labor found in it the means of present support, and even of
future wealth; if he failed to obtain remunerative employment in the old
districts, he needed only to carve out his way in the new. The fertile
wilderness ever welcomed him with rude but abundant hospitality; every
tree that fell beneath his ax was an obstacle removed from the road to
competence; every harvest home, an earnest of yet richer rewards to

From the first, the British colonists had applied themselves to
agriculture as the great business of life; then trade followed, to
supply luxuries in exchange for superabundant products; and manufactures
came next, to satisfy the increasing necessities of a higher
civilization. From the peculiarities of the country, and the restless
and irregular habits of many of the earlier immigrants, a system of
cultivation arose, which, however detrimental to the progress of some
individuals, tended to develop the resources of the country with
astonishing rapidity. A number of the hardy men, who first began the
clearing of the wilderness, only played the part of pioneers to those
who permanently settled on the fertile soil: they felled the trees with
unequaled dexterity, erected log houses and barns, hastily inclosed
their farms, and, in an incredibly short space of time, reduced the land
to a sort of cultivation. With their crops, a few cattle, and the
produce of the chase, they gained subsistence for themselves and their
families. These men could not endure the restraints of regular society;
as the population advanced toward them, and they felt the obnoxious
neighborhood of the magistrate and the tax gatherer, they were easily
induced to dispose of their clearings at a price enhanced by that of
surrounding settlements: once again they plunged into the wilderness,
and recommenced their life of almost savage independence.

The new owner of the pioneer's clearing was generally a thrifty and
industrious farmer: his object, a home for himself and an inheritance
for his children. In certain hope of success, he labored with untiring
energy, and converted the half-won waste into a fruitful field. His
neighbors have progressed equally with himself; the dark shadows of the
forest vanish from the surrounding country; detached log huts change to
clusters of comfortable dwellings; churches arise, villages swell into
towns, towns into cities.

This system exercised an important influence on the politics and manners
of the colonists; the restless, impatient, and discontented found ample
scope and occupation in the wilderness, instead of waging perpetual
strife against the restraints of law and order in the older districts:
many of these men ultimately even became useful and industrious. The
acquisition of a little property of their own, and the necessity of law
and order for the preservation of that property, reconciled them to the
forfeiture of the wild liberty in which they had before exulted. The
truculence of the desperate often turned into the healthy ambition of
the prosperous.

Along the shores of the magnificent bays and estuaries of the Atlantic
coast had already arisen many populous and thriving cities. Boston
numbered more than 30,000 inhabitants; her trade was great; her shipping
bore the produce of all countries through all seas, either as carriers
for others, or to supply her own increasing demands; her sailors were
noted for hardihood and skill, her mechanics for industry, and her
merchants for thrift and enterprise; her councils, and the customs of
her people, still bore the stamp which the hands of the Pilgrim Fathers
had first impressed. Moral, sober, persevering, thoughtful, but
narrow-minded and ungenial, they were little prone to allow the
enjoyment of social intercourse to interfere with the pursuit of wealth.
Although at times oppressive and always intolerant themselves, they ever
resented with jealous promptitude the slightest infringement of their
own freedom of conscience or action. They despised but did not pity the
Indian, and had no scruple in profiting largely by the exchange of the
deadly fire-water for his valuable furs.

At the time of which we treat, the people of the New England States
numbered more than 380,000; they were the bone and sinews of British
power in America; in peace the most prosperous and enterprising, and in
war the most energetic, if not the most warlike, of the
Anglo-Americans. Their hostility against the French was more bitter than
that of their southern fellow-countrymen: in the advance guard of
British colonization they came more frequently in contact with the rival
power, and were continually occupied in resisting or imitating its
aggressions. The senseless and unchristian spirit of "natural enmity"
had spread in an aggravated degree among the children of the two great
European states who had cast their lot of life in the New World.

The colony of New York had also arrived at considerable importance, but,
from the varied sources of the original population, the 100,000
inhabitants it contained at the time of the war were less exclusively
British in character and feeling than their Puritan brethren of New
England. Many of the Dutch and Swedish farmers, as well as of the French
emigrants, retained unaltered the language and customs of their fathers,
and felt little affection for the metropolitan state, formerly their
conqueror, and now their somewhat supercilious ruler. The trade of New
York city, aided by the splendid navigation of the Hudson River, was
very large in proportion to the then small population of 8000. Great
quantities of corn, flour, and other provisions were conveyed from the
rich Western country by the inland waters to the noble harbor at their
mouth, and thence found their way to the West Indies and even to Europe.
The town of Albany, although inferior in population, was important and
prosperous as the chief dépôt for the Indian trade, and the place where
conferences were usually held between the English and the fast-failing
tribes of the once formidable Iroquois. New Jersey partook in some
respects of the characteristics of New York, and contained about 60,000
souls. Owing to the protection of the larger neighboring states, this
fertile province had suffered but little from Indian hostility, and the
rich soil and mild climate aided the undisturbed labors of its
husbandmen. The forests abounded with oak, ash, cypress, hickory, and
other valuable timber, and the cultivation of flax and hemp was largely
carried on: these different productions were disposed of in the markets
of New York and Philadelphia, principally for European consumption.

The great and prosperous State of Pennsylvania, nearly 5000 square miles
in extent, contained 250,000 inhabitants, and carried on a large trade
with Europe and the West Indies; through the rich and beautiful capital,
an immense surplus of agricultural produce, from its fertile soil, was
exported to other less favored countries. Philadelphia was happily
situated upon the tongue of land formed by the confluence of the two
navigable rivers, Delaware and Schuylkill; the streets were broad and
regular, the houses spacious and well built, and the docks and quays
commodious. This city still continued largely impressed by the spirit of
Quakerism; the stiffness of outline, the trim neatness of the dwellings,
the convenient but unpretending public buildings, and the austere
manners of the inhabitants, bespoke the stronghold of the formal men of
peace. Here it was, not twenty years afterward, in a vulgar and
unsightly brick edifice, that a few bold and earnest men pledged their
sacred honor, their fortunes, and their lives to an act, perhaps the
most important that history records--"THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE."

The State of Maryland lies next in succession southward; to the east and
south, the waters of the Atlantic and the Potomac River wash its fertile
shores. About 40,000 white men here held 60,000 of their negro brethren
in toilsome slavery, and enriched themselves by the fruits of this
unholy labor. Tobacco, large in quantity and good in quality, was the
staple produce of the country. The capital, Annapolis, was beautifully
situated on the banks of the Patuxent River.

South of the River Potomac and west of Chesapeake Bay, the State of
Virginia stretches inland to the Allegany Mountains. This rich province
produced corn and every kind of fruit in abundance; the forests were of
great extent and value, and supplied much good timber for exportation;
flax, hemp, tar, and iron were also produced in some quantity, but, as
in Maryland, the principal wealth of the country was in tobacco,
cultivated by the labor of nearly 100,000 slaves. The white population
numbered about 70,000. The magnificent Bay of Chesapeake extended
through this territory for nearly 300 miles from south to north, and
received many considerable streams at both sides. However, no commercial
town of any great importance had grown up on the shores of these
navigable waters.

The Carolinas, bounded to the north by Virginia, extend along the
Atlantic coast for upward of 400 miles, and stretch westward 300 miles
into the interior of the vast continent. They are divided into two
provinces, the North and the South; the first the more populous, richer
in production, more advanced in commerce and prosperity. Here, as the
tropics are approached, the sultry climate favors the cultivation of
rice, indigo, and tobacco: great numbers of slaves labored in the
fertile swamps, and beautiful but unhealthy valleys of these states,
enriching the ruling race by their lives of unrequited toil. We do not
find any exact record of the population at the time of which we treat,
but that of both the Carolinas was probably not less than 260,000; of
these more than one half were whites.

Georgia, the most southern of the British settlements in America, skirts
the Atlantic shore for about sixty miles, and includes the whole extent
of the Western country to the Apalachian Mountains, nearly 300 miles
away, widening gradually to 150 miles in breadth. To the south lay the
Spanish limits, marked by the River Altamaha, and the deserted fort of
San Augustin. At this time the province was thinly peopled, its
resources little known, and its luxuriant savannas still wasted their
exuberant fertility in rank vegetation and pestilential decay. The
inhabitants, however, raised some quantities of rice and indigo, and had
even made progress in the culture of silk. At Augusta, the second town
in importance, situated 200 miles in the interior, a profitable fur
trade was established with the Cherokees, and other comparatively
civilized Indians.

It has been seen that the British North American colonies contained
upward of 1,300,000 inhabitants at the commencement of the campaign
which destroyed the power of France on the Western continent. Enormous
as was this physical superiority over the rival colony of Canada, the
wealth and resources of the British bore a vastly greater proportion to
those of their enemies. Barnaby, an intelligent English traveler who at
this time visited America, informs us that all the luxurious fruits of
wealth were displayed in our transatlantic settlements; and that, in a
journey of 1200 miles through the country, he was never once solicited
for alms. At the same time, he observes that the people were already
imbued with a strong spirit of independence,[161] and that a deep but
vague impression existed that they were destined for some splendid
future. But among these sturdy and ambitious men mutual jealousies
rendered a permanent union of their councils apparently impossible; the
mother country failed in her effort to bring the strength of her
gigantic colonies to bear together[162] upon any imperial object,
although she subsequently succeeded but too well in creating unanimity
of feeling against herself.

By the fall of Louisburg, and the complete subjection of the Acadian
peninsula, the high road of the St. Lawrence lay open to the British
fleets; the capture of Fort du Quesne, and the occupation of the forks
of the Ohio, had given to England the command of the vast chain of
navigable communication which connected the Canadian lakes with the
distant waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Thus the 60,000 French of North
America were hopelessly isolated from their parent state, and left to
the mercy of their exasperated and powerful foes. Already their Indian
allies had wavered or seceded: no longer able to afford protection or
supply their commerce, the Canadian governor sank rapidly in savage
estimation; and even the "Great Father" beyond the seas ceased to be
regarded with the superstitious reverence formerly felt toward him by
his red children.

But the lofty spirit of France was still unbroken by these losses and
dangers; even in this time of need she disdained to abandon or modify
her pretensions to the dominion of those Western wilds of America, for
the possession of which she had first drawn the sword, and she
determined to risk the utter ruin of her transatlantic power rather than
patiently submit to its diminution. Quebec and Canada might have been
saved had she acquiesced in our just right and title to the ancient
limits of Acadia, as marked out by former treaties, and had she
refrained from the prosecution of that vast scheme of encroachment by
which the British settlements would have been inclosed from Louisiana to
the great lakes of the north.

At the same time, the British nation, inflamed by hopeful ambition, was
stimulated to renewed exertion by the triumphs and advantages of the
late campaign. Had the illustrious man who wielded England's strength
ever doubted in his own far-seeing mind the policy of removing the
Canadian incubus from the rising ambition of the colonies, the strong
tide of public opinion would have doubtless swept him away. But he
possessed neither the inclination nor the power to halt in the career of
glory and success, when the magnificent dominions of France in America
lay within his grasp: he firmly resolved to seize the prize, and devoted
all the energies and abilities of his mind to the one great object.

The British Parliament addressed the throne in terms of the highest
approbation of the minister; they applauded the conduct of the campaign,
and pledged themselves zealously and cheerfully to furnish all necessary
supplies. The king sent them a message representing the spirited efforts
made by his American subjects in the prosecution of the war, and
recommending compensation for the losses and expenses they had incurred
in the maintenance of his rights and England's glory; the prompt answer
was a vote of £200,000 for the required purpose. The people even
surpassed their representatives in ardor; one universal spirit pervaded
all ranks and classes--a confidence in British triumph and French
humiliation. The conquest of Canada was now the first and darling object
of the nation.

Mr. Pitt decided upon pursuing the same plan of operations which had
been partially successful in the last campaign: he purposed to throw
three separate expeditions at once against the three strongholds of
Canadian power, Niagara, Montreal, and Quebec. The mainspring of this
grand design was, that these attacks should be simultaneous, and thus
distract the attention and divide the force of the defenders. A
formidable armament was zealously and speedily equipped in the English
ports to carry a force of from 7000 to 8000 men, by the River St.
Lawrence to the walls of Quebec. The main army of America, 12,000
strong, was assembled on the woody shores of Lake George: it was
destined to penetrate the heart of Canada by the Richelieu River and
occupy Montreal, after having first overwhelmed the French detachments
at Ticonderoga and Crown Point; thence the British troops were to
descend the broad stream of the St. Lawrence till they joined their
strength to that of the besiegers of Quebec. At the same time, another
British corps, and a large body of Indians, was directed upon Niagara,
with orders to take and garrison the fort, and then hasten down over
Ontario, and the rapids of the Great River, to co-operate with the other
expeditions. This scheme was as impracticable in its execution, as it
was bold and comprehensive in design.

When Pitt cast his eyes over the scantily traced map of the Western
World, he disdained to note the almost insurmountable difficulties
which its broad blanks unobtrusively represented. As his bold hand
struck out the several lines of operation, he forgot the hideous
wilderness, the stormy ocean, and the dangerous lake, over the tracings
of which his pencil passed, and his daring heart doubted not for a
moment of success. It is a trite observation, that a combined movement
is always precarious, even under the most favorable circumstances.
Uncertainty of weather, or different degrees of zeal and activity in the
leaders, may disjoint the most elaborate scheme; but, in such a case as
this, with all the superadded chances of the sea, the river, and the
desert, a wisdom greater than that of the wisest, a power stronger than
that of the most powerful, could alone have given us the victory.

The French possessed the immense advantage of acting as it were on a
smooth high road, while their assailants were entangled in a broken and
difficult country. The River St. Lawrence furnished a means of
intercommunication that enabled them to throw the mass of their force
upon any one of the hostile armies they might select, and thus outnumber
each in succession; the bold position of Quebec supplied them with a
place of arms, and an advantageous battle-ground when all else should be
lost. The able and skillful Montcalm was not likely to fail in turning
these favorable circumstances to full account.

The most vulnerable, and, at the same time, the most vital part of
Canada was the spot where the Richelieu River pours into the St.
Lawrence. Thence to the magnificent harbor of New York, a scarcely
interrupted chain of navigable water, by the Lakes Champlain and George
and the Hudson River, offered a practicable route to the invading force.
Looking back upon the past with that wisdom which is the humble disciple
of experience, it would appear that the whole British power should have
been thrown at once upon that single point. By uniting the veteran corps
embarked in the fleet from England and Nova Scotia, with the formidable
force destined against Niagara, to the main army, nearly 25,000 British
troops could have been brought to bear against the feeble defenses of
the lakes, and poured down with irresistible strength on the Valley of
the St. Lawrence. Thence to Quebec the watery path lay free and
unembarrassed, and no hostile power existed strong enough to dare a
battle against such a host. In the mean time, the English fleet should
have anchored in the broad basin above the island of Orleans,
intercepted all European aid, and, by vigorous demonstrations, kept in
play as much as possible of the enemy's strength. Had this scheme been
adopted, the decisive battle might probably have still been fought on
the Plains of Abraham, but with far greater chances in favor of British
triumph than in the fight which was subsequently bravely won. The whole
disposable force of Canada would naturally have opposed the invading
army, and would have been either forced down upon the defense of Quebec,
or driven to an unequal combat. The French army overpowered and their
great stronghold taken, Montreal, with Niagara and the Western country,
must have lain an easy prey.

To find out the weakest point of the enemy's position, and to assail it
with his greatest power, was the constant aim of the first of modern
captains, and the talisman of his matchless success. The British
minister's scheme for the conquest of Canada presents exactly the
reverse of this system; the several strongholds of the French were
selected for simultaneous attack by separate and insufficient forces. By
an overruling Providence, however, the skill and daring of a British
general, and the valor of his troops, together with the incomprehensible
error of their chivalrous opponent, gave to the arms of England victory
and glory, and to the ruler of her councils complete ultimate success.

To pave the way for the campaign of 1759, a grand conference was held
with the Indians, in the October of the preceding year, at Easton, about
ninety miles from Philadelphia; there peace was formerly established
between England and the several native nations inhabiting the country,
which extends from the Apalachian Mountains to the lakes. Some tribes,
however, still held aloof. The business of the British agents at this
meeting was to ascertain the limits of the several lands about the
possession of which disputes had occurred with the natives, to
reconcile the bitter hostilities of different tribes against each other,
to remove every cause of misunderstanding between the Indians and
ourselves, and effectually to detach them from the interests of the
French. The conferences were continued from the 8th to the 26th of
October, when every article was finally arranged to the satisfaction of
all parties. The Indians were then given presents, made drunk, and
dismissed to their several dwellings.

General Amherst, and his gallant colleague Admiral Boscawen, had, as the
conquerors of Louisburg, received the high honor of thanks from the
representatives of a grateful people in the British Parliament. The
vigor, ability, and courage displayed by Amherst in the previous year,
inspired a universal hope of future success among his countrymen, and
all eyes were fixed with deep and sanguine interest on the movements of
the formidable armies which he was now to direct against the failing
power of the French. But the memory of Abercromby's fatal disaster was
still fresh in the English mind, and somewhat damped the rising hopes of
conquest and of glory. The difficulties before which he had recoiled,
disgraced and ruined, were since increased rather than diminished: the
fort of Chambly, which defended the pass by the Richelieu River to the
St. Lawrence, had been strengthened and garrisoned by a body of regular
troops and militia; Crown Point had been re-enforced, and an increase of
vessels had completely given the command of Lake Champlain to the

The British colonies were eager in seconding the grand designs of the
parent state--designs, indeed, far more important to them than to
England. But they found it difficult to keep pace with the expenditure
which the great minister's splendid and thriftless conduct of the war
rendered necessary. Some reluctance was now expressed, especially in New
England, to raise the levies required by the Provincial governments. In
the opening of last year's operations it had been promised that a single
campaign would suffice to end with success the deadly and ruinous
strife. The same promise was now once more offered, but received by no
willing ears. The taxes were already excessive, the demand for men most
burdensome, and the liberal compensation voted by the British Parliament
was still insufficient to remunerate the colonists for past losses and
advances, and had been unfortunately so long delayed by official
interruptions as to create considerable mistrust and dissatisfaction. It
was not without much difficulty that Connecticut was induced to keep up
her last year's contingent of 5000 men, and Massachusetts at first
declined to raise more than the same number, until prevailed upon by the
instances of Amherst, who was universally respected and esteemed. The
thinly-peopled state of New Hampshire, however, exceeded her former
exertions, and sent no less than 1000 men into the field.

The movements of the last campaign, and the extensive preparations in
the British settlements, no longer afforded room for doubt that the aim
of England was the annihilation of the power of France in America. The
Marquis de Vaudreuil therefore issued a proclamation at the close of the
year 1758 to the several officers of Canadian militia, to excite their
zeal and quicken their activity in preparations for resistance.
"Notwithstanding our glorious successes," said he, "the state of the
colony is perilous. The enemy are making great efforts both by sea and
land; we must prepare, therefore, to meet them boldly as soon as the
season of the year allows them to act. No time must be lost in
organizing our defense." He then directed that all the male inhabitants
of the province, from sixteen to sixty years of age, should be enrolled
in the militia, and should remain in readiness to march at a moment's

The captains of militia faithfully endeavored to comply with these
orders, but the farmers, or habitans, showed great disinclination to
abandon the cultivation of their fields for the certain hardships and
dangers, and the uncertain glories of a soldier's life. Where the levies
were efficiently carried out, the country remained waste; the last
harvest had been far from abundant, and the rapacious seizures of grain
for the real or fictitious wants of the government caused a pinching
scarcity. The intendant had arbitrarily fixed the price of wheat at
twelve sous the bushel, yet none was sold under a far higher rate.
Every device of peculation was resorted to by the unworthy civil
officers to increase their gains from the distresses of the people,
while the vicious decrees of a corrupted court of law supported instead
of curbing them in their iniquities. Dishonest exactions and forced
contributions caused a reckless waste of those resources, upon the
enjoyment of which no man could confidently count, and the intendant,
finding it at length difficult or impossible to obtain the necessary
supplies, quartered the troops upon the unfortunate inhabitants.

The misery and distress of the colony at length deepened into absolute
famine. Cadet, the commissary-general, by the intendant's orders, killed
a number of horses for the use of the inhabitants and troops at Montreal
and Quebec. Finally the governor and M. de Montcalm dispatched an
officer to France with a detail of the deplorable state of Canada, and
an earnest entreaty for succor. This officer, the afterward celebrated
De Bougainville, although he had sailed very late in the autumn, escaped
the dangers of the season and the vigilance of the British navy, and
laid his melancholy dispatch before the throne of France.[163]

Early in January, 1759, a census was taken of all those capable of
bearing arms in Canada; the result showed 15,229 men. Of these, however,
a large proportion were neither available nor worthy of trust. A
detachment of artillery, eight battalions of French regulars, and
thirty-three companies of the marine or colony troops, formed the real
strength of the Canadian army.

Montcalm[164] was indefatigable in his preparations for the approaching
struggle. Regulars and militia were kept at constant work on the several
fortifications. Three armed vessels were built to command the navigation
of Lake Champlain. Captain Pouchot, a skillful engineer, was sent to
strengthen the works of Niagara, and undertake their defense. On the
14th of May, M. de Bougainville,[165] afterward distinguished alike in
literature and adventure, arrived from France with decorations and
promotions for the governor, the general, and other officers whose merit
had been conspicuous in the last campaign, but he was also bearer of the
alarming intelligence that England was about to assail the colony
forthwith both by sea and land. As yet, however, no supplies or
re-enforcements from France made their appearance in this hour of
peril, and the governor, M. de Vaudreuil, was simply instructed to make
the best provision in his power for the defense of Canada.

The governor addressed a notice to the militia to be ready at a moment's
warning, and endeavored to excite their somewhat dormant patriotism by a
spirited appeal. "This campaign," said he, "will give the Canadians an
opportunity of displaying once again their loyalty and valor: their king
doubts not that they will faithfully defend his and their rights, their
religion, homes, and properties against the cruel English. These
invaders hate our name and nation; they accuse us of the evil deeds of a
few savage Indians, and burn for revenge. We will protect our people by
every possible means from falling into the hands of our ruthless
enemies, and from such mercies as the people of Acadia, Cape Breton, and
St. John's received from them. Better would it be for us, our wives, and
our children, to be buried in the ruins of the colony, than to fall
alive into the hands of the English. We have, however, no fears for our
safety, and accordingly we direct that every suitable step be taken for
a successful defense."

A council of war was held at Montreal, which, after frequent meetings,
decided that a body of troops under Montcalm, with the brigadier-generals,
the Marquis de Levi and M. de Senezergues, should be posted at Quebec;
that M. de Bourlemaque should hasten to Ticonderoga, blow up the works at
the approach of the English, retire by the lake to Isle aux Noix, and
there make a stubborn resistance. The Chevalier de la Corne, with 800
regulars and militia, was directed to hold the rapids above Montreal, to
intrench himself in a strong position, and hold out to the best of his
power. These resolutions taken, Montcalm hastened to Quebec, and pushed
on the works of the city and its outposts. To embarrass the hostile fleet,
he removed the buoys and other marks for navigation in the Great River;
above all, he strove to raise the drooping spirit of the Canadian people.

[Footnote 161: " ... Such is the state of the governments, that there
can not on the continent be produced an instance of the governors being
able to carry his majesty's instructions into execution where the people
have disputed them, nor has all the power that the crown has thought fit
to add been able to support such; but the people have constantly
maintained themselves in their claims."--_Letter from Governor Pownall
to the Earl of Loudon, Boston, November 28th, 1757._]

[Footnote 162: "Each English colony in North America is independent of
the other, and each has its proper laws and coins, and may be looked
upon in several lights as a state by itself. From hence it happens that,
in time of war, things go on very slowly and irregularly here, for not
only the sense of one province is sometimes directly opposite to that of
another, but frequently the views of the governor and those of the
Assembly of the same province are quite different, so that it is easy to
see that, while the people are quarreling about the best and cheapest
method of carrying on the war, an enemy has it in his power to take one
place after another. It has commonly happened, that while some provinces
were suffering from their enemies, the neighboring ones were quiet and
inactive, as if it did not in the least concern them. They have
frequently taken up two or three years in considering whether they
should give assistance to an oppressed sister colony, and sometimes they
have expressly declared themselves against it. There are instances of
provinces who were not only neuter in these circumstances, but who
carried on a great trade with the power which at that very time was
attacking and laying waste some other provinces."--Kalm, in Pinkerton,
vol. xiii., p. 461.]

[Footnote 163: "L'état étoit alors dans une situation peu favorable, et
le ministre, M. de Berryer, répondit aux instances de M. de Bougainville
en disant, 'Quand le feu est à la maison on ne s'occupe pas des
écuries.' 'On ne dira pas du moins, monsieur, que vous parlez comme un
cheval,' répondit Bougainville. C'est lui-même qui nous a raconté cette
anecdote, en ajoutant qu'il alla aussitôt faire sa cour à Madame de
Pompadour, qui apaisa le ressentiment du ministre."--_Biographie
Universelle_, art. Bougainville.]

[Footnote 164: "Le Marquis de Montcalm, à la vie duquel étoit attachée
la conservation du Canada, avoit défendu cette colonie par des prodiges
de valeur, pris le fort St. George (Fort William Henry), et battu
vingt-mille Anglais à Ticonderoga. Mais nul secours ne lui étoit envoyé;
on étoit forcé de prévoir qu'il succumberoit bientôt."--_Histoire de
France pendant le Dix-huitième Siècle_, par Charles Lacretelle, tom.
iii., p. 345.]

[Footnote 165: Bougainville, the celebrated circumnavigator, had been
appointed aid-de-camp to the Marquis de Montcalm in 1756. It must be
willful inaccuracy in the _Biographie Universelle_ to attribute the
taking of Fort William Henry, and the victory at Ticonderoga, Montcalm's
most remarkable achievements in Canada, to his aid-de-camp instead of to
himself. Bougainville had not had any opportunity of performing "des
services illustres" in Canada. "En 1758 le gouverneur du Canada envoya
de Bougainville en France pour demander des renforts. Il revint en
Jamaica 1759 après avoir reçu la récompense des services illustres qu'il
avoit rendus. Montcalm le nomma, à son retour, commandant des grenadiers
et des volontaires, et lui ordonna de couvrir avec ces deux corps la
retraite de l'armée Française, lorsqu'elle se replia sur Quebec.
Bougainville s'en acquitta avec la bravoure et l'habileté dont il avoit
donné tant de preuves.

"Il s'est elevé au rang des marins les plus célébres de la France.

"Bougainville est le premier Français qui ait fait le tour du monde.
L'histoire de sa vie etonne par la variété des occupations aux quelles
il s'est livre et par la multitude des évènements qui la remplissent.

"Dans ses études à l'université il manifesta de bonne heure une rapidité
de conception et une finesse de tact qui le firent réussir en même tems
dans les genres les plus opposés. Il se faisoit également remarquer par
ses connoissances dans les langues anciennes, et par ses progrès dans
les sciences exactes. Il marquoit pour les mathématiques des
dispositions peu communes. Il fut reçu membre de la Société Royale de
Londres pendant son court séjour dans cette capitale en caractère de
sécrétaire de l'ambassade, en 1754."--_Biographie Universelle_, art.


We must now return to the proceedings in the British camp. In the stern
climate of Northern America the season for military action was very
limited. From the breaking up of the ice on the lakes and rivers, and
the melting of the forest snows, till they again hindered or forbid the
movement of troops, but little interval was left for the march of an
invading army. To pursue with effect the great plan of the campaign, it
was necessary to take the field with the earliest signs of returning
spring. General Amherst, therefore, left New York on the 28th of April,
1759, and arrived at Albany on the 3d of May: there he busied himself in
assembling and organizing his army for the field, preparing boats for
transporting the troops, artillery, and stores, and instructing the raw
Provincial levies in the rudiments of military discipline. Before this
time, he had dispatched the active partisan officer, Major Rogers, with
350 men, from Fort Edward, to feel the strength of the enemy at
Ticonderoga and Crown Point: they succeeded in surprising a French
working party close to the disastrous scene of the previous year's
defeat, killed some men, and took several prisoners, with but little
loss to themselves. The intense severity of the weather, however, made
the victors pay dearly for their success: two thirds of the detachment
were frost-bitten in the feet, some of them to such an extent that their
more fortunate companions were obliged to carry them back to the British

The whole month of May was occupied in preparation for the advance. The
Provincial regiments, as fast as they arrived at head-quarters, were
encamped, and instructed with all diligence. The regular troops were
pushed on by the road to Fort Edward, and posted at a place fifty-six
miles from Albany, while a detachment under Major West constructed a
small stockaded fort between Fort Edward and the lake. On the 3d of
June the near divisions of the army were ordered to take the field. That
same day the general left Albany, and encamped at Port Edward on the

During this time of military inaction but of tedious toil, an alarming
spirit of desertion broke out among the British troops. A large
proportion of even the regulars were young and untrained men,
unaccustomed to the dull restraint of discipline, and as yet almost
unconscious of that professional pride which, to a certain extent, may
practically supply the place of a higher principle in the soldier's
mind. The Provincials were chiefly new levies, and not always very
zealous recruits. The duties of the camp were harassing, the labors on
the works were wearying; before them lay a dreary and dangerous march,
behind them the pleasant villages and well-stored homesteads of New
England. The temptation was strong, the principle of resistance weak.
Appeals to patriotism, stringent orders, and moderate punishments proved
ineffectual; still by twos and threes, and at length by scores,
Amherst's army melted away into the neighboring forests. The last
example became necessary; a general court-martial sentenced two
deserters, Dunwood and Ward, to death, and they were immediately
executed. Despite this terrible warning, despite all promises and
threats, the vile treason still prevailed, especially among the
Provincials; two other traitors, Rogers and Harris, were also
apprehended, convicted, and shot.

An insidious attempt to examine the British strength, under the pretext
of a flag of truce from M. de Bourlemaque, was frustrated by Amherst's
vigilance; he would not suffer the French officers to enter the camp,
but examined the dispatches, and returned answer while they remained at
a suitable distance. The general's active care could not protect the
frontier settlers from the atrocious cruelties of the French and
Indians; although scouting parties were constantly moving through the
forests, the subtle and ferocious enemy eluded their vigilance, and
scalped men, women, and children without mercy. These outrages gave rise
to the following order by Amherst, which he found means to forward to
the Governor of Canada and his general:

"No scouting party, or others in the army, are to scalp women or
children belonging to the enemy. They are, if possible, to take them
prisoners, but not to injure them on any account, the general being
determined, should the enemy continue to murder and scalp women and
children, who are the subjects of the King of Great Britain, to revenge
it by the death of two men of the enemy for every woman or child
murdered by them."

It were a needless pain to dwell upon the cruelties of this bloody war.
Our countrymen must bear their share, although not an equal share, of
the deep disgrace. The contending parties readily acquired the fiendish
ingenuity in torture of their Indian allies; the Frenchman soon became
as expert as his red teacher in tearing the scalp from a prostrate
enemy; and even the British soldier counted these odious trophies with
unnatural triumph. In the exterminating strife, the thirst of blood
became strong and deep, and was slaked, not only in the life-streams of
the armed foe, but in that of the aged, the maimed, the helpless woman,
and the innocent child. The peaceful hamlet and the smiling corn-field
excited hostile fury alike with the camp, the intrenchment, and the
fort, and shared in their destruction when the defenders were
overpowered. Yet still over these murdered corpses and scenes of useless
desolation, the spotless flag of France and the Red Cross of St. George
waved in alternate triumph, proudly and remorselessly, by their symbolic
presence sanctioning the disgraceful strife.

The greater part of the troops, artillery, and stores being now arrived,
the general advanced from Fort Edward on the 21st of June, with about
6000 men, in two columns; he visited the several posts established on
the communications by the way, and that night encamped on the woody
banks of Lake George, where the following morning he traced out the plan
of a small fort.[166] The remainder of the troops and the boats were
brought up to this point with all dispatch, but the difficulties of the
carrying place, the intense heat of the weather, and the badness of the
roads proved harassing impediments to the British chief. During these
delays several unimportant affairs occurred between our advanced parties
and the French light troops and Indians, which usually ended in favor of
the enemy. However, the time was profitably employed by Captain Loring
of the navy, who exerted himself bravely and successfully in the
arrangements for embarkation: he raised, rigged, and armed the sloop
Halifax, and also a floating battery of eight heavy guns, both of which
had been sunk in the last campaign. On the 21st of July, all was in
readiness; the troops and stores had arrived; the army embarked upon the

The force with which General Amherst now undertook the invasion of
Canada consisted of 111 of the Royal Artillery, having under charge
fifty-four pieces of ordnance of various descriptions; six battalions of
regulars, numbering, officers included, 5743 men; nine battalions of
Provincials,[167] with a regiment of Light Infantry, newly raised and
commanded by General Gage, 5279 men, in all numbering 11,133. This army
crossed the lake in four columns: the following day it reached the
second Narrows without interruption except from the roughness of the
weather, and landed near the spot where Abercromby had disembarked the
year before. The British vanguard, composed principally of light troops,
pushed on rapidly into the bush, and soon fell upon a detachment of the
Regiment de Berry and some Indians, commanded by Captain Bournie; the
French were instantly overpowered and dispersed, two were "made
prisoners, and four were scalped: their wounded they carried off with
them in their flight." Amherst followed with his main body in good
order, and took up a position of great strength near the Saw-mills. He
learned from the French prisoners that M. de Bourlemaque commanded at
Carillon, his garrison, three battalions of regulars, and a large body
of Canadian militia, and some Indians, in all 3400 men.

That night the British troops lay on their arms, and at earliest dawn
the heavy sound of the advancing artillery warned the French that a
formidable attack was about to open upon the lines under the shelter of
which their brilliant victory of the preceding year had been gained.
They ventured not to try the issue of a second combat against a
different chief, and abandoning the blood-stained breast-works, fell
back upon the neighboring fort. The Grenadiers of the English regulars
immediately occupied the deserted intrenchments, and the rest of the
army encamped at a short distance to the rear.

In the center of these remarkable lines, the French had, in celebration
of the victory of Carillon, erected a lofty cross, which still remained;
a deep grave was sunk before it, and on the cross was affixed a plate of
brass, with this inscription:

 "Pone principes eorum sicut Oreb et Zebec et Zalmanna."

The French kept up a warm fire from the fort upon the position where the
British lay encamped, but the great height and strength of the
breast-works erected for their own defense now sheltered their enemies,
and rendered the shower of shot and shells perfectly harmless. The
preparations for the siege rapidly progressed, and the garrison were
apparently equally vigorous in dispositions for defense; but M. de
Bourlemaque soon perceived that the English general possessed the skill
and determination, as well as the necessary force, to insure success; he
therefore silently abandoned the fort on the night of the 23d, leaving
400 men to continue such a resistance as might mask the retreat of his
army. This small but gallant band, while their countrymen filed
cautiously down toward the lake, made a sudden attack upon the advanced
guard in the besiegers' trenches, killed and wounded sixteen men, and
caused such confusion that in the darkness of the night the British
fired upon each other.

On the 24th and 25th, the remaining French in the fort kept up a
continuous fire upon the besiegers' camp, and, having ascertained the
range, caused much annoyance and some loss. Colonel Townshend, a brave
and beloved officer--the Lord Howe of Amherst's army--was struck down by
a cannon shot in the trenches, and he instantly expired, to the great
grief of all who knew him. Meanwhile the English approaches were
advanced within 600 yards of the fort, and the Indians, under Major
Rogers, harassed the defenders with a continuous fire from the advanced
works. At ten o'clock on the night of the 26th some deserters to the
British camp informed the general that the French had abandoned the
fort, but that they had left every gun loaded and pointed, several mines
charged for the utter destruction of the defenses, and a lighted fuse
communicating with the well-stored powder magazine. While they yet
spoke, an awful explosion, bursting upon the silence of the night,
confirmed the tale; then, from under the dense cloud of smoke and dust,
and the shower of burning embers, arose the flames of the wooden
breast-works, barracks, and stores, while at intervals, from the mass of
fire, the yellow flash of the bursting guns and the exploding mines
varied the tints of the light that fell far and near upon the lake and
the surrounding forest.

The retreat of the French had been so hurried that they were unable to
give warning to their scouting parties, who, on returning to the fort,
fell into the hands of the English. Colonel Haviland, with some
Rangers[168] and light troops in fast boats, pursued the flying enemy
across the lake, and succeeded in capturing some bateaux laden with
powder, and sixteen prisoners. At daylight in the morning a sergeant of
the British regulars volunteered for the dangerous duty of entering the
burning fort, to strike the French flag and raise that of England in its
place; he succeeded, and carried the white banner in safety to his
general. Soon afterward a detachment was sent to extinguish the flames,
and save any guns which yet might have remained uninjured. This object
was accomplished with some difficulty, but no loss. No more than
seventy-six men of the British force had been killed and wounded in all
the preceding operations.

Amherst set vigorously to work in repairing the fort of Ticonderoga;
most of the ramparts, the covered way, and the walls of the buildings
remained uninjured; his principal exertions were therefore employed in
leveling his own now useless siege works, and completing the road from
the shore. Meanwhile Captain Loring still labored to strengthen the
British naval power on the lake; he weighed some French bateaux which
had been sunk, and constructed a brig with all possible dispatch. The
general was intent, in the mean time, on forwarding the main objects of
the campaign. Crown Point was the next obstacle to be overcome; little
was known as to its defenses or situation, but it at least was not
guarded by the gloomy memories which had hung around the neighboring
stronghold of Ticonderoga.

Major Rogers, who had so often proved his activity and skill, was pushed
on with about 200 Rangers to feel the strength of the enemy and examine
the position of Crown Point; his orders were to seize some strong and
safe post near the fort, and, in case of attack, to hold out at all
hazards until relieved by the advancing army. After a little fruitless
skirmishing and scalping, the Rangers established themselves in a
commanding situation, but on the 1st of August intelligence arrived
which proved that all precautions had been needless: the enemy had
abandoned Crown Point. A small English detachment immediately took
possession, but Amherst, with the main army, did not arrive till the
4th. He then encamped his troops, and traced out the lines of a new
fort, as a defense in future against the savage scalping parties which
had so long been a terror to the frontier settlers of New York.

The skillful and cautious movements of the British general had thus,
with scarcely any loss, secured possession of the two important
strongholds which ruled the destiny of the long-disputed lakes: where
his predecessor had not only been baffled, but had received a terrible
chastisement, he, with an inferior power, had almost uninterruptedly won
his way, and overcome all opposition more by demonstration than by
force. The country, now thus cheaply won, was rich and beautiful; far as
the eye could reach, magnificent forests and verdant turf alternated on
the undulations of the landscape, down to the margin of the transparent
lake. The sugar-tree, and various fruits and flowers, abounded in the
sunny valleys, and the scent of aromatic herbs filled the pure air with
a delightful perfume. Deep was the sorrow of the French when they
abandoned forever that lovely land which had been adorned by their taste
and industry, strengthened by their skill and toil, defended by their
best blood, and endeared to their vain but gallant hearts by memories of
glorious victory.

The orders of M. de Bourlemaque were to impede more than to resist the
overwhelming British force. The naval superiority which he still
retained upon the lakes enabled him to carry out these orders, despite
the vigor and skill of his opponent; but his losses in material, if not
in life and honor were considerable. Besides a large quantity of guns,
ammunition, and stores sunk or destroyed, several pieces of cannon of
various sizes, some swivels, small arms, powder, and intrenching tools
fell into the hands of the English.

On the 16th of August, Amherst was informed by deserters that the French
had encamped on Isle aux Noix, at the northern extremity of Lake
Champlain, where a strong position gave them the command of the entrance
to the Richelieu River. Joined by some small detachments, sufficient to
repair their losses by defection and in the field, they still mustered
3500 men; 100 pieces of cannon, and four armed vessels, commanded by
naval officers, and manned by picked soldiers of the line, enabled them
even yet to offer a formidable front.

The fate of this portion of the campaign now evidently turned upon the
relative strength of the contending parties on the waters of the lake.
Amherst's great superiority of troops was unavailable while French
vessels cruised triumphantly between him and his enemy. He therefore
stimulated Captain Loring to increased exertions; on the 17th, a large
raft to carry six heavy guns was commenced. But the enemy were also
active, and in a fortnight afterward launched a new vessel pierced for
sixteen guns. On the 3d of September the English began the construction
of a sloop equal in size to that of the French. It was not, however,
till the 11th of October that the raft, the brig from Ticonderoga, and
the new sloop were ready for action. And already the bleak autumnal
winds were sweeping over the lake; the nights fell dark and chill; the
dreary winter approached, when no zeal or courage could avail an
invading force. Montcalm had therefore insomuch succeeded, and Amherst
failed, in their several objects: the main force of the British army was
destined once again to waste its strength upon the very threshold of
Canada,[169] and played no part of real importance in the great results
which the hand of Providence directed surely but unexpectedly elsewhere.

In consequence of intelligence received of General Prideaux's death
before Niagara, Brigadier-general Gage had been dispatched by Amherst on
the 28th of July to join that army, and the second battalion of the
Royal Highlanders was also sent from head-quarters to Oswego, to
support, if necessary, the movement in the West. Gage had been
instructed, in case of the reduction of Niagara, to take post
immediately at a place called La Galette, a position commanding the
entrance of the River St. Lawrence from Lake Ontario. Amherst knew that
the occupation of this post was so essential for the security of the
British frontiers from the enemy's scalping parties, that on the receipt
of Gage's dispatch he instantly sent Major Christie to the brigadier to
repeat and enforce his former orders. The difficulties in the way of
this movement were, however, considerable, and General Gage had
conceived himself justified in representing them to his chief, and
deferring the execution of his orders until a more favorable
opportunity. Meanwhile the dreary winter advanced apace, and difficulty
became impossibility; to Amherst's infinite chagrin, this important
operation was necessarily postponed to another year.

General Gage does not appear to have sufficiently felt the importance of
fulfilling the portion of the great scheme which fell to his lot;
doubtless the difficulties in his path were many and formidable, but it
was to overcome difficulties that he was selected for the proud post of
leader to thousands of gallant men. His first duty, assuredly, was to
fulfill the task confided to him, upon which, perhaps, the success or
failure of the campaign, and his country's glory might depend. One
object lay distinctly before him; in accomplishing that object, he could
not have been too cautious, or too precious of his men; but rather than
abandon the enterprise, and fail in his share of the combination, far
better would it have been for England's cause and his own honor had he
dared the worst dangers of the trackless wilderness and of the stormy

Meanwhile General Amherst sent Captain Kennedy with a flag of truce to
the warlike Indians of St. François, offering them peace and amity:
their populous village lay at the western extremity of Lake St.
François. The savages, however, detained the British officer and his
party as prisoners, and returned no answer to their communications.
Amherst promptly determined to inflict the severest chastisement for
the insult. The expedition undertaken for this purpose was perhaps the
most daring and extraordinary of any during the progress of the war.

Early in October, 200 men were sent against the Indians of St. François,
under the command of Major Rogers, an officer already distinguished for
courage and ability. His orders were to inflict condign punishment on
the warriors of this tribe for a long arrear of cruelties and atrocities
committed upon the unprotected British settlers, but to spare all women
and children. A glance at the map of North America will show the great
distance of the point of attack from Amherst's head-quarters. The route
lay through one vast forest, utterly a wilderness, and untrodden by
human foot, except where the invaders' deadly enemies lay in wait, or
scoured the country for their destruction. The casualties and hardships
of the march reduced Rogers's small detachment by more than a fourth of
its strength; the survivors, however, came in sight of the Indian
village on the evening of the 22d day. The leader left his men in a
place of concealment, and went forward alone, with necessary caution, to
observe the enemy. For several hours he hovered about, now approaching
close to the dangerous scene, now again falling back into the darkness
of the night, and still darker shades of the forest, until he had at
length fully informed himself of the situation and state of the village.
It so chanced that the savages were engaged in celebrating some of their
wild and mysterious rites: they danced and shouted furiously, and
devoured the war-feast with ravenous zeal. At length they lay down to
sleep, exhausted by fatigue and repletion. Major Rogers, satisfied with
his observations, returned to his party at two o'clock in the morning.

A little before dawn the English detachment marched silently to within
500 yards of the sleeping village, and laid aside their packs and all
other incumbrances. Not a sound arose, not a limb moved among the
Indians; in the fatal confidence of savage tactics, not a scout or
sentinel was placed to give notice of impending danger. When the sun had
already risen, but not yet gained sufficient strength to reach the
drowsy eyes of the slumberers, Rogers formed his men, and gave the long
wished-for order to attack; with a loud cry of vengeance they burst upon
the sleeping village. The surprise was complete; the Indians had no time
to arm or resist; they were slain without mercy; many never wakened,
others were struck down at the doors of their huts as they endeavored to
fly; some few escaped to the Great River, but were pursued by the
English, and, with their frail canoes swamped in the waters. The
conquerors then fired the village, saving only three houses where corn
was stored; the wretched savages who had concealed themselves in the
cellars and lofts perished in the flames. By seven o'clock in the
morning the destruction was accomplished, and more than 200 Indian
warriors were slain. Women and children were spared by the sword, but
doubtless many must have perished in the fire and in the confusion of
the strife: twenty were taken alive; six of these, however, only were
detained; the rest received the scant mercy of freedom to wander back to
their ruined homes, and to the now lonely hunting-grounds of their

Five English captives were released from slavery by this success, and
taken under the protection of their countrymen. The loss to the victors
was very slight; one friendly Indian was killed, and Captain Ogden, with
six men, were wounded. The situation of the little detachment was,
however, most perilous; the prisoners informed Major Rogers that a party
of 300 French, with some savages, had discovered and seized his boats,
down the river, about four miles from the village of St. François. He
could not doubt the truth of this unwelcome news, for they told him the
exact number of his boats, and described the place where they had been
left. He also learned that another force of 200 French and 15 Indians
lay in wait for him higher up the stream. The English officers held a
hurried council on their almost desperate position, and agreed
unanimously that the only chance of safety lay in a return to the
British settlements by the upper branches of the Connecticut River. This
route was attended with toils and hardships well-nigh incredible.

Rogers marched his detachment for eight successive days to the southeast
without interruption, but provisions began to fail, and it became
necessary to divide his people into small parties, that each might
provide for themselves as they best could. A guide was appointed to
every division, and they parted near the beautiful shores of Lake
Memphremagog, with orders to reassemble at the point where the Amansook
pours into the Connecticut River: there the provident chief had before
caused a dépôt of provisions to be prepared. Major Rogers and his party
reached the place of meeting in safety on the 5th of November, worn out
with fatigue and cold, and almost famished.

Another party, commanded by Lieutenant George Campbell, of the Rangers,
underwent trials more severe than any of their companions had suffered.
At one time they were four days without a morsel of food; they had
wandered from the direct route, and knew not whither they went. The weak
in mind went mad from suffering and despair; the weak in body sank. They
had already devoured their leather straps, and the covers of their
cartouch boxes: no resource, and but a faint glimmering of hope
remained. At length, on the 28th of October, in crossing a small stream
dammed up with logs, they espied some human bodies, scalped and horribly
mangled, probably the corpses of their companions. Their furious hunger
knew no restraint; they did not wait even for a fire to prepare the
ghastly banquet, but ate like beasts of prey; then collecting carefully
the remnants, pursued their journey. A squirrel and a few roots helped
to keep them alive till the 4th of November, when, to their unutterable
joy, they saw a boat on the Connecticut River, sent by Rogers to their
relief. On the 7th they rejoined their companions.

We must now return to the insignificant conclusion of General Amherst's
campaign. On the 10th of October, the brig arrived from Ticonderoga with
eighteen guns; seventy seamen and sixty soldiers embarked as marines.
The following day the little fleet was completed by the arrival of the
new sloop carrying sixteen guns, sixty sailors, and fifty soldiers,
under the command of Lieutenant Grant, of Montgomery's Highlanders. In
the afternoon the troops embarked for Isle aux Noix in the bateaux; the
armed vessels got out first, and sailed up the lake with a fair wind,
the army following in four divisions. As night fell, lights were hoisted
on board the brigantine and Great Radeau, to guide the expedition. In
the gray of the morning, some guns were suddenly heard in the advance,
and a message was sent to the general that his armed vessels were in
action with those of the French. He hastened to the front, and soon
discovered the mistake. The bateaux containing a wing of the 42d
Regiment, under Major Reid, had gone astray in the night, and got
unexpectedly among the enemy's sloops; the first light of day revealed
the dangerous error, and they happily ran the gauntlet of the French
guns in safety. One boat, however, with a lieutenant and twenty men,
being very far in advance, could not effect an escape, and was captured.
The enemy's squadron, content with this small advantage, crowded all
sail, and disappeared among the numerous islands. Toward the evening of
the 12th the wind increased, and the waters of the lake rose into
formidable waves; the light bateaux and clumsy rafts were equally unfit
to face this boisterous weather. The general was most unwillingly
compelled to order the expedition to seek the shelter of a neighboring
bay on the western shore, where commodious anchorage opportunely
offered. The troops were then landed, and allowed to stretch their
cramped limbs, while Gage's Light Infantry scoured the adjacent forest
to guard against surprise; at the same time, the Rangers disembarked on
an island that commanded the entrance of the harbor, and overlooked the
lake. Meanwhile, despite the angry skies, Captain Loring, with the armed
vessels, still stoutly kept at sea, and strove with untiring zeal to
bring the enemy to action. At daylight in the morning he had caught
sight of a French schooner, about forty-five miles down the lake, and
crowded all sail in her pursuit; but, ignorant of the navigation in
those strange waters, he had run two of his vessels ashore. After much
exertion, however, he succeeded in getting them off. At length, to his
great joy, he espied three hostile sloops, and immediately gave chase
with all the sail he could carry. The French, finding escape impossible,
ran for a small bay on the western shore, drove one of the vessels
aground, and sunk the two others. The crews, under their commandant, M.
de Bolabarras, made their escape through the woods, after having
encountered extreme difficulty and hardship.

The deepening shades of evening prevented the English from seeing the
catastrophe of the enemy's squadron, and rendered it difficult or
impossible for them to pursue into the rocky shallows; they therefore
prepared as they best could to brave out the stormy night, and cast
anchor at the entrance of the bay. When daylight came they saw the
abandoned vessels; the French schooner, however, had escaped. Captain
Loring left Lieutenant Grant with the sloop to endeavor to save the
stranded vessel, with her guns, stores, and rigging; he himself again
put out into the lake in pursuit of the only hostile sail now left upon
the waters.

The storm continued to the 15th of October; on the 16th there was frost;
on the 17th a contrary wind again rose. During all this time General
Amherst was forced to remain inactive. Every hour was precious; the fate
of the campaign, his fame and England's interests might have hung upon
his movements, and he did not stir. By flags of truce and letters of
ceremony from the hostile chief, he had received information, vaguely,
that a British fleet lay before Quebec; that combats had been fought,
and blood had freely flowed; and while the balance of victory trembled
under the walls of the great stronghold, he, with his overwhelming
power, lay helpless, as in a nightmare, on the banks of the stormy

On the 18th the waters became somewhat calmer, and a south wind blew
gently up Lake Champlain. Amherst made one other effort; the troops were
once more hurried into the bateaux, and the expedition pushed on to the
north. They reached in a few hours the bay where the French vessels had
been driven ashore a few days previously; there again, however, the
uncertain winds veered round; the clouds darkened in the north, and a
chill blast swept down the lake, plowing the angry waters. The British
general was now finally baffled; winter had almost commenced; he had no
hope of grappling with the enemy before the season closed; the fate of
Quebec must, ere then, have been decided; there was much to risk and
little to gain by another effort upon the lakes. Nothing was left but to
prepare for the inglorious step of disposing his army in winter
quarters. Amherst therefore fell back upon Crown Point on the 21st,
directed the completion of the defenses, made roads and bridges, and
nursed the Provincials, who had become uncommonly sickly. Thus ended his

[Footnote 166: This is the Fort George marked in modern maps, nearly on
the same spot where Fort William Henry formerly stood.]

[Footnote 167: "Four hundred of these young troops (Provincials) are to
be stationed here.... The privates are a poor, mean, ragged set of men,
of all sizes and ages; their officers are sober, modest men, and such of
them as have been upon service express themselves very distinctly and
sensibly; but their ideas, like those who have not been out of their own
country, or conversed much with Europeans, are naturally confined; they
make a decent appearance, being clothed in blue, faced with scarlet,
gilt buttons, laced waistcoats and hats; but their ordinary soldiers
have no uniforms, nor do they affect any kind of regularity."--Knox's
_Historical Journal_, vol. i., p. 237.]

[Footnote 168: "The Rangers have got a new uniform clothing: the ground
is black ratteen or frieze, lapelled and cuffed with blue. Here follows
a description of their dress: a waistcoat with sleeves, a short jacket
without sleeves; only arm-holes, and wings to the shoulders (in like
manner as the Grenadiers and drummers of the army); white metal buttons,
linen or canvas drawers, with a blue skirt, or short petticoat of stuff,
made with a waistband and one button: this is open before, and does not
extend quite to their knees: a pair of leggins of the same color with
their coat, which reach up to the middle of their thigh (without flaps),
and from the calf of the leg downward they button like spatterdashes.
With this active dress they wear blue bonnets, and, I think, in a great
measure resemble our Highlanders."--Knox's _Historical Journal_, vol.
i., p. 238.]

[Footnote 169: "Dear Sir--Let no persuasion or plausible reason
determine you to leave the plan of operations by the River St. Lawrence.
To go by the lakes, through wild and almost inaccessible forests, has
already proved dangerous, tedious, and expensive; will prolong the war,
and, at the same time, enrich your commanders and contractors. What is
more, we have seen that our regulars do not fight well in woods: the
Indian yell is horrid to their ears, and soon throws them into
confusion. If France had the superiority at sea we now enjoy, they would
not leave us a single province or colony in all North or South
America."--Mr. Beckford's _Letter to Mr. Pitt_. Fonthill, Dec., 1758;
_Chatham Correspondence_, vol. i., p. 378.]

[Footnote 170: "Ils durent évacuer encore la position de Fort Frédéric
(Crown Point). Toutefois leur commandant, Burlamaque, se fortifia à
l'Ile aux Noix, à l'extrémité du Lac Champlain; et comme il avoit encore
sous ses ordres trois mille cinq cents hommes, il réussit à fermer le
chemin de Quebec au Général Amherst, et à l'empêcher de seconder
l'attaque du Général Wolfe contre cette ville."--Sismondi, _Histoire des
Français_, vol. xxix., ch. liv.]


The expedition against Niagara consisted of a detachment of the Royal
Artillery, the 44th and 46th British regiments, the 4th battalion of the
Royal Americans, two battalions of New York Provincials, and a large
body of Indians under Sir William Johnson: Brigadier Prideaux commanded
in chief. On the 20th of May the troops commenced their advance from
Schenectady, where they had assembled, and moved upon Oswego; they
embarked on Lake Ontario from that port on the 1st of July, after a
march of great difficulty, but without interruption from the enemy. A
detachment under Colonel Haldimand was left for the protection of

The British force landed, unopposed, on the 7th of July, about six miles
to the eastward of Fort Niagara, and at once set to work in opening a
communication between the landing place and the Niagara River. The fort
was situated on a narrow peninsula, the lake on one side, the broad,
deep stream on the other; it was thus a matter of little difficulty to
invest the position effectually on the land side, while the numerous
bateaux cut off from the besieged all communication by water. Prideaux
planned and advanced his approaches with skill and vigor. Batteries were
speedily erected, from which he fired upon the defenses, and kept under
the artillery of the French. Still, as the superiority of the besiegers'
guns told more and more upon the crumbling ramparts, the works were
pushed closer and closer, and fresh spirit was thrown into the attack.

On the first arrival of the English army before the fort, the general
had sent a peremptory summons to M. Pouchot,[171] the commandant, to
surrender at discretion; this was promptly refused by the stout
Frenchman, who answered that "his post was strong, his garrison
faithful, and that, the longer he held out, the more he should win the
esteem of his enemy." Early intelligence of the approaching danger had
reached Pouchot; he had not lost a moment in dispatching couriers
eastward to Frontenac, to inform the Canadian government, and southward
to Detroit, Presque Isle, Venango, and Le Boeuf, with orders for all the
French detachments to assemble with their Indian allies at the Niagara
Rapids, and to hasten to his relief.

On the 10th of July, M. Chaboust arrived, with a small party of French
and some savages, and succeeded in getting into the fort. On the 11th
the besieged attempted a sally upon the British trenches, but were
instantly overpowered, and pursued till they found shelter under the
fire of their guns. By the 14th the besiegers' parallels were finished
to the banks of the lake, and the fire became so heavy that the
defenders could only find safety in the covered way and behind the
ramparts. On the 19th the French schooner Iroquoise arrived from
Frontenac, and lay to abreast of the fort, but could not venture in
under the English guns, which still, night and day, kept up their
harassing fire.

General Prideaux being well informed of the enemy's formidable muster
for the relief of the fort, made every preparation that zeal and
prudence could suggest to meet their designs; but at this critical
moment a melancholy accident deprived the army of his useful services,
and gave to another the enjoyment of the honors which he had worthily
won. On the evening of the 19th, while issuing some orders in the
trenches, unperceived by the gunners in a battery close at hand, a
cohorn mortar was unhappily fired, the shell of which burst prematurely,
and a splinter struck the gallant general with a deadly wound. The
command devolved to the hands of Sir William Johnson.

Meanwhile the besieged, though hardly pressed, were still buoyed up with
the hope of relief from their advancing countrymen. On the 23d four
savages made their way into the fort with a letter to M. Bouchet,
informing him that MM. d'Aubry and De Lignières were at hand with 1200
Frenchmen and a still larger force of Indians, and that they were about
to attack the British lines. On the result of this attack hung the fate
of Niagara and of all the Western country which still owned the sway of
France: preparations were made to second it with all the efforts of the
garrison. The cause of the French was, however, already all but
desperate; the feeble defenses of the fort shook and crumbled under the
heavy and increasing fire of their enemies. An overpowering artillery
forbade the approach of their vessel from the lake. The beleaguering
trenches intruded within 100 yards of their parapets, and gave shelter
to swarms of British and Indian marksmen. The little garrison was worn
by toil and wasted by death; the barracks and dwellings were ruined by
shot and shell; and, worst of all, the apparently favorable chance in
the death of the besieging general had only transferred the conduct of
the attack to hands even more able and skillful than those of the
deceased. It was true that the French detachment, then about to risk all
for their relief, were brave and veteran troops; but their numbers were
hopelessly inadequate, and little dependence could be placed in the
politic and faithless savages who marched with them, more to witness
than to contribute to their success or defeat.

On the other hand, Sir William Johnson had received ample notice of De
Aubry's approach, and, confident in his own strength and ability, made
steady preparation for the combat. His great superiority of force
enabled him to leave the trenches crowded with troops, chiefly
Provincials, while he marched out to overwhelm the advancing enemy.
About sunset on the evening of the 23d, he pushed forward strong
pickets, and the light companies of the regular regiments, into the
woods on either side of the rude track leading from Niagara Falls to the
Fort, and scattered small parties of Indians on the flanks of the
Europeans. Having posted their sentries, and no enemy being yet visible,
Johnson's advance lay down to rest upon their arms. Never, perhaps, has
a stranger scene been witnessed than the banks of the Niagara River
presented on that September night: the dark ramparts of the fort, every
now and then illumined by the flash of the defenders' guns, or suddenly
revealed by the red light of a salvo from the hostile trenches; in the
open plain beyond, the white tents and the huts of the besieging army;
and further on, the watch-fires of the advanced guard throwing their
flickering glare upon the lofty arches of the forest, and upon the
scattered groups of the British soldiery and Indian warriors. Away,
still further to the west, unseen in the gloomy woods, the weak but
gallant troops of France slept the sleep which most of them were to know
no more. High over all, the soft, misty spray from the neighboring
cataract stood like a huge pillar of lightest summer clouds up against
the sky, while the dull, deep roar of falling waters filled the air with
a solemn and unceasing voice.

At daylight on the 24th Sir William Johnson advanced his Grenadier
companies and part of the 46th regiment, under Lieutenant-colonel
Massey, to strengthen his front, while the 44th regiment, under
Lieutenant-colonel Farquhar, kept up the communication with Major
Beckwith, who commanded the troops in the trenches, and remained in
readiness to throw their force wherever aid might be required. These
judicious dispositions being made, the British awaited the approach of
the enemy.

At about eight o'clock the leading files of the French were first
perceived advancing through the woods, flanked by large bodies of
Indians; as they came on, the English outposts fell back on the reserves
steadily, and without firing. In the mean time, the Iroquois, serving
under Johnson, endeavored to parley with the Canadian savages, with a
view of inducing them to make peace; these overtures were, however,
unsuccessful, and the warriors of the Five Nations fell back on the
flanks of the British. By nine o'clock D'Aubry's force was formed, and
the order immediately given for the attack. With furious gestures and
terrible impetuosity, the Indians burst through the woods and fell upon
the English lines as they rushed to the charge, shouting the appalling
war-cry which had once struck terror into their foes; but it fell upon
accustomed ears: they were received with a calm front and steady fire.
The Grenadiers of the 44th, who had received a dreadful lesson in savage
warfare under the unfortunate Braddock, now bore the shock unmoved, and,
stoutly supported by the 46th, with a few rolling volleys they swept
away the fierce assailants. So complete was the discomfiture of the red
warriors that they rallied no more, and so sudden their disappearance
from the scene of strife that the French could only attribute it to
treachery which had prearranged defeat.

Undismayed by the dispersion of his allies, the gallant D'Aubry led on
his men against the besiegers' position, now strengthened by a force of
Provincials from the trenches. The attack was vigorously and bravely
pushed, but failed to shake the steady courage of the British troops;
meanwhile Johnson's Indians made their way through the woods, and fell
upon the flanks of the French. Attacked on all sides, deserted by
allies, outnumbered by foes, the assailants hesitated, gave way, and in
little more than half an hour broke into utter rout. D'Aubry and all his
surviving officers were taken, with a great part of his troops; the
remainder were pursued with deadly zeal, and slain or driven into the

It was not until two o'clock in the day that Pouchot and his garrison
were informed that the firing heard in the morning had ended in the ruin
of their hopes of succor. With great difficulty and danger, an Indian
had passed the besiegers' lines and borne them the unwelcome
intelligence of D'Aubry's defeat and capture. From the earliest dawn,
deep excitement had reigned in the beleaguered fort; while the shades of
night still lingered under the tall forest trees, flashes of scattered
musketry had occasionally burst forth. As the morning advanced, the
dropping shots quickened into the sharp rattle of a skirmish, the sounds
still approaching the besieged, and stimulating hopes of aid. A little
before nine o'clock the skirmish had breezed up into a battle; for half
an hour the line of fire waved to and fro, now bent toward the fort,
again receded up the banks of the Great River, then held pertinaciously
to a woody hollow, and at length fell back into the forest, became
broken, interrupted, indistinct, and disappeared. With it vanished the
last chance of succor for the garrison of Niagara.

When the first ardor of the pursuit had abated, and Sir William Johnson
had got his forces somewhat in hand again, he sent Major Harvey with a
flag of truce to inform the French chief of the morning's events, and to
exhort him to surrender without further bloodshed, conveying also a
terrible hint that in a little time he might not be able to restrain the
fierce vengeance of his Indian allies. Pouchot yet doubted, or affected
to doubt, the truth of the woeful disaster which had befallen his
countrymen, and, still endeavoring to gain time, requested that one of
his officers might be allowed to see the prisoners, and hear the tale of
defeat from their own lips. The request was granted, the facts were
ascertained, and, no further excuse for procrastination suggesting
itself, the stubborn Frenchman then surrendered with his fort and

The terms of capitulation were liberal, and worthy of both conquerors
and conquered. It was agreed that the French troops should march out
with the honors of war from the ramparts they had so well defended, and
lay down their arms on the banks of the lake. There they were to embark
immediately in vessels provided by Sir William Johnson, and to be
carried to New York by the shortest and easiest route. The French
ladies, and all females and children, were offered safe conveyance,
subsistence, and escort to the nearest port of France: and the sick and
wounded men were to be carefully tended till able to travel, when they
were to rejoin their comrades. The victors undertook to protect their
prisoners from every insult or injury, in person and in property. All
stores, provisions, and arms, with every thing belonging to his most
Christian majesty, were to be delivered up in strict faith by M.
Pouchot. At seven o'clock in the morning of the 26th of July, a British
guard was to take possession of the fort gates.

Accordingly, a little before mid-day on the 26th, the French garrison,
607 strong, marched out from the lost stronghold. Drums were beating,
colors flying, and bayonets fixed; but the downcast and sullen looks of
the bronzed veterans showed that these "honors of war" were but a
mockery to their dejected hearts. Many a glance of angry sorrow and
embittered regret was cast back upon the magnificent scene they were to
revisit no more; never again was the "spotless flag" to flaunt its ample
folds upon the breezes of the Western lakes; never again were the
martial strains of France to sound through the majestic roar of nature's
grandest wonder. A sufficient British guard attended under arms to keep
the fierce and vindictive Indians at a distance. But the humane and
extraordinary influence which Sir William Johnson exercised over the
minds of his savage followers proved more effectual in restraining their
ferocious passions than any mere show of force. The fear of alienating
the allegiance of his Indians weighed not a feather weight in his loyal
heart when the cause of mercy and his plighted word were at stake. For
the successful exercise of his well-earned power over the red warriors,
he must, upon this occasion, ever stand in most favorable contrast with
Montcalm, his more brilliant rival.

Every article of the capitulation of Niagara was strictly observed in
spirit and in letter: no insulting triumph dimmed the honor of British
victory, but a demeanor of respectful sympathy with the vanquished
characterized the gallant conquerors throughout the embarkation and all
subsequent proceedings.

The English loss in this siege and in the action was very slight, with
the exception of that of their worthy general, Prideaux, and of Colonel
Johnson, a provincial officer of courage and capacity. Sir William
Johnson enhanced the merit of his success by his modest and honorable
dispatch to General Amherst. "I have only to regret," he writes, "the
loss of General Prideaux and Colonel Johnson. I endeavored to pursue the
late general's vigorous measures, the good effects of which he deserved
to enjoy."

Historians have dwelt with admiration upon the striking military merit
displayed at this time by two untaught generals, Clive in the East, and
Johnson in the West, "who, by a series of shining actions have
demonstrated that uninstructed genius can, by its own internal light and
efficacy, rival, if not eclipse, the acquired art of discipline and
experience." Thus writes Smollett: the learned doctor's remark is
capable of far more general application than to the cases here
mentioned. Our military system always has trusted, and still trusts, to
this "uninstructed genius" in our chiefs, and by its own provisions
furnished no teaching to a Marlborough and a Wellington beyond the
knowledge of drill in a field day, and of the forms of discipline in a
barrack yard. While we rest with pride and pleasure on the undoubted
predominance of success over all foes which has attended our arms, we
may not deny that to the never failing chivalry of the officers and to
the stubborn courage of the soldiery are these successes due. Many and
sad are the records of combats where torrents of British blood have
flowed to redeem the errors, or to make amends for the want of military
science in a British chief. Our great captains, great in genius and
skill as well as in success, have indeed been "lone stars," presenting,
in comparison, to those not so gifted, very much the proportion which
"uninstructed genius" usually displays among men in other pursuits of

It may be urged that the officers of our instructed corps, the artillery
and engineers, have never supplied the general service with a chief of
conspicuous ability; but it is a remarkable fact that, except in the
brief Syrian campaign of 1840, no member of those corps has ever led an
English army, or even a brigade. Through the unvarying rule of promotion
by seniority, no officer of artillery or engineers arrives at a
sufficient rank to command, until a time of life when the experience of
the veteran can hardly be aided by the energy of the man. Rare indeed
must be the instances of those who have passed nearly half a century of
service, in which the hope of reward was too faint to stimulate
industry, the dread of censure too slight to alarm indolence, and who
still retain sufficient zeal and vigor for their country's need. They
are probably equally rare with the instances of successful "genius"
among their uninstructed brethren of the rest of the British army.

Many worthy and earnest, though mistaken men there are, who dread the
instruction of the toiling millions of our countrymen; who believe in
all sincerity that the penetrating light of awakened intellect would
flash upon the squalid purlieus of Manchester and Liverpool only to
render degradation more degraded, and misery more miserable, by a
keener appreciation. There can hardly, however be found any one, beyond
those grown gray under the existing system, who fears that professional
education could perniciously influence the qualifications of our
officers for their station in life, or damp their undoubted chivalry and
spirit. To cast aside political or personal considerations, and select
for command the man most conspicuous by merit and genius, has not been
an unvarying rule with those in high authority. But a system requiring
the qualifications of at least a careful education[173] from all to whom
the lofty trust of England's military honor is confided, might to a
great extent supply the deficiencies of chiefs unendowed with the gift
of genius, and undistinguished by pre-eminent merit.

By the capture of Niagara, the French posts to the westward, on the
lakes and rivers, were cut off from all aid; and by the destruction of
D'Aubry's army, composed principally of their garrisons, they were
rendered incapable of any effectual resistance. Colonel Bouquet,
therefore, who, with a small force, had been detached by
Brigadier-general Stanwix against the principal of these, Presque Isle,
Venango, and Le Boeuf, had only to summon them to surrender and then to
take possession, with no greater difficulties than those presented by
the long and rugged route.

We must now, for a moment, return to Colonel Haldimand, who was, as
before related, left in command at Oswego by General Prideaux. In the
forenoon of the 5th of July, while superintending the works at the fort,
he was startled by the well-known sound of the Indian war-whoop close at
hand, but no enemy then appeared. The English colonel immediately sent
out scouts upon the lake, who brought word that an armament of 100 boats
was lying in a neighboring cove. About mid-day some Indians and
Canadians appeared in the borders of the forest near the fort, and made
a show of attacking two detached redoubts, but were speedily driven back
among the trees; from thence, however, they kept up a dropping fire,
which was only silenced by the approach of night. A deserter who had
passed over under cover of the darkness, gave information that the
attacking party consisted of 300 colony troops, 1300 Canadian militia,
and 150 Indians, and that M. de la Corne was in command. The French had
hoped to carry the fort by surprise: their zeal was stimulated by the
vindictive fury of a Canadian priest, named Piquet, who marched at their
head till the fire commenced, urged them on with the hope of plunder,
and denounced all who might give quarter to the heretic enemy.

The night passed without any alarm. At first dawn, however, the dusky
forms of the Indians were seen cautiously approaching the western angle
of the intrenchments, and mustering for an attack. But two guns loaded
with grape, and a sharp volley of musketry from the fort, at once drove
them back yelling into the woods. After a time they gathered sufficient
determination to make an attempt at burning the English boats in the
harbor, which they again and again repeated, but always without success.
M. de la Corne did not bring his French troops into action. Finding
Colonel Haldimand well prepared for his reception, he abandoned the
enterprise, having buried his dead, and carried off his wounded to the
boats. The French chief acquired little honor by this impotent
demonstration; not a prisoner rewarded his efforts, nor did he obtain a
single scalp, although the deserters affirmed that he had offered 1000
livres for one such horrible trophy. The fierce priest, Piquet, gained a
reputation for cruelty and ferocity which was not forgotten when Canada
had passed from the sway of France.

Thus every where in the far West success attended the British arms. One
small fort, indeed, at the remote extremity of Lake Erie, on the banks
of the Detroit River, still remained in the possession of France, but
distance and comparative insignificance were its sole protection: shut
out from supplies or re-enforcements, and feebly garrisoned, it only
awaited the summons to surrender. The English force on Lake Ontario
rested upon their arms after their somewhat easy victory; Amherst's
strength, as we have seen, lay paralyzed by the opposing winds on Lake
Champlain; the plan of the campaign as yet had failed. Opposition had
been overpowered, forts taken, guns, trophies, and stores captured, but
still, at the vital point, at the great Canadian stronghold, from the
lofty headland of Quebec, the wise and gallant Montcalm, with an
outnumbering host, looked down in unshaken confidence upon the invader's
force. There the real battle was to be fought; there alone the die was
to be cast which should decide the fate of France's noblest colony. Time
rolled on, spring had warmed into summer; summer now deepened into
autumn; the broad sycamore leaf drooped upon the stem; the rich foliage
of the maple betrayed in its chameleon tints the approaching fall; the
mysterious northern lights reappeared in the chilly darkness, and
illumined the unclouded sky. Still, while these symptoms of the coming
winter crowded upon the eyes of the British generals on Champlain and
Ontario, they gained no tidings of their colleague's fate, save such
vague rumors as a wandering Indian or a false deserter might convey; and
yet, with wonder be it said, they sat them down to rest, and inactively
awaited the event of that all-important struggle.

[Footnote 171: He was a captain in the regiment of Berri.]

[Footnote 172: "Le Général Prideaux avoit été charge de l'attaque de
Niagara; ce fort situé près de la fameuse cataracte pouvoit être
considéré comme le point militaire le plus important du Canada; il
commande, en effet, le passage qui sert de communication entre le Lac
Erie et le Lac Ontarío, en sorte qu'il sert de clef à la navigation de
ce vastes mers intérieures; il commande en même temps la seule
communication par terre entre les régions situées au nord et midi du
fleuve et des Grands Lacs. Les Français connoissoient toute la valeur de
cette position admirable; mais abandonnés comme ils étoient par la
mère-patrie, ayant consumé pendant cinq ans leurs soldats, leurs armes,
leurs munitions, à se défendre par leurs seules ressources, ils
n'avoient pu mettre que six cents hommes dans Niagara, et ils n'en
purent pas rassembler plus de dix-sept cents parmi les milices
Canadiennes et leurs sauvages alliés, pour marcher à la délivrance de
cette fortresse. Le Général Prideaux en avoit commencé l'attaque depuis
peu de jours, lorque le 20 Juillet il fut tué à la tranchée; Sir W.
Johnson qui le remplaça, continua l'attaque avec le même vigueur. Le 25
Juillet il livra bataille à la petite armée qui s'avançoit au secours de
la place assiégée, il la défit avec un grand carnage, et le même jour le
fort capitula, et la garnison de six cents hommes qu'il centenoit se
livra prisonnière de guerre."[174]

Sismondi gives the following reason for his exclusive use of English
authorities throughout his narration of the last French war in Canada:
"Car les Français se sont refusés à donner aucun détail sur des combats
dont les résultats étoient si funestes, encore que leurs compatriotes y
eussent deployé souvent autant d'héroisme que dans les victoires."]

[Footnote 173: An order has at length been issued that all candidates
for commissions shall pass a certain examination in general

[Footnote 174: _Annual Register_, 1759, vol. ii., chap. vi., p. 29;
Smollett, vol. vii., b. iv., chap. xi., § xiii., p. 56.]


From the indifferent progress of Amherst and the untoward inactivity of
Gage, we may now return to the more stirring events of the expedition
against Quebec. Early in February a considerable squadron was equipped
in the English ports for North America, under the command of Admiral
Saunders.[175] A land force was to proceed under convoy of the fleet for
the same destination. Pitt justly estimated the importance and
difficulty of the enterprise. He looked around in vain among the senior
officers of the army for a chief worthy of the occasion. Judging that,
among them, the advantages of experience were more than counterbalanced
by the infirmities of age, he determined to trust the military honor of
England to the elastic vigor and sanguine confidence of youth.

While yet a boy, JAMES WOLFE had received the thanks of his general, the
Duke of Cumberland, on the field of La Feldt; rapid promotion had
followed this distinction. As lieutenant-colonel of a regiment, the
young officer had justified the notice of his superiors. He was
appointed to the staff in the inglorious expedition against Rochefort,
and gathered laurels where all was barren to his associates. At the
siege of Louisburg his transcendent merit shone in the strong light of
opportunity and success, and when still in early manhood he had gained a
fair maturity of fame. In him ambition was exalted by patriotism and
purified by religion. Modest in manners and conversation, he
nevertheless possessed in action self-reliance almost to presumption.
With the prize of honorable distinction in view, his daring courage
foiled every danger and difficulty, and "obstacles were but the stepping
stones to his success." He commanded the confidence and respect of the
rude soldiers, in spite of an almost feminine sensibility. When reverses
for a moment damped his hope, they at the same time served to brace his
energy. Ardent and laborious, daring and provident, practical and
studious, pertinacious yet reasonable, he was dignified in command and
docile in obedience. Gifted, gentle, and generous, earnest in life and
devoted in death, history may grace her page with the name of no greater
hero when she records the deeds of many a greater general.

Wolfe returned to England from Louisburg in the end of the year 1758. He
suffered severely from an illness, for which repose offered the only
chance of relief, and an early prospect of the realization of a long and
dearly-cherished hope drew him to home. But his aspiring spirit would
not yield either to the weakness of his frame or to the strength of his
affection, and almost immediately after landing from America, he
addressed Mr. Pitt in a modest and manly letter, and offered his
services for the next American campaign.

Wolfe's name stood high in the esteem of all who were qualified to
judge, but, at the same time, it stood low in the column of colonels in
the Army List. The great minister thought that the former
counterbalanced the latter. With instinctive genius, he discerned that
the young soldier possessed the peculiar qualifications suited for his
purpose, and, throwing aside the obstacles presented by official
routine, he recommended the gallant brigadier of Louisburg to the
especial notice of the king. One of the last gazettes in the year 1758
announced the promotion of Colonel James Wolfe to the rank of
major-general, and his appointment to the chief command of the
expedition against Quebec.

About the middle of February, 1759, the squadron sailed from England to
Louisburg, where the whole of the British force destined for the River
St. Lawrence was ordered to assemble. On the 21st of April Saunders and
his armament reached the coast of Cape Breton, but the harbors were
still blocked up with the ice of the preceding winter, and he could not
enter. He then bent his course for Halifax, on the neighboring peninsula
of Nova Scotia, and anchored the whole fleet in that magnificent sea
port. Twenty-two ships of the line, five frigates, and nineteen smaller
vessels of war, with a crowd of transports, were mustered under the
orders of the admiral, and a detachment of Artillery and Engineers, and
ten battalions of Infantry, with six companies of Rangers, formed
Wolfe's command; the right flank companies of the three regiments which
still garrisoned Louisburg soon after joined the army, and were formed
into a corps called the Louisburg Grenadiers. The total of the land
forces embarked were somewhat under 8000. Two thousand Infantry, which
had formed part of the expedition to the West Indies, under Hodgson,
were to have increased Wolfe's strength, but, owing to unavoidable
circumstances, they were subsequently countermanded.

Before leaving England Admiral Saunders had received intelligence that
the French would make an effort to run a convoy up the River St.
Lawrence for the relief of Quebec, at the first opening of the
navigation. He therefore dispatched Admiral Durell with a small squadron
to intercept it. From Halifax Saunders proceeded to Louisburg as soon as
the breaking up of the ice permitted, and there held counsel with Wolfe
upon the plan of the expedition. On the 15th of May he issued a general
order to the fleet, that, in case of any temporary separation from
adverse weather or other accidents, Gaspé Bay, in the Gulf of St.
Lawrence, was to be the first place of rendezvous, and the island of
Bic, 340 miles up the Great River, the next.

It was not, however, till the 1st of June that the British ships began
to weigh anchor in Louisburg Harbor, and the huge armament had not
altogether cleared the land for six days afterward. While spreading
sail, the admiral received the unwelcome news that three French frigates
and a cloud of store vessels had escaped Durell's squadron and reached
Quebec in safety. Two prizes were captured, however, which had lagged
somewhat behind, and they, besides a quantity of powder and other
munition, contained French charts of the River St. Lawrence, the
possession of which proved of great importance to the British fleet.

A cheerful and confident spirit pervaded all ranks and services in the
expedition. A portion of the troops, among whom were the gallant 43d,
had been for a considerable time doomed to unwilling inactivity upon the
dreary shores of Nova Scotia and Cape Breton; they especially were
filled with hopeful enthusiasm: as each successive transport cleared the
harbor and the broad expanse of sea appeared, shouts of joy burst from
the soldiers on the crowded decks.

On the 7th the fleet made the coast of Newfoundland, still covered with
the winter's snow; on the 9th it passed the Bird Islands in a stiff
breeze, and on the 11th made the headland of Gaspé. The desolate and
dangerous island of Anticosti was passed during the 13th with "most
delightful weather and favorable breezes; the fleet well together."
Early in the morning of the 18th they cast anchor within sight of the
island of Bic, where they found the Richmond frigate, which had got some
distance in advance, perhaps urged forward by the eager spirit of Wolfe,
who was on board. The next day they again sailed; on the 20th they were
becalmed off the mouth of the deep and gloomy Saguenay, and many of the
smaller vessels narrowly escaped being dashed against each other by the
powerful currents. In the night a favorable breeze arose, and cleared
them from their perilous entanglement, and now, at noon the following
day, the first Canadian settlement came in sight. On the 22d a French
ship was taken, on board of which were several nuns and some ladies of
distinction, a relation of the Marquis de Vaudreuil, governor of Canada,
among the number: they were treated with the greatest respect and
courtesy, and immediately sent back to Quebec under a flag of truce.

On the 23d the fleet passed the Narrows between Isle au Condre and the
shore, and in the evening came to anchor opposite the little settlement
of St. Joseph. There the first act of hostility took place: the
inhabitants fired upon some sounding boats which had neared the shore;
this was answered by a small detachment of the 15th Regiment, sent in a
barge for the protection of the sounders; little or no damage, however,
was inflicted by either party. In revenge for this attack, the little
Canadian village was subsequently burned, and the fields laid waste by a
body of British troops from before Quebec.[176] On the 25th the
difficult passage of "the Traverse" was made in safety, and on the
following day the armament anchored off the fair and fertile island of
Orleans, and the troops received orders of readiness to land.

About midnight, Lieutenant Meech and forty Rangers rowed silently toward
the shore, and, unobserved by the Canadians, effected a landing. Leaving
their boats, they pushed on through the darkness almost to the northern
side of the island; suddenly they came upon a numerous body of armed
peasants, who were engaged in burying different valuables for safety
against the invaders. The few shots which were speedily exchanged showed
the Rangers that they were outnumbered, and that a bold front was the
only chance of safety. A smart skirmish ensued; the Canadians, surprised
by the unexpected attack, and not aware what force might support their
assailants, gave way, and retired in confusion. Lieutenant Meech, happy
in having escaped the danger, also fell back, and took refuge in a
farm-house till the morning. During the night the inhabitants abandoned
the island.

The troops landed early on the 27th in a cove under the Church of St.
Lawrence, which sacred building they were implored to respect, through
the means of a placard directed to "the worthy officers of the British
army." The soldiers were charmed with the beauty and richness of the
island, and their comparative freedom after the weary voyage; but the
mind of their young general was filled with deep and anxious interest by
the sight of the stronghold that stood boldly out into the river a few
miles above. Accompanied by the chief engineer, Major M'Kellar, and an
escort of Light Infantry, Wolfe, as soon as he landed, pushed on to the
extremity of the island nearest to Quebec. A magnificent but
disheartening scene lay before him. On the summit of the highest
eminence, over the strait in the Great River from whence the basin
before him opened, the French flag waved. The crest of the rocky height
was crowned with formidable works redoubted and flanked. On every
favorable spot above, below, or on the rugged ascent, were batteries
bristling with guns. This stronghold formed the right flank of a
position eight miles in extent; the falls, and the deep and rapid stream
of the Montmorency, was the left. The shoals and rocks of the St.
Lawrence protected the broad front, and the rich valley of the St.
Charles, with the prosperous and beautiful villages of Charlesburg and
Beauport, gave shelter and hospitality in the rear. A crested bank of
some height over the Great River marked the main line of the defenses
from east to west; parapets, flanked at every favorable spot, aided
their natural strength. Crowding on this embattled bank, swarming in the
irregular village streets, and formed in masses on the hills beyond,
were 12,000 French and Canadian troops, led by the gallant Montcalm.

While Wolfe still gazed upon this appalling prospect a storm gathered
over his head, and burst in sudden violence. The teeming rain fell like
a vail between him and the beautiful but dangerous shore. Lightning
hissed through the air, and a hurricane swept over the river with
destructive strength. Transports were driven from their moorings and
cast ashore; smaller boats were dashed against each other and swamped,
and the vessels of war with difficulty held to their anchors. Silently
and thoughtfully the young general retraced his steps to the
landing-place, his sanguine and sensitive spirit oppressed for a moment
with the difficulties of his enterprise, and by the gloomy omen of the
heavens. But, before he rejoined the army, the weight was flung aside;
the elastic spring of his mind had resumed its play, and he entered the
camp with head erect and his usual bright and fearless aspect. He did
not forget that he received his high command in the confidence that "no
dangers or difficulties should discourage him."

The storm passed away as suddenly as it came; the evening of the 27th
fell calm and serene, but very dark; a few stars only were faintly
reflected from the surface of the waters. As the British sentinels paced
slowly to and fro upon the rocky shore of the island of Orleans facing
toward Quebec, the silence of the night was only broken by the echo of
their own footsteps and the ripple of the rapidly receding tide. About
midnight a soldier on one of the most advanced points called the
attention of his comrades on the neighboring posts to some dark objects
moving along the river--slowly, as if drifting with the tide in the
direction of the fleet, or rather toward some shoals to the northward of
the fleet, which had been marked out by buoys during the preceding day.
While the sentinels were yet debating about giving the alarm, each of
the dark objects sent forth a crashing salvo of artillery; grape-shot
rattled among the rocks and trees upon the shore, and plowed up the
surrounding waters. Shells and grenades leaped into the air, and
exploded with loud reports, now here, now there, on every side of the
astounded soldiers. At the same time bright red flames burst from these
fire-ships, sprung up among the masts and spars, quivered through the
distinctly visible tracery of the rigging, and spread out in broad
sheets over the collapsing sails. The river, the hostile camps, the
city, and the distant mountains, instantly stood revealed as in noonday
by this lurid light. As the blaze spread, explosion after explosion
racked the burning vessels; they staggered and spun half round under the
shocks; but still the ebb tide swept them rapidly on, near to where the
crowded transports lay.

This strange and terrible sight struck the sentries with uncontrollable
panic; they fled from their posts, carried their terrors to their
pickets, and all retired hastily toward the English camp. Falling in
upon each other in the woods, they became utterly confused. The alarm
spread; the whole line turned out, loaded their muskets, and prepared
somewhat unsteadily for action. Order and confidence were not fully
restored till daylight showed that there was no enemy at hand.

In the mean time, upon the river, where real danger threatened, it was
happily met with cool and courageous skill. As soon as the premature
ignition of the fire-ships gave the alarm to the fleet, a number of
well-manned boats put off and pulled toward them. The sailors waited
until the guns were discharged and the powder exploded; then fixed
grappling irons upon the burning vessels, and towed them leisurely
ashore, where those least injured were anchored; the rest drifted with
the tide upon the rocks, and soon broke into harmless ruin. Then, to the
sharp report of cannon and grenade, succeeded the cheerful and sonorous
"All's well" of the British seamen.

On the following morning, the 28th of June, Wolfe published a manifesto
to the Canadian people to the following effect: "We have a powerful
armament. We are sent by the English king to conquer this province, but
not to make war upon women and children, the ministers of religion, or
industrious peasants. We lament the sufferings which our invasion may
inflict upon you, but, if you remain neuter, we proffer you safety in
person and property, and freedom in religion. We are masters of the
river; no succor can reach you from France. General Amherst, with a
large army, assails your southern frontier. Your cause is hopeless, your
valor useless. Your nation have been guilty of great cruelties to our
unprotected settlers; but we seek not revenge: we offer you the sweets
of peace amid the horrors of war. England, in her strength, will
befriend you; France, in her weakness, leaves you to your fate."

This judicious proclamation was, however, at first, of little or no
avail. The Canadian clergy used their utmost endeavors to excite their
flocks against the heretical invaders, and implored them not to trust to
British promises. Hereditary hatred of the haughty islanders still
existed in the hearts of even the transatlantic French. The
counter-proclamations and threats of Montcalm also bewildered the
unhappy peasantry. He threatened them with death if they refused to
serve, and with the fury of the savages if they aided the English. In
consequence, the "habitans" generally used their best exertions to
embarrass the invaders and to assist the defense. They followed the
French banners pretty freely, and furnished such supplies to the army as
their means allowed. Not content with this, they gave the rein to the
fierce passions which intercourse with the Indians had strengthened.
They scalped without mercy all the English that fell into their hands,
massacred the wounded, and mutilated the dead. Wolfe appealed to his
gallant enemy to put a stop to these atrocities; but Montcalm's
authority was insufficient to restrain the savages, and their almost as
savage allies; and it must be admitted, to our shame, that the British
general was, in consequence, induced to connive at a vindictive
retaliation. Ultimately Wolfe issued the following strange and somewhat
conditional order: "The general strictly forbids the inhuman practice of
scalping, _except_ when the enemy are Indians, or Canadians dressed like
Indians." At the same time, however, he threatened with the punishment
of death all who might offer cruelty to women, and decreed the severest
penalties against plundering. The last order was ineffectual, for the
soldiers plundered in all directions.

While the British fleet had been slowly ascending the river, Montcalm
and his followers were busily preparing to receive it. They labored
unceasingly to add to the great natural strength of the country about
Quebec. Parapets were thrown up upon every vulnerable point, guns
mounted, and, above all, no efforts were spared to organize the numerous
but somewhat doubtful forces of the Canadian peasantry. Five veteran
French battalions, filled up by picked men from the colonial levies, and
two battalions of the "marine," or "colony troops," also trained
soldiers, formed the main strength of his army. The armed peasantry or
militia were chiefly posted for the defense of the long line of works
between Quebec and Montmorency, and several tribes of friendly Indians
hovered about among the neighboring woods.

The Canadians trusted much to the supposed difficulty of the river
navigation, and were inexpressibly disappointed when a preconcerted
signal announced that the vast British armament had passed the Narrows
in safety. When the crowding sails were seen rounding the isle of
Orleans, the people, in despair, flew to the churches to offer up their
prayers for the preservation of their country. At first the van of
Admiral Durell's squadron hoisted French colors, and the joyful rumor
spread along the shore that a fleet had arrived to their aid from
France. Pilots hastened on board to offer assistance to their supposed
friends; but when they were detained, and the British flag was hoisted
instead of the French, the pleasing illusion was dispelled. A Canadian
priest stood gazing delightedly upon the ships through a telescope: he
was so overwhelmed with consternation when he perceived the mistake that
he fell down and died.

The storm had taught the British admiral that the channel between the
island of Orleans and the south shore was neither a safe nor a
convenient anchorage; he therefore determined to pass up into the basin
with his whole fleet. Information had, however, been received that the
French occupied, in some force of infantry and artillery, a headland
called Point Levi, which is opposite to the headland of Quebec, and
which, with the latter, forms the strait at the entrance of the basin.
From this commanding position the enemy's guns might seriously annoy the
English ships. Saunders therefore requested General Wolfe to drive the
French away from this point, and to occupy it himself.

On the evening of the 29th of June, Brigadier-general Monckton, with his
brigade of four battalions and some Light Infantry and Rangers, were
formed on the southwestern extremity of the island of Orleans, in
readiness to pass over against Point Levi. Through some unforeseen
delay, they did not embark till dusk, and the light troops, with one
regiment only, were enabled to cross the river before the ebb of tide
rendered further movement impossible for the present. The remaining
three regiments lay for the night on their arms by the shore. The troops
which had embarked landed without opposition, and contented themselves
with taking possession of Beaumont Church on the south shore; there they
barricaded themselves, lighted watch-fires, and awaited the morning.

At earliest daylight Monckton embarked the rest of his brigade and
pushed across to the advance. The sound of musketry from the southern
shore soon stimulated the exertions of the rowers, and, as the scattered
shots breezed up into a skirmish, they used their utmost efforts to
increase their speed. The troops scarcely waited to form after landing,
but hastened on to the church where their comrades had passed the night.
There, however, they only met with a couple of wounded men; the Light
Infantry had speedily overpowered a detachment of colony troops, and
were still pressing hard upon their retreating footsteps through the
wood. The English brigadier found the banks of the river steep, the
country rugged and difficult: a few resolute men might have embarrassed
or baffled his expedition.

In the mean time the British light troops had arrested the pursuit at a
large farm-house at the foot of the hill which rises into the headland
of Point Levi; they deemed it prudent to secrete themselves there, lest
the enemy should return with re-enforcements before the succors arrived
from Orleans, and also because there was plenty of provisions, some
plunder, and a good fire. While the English soldiers were availing
themselves of these advantages, they were alarmed by hearing voices
close at hand: they seized their arms, searched the house and the
surrounding thickets without discovering any one. They at length
determined to fire the building and fall back upon the church. In a few
moments the farm-house was in a blaze. Then, to their horror, loud
shrieks of women and children burst from the burning ruins; they
hastened back, and used their best endeavors to save the sufferers, but
in vain; while they yet strove, the roof fell in with a crash, and all
was silent. The miserable victims had hidden themselves in a cellar at
the approach of the British troops. After this horrible incident the
Light Infantry fell back to Beaumont Church, where they found the whole
of Monckton's brigade assembled.

At ten o'clock the brigadier moved upon the heights of Point Levi,
preceded by a cloud of skirmishers. The way lay over a pleasant road,
with a highly cultivated country on either side, and was not disputed
till the British troops began to ascend the hill. They soon forced the
height, and hurried on to the village facing Quebec. Here, however, they
received a check. A strong body of Canadians threw themselves into the
church and the adjoining houses, and another detachment held stoutly to
a rocky eminence further to the rear. The English rallied and gained
possession of the buildings, but were speedily dislodged again; the
position was not finally won till the 78th Highlanders forced the flank
in overwhelming numbers, and Monckton himself, with four companies of
Grenadiers, broke through the front. The Canadians and Indians, who had
fought so stoutly, although not altogether more than 1000 strong,
crossed over to Quebec when evening fell. The British brigade housed
themselves luxuriously in the neat village of Point Levi: no guns fell
into their hands, nor were any works in progress on that side of the

Montcalm felt that the assailants had gained a dangerous advantage in
the possession of Point Levi. Although at a distance of three quarters
of a mile from the city, heavy ordnance played from thence with ruinous
effect. In a council of war he had urged that 4000 men should be
strongly intrenched upon this position, with orders to hold it to the
last extremity; but his opinion was overruled by the governor, M. de
Vaudreuil, and from that time a fatal alienation arose between the two
French authorities. However, in the morning of the 1st of July, Montcalm
made a feeble effort to dislodge the British, by attacking their
position from three floating batteries. For an hour and a half the
French continued an annoying but almost harmless fire. Then Saunders
dispatched the Trent frigate to check the insult; favorable winds
carried her up to the scene of action, and a broadside concluded the

From that time Wolfe exerted himself to put Point Levi beyond the reach
of further insult; batteries were thrown up, and guns mounted in
commanding situations. In the afternoon skirmishes took place, both in
the woods near this new position and on the island of Orleans; some
lives were lost without any result, and both parties behaved with savage
cruelty. On the following morning this useless mischief was continued:
the same evening Wolfe made a reconnoissance in some force up the right
bank of the river, and marked out the ground for batteries to bombard
the town. Some of the Rangers under Major Scott penetrated as far as the
Chaudière River in this advance, but performed nothing worthy of notice.

The 48th Regiment, the Grenadiers and Light Infantry of the division,
and the Rangers, with working parties from other corps, broke ground
upon the high lands to the west of Point Levi on the 5th of July. They
labored with zeal, and the batteries which were to play from thence upon
Quebec soon began to assume a formidable appearance. The Rangers took
post during the day in small parties upon the adjoining hills, which
commanded the several approaches to the works, and erected small
breast-works for their defense, while they guarded against the sudden
approach of an enemy. In the mean time a portion of Townsend's brigade,
under Colonel Carleton, was engaged in throwing up strong intrenchments
on the westernmost point of Orleans. When these two positions were
occupied, the safety of the fleet in the basin was assured;
nevertheless, by some unaccountable temerity or carelessness, the
Leostoff cutter allowed herself to be surprised and taken by the enemy
while sounding. This little incident brought on a brisk cannonade, which
continued for nearly two hours, without, however, causing damage to
either party.

When the works on Point Levi and on the western extremity of the island
of Orleans were in a respectably defensible condition, Wolfe turned his
attention to the north shore of the St. Lawrence, where a favorable
position offered for threatening the French left. On the morning of the
9th the lighter vessels of the British fleet hauled in to the shore as
close as the depth of water would permit, and opened a fire upon the
enemy's lines between Quebec and the Falls of Montmorency. The range was
distant; nevertheless, the seamen plied their guns with such effect that
Montcalm found it necessary to strike the encampments near the shore,
and retire upon the high crest which extended along his whole front:
there he was beyond reach of annoyance. At the first dawn, Monckton's
brigade, with the exception of the working parties, was formed on the
slopes of the hills opposite Quebec, and ostentatiously marched up the
left bank of the St. Lawrence westward from Point Levi. The object of
the bombardment by the ships, and this movement of the troops, was to
divert the attention of the enemy from Wolfe's real object, which was to
establish himself upon the north shore by the Falls of Montmorency.

The movement of Monckton's corps was marked by an incident pre-eminently
lamentable, even among daily scenes of death and misery. A lieutenant of
Rangers, with twenty men, was sent to scour the woods to the southward
of the line of march, and, if possible, to gain information of the
enemy's movements. They pressed forward with somewhat rash zeal into the
woody solitudes, and, being overtaken by the night, lay on their arms
and returned the next morning. While retracing their steps, they were
attracted by smoke rising from a neighboring clearing. They approached
having spread themselves in a circle, to prevent the escape of those
they might discover. The smoke proceeded from a log hut, where they
found and captured a man and his three sons, the eldest a youth of
fifteen years. The Rangers then hurried homeward with their prize. They
had not got far on their road when the horrible war-whoop of the Indians
rose behind them, and a glance showed that their assailants were in
overpowering numbers. There was, however, still hope of escape, for the
Rangers were hardy and active men, skilled in forest craft, and,
happily, well acquainted with the rugged and intricate paths. They
plunged into the woods at a running pace, and in a few minutes emerged
into another road unknown to their fierce pursuers. But here an
unfortunate difficulty arose: the elder prisoners were hurried along,
unwillingly enough, but in terrified silence; not so the two younger,
who were mere children: they filled the air with lamentations and cries
of alarm that neither entreaties nor threats could check. The British
lieutenant then begged of them to leave him and return home; but the
poor innocents only clung the more closely to him, and wailed the
louder. The sole chance of escape lay in reaching, unobserved, a pass
which led to the new position of Monckton's brigade, and by which the
Indians might not expect them to retreat. The hapless children, however,
by their screams, guided the savages in their pursuit through the
tangled woods, and again the war-whoop sounded close behind the
fugitives. An awful moment of irresolution was succeeded by an awful
resolve; the British officer, with a mournful heart, gave the order that
his young prisoners should be silenced forever. The Rangers reached the
brigade in safety before evening.

While the attention of the enemy was distracted by Monckton and the
fleet, Wolfe passed over from Orleans to the eastward of Montmorency,
with a large force, at about one o'clock in the day, and encamped,
unopposed, on the left bank of the stream close to the falls. He
immediately placed some Light Artillery in position, and commenced
intrenching himself. The works were vigorously continued the following
morning, and Captain Dank's company of Rangers were pushed forward into
the woods to cover some parties who were engaged in making fascines for
the intrenchments. The Rangers had scarcely entered the bush when they
were suddenly and fiercely assailed by a considerable body of ambushed
Indians, and driven back with considerable loss. When they got into the
open ground, however, they rallied; the savages, elated with their first
success, pressed boldly on and renewed the combat, forcing the British
troops back over the fields toward the camp, and scalping and massacring
the wounded in the sight of their comrades. But the state of affairs was
soon changed; some advanced companies of Townshend's brigade, with two
field-pieces hurried out on hearing the firing: they fell on the flank
of the Indians, and slaughtered them without mercy.

The plan of Wolfe's operations was now fairly developed. The mass of his
army was formed in threatening array upon the extreme left of the French
position, and from a considerable height looked down almost into the
rear of their intrenchments. The British general had hoped that from
hence he might find a ford across the rapid stream of the Montmorency,
and force on an action in the open country behind the enemy's lines;
there he doubted not that the courage and discipline of his troops would
give him an easy victory over the numerous Canadian levies. But he had
altogether mistaken the difficulties of the undertaking. The only ford
was three miles up the stream; the bush was so dense and the country so
rugged that a few Indians sufficed to baffle his repeated attempts to
reconnoiter, and killed or wounded no less than forty of his men. He
could no longer endure the slaughter of his magnificent Light Infantry
by the hands of unseen savages, and altogether abandoned the idea of
crossing the river above the falls.

Montcalm quickly perceived the dangerous error of the English in
dividing their small army. As soon as Monckton's brigade commenced to
plant their guns on Point Levi, 1500 Canadians and savages were pushed
across the St. Lawrence from Quebec, and posted in the woods on the
right bank: they reconnoitered the English position, and, having
obtained a re-enforcement of 300 colony troops, prepared for an attack
on the night of the 13th. M. de Charrier, seigneur of Point Levi, a
skillful and a resolute man, commanded the assailants; meanwhile,
Wolfe, on hearing of the enemy's movements, had taken the command, in
person, at the south side of the river. The night came on still and
cloudless, but very dark; the weather was intensely hot, and the British
troops, wearied with the labors of the day, lay in profound repose, not
dreaming that the French would venture a night attack. The sentries,
indeed, paced their rounds, but, unconscious of the danger that lay
under the dark shadows of the neighboring forest, they still shouted
"All's well" as each hour passed away.

The French advanced in two columns, silently, and at first with great
steadiness; as they proceeded, the difficulty of the road and the
extreme darkness of the night threw them into some confusion; despite
the skill of their leader and his perfect knowledge of the ground, the
disorder increased. The most perfect discipline and self-confidence are
rarely proof against the hazards of a night attack; among raw levies,
such as were the bulk of De Charrier's followers, disorder, once
commenced, becomes inextricable. While he yet strove to re-form the
broken ranks, an unexplained noise in a coppice by the road side struck
the Canadians with sudden panic, and they rapidly retraced their steps.
The rear column, hearing the approach of numerous footsteps from the
front, supposed that the English were upon them, and poured a close
volley among the fugitives, who again, under a like mistake, returned
the fire. The bloodshed was only stayed by both parties flying in
different directions. Not less than seventy of the French were killed
and wounded in this untoward enterprise. The attempt was not renewed.

The British batteries being completed at Point Levi and at Montmorency,
a fire of guns and mortars was poured night and day upon the city of
Quebec, and upon the French lines to the westward. The enemy replied
with spirit, but with little effect. The Lower Town was much damaged by
the constant bombardment from the opposite side of the river, and at
eleven o'clock on the forenoon of the 16th, a fire broke out in the
Upper Town, where a shell had fallen. The flames spread with rapidity,
fanned by a strong northwest wind; many buildings were destroyed before
the conflagration was arrested; among others the great Cathedral, with
all its paintings, images, and ornaments. The defenses remained
untouched throughout this lamentable destruction; the assailants only
diminished the value of the prize for which they strove, without
approaching a whit nearer to its attainment.

Wolfe returned to the north camp on the 16th, and pushed the works above
the Falls of Montmorency with vigor. He frequently, during the day, sent
out detachments of troops to scour the neighboring woods, and to keep
the marauding Indians in check. The savages hovered constantly round the
British position, and from their ambush sprang like tigers upon those
who ventured unprotected within their reach. On the night of the 16th
they surprised and scalped four sentries of the Louisburg Grenadiers.
While Wolfe busied himself in strengthening his position, and
cannonading the French lines at a distance, M. de Levi, a distinguished
French officer, solicited Montcalm to drive him away. "Dislodge him
thence, and he will give us more trouble," replied Montcalm, "while
there he can not hurt us; let him amuse himself."

The British general determined to reconnoiter the banks of the river
above the town, while he still continued his preparations below. With
this view, a small squadron under Captain Rous sailed with fair wind and
tide a little before midnight on the 18th, and passed up unharmed in the
face of the enemy's batteries. One frigate, however, the Diana, ran
aground near Point Levi, and could not be got off till the following
day. This bold passage was a complete surprise to the besieged: the
English ships were not observed by the sentries till it was too late to
bring their guns to bear. Two of these unhappy soldiers paid the penalty
of death for their carelessness: they were hung on a gibbet the
following morning, in sight of both armies.

Montcalm lost no time in sending some guns up the left bank of the river
to annoy the British squadron; he erected a battery in a suitable
position at a place called Sillery, and compelled Rous to weigh anchor
and move up the stream. The French artillerymen had not been long
inactive after this achievement when they were again called to their
guns; a barge was discovered skirting the southern shore, and steering
toward the nearest English ship. They gave her a salvo as she went by,
and one shot carried away her mast; before they could reload she was out
of reach. General Wolfe was in this barge on his way to reconnoiter the
upper river.

Wolfe found the aspect of affairs as unpromising above the town as it
was below; the banks were every where high and precipitous; at each
assailable point intrenchments more or less formidable had been thrown
up, and each movement was jealously watched from the shore. However, to
divide and harass the enemy, and in the hope of procuring intelligence,
he sent Colonel Carleton, who commanded the troops embarked in Rous's
squadron, to make a descent upon the small town of Point aux Trembles,
to which many of the inhabitants of Quebec had retired with their
stores, papers, and valuables.

Carleton landed on the 22d at the head of three companies of Grenadiers
and a battalion of the Royal Americans; a few Indians offered some
resistance at first, and wounded several of the leading files, but were
soon overpowered and driven into the woods. A number of useless
prisoners, some plunder, and several packets of letters, fell into the
hands of the English. The latter were of importance. "De Vaudreuil, the
governor, and Montcalm have disagreed, and endeavor to embarrass each
other," quotes one writer. "But for respect for our priests, and fear of
the savages, we would submit," writes the next. "We are without hope,
and without food," says a third. "Since the English have passed the
town, our communication with Montreal is cut off--God has forsaken us,"
laments another. The misery of the besieged was great, therefore great
also was the hope of the besiegers.

To increase the distress of the enemy, an order was issued from the
English head-quarters on the 24th of July. "Our out-parties are to burn
and lay waste the country for the future, sparing only churches, or
houses dedicated to divine worship." However, it was again repeated,
"that women and children are not to be molested, on any account
whatsoever." We may suppose men received scant mercy. "We played so
warmly on the town last night, that a fire broke out in two different
parts of it at eleven o'clock, which burned with great rapidity until
near three this morning. We are erecting a new six-gun battery to the
right of the others, to keep the town in ruins, which appears to be
almost destroyed." So writes an officer of the 43d, in his journal,
dated Point Levi, 25th of July, 1759. Such is war, even when Wolfe, the
pious, the domestic, and the tender-hearted, was the general!

On the 26th the indefatigable British general proceeded up the left bank
of the Montmorency River to reconnoiter some works which the enemy were
erecting on the opposite side. His escort was attacked by a swarm of
Indians, and for a time hardly pressed; many of the English soldiers
were struck down before they could get sight of their subtle enemy; and
when the savages were finally silenced, it was with the loss of nearly
fifty of Wolfe's men killed and wounded. The next morning the 78th
Highlanders surprised a French detachment, and slew nine of them; their
own colonel and a captain were, however, wounded in the struggle.

In consequence of some threatening movements in the British fleet, the
French sent down a fire-raft on the night of the 28th. A number of small
schooners, shallops, and rafts were chained together, to the breadth of
200 yards, and laden with shells, grenades, old guns, pistols, and tar
barrels: this mischievous contrivance floated rapidly down with the ebb
tide. The English seamen, however, were, as before, alert, and towed the
fire-raft ashore, without its having caused the slightest damage. The
following morning Wolfe sent a flag of truce to the garrison of Quebec,
with the following message: "If the enemy presume to send down any more
fire-rafts, they are to be made fast to two particular transports, in
which are all the Canadian and other prisoners, in order that they may
perish by their own base inventions." The French constructed no more

[Footnote 175: "That admiral (Saunders) was a pattern of most sturdy
bravery, united with the most unaffected modesty. No man said less or
deserved more. Simplicity in his manners, generosity, and good nature
adorned his genuine love of his country."--Walpole's _Memoirs of George
II._, p. 394.]

[Footnote 176: "The sides of the river began immediately to show a most
dismal appearance of fire and smoke; and (as the troops employed on this
service were the remains of those who escaped the massacre of Fort
William Henry, where they killed and scalped every wounded officer and
common man) they spared little or nothing that came in their
way."--_Gentleman's Magazine_ vol. xxix., p. 556.]


Wolfe had now been five weeks before Quebec; not a few lives had been
lost, a vast quantity of ammunition expended, and, above all, the season
of action was already half consumed. But, as yet, no important step, in
a military point of view, had been gained. The high grounds which he
occupied beyond Montmorency and Point Levi had scarcely been disputed by
the enemy. From day to day the hostile parapets were strengthened and
extended. He had carefully examined the north bank of the Great River
above and below the city, and could discover no one spot where either
nature or art did not forbid his landing. Whatever discontent or
distress might exist in the Canadian camp, there appeared no diminution
of numbers or slackening of zeal in the defense. Montcalm had neither
suffered himself to be provoked by insult or to be tempted by brilliant
but dangerous opportunity. He rendered assurance doubly sure by keeping
his superior force in a superior position; his raw provincial levies,
when behind breast-works, were far from inefficient, and his numerous
savage allies were terrible in their forest warfare; with the first he
manned his lines, with the latter he lost no opportunity of harassing
the invaders. On the other hand, the state of affairs in the British
camp was by no means promising: under Wolfe's circumstances, inaction
was almost equivalent to defeat.

It was true that, before leaving England, he was instructed that his
expedition was only auxiliary to that of Amherst. To the main army,
which was advancing by the inland lakes, England looked for the conquest
of the country. Wolfe had already occupied the most important points in
the neighborhood of Quebec, and might well be excused had he awaited the
arrival of the general-in-chief for an attack upon the great stronghold.
In this situation, many a brave and experienced veteran would probably
have written "a most eloquent and conclusive apology for being beaten
or for standing still."[177] But Wolfe had been happily chosen. He
deeply felt that his unusual selection should be justified by unusual
achievements, and that it was his duty to risk his reputation, as well
as his life, rather than fail the sanguine hopes of his country.

Before narrating Wolfe's determination in this crisis, and the events
consequent thereupon, it will, perhaps, be well to recall the reader's
attention to the position of the Canadian army. The north shore of the
basin of Quebec is a curve of about eight miles long. The waters shoal
as they approach this shore, and at low tide a muddy bank is exposed, in
some places nearly half a mile in breadth. The long-crested height,
mentioned in a former description, at some parts of the line overhangs
high-water mark, at others recedes into the country, and leaves some
rich alluvial fields between its base and the river's banks. Wherever
this height was not sufficiently precipitous to form a natural defense,
the face was scarped, the summit crowned with a parapet, and the foot
pallisadoed or armed with abattis. The irregular line of this formidable
front shaped itself here and there into projections and inclinations, as
if traced in flank and ravelin by the skill of the engineer. The extreme
left of the French army rested on the rocky banks of the Montmorency.
The beautiful cataract, and the foaming rapids for three miles up the
stream, forbade the passage of an enemy: there was, indeed, a ford, but
it was well defended; beyond that, the tangled bush defied the strength
of battalions. Below the falls, however, the waters spread themselves in
numerous shallow channels over the sands, and the stream is fordable
except at high tide. To strengthen this weak point, Montcalm had thrown
up a four-gun redoubt at the foot of the overhanging cliff. Although
defiladed from the British artillery, these cliffs were altogether
exposed to that of the French, and therefore untenable in case of
falling into the assailants' hands.

Toward the right of the French position the crested ridge subsides in a
gentle slope upon a valley, through the center of which winds the St.
Charles or Little River. The entrance to this stream is deep, and forms
a small harbor; here the French had run their ships of war aground, and
these powerful wooden batteries, with their heavy guns, swept the slopes
on either side, both toward the city walls and the right shoulder of the
crested height.

The almost desperate course upon which Wolfe at length determined, was
that of attacking the enemy in these intrenchments. He maturely weighed
his plans; the skill and caution of the execution could alone justify
the temerity of the resolve. The redoubt on the low ground, in front of
the French left, and near the Falls of Montmorency, offered the most
vulnerable point; detached from the main defenses, and within reach of
guns from the shipping, he doubted not that he could easily master it,
or bring on a general action for its possession. On the other hand, this
redoubt could not be held when taken, for it lay exposed to the
artillery of the French. However, there were difficulties on every side;
Wolfe chose that which he considered the least. He well knew that, even
were he to carry the crested hill over the redoubt, and to force the
enemy from their works, the River St. Charles and the inner
intrenchments still lay between him and the city; "But," said he, "a
victorious army meets with no difficulties."

Wolfe's available force was less by one third than that of the defenders
of this almost impregnable position. He had to risk the confusion of a
debarkation, the despotism of the tides, and the caprice of the winds.
The undertaking was all but desperate, and yet an overweening confidence
in their chief and in themselves was more fatal to the British troops
than the guns and parapets of the enemy.

Wolfe concerted the plan of attack with the admiral. A small frigate,
the Centurion, was to sail toward the shore, as near as the depth of
water would permit, and open fire upon the redoubt. Two armed transports
received orders to second the frigate, and, if necessary, to run aground
in a favorable position. In one of these the general himself embarked.
The boats of the fleet were directed to take on board the greater part
of Monckton's brigade at Point Levi, with the available troops from
Orleans, and to muster at an early hour in the forenoon off the
northwestern point of that island. In the mean time, the British
batteries from Point Levi, and the heights over Montmorency Falls, were
to open upon the city and the intrenchments with every gun and mortar.
Townshend's and Murray's brigades were commanded to form in close
columns eastward of the ford below the falls, and there to await the
general's orders.

At ten o'clock on the morning of the 31st of July, the 15th and 78th
Regiments, 200 men of the Royal Americans, and all the Grenadiers of
Monckton's brigade, embarked in the boats of the fleet at Point Levi:
they made for the northwest point of the island of Orleans, where they
were joined by four more companies of Grenadiers. The whole flotilla
then pushed out into mid-channel and awaited orders. At eleven o'clock
the two armed transports stood in for the Point de Lest, and grounded;
one, under Lieutenant Garnier, within musket-shot of the French redoubt.
At the same time, Admiral Saunders, in the Centurion, brought to a
little further from the shore, opposite the ford, and all three vessels
opened fire. This gave the signal to the gunners at Point Levi and on
the east bank of the Montmorency: they also began to work; the enemy
replied; and in a few minutes the whole of the vast amphitheater
resounded with the roar of artillery.

Wolfe was in the transport which had first grounded. He promptly
observed that the redoubt, if taken, was too distant from the water to
allow of effectual support by the guns and the small arms of the
shipping. He saw, moreover, that his threatening movements had caused an
unusual stir in the French lines; bodies of troops were moving to and
fro, between the several points of defense, with that degree of
irregularity which usually attends the sudden re-formations of
undisciplined men: two battalions of the enemy were observed marching
from the roar of their left in the direction of the ford, three miles up
the Montmorency River: their object was evidently to cross the stream,
and fall upon the British batteries on the left bank, while the mass of
Wolfe's army was occupied in the attack upon the intrenchments. This
movement was immediately met by a counter-demonstration: the 48th
Regiment, which had been left in the works at Point Levi, was
ostentatiously pushed up the right bank of the St. Lawrence, as if about
to cross and attempt the French position above the city. Montcalm, upon
this, gave up his flank attack, and dispatched the two battalions to
watch the 48th from the opposite side of the river.

For several hours, during these demonstrations, the firing on all sides
had slackened; the flotilla still lay motionless in the center of the
northern channel of the St. Lawrence. A great part of the day had thus
passed without any thing of importance having been attempted. The clouds
gathered heavily over the hills, and the receding tide warned Wolfe that
only brief space was left for action. He hesitated for a time;
circumstances were very adverse; but, unfortunately, the slight disorder
in the enemy's lines confirmed the bolder counsel, always most congenial
to his mind. At four o'clock he signaled for a renewal of the cannonade;
at five his barge put off from the second transport, and rowed toward
the flotilla, and at the same moment a red flag ran up to the mizen peak
of the stranded ship: it was the signal to advance.

With a loud cheer the sailors bent to the oar, and the long-motionless
flotilla sprung into life. A few strokes somewhat disordered the
regularity of the line; some boats were faster, some crews more vigorous
than others. As they approached, the French gunners tried the decreasing
range; the shot fell near, hissed over head, and at length fell in among
the boats. Some few struck with fatal effect, for the weak frames were
easily shivered, and then sunk with all on board. While still pressing
on through the fire, the leading boats grounded on a ledge of unseen
rocks at short musket-shot from the beach. The disorder then became

Wolfe was now in action: hesitation was at an end. He gave orders that
the flotilla should re-form in rear of the rocks, and, when the boats
were again afloat, signaled to Townshend to stop the advance of his
brigade, which was already in motion upon the ford; he then sprang into
a cutter with some navy officers, and skirted the reef in search of an
opening. He soon succeeded. It was now half past five; the storm
threatened close at hand; battalion after battalion the French were
crowding from right to left; but Wolfe was not to be daunted; he renewed
the signal of attack, and himself pointed out the way through the rocks.
A few strokes carried the flotilla to the shore; while the eager troops
sprang upon land, the French gave a parting volley, and abandoned the
redoubt and the detached battery which defended the ford.

The thirteen companies of Grenadiers and the Royal Americans were first
ashore; they had received orders to form in four columns on the beach,
there to await the support of the remainder of Monckton's brigade from
the boats, and Townshend's from beyond the ford. But these chosen men
were flushed with an overweening confidence: proud of their post of
preference, proud of their individual strength, and exasperated by long
delay, they burst like bloodhounds from the leash. Despite the orders of
their officers, they raced across the intervening fields, and, without
any order or formation, threw themselves against the crested height.

Wolfe soon saw that this rash valor had ruined the fortunes of the day:
nothing remained but to make such preparations for retreat as might
mitigate the inevitable disaster. Monckton's remaining regiments, the
15th and 78th, were now landed, and formed in admirable order upon the
beach, while Townshend and Murray crossed the ford of the Montmorency
and advanced to join them. Instead of risking this unbroken array in
supporting the unfortunate attack of the advance, Wolfe kept his men in
hand, and strove to recall the disordered assailants. Meanwhile the
storm burst, and when the Grenadiers reached the steep slope, they found
it impossible to keep their footing on the muddy side; their ammunition
was soon rendered useless by the teeming rain; but, still trusting to
the bayonet, they tried to make good their ground upon the hill. The
position was far stronger than they had anticipated; they were out of
breath, and exhausted by their hurried advance; by the time they had
clambered within reach of the enemy's parapets they were already beaten.
One close and steady volley of the French sufficed to roll them back
from off the crested hill.

In tumultuous disorder, the Grenadiers fell back upon the abandoned
redoubt, and sought shelter under its parapets from the stinging fire of
the French. The works had, however, been so constructed that little or
no protection was afforded against the neighboring heights. Officers and
men were rapidly struck down in vain endeavors to re-form the broken
ranks, but still, with sullen tenacity, they held the unprofitable
position. At length, in obedience to peremptory orders, they retired,
and took post in the rear of Monckton's line.

The slope of the fatal hill now presented a melancholy scene to the
British army. More than 200 of the Grenadiers had fallen; the track of
the rash advance and disastrous retreat was marked by the dying and the
dead. Some red coats lay almost under the enemy's parapets, where a few
of these impetuous men had won their way; others were seen dragging
their maimed limbs to seek shelter behind rocks or trees from the
vindictive fire which the French still poured upon their fallen foes.
Among the wounded lay Captain Ochterlony and Ensign Peyton, of the
second battalion of the Royal Americans: they had refused the proffered
aid of their retreating soldiers, and, being bound by ties of the
closest friendship, determined to meet together the desperate chances of
the field. They sat down side by side, bade each other farewell, and
awaited their fate. In a few minutes a Frenchman and two Indians
approached, plundered the wounded officers, and were about to murder
Ochterlony, when Peyton shot one of the savages with a double-barreled
gun which he still held; the other then rushed upon him, and, although
receiving the contents of the second barrel, closed in mortal struggle.
The Englishman succeeded, after a moment, in drawing a dagger, and with
repeated stabs, brought the Indian to the ground. In the mean time, the
French soldier had carried Ochterlony as a prisoner to his lines.[178]

Peyton now started up, and, although his leg was broken, ran for forty
yards toward the river; there he sank exhausted. Presently a crowd of
Indians, reeking from their work of butchery, approached him from the
extreme left. Peyton reloaded his musket, leaned upon his unwounded
limb, and faced the savages; the two foremost hesitated before this
resolute attitude, when, to the deep disgrace of the French, they opened
a fire of musketry and even cannon from their breast-works upon the
maimed and solitary officer. However, at this desperate moment relief
was nigh; the Indians, who before had hesitated, now turned and fled
like scared vultures from their prey. A detachment of the gallant 78th
Highlanders, undismayed by the still murderous fire, chased the
marauders from the field, and bore the wounded Englishman in safety to
the shore. This extraordinary scene occurred in full view of both

The evening was now far advanced; the tide was beginning to flow; the
ammunition of the whole army was damaged by the heavy rains; the waters
looked angry beneath a threatening gale; the enemy's strength was
concentrated; they had suffered little or no loss, while the British
were weakened by 33 officers and 410 men. Wolfe had learned by painful
experience the prodigious advantage of the French position, which,
although nearly invulnerable to attack, yet afforded admirable
facilities for retreat. He was baffled; all that now remained was to
conduct the re-embarkation with safety and regularity. Such of the
wounded as could be yet saved were carried from the field; the stranded
transports were abandoned and burned, and the flotilla rowed away from
the fatal shore. Townshend and Murray, whose untouched brigades had
covered the embarkation, then recrossed the ford without interruption,
and resumed their position on the heights east of the Montmorency.

Wolfe knew that the enterprise of the 31st of July was of such a nature
that nothing but success could justify its temerity. By failure his
military error had been thrown into strong light, and yet it was
probable that he would have succeeded but for a strange adversity of
circumstances. The officers of the fleet had remained in unaccountable
ignorance of the reef of rocks which delayed and disordered the attack.
The storm of rain not only injured the ammunition of his men, but
rendered the steep ascent of the enemy's position so slippery that they
could not find firm footing, and the ill-timed audacity of the
Grenadiers had confounded all his calculations. The leading fault of his
plan was undoubtedly the attempt of a combined attack by land and water.
Had Monckton's brigade been landed beyond the falls, and the whole army
crossed the ford together, the fatal embarrassments of the
disembarkation would have been avoided. Wolfe suffered intense mental
distress from this mishap; his mind preyed upon his feeble frame; his
chronic ailment attacked him with unusual violence; fever supervened,
and for some weeks he lay absolutely helpless, to the grief of the whole
army. In the mean time, however, he issued the following merited rebuke
to the corps whose indiscretion had led to results so disastrous:

"The check which the Grenadiers met with will, it is hoped, be a lesson
to them for the time to come. Such impetuous, irregular, and
unsoldierlike proceedings destroy all order, and put it out of the
general's power to execute his plan. The Grenadiers could not suppose
that they alone could beat the French army; therefore it was necessary
the corps under Brigadiers Townshend and Monckton should have time to
join them, that the attack might be general. The very first fire of the
enemy was sufficient to have repulsed men who had lost all sense of
order and military discipline. Amherst's (the 15th) and the Highland
(the 78th) regiment, by the soldier-like and cool manner in which they
formed, would undoubtedly have beaten back the whole Canadian army, if
they had ventured to attack them. The loss, however, is very
inconsiderable, and may be easily repaired when a favorable opportunity
offers, if the men will show a proper attention to their officers."

Immediately after the repulse at Montmorency, Wolfe had dispatched 1200
men, under Brigadier Murray, to assist Admiral Holmes in the Upper
River, and with orders to attempt the destruction of the French shipping
which had passed up the stream. The brigadier was directed, at the same
time, to take every favorable opportunity of engaging the enemy, and to
endeavor, by all means in his power, to provoke them to attack him. In
obedience to these orders, Murray proceeded up the left bank of the
river with his detachment, consisting of the 15th Regiment, three
companies of the Royal Americans, two of Marines, and one of Light
Infantry. At a convenient place above the Chaudière River, he embarked
under Admiral Holmes, and the squadron then made sail up the stream. The
French ships easily avoided the danger by sending all their guns and
stores ashore, and, when thus lightened, taking refuge in the shallows
toward Montreal; one brigantine of 200 tons was, however, abandoned and
burned in their retreat.

Murray found every place fortified where a landing might be effected,
and the enemy always on the alert. After two vain attempts to disembark,
he at length only succeeded by a surprise: he then pushed to the village
of Dechambault, which was close at hand, carried it with scarcely any
resistance, and burned some stores of provisions, clothing, and
ammunition. Several prisoners of some note were taken in the onslaught,
and a few important letters fell into the hands of the English. Through
these letters Murray first heard of the occupation of Crown Point by
Amherst, and of Johnson's victory at Niagara. Finding that he could
effect nothing further, he hastened to convey this cheering news to his

Meanwhile fruitless damage was inflicted by each party upon the other:
the Indians frequently surprised and scalped English stragglers, and the
English batteries at Montmorency and Point Levi kept up a continued fire
upon the lines and upon the city. On the morning of the 10th of August,
at one o'clock, a shell pitched upon the vaulted roof of a cellar in the
lower town, broke through, and burst; a large quantity of brandy which
was there stored instantly ignited, the flames spread rapidly, and
nearly the whole of the quarter, including the Church of Nôtre Dame de
la Victoire, was burned to the ground. A fire broke out simultaneously
in the Upper Town, but was extinguished without having spread to any
great extent.

The intelligence of Amherst and Johnson's progress, although
satisfactory in itself, gave Wolfe no hope of their assistance before
the close of the campaign: defeat could hardly have been more disastrous
to the general interests of the war than their inactivity. Almost the
whole force of Canada still mustered behind the formidable defenses of
Quebec. Nothing, however, could shake the resolution of the British
general; while life remained, he determined to persevere in the
enterprise. Far from being disheartened, he was only stimulated by
increasing difficulties. The fate of the campaign now hung upon him
alone: the disaster at Montmorency had endangered his reputation; it
only remained to clear away the cloud by success, or to silence censure
by a soldier's death.

While Wolfe lay stricken with fever and unable to bear the presence of
his officers, he meditated unceasingly upon plans of attack. At length,
when somewhat recovered, but still incapable of leaving his bed, he
dictated the following letter to the brigadiers under his command:

"That the public service may not suffer by the general's indisposition,
he begs the brigadiers will meet and consult together for the public
utility and advantage, and consider of the best method to attack the

"If the French army be attacked and defeated, the general concludes that
the town would immediately surrender, because he does not find that they
have any provision in that place.

"The general is of opinion that the army should be attacked in
preference to the place, because of the difficulties of penetrating from
the Lower to the Upper Town; in which attempt neither the guns of the
shipping nor of our own batteries could be of much use."

The letter then proceeds to suggest three different modes of
attack--all, however, upon the enemy's lines between the city and

The brigadiers assembled in consequence of this communication, and,
after having maturely deliberated, agreed in recommending the remarkable
plan which Wolfe unreservedly adopted. The merit of this daring and
skillful proposition belongs to Colonel George Townshend, although long
disputed, or withheld by jealousy or political hostility. This able
officer had left every happiness that domestic life could bestow, and
every gratification which fortune and position could procure, to face
the hardships and seek the honors of his country's service. When the
ministry's determination to prepare the expedition against Quebec became
known, he successfully exerted his powerful interest to obtain
employment, and was appointed to the third post of seniority in Wolfe's

The general plan of operations being arranged, preparations were
commenced to carry it into execution. The prospect of action revived the
drooping spirits of the British troops, and tended considerably to
improve their health; fever had been rife among them: a number of men
and officers had already died, and the temporary hospitals were still
crowded. Supplies had become so scant that horseflesh was frequently
served out as rations. The duties were rendered peculiarly harassing by
the subtle and dangerous hostility of the savages: although invariably
defeated, they seldom failed in the first instance to surprise and
massacre some hapless stragglers; and no outpost was ever safe from
their attacks. The Canadians were scarcely less dangerous and
vindictive; their knowledge of the country, and activity in forest
warfare, gave them a great advantage over the British soldiers in
irregular encounters; but, whenever they ventured to act in bodies, they
were sure to meet with severe chastisement. The invaders, however, were
not backward in revenging these injuries; for miles round their camp,
and on the banks of the river, they devastated the country without

Stimulated by the sight of the ruin wrought in neighboring parishes, the
unfortunate priest of Château Richer armed some eighty of his flock, and
fortified himself in a large stone house, about ten miles eastward of
the British camp, at Montmorency; from thence he sent a message, defying
to the combat an English detachment posted in his neighborhood. At the
same time, however, conveying in a note a polite request for the favor
of the commanding officer's company at dinner, with an assurance of a
safe-conduct. The strange but simple courtesy was of course rejected. In
a short time a detachment of light troops, with a field-piece, was sent
against the fortified house; the English took post in an adjoining road,
and by a stratagem contrived to draw the little garrison from their
defenses, and surrounded thirty of them, who were slain and scalped,
including the unhappy priest himself. The excuse pleaded for this
atrocious barbarity was, that the victims were disguised as Indians.

On the 29th of August the British troops began to evacuate their
positions east of the Montmorency, in pursuance of the new plan of
operations. The sick, the women, and the heavy baggage were first
embarked in the boats of the fleet, and conveyed past the enemy's
batteries, at a respectful distance, to the camp at Point Levi: some of
the heavy guns followed on the 31st. On the 2d of the following month
Wolfe sent home an admirable dispatch, with an account of his operations
and failures. By the 3d of September he was prepared to move the whole
of his force from the north shore. Montcalm had anticipated this step
from the stir in the British lines, and from the activity of the British
light troops in burning houses and laying waste the country. He
therefore marched two strong columns into the woods to make for the ford
of the Montmorency, and, passing by it, to attack Wolfe while in the act
of embarkation. From the distant hills of Point Levi, Brigadier Monckton
observed the enemy's movements: he immediately ordered his brigade
under arms, hurried two regiments on board of boats supplied by the
admiral, supported by some sloops and frigates, rowed toward the
Beauport shore, and formed within a safe distance, as if preparing to
land. This demonstration was successful; the French columns were
recalled from the ford, and the British embarked unmolested.

During the 7th, 8th, and 9th, Admiral Holmes maneuvered his fleet in the
upper river, harassing the enemy by constant menaces of their different
posts. At the same time, Wolfe, now somewhat recovered, was, with his
brigadiers, busily occupied in reconnoitering the northern bank of the
St. Lawrence. At length he discovered a narrow path winding up the side
of the steep precipice from the water's edge: at this spot, about three
miles above the city, the lofty banks were slightly carved inward. At
that time the place was known by the name of Le Foullon; it now bears a
name that may never be forgotten--Wolf's Cove. At the top of the path
the enemy had a small post; however, by the number of tents, which did
not exceed a dozen, the British general concluded that its strength
could not be more than 100 men. For miles on either side there was no
other possible access to the heights than by that narrow path; but that
narrow path sufficed to lead Wolfe to victory and to death.

As before stated, Quebec stands on the slope of the eastern extremity of
that lofty range which here forms the left bank of the St. Lawrence; a
table-land extends westward for about nine miles from the defenses of
the city, occasionally wooded and undulating, but from the top of the
narrow path to the ramparts open and tolerably level: this portion of
the heights is called the PLAINS OF ABRAHAM. Wolfe's plan was to ascend
this path secretly with his whole army, and make the plains his battle
ground. The extraordinary audacity of the enterprise was its safety: the
wise and cautious Montcalm had guarded against all the probable chances
of war: he was not prepared against an attempt for which the pages of
romance can scarcely furnish a parallel.

It was on the 9th of September that Wolfe addressed to the Secretary of
State a letter which bears a deep and melancholy interest. His own view
of the prospects of the expedition was most gloomy, and he seemed
anxious to prepare the public mind in England for his failure.[179] The
letter conveys the impression that he only continued his operations to
divert the attention of the enemy from other points: it concludes in the
following desponding words: "I am so far recovered as to do business,
but my constitution is entirely ruined, without the consolation of
having done any considerable service to the state, or without any
prospect of it." But while he wrote almost in despair, he acted as if he
had never doubted of success.

On the 11th of September, Wolfe issued general orders to the army, from
which the following are extracts:

"The troops on shore, except the Light Infantry and Americans, are to be
upon the beach to-morrow morning at five o'clock, in readiness to
embark; the Light Infantry and Americans will re-embark at, or about,
eight o'clock. The detachment of Artillery to be put on board the armed
sloop this day. _The army to hold themselves in readiness to land and
attack the enemy._

"The troops must go into the boats (from the ships) about nine to-morrow
night, or when it is pretty near high water; ... and as there will be a
necessity for remaining some part of the night in the boats, the
officers will provide accordingly.

"When they (the boats) are to drop away from the Sutherland, she will
show two lights in the main-top-mast shrouds, one over the other. The
men to be quite silent, and, when they are about to land, must not, upon
any account, fire out of the boats."

Great preparations were made throughout the fleet and army for the
decisive movement, but the plans were still kept secret; a wise caution
was observed in this respect, for the treachery of a single deserter
might have imperiled the success of the expedition had its exact object
been known. On the morning of the 12th, a soldier of the Royal Americans
did desert: happily, he was unable to warn the enemy of their danger.
Almost at the same time, one of the French regulars deserted to Wolfe,
and brought a clear account of the state of affairs in Montcalm's camp.
"The main force is still below the town," said he; "our general will not
believe that you meditate an attack any where but on the Montmorency
side. The Canadians are dissatisfied, alarmed by the fall of Niagara,
and in great distress for provisions. M. de Levi, with a large
detachment, has left us for Montreal, to meet Amherst; and M. de
Bougainville, with 1500 men, watches the motions of your fleet in the
Upper River."

From on board the Sutherland man-of-war, Wolfe issued his last orders to
the army on the evening of the 12th of September:

"The enemy's force is now divided, great scarcity of provisions is now
in their camp, and universal discontent among the Canadians, which gives
us reason to think that General Amherst is advancing into the colony: _a
vigorous blow struck by the army at this juncture may determine the fate
of Canada_ ... the troops will land where the French seem least to
expect it. The first body that gets on shore is to march directly to the
enemy ... the battalions must form on the upper ground with expedition,
and be ready to charge whatever presents itself.... The officers and men
will remember what is expected from them, and what a determined body of
soldiers, inured to war, is capable of doing, against five weak French
battalions, mingled with a disorderly peasantry."

The heavier ships of the line moved this evening toward the Beauport
shore, anchoring as near the enemy's lines as the depth of the water
would permit. While daylight yet remained, all the boats of that portion
of the fleet were lowered, filled with marines and seamen, and ranged in
order, threatening a descent upon the shore. At the same time, the
remaining ships suddenly hoisted sail; and, with a favoring breeze,
swept proudly past the batteries of Quebec, and joined Holmes's squadron
at Cape Rouge, eight miles above the city. Monckton and Murray, who,
with their brigades, still occupied Point Levi and the village of St.
Michael's, now pushed rapidly up the left bank of the St. Lawrence till
they arrived opposite the fleet, and there embarked without being
observed by the enemy. At nine o'clock at night the first division of
the army, 1600 strong, silently removed into flat-bottomed boats; the
soldiers were in high spirits; Wolfe led in person. About an hour before
daylight the flotilla fell down with the ebb tide. "Weather favorable; a
star-light night."

[Footnote 177: Lord Mahon's _History of England from the Peace of
Utrecht_, vol. v., p. 228.]

[Footnote 178: "Captain Ochterlony, who is wounded and a prisoner, had
the good fortune to be protected from the savages by a French Grenadier,
to whom it is confidently reported that General Wolfe sent twenty
guineas as a reward for his humanity. M. Montcalm returned the money,
saying the man had not particularly merited such a gratuity, having done
no more than his duty, and what he hoped every Frenchman in his army
would do under the like circumstances.... A flag of truce came down
to-day (August 24th) with an account of the death of the gallant Captain
Ochterlony, who was wounded and taken prisoner, July 31st; his baggage,
that had been forwarded to him at his request, was faithfully
returned."--Knox's _Historical Journal_, vol. ii., p. 31.]

[Footnote 179: "In short, you must not be surprised that we have failed
at Quebec, as we certainly shall. You may say, if you please, in the
style of modern politics, that your court[180] never supposed it could
be taken; the attempt was really made to draw off the Russians from the
King of Prussia, and leave him at liberty to attack Daun. Two days ago
came letters from Wolfe, despairing, as much as heroes can despair. The
town is well victualed; Amherst is not arrived, and 15,000 men encamped
defend it. We have lost many men by the enemy, and some by our
friends--that is, we now call our 9000 only 7000. How this little army
will get away from a much larger, and in this season, and in that
country, I don't guess--Yes I do."--- Walpole's _Letters to Sir H.
Mann_, Oct. 16, 1759.]

[Footnote 180: Sir Horace Mann was then British envoy to the court of


We must leave Wolfe for a while to take a brief review of the position
of affairs in his enemy's camp. Montcalm's difficulties were also great.
He knew not where to turn for a ray of hope, except, indeed, to the now
rapidly advancing winter. The toils were spread on every side: the
stately fleet riding below the town cut off all supplies from France;
the fall of Niagara and Fort of Frontenac broke off the chain of
communication with the distant West; Amherst, with an overwhelming
force, hung over the weakest point of the Canadian frontier; Montreal,
with neither army nor fortification, lay exposed to the British advance.
But, worst of all, distrust of his colleague, and contempt of the
prowess of his militia, paralyzed Montcalm's vigor and destroyed his
confidence. "You have sold your country," exclaimed he, in
uncontrollable indignation, to M. de Vaudreuil, when the latter opposed
his views; "but, while I live, I will not deliver it up." And of the
Canadian levies he writes to M. de Berryer, "My Canadians without
discipline, deaf to the sound of the drum, and badly armed, nothing
remains for them but to fly; and behold me--beaten without resource!"
"But," continued he, in the same remarkable letter,[181] "of one thing I
can assure you, I shall not survive the probable loss of the colony.
There are times when a general's only resource is to die with honor;
this is such a time. No stain shall rest on my memory. But in defeat and
death there is consolation left. The loss of the colony will one day be
of more value to my country than a victory. The conqueror shall here
find a tomb; his aggrandizement shall prove his ultimate ruin."

Montcalm's utmost exertions failed to prevent desertion among the
Canadians; he scourged some offenders, hanged others, threatened their
villages with the vengeance of the savages, but still the unhappy
peasantry were with difficulty held together. At the camp they were
badly supplied with provisions, while their families almost starved at
home. Their harvest, that which the English had not destroyed, remained
unreaped. At length the general was obliged to yield to the urgent
necessity of the case, and at a most critical period of the campaign he
allowed 2000 of the militia to depart for the purpose of getting in
their crops.

The Indians, however, still remained faithful: as long as a chance of
blood and plunder offered, they were sure to be present; but in a
pitched battle they were nearly useless, and the increased experience of
the British troops rendered even their forest warfare now less

Not only provisions, but even ammunition, were becoming scarce in
Montcalm's camp: there was no hope of supplies from any quarter. The
Lower Town and a large portion of the Upper Town were laid in ruins by
the English artillery: the defenses, it was true, still remained
uninjured; but, except in natural advantages, they were by no means
formidable. The repulse of the besiegers at Montmorency had for a time
raised the spirits of the French, and given them a better opinion of
Canadian prowess, for upon that occasion the peasantry had fired with
great steadiness from behind their breast-works. But the daring though
misdirected valor of the British Grenadiers, and the imposing front of
their supports, failed not to confirm Montcalm's deep forebodings of the
probable result of a battle. Then the incessant activity of the
invaders, their pertinacious retention of any point which offered an
apparent advantage, and their seemingly inexhaustible resources, showed
that no stone would be left unturned for his destruction.

One only hope remained to the French general: the winter approached. In
a few weeks the northern blast would scare away the stubborn enemy,
against whom his arms and skill were ineffectual. Could he struggle on a
little longer, the fate of Canada might be thrown upon the chances of
another campaign, and a turn in European affairs yet preserve the
splendid colony of France. "Unless Wolfe lands above the town, and
forces me to a battle, I am safe," writes Montcalm. But while, on the
night of the 12th of September, he watched in confident expectation the
deceitful preparations of the fleet below the town, the ebbing tide
silently floated down the British army toward that position the
occupation of which he knew must be his ruin.

Silently and swiftly, unchallenged by the French sentries,[182] Wolfe's
flotilla dropped down the stream in the shade of the overhanging
cliffs. The rowers scarcely stirred the waters with their oars; the
soldiers sat motionless. Not a word was spoken save by the young
general; he, as a midshipman on board his boat afterward related,[183]
repeated, in a low voice to the officers by his side, "Gray's Elegy in a
Country Churchyard;" and as he concluded the beautiful verses, said,
"Now, gentlemen, I would rather be the author of that poem than take
Quebec!" But while Wolfe thus, in the poet's words, gave vent to the
intensity of his feelings, his eye was constantly bent upon the dark
outline of the heights under which he hurried past. He recognized at
length the appointed spot, and leaped ashore. Some of the leading boats,
conveying the light company of the 78th Highlanders, had in the mean
time been carried about 200 yards lower down by the strength of the
tide. These Highlanders, under Captain Donald M'Donald, were the first
to land. Immediately over their heads hung a woody precipice, without
path or track upon its rocky face; at the summit a French sentinel
marched to and fro, still unconscious of their presence. Without a
moment's hesitation, M'Donald and his men dashed at the height. They
scrambled up, holding on by rocks and branches of trees, guided only by
the stars that shone over the top of the cliff; half the ascent was
already won, when for the first time "Qui vive?" broke the silence of
the night. "La France," answered the Highland captain, with ready
self-possession, and the sentry shouldered his musket and pursued his
round. In a few minutes, however, the rustling of the trees close at
hand at length alarmed the French guard; they hastily turned out, fired
one irregular volley down the precipice, and fled in panic. The captain,
M. de Vergor, alone, though wounded, stood his ground. When summoned to
surrender, he fired at one of the assailants, but was instantly
overpowered; the Highlanders, incensed at his vain valor, tore from his
breast a decoration which he bore, and sent him a prisoner to the rear.
In the mean time, nearly 500 men landed and made their way up the
height; those who had first reached the summit then took possession of
the intrenched post at the top of that path which Wolfe had selected
for the ascent of his army.

Wolfe, Monckton, and Murray landed with the first division; as fast as
each boat was cleared, it put back for re-enforcements to the ships,
which had now also floated down with the tide nearly opposite to the
point of disembarkation. The battalions formed on the narrow beach at
the foot of the winding path, and, as soon as completed, each ascended
the cliff, when they again formed upon the plains above. There all was
quiet; the Light Infantry, under Lieutenant-colonel Howe, brother of the
gallant Lord Howe who fell at Ticonderoga, had driven away the enemy's
pickets. The boats plied busily; company after company was quickly
landed, and, as soon as the men touched the shore, they swarmed up the
steep ascent with ready alacrity. When morning broke, the whole
disposable force of Wolfe's army stood in firm array upon the table-land
above the cove. Only one gun, however, could be carried up the hill, and
even that was not got into position without incredible difficulty.

After a few minutes' anxious observation of the face of the country,
Wolfe marched the army by files to the right in the direction of the
city, leaving two companies of the 58th Regiment to guard the landing
place; he then formed his line of battle upon the Plains of Abraham, and
resolved there to cast the die for Canada. The 35th Regiment held the
extreme right over the precipice, at the distance of three quarters of a
mile from the ramparts, where, to adapt themselves to the shape of a
slight elevation which rises from the plains, they were ranged in a
semicircle on its slope. Next came the Grenadiers of Louisburg. The 28th
prolonged the line to the 43d, which formed the center. The 58th, upon
the left, occupied the brow of the ridge which overlooks the Valley of
the St. Charles; the 78th Highlanders extended over the plain to the
right, and the 47th completed the front to the place where the 43d were
formed. Wolfe, with Monckton, commanded the right of the first line,
Murray the left.

Townshend took charge of the second line. The 15th Regiment rested their
right flank upon the precipice over the river; the two battalions of
the 60th or Royal Americans held the plains to the left. Colonel Burton,
with the 48th Regiment, in four columns of two companies each, formed
the reserve in a third line, and Colonel Howe, with the Light Infantry,
some in houses, others in the neighboring coppices, covered the flank
and rear.

At about six o'clock some small parties of the enemy appeared upon the
slopes under the ramparts of the city; at seven they mustered in greater
force, and brought up two field-guns, which caused some annoyance.
Shortly afterward they threw a body of Canadians and Indians into the
brushwood on the face of the precipice over the river, into a field of
corn in front of the 35th Regiment, and into a coppice opposite the
British center: those skirmishers caused considerable mischief, but were
speedily routed by Colonel Howe, with a detachment of the 47th. The
whole line then received orders to lie upon their arms, while Light
Infantry videttes covered their position at some distance in advance.

Meanwhile Montcalm had been completely deceived by the demonstrations of
the fleet below the town. Through the whole of that anxious night boats
were approaching the shore and again retiring, on various points of the
line between the Montmorency and the St. Charles. The English ships of
war had worked up as near as they could find depth of water, and their
guns played incessantly upon the beach, as if to prepare the way for a
debarkation. Day broke before Montcalm even suspected that another
struggle awaited him on his eastern lines; then, however, a stray cannon
shot, and the distant echo of musketry from above the town, caught his
ear; while he yet doubled, a horseman reached him at full speed with
tidings that the English had landed on the Plains of Abraham. The news
spread like lightning through the Canadian camp. Aids-de-camp galloped
to and fro in fiery haste: trumpets and drums aroused the sleeping
soldiery. As fast as the battalions could be mustered, they were hurried
across the Valley of the St. Charles, over the bridge, and along the
front of the northern ramparts of Quebec to the battle ground. M. de
Vaudreuil, with some Canadian militia, were left to guard the lines.

Under some mysterious and incomprehensible impulse, Montcalm at once
determined to meet his dangerous enemy in the open field.

To account for this extraordinary resolution is impossible. Had the
French general thrown himself into Quebec, he might have securely defied
his assailants from behind its ramparts till winter drove them away. But
a short time before he had recorded his deliberate conviction that he
could not face the British army in a general engagement. He was well
aware that all the efforts of his indefatigable enemy had been
throughout exerted to bring on an action upon any terms; and yet at
length, on an open plain, without even waiting for his artillery,
unaided by any advantage of position, he threw the rude Canadian militia
against the veterans of England. Once, and once only, in a successful
and illustrious career, did this gallant Frenchman forget his wisdom and
military skill; but that one tremendous error led him to defeat and

Even when the alarming news of Wolfe's landing reached Montcalm, he
professed confidence--confidence which he could not have felt. When the
position of the English army was pointed out to him, he said, "Yes, I
see them where they ought not to be;" and he afterward added, "If we
must fight, I will crush them." He, however, altogether failed to
communicate to the Canadian troops the sanguine spirit which he himself

At eight o'clock the heads of French columns began to appear ascending
the hill from the St. Charles to the Plains of Abraham; the only piece
of artillery which Wolfe had been able to bring into action then opened
with some effect, and caused them slightly to alter their line of march.
As they arrived, they formed in three separate masses upon a slope to
the northwest of the city, where they were sheltered from the solitary
but mischievous gun.

At nine o'clock, Montcalm moved some distance to the front, and
developed his line of battle; at the same time, M. de Bougainville, who
was hastening down the left bank of the St. Lawrence, made a
demonstration with some light cavalry upon Wolfe's extreme left.
Townshend checked this movement by throwing the third battalion of the
60th into a line extending from the threatened flank to the post over
the landing place.

Montcalm was already worsted as a general; it was, however, still left
him to fight as a soldier. His order of battle was steadily and promptly
arrayed. The center column, under Montcalm in person, consisted of the
regiments of Bearne and Guienne, numbering together no more than 720
bayonets; with them were formed 1200 of the Canadian militia. On the
right stood the regiments of La Sarre and Languedoc, and a battalion of
the marine or colony troops, in all 1600 veterans; 400 of the militia,
with one light field-piece, completed this wing. On the left, the Royal
Roussillon and a battalion of the Marine mustered 1300 bayonets, while
these disciplined regiments were supported by no less than 2300 of the
Canadian levies. The total force, therefore, actually engaged, amounted
to 7520 men, besides Indians; of these, however, not more than one half
were regular troops: it was on them the brunt of the battle fell, and
almost the whole loss. Wolfe's "field state" on the morning of the 13th
of September, showed only 4828 men of all ranks from the generals
downward, but of these every man was a trained soldier.

The French attacked. At about ten o'clock a crowd of Canadians and
Indians emerged from the bush on the slope which falls toward the Valley
of the St. Charles; as they advanced they opened fire upon the English
pickets of the extreme left, and drove them into their supports. Under
cover of the cloud of smoke which rose above the scene of this attack,
the French veterans of the right wing passed swiftly round the left of
Murray's Brigade, and turned his flank; then, throwing aside their
irregulars, they fell upon Howe's Light Infantry. This gallant officer
felt the importance of his post: the houses and the line of coppice
which he occupied formed almost a right angle with the front of the
British army, covering it in flank and rear. He was hardly pressed; his
men fell fast under the overpowering fire of the French; but, in a few
minutes, Townshend, with the 15th, came to his aid: soon afterward the
two battalions of the 60th joined the line, and turned the tide of

In the mean time swarms of skirmishers advanced against the right and
center of the British army; their stinging fire immediately dislodged
the few Light Infantry which Wolfe had posted in his front, and forced
them back in confusion upon the main body. This first impression was not
without danger: the troops who were in the rear, and could not see the
real state of affairs, became alarmed at the somewhat retrograde
movements in front. Wolfe perceived this: he hurried along the line,
cheered the men by his voice and presence, and admonished them on no
account to fire without orders. He succeeded: confidence was restored.

The spirited advance of the skirmishers was but the mask of a more
formidable movement. The whole of the French center and left, with loud
shouts and arms at the recover, now bore down to the attack. Their light
troops then ceased firing and passed to the rear. As the view cleared,
their long, unbroken lines were seen rapidly approaching Wolfe's
position. When they reached within 150 yards, they advanced obliquely
from the left of each formation, so that the lines assumed the
appearance of columns, and chiefly threatened the British right. And now
from flank to flank of the assailing battalions rolled a murderous and
incessant fire. The 35th and the Grenadiers fell fast. Wolfe, at the
head of the 28th, was struck in the wrist, but not disabled. Wrapping a
handkerchief round the wound, he hastened from one rank to another,
exhorting the men to be steady and to reserve their fire. No English
soldier pulled a trigger: with matchless endurance they sustained the
trial. Not a company wavered; their arms shouldered as if on parade, and
motionless, save when they closed up the ghastly gaps, they waited the
word of command.

When the head of the French attack had reached within forty yards, Wolfe
gave the order to "fire." At once the long row of muskets was leveled,
and a volley, distinct as a single shot, flashed from the British line.
For a moment the advancing columns still pressed on, shivering like
pennons in the fatal storm; but a few paces told how terrible had been
the force of the long-suspended blow. Numbers of the French soldiers
reeled and fell; some staggered on for a little, then dropped silently
aside to die; others burst from the ranks shrieking in agony. The
Brigadier de St. Ours was struck dead, and De Senezergues, the second in
command, was left mortally wounded upon the field. When the breeze
carried away the dense clouds of smoke, the assailing battalions stood
reduced to mere groups among the bodies of the slain. Never before or
since has a deadlier volley burst from British infantry.

Montcalm commanded the attack in person. Not fifteen minutes had elapsed
since he had first moved on his line of battle, and already all was
lost! The Canadian militia, with scarcely an exception, broke and fled.
The right wing, which had recoiled before Townshend and Howe, was
overpowered by a counter attack of the 58th and 78th; his veteran
battalions of Bearne and Guienne were shattered before his eyes under
the British fire; on the left the Royal Roussillon was shrunk to a mere
skeleton, and, deserted by their Provincial allies, could hardly retain
the semblance of a formation. But the gallant Frenchman, though ruined,
was not dismayed; he rode through the broken ranks, cheered them with
his voice, encouraged them by his dauntless bearing, and, aided by a
small redoubt, even succeeded in once again presenting a front to his

Meanwhile Wolfe's troops had reloaded. He seized the opportunity of the
hesitation in the hostile ranks, and ordered the whole British line to
advance. At first they moved forward in majestic regularity, receiving
and paying back with deadly interest the volleys of the French. But soon
the ardor of the soldiers broke through the restraints of discipline:
they increased their pace to a run, rushing over the dying and the dead,
and sweeping the living enemy off their path. On the extreme right, the
35th, under the gallant Colonel Fletcher, carried all before them, and
won the white plume which for half a century afterward they proudly
bore.[184] Wolfe himself led the 28th and the diminished ranks of the
Louisburg Grenadiers, who that day nobly redeemed their error at
Montmorency. The 43d, as yet almost untouched, pressed on in admirable
order, worthy of their after-fame in that noble Light Division which
"never gave a foot of ground but by word of command." On the left, the
58th and 78th overcame a stubborn and bloody resistance; more than 100
of the Highlanders fell dead and wounded; the weak battalion by their
side lost a fourth part of their strength in the brief struggle. Just
now Wolfe was a second time wounded, in the body; but he dissembled his
suffering, for his duty was not yet accomplished. Again a ball from the
redoubt struck him on the breast:[185] he reeled on one side, but, at
the moment, this was not generally observed. "Support me," said he to a
Grenadier officer who was close at hand, "that my brave fellows may not
see me fall." In a few seconds, however, he sank, and was borne a little
to the rear. Colonel Carleton was desperately wounded in the head at a
few paces from Wolfe; the aid-de-camp who hastened for Monckton, to call
him to the command, found him also bleeding on the field, beside the
47th Regiment. At length Townshend, now the senior officer, was brought
from the left flank to this bloody scene to lead the army.

The brief struggle fell heavily upon the British, but was ruinous to the
French. They wavered under the carnage; the columns which death had
disordered were soon broken and scattered. Montcalm, with a courage
that rose above the wreck of hope, galloped through the groups of his
stubborn veterans, who still made head against the advancing enemy, and
strove to show a front of battle. His efforts were vain; the head of
every formation was swept away before that terrible musketry; in a few
minutes, the French gave way in all directions. Just then their gallant
general fell with a mortal wound: from that time all was utter rout.

The English followed fiercely in the pursuit; the 47th and 58th, with
fixed bayonets, pressed on close to the St. Louis and St. John's gates,
till the first were checked by grape-shot from the ramparts, and the
latter by the artillery of the hulks which were grounded in the river.
But foremost in the advance, and most terrible to the flying enemy, were
the 78th Highlanders; active and impetuous in their movements, and armed
with the broadsword, they supplied in this case the want of cavalry to
the British army. Numbers of the French fell beneath their vigorous
blows;[186] others saved themselves by timely surrender, piteously
craving mercy, and declaring that they had not been at Fort William
Henry.[187] The remainder of Montcalm's right wing only found shelter
beyond the bridge over the St. Charles. The survivors of the right and
center soon placed the ramparts of Quebec between themselves and their

While some of the British battalions were disordered in the rapid
advance, a body of about 800 French and Canadians collected in a coppice
near the St. Charles, and assumed a somewhat threatening appearance on
the left flank of the pursuers. Perceiving this, Townshend ordered
Colonel Hunt Walsh, with the 28th and 43d, to crush the new resistance.
These two battalions were well in hand; Walsh wheeled them promptly to
the left, and, after a sharp struggle, cleared the coppice.

The battle was now over, but the general of the victorious army had
still to guard against another antagonist, as yet untouched and
unbroken. It has been related, that, before the commencement of the
action, the extreme left of the British position had been threatened by
some light cavalry--the advance guard of De Bougainville's formidable
corps. The main body and their chief had now arrived upon the scene;
but, so rapid and complete had been the ruin of Montcalm's army, that
his lieutenant found not a single unbroken company remaining in the
field with which to co-operate. He himself, however, was still strong;
besides 350 cavalry--an arm in which the invaders were altogether
deficient--he had with him nearly 1500 men, a large proportion of whom
were Grenadiers and Light Infantry.

Townshend hastened to recall his disordered battalions, but he
determined not to imperil the victory by seeking another engagement with
fresh troops. His arrangements were strictly defensive; while re-forming
a line of battle, he dispatched the 35th and the 48th with two
field-pieces to meet De Bougainville, and, if possible, check his
advance. The demonstration sufficed; the French soldiers, demoralized by
the defeat of their general-in-chief, were in no condition to meet a
victorious enemy; they recoiled before the resolute front of the British
force, and retreated with precipitation up the left bank of the St.
Lawrence. There Townshend did not deem it prudent to follow; the ground
was swampy, and, for the most part, still covered with the primeval
forest, affording every advantage to a retreating enemy.

As soon as the action was over, Townshend began to intrench his camp,
and to widen the road up the cliff for the convenience of the artillery
and stores. De Bougainville did not halt till he reached Cape Rouge, and
M. de Vaudreuil,[188] with his 1500 Canadians, deserted the lines west
of the Montmorency, left all his artillery, ammunition, tents, and
stores behind him, and made a hurried retreat toward Jacques Cartier.

The loss of the English in this memorable battle amounted to 55 killed
and 607 wounded of all ranks; that of the French has never been clearly
ascertained, but it was not probably less than 1500 in killed and
wounded and prisoners. Moreover, a very large proportion of the Canadian
militia dispersed and never rejoined their colors. On the British side,
the Louisburg Grenadiers upon the right, and the 58th and 78th upon the
left, suffered the most severely. The five regular French battalions
were almost destroyed, and one of the two pieces of artillery which they
had brought into action was captured by the victors.[189]

While the British troops were carrying all before them, their young
general's life was ebbing fast away. When struck for the third time, he
sank down; he then supported himself for a few minutes in a sitting
posture, with the assistance of Lieutenant Brown, Mr. Henderson, a
volunteer, and a private soldier, all of the Grenadier company of the
22d; Colonel Williamson, of the Royal Artillery, afterward went to his
aid. From time to time, Wolfe tried, with his faint hand, to clear away
the death-mist that gathered on his sight; but the effort seemed vain;
for presently he lay back, and gave no signs of life beyond a heavy
breathing and an occasional groan. Meantime the French had given way,
and were flying in all directions. The grenadier officers, seeing this,
called out to those around him, "See, they run." The words caught the
ear of the dying man; he raised himself, like one aroused from sleep,
and asked eagerly, "Who runs?" "The enemy, sir," answered the officer:
"they give way every where." "Go one of you to Colonel Burton," said
Wolfe: "tell him to march Webbe's (the 48th) regiment with all speed
down to the St. Charles River, to cut off the retreat." His voice grew
faint as he spoke, and he turned as if seeking an easier position on his
side; when he had given this last order, he seemed to feel that he had
done his duty, and added feebly, but distinctly, "Now, God be praised, I
die happy." His eyes then closed, and, after a few convulsive movements,
he became still.[190] Despite the anguish of his wounds, he died happy;
for through the mortal shades that fell upon his soul, there rose, over
the unknown world's horizon, the dawn of an eternal morning.


"_14th of September, 1759. Plains of Abraham._

"Parole--WOLFE. Countersign--ENGLAND.

"The remaining general officers fit to act take the earliest opportunity
to express the praise which is due to the conduct and bravery of the
troops; and the victory, which attended it, sufficiently proves the
superiority which this army has over any number of such troops as they
engaged yesterday. They wish that the person who lately commanded them
had survived so glorious a day, and had this day been able to give the
troops their just encomiums. The fatigues which the troops will be
obliged to undergo, to reap the advantage of this victory, will be
supported with a true spirit, as this seems to be the period which will
determine, in all probability, our American labors."

Deep and sincere was the sorrow of the English army for the loss of
their chief; they almost grieved over their dearly-purchased victory.

Late on the evening of the 14th of September Montcalm also died. When
his wound was first examined, he asked the surgeon if it was mortal; and
being answered that it was, he said, "I am glad of it: how long can I
survive?" "Perhaps a day, perhaps less," replied the surgeon. "So much
the better," rejoined Montcalm; "I shall not live to see the surrender
of Quebec." When his wound was dressed, M. de Ramsay, the governor of
the city, visited him, and desired to receive his commands for the
defense; but he refused to occupy himself any longer with worldly
affairs: "My time is very short," continued he, "so pray leave me. I
wish you all comfort, and to be happily extricated from your present
perplexities." He then called for his chaplain, who, with the bishop of
the colony, administered the last offices of religion, and remained with
him till he expired.

An officer of the 43d regiment, whose carefully-kept journal furnishes
much valuable information on the subject of this campaign, states that
Montcalm paid the English army the following compliment after the
battle: "Since it was my misfortune to be discomfited and mortally
wounded, it is a great consolation to me to be vanquished by so great
and generous an enemy. If I could survive this wound, I would engage to
beat three times the number of such forces as I commanded this morning
with a third of their number of British troops."

Townshend, on the day succeeding the battle, busied himself incessantly
in pushing on works against the city, and cutting off from the besieged
all communication with the country. On the 17th, Admiral Saunders moved
the whole of the British fleet into the basin, and prepared to attack
the Lower Town; and by that evening no less than sixty-one pieces of
heavy, and fifty-seven of light ordnance, were mounted on the British
batteries and ready to open fire. The besieged had endeavored to retard
these proceedings by constantly plying all their available guns, but
did not succeed in inflicting any annoyance of importance. Before
nightfall, an officer, bearing a flag of truce, approached the English
camp, and was conducted to the general; to him he gave the governor, M.
de Ramsay's, proposition to surrender if not relieved by the following

In the mean time, M. de Vaudreuil, who had, with his disorganized
followers, joined De Bougainville at Cape Rouge on the evening of the
13th, dispatched a courier to M. de Levi,[191] at Montreal, with tidings
of the disaster, and to require his immediate presence to command the
army in Montcalm's room. This done, the marquis summoned his principal
officers to a council of war, and gave his opinion "that they should
take their revenge on the morrow, and endeavor to wipe off the disgrace
of that fatal day." But this bold proposition met with no more support
in the council than it really possessed in De Vaudreuil's own mind. The
officers were unanimously of opinion "that there was an absolute
necessity for the army to retire to Jacques Cartier, and that no time
should be lost." In consequence of this decision, the French immediately
resumed their retreat, leaving every thing behind them, and marched all
night to gain Point aux Trembles, which was fixed as the rendezvous of
the whole remaining force.

On the receipt of the disastrous news of Montcalm's defeat and death, M.
de Levi instantly departed from Montreal to take the command of the
shattered army. On the 16th he arrived; after a few hours' conference
with the Marquis de Vaudreuil, it was agreed to send the following
message to M. de Ramsay: "We exhort you, by all means, to hold out to
the last extremity. On the 18th the whole army shall be in motion: a
disposition is made to throw in a large supply of provisions, and to
relieve the town." The courier reached the besieged early on the 18th,
but it was too late; the governor was already in treaty with Townshend,
and on that morning, the 18th day of September, 1759, QUEBEC
SURRENDERED.[192] In the evening the keys of the city were delivered up,
and the Louisburg Grenadiers marched in, preceded by a detachment of
artillery and one gun, with the British flag hoisted on a staff upon the
carriage: this flag was then placed upon the highest point of the
citadel. Captain Palliser, of the navy, with a body of seamen, at the
same time took possession of the Lower Town.

The news of these great events reached England but two days later than
Wolfe's discouraging dispatch of the 9th of September;[193] an
extraordinary Gazette was immediately published and circulated
throughout the country, and a day of thanksgiving was appointed by
proclamation through all the dominions of Great Britain.

"Then the sounds of joy and grief from her people wildly rose:"

never, perhaps, have triumph and lamentation been so strangely
intermingled. Astonishment and admiration at the splendid victory, with
sorrow for the loss of the gallant victor, filled every breast.
Throughout all the land were illuminations and public rejoicings, except
in the little Kentish village of Westerham, where Wolfe was born, and
where his widowed mother[194] now mourned her only child.

Wolfe's body was embalmed, and borne to the river for conveyance to
England. The army escorted it in solemn state to the beach: they mourned
their young general's death as sincerely as they had followed him in
battle bravely. Their attachment to him had softened their toils, their
confidence in him had cheered them in disasters, and his loss now turned
their triumph into sadness. When his remains arrived at Plymouth they
were landed with the highest honors; minute guns were fired; the flags
were hoisted half-mast high, and an escort, with arms reversed, received
the coffin on the shore. He was then conveyed to Greenwich, and buried
beside his father, who had died but a few months before.

The House of Commons, on the motion of Mr. Pitt, unanimously voted that
a monument should be erected to Wolfe's memory in Westminster Abbey[195]
at the public expense. The monument was accordingly executed, and
inscribed with a eulogistic memorial in Latin. Not many years since, a
pillar was erected by Lord Dalhousie, on a lofty situation in the city
of Quebec, to Wolfe and Montcalm, bearing a remarkably graceful Latin
inscription by Dr. Fisher, of Quebec. Lord Aylmer has also placed a
small and simple monument on the Plains of Abraham, on which the date
and the following words only are engraved:


[Footnote 181: See Appendix, No. LXXII.]

[Footnote 182: "The following circumstance had nearly proved fatal to
the general's scheme of landing where he did. In the twilight of the
evening preceding the battle, two French deserters from the Regiment of
La Sarre came in, and, being carried on board a ship of war, commanded
by Captain Smith, then lying near the north shore, gave information that
that very night the garrison of Quebec expected a convoy of provisions
from M. de Bougainville's detachment, which was higher up the river.
These deserters, some time after, perceiving the English boats gliding
down the river in the dark, supposed them to be the expected convoy; and
on this a noise ensued, which General Wolfe fortunately heard time
enough to prevent the resolution which occasioned it; for Captain Smith,
not having been informed of the general's intentions, was making
preparations to fire into the boats, believing that they were the convoy
the deserters had been speaking of; and had he done so, would have not
only considerably hurt his friends, but sufficiently alarmed the French
to frustrate the attempt. Again, the French sentries posted along the
shore were in expectation of the convoy, and, therefore, when the
English boats came near their posts, and properly answered their usual
challenge, they suffered them to pass without the least
suspicion."--Mante's _History of the Late Wars in America_, p. 262.]

[Footnote 183: Graham's _History of the United States_, vol. iv., p.

[Footnote 184: "At the late presentation of colors to the 30th Regiment,
in Dublin garrison, on the 21st of July, 1834, their colonel-in-chief,
Lieutenant-general Sir John Oswald, G.C.B., mentioned in the course of
his address, that when he first joined the regiment in 1791, he found in
it several of the companions of Wolfe. The colonel-in-chief was
Fletcher, of a distinguished Scottish family. He led the 35th, under
General Wolfe, through the surf of Louisburg, placed them first after
the British Grenadiers in line on the Plains of Abraham, and there,
during the contest, charging the French Grenadiers, carried off the
_white plume_ which for half a century this battalion bore. His majesty,
George III., was so pleased with Colonel Fletcher's conduct, that when a
lieutenant-colonel of only four years' standing, he gave him the
colonelcy-in-chief."--_Picture of Quebec._]

[Footnote 185: When Wolfe was shot, "The Treasury of Fortification," by
John Barker, Esq., was found in his pocket. On the spare leaf is
written, in his own hand-writing, "This is an exceeding book of
Fortification.--WOLFE." This book is now in the Royal Artillery Library
at Woolwich.]

[Footnote 186: "Ewen Cameron, a Highlander, killed nine Frenchmen, two
being officers. When his sword-arm was carried off by a shot, he seized
a bayonet and wounded several men, but a bullet in his throat slew
him."--Letter from an Officer in Lascelles's Regiment, Quebec, 20th
September, 1759; _Gentleman's Mag._, 1759, p. 553.]

[Footnote 187: "There is one incident very remarkable, and which I can
affirm from my own personal knowledge, that the enemy were extremely
apprehensive of being rigorously treated; for, conscious of their
inhuman behavior to our troops upon a former occasion, the officers who
fell into our hands, most piteously, with hats off, sued for quarter,
repeatedly declaring they were not at Fort William Henry (by them called
Fort St. George) in the year 1757."--Knox's _Historical Journal_, vol.
ii., p. 72.]

[Footnote 188: "Had he (M. de Vaudreuil) fallen into our hands, our men
were determined to scalp him, he having been the chief and blackest
author of the cruelties exercised on our countrymen. Some of his letters
were taken, in which he explicitly and basely said that 'Peace was the
best time for making war on the English.'"--Walpole's _Memoirs of George
II._, p. 387.]

[Footnote 189: "Tandis que les Anglais entraient dans Surate à
l'embouchure du fleuve Indus, ils prenoient Québec et tout le Canada au
fonds de l'Amerique septentrionale; les troupes qui ont hasardé un
combat pour sauver Québec ont été battues et presque détruites, malgré
les efforts du Général Montcalm, tué dans cette journée et très regretté
en France. On a perdu ainsi en un seul jour quinze cents lieues de
pays."--Voltaire's _Précis du Siècle de Louis XV._, p. 291.]

[Footnote 190: "The horror of the night, the precipice scaled by Wolfe,
the empire he with a handful of men added to England, and the glorious
catastrophe of contentedly terminating life where his fame began ...
ancient story may be ransacked, and ostentatious philosophy thrown into
the account, before an episode can be found to rank with
Wolfe's."--Pitt's Speech on the Motion for erecting a Monument to Wolfe,
related in Walpole's _Memoirs of George II._, p. 393.]

[Footnote 191: "You know they pique themselves much upon their Jewish
name, and call cousins with the Virgin Mary. They have a picture in the
family, where she is made to say to the founder of the houses,
'Couvrez-vous, mon cousin.' He replies, 'Non pas, mas très sainte
cousine, je sais trop bien le respect que je vous dois.' There is said
to have been another equally absurd picture in the same family, in which
Noah is represented going into the ark, carrying under his arm a small
trunk, on which was written, 'Papiers de la Maison deLévis.'"--Walpole's
_Letters to Sir H. Mann_, August 17th, 1749.]

[Footnote 192: See Appendix, No. LXXI.]

[Footnote 193: "The notification of a probable disappointment at Quebec
came only to heighten the pleasure of the conquest. You may now give
yourself what airs you please; you are master of East and West Indies.
An embassador is the only man in the world whom bullying becomes. I beg
your pardon, but you are spies, if you are not bragadocios. All
precedents are on your side: Persians, Greeks, Romans, always insulted
their neighbors when they had taken Quebec. It was a very singular
affair, the generals on both sides slain, and on both sides the second
in command wounded--in short, very near what battles should be, in which
only the principals ought to suffer. If their army has not ammunition
and spirit enough to fall again upon ours before Amherst comes up, all
North America is ours! Poetic justice could not have been executed with
more rigor than it has been on the perjury, treachery, and usurpations
of the French.... It appears that the victory was owing to the
impracticability, as the French thought, and to desperate resolution on
our side. What a scene! an army in the night dragging itself up a
precipice by stumps of trees to assault a town and attack an army
strongly intrenched and double in numbers. Adieu! I think I shall not
write to you again this twelvemonth; for, like Alexander, we have no
more worlds left to conquer.

"P.S.--Monsieur Fleurot is said to be sailed with his tiny squadron; but
can the lords of America be afraid of half a dozen canoes? Mr. Chute is
sitting by me, and says nobody is more obliged to Mr. Pitt than you are:
he has raised you from a very uncomfortable situation to hold your head
above the Capitol."--Walpole's _Letters to Sir H. Mann_, October 19,

[Footnote 194: "The late Mrs. Wolfe, the mother of the brave general of
that name, has very humanely left the residue of her estate and effects,
after debts and legacies are paid, to be disposed of among the widows
and families of the officers who were employed in the military land
service under her son, General Wolfe.

"The executors of the late Mrs. Henrietta Wolfe, mother of the brave
General Wolfe, have paid a legacy of £1000, left by her, to the
Incorporated Society in Dublin for promoting English Protestant working
schools in Ireland."--_Annual Register_, 1765.]

[Footnote 195: See Appendix, No. LXVII.]


On the 18th of October, Admiral Saunders, with the whole fleet--the
Race-horse of twenty, and the Porcupine of eighteen guns,
excepted--weighed anchor and dropped down the river to Isle aux Coudres,
there to await a fair wind to sail for Halifax and England. Brigadier
Monckton embarked at the same time for New York, where he soon recovered
from his wound, and Brigadier Townshend proceeded direct to London. The
government of Quebec was intrusted to Brigadier Murray, with Colonel
Burton as lieutenant-governor, and all the soldiers of the several
regiments engaged in the campaign, who were still fit for duty, remained
to form the garrison: the number of all ranks and arms now only amounted
to 7300 men. The sick and wounded, whose recovery was remote or
improbable, were sent home with the admiral. Having left a squadron at
Halifax, the fleet reached England in safety ere the severity of the
winter had set in.

Before the close of the navigation, the French governor and intendant of
Canada intrusted their melancholy dispatches to M. Cannon, who succeeded
in passing Quebec unobserved, by taking advantage of a favorable wind
and a thick fog. Having escaped the many other dangers which beset his
voyage, he arrived safely in France. These dispatches were filled with
criminations and recriminations: M. de Vaudreuil animadverted bitterly
upon M. de Ramsay for his "precipitate surrender" of Quebec, while from
other quarters heavy complaints were put forward against M. de
Vaudreuil for his retreat, or rather flight, from the lines of

The condition of the once splendid colony of France was now very
lamentable. To the east, Quebec; to the west, Niagara; to the south,
Crown Point and Ticonderoga--all the strongest positions in the northern
continent of America, had passed from their hands in one disastrous
campaign. Many of their veteran soldiers had found graves in the land
which they had bravely but vainly striven to defend, or had been borne
away as prisoners across the Atlantic. Provisions of all kinds were
scarce, almost to famine; the prices during winter rose to an enormous
height: wheat was commonly sold at 30 or 40 livres a bushel; a cow was
worth 900 livres; a pair of oxen, 1500 or 2000; and sheep from 200 to
300 livres apiece. Many people actually died of want; and at length no
money would induce the farmers to part with their produce, when life
itself depended upon their retaining such supplies as they possessed.
The politic Indians were quick to observe the fallen condition of the
French, their poverty, and their weakness: a general defection among
doubtful allies was the consequence, increased activity of enemies, and
a more measured assistance from friends.

As the winter approached, the Chevalier de Levi retreated to Montreal,
where he put the greater part of his army into cantonments. He, however,
busied himself during that period of forced military inaction in
preparations for a bold attempt to wipe out the memory of last year's
disasters by the reconquest of Quebec. At the first opening of spring he
began to refit such of the shipping as still bore the French flag,
repaired the small craft, built galleys, and at Sorel embarked the
necessary stores and ammunition, which he had drawn from the dépôts of
St. John's and Chambly. M. de Vaudreuil seconded these exertions by the
publication of an address to the Canadian people, representing in a
highly colored style the imaginary cruelties and oppressions of the
British governor of Quebec. He also endeavored to raise their hopes
while he stimulated their animosity. "We have a numerous and gallant
army," said he, "and well-grounded assurances of powerful assistance
from France." His appeal met with no echo from a starving and
discontented people.

During the winter the French made several demonstrations against the
British outposts at Point Levi, Cape Rouge, St. Foy, and Lorette,
without, however, any result beyond bloodshed and mutually inflicted
suffering; but on the 6th of April, M. de Bourlemaque, with three
battalions of regular troops and a body of militia, marched from Jacques
Cartier upon Cape Rouge, with the hope of surprising the English
detachment at that place. His troops lay on their arms that night, with
the exception of two companies of Grenadiers, whom he sent to
reconnoiter. On their return the main body became alarmed, supposing
them to be English troops, and fired among them; the Grenadiers returned
the fire, and the disastrous mistake was not discovered until twenty-two
of their men were killed and wounded. Before dawn the unlucky expedition
returned to their quarters at Jacques Cartier.

On the 17th of April, 1760, De Levi left Montreal with all his available
force, and, collecting on his way the several detached corps, arrived in
the neighborhood of Cape Rouge with eight battalions of regular troops,
recruited to 4500 men, 6000 Canadians, of whom 200 were cavalry and 250
Indians. His heavy artillery, ammunition, and stores, followed his march
by the river in bateaux and other vessels.

Meanwhile Murray lost no time in strengthening his position at Quebec.
He erected eight timber redoubts outside the works of the city, and
armed them with artillery; he broke up the neighboring roads, laid in
eleven months' provision, and repaired 500 of the houses, which the
English shot had ruined, for quarters for his troops. The outposts which
he had established in the country round Quebec proved of considerable
advantage: by them his movements were concealed, and those of the enemy
watched. The inhabitants of eleven parishes in the vicinity placed
themselves under British protection, and swore allegiance to the British
crown: they subsequently proved very useful in supplying fresh
provisions and firewood for the army to their utmost ability.
Nevertheless, Murray's troops were obliged to undergo great hardship in
collecting fuel for themselves: no less than a fourth of the whole army
had to march ten miles each day, for many successive days, to cut timber
in the forests, and numbers of the men were frost-bitten, or sank
altogether under the trial. The scurvy raged also with extraordinary
violence in the garrison; many fell victims to that dreadful disease;
but a decoction of the hemlock spruce, recommended by an old Canadian,
was at length successfully employed as a remedy. The severity of the
duty and the monotony of the winter proved intolerable to not a few of
the British soldiers; designing Frenchmen were at hand to profit by this
opportunity; they persuaded many of the soldiers to leave their colors,
and the spirit of desertion was not checked till some of those taken in
the act were hanged, and their abettors subjected to a like punishment.

When Murray was apprized of the approach of the French army, he marched
out on the 27th of April with the whole disposable force to cover the
retreat of his advanced posts: in this he succeeded with the loss of
only two men. He then broke down all the bridges, and retired into the
city the same evening. De Levi crossed the little stream at Cape Rouge,
and cantoned his army, upward of 10,000 strong, in and about the village
of St. Foy; at nine the following morning he advanced within three miles
of Quebec.

The British general, unwarned by Montcalm's fate, formed the
unaccountable resolution of giving battle to the French in the open
field with his feeble army, which was now reduced by sickness,
desertion, and the sword to 3000 available men. In his letter to the
Secretary of State reporting the consequent events, he states the
following not very conclusive reasons for having taken this unfortunate
step: "Well weighing my peculiar position, and well knowing that, in
shutting myself up within the walls of the city, I should risk the whole
stake on the chance of defending a wretched fortification, which could
not be lessened by an action in the field."

At daylight on the 28th of April, Murray marched out to the Plains of
Abraham with his ten skeleton battalions and twenty pieces of
artillery. His light troops easily drove in those of the French; he then
proceeded to form his line of battle. On the right, Colonel Burton led
the 15th, the 48th, and the second battalion of the 60th. The center
consisted of the 43d and 58th, under Colonel James, and the left of the
28th, 47th, and 78th, under Colonel Fraser. The 35th, and the third
battalion of the 60th, formed the reserve. Major Dalling's Light
Infantry covered the right flank, and some Volunteers and the Rangers
the left. The guns were distributed in the most suitable positions.

When the formations were completed, Murray rode to the front to
reconnoiter the enemy's position: he found them occupied in putting
their arms, which had been damaged by heavy rains during the night, in
order, and in other respects unprepared for action. This seemed to
afford a favorable opportunity for striking a blow, and accordingly he
returned in all speed, and gave orders to attack without delay. The
little army joyfully obeyed, and moved forward in admirable order over
the brow of the heights, thence down the slope into the plains beyond.

At first De Levi could not bring himself to believe that the British
were abandoning their vantage-ground to grapple with his overwhelming
force; but when he perceived their colors still steadily advancing
almost within gunshot range, he called his men "to arms." The French
hurried together, and formed their front of battle, not, however,
without some confusion and alarm. Two companies of Grenadiers were in
the mean time pushed forward into the woods above Sillery as a covering
party; here they came in collision with the volunteers and Rangers of
the British left, and, after a short encounter, they retired leisurely
upon the main body. Murray's irregulars, now joined by the Light
Infantry, pursued with unlucky zeal: this hasty advance exposed them to
the fire of their own artillery, and compelled its silence; finally they
were repulsed and broken by the French battalions, which had by that
time attained to a steady formation. They then fell to the rear, and
showed no more during the combat.

De Levi's army was by this time ranged in battle array. Bourlemaque,
with three battalions of Regulars, held the right; the general in
person, with a like force, held the left; and M. Dumas, with two
battalions, occupied the center. The lines were formed three deep, and
in the intervals between the bodies of veteran troops the Canadian
levies were formed. Some companies of the Marine or Colony troops, with
the Indians, were posted in a wood somewhat in advance of the right of
the position. The French had no artillery.

When the flight of the light troops opened the front of battle, a column
of French Infantry was seen winding up through the suburbs of St. Roch,
so as to threaten Murray's right. Major Morris, with the 35th from the
reserve, were quickly called into action, and they checked this
movement. But, in the mean time, the British left was altogether
over-matched. Fraser, with his brigade, had boldly attacked the French
right, and at first gained some advantage, having, by an impetuous
charge, driven Bourlemaque from two redoubts; but the superior weight of
the enemy's fire soon told upon his weak battalions, and they were
speedily reduced to a mere handful of men. The 43d from the center and
the 3d battalion of the 60th from the reserve, now came to his aid, and
still he bravely held his own ground against the overwhelming numbers of
the French. At this critical time the Royal Roussillon from De Levi's
center, who had not, as yet, fired a shot, charged in upon the British
left, and bore down all resistance. The whole of Fraser's brigade then
gave way, and retired in confusion; Burton's men, on the right, already
hardly pressed, soon followed; all the artillery was lost; and, had it
not been for the firm front presented by the 15th and 58th, the disaster
might have proved irreparable. Even as it was, the carnage was almost
unexampled in proportion to the numbers engaged: Murray left no less
than 300 dead upon the field, and upward of 700 more of his men were

The triumph of the French was sullied by unusual cruelty to their
gallant but unfortunate foes. Quarter was in vain asked by some of the
British officers: four of them, being conducted to the officers of the
Regiment of La Sarre, were received with a wave of the hand, and
"Allez-vous-en," which speedily decided their bloody fate. Of the great
number of wounded Englishmen who were unavoidably abandoned in the
retreat, twenty-eight only were sent to the hospitals; the rest were
given up to glut the rage of the Indians. Murray's artillery, and the
steady fire of his veterans, caused the French to purchase victory at a
very heavy cost: by their own computation, 1800 of their men were killed
and wounded.

De Levi followed up his success by intrenching himself before the city
and preparing for the siege. Murray was not idle. No more than 2200 of
the British troops were now fit for duty; but even the wounded assisted
as far as they were able; nearly 600 men, unable to walk without
crutches, seated themselves on the ramparts, made sand-bags for the
works, and cartridges for the cannon. The women were also active in
tending the wounded, and cooking rations for the soldiers, who were now
too much occupied to perform those offices for themselves. By
unremitting exertion, 132 guns were soon mounted on the ramparts; and,
as many of the Infantry had during the winter been trained by the
artillerymen, Murray was enabled to keep up a fire which altogether
overpowered that of the French.

But the hopes of the besieged rested alone for final delivery on the
arrival of the fleet. On the 9th of May the Leostoffe frigate rounded
the headland of Point Levi, and stood over for the city. For a time an
intense anxiety reigned in both armies, as the French also expected a
squadron with supplies. At length, when the red-cross flag ran up to
the mizen peak of the strange ship, and a boat put off for the Lower
Town, the joy of the garrison knew no bounds; officers and soldiers
together mounted the parapets in the face of the enemy, and for nearly
an hour together made the air ring with hearty British cheers. On the
16th, Commodore Swainton arrived with the Vanguard and the Diana
frigate; the next day he passed the town, and destroyed or captured the
whole of the French armament upon the river.[197]

De Levi, upon this, raised the siege with inglorious haste. His camp,
guns, ammunition, stores, provisions, and intrenching tools were all
abandoned, and his retreat was almost a flight. Murray pushed out his
Grenadiers and Light Infantry in pursuit, and succeeded in taking some
of the rear guard prisoners. The French then took up their old quarters
at Jacques Cartier. This attempt upon Quebec, the results of which were
so disproportionate to the means employed, was called by the Canadians
"De Levi's folly."

Although the siege of Quebec lasted but a short time, it gave
opportunity to the French officers of departments to indulge in enormous
peculation.[198] The public money was squandered with the utmost
profusion and with the most unblushing dishonesty. False estimates were
authorized by the engineers, and paid by the intendant at Montreal.
Among other charges against the French government was put forward a bill
for 300,000 moccasins for the Indians; the infamous Cadet managed this
contract himself, in the name of his clerk, and charged the crown no
less than 300,000 livres for the fraudulent supply. Large stores were
constantly furnished to the army, the greater part of which became the
property of the contractors, and was resold by them to the government at
an exorbitant rate: meanwhile the soldiers were miserably supplied, and
the people almost perishing with want.

But this reign of peculation and oppression was fast drawing to a close.
The successful action at Sillery was "Fortune's parting smile" upon the
French in Canada. On the 3d of May, General, now Sir Jeffery Amherst,
the commander-in-chief, embarked at New York and proceeded to
Schenectady; from thence, with part of his army, he pursued his route to
Oswego, where he encamped on the 9th of July. General Gage and the rest
of the force was ordered to follow with all diligence: accordingly, they
also reached Oswego on the 22d, and Sir William Johnson, with his
Indians, arrived the following day. In the mean time, Captain Loring, of
the navy, with two armed vessels, had cleared the Lake Ontario of the
French cruisers, and driven them for refuge to the beautiful labyrinth
of the "Thousand Isles."

Amherst's army, now assembled on the shores of Lake Ontario, consisted
of a detachment of the Royal Artillery, six complete battalions and
thirteen companies of regular troops, a corps of Grenadiers, and another
of Light Infantry, with some Rangers, and eight battalions of
Provincials, in all 10,142 men of all ranks; Johnson's Indians numbered

The plan of the campaign was again founded on combined movements. The
general-in-chief, warned by the untoward delays which he had experienced
in the preceding year, himself chose to descend upon the enemy's capital
by Lake Ontario and the Upper St. Lawrence, leaving the route of Lake
Champlain to Colonel Haviland, with a force of some artillery, 1500
regular troops, 1800 Provincials, and a few Indians, which were
assembled at Crown Point. At the same time, Murray, with the disposable
portion of the gallant garrison of Quebec, aided by Lord Rollo and two
battalions from Louisburg, was to push up the St. Lawrence, and, if
possible, meet the other two corps under the general-in-chief and
Haviland on the island of Montreal. Their movements were as follows:

Amherst embarked the grenadiers and light troops, with a battalion of
Highlanders, on the 7th of August, and dispatched them, under Colonel
Haldimand, to take post at that end of Lake Ontario from whence issues
the River St. Lawrence. On the 10th, he himself, with the artillery, the
remainder of the regular troops, and the Indians, followed in
whale-boats. The Provincials, under Gage, joined the flotilla on the
12th, and the following day the whole army reached La Galette, on the
banks of the Great River. They then dropped down the stream to Isle
Royale without any occurrence worth record, except the gallant capture
of an armed vessel by Colonel Williamson with a detachment of troops in

Upon Isle Royale there was a French post of some strength, called Fort
Levi, which Amherst determined to subdue, partly because he was
unwilling to leave an enemy in his rear, but principally because among
the little garrison were several men well skilled in the dangerous
navigation of the St. Lawrence, whose services might prove of great
value to the expedition; accordingly, the fort was completely invested
by the 20th. On the 23d the British batteries were in readiness, and the
armed vessels placed in a favorable position, while a detachment of
grenadiers with scaling-ladders were told off to storm the works. A
cannonade was opened upon the fort; but the gallant little garrison
returned the fire with such spirit, that one of the British vessels
which had got aground was obliged to strike her colors, and was
abandoned by her crew. Amherst, astonished at this vigorous resistance,
deferred his contemplated assault to another day. The delay proved
fortunate in preventing further bloodshed; for M. Pouchot, the French
commandant, seeing that there was no hope of a successful defense,
surrendered at discretion on the 25th.

When the fort was delivered up, a circumstance occurred which reflects
far more honor upon Englishmen than the triumph of their arms. Johnson's
Indians had secretly determined to seize their opportunity of vengeance,
and to massacre the gallant band of Frenchmen as soon as they gained
admission within the works. Happily, Amherst was made aware of this
atrocious scheme. He immediately gave orders to Sir William to dissuade
the savages, if possible, from their intention; at the same time, he
promised them all the stores which might be found in the fort, and
warned them that if they persisted he would restrain them by force. The
Indians sullenly submitted and returned to their camp, but they bitterly
resented the interference, and Johnson informed the general that they
would probably quit the army in anger. Amherst answered, "Although I
wish to retain their friendship, I will not purchase it at the expense
of countenancing barbarity; and tell them that, if they commit any acts
of cruelty on their return home from the army, I will assuredly chastise
them." Amherst lost his Indians, but he preserved his honor. Nearly all
abandoned him; they did not, however, dare to perpetrate any violence on
their way home.

The British leveled the works at Fort Levi, and continued their route
down the stream with little difficulty till they reached the dangerous
passage of the Cedars. About noon on the 4th of September the van of the
army entered the rapids. Here the vast flood of the St. Lawrence dashes
swiftly through a comparatively narrow channel; broken rocks, eddies,
and surging waves render the appearance of this navigation terrible to
the unaccustomed eye, but under the guidance of experienced pilots light
boats constantly pass with little or no danger. Amherst expected that
the enemy would have opposed him at this critical point; he therefore
did not deem it prudent to permit the boats to descend in the successive
order which would have best suited the navigation, but, himself leading
the way, he ordered on a number of boats filled with artillery,
grenadiers, and light infantry at the same time. Scarcely had they
entered the boisterous waters when the boats became crowded together;
some were stove in against each other, and many were dashed to pieces
upon the rocks. No less than eighty-eight men and sixty-four boats, with
some artillery and stores, were lost by this lamentable disaster.

On the 6th of September the British army landed on the island of
Montreal, nine miles from the town; the French retired before them
within the walls, and the same evening the place was invested in form.

In pursuance of the plan of the campaign, Murray had sailed from Quebec
on the 14th of June, to co-operate with the expeditions under Amherst
and Haviland. His army consisted of 2450 men of all ranks, the veterans
who had conquered under Wolfe. His voyage up the river was an almost
continuous skirmish. Whenever his vessels approached the shore, they
were assailed with musketry, and by cannon at all suitable points;
however, he met with no resistance of a nature materially to delay his
progress. On the 8th of August the fleet passed Three Rivers, and on the
12th anchored opposite to Sorel, where M. de Bourlemaque was posted with
about 4000 men. Here Murray judged it prudent to await Lord Rollo with
the regiment from Louisburg, and, being joined by this re-enforcement,
he again sailed upward on the 27th. On the 7th of September the troops
were disembarked upon the island of Montreal, and on the following day
they encamped to the northeast of the city. M. de Bourlemaque had
retired before them within the walls.

Colonel Haviland embarked upon Lake Champlain on the 11th of August; on
the 16th he encamped opposite the French port at Isle aux Noix, and by
the 24th opened a fire of mortars upon it. On the night of the 27th, M.
de Bougainville, the commandant, retired from the fort, leaving a
garrison of only thirty men, who surrendered the next morning. Without
any further interruption, Haviland also arrived upon the island of
Montreal by the 8th of September. A British force of 16,000 men was then
assembled under the walls of the defenseless city. On the same day the
Marquis de Vaudreuil signed the capitulation which severed Canada from
France forever.

All Canada was included in this capitulation, from the fishing stations
on the coast of the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the unknown wilderness of
the West. The regular troops were permitted to march out from their
several posts with the honors of war, and were then conveyed to France
in British ships, under an engagement that they were not again to serve
before the conclusion of the first peace. The Provincial militia were
allowed to return unmolested to their homes. The free exercise of
religion was granted, and private property was held sacred. All the
civil officers were also conveyed to France, with their families,
baggage, and papers, except such of the latter as might be deemed useful
to the conquerors for the future government of the country. The French
colonists were guaranteed the same civil and commercial privileges as
British subjects, and were to be allowed to retain their slaves. The
Indians who had supported the cause of France were to be unmolested in
person, and the possession of their lands was secured to them.

The total effective force of the French included in the capitulation was
eight battalions of the line, and two of the colony or marine, being
4011 regular troops; sixty-four companies of the Quebec militia, 7976;
nineteen of Three Rivers, 1115, and eighty-seven of Montreal, 7331;
altogether, 20,433 men. The French had destroyed all their colors, but
the English regained possession of two of their own, which had been
taken from Shirley's and Pepperel's Provincial regiments at the capture
of Oswego.

Although the campaign of 1760 was unmarked by many events of stirring
interest, its conduct was most creditable to the officers and men of the
British army. Amherst's plans were as ably executed as they were
judiciously conceived. By descending the St. Lawrence from Ontario, he
rendered it impossible for the French to retire westward from Montreal,
and to prolong the war on the shores of the great lakes. His
combinations were arranged with admirable accuracy, and carried out by
his lieutenants with almost unparalleled success. With scarcely any
loss, three considerable bodies of troops had accomplished journeys of
uncommon difficulty, by routes of dangerous and almost unknown
navigation, in the face of a vigilant and still formidable enemy, and
all three had arrived at the place of meeting within forty-eight hours
of each other.

While we dwell with pleasure upon the achievements of this British army
and of their generals, we may not forget the merits of the gallant men
against whom they fought. With a noble patriotism that no neglect could
damp, Montcalm and his veterans strove for the honor of their country.
From first to last they persevered almost against hope; destitute, and
well-nigh deserted by France, they never for a moment wavered in their
loyalty; all that skill could accomplish, they accomplished; all that
devotion could endure, they endured; and all that chivalry could dare,
they dared. In these later times, when the intoxication of triumph and
the sting of defeat have long since passed away, the soldiers of France
and England may alike look back with honest pride to the brave deeds of
their ancestors in the Canadian war.

       *       *       *       *       *

One of the most momentous political questions that has ever yet moved
the human race was decided in this struggle. When a few English and
French emigrants first landed among the Virginian and Canadian forests,
it began; when the British flag was hoisted on the citadel of Quebec, it
was decided. From that day the hand of Providence pointed out to the
Anglo-Saxon race that to them was henceforth intrusted the destiny of
the New World.

[Footnote 196: "Who the deuse was thinking of Quebec? America was like a
book one has read and done with, or, at least, if one looked at the
book, one just recollected that there was a supplement promised, to
contain a chapter on Montreal, the starving and surrender of it; but
here we are on a sudden reading our book backward. An account came two
days ago that the French, on their march to besiege Quebec, had been
attacked by General Murray, who got into a mistake and a morass,
attacked two bodies that were joined when he hoped to come up with one
of them before he was inclosed, embogged, and defeated. By the list of
officers killed and wounded, I believe there has been a rueful
slaughter, and the place, I suppose, will be retaken."--Walpole's
_Letters to Sir H. Mann_, June 20th, 1760.]

[Footnote 197: "The Pomona, one of the French frigates, was driven on
shore above Cape Diamond; the other frigate, the Atalanta, ran ashore,
and was burned at Point aux Trembles."--_Gentleman's Magazine_, vol.
xxx., p. 297.]

[Footnote 198: "Pour comble de malheur, on accusait des plus horribles
brigandages presque tous ceux qui étaient employés au nom du roi dans
cette malheureuse colonie. Ils ont éte jugés au Châtelet de Paris,
tandis que le Parlement informait contre Lalli, 1764. Celui-ci, après
avoir cent fois exposé sa vie, l'a perdue par la main d'un bourreau,
tandis que les concussionnaires du Canada n'ont été condamnés qu'à des
restitutions et des amendes: tant il est de différence entre les
affaires qui semblent les mêmes."--Voltaire's _Précis du Siècle de Louis
XV._, p. 291.]


No. I.

"GENEVA, NOV. 6.--Two days after the news arrived here of the taking of
Quebec, Monsieur de Voltaire gave a grand entertainment at his house in
the country. In the evening the company retired into a noble gallery, at
the end of which was erected an elegant theater, and a new piece, called
Le Patriot Insulaire, was performed, in which all the genius and fire of
that celebrated poet were exhausted in the cause of liberty. M. de
Voltaire himself appeared in the principal character, and drew tears
from the whole audience. The scenes were decorated with emblems of
liberty, and over the stage was this inscription in Latin and English:

 'Libertati quieti
 Musis Sacrum
 S P of the F.'

The English line means 'Spite of the French.'

"After the play the windows of the gallery flew open, and presented a
spacious court finely illuminated and adorned with savage trophies. In
the middle of the court a magnificent fire-work was played off,
accompanied with martial music; the star of St. George shedding forth
innumerable rockets, and underneath a lively representation, by
girandoles, of the cataract of Niagara."--_Public Advertiser_, Nov. 23,

No. II.

"One of the most singular geographical illusions on record is that which
for a long while haunted the imaginations of the inhabitants of the
Canaries. They fancied they beheld a mountainous island, of about ninety
leagues in length, lying far to the westward. It was only seen at
intervals, though in perfectly clear and serene weather. To some it
seemed one hundred leagues distant, to others forty, to others only
fifteen or eighteen.[199]

"On attempting to reach it, however, it somehow or other eluded the
search, and was nowhere to be found. Still, there were so many persons
of credibility who concurred in testifying to their having seen it, and
the testimony of the inhabitants of different islands agreed so well as
to its form and position, that its existence was generally believed;
and geographers inserted it in their maps. It is laid down on the globe
of Martin Behrm, projected in 1492, as delineated by M. de Murr, and it
will be found in most of the maps of the time of Columbus, placed
commonly about 200 leagues west of the Canaries. During the time that
Columbus was making his proposition to the court of Portugal, an
inhabitant of the Canaries applied to King John II. for a vessel to go
in search of this island. In the archives of the Torre di Tombo,[200]
also, there is a record of a contract made by the crown of Portugal with
Fernando de Ulmo, cavalier of the royal household, and captain of the
Island of Terceira, wherein he undertakes to go, at his own expense, in
quest of an island, or islands, or terra firma, supposed to be the
Island of the Seven Cities, on condition of having jurisdiction over the
same for himself and his heirs, allowing one tenth of the revenues to
the king. This Ulmo, finding the expedition above his capacity,
associated one Juan Alphonso del Estreito in the enterprise. They were
bound to be ready to sail with two caravels in the month of March,
1487.[201] The fate of their enterprise is unknown.

"The name of St. Brandan, or Borondan, given to this imaginary island
from time immemorial, is said to be derived from a Scotch abbot, who
flourished in the sixth century, and who is called sometimes by the
foregoing appellations, sometimes St. Blandano or St. Blandanus. In the
Martyrology of the order of St. Augustine, he is said to have been the
patriarch of 3000 monks. About the middle of the sixth century, he
accompanied his disciple, St. Maclovio or St. Malo, in search of certain
islands, possessing the delights of paradise, which they were told
existed in the midst of the ocean, and were inhabited by infidels. After
these most adventurous saints-errant had wandered for a long time upon
the ocean, they at length landed upon an island called Ima. Here St.
Malo found the body of a giant lying in a sepulcher. He resuscitated
him, and had much interesting conversation with him, the giant informing
him that the inhabitants of that island had some notions of the Trinity,
and, moreover, giving him an account of the torments which Jews and
pagans suffered in the infernal regions. Finding the giant so docile and
reasonable, St. Malo expounded to him the doctrines of the Christian
religion, converted him, and baptized him by the name of Mildum. The
giant, however, either through weariness of life, or eagerness to enjoy
the benefits of his conversion, begged permission, at the end of fifteen
days, to die again, which was granted him.

"According to another account, the giant told them he knew of an island
in the ocean, defended by walls of burnished gold, so resplendent that
they shone like crystal, but to which there was no entrance. At their
request he undertook to guide them to it, and, taking the cable of their
ship, threw himself into the sea. He had not proceeded far, however,
when a tempest arose and obliged them all to return, and shortly after
the giant died.[202] A third legend makes the saint pray to Heaven, on
Easter day, that they may be permitted to find land where they may
celebrate the offices of religion with becoming state: an island
immediately appears, on which they land, perform a solemn mass, and the
sacrament of the Eucharist; after which, reembarking and making sail,
they behold to their astonishment the supposed island suddenly plunge to
the bottom of the sea, being nothing else than a monstrous _whale_.[203]
When the rumor circulated of an island seen from the Canaries, which
always eluded the search, the legends of St. Brandan were revived, and
applied to this unapproachable land. We are told, also, that there was
an ancient Latin manuscript in the archives of the cathedral church of
the Grand Canary in which the adventures of these saints were recorded.
Through carelessness, however, this manuscript disappeared.[204] Some
have maintained that this island was known to the ancients, and was the
same mentioned by Ptolemy among the Fortunate or Canary Islands by the
name of Aprositus,[205] a Greek word signifying 'inaccessible,' and
which, according to Friar Diego Philipo, in his book on the Incarnation
of Christ, shows that it possessed the same quality in ancient times of
deluding the eye, and being unattainable to the feet of mortals.[206]
But, whatever belief the ancients may have had on the subject, it is
certain that it took a strong hold on the faith of the moderns during
the prevalent rage for discovery; nor did it lack abundant testimonials.
Don Joseph de Viera y Clavijo says there never was a more difficult
paradox or problem in the science of geography, since to affirm the
existence of this island is to trample upon sound criticism, judgment,
and reason, and to deny it, one must abandon tradition and experience,
and suppose that many persons of credit had not the proper use of their

"The belief in this island has continued long since the time of
Columbus. It was repeatedly seen, and by various persons at a time,
always in the same place and the same form. In 1626, an expedition set
off for the Canaries in quest of it, commanded by Fernando de Troya and
Fernando Alvarez. They cruised in the wonted direction, but in vain; and
their failure ought to have undeceived the public. 'The phantasm of the
island, however,' says Viera, 'had such a secret enchantment for all who
beheld it, that the public preferred doubting the good conduct of the
explorers than their own senses.' In 1570 the appearances were so
repeated and clear, that there was a universal fever of curiosity
awakened among the people of the Canaries, and it was determined to send
forth another expedition. That they might not appear to act upon light
grounds, an exact investigation was previously made of all the persons
of talent and credibility who had seen these apparitions of land, or who
had other proofs of its existence.

"Alonzode Espinosa, governor of the island of Ferro, accordingly made a
report, in which more than one hundred witnesses, several of them
persons of the highest respectability, deposed that they had beheld the
unknown island about forty leagues to the northwest of Ferro; that they
had contemplated it with calmness and certainty, and had seen the sun
set behind one of its points.

"Testimonials of still greater force came from the islands of Palma and
Teneriffe. There were certain Portuguese who affirmed that, being driven
about by a tempest, they had come upon the island of St. Borondon. Pedro
Vello, who was the pilot of the vessel, asserted that, having anchored
in a bay, he landed with several of the crew. They drank fresh water in
a brook, and beheld in the sand the print of footsteps, double the size
of those of an ordinary man, and the distance between them was in
proportion. They found a cross nailed to a neighboring tree, near to
which were three stones placed in form of a triangle, with signs of fire
having been made among them, probably to cook shell-fish. Having seen
much cattle and sheep grazing in the neighborhood, two of their party,
armed with lances, went into the woods in pursuit of them. The night was
approaching, the heavens began to lower, and a harsh wind arose. The
people on board the ship cried out that she was dragging her anchor,
whereupon Vello entered the boat and hurried on board. In an instant
they lost sight of land, being, as it were, swept away in the hurricane.
When the storm had passed away, and sea and sky were again serene, they
searched in vain for the island; not a trace of it was to be seen, and
they had to pursue their voyage, lamenting the loss of their two
companions who had been abandoned in the wood.[208]

"A learned licentiate, Pedro Ortez de Funez, inquisitor of the Grand
Canary, while on a visit at Teneriffe, summoned several persons before
him who testified having seen the island. Among them was one Marcos
Verde, a man well known in those parts. He stated that, in returning
from Barbary, and arriving in the neighborhood of the Canaries, he
beheld land, which, according to his maps and calculations, could not be
any of the known islands. He concluded it to be the far-famed St.
Borondon. Overjoyed at having discovered this land of mystery, he
coasted along its spell-bound shores until he anchored in a beautiful
harbor, formed by the mouth of a mountain ravine. Here he landed with
several of his crew. 'It was now,' he said, 'the hour of Ave Maria, or
of vespers. The sun being set, the shadows began to spread over the
land. The navigators, having separated, wandered about in different
directions, until out of hearing of each other's shouts. Those on board,
seeing the night approaching, made signals to summon back the wanderers
to the ship. They re-embarked, intending to resume their investigations
on the following day. Scarcely were they on board, however, when a
whirlwind came rushing down the ravine with such violence as to drag the
vessel from her anchor and hurry her out to sea, and they never saw any
thing more of this hidden and inhospitable island.'

"Another testimony remains on record in a manuscript of one Abreu
Galindo, but whether taken at this time does not appear. It was that of
a French adventurer, who, many years before, making a voyage among the
Canaries, was overtaken by a violent storm, which carried away his
masts. At length the furious winds drove him to the shores of an unknown
island covered with stately trees. Here he landed with part of his crew,
and, choosing a tree proper for a mast, cut it down, and began to shape
it for his purpose. The guardian power of the island, however, resented,
as usual, this invasion of his forbidden shores. The heavens assumed a
dark and threatening aspect; the night was approaching; and the
mariners, fearing some impending evil, abandoned their labor, and
returned on board. They were borne away, as usual, from the coast, and
the next day arrived at the island of Palma.[209]

"The mass of testimony collected by official authority in 1570 seemed so
satisfactory that another expedition was fitted out in the same year in
the island of Palma. It was commanded by Fernando de Villalobos, regidor
of the island, but was equally fruitless with the preceding. St.
Borondon seemed disposed only to tantalize the world with distant and
serene glimpses of his ideal paradise, or to reveal it amid storms to
tempest-tossed mariners, but to hide it completely from the view of all
who diligently sought it. Still, the people of Palma adhered to their
favorite chimera. Thirty-four years afterward, in 1605, they sent
another ship on the quest, commanded by Gaspar Perez de Acosta, an
accomplished pilot, accompanied by the Padre Lorenzo Pinedo, a holy
Franciscan friar, skilled in natural science. San Borondon, however,
refused to reveal his island to either monk or mariner. After cruising
about in every direction, sounding, observing the skies, the clouds, the
winds, every thing that could furnish indications, they returned without
having seen any thing to authorize a hope.

"Upward of a century now elapsed without any new attempt to seek this
fairy island. Every now and then, it is true, the public mind was
agitated by fresh reports of its having been seen. Lemons and other
fruits, and the green branches of trees, which floated to the shores of
Gomara and Ferro, were pronounced to be from the enchanted groves of San
Borondon. At length, in 1721, the public infatuation again rose to such
a height that a fourth expedition was sent, commanded by Don Gaspar
Dominguez, a man of probity and talent. As this was an expedition of
solemn and mysterious import, he had two holy friars as apostolical
chaplains. They made sail from the island of Teneriffe toward the end of
October, leaving the populace in an indescribable state of anxious
curiosity. The ship, however, returned from its cruise as unsuccessful
as all its predecessors.

"We have no account of any expedition being since undertaken, though the
island still continued to be a subject of speculation, and occasionally
to reveal its shadowy mountains to the eyes of favored individuals. In a
letter written from the island of Gomara, 1759, by a Franciscan monk to
one of his friends, he relates having seen it from the village of
Alaxera, at six in the morning of the third of May. It appeared to
consist of two lofty mountains, with a deep valley between, and on
contemplating it with a telescope, the valley or ravine appeared to be
filled with trees. He summoned the curate, Antonio Joseph Manrique, and
upward of forty other persons, all of whom beheld it plainly.[210]

"Nor is this island delineated merely in ancient maps of the time of
Columbus. It is laid down as one of the Canary Islands in a French map
published in 1704; and Mons. Gautier, in a geographical chart annexed to
his Observations on Natural History, published in 1759, places it five
degrees to the west of the Island of Ferro, in the 29th degree of north

"Such are the principal facts existing relative to the island of St.
Brandan. Its reality was for a long time a matter of firm belief. It was
in vain that repeated voyages and investigations proved its
non-existence: the public, after trying all kinds of sophistry, took
refuge in the supernatural to defend their favorite chimera. They
maintained that it was rendered inaccessible to mortals by divine
providence or by diabolical magic. Most inclined to the former. All
kinds of extravagant fancies were indulged concerning it:[212] some
confounded it with the fabled island of the Seven Cities, situated
somewhere in the bosom of the ocean, where, in old times, seven bishops
and their followers had taken refuge from the Moors. Some of the
Portuguese imagined it to be the abode of their last king, Sebastian.
The Spaniards pretended that Roderic, the last of their Gothic kings,
had fled thither from the Moors after the disastrous battle of the
Guadalete. Others suggested that it might be the seat of the terrestrial
paradise--the place where Enoch and Eliiah remained in a slate of
blessedness until the final day; and that it was made at times apparent
to the eyes, but invisible to the search of mortals. Poetry, it is said,
has owed to this popular belief one of its beautiful fictions; and the
garden of Armida, where Rinaldo was detained enchanted, and which Tasso
places in one of the Canary Islands, has been identified with the
imaginary San Borondon.[213]

"The learned father Feyjoo[214] has given a philosophical solution to
this geographical problem. He attributes all these appearances, which
have been so numerous and so well authenticated as not to admit of
doubt, to certain atmospherical deceptions, like that of the Fata
Morgana, seen at times in the Straits of Messina, where the city of
Reggio and its surrounding country is reflected in the air above the
neighboring sea; a phenomenon which has likewise been witnessed in front
of the city of Marseilles. As to the tales of the mariners who had
landed on these forbidden shores, and been hurried from thence in
whirlwinds and tempests, he considers them as mere fabrications.

"As the populace, however, reluctantly give up any thing that partakes
of the marvelous and mysterious, and as the same atmospherical phenomena
which first gave birth to the illusion may still continue, it is not
improbable that a belief in the island of St. Brandan may still exist
among the ignorant and credulous of the Canaries, and that they at times
behold its fairy mountains rising above the distant horizon of the
Atlantic."--Washington Irving, _Life of Columbus_.

[Footnote 199: Feyjoo, _Theatro Critico_, tom. iv., ch. x., s. xx.]

[Footnote 200: Lib. iv. de la Chancelaria del Rey Don Juan II., fol.

[Footnote 201: Torre di Tombo, _Lib. das Yihas_, fol. 119.]

[Footnote 202: Fr. Gregorio Garcia, _Origen de los Indios_, lib. i.,
cap. ix.]

[Footnote 203: Sigeberto, _Epist. ad Fritmar Abbat._]

[Footnote 204: Nunez de la Pena, _Conquist. de la Gran Canaria_.]

[Footnote 205: Ptolemy, tom. iv., lib. iv.]

[Footnote 206: Fr. D. Philipo, lib. viii., fol. 25.]

[Footnote 207: _Hist. Isl. Can._, lib. i., cap. xxviii.]

[Footnote 208: Nunez de la Pena, lib. i., cap. i.; Viera, _Hist. Isl.
Can._, tom. i., cap. xxviii.]

[Footnote 209: Nunez, _Conquist. de la Gran Canaria_; Viera, _Hist. Isl.

[Footnote 210: Viera, _Hist. Isl. Can._, lib. i., cap. xxvi.]

[Footnote 211: Id. ib., tom. i., cap. xxviii.]

[Footnote 212: Id. ib.]

[Footnote 213: Viera, _Hist. Isl. Can._]

[Footnote 214: _Theatro Critico_, tom. lv., d. x.]

No. III.

The following lines in Pulci's "Morgante Maggiore" afford probably the
most circumstantial prediction that is to be found of the existence of a
Western World. The devil, alluding to the vulgar superstition respecting
the Pillars of Hercules, thus addresses Rinaldo:

 "Know that this theory is false; his bark
 The daring mariner shall urge far o'er
 The western wave, a smooth and level plain,
 Albeit the earth is fashioned like a wheel.
 Man was in ancient days of grosser mold,
 And Hercules might blush to learn how far
 Beyond the limits he had vainly set,
 The dullest sea-bird soon shall wing her way.
 Men shall descry another hemisphere,
 Since to one common center all things tend.
 So earth, by curious mystery divine,
 Well-balanced hangs amid the starry spheres.
 At our antipodes are cities, states,
 And thronged empires, ne'er divined of yore.
 But see, the sun speeds on his western path,
 To glad the nations with expected light."

 _Canto_ xxv., st. 229, 230.

Dante, two centuries before, had indicated more vaguely his belief in an
undiscovered quarter of the globe:

 "De' vostri sensi, ch'é del rimanente
 Non vogliate negar l'esperienza
 Diretro al sol, del mondo senza gente."

_Inferno, Canto_ xxvi., st. 115.

The prophetic lines of Seneca are well known:

 "Nil, qua fuerat sede, reliquit
 Pervius orbis.
 Indus gelidum potat Araxem,
 Albim Persæ, Rhenumque bibunt
 Venient annis sæcula seris
 Quibus Oceanus vincula rerum
 Laxet, et ingens pateat tellus,
 Tethysque novos detegat orbes,
 Nec sit terris ultima Thule."

 _Medea_, Act II., v. 371, _et seq._ _Chorus in Fine._ Ed. Bip.

On which the learned Acosta remarks:

"Sed utrum divinarit Seneca, an fortuito ac temere cecinerit, quæri
potest. Mihi verò divinasse videtur, sed eo genere divinationis, quod
prudentes viri familiare habent."

Acosta further on writes thus:

"Scribit Hieronymus in epistolam ad Ephesios--'Quærirmus quoque quid
sit. In quibus aliquando ambulastis secundum sæculum sit mundi hujus
utrumnam et aliud quod non pertineat ad mundum istum, sed ad mundos
alios, de quibus et Clemens in epistolâ suâ scribit, oceanus et mundi
qui transipsum sunt.'"--J. Acosta, Societatis Jesu, _De Naturâ Novi
Orbis_, lib. i., cap. xi.

"Lorsq' Alfonso V. permit en 1461 à Dom Henry de peupler les îles
Açores, on trouva en celle de Cuervo une statue représentant un cavalier
qui, de la main gauche, tenoit la bride de son cheval, et de la droite
montroit l'occident, précisément du côte d'Amerique--on voyoit sur le
roc une inscription en caractères inconnus, dont il seroit à souhaiter
qu'on eût pris soin d'aporter l'empreinte en Europe; mais ces premiers
navigateurs cherchoient des trésors et non des nouvelles
lumières."--_Histoire de France_, par M. de Villaret, vol. xvi., p. 376.

No. IV.

The fable of Welsh Indians is of very old date. In the time of Sir
Walter Raleigh, a confused report was spread over England that on the
coast of Virginia the Welsh salutation had been heard; has, honi, iach.
Owen Chapelain relates that in 1669, by pronouncing some Celtic words,
he saved himself from the hands of the Indians of Tuscarora, by whom he
was on the point of being scalped. The same thing, it is pretended,
happened to Benjamin Beatty, in going from Virginia to Carolina. This
Beatty asserts that he found a whole Welsh tribe, who preserved the
tradition of the voyage of Madoc ap Owen, which took place in 1170. John
Filson, in his "History of Kentucky," has revived these tales of the
first travelers. According to him, Captain Abraham Chaplain saw Indians
arrive at the post of Kaskasky, and converse in the Welsh language with
some soldiers, who were natives of Wales. Captain Isaac Stewart asserts
that on the Red River of Natchitoches, at the distance of 700 miles
above its mouth, in the Mississippi, he discovered Indians with a fair
skin and red hair, who conversed in Welsh, and possessed the titles of
their origin. "They produced, in proof of what they said of their
arrival on the eastern coast, rolls of parchment, carefully wrapped up
in otter skins, and on which great characters were written in blue,
which neither Stewart, nor his fellow-traveler, Davey, a native of
Wales, could decipher." We may observe, first, that all these
testimonies are extremely vague for the indication of places. The last
letter of Mr. Owen, repeated in the journals of Europe (of the 11th
February, 1819), places the posts of the Welsh Indians on the Madwaga,
and divides them into two tribes, the Brydones and the Chadogians. "They
speak Welsh with greater purity than it is spoken in the principality of
Wales(!), since it is exempt from Anglicisms; they profess Christianity,
strongly mixed with Druidism." We can not read such assertions without
recollecting that all those fabulous stories which flatter the
imagination are renewed periodically under new forms. The learned and
judicious geographer of the United States, Mr. Warden, inquires justly,
why all the traces of Welsh colonies and the Celtic tongue have
disappeared, since less credulous travelers, and who, in some sort,
control one another, have visited the country situated between the Ohio
and the Rocky Mountains. Mackenzie, Barton, Clarke, Lewis, Pike, Drake,
Mitchill, and the editors of the "New Archæologia Americana," have found
nothing, absolutely nothing, which denotes the remains of European
colonies of the 12th century.--Humboldt's _Personal Narrative_, vol.
vi., p. 326. See Hakluyt, vol. iii., p. 1; Powell's _History of Wales_,
p. 196, &c.

Lord Lyttleton, in his notes to the 5th book of his "History of Henry
II.," p. 371, has invalidated the story of Madoc's discoveries by
arguments of great weight; and Mr. Pennant, in "Philosophical
Transactions," vol. lviii., p. 91, has overthrown many of the arguments
upon which the existence of a Welsh settlement among the Indians was
founded. General Bowles, the Cherokee, was questioned when in England as
to the locality of the supposed descendants of Madoc: he laid his finger
on one of the branches of the Missouri. Pike's "Travels" had lessened
the probability of finding such a tribe; and Lewis and Clarke's "Travels
to the Source of the Missouri" have entirely destroyed it, as
acknowledged by Mr. Southey in his "Madoc."--See note to the Preface of

"It is much to be wished, that in our days, when a healthy tone of
criticism is very much in use, without assuming a scornful character,
the ancient inquiries of Powell ('Powell's History of Wales,' p. 196)
and Richard Hakluyt ('Voyages and Navigations,' vol. iii., p. 4) might
again be taken up in England. I do not participate in the notion of
rejecting inquiries, by which the traditions of nations are frequently
observed; I prefer much to hold the firm conviction that, with more
diligence and perseverance, many of the historical problems which have
hitherto remained unknown to us will one day be cleared up by actual
discoveries."--Humboldt's _Cosmos_, vol. ii., p. 456.

By some antiquarians traces have been supposed to have been found of the
discovery of America by the Irish before the year 1000. The Esquimaux
related to the Normans who were settled in Winland, that further
southward, on the other side of Chesapeake Bay, there dwelt "white men,
who walked about in long white clothes, before them sticks to which
white cloths were attached, and crying with a loud voice." This account
was interpreted by the Christian Normans to signify processions, in
which they carried flags and sang hymns. In the oldest traditions, and
in the historical narrative of Thorfinn Karlsefue, and the Iceland
Landnama Book, these southern coasts, between Virginia and Florida, are
indicated by the name of "Whiteman's Land." They were, in the country
itself, certainly called "Great Ireland" (Irland it Mikla), and it was
supposed that they were peopled by the Irish. According to testimony
extending as far back as the year 1064, before Leif discovered Winland,
Ari Marsson, of the powerful Iceland race of Ulf, on a voyage southward
from Iceland, was driven by a storm upon the coasts of "Great Ireland,"
and there baptized as a Christian, and not being allowed to go away, was
subsequently recognized there by people from the Orkneys and Iceland. It
is the present opinion of some northern antiquarians that Iceland was
not peopled immediately from Europe, but from Virginia and Carolina
(that is, from Great Ireland), by the Irish, who had early migrated to
America.... The assiduous attempt to diffuse religious doctrines paved
the way, at one time, for warlike undertakings, at another for the
spread of peaceful ideas and commercial intercourse. The zeal which is
so peculiar to the religions systems of India, Palestine, and Arabia,
and which is altogether free from the indifference of Grecian and Roman
polytheism, kept alive the study of geography in the first half of the
Middle Ages. Letronne, the commentator of the Irish monk Dicuil, has
proved, in an acute way, that after the Irish missionaries were driven
out of the Färöe Islands by the Normans, they began to visit Iceland
about the year 795. The Normans, when they came to Iceland, found there
Irish books, bells for ringing for mass, and other objects, which former
strangers, who were called Papar, had left behind. These Papæ (fathers)
were the Clerici of Dicuil. Now if, as we must suppose from his
testimony, those objects belonged to the Irish monks, who came from the
Färöe Islands, the question is, why are the monks (Papar) called in
their native traditions "Westmen"--men who have come from the west over
the sea? Respecting the connection of Prince Madoc's voyage to a great
western country in 1170, with the "Great Ireland" of the Iceland
traditions, all accounts are enveloped in deep obscurity. Compare the
inquiries in _Rafn Antiq. Amer._, p. 203, 206, 446, 451; and Wilhelmi
upon Iceland, _Hvitramannaland_, the Land of White Men, p. 75, 81;
Letronne, _Récherches Géog. et Crit. sur le Livre de Mensurâ Orbis
Terræ, composé en Irelande par Dicuil_, 1814, p. 129, 146.

The celebrated stone of Taunton River may date its hieroglyphics from
the time that Norwegian navigators visited the shores of "Great
Ireland." "Anglo-American antiquaries have made known an inscription,
supposed to be Phoenician, and which is engraved on the rocks of
Dighton, near the banks of Taunton River, twelve leagues south of
Boston.... The natives who inhabited these countries at the time of the
first European settlements preserved an ancient tradition, according to
which strangers in wooden houses had sailed up Taunton River, formerly
called Assoonet. These strangers, having conquered the red men, had
engraved marks on the rock, which is now covered by the waters of the
river. Count de Gebelin does not hesitate, with the learned Dr. Stiles,
to regard these marks as a Carthaginian inscription. He says, with that
enthusiasm which is natural to him, but which is highly injurious in
discussions of this kind, that this inscription comes happily at the
moment from the New World to confirm his ideas on the origin of nations,
and that it is clearly demonstrated to be a Phoenician monument, a
picture which in the foreground represents an alliance between the
American people and the foreign nation, coming by the winds of the north
from a rich and industrious country. I have carefully examined the four
drawings of the celebrated stone of Taunton River, which M. Loot
published in England in the Memoirs of the Antiquarian Society."
(_Archæologia_, vol. viii., p. 296.) "Far from recognizing a symmetrical
arrangement of simple letters and syllabic characters, I discover a
drawing scarcely traced, like those that have been found on the rocks of
Norway, and in almost all the countries inhabited by the Scandinavian
nations." (Suhm, _Samlinger til ten Danske Historic_, b. ii., p. 215.)
"In the sketch we distinguish, from the form of the heads, five human
figures surrounding an animal with horns, much higher in the fore than
in the hind part of the body."--Humboldt's _Researches in America_, vol.
i., p. 153.

No. V.

"The great and splendid work of Marco Polo (Il Milione di Messer Marco
Polo), as we see in the corrected edition of Count Baldelli, is wrongly
called a book of travels: it is chiefly a descriptive, and, we may add,
a statistical work, in which it is difficult to distinguish what the
traveler himself saw and what he derived from others, or gathered from
the topographical descriptions which are so plenty in Chinese
literature, and which he had an opportunity of attaining through his
Persian interpreter. The striking similarity of the report of the
travels of Hinan-tschang, the Buddhist pilgrim of the seventh century,
with that of Marco Polo, of the Pamir Highlands, in 1277, early
attracted my attention.... However much the more recent travelers have
been inclined to enter into an account of their own personal adventures,
Marco Polo, on the other hand, endeavors to mix up his own observations
with the official accounts communicated to him, which were probably
numerous, as he held the post of governor of the town of Zangui. The
plan of compiling adopted by the famous traveler renders it intelligible
how he was able to dictate his book to his fellow-prisoner and friend,
Messer Rustigielo, of Pisa, from the documents before him, while in
prison in Genoa in 1295."--Humboldt's _Cosmos_, vol. ii., p. 400.

Humboldt elsewhere says, that "it has frequently been supposed, and
declared with remarkable decision, that the truthful Marco Polo had a
great influence upon Columbus, and even that he was in possession of a
copy of Marco Polo's work upon his first voyage of discovery."--Navarrete,
_Collecion de los Viajos y Descubrimientos que hicieron por mar los
Españoles_, vol. i., p. 261.

Marco Polo is called by Malte Brun "the creator of modern Oriental
geography--the Humboldt of the thirteenth century."

"The work of Marco Polo is stated by some to have been originally
written in Latin, though the most probable opinion is that it was
written in Italian. Copies of it in manuscript were multiplied, and
rapidly circulated; translations were made into various languages, until
the invention of printing enabled it to be widely diffused throughout
Europe. In the course of these translations and successive editions, the
original text, according to Purchas, has been much vitiated, and it is
probable many extravagances in numbers and measurements with which Marco
Polo is charged may be the errors of translators and printers. Francis
Pepin, author of the Brandenburgh version, styles Polo a man commendable
for his devoutness, prudence, and fidelity. Athanasius Kircher, in his
account of China, says that none of the ancients have described the
kingdoms of the remote parts of the East with more exactness. Various
other learned men have borne testimony to his character, and most of the
substantial points of his work have been authenticated by subsequent
travelers. It is manifest, however, that he dealt much in exaggeration.
The historical part of his work is full of errors and fables. He
confuses the names of places, is very inexact as to distances, and gives
no latitude of the places he visited."--Washington Irving's _Columbus_,
vol. iv., p. 294.

Marco Polo returned from Tartary to his native city, Venice, in 1295,
having pursued his mercantile peregrinations in Asia upward of
twenty-six years.

No. VI.

"Sir John Mandeville was born in the town of St. Alban's. He was devoted
to study from his earliest childhood, and, after finishing his general
education, applied himself to medicine. He left England in 1332, and,
according to his own account, visited Turkey, Armenia, Egypt, Upper and
Lower Libya, Syria, Persia, Chaldea, Ethiopia, Tartary, Amazonia, and
the Indies, residing in their principal cities. He wrote a history of
his travels in three languages, English, French, and Latin. The
descriptions given by Mandeville of the Grand Khan, of the province of
Cathay, and the city of Camhalee, are scarcely less extravagant than
those of Marco Polo. The royal palace was more than two leagues in
circumference; the grand hall had twenty-four columns of copper and
gold; there were more than 300,000 men occupied, and living in and about
the palace, of which more than 100,000 were employed in taking care of
the elephants, of which there were 10,000, &c., &c.

"Mandeville has become proverbial for indulging in a traveler's
exaggerations; yet his accounts of the countries which he visited have
been found far more veracious than had been imagined. His descriptions
of Cathay and the wealthy province of Mangi, agreeing with those of
Marco Polo, had great authority with Columbus."--Washington Irving's
_Columbus_, vol. iv., p. 308.

No. VII.

"The Western nations, the Greeks, and the Romans, knew that magnetism
could be communicated for a length of time to iron ('sola hæc materia
ferri vires à magneti lapide accipit, retinetque longo tempore.'--Plin.,
xxxiv., 14). The great discovery of the terrestrial directive force,
therefore, depended alone on this, that no one in the West happened to
observe that a longish piece of magnetic iron ore, or a magnetized iron
rod, floated at liberty upon water by means of a piece of wood, or
balanced and suspended freely in the air by means of a thread. But a
thousand years and more before the commencement of our era, in the dark
epoch of Codru, and the return of the Heraclidæ to the Peloponnesus, the
Chinese had already magnetic cars, upon which the movable arm of a human
figure pointed invariably to the south, as a means of finding the way
through the boundless grassy plains of Tartary. In the third century,
indeed, of the Christian era, at least 700 years, therefore, before the
introduction of the ship's compass upon European seas, Chinese craft
were sailing the Indian Ocean under the guidance of magnetic southern
indication. This early knowledge and application of the magnetic needle
gave the Chinese geographers great advantages over those of early Greece
and Rome, to whom, for example, the true course of the Apennines and
Pyrenees was never known.

"Magnetism is one of the numerous forms in which electricity manifests
itself. The ancient suspicion of the identity of electrical and
magnetical attraction has been demonstrated in the present age. 'If
electrum (amber),' says Pliny, in the sense of the Ionic natural
philosophy of Thales, 'becomes inspired by friction and warmth, it
attracts bark and dried leaves, exactly like the magnetic iron
stone.'[215] The same words occur in the discourse laudatory of the
magnet of the Chinese natural philosopher Kuopho, who lived in the
fourth century. It was not without surprise that I myself observed,
among the children at play on the woody banks of the Orinoco, the
offspring of native tribes in the lowest grade of civilization, that the
excitement of electricity by friction was known. The boys rubbed the
dry, flat, and shining seeds of a creeping leguminous plant (probably a
negretia) until they attracted fibers of cotton wool and chips of the
bamboo. This amusement of these coppery children is calculated to leave
a deep and solemn impression behind it. What a chasm lies between the
electrical play of these savages and the discovery of the lightning
conductor, of the chemically decompounding pile, of the light-evoking
mechanical apparatus! In such gulfs, millenniums in the history of the
intellectual progress of mankind lie buried."--Humboldt's _Cosmos_, vol.
i., p. 180; Klaproth, _Lettre à M.A. de Humboldt, sur l'Invention de la
Boussole_, p. 125. 1834.

"The application of the magnetic needle's direction toward the north and
south, that is, the use of the mariner's compass in Europe, is probably
due to the Arabs, who have to thank the Chinese for their knowledge of
it. The Arabic words 'Zohron' and 'Aphron,' meaning north and south,
like the numerous Arabic names of the stars in use at the present day,
testify the route through which the West became acquainted with it. In
European Christendom, the use of the magnetic needle is spoken of as
something well known, first in a political and satirical poem, entitled
'La Bible,' written by Guyot of Provence in 1190, and in the description
of Palestine, by Jacob of Vitry, bishop of Ptolemais, between the years
1204 and 1215. Also Dante (_Paradiso_, xii., 29) mentions in a simile
the needle (ajo) 'which points southward.' The discovery of the
mariner's compass was for a long time attributed to Flavius Gioja: he
probably made some improvements in the apparatus for managing it in
1302. A much earlier employment of the compass in the European seas is
seen in a naval work by Raymundus Lullus of Majorca, a wonderfully
talented and scientific man. In his book, entitled 'Fenix de las
Maravillas del Orbe,' published in 1286, Lullus says that the mariners
of his times made use of the magnetic needle. Navarrete, in his
'Discurso Historico sobre los Progressos del Arte de Navegar en Espana,'
p. 28, 1802, records a remarkable passage in the Leyes de las Partidas
of the middle of the thirteenth century: 'The needle which guides the
mariner in the dark night, and shows him in good and bad weather the
direction which he must take, is the mediatrix (medianera) between the
magnetic stone (la piedra) and the north star."--Humboldt's _Cosmos_,
vol. ii., p. 291, 462.

[Footnote 215: Plin., lib. xxxvii., p. 3; Plato, in _Timao_, p. 80;
Martin, _Études sur le Timée_, tom. II., p. 343-346; Strabo, lib. xv.,
p. 703, Casaub.; Clemens Alex., _Strom._, li., p. 370. When Thales, in
Aristot., _De Animá_, lib. i., p. 2, and Hippias, in _Diag. Laertio_,
lib. i., p. 24, attribute a soul to the magnet and to amber, this
animation only refers to a moving principle.]


"In the fifteenth century almost all the mercantile nations sought for
slaves at the Canary Islands, as we seek them at present on the Coast of
Guinea. Every individual made prisoner before he received the rite of
baptism was a slave. At this period no attempt had yet been made to
prove that the blacks were an intermediary race between men and animals.
The swarthy Guanche and the African negro were sold simultaneously in
the market of Seville, without a question whether slavery ought to weigh
only on men with a black skin and frizzled hair. The archipelago of the
Canaries was divided into several small states hostile to each other.
The trading nations kept up intestine warfare; one Guanche then became
the property of another, who sold him to the Europeans; several, who
preferred death to slavery, killed themselves and their children. What
remained of the Guanches perished mostly in 1494, in the terrible
pestilence called the _modorra_, which was attributed to the quantity of
dead bodies left exposed to the air by the Spaniards after the battle of
La Laguna. The nation of the Guanches was therefore extinct at the
beginning of the seventeenth century. It is very certain that no native
of pure race exists in the whole island; and some travelers, who may
otherwise be relied upon, are mistaken when they assert that their
guides to the Peak were some of those slender and nimble-footed
Guanches. (It is asserted that they could seize the rabbit or wild goat
in its course.) It is true that a few Canarian families boast of their
relationship to the last shepherd king of Guimar; but these pretensions
do not rest on very solid foundations, and are renewed from time to
time, when some Canarian of a more dusky hue than his countrymen is
prompted to solicit a commission in the service of the King of Spain.

"The Guanches, famed for their tall stature, were the Patagonians of the
Old World. I never saw Guanche mummies but in the cabinets of Europe. A
considerable number, however, might be found, if miners were employed to
open the sepulchral caverns which are cut in the rock on the eastern
slope of the Peak. These mummies are in a state of desiccation so
singular, that whole bodies with their integuments, frequently do not
weigh above six or seven pounds, or a third less than the skeleton of an
individual of the same size recently stripped of the muscular flesh. The
conformation of the skull has some slight resemblance to that of the
white race of the ancient Egyptians.... The only monument that can throw
some light on the origin of the Guanches is their language; but,
unhappily, there are not above 150 words remaining. It has long been
imagined that the language of the Guanches had no analogy with the
living tongues; but since the travels of Hornemann, and the ingenious
researches of Marsden and Venturi, have drawn the attention of the
learned to the Berbers, who, like the Sarmatic tribes, occupy an immense
extent of country in the north of Africa, we find that several Guanche
words have common roots with words of the Chilha and Gebali dialects.
This is at least an indication of the ancient connection between the
Guanches and Berbers, a tribe of mountaineers, in which the Numidians,
the Getuli, and the Garamanti are confounded, and who extend themselves
from the eastern extremity of Atlas by Harutsch and Fezzan, as far as
the Oasis of Siwah and Angela. The description which Scylax gives in his
'Periplus' of the inhabitants of Cerne, a shepherd people of a tall
stature and long hair, reminds us of the features which characterize the
Canary Guanches.... The people who succeeded the Guanches descended from
the Spaniards, and in a less degree from the Normans. Though these two
races have been exposed during three centuries past to the same climate,
the latter is distinguished by a whiter skin. The descendants of the
Normans inhabit the Valley of the Teganana. The names of Grandville and
Dampierre are still pretty common in this district. The whole
archipelago does not contain 160,000 inhabitants, and the Islennos are
perhaps more numerous in the Spanish settlements of America than in
their own country."--Humboldt's _Personal Narrative_, vol. i., p. 280.

No. IX.

"Pomponius Mela, qui vivoit à une époque assez rapprochée du temps de
Cornelius Nepos, raconte, et Pline répète que Metellus Celer, tandis
qu'il étoit proconsul dans les Gaules, avoit reçu en cadeau, d'un roi
des Boii (Pline le nomme roi des Suèves) quelques Indiens qui, chassés
des mers de l'Inde par des tempêtes, avoient abordé sur les côtes de la
Germanie...... Il ne peut rester aucun doute que Pomponius Mela n'ait
cru que les Indiens étoient arrivés sur les côtes nord-est de
l'Allemagne par la circumnavigation de l'Asie orientale et boréale. Il
dit, 'Vi tempestatum ex Indieis æquoribus abrepti.'..... Comme il est
reconnu que malgré le grand perfectionnement de la navigation moderne,
l'accumulation des glaces s'oppose à toute navigation par le détroit de
Behring le long des îles de la Nouvelle Zemble on a soulevé la question
de savoir de quelle race peuvent avoir été les hommes de couleur que le
proconsul Metellus Celer a pris pour des Indiens. Gomara dit que, 'Les
Indiens de Quintus Metellus Celer etoient peut-être de la Terre du
Laboureur, et l'on se trompe (sur leur vraie origine) à cause de leur
couleur.'...... Il paraissoit peu probable que des Eskimaux fussent
venus aux côtes d'Allemagne; et tandis que Vossius, le savant
commentateur de Mela, ne voyait dans les Indiens de Cornelius Nepos que
des Bretons, dont le corps étoit fardé de pastel, d'autres commentateurs
adoptant l'explication de Gomara et de Wytfleet, substituoient au
Suevorum Rex, un prince Scandinave qui avoit recueillé des naufragés sur
les côtes de Norwège. L'analogie du fait non contesté de l'arrivée
d'Eskimaux aux îles Orcades, semble jeter une vive lumière sur le fait
que nous examinons ici; et quand on considère les nombreux exemples
d'individus tombés entre les mains des barbares et traînés comme captifs
de nation à nation loin du lieu du naufrage, on trouve moins surprenant
que des étrangers aient été conduits dans les Gaules, en passant des
îles Britanniques en Batavie et on Germanie: mais ce qui est bien
étrange, c'est que dans des évènemens semblables et également
énigmatiques, du moyen-âge, il ne soit toujours questions que de côtes
Germaniques. Ces évènemens sont rapportés aux règnes des Othons et de
Frédéric Barberousse; ils sont, par conséquent, du dixième et du
douzième siècle. 'Nos apud Othonem legimus,' dit le pape Æneas Sylvius,
'sub imperatoribus teutonicis indicam navem et negotiatores Indos in
_Germanico littore_ fuisse deprehensos.' Et dans Gomara, on lit, 'On
assure aussi que, du temps de l'empereur Frédéric Barberousse on amena à
Lubec certains Indiens dans un canot.' Sir Humphrey Gilbert après avoir
discutí prolixement en trois chapitres le passage de Cornelius Nepos,
ajoute 'L'an 1160, quelques Indiens arrivèrent, sous le règne de
Frédéric Barberousse, _upon the coast of Germanie_.' J'ai perdu beaucoup
de temps dans de vaines recherches sur la première source de ces faits
curieux. D'où Gomara, historien généralement très exact, a-t-il su que,
'Les Indiens ont été amenés à Lubec?' Comment les continuateurs des
Annales d'Othon de Freising, et le Franciscain Ditmar, auteur de
l'excellente Chronique de Lubec, n'ont ils rien sur de ces prétendus
Indiens?... à la maison où se réunit la corporation des marins de Lubec
on conserve un canot groenlandois dans lequel se trouve une figure
d'Eskimau en bois. Le canot a été reparé plusieurs fois; la première
inscription ne porte que l'année 1607; mais d'après une tradition très
vague, un navire de Lubec doit avoir capturé ce pêcheur Eskimau, il y a
trois cent ans, dans les mers de l'ouest. On agrandit la pensée, en
renaissant, sous un pointe de vue général, les preuves de ces
communications lointaines, favorisées par le hazard; on voit comment les
mouvemens de l'océan et de l'atmosphère ont pu, dès les époques les plus
reculées, contribuer à répandre les différentes races d'hommes sur la
surface du globe; on comprend avec Colomb (sida del Almirante, cap.
viii.) comme un continent a pu ses révéler a l'autre."--Humboldt's
_Examen Critique du Géographie du Nouveau Continent_, vol. ii., p. 278.

No. X.

Herodotus relates that a Phoenician fleet, fitted out by Necho, king of
Egypt, took its departure about six hundred and four years before the
Christian era, from a port in the Red Sea, doubled the southern
promontory of Africa, and, after a voyage of three years, returned by
the Straits of Gades to the mouth of the Nile. Eudoxus of Cyzicus is
said to have held the same course, and to have accomplished the same
arduous undertaking.--Herod., lib. iv., cap. xlii.; Plin., _Nat. Hist._,
lib. ii., cap. lxvii.

These voyages, if performed in the manner narrated, may justly be
reckoned the greatest efforts of navigation in the ancient world; and if
we attend to the imperfect state of the art at that time, it is
difficult to determine whether we should most admire the courage and
sagacity with which the design was formed, or the conduct and good
fortune with which it was executed. But, unfortunately, all the original
and authentic accounts of the Phoenician and Carthaginian voyages,
whether undertaken by public authority or in prosecution of their
private, have perished. Whatever acquaintance with the remote regions of
the earth the Carthaginians or Phoenicians may have acquired, was
concealed from the rest of mankind with a mercantile jealousy. Every
thing relating to the course of their navigation was not only a mystery
of trade, but a secret of state. Extraordinary facts are recorded
concerning their solicitude to prevent other nations from penetrating
into what they wished should remain undivulged (_Strab., Geogr._, lib.
iii., p. 265; lib. xviii., p. 1154). Many of their discoveries seem
accordingly to have been scarcely known beyond the precincts of their
own states. The navigation round Africa, in particular, is recorded by
the Greek and Roman writers rather as a strange, amusing tale, which
they either did not comprehend or did not believe, than as a real
transaction which enlarged their knowledge and influenced their
opinion. As neither the progress of the Phoenician and Carthaginian
discoveries, nor the extent of their navigation, were communicated to
the rest of mankind, all memorials of their extraordinary skill in naval
affairs seem, in a great measure, to have perished when the maritime
power of the former was annihilated by Alexander's conquest of Tyre, and
the empire of the latter was overturned by the Roman arms. The Periplus
Hannonis is the only authentic monument of the Carthaginian skill in
naval affairs, and one of the most curious fragments transmitted to us
by antiquity. Montesquieu and De Bougainville have established its
authenticity by arguments that appear to me unanswerable. Hanno sailed
from Gades to the island of Cerne in twelve days. This is probably what
is known to the moderns by the name of the island of Arguim. His
furthest advance was to a promontory, which he named the South Horn,
manifestly Cape de Tres Puntas, about five degrees north of the
line.--Robertson's _America_, vol. i., p. 9-250.

No. XI.

The importance of this discovery, and of the European settlements
consequent upon it, is chiefly interesting with regard to the
intellectual and moral effects produced by the sudden increase in the
stock of ideas upon the improvement and the social condition of mankind.
Since that grand era, a new and active state of the intellect and
feelings, bold wishes and hopes scarcely to be restrained, have
gradually penetrated into the whole of civil society; the scanty
population of a hemisphere, especially the coasts opposite Europe,
favored the settlement of colonies, which, in rendering themselves
extensive and independent in position, have overturned unlimited states
by their choice of a free form of government; and, lastly, the
Reformation, a forerunner of vast political revolutions, had to pass
through different phases of its development in one country which had
become the place of refuge for all religious opinions, and for the most
varied ideas of divinity. The boldness of the Genoese mariner is the
first link in the immeasurable chain of these pregnant events.... We
might be induced to suppose that the value of these great discoveries,
and of the double victory in the physical and intellectual world, was
first acknowledged in our times, since the history of the civilization
of the human race has been treated in a philosophical way. Such a
supposition is refuted by Columbus's cotemporaries. The most talented of
them anticipated the influence which the events of the latter years of
the fifteenth century would exercise upon mankind. "Each day," says
Peter Martyr, in his letters of the years 1493 and 1494, "bring us new
wonders from a new world, from the Western antipodes, which a certain
Genoese traveler has discovered.... Our friend Pomponius Lætus could
scarcely restrain his tears of joy when I communicated to him the first
accounts of so unexpected an event.... What aliment more delicious than
such tidings can be set before an ingenious mind.... It is like an
accession of wealth to a miser. Our minds, soiled with vices, become
meliorated by contemplating such glorious events."

"Sebastian Cabot mentioned that he was in London when news was brought
there of the discovery, and that it caused great talk and admiration in
the court of Henry VII., being affirmed to be a thing more divine than
human."--Hakluyt, p. 7.

"The mind of men became sharpened in order to comprehend the boundless
store of new phenomena, to work them out, and by comparison to employ
them for the attainment of general and higher views of the creation. If
we carefully examine the original works of the earliest historians of
the _Conquista_, we are astonished at finding, in a Spanish author of
the sixteenth century, the germs of so many important physical truths.
Upon the occasion of the discovery of a continent, which appeared to be
separated from all the other regions of the creation, in the distant
solitude of the ocean, a great number of the same questions with which
we are employed at the present day occurred to the excited curiosity of
the travelers, and to those who were collected together by their
narratives; these questions were, Of the unity of the human race, and
the derivation of its varieties from a common original form; of the
migration of nations, and the affinities of language; of the possibility
of varieties in the species of plants and animals; of the causes of the
trade winds, and of the constant currents in the ocean; of the regular
decrease of temperature at the declivities of the Cordilleras, and in
the various strata of water at different depths of the ocean; and of the
respective effects of chains of volcanic mountains, and their influence
upon the frequency of earthquakes, and the extension of the range of the
volcanic forces. The foundation of what is at the present day called
physical geography is, exclusive of mathematical considerations, found
in the works of the Jesuit, Joseph Acosta, and in the work of Oviedo,
which appeared scarcely twenty years after the death of Columbus. In no
other period of time since the existence of man in a social condition
has the range of ideas in respect to the external world, and the
relations of different places, been so suddenly and so wonderfully
extended, or the necessity of observing natural phenomena in different
latitudes and at different elevations above the level of the sea, or of
multiplying the means of examining them, so deeply felt."--Humboldt's
_Cosmos_, vol. ii., p. 295-337.

No. XII.

More than ten places have disputed the glory of having given birth to
Columbus: Genoa, Cogoleto (Cucchereto, Cugureo, Cogoreo, Cucurco
d'Herrera, et Cugurco de Puffendorf), Bugiasco, Finale, Quinto et Nervi,
dans la Riviera di Genova, Savone, Palestrella, et Arbizoli, Cosseria,
la vallée d'Oneglia, Castello di Cuccaro, la ville de Plaisance, et
Pradello. "Le nombre de ces lieux s'est accru progressivement avec
l'illustration du héros, car ses contemporains, Pierre Martyr, le cura
de los Palacios, Geraldine, Pietro Coppo da Isola, l'évêque Giustiniani,
le chancelier Antonio Gallo et Senerega l'ont unanimement appellé
Génois.... Un voyageur moderne, dit en parlant de Cogoleto: Ce lieu n'a
pas renoncé à l'honneur d'avoir vu naître Colomb, malgré la multitude de
recherches et de dissertations d'aprês lesquelles le grand homme paroît
tout simplement Génois. On prétend même á Cogoleto indiquer sa maison,
espèce de cabanne, sur le bord de la mer, que je trouvai assex
convenablement occupée par un gardecôte, et sur laquelle on lit, à la
suite d'autres inscriptions pitoyables, ce beau vers _improvisé_ par M.

 "Unus erat Mundus; Duo sint, nit iste: fuere."

 _Voyages Hist. et Littér. en Italie de M. Valery_, tom. v., p. 73.


"Christophe Colomb, Cortez et Raleigh ont eprouvé que le genie ne régne
que sur l'avenir et que son pouvoir est tardive. Ils ont pendant
quelques tems, excité au plus haut degré l'admiration de leurs
contemporains; mais la bienveillance publique a abandonné leur
viellesse, on ne s'est souvenu d'eux que pour les affliger dans leur
isolement.[216] Le siècle qui les a vus naître n'a pas compris ce que
leur action successive a produit et préparê de changements dans l'état
des peuples de l'occident. L'influence que ces peuples exercent sur tous
les points du globe ou leur présence se fait sentir simultanément, la
prépondérance universelle qui en est la suite, ne datent que de la
découverte de l'Amérique et du voyage de Gama. Les évènemens qui
appartiennent à un petit group de six années (1492-1498) ont determiné
pour ainsi dire le partage du pouvoir sur la terre. Dés-lors le pouvoir
de l'intelligence, geographiquement limité, restreint dans des bornes
étroites a pu prendre un libre essor; il a trouvé un moyen rapide
d'étendre, d'entretenir, de perpétuer son action. Les migrations des
peuples, les expéditions guerrières dans l'intérieur d'un continent, les
communications par caravanes sur des routes invariablement suivies
depuis des siècles, n'ont produit que des effets partiels et
généralement moins durables. Les expéditions les plus lontaines ont été
dévastatrice, et l'impulsion a été donnée par ceux qui n'avoient rien à
ajouter aux trésors de l'intelligence déjà accumulés. Au contraire, les
évènemens de la fin du quinzième siècle, qui ne sont séparés que par un
intervalle de six ans, ont été longuement préparés dans le moyen-âge,
qui à son tour avoit été fécondé par les idées des siècles antérieures,
excité par les dogmes et les rêveries de la géographie systématique des
Hellènes. C'est seulement depuis l'époque que nous venons de signaler
que l'unité homérique de l'océan s'est fait sentir tous son heureuse
influence sur la civilisation du genre humain. L'élément mobile qui
baigne toutes les côtes en est devenu le lien moral et politique, et les
peuples de l'occident, dont l'intelligence active a créé ce lien et qui
ont compris son importance, se sont élevés à une universalité d'action
qui détermine la prépondérance du pouvoir sur le globe."--Humboldt's
_Géographie du Nouveau Continent_, vol. iv., p. 23.

[Footnote 216: _Ces Nouvelles Indes_ que Colomb nomma sa propriété (cosa
que era suya) etoient inabordables pour celui qui les avoient refusées à
la France, à l'Angleterre et au Portugal. Les lettres que l'amiral
adresse à sa famille et ses amis depuis l'année 1502, ne respirent que
la douleur.

The following is an extract from one of Columbus's mournful appeals to
Ferdinand and Isabella:

"Such is my fate, that the twenty years of service through which I have
passed with so much toil and danger have profited me nothing, and at
this very day I do not possess a roof in Spain that I can call my own:
if I wish to eat or sleep, I have nowhere to go but to the inn or
tavern, and most times lack wherewith to pay the bill.... I was
twenty-eight years old when I came into your highnesses' service, and
now I have not a hair upon me that is not gray; my body is infirm, and
all that was left to me, as well as to my brothers, has been taken away
and sold, even to the frock that I wore, to my great dishonor.... The
honest devotedness I have always shown to your majesties' service, and
the so unmerited outrage with which it has been repaid, will not allow
my soul to keep silence, however much I may wish it. I implore your
highnesses to forgive my complaints. I am, indeed, in as ruined a
condition as I have related. Hitherto I have wept over others: may
Heaven now have mercy upon me, and may the earth weep for me. Weep for
me, whoever has charity, truth, and justice!"--_Select Letters of
Columbus_, published by the Hakluyt Society.]

No. XIV.

"Per necessità d'acque mandammo il battello a terra con venticinque
huomini: dove per le grandissime e frequente onde che gettava il mare al
lito per esser la spiaggia aperta, non fu possibile che alcuno potesse
smontare in terra senza pericolo di perder il battello: vedemmo quivi
molte genti che venivano al lito, facendo varij segni d'amicizia e
dimostrando contentezza che andassimo a terra, e per pruova li
conoscemmo molto umani e cortesi come per il successo caso V.M.
intenderà. Per mandarli delle cose nostre, e da Indiani communimente
molto desiderate, e apprezzate come sono fogli di charta, specchi,
sonagli e altri simile cose, mandammo a terra un giovane de nostri
marinari, quale ponendosi a nuoto, nell' approssimarsi (ritrovandosi in
acqua da tre, o quattro braccia di terra lontano) di lor non
confidandosi gliele getto nel lito, poi nel voler ritornar a dietro,
dall onde con tanta furèa fu traportato alla riva, che vi si trovò di
modo straccho, e sbattuto, che vi resto quasi morto. Il che veduto da
gli Indiani corsero a pigliarlo, e tiratolo fuora lo portarono alquanto
dal mare lontano. Risentito il giovane e vedendosi da lor portato, alla
disgrazia prima vi s'aggiunse il spavento, per il quale metteva
grandissimi gridi, e il simile facevano gl' Indiani che
l'accompagnavano, nel volerlo assicurare e li davano cuore di non
temere: di poi avendolo posto in terra al piè d'un picciolo colle in
faccia del sole, con atti d'admirazione lo riguardavano, maravigliandosi
della bianchezza della sua carne, e ignudo spogliatolo lo fecero ad un
grandissimo fuoco restaurare, non senza timore di noi altri, che eramo
nel battello restati, che a quel fuoco arrostendolo, lo volessero
divorare. Riavute le forze il giovane, e con loro avendo alquanto
dimorato, con segni li dimostrò voler alla nave far ritorno: da quali
con grandissimo amore, tenendolo sempre stretto, con varij
abbracciamenti, fu accompagnato sino al mare, e per più assicurarlo,
allargandosi andarono sopra un colle eminente, e quivi fermatislo
stellero a riguardare sino che nel battello fu entrato."--_Verazzano in
Ramusio_, tom, iii., p. 420.

No. XV.

"Commission de François I. à Jacques Quartier, pour l'établissement du
Canada, du 17e Octobre, 1540.[217]

"François, par la grace de Dieu, Roi de France: à tous ceux que ces
présentes lettres verront, salut. Comme pour le désir d'entendre et
avoir connoissance de plusieurs pays qu'on dit inhabités, et autres être
possédés par gens sauvages, vivant sans connoissance de Dieu et sans
usage de raison, eussions dès pie-ça, à grands frais et mises envoyé
découvrir les dits pays par plusieurs bons pilotes, et autres nos sujets
de bons entendement, savoir et expérience, qui d'iceux pays nous avoient
amené divers hommes que nous avons par long-tems tenus en notre royaume,
les faisant instruire en l'amour et crainte de Dieu et de sa sainte loix
et doctrine Chrétienne en intention de les faire ramener ès dits pays en
compagnie de bon nombre de nos sujets de bonne volonté, afin de plus
facilement induire les autres peuples d'iceux pays à croire en notre
sainte foi; et entr'autres y eussions envoyé notre cher et bien aimé
Jacques Quartier, lequel auroit découvert grands pays des terres de
Canada et Hochelaga faissant un bout de l'Asie du côte de l'Occident;
lesquels pays il trouvé (comme il nous a rapporté), garnis de plusieurs
bonnes commodités, et les peuples d'iceux bien fournis de corps et de
membres; et bien disposé d'esprit et d'entendement; desquels il nous a
semblablement amené aucun nombre, que nous avons par long-tems fait voir
et instruire en notre dite sainte foi avec nos dits sujets: en
considération de quoi, et de leur bonne inclination, nous avons avisé et
delibéré de renvoyer le dit Quartier ès dits pays de Canada et
Hochelaga, et jusques en la terre de Saguenai (s'il peut y aborder) avec
bonne nombre de navires, et de toutes qualités, arts et industrie pour
plus avant entrer ès dits pays, converser avec les peuples d'iceux, et
avec eux habiter (si besoin est) afin de mieux parvenir à notre dite
intention et à faire chose agréable à Dieu nôtre Créateur et Rédempteur,
et que soit à l'augmentation de son saint et sacré nom, et de Nôtre Mère
Sainte Église Catholique, de laquelle nous sommes dits et nommés premier
fils; par quoi soit besoin pour meilleur ordre et expédition de la dite
entreprise, députer et établir un Capitaine Général et Maître pilote des
dits navires, qui ait regard à la conduite d'iceux, et sur les gens,
officiers et soldats y ordonnés et établis; savoir faisons, que nous à
plein confians de la personne du dit Jacques Quartier et de ses sens,
suffisance, loyauté, prud'hommie hardiesse, grande diligence et bonne
expérience, icelui pour ces causes et autres à ce nous, mouvans, avons
faits constitué et ordonné, faisons, constituons, ordonnons et
établissons par ces présentes, Capitaine Générale et Maître pilote de
tous les navires et autres vaisseaux de mer, par nous ordonnés être
menés pour la dite entreprise et expédition, pour le dit état et charge
de Capitaine Générale et Maître Pilote d'iceux navires et vaisseaux,
avoir tenir, et exercer par le dit Jacques Quartier aux honneurs,
prérogatives, pré-éminences, franchises, libertés, gages et bienfaits
tels que par nous lui seront pour ce ordonnés, tant qu'il nous plaira.
Et lui avons donné, et donnons puissance et autorité de mettre, établir,
et instituer aux dits navires tels lieutenants, patrons, pilotes et
autres ministres nécessaires pour le fait et conduite d'iceux, en tel
nombre qu'il verra et connoîtra être besoin et nécessaire pour le bien
de la dite expédition. Si donnons en mandement par ces dites présentes,
à nôtre Admiral au Vice Admiral que prins et reçue du dit Jacques
Quartier le serment pour ce on est accoutumé, icelui mettent et
instituent on fassent mettre et instituer de par nous en possession et
saisine du dit état de Capitaine Générale et Maître Pilote; et d'icelui,
ensemble des honneurs, prérogatives, pré-éminences, franchises,
libertés, gages et bienfaits, tels que par nous lui seront pour ce
ordonnés, le fassent, souffrent et laissent, jour et user pleinement et
paisiblement et à lui obéir et entendre de tous ceux, et ainsi qu'il
appartiendra ès choses touchant et concernant le dit état et charge: et
outre lui fasse, souffre et permette prendre le petit galion, appellé
l'Emérillon que de présent il a de nous, lequel est jà vieil et caduc,
pour servir à l'adoub de ceux des navires qui en auront besoin, et
lequel nous voulons être prins et appliqué par le dit Quartier pour
l'effet dessus dit, sans qu'il soit tenus en rendre aucun autre compte
et reliquat; et duquel compte et reliquat nous l'avons déchargé et
déchargeons par icelles présentes: par lesquels nous mandons aussi à nos
Prévôts de Paris; Bailliffs de Rouen, de Caen, d'Orleans, de Blois, et
de Tours; Sénéchaux du Maine, d'Anjou, et Guienne, et à tous nos autres
Bailliffs, Sénéchaux, Prévôts, Alloués, et autres nos Justiciers et
officiers, tant de notre royaume que de notre pays de Brétagne uni à
icelui pardevers lesquels sont aucuns prisonniers, accusés, ou prévenus
d'aucuns crimes quels qu'ils soient, fors de crimes de lèze-Majesté
divine et humaine envers nous, et de faux monnoyeurs qu'ils aient
incontinent à délivrer, rendre et bailler ès mains du dit Quartier, ou
ces commis ou députés partans ces présentés, on le duplicate d'icelles
pour notre service en la dite entreprise et expédition, ceux des dits
prisonniers qu'il connoîtra être propres, suffisans, et capables pour
servir en icelle expédition jusqu'au nombre de cinquante personnes, et
selon le choix que le dit Quartier en fera, iceux premièrement jugés et
condamnés selon leur démérites et la gravité de leurs méfaits, si jugés
et condamnés ne sont; et satisfaction aussi préalablement ordonnée aux
parties civiles et intéressés, si fait n'avoit été: Pour laquelle
toutefois nous ne voulons la déliverance de leur personne ès dites mains
du dit Quartier (s'il les trouve de service) être rétardée ne retenue;
mais se prendra la dite satisfaction sur leurs biens seulement: et
laquelle délivrance des dits prisonniers accusés ou prévenus, nous
voulons être faite ès dites mains du dit Quartier pour l'effet dessus
dits par nos dits justiciers et officiers respectivement, et par chacun
d'eux en leur regard, pouvoir et jurisdiction, nonobstant oppositions ou
appellations quelconque faites ou à faire, relevées, ou à relever, et
sans que par le moyen d'icelles, icelle délivrance en la manière dessus
dite, soit aucunement différée; et afin que le plus grand nombre n'en
soit tiré, outre les dits cinquante, nous voulons que la délivrance que
chacun de nos dits officiers en fera au dit Quartier soit écrite et
certifiée en la marge de ses présentes, et que neanmoins registre en
soit par eux fait et envoyée incontinent pardevers notre âme et fial
Chancellier, pour connoître le nombre et la qualité de ceux qui auront
été baillé et délivrés: Car tel est notre plaisir. En témoin de ce, nous
avons fait mettre notre scel à ces dites présentes. Donné à Saint Pris
le dix septième jour d'Octobre, l'an de grâce, mil cinq cent quarante,
et de notre règne le vingt-septième.

"Ainsi signé sur le repli, par le Roi, vous Monseigneur le Chancellier
et autres persons.


"Et scellé sur le repli à simple queue de cire jaune."

[Footnote 217: _Histoire de la Nouvelle France_, par L'Escarbot, p. 397;
et _Mémoires sur les l'ossessions en Amérique_, tom. iii., p. 280.]

No. XVI.

The following account of the romantic expedition of De Gourgues is
extracted from the "Picture of Quebec:"

"The French and Spaniards had been long at bitter enmity, and the wars
between them were carried on with all the exasperation of ancient
rivalry and mutual hatred. The encroachments of the former upon the
territories claimed by the Spaniards in Florida raised the liveliest
indignation in the minds of a people not less martial and chivalrous
than the French; and when we add that these encroachments had been
chiefly made by the Huguenots, a race held in sovereign detestation by
the Catholic Spaniard, and persecuted to a degree of intensity by Philip
II., the height of animosity to which they were excited can easily be
conceived. Nor were the French less susceptible of angry and vindictive
feelings, to which may be added the poignant stings of offended national
pride. They had never forgiven the captivity of their popular and
gallant prince, Francis I.; the memory of this supposed disgrace still
rankled in the population; nor was it even wholly eradicated until
adequate reparation was made to the national honor by the accession of a
French prince to the throne of Spain many years afterward.
Notwithstanding a short cessation of the warfare between these two
great powers, the passions we have attempted to describe remained in
full force.

"Laudonnière passed the winter of 1564 in the fort which he had built
near the mouth of St. Mary's River, and which he called _La Caroline_.
In August, 1565, having experienced the mutinous disposition of part of
his force, superadded to the horrors of famine, he was preparing to
abandon the enterprise and to return to France, when he was joined by
Ribaut with seasonable supplies. On the 4th of September, they were
surprised by the appearance in the road of six large vessels, which
proved to be a Spanish fleet, under the command of Don Pedro Menendez.
Hostilities were immediately commenced; and the French, having an
inferior force of four vessels, were obliged to put to sea, chased by
the Spaniard. The former, however, being the better sailors, after
distancing their opponents, returned to the coast, and relanded their
troops about eight leagues from the fort of La Caroline. Three of the
Spanish vessels kept the open sea, while the others lay in the road
watching an opportunity to attack the French fort. Ribaut, who was a
brave but obstinate man, persisted in his resolution to put to sea
again, for the purpose of meeting and fighting with the Spanish vessels.
The season was extremely tempestuous, and Laudonnière, having first
vainly endeavored to dissuade his colleague from the rash attempt,
fortified himself, and made every preparation to resist the attack which
he anticipated. At length, notwithstanding the very heavy and
long-continued rains, the Spaniards were descried by the French
sentinels advancing to the assault on the 29th of September. The
ramparts, maintained with spirit by a small force, were soon surmounted
and carried--the gallant defenders slain in the breaches. Laudonnière,
fighting his way bravely, was the last to leave the fort, and succeeded
in escaping to the woods, where he rallied a few of his straggling
countrymen, and whence he ultimately returned to France. The remainder,
with the fort, fell into the hands of the Spaniards. Nor did the
disasters of the French end here. The vessels commanded by Ribaut were
driven on shore by the storms then prevalent--many of the people
lost--the survivors and their commander became prisoners to the
Spaniards. The French were cruelly, and with bitter taunts, put to
death. Several were hung from neighboring trees with this insulting
legend: '_Ceux-ci n'ont pas été traité de la sorte en qualité de
François, mais comme hérétiques et ennemis de Dieu._'

"Ample chastisement was, however, about to be inflicted. Champlain, who
writes of this transaction with the blunt and honest indignation of a
soldier, in his own familiar and quaint style, observes, 'Ceux-ci furent
payés de la même monnaye, qu'ils avoient payés les François' ('they were
repaid in the same coin with which they had paid the French').

"So Shakspeare truly says,

                         'In these cases,
 We still have judgment here: that we but track
 Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
 To plague the inventor. This even-handed justice
 Commends the ingredients of our poison'd chalice
 To our own lips.'

"This outrage excited the deepest indignation in France, but the avowed
hatred of the court toward Coligny and the Huguenots prevented public
satisfaction being demanded from Philip II. The instrument of a just
retribution was not wanting to the emergency, but it was reserved for a
private individual to redeem the honor of the French name. 'En l'an
1567,' says Champlain, 'se presenta le brave Chevalier de Gourgues, qui
plein de valeur et de courage, pour venger cet affront fait à la nation
François, et recognoissant qu'aucun d'entre la noblesse, dont la France
foisonne, ne l'offroit pour tirer raison d'une telle injure, entreprint
de le faire.' ('In the year 1567, there presented himself the brave
Chevalier de Gourgues, who, full of valor and courage, to avenge the
insult on the French nation, and observing that none among the nobility,
with whom France abounded, offered to obtain satisfaction for such an
injury, undertook himself to do so.') He was a gentleman of Gascony, and
there were at that period few inferior officers in France, or perhaps in
all Europe, who had acquired a more brilliant reputation in war, or had
undergone greater vicissitudes. When very young he had served in Italy
with honor; and on one occasion, having the command of a small band of
thirty men, near Sienna in Tuscany, he was able for a considerable time
to withstand and repulse the assault of a part of the Spanish army,
until, all his men being slain, he yielded himself prisoner. Contrary to
the usage of war among generous foes, he was sent to the galleys in
chains as a robber-slave. The galley to which the indignant De Gourgues
was condemned was afterward captured by the Turks on the Sicilian coast,
and sent into Rhodes. Again putting to sea with a Turkish crew, it was
encountered and taken by the galleys of the Knights of Malta, and De
Gourgues recovered his liberty and his sword. He afterward made several
passages to Brazil and the coast of Africa, still treasuring up
vengeance on the Spaniards; and he had just returned to France from one
of his voyages, with the reputation of the bravest and most able among
her navigators, when he heard of the disastrous tale of La Caroline, and
the disgraceful manner in which his countrymen had been put to death by
the Spaniards. Like a patriot, he felt keenly for the honor of his
country; and as a man, he burned for an opportunity of satiating his
long-dormant revenge on the perfidious Spaniards for their unworthy
treatment of himself. At this time, too, there was circulated in France
a narrative, entitled the 'Supplication of the Widows and Children of
those who had been massacred in Florida,' calculated to rouse the
national feeling to the highest pitch. These united motives urged De
Gourgues to a chivalrous undertaking--no less than to chase the
murderous invaders from the coasts of Florida, at the sword's point, or
to die in the attempt. He accordingly proceeded to make his
preparations, which, however, were concealed with great skill and
address. He raised a considerable sum by selling his property, and by
loans obtained from his friends; and, disguising his real purpose, gave
out that he was bound, as before, to the African coast. The squadron
consisted of three vessels, with crews amounting to 250 souls, amply
provided for twelve months. Thus equipped, he sailed, on the 23d of
August, 1567, from Bordeaux, and after some time began to unfold his
real design, expatiating in glowing language on the glory of the attempt
and the righteousness of the quarrel.

"_Speech of De Gourgues, from Champlain_: 'Mes compagnons et fidèles
amis de ma fortune, vous n'estes pas ignorans combien je cheris les
braves courages comme vous, et l'avez assez tesmoigné par la belle
resolution que vous avez prise de me suivre et assister en tous les
perils et hazards honorables que nous aurons à souffrir et essuyer,
lorsqu'ils se presenteront devant nos yeux, et l'estat que je fais de la
conservation de vos vies; ne desirant point vous embarquer au risque
d'un _enterprise_ que je ne sçaurois réussir, à une ruine sans honneur:
ce seroit à moy une trop grand et blamable témérité, de hazarder vos
personnes à un dessein d'un accez si difficile; ce que je ne croy pas
estre, bien que j'aye employé une bonne partie de mon bien et de mes
amis, pour équipper ces vaisseaux et les mettre en mer, estant le seul
entrepreneur de tout le voyage. Mais tout cela ne me donne pas tant de
sujet de m'affliger, comme j'en ay de me resjouir, de vous voir tous
resolus à une autre entreprise, que retournera à votre gloire, sçavoir
d'aller venger l'injure que nostre nation a receüe des Espagnols, qui
ont fait une telle playe à la France, qu'elle saignera à jamais, par les
supplices et traictemens infames qu'ils ont fait souffrir à nos
François, et excercé des cruautez barbares et inouis en leur endroit.
Les ressentimens que j'en ay quelquefois, m'en font jetter des larmes de
compassion, et me relevent le courage de telle sort, que je suis resolu
avec l'assistance de Dieu, et la vostre, de prendre une juste vengeance
d'une telle felonnie et cruauté Espagnolle, de ces coeurs laches et
poltrons, qui ont surpris mal-heureusement nos compatriots, qu'ils
n'eussent osé regarder sur la défense de leurs armes. Ils sont assez mal
logez, et les surprendrons aisément. J'ay des hommes en mes vaisseaux
qui cognaissent tres-bien le pais, et pouvous y allez en seureté. Voicy,
chers compagnons, un _subject_ de relever nos courages, faites paroietre
que vous avez autant de bonne volonté à éxécuter ce bon dessein, que
vous avez d'affection à me suivre: ne serez vous pas contents de
remporter les lauriers triomphans de la despouille de vos ennemis?'

"'Companions, and faithful friends of my fortunes, you are not ignorant
how highly I value brave men like yourselves. Your courage you have
sufficiently proved by your noble resolution to accompany me in all the
dangers which we shall have to encounter, as they successively present
themselves: my regard for you I have shown by the care I have taken for
the safety of your lives. I desire not to embark you in any enterprise
which may result in dishonorable failure: it would be in me a far too
great and blamable temerity to hazard your safety in any design so
difficult of accomplishment, which, however, I do not consider this one
to be, seeing that I have employed in it a good part of my own fortune,
and that of my friends, in equipping these vessels, and putting to sea,
myself being the sole undertaker of the voyage. But all this does not
give me so much cause for regret, as I have reason to rejoice, seeing
you all resolved upon another enterprise, which will redound to your
glory, namely, to avenge the insult suffered by our nation from the
Spaniards, who have inflicted an incurable wound upon France by their
infamous treatment, and the barbarous and unheard-of cruelties they have
exercised upon our countrymen. The description of these wrongs has
caused me to shed tears of pity, and inspires me now with such
determination, that I am resolved, with the assistance of God and your
aid, to take a just revenge for this felonious outrage on the part of
the Spaniards--those base and cowardly men, who unhappily destroyed our
friends by surprise, whom, with arms in their hands, they dared not to
have looked in the face. The enemy is poorly lodged, and may be easily
surprised. I have on board persons who know the country well, and we can
reach it in safety. Here, my dear companions, here is a subject to rouse
our courage! Let me see that you have as good will to perform this noble
design, as you had affection to follow my person! Will you not rejoice
to bear away triumphant laurels, bought by the spoil and ruin of our

"This enthusiastic speech produced its full effect. Each soldier shouted
assent to the generous proposal, and was ready to reply with Euryalus,

 'Est hic, est animus lucis contemptor, et istum
 Qui vita bene credat emi, quo tendes, honorem!'

 'Like thine, this bosom glows with martial flame,
 Burns with a scorn of life, and love of fame;
 And thinks, if endless glory can be sought
 On such low terms, the prize is cheaply bought.'

"Having thus obtained the full co-operation of his gallant band, De
Gourgues steered for the coast of Florida, and passed some time in
reconnoitering the position of the Spaniards, and in acquiring from the
Indians full particulars of their strength and resources. These were,
indeed, sufficiently formidable, amounting to 400 fighting men, provided
with every munition of war. No way discouraged by this superiority of
numbers and of position, De Gourgues made a furious attack upon the two
forts, on the day before the Sunday called the Quasimodo, in April,
1658, intending to capture them by escalade. The Spaniards offered a
very gallant resistance; but the fury and impetuosity of the French,
stimulated by national antipathy, by the particular nature of the
revenge which they contemplated, and fired by the valor and personal
example of their heroic chief, soon surmounted all opposition. 'Nostre
genereux Chevalier De Gourgues,' says Champlain, exultingly, 'le
coutelas à la main, leur enflamme le courage, et comme un lion à la
teste des siens, gaigne le dessus du rampart, repousse les Espagnols, se
fait voye parmi eux.' 'Our brave Chevalier De Gourgues, sword in hand,
inflames their courage, and, like a lion at the head of his troop,
mounts the rampart, overthrows the Spaniards, and cuts his way through
them.' The fate of the Spaniards was sealed; many were killed in the
forts, the rest taken, or put to death by the Indians. De Gourgues, thus
crowned with victory, and having fully succeeded in an enterprise which
to him seemed so truly glorious, brought all the prisoners to the spot
where the French had been massacred, and where the inscription of
Menendez yet remained. Alter reproaching his fallen enemies with their
cruelty and perfidy, he caused them to be hung from the same trees,
affixing this writing in the place of the former: 'Je n'ay pas fait
pendre ceux-ci comme Espagnols, mais comme traitres, voleurs, et
meurtriers.' 'I hang these persons, not as being Spaniards, but as
traitors, robbers, and murderers.'

"De Gourgues, on developing his real design and destination to Florida,
which he did in the first instance to his chosen friends, had
pathetically complained that ever since he had heard of the Spanish
outrage at La Caroline, he had been unable, however wearied with toil,
to obtain his usual rest by night; that his imagination was ever
occupied by the semblance of his countrymen hanging from the trees of
Florida; that his ears were startled with piercing cries for vengeance;
and that sleep, 'Nature's soft nurse,' would never visit him again--

 'No more would weigh his eyelids down,
 And steep his senses in forgetfulness'--

until he had won her offices by a full and exquisite revenge on the
Spaniards. The accomplishment of his cherished purpose must have been a
high and vivifying relief to an ardent spirit like De Gourgues. He now
declared with exulting delight, that sleep, that 'balm of hurt minds,'
had once more deigned to visit his couch, and that his rest was now
sweet, like that of a man delivered from a burden of misery too great to

"Having accomplished this remarkable expedition, and inflicted, in a
spirit accordant with that of the times, a terrible retribution on the
Spaniards, De Gourgues sailed from the coast of Florida on the 3d of
May, and arrived in France on the 6th of June, where he was received by
the people with every token of joy and approbation. In consequence,
however, of the demand of the King of Spain for redress, he was
compelled to absent himself for some time, until the anger of the court
permitted him to reappear. The narrative of this expedition was long
preserved in the family of De Gourgues.

"Champlain, in whose _Voyages_ this romantic story is to be found, seems
to have been a passionate admirer of the conduct of De Gourgues, and
thus enthusiastically concludes his account of the expedition:

"'Ainsi ce genereux chevalier repara l'honneur de la nation Françoise,
que les Espagnols avoient offensée; ce q'autrement eust été un regret à
jamais pour la France, s'il n'eust vengé l'affront receu de la nation
Espagnolle. Entreprise généreuse d'un gentilhomme qui l'executa à ses
propres cousts et despens, seulement pour l'honneur, sans autre
espérance: ce qui lui a réussi glorieusement, et ceste gloire est plus à
priser que tous les tresors du monde.' 'Thus did this brave knight
repair the honor of the French nation, insulted by the Spaniards, which
otherwise had been an everlasting subject of regret to France, if he had
not avenged the affront received from the Spanish people. A generous
enterprise, undertaken by a gentleman, and executed at his own cost, for
honor's sake alone, without any other expectation, and one which
resulted in obtaining for him a glory far more valuable than all the
treasures of the world.'"


"Un ancien missionnaire, le Père Paul le Jeune, a fait une description
de la manière de vie des missionnaires parmi les sauvages du Canada. Il
parle ici des Montagnais qu'il a suivi dans une chasse pendant l'hiver,
je vais transcrire sa relation presque mot pour mot:

"'Ces sauvages habitent un pays extrêmement rude et inculte, mais il ne
l'est pas encore autant que celui, qu'ils choisissent pour leurs
chasses. Il faut marcher long-tems pour y arriver, et porter sur son dos
tout ce dont ou peut avoir besoin pendant cinq ou six mois, par des
chemins quelquefois si affreux, que l'on ne comprend pas comment les
Bêtes Fauves peuvent y passer; si on n'avoit pas la precaution de se
fournir d'écorces d'Arbres, ou ne trouveroit pas de quoi se mettre à
couvert de la pluye et de la neige pendant le chemin. Dès qu'on est
parvenu au terme on s'accommode un peu mieux, mais ce mieux ne consiste,
qu'en ce qu'on n'y est pas sans cesse exposé à toutes les injures de

"'Tout le monde y travaille, et les missionnaires, qui dans ces
commencemens n'avoient personne pour les servir, et pour qui les
sauvages n'avoient aucune considération, n'étoient pas plus épargnés que
les autres, on ne leur donnait pas même de cabanne séparée, et il
falloit qu'ils se logeassent dans la première, où l'on vouloit bien les
recevoir. Ces cabannes, parmi la plûpart des Nations Algonquines, sont à
peu près de la figure de nos Glacières, rondes, et terminées en cone;
elles n'ont point d'autres soûtiens, que de perches plantés dans la
neige, attachées ensemble par les extrémités, et couvertes d'écorces
assez mal jointes, et mal attachées aussi le vent y entre-t-il de toutes

"'Leur fabrique est l'ouvrage d'une demie heure au plus, des branches de
Sapin y tiennent lieu de nattes, et on n'y a point d'autres lits. Ce
qu'il y a de commode, c'est qu'on peut les changer tous les jours; les
neiges ramassées tout autour forment une espece de parapet, qui a son
utilité, les vents n'y pénétrent point. C'est le long et à l'abri de ce
parapet qu'on dort aussi tranquillement sur ces branchages, couverts
d'une mechante peau que dans le meilleur lit; il en coûte à la verité au
missionnaires pour s'y accoétumer, mais la fatigue et la necessité les y
reduisent bientôt. Il n'en est pas tout-à-fait de même de la fumée, que
presque toujours remplit tellement le haut de la cabanne, qu'on ne peut
y être de bout, sans avoir la tête dans une espèce de tourbillon. Cela
ne fait aucune peine aux sauvages, habitués dès l'enfance à être assis
à terre, ou couchés tout le tems, qu'ils sont dans leurs cabannes, mais
c'est un grand supplice pour les François, à qui cette inaction ne
convient pas.

"'D'ailleurs le vent, qui entre comme je l'ai remarqué, par tous les
côtés, y souffle un froid, qui transit d'une part, tandis qu'on étouffe,
et qu'on est grillé de l'autre. Souvent on ne se voit point à deux ou
trois pieds, on perd les yeux à force de pleurer, et il y a des tems,
où, pour respirer un peu, il faut se tenir couché sur le ventre, et
avoir la bouche presque collée contre la terre; le plus court seroit de
sortir dehors, mais la plûpart du tems on ne le peut pas; tantôt à cause
d'une neige si épaisse, qu'elle obscurcit le jour, et tantôt par ce
qu'il souffle un vent sec, qui coupe le visage, et fait éclater les
arbres dans les fôrets. Cependant un missionnaire est obligé de dire son
office, de célébrer la messe, et de s'acquitter de toutes les autres
fonctions de son ministere.

"'A toutes ces incommodités il en faut ajouter une autre, qui d'abord
vous paroitra peu de chose, mais qui est réellement tres-considérable;
c'est la persécution des chiens. Les sauvages en ont toujours un fort
grand nombre, qui les suivent par tout, et leur sont très-attachés; peu
caressans, par ce qu'on ne les caresse jamais, mais hardis et habiles
chasseurs: j'ai déjà dit qu'on les dresse de bonne heure pour les
différentes chasses, ausquelles on veut les appliquer; j'ajôute qu'il
faut en avoir beaucoup pour chacune, parce-qu'il en périt un grand
nombre par les dents et par les cornes des Bêtes fauves, qu'ils
attaquent avec un courage, que rien ne rebute. Le soin de les nourrir
occupe très-peu leurs maîtres, ils vivent de ce qu'ils peuvent attraper,
et cela ne va pas bien loin, aussi sont ils toujours fort maigres;
d'ailleurs ils ont peu de poil, ce qui les rend fort sensibles au

"Pour s'en garantir, s'ils ne peuvent approcher du feu, où il est
difficile qu'ils puissent tenir tous, quand même il n'y auroit personne
dans la cabanne, ils vont se coucher sur les premiers, qu'ils
rencontrent, et souvent on se réveille la nuit en sursaut, presque
étouffé par deux ou trois chiens. S'ils étoient un peu plus discrets, et
se plaçoient mieux, leur compagnie ne seroit pas trop fâcheuse, on s'en
accommoderoit même assez, mais ils se placent où ils peuvent; on a beau
les chasser, ils reviennent d'abord. C'est bien pis encore le jour; dès
qu'il parôit quelque chose à manger, il faut voir les mouvemens qu'ils
se donnent pour en avoir leur part. Un pauvre missionnaire est à demi
couché auprès du feu pour dire son bréviaire, ou pour lire un livre, en
luttant de son mieux contre la fumée, et il faut qu'il essuye encore
l'importunité d'une douzaine de chiens, qui ne font que passer et
repasser sur lui, en courant après un morceau de viande, qu'ils ont
apperçu. S'il a besoin d'un peu de repos, à peine trouvera-t'il un petit
recoin, où il soit à l'abri de cette véxation. Si on lui apporte à
manger, les chiens ont plutôt mis le museau dans son plat, qu'il n'y a
porté la main; et souvent tandis qu'il est occupé à défendre sa portion
contre ceux, qui l'attaquent de front, il en vieut un par derriere, qui
lui enlève la moitié, ou qui en le heurtant, lui fait tomber le plat des
mains, et répandre sa sagamité dans les cendres.

"Assez souvent les maux, dont je viens de parler, sont effacés par un
plus grand, et au prix duquel tous les autres ne sont rien; c'est la
faim. Les provisions, qu'on a apportées, ne durent pas lontems, on a
compté sur la chasse, et elle ne donne pas toujours. Il est vrai que les
sauvages sçavent endurer la faim avec autant de patience, qu'ils
apportent peu de précautions pour s'en garantir; mais ils se trouvent
quelquefois réduits à une si grande extrémité, qu'ils y succombent. Le
missionnaire, de qui j'ai tiré ce détail, fut obligé dans son premier
hyvernement, de manger les peaux d'aguilles et d'élans, dont il avoit
rapetassé sa soutanne; après quoi il lui fallut se nourrir des jeunes
branches, et des plus tendres écorces des arbres. Il soutint néanmoins
cette épreuve, sans que sa santé en fût alterée, mais tous n'en ont pas
eu la force.

"La seule malpropreté des cabannes, et l'infection, qui en est une suite
nécessaire, sont pour tout autre qu'un sauvage, un vrai supplice; il est
aisé de juger jusqu'où l'une et l'autre doivent aller parmi des gens,
qui ne changent de hardes, que quand les leurs tombent par lambeaux, et
qui n'ont nul soin de les nettoyer. L'été ils se baignent tous les
jours, mais ils se frottent aussitôt d'huile ou de graisse d'une odeur
forte. L'hyver ils demeurent dans leur crasse, et dans tous les tems on
ne peut entrer dans leurs cabannes, qu'on ne soit empesté.

"Non seulement tout ce qu'ils mangent est sans apprêt, et ordinairement
fort insipide, mais il regne dans leurs repas une malpropreté, qui passe
tout ce qu'on en peut dire: ce que j'en ai vû, et ce qu'on m'en raconte
vous feroit horreur. Il y a bien peu d'animaux, qui ne mangent plus

"Comme les villages sont toujours situés, ou auprès des bois, ou sur le
bord des eaux, dès que l'air commence à s'échauffer, les Maringonins et
une quantité prodigieuse d'autres moucherons, excitent une persécution
bien plus vive encore que celle de la fumée, qu'on est même souvent
obligé d'appeller à son secours car il n'y a presque point d'autre
rémède contre la piques de ces petites insectes, qui vous mettent tout
le corps en feu, et ne vous permettent point de dormir en repos. Ajoutez
à cela les marches souvent forcées, et toujours très rudes, qu'il faut
faire à la suite de ces barbares, tantôt dans l'eau jusqu'à la ceinture,
tantôt dans la fange jusqu'aux genoux; dans les bois aux travers des
ronces et des épines, avec danger d'en être aveuglé; dans les campagnes,
où rien ne garantit d'un soleil aussi ardent en été que le vent est
piquant pendant l'hiver. Si l'on voyage en canot, la posture gênante, où
il faut s'y tenir, l'inaction où l'on y est, le peu de société qu'on
peut avoir avec des gens qui ne sçavent rien, qui ne parlent jamais
quand ils sont occupés, qui vous infectant par leur mauvaise odeur, et
qui vous remplissent de saletés et de vermine, les caprices et les
manières brusques qu'il en faut essuyer, les avarices, aux quelles on
est exposé de la part d'un ivrogne, ou d'un homme que quelque accident
inopiné, un songe, un souvenir fâcheux, font entrer en mauvaise humeur,
la cupidité qui naît aisément dans le coeur de ces barbares, et qui a
coûté la vie à plus d'un missionnaire, et si la guerre est declarée
entre les nations parmi lesquelles on se trouve, le danger qu'on court
sans cesse, ou de se voir tout à coup réduit à la plus dure servitude,
ou de périr dans les plus affreux tourmens. Voilà la vie qu'ont mené
surtout les premiers missionnaires."--Charlevoix, vol. vi., p. 59.

The lives of hardship here described were in many cases terminated by
horrible deaths. The following is one relation, out of many of the same

"Ils avoient avec eux les PP. Jean de Breboeuf et Gabriel Lallemant,
neveu des PP. Charles et Jerome Lallemant, dont nous avons parlé; et ils
n'avoient pu engager ni l'un ni l'autre à se mettre en lieu de sûreté.
Il eût pourtant été mieux qu'ils se fussent partagés et que le P. de
Breboeuf eût usé de son autorité pour obliger son compagnon de suiver
ceux, qui avoient pris la fuite; mais l'exemple tout récent du P.
Daniel, et le danger, où étoient un grand nombre de catéchumènes de
mourir sans Baptême, leur firent croire à tous les deux qu'ils ne
devoient pas désemparer. Ils prirent donc leur poste chacun à une des
extrémités de l'attaque, et ils furent toujours aux endroits les plus
exposés, uniquement occupés à baptiser des mourans, et à encourager les
combattans à n'avoir que Dieu en vûe.

"Enfin tous les Hurons furent tués ou pris, et les deux missionnaires
furent du nombre des derniers. Les vainqueurs mirent ensuite le feu aux
cabannes, et reprirent avec les prisonniers et tout le butin, le chemin
de S. Ignace.

"De St. Ignace, où j'ai dit qu'on les avoit conduits d'abord, ils
avoient été ramenés à St. Louis, et ils y furent reçus, comme on a
coûtume de recevoir les prisonniers de guerre; on les épargna même
d'autant moins, que leur procès étoit fait, et qu'on avoit résolu de ne
les pas mener plus loin. Le P. de Breboeuf, que vingt années de travaux
les plus capables de faire mourir tous les sentimens naturels, un
caractère d'esprit d'une fermeté a l'épreuve de tout; une vertu nourrie
dans la vûe toujours prochaine d'une mort cruelle, et portée jusqu'à en
faire l'objet de ses voeux les plus ardens; prévenu d'ailleurs par plus
d'un avertissement céleste que ses voeux seroient exaucés, se rioit
également et des menaces et des tortures mêmes; mais la vûe de ses chers
neophytes cruellement traités à ses yeux, repandoit une grande amertume
sur la joye, qu'il ressentoit de voir ses esperances accomplies.

"Son compagnon, Gabriel Lallemant, qui ne faisoit que d'entrer dans la
carrière apostolique, où il avoit apporté plus de courage que de force,
et qui étoit d'une complexion sensible et delicate, fut surtout pour lui
jusqu'au dernier soupir un grand sujet de douleur et d'inquiétude. Les
Iroquois connurent bien d'abord qu'ils auroient á faire à un homme, à
qu'ils n'auroient pas le plaisir de voir échaper la moindre foiblesse,
et comme s'ils eussent appréhendé qu'il ne communiquát aux autres son
intrépidité, ils le séparèrent après quelque tems de la troupe des
prisonniers, le firent monter seul sur un échafant, et s'acharnèrent de
telle sorte sur lui, qu'ils paroissoient hors d'eux-mêmes de rage et de

"Tout cela n'empêchoit point le serviteur de Dieu de parler d'une voix
forte, tantôt aux Hurons, qui ne le voyoient plus, mais qui pouvoient
encore l'entendre; tantôt à ses bourreaux, qu'il exhortait à craindre la
colère du ciel, s'ils continuoient à persécuter les adorateurs du vrai
Dieu. Cette liberté étonna les barbares, et ils en furent choqués,
quoiqu' accoutumés à essuyer les bravades de leurs prisonniers en
semblables occasions. Ils voulurent lui imposer silence, et n'en pouvant
venir à bout, ils lui coupèrent la lèvre inférieure, et l'extrémité du
nez, lui appliquerent par tout le corps des torches allumées, lui
brulerent les gencives, et enfin lui enforcèrent dans le gosier un fer
rougi dans le feu.

"L'invincible missionnaire se voyant par ce dernier coup la parole
interdite, parut avec un visage assuré, et un regard si ferme qu'il
sembloit donner encore la loy à ses ennemis. Un moment après on lui
amena son compagnon dans un équipage bien capable de toucher un coeur
comme le sien, aussi tendre et aussi compatissant sur les maux d'autrui,
qu'il étoit insensible aux siens propres. On avoit mis d'abord le jeune
religieux tout nud et après l'avoir tourmenté quelque tems, on l'avoit
enveloppé depuis les pieds jusqu'à la tête d'écorce de sapin, et on se
preparoit à y mettre le feu.

"Dès qu'il apperçut le P. de Breboeuf dans l'affreux état, où on l'avoit
mis, il frémit d'abord, ensuite lui dit ces paroles de l'Apôtre, _Nous
avons été mis spectacle au monde, aux anges, et aux hommes_.[218] Le
père lui répondit par une douce inclination de tête, et dans ce moment
le P. Lallemant se trouvant libre, courut se jetter à ses pieds, baisa
respectueusement ses playes, et le conjura de redoubler auprès du
seigneur ses prières, pour lui obtenir la patience, et la foy, qu'il
voyoit, ajoùta-t-il avec beaucoup de confusion, sur le point de lui
échapper à tout moment. On le reprit aussitôt, et on mit le feu aux
ecorces, dont il étoit couvert.

"Les bourreaux s'arrêtèrent quelque tems pour goûter le plaisir de le
voir brûler lentement, et d'entendre ses soupirs et les gémissemens,
qu'il ne pouvoit s'empêcher de pousser. Ils le laissèrent ensuite
quelque tems, pour faire rougir des haches de fer, dont ils firent un
collier, qu'ils mirent au cou du P. de Breboeuf; mais ce nouveau
supplice n'ébranla pas plus le saint martyr, qui n'avoient fait les
autres, et comme les barbares cherchoient quelque nouveau tourment, pour
tacher de vaincre un courage qui les irritoit, un Huron apostat se mit à
crier qu'il falloit jetter aux deux missionnaires de l'eau boüillante
sur la tête, en punition de ce qu'ils en avoient jetté tant de froide
sur celle des autres, et causé par-là tous les malheurs de sa nation, et
on la répandit lentement sur la tête des deux confesseurs de Jesus

"Cependant la fumée épaisse qui sortoit des ecorces, dont le P.
Lallemant étoit revêtu lui remplissoit la bouche, et il fut assez
lontems sans pouvoir articuler une seule parole. Ses liens étant brûlés,
il leva les mains au ciel, pour implorer le secours de celui qui est la
force des foibles, mais on les lui fit baisser, en le frappant à grands
coups de cordes. Enfin les deux corps n'étant plus qu'une playe, ce
spectacle bien loin de faire horreur aux Iroquois, les mit de bonne
humeur; ils se disoient les uns aux autres que la chair des François
devoit être bonne, et ils en coupèrent sur l'un et sur l'autre de grands
lambeaux, qu'ils mangèrent. Puis ajôutant la raillerie à la cruauté, ils
dirent au P. de Breboeuf, 'Tu nous assurois tout à l'heure que plus on
souffre sur la terre, plus on est heureux dans le ciel; c'est par amitié
pour toi que nous nous étudions à augmenter tes souffrances, et tu nous
en auras obligation.'

"Quelques momens après ils lui enlevèrent toute la peau de la tête, et
comme il respiroit encore, un chef lui ouvrit le côté, d'où le sang
sortant en abondance, tous les barbares accoururent pour en boire; après
quoi le même, qui avoit fait la playe, découvrit le coeur, l'arracha, et
le dévora. Le P. de Breboeuf étoit du diocèse de Bayeux, et oncle du
traducteur du Pharsale. Il étoit d'une taille avantageuse, et mangré son
abstinence extrême, et vingt années du plus pénible apostolat, il avoit
assez d'embonpoint. Sa vie fut un heroisme continuel, et sa mort fut
l'étonnement des bourreaux mêmes.

"Dès qu'il eut expiré, le P. Lallemant fut reconduit dans la cabanne, où
son martyre avoit commencé; il n'est pas même certain qu'il soit demeuré
auprès du Père de Breboeuf jusqu'à ce que celui-ci eût rendu les
derniers soupirs; on ne l'avoit amené là, que pour attendrir son
compagnon, et amollir, s'il étoit possible, le courage de ce héros. Il
est au moins constant par le témoignage de plusieurs Iroquois, qui
furent acteurs dans ce tragédie, que ce dernier mourut le seize, et
qu'il ne fut que trois heures dans le feu, au lieu que le supplice du P.
Lallemant dura dix-sept heures, et qu'il ne mourut que le dix-sept.

"Quoiqu'il en soit, sitôt qu'il fut rentré dans sa cabanne il reçut
au-dessus de l'oreille gauche, un coup de hache, qui lui ouvrit le
crane, et lui en fit sortir de la cervelle. On lui arracha ensuite un
oeil, à la place duquel on mit un charbon ardent; c'est tout ce qu'on a
pu sçavoir de ce qui se passa alors jusqu'à ce qu'il eût expiré; tous
ceux, qui assistèrent à sa mort s'étant contentés de dire que les
bourreaux s'étoient surpassés en cruauté. Ils ajôutèrent que de tems en
tems il jettoit des cris capables de percer les coeurs les plus durs, et
qu'il paroissoit quelquefois hors de lui-même; mais qu'aussitôt on le
voyoit s'élever au-dessus de la douleur, et offrir à Dieu ses
souffrances avec une ferveur admirable. Ainsi la chair étoit souvent
foible, et prête a succomber; mais l'esprit fut toujours prompt à la
relever, et la soutint jusqu'au bout. Le P. Lallemant étoit de Paris,
fils et petit fils de lieutenans-criminels. Il étoit extrêmement maigre,
et il n'y avoit guére que six mois, qu'il étoit arrivé dans la Nouvelle
France. Il mourut dans sa trente-neuvième année."--Charlevoix, vol. ii.,
p. 12.

[Footnote 218: 1 Corinth., iv., 9.]


"The Jesuits are commonly very learned, studious, and are very civil and
agreeable in company. In their whole deportment there is something
pleasing; it is no wonder, therefore, that they captivate the minds of
the people. They seldom speak of religious matters, and if it happens,
they generally avoid disputes. They are very ready to do any one a
service, and when they see that their assistance is wanted, they hardly
give one time to speak of it, falling to work immediately to bring about
what is required of them. Their conversation is very entertaining and
learned, so that one can not be tired of their company. Among all the
Jesuits I have conversed with in Canada, I have not found one who was
not possessed of these qualities in a very eminent degree. They do not
care to become preachers to a congregation in the town or country, but
leave these places, together with the emoluments arising from them, to
the priests. All their business here is to convert the heathen; and with
that view their missionaries are scattered over every part of the
country. Near every town and village peopled by converted Indians are
one or two Jesuits, who take great care that they may not return to
paganism, but live as Christians ought to do. Thus there are Jesuits
with the converted Indians in Tadoussac, Lorette, Beçancourt, St.
François, Sault St. Louis, and all over Canada. There are likewise
Jesuit missionaries with those who are not converted, so that there is
commonly a Jesuit in every village belonging to the Indians, whom he
endeavors on all occasions to convert. In winter he goes on their great
hunts, where he is frequently obliged to suffer all imaginable
inconveniences, such as walking in the snow all day, lying in the open
air all winter, lying out both in good and bad weather, lying in the
Indian huts, which swarm with fleas and other vermin, &c. The Jesuits
undergo all these hardships for the sake of converting the Indians, and
likewise for political reasons. The Jesuits are of great use to their
king; for they are frequently able to persuade the Indians to break
their treaty with the English, to make war upon them, to bring their
furs to the French, and not to permit the English to come among them.
There is much danger attending these exertions; for, when the Indians
are in liquor, they sometimes kill the missionaries who live with them,
calling them spies, or excusing themselves by saying that the brandy had
killed them. These are the chief occupations of the Jesuits in Canada.
They do not go to visit the sick in the town; they do not hear the
confessions, and attend to no funerals. I have never seen them go in
procession in honor of the Virgin Mary or other saints. Every body sees
that they are, as it were, selected from other people on account of
their superior genius and abilities. They are here reckoned a most
cunning set of people, who generally succeed in their undertakings, and
surpass all others in acuteness of understanding. I have therefore
several times observed that they have enemies in Canada. They never
receive any others into their society but persons of very promising
parts, so that there are no blockheads among them. The Jesuits who live
here are all come from France, and many of them return thither again
after a stay of a few years here. Some who were born in Canada went over
to France, and were received among the Jesuits there, but none of them
ever came back to Canada. I know not what political reason hindered
them. During my stay in Quebec, one of the priests, with the bishop's
leave, gave up his priesthood and became a Jesuit. The other priests
were very ill pleased with this, because it seemed as if he looked upon
their condition as too mean for himself."--Kalm, in Pinkerton, vol.
xiii., p. 648.

"The Recollets are a third class of clergymen in Canada. They have a
fine large dwelling-house here, and a fine church, where they officiate.
Near it is a large and fine garden, which they cultivate with great

"In Montreal and Trois Rivières they are lodged in almost the same
manner as here. They do not endeavor to choose cunning fellows among
them, but take all they can get. They do not torment their brains with
much learning; and I have been assured that, after they have put on
their monastic habit, they do not study to increase their knowledge, but
forget even what little they knew before. At night they generally lie on
mats, or some other hard mattresses. However, I have sometimes seen good
beds in the cells of some of them. They have no possessions here, having
made vows of poverty, and live chiefly on the alms which people give
them. To this purpose the young monks, or brothers, go into the houses
with a bag, and beg what they want. They have no congregations in the
country, but sometimes they go among the Indians as missionaries.

"In each fort, which contains forty men, the king keeps one of these
monks instead of a priest, who officiates there. The king gives him
lodging, provisions, servants, and all he wants, besides two hundred
livres a year. Half of it he sends to the community he belongs to; the
other half he reserves for his own use. On board the king's ships are
generally no other priests than these friars, who are therefore looked
upon as people belonging to the king. When one of the chief priests[219]
in the country dies, and his place can not immediately be filled up,
they send one of these friars there, to officiate while the place is
vacant. Part of these monks come over from France, and part are natives
of Canada.

"There are no other monks in Canada besides these, except, now and then,
one of the order of St. Austin, or some other who comes with one of the
king's ships, but goes off with it again.

"The priests are the second and most numerous class of the clergy in
this country; for most of the churches, both in towns and villages (the
Indian converts excepted), are served by priests. A few of them are
likewise missionaries. In Canada are two seminaries: one in Quebec, the
other in Montreal. The priests of the seminary of Montreal are of the
order of St. Sulpitius, and supply only the congregation on the isle of
Montreal, and the town of the same name. At all the other churches in
Canada the priests belonging to the Quebec seminary officiate. The
former, or those of the order of St. Sulpitius, all come from France;
and I was assured that they never suffer a native of Canada to come
among them.

"In the seminary at Quebec, the natives of Canada make the greater part.

"In order to fit the children of this country for orders, there are
schools at Quebec and St. Joachim, where the youths are taught Latin,
and instructed in the knowledge of those things and sciences which have
a more immediate connection with the business they are intended for.

"However, they are not very nice in their choice, and people of a
middling capacity are often received among them.

"They do not seem to have made great progress in Latin; for,
notwithstanding the service is read in that language, and they read
their Latin breviary and other books every day, yet most of them find it
very difficult to speak it.

"All the priests in the Quebec seminary are consecrated by the bishop.
Both the seminaries have got great revenues from the king; that in
Quebec has above thirty thousand livres. All the country on the west
side of the River St. Lawrence, from the town of Quebec to Bay St. Paul,
belongs to this seminary, besides their other possessions in the
country. They lease the land to the settlers for a certain rent, which,
if it be annually paid, according to their agreement, the children or
heirs of the settlers may remain in an undisturbed possession of the

"A piece of land three arpents[220] broad, and thirty, forty, or fifty
arpents long, pays annually an ecu,[221] and a couple of chickens, or
some other additional trifle. In such places as have convenient
water-falls, they have built water-mills or saw-mills, from which they
annually get considerable sums. The seminary of Montreal possesses the
whole ground on which that town stands, together with the whole isle of
Montreal. I have been assured that the ground rent of the town and isle
is computed at seventy thousand livres, besides what they get for saying
masses, baptizing, holding confessions, attending at marriages and
funerals, &c. All the revenues of ground rent belong to the seminaries
alone, and the priests in the country have no share in them. But the
seminary in Montreal, consisting only of sixteen priests, has greater
revenues than it can expend; a large sum of money is annually sent over
to France, to the chief seminary there. The land rents belonging to the
Quebec seminary are employed for the use of the priests in it, and for
the maintenance of a number of young people, who are brought up to take
orders. The priests who live in the country parishes get the tithe from
their congregation, together with the perquisites on visiting the sick,
&c. In small congregations the king gives the priests an additional sum.
When a priest in the country grows old, and has done good service, he is
sometimes allowed to come into the seminary in town. The seminaries are
allowed to place the priests on their own estates, but the other places
are in the gift of the bishop."--_Ibid._

"After the conquest of Quebec, the British government prohibited the
religious male orders from augmenting their numbers, excepting the
priests. The orders were allowed to enjoy the whole of their revenues as
long as a single individual of the body existed; then they reverted to
the crown. The revenue of the Jesuit Society was upward of £12,000 per
annum when it fell into the possession of the government. It had been
for several years enjoyed solely by an old father, who had survived all
the rest. He was a native of Switzerland; his name, Jean Joseph Casot.
In his youth he was no more than porter to the convent, but, having
considerable merit, he was promoted, and in course of time received into
the order. He died at a very advanced age, in 1800, with a high
character for kindness and generosity: his large income was entirely
employed in charitable purposes. The lands belonging to the Jesuits, as
well as to the other religious orders, are by far the best in the
country, and produce the greatest revenues."--Lambert's _Travels in
Canada_, vol. i., p. 59.

"The Jesuits, who in the early settlement of the country were merely
missionaries, obtained a patent (_Petits Droits des Colonies
Françaises_, vol. ii., p. 441), by which they acquired a license to
purchase lands, and hold property as in France. The property the Jesuits
possessed in this country in after times was acquired by grants from the
kings of France; by grants from the Company of New France; by gifts from
individuals, and by purchase."--Smith's _History of Canada_, vol. i., p.
27; Weld, p. 249. Smith estimates the revenues of the society, when,
after P. Casot's death, they reverted to the crown, at only £1600 per
annum. Weld comes nearer to the statement of Lambert. He visited Quebec
in 1796, four years before P. Casot's death, and states that the great
possessions of the Jesuits had centered in him, and amounted to £10,000
per annum. It is to be remembered that in 1764 the order of Jesuits was
abolished by the King of France, and the members of the society became
private individuals.

"The college of the Jesuits at Quebec was long considered as the first
institution on the continent of North America for the instruction of
young men. The advantages derived from it were not limited to the better
class of Canadians, but were extended to all whose inclination it was to
participate in them, and many students came thither from the West
Indies. From the period of the expulsion of the Jesuits from the states
of Europe, and the consequent abolition of their order on that
continent, this establishment, although protected by the British
government, began rapidly to decline.

"When, by the death of the last Canadian Jesuit, the landed property
devolved to the crown, it was designed by the sovereign as a recompense
for the services of the late Lord Amherst, who commanded the troops in
North America at the time of the conquest of Canada, and Who completed
the reduction of that province under the British government. The claim
of these estates has been relinquished by his successor for a pension.
The revenue arising from them has been appropriated by the Legislature
of Lower Canada for the purpose of establishing in the different
parishes schools for the education of children. The Jesuits' college is
now converted into a commodious barrack for the troops."--Heriot's
_Canada_, p. 30.

[Footnote 219: Pasteur.]

[Footnote 220: A French acre.]

[Footnote 221: French coin, value about a crown English.]

No. XIX.

The Mississippi is the only river in North America, which, for grandeur
and commodiousness of navigation, comes in competition with the St.
Lawrence, or with that river which runs from Lake Ontario to the ocean.
If, however, we consider that immense body of water that flows from Lake
Winnipeg through the Lake of the Woods, Lake Superior, &c., down to the
sea, as one entire stream, and, of course, as a continuation of the St.
Lawrence, it must be allowed to be a very superior river to the
Mississippi in every point of view; and we may certainly consider it as
one stream with as much reason as we look upon that as one river which
flows from Lake Ontario to the sea; for, before it meets the ocean, it
passes through four large lakes, not, indeed, to be compared with those
of Erie or Superior in size, but they are independent lakes,
notwithstanding, as much as any of the others. The Mississippi is
principally to be admired for the evenness of its current, and the
prodigious length of way it is navigable without any interruption for
bateaux of a very large burden, but in many respects it is a very
inferior river to the St. Lawrence, properly so called. The Mississippi,
at its mouth, is not twenty miles broad, and the navigation is there so
obstructed by banks or bars that a vessel drawing more than twelve feet
water can not ascend it without very imminent danger. Fresh bars are
formed or the old bars are enlarged every year, and it is said that
unless some steps are taken to prevent the lodgments of the trees
annually brought down at the time of the inundation, the navigation may
in a few years be still more obstructed than it is at present. The River
St. Lawrence, however, on the contrary, is no less than ninety miles
wide at its mouth, and it is navigable for ships of the line as far as
Quebec, a distance of 400 miles from the sea. The channel, also, instead
of having been impaired by time, is found to be considerably better now
than when the river was first discovered, and there is reason to imagine
that it will improve still more in process of time, as the clear water
that flows from Lake Ontario comes down with such impetuosity during the
floods in the spring of the year as frequently to remove banks of gravel
and loose stones in the river, and thus to deepen its bed. The channel
on the north side of the island of Orleans, immediately below Quebec,
which, according to the account of Charlevoix, was not sufficiently deep
in the year 1720 to admit a shallop of a small size, except at the time
of high tides, is at present found to be deep enough for the largest
vessels, and is the channel most generally used.--Weld, p. 336.

No. XX.

"Upper Canada, down to the period when it was conquered by England, was
in a very wild and unreclaimed condition. With the exception of the
small location on the banks of the Detroit, it contained only detached
posts at great distances, formed for military defense and the
prosecution of the fur trade. The real settlement of Upper Canada took
place in 1783, at the close of the first American war; at that time, not
only a large body of troops were disbanded, but many inhabitants of the
United States, who had adhered to Britain during this unfortunate
contest, sought refuge within her colonies; and as these last were
generally in a state of great destitution, the government felt disposed
to treat them liberally, and afford the utmost possible compensation for
their losses and sufferings. With this view, the whole land along the
St. Lawrence above the French settlements, and also on Lake Ontario, to
and around the Bay of Quiete, for the space of 150 miles, was formed
into townships, originally entitled First, Second, Third, but to which
regular names were afterward attached. These settlements were termed the
United Empire Loyalists, and not only received an ample supply of land,
but farming utensils, building materials, and subsistence for two years.
A further engagement was made that every member of their families, on
attaining the age of twenty-one, should have a fresh donation of 200
acres, which engagement has been strictly fulfilled. Military grants
were at the same time bestowed at rates varying from 5000 for a field
officer, to 200 for a private soldier.

"In 1791, Upper Canada had attained to such importance, that when Mr.
Pitt determined to bestow a constitution on the colony, he formed this
part into a separate government, giving to it the name of Upper, and to
the early-settled districts that of Lower Canada. The former was not
supposed, after all, to contain at that time above 10,000 inhabitants.
General Simcoe, however, in 1794, founded the town of York,[222] which
was fixed on as the seat of government, and made the most strenuous
efforts to encourage colonists to settle in the neighborhood. They came
in considerable numbers, though chiefly from the United States. It was
not till 1803 that, through the exertions of Colonel Talbot, emigration
from Britain was commenced on any large scale. The result of these
measures was, that in 1811 the country was found to contain about 9623
persons paying taxes.

"Lower Canada is comprised within the parallels of 45° and 52° north
latitude, and the meridians of 59·50° to 80·6° west of Greenwich; the
entire province, as far as its boundaries will admit of estimation,
contains about a quarter of a million square miles, or 160,000,000 of
acres. Upper Canada is comprised within the parallels of 41° to 49°
north, and the meridians of 74° to 117° west of Greenwich, embracing an
area of about 100,000 square miles, or 64,000,000 acres. The following
are the words of the order in council by which Canada was in 1791
divided into two provinces. "To commence at a stone boundary on the
north bank of the Lake St. Francis, at the cove west of Point au Baudet,
in the limit between the township of Lancaster and the seigniory of New
Longueuil, running along the said limit in the direction of N. 34 W. to
the westernmost angle of the said seigniory of New Longueuil; then along
the N.W. boundary of the seigniory of Vaudreuil, running N. 25 E. until
it strikes the Ottawa River; to ascend the said river into the Lake
Temiscaming, and from the head of the said lake by a line drawn due N.
until it strikes the boundary of Hudson's Bay, including all the
territory to the westward and southward of the said line to the utmost
extent of the country commonly called or known by the name of Canada."
The want of clearness in the above delineation, added to the
imperfections of the map on which it was drawn, particularly as regarded
the westwardly angle of the seigniory of New Longueuil, and the S.W.
angle of Vaudreuil, which are represented as coincident, when, according
to Colonel Bouchette, they are nine miles distant from each other, has
naturally caused disputes as to the boundaries between Upper and Lower
Canada."--Montgomery Martin's _Hist. of Canada_, p. 62; Murray's _British
America_, vol. i., p. 287.

[Footnote 222: It has now assumed the Indian name of Toronto.]

No. XXI.

"On the 5th of February, 1663, about half past five o'clock in the
evening, a great rushing noise was heard throughout the whole extent of
Canada. This noise caused the people to run out of their houses into the
streets, as if their habitations had been on fire; but, instead of
flames or smoke, they were surprised to see the walls reeling backward
and forward, and the stones moving as if they were detached from each
other. The bells sounded by the repeated shocks. The roofs of the
buildings bent down, first on one side, and then on the other. The
timbers, rafters, and planks cracked. The earth trembled violently, and
caused the stakes of the palisades and palings to dance, in a manner
that would have been incredible had we not actually seen it in many
places. It was at this moment every one ran out of doors. Then were to
be seen animals flying in every direction; children crying and screaming
in the streets; men and women, seized with affright, stood horror-struck
with the dreadful scene before them, unable to move, and ignorant where
to fly for refuge from the tottering walls and trembling earth, which
threatened every instant to crush them to death, or sink them into a
profound and immeasurable abyss. Some threw themselves on their knees in
the snow, crossing their breasts, and calling on their saints to relieve
them from the dangers with which they were surrounded. Others passed the
rest of this dreadful night in prayer; for the earthquake ceased not,
but continued at short intervals with a certain undulating impulse,
resembling the waves of the ocean; and the same qualmish sensations, or
sickness at the stomach, was felt during the shocks as is experienced in
a vessel at sea.

"The violence of the earthquake was greatest in the forest, where it
appeared as if there was a battle raging between the trees; for not only
their branches were destroyed, but even their trunks are said to have
been detached from their places, and dashed against each other with
inconceivable violence and confusion--so much so, that the Indians, in
their figurative manner of speaking, declared that all the forests were
drunk. The war also seemed to be carried on between the mountains, some
of which were torn from their beds and thrown upon others, leaving
immense chasms in the places from whence they had issued, and the very
trees with which they were covered sunk down, leaving only their tops
above the surface of the earth; others were completely overturned, their
branches buried in the earth, and the roots only remained above ground.
During this general wreck of nature, the ice, upward of six feet thick,
was rent and thrown up in large pieces, and from the openings in many
parts there issued thick clouds of smoke, or fountains of dirt and sand,
which spouted up to a very considerable height. The springs were either
choked up, or impregnated with sulphur; many rivers were totally lost;
others were diverted from their course, and their waters entirely
corrupted. Some of them became yellow, others red, and the great river
of the St. Lawrence appeared entirely white, as far down as Tadoussac.
This extraordinary phenomenon must astonish those who know the size of
the river, and the immense body of waters in various parts, which must
have required such an abundance of matter to whiten it. They write from
Montreal that, during the earthquake, they plainly saw the stakes of the
picketing or palisades jump up as if they had been dancing; and that of
two doors in the same room, one opened and the other shut of their own
accord; that the chimneys and tops of the houses bent like branches of
the trees agitated with the wind; that when they went to walk they felt
the earth following them, and rising at every step they took, something
sticking against the soles of their feet, and other things in a very
forcible and surprising manner.

"From Three Rivers they write that the first shock was the most violent,
and commenced with a noise resembling thunder. The houses were agitated
in the same manner as the tops of trees during a tempest, with a noise
as if fire was crackling in the garrets. The shock lasted half an hour,
or rather better, though its greatest force was properly not more than a
quarter of an hour, and we believe there was not a single shock which
did not cause the earth to open either more or less.

"As for the rest, we have remarked that, though this earthquake
continued almost without intermission, yet it was not always of an equal
violence. Sometimes it was like the pitching of a large vessel which
dragged heavily at her anchors, and it was this motion which occasioned
many to have a giddiness in their heads and a qualmishness in their
stomachs. At other times the motion was hurried and irregular, creating
sudden jerks, some of which were extremely violent; but the most common
was a slight tremulous motion, which occurred frequently with little
noise. Many of the French inhabitants and Indians, 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; the broken earth mixed with the waters, and for
several months changed the color of the great River St. Lawrence, into
which that of Trois Rivières disembogues itself. In the course of this
violent convulsion of nature, lakes appeared where none ever existed
before; mountains were overthrown, swallowed up by the gaping, or
precipitated into adjacent rivers, leaving in their places frightful
chasms or level plains; falls and rapids were changed into gentle
streams, and gentle streams into falls and rapids. Rivers in many parts
of the country sought other beds, or totally disappeared. The earth and
the mountains were entirely 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 our neighborhood were completely
overturned; and where, but a short time before, nothing met the eye but
one immense forest of trees, now were to be seen extensive cleared
lands, apparently cut up by the plow.

"At Tadoussac (about 150 miles below Quebec, on the north side) the
effect of the earthquake was not less violent than in other places; and
such a heavy shower of volcanic ashes fell in that neighborhood,
particularly in the River St. Lawrence, that the waters were as
violently agitated as during a tempest. The Indians say that a vast
volcano exists in Labrador. Near St. Paul's Bay (about fifty miles below
Quebec, on the north side), a mountain, about a quarter of a league in
circumference, situated on the shore of the St. Lawrence, was
precipitated into the river, but, as if it had only made a plunge, it
rose from the bottom, and became a small island, forming with the shore
a convenient harbor, well sheltered from all winds. Lower down the
river, toward Point Alouettes, an entire forest of considerable extent
was loosened from the main bank, and slid into the River St. Lawrence,
where the trees took fresh root. There are three circumstances, however,
which have rendered this extraordinary earthquake particularly
remarkable: the first is its duration, it having continued from February
to August, that is to say, more than six months almost without
intermission! It is true, the shocks were not always equally violent. In
several places, as toward the mountains behind Quebec, the thundering
noise and trembling motion continued successively for a considerable
time. In others, as toward Tadoussac, the shock continued generally for
two or three days at a time with much violence.

"The second circumstance relates to the extent of this earthquake,
which, we believe, was universal throughout the whole of New France,
for we learn that it was felt from L'Isle Percé and Gaspé, which are
situated at the mouth of the St. Lawrence, to beyond Montreal; as also
in New England, Acadia, and other places more remote. As far as it has
come to our knowledge, this earthquake extended more than 600 miles in
length, and about 300 in breadth. Hence 180,000 square miles of land
were convulsed in the same day and at the same moment.

"The third circumstance, which appears the most remarkable of all,
regards the extraordinary protection of Divine Providence, which has
been extended to us and our habitations; for we have seen near us the
large openings and chasms which the earthquake occasioned, and the
prodigious extent of country which has been either totally lost or
hideously convulsed, without our losing either man, woman, or child, or
even having a hair of their head touched."--_Jesuits' Journal_, Quebec,


"The principle in both instances is alike: in the former, the caloric or
vital heat of the body passes so rapidly from the hand into the cold
iron as to destroy the continuous and organic structure of the part; in
the latter, the caloric passes so rapidly from the hot iron into the
hand as to produce the same effect: heat, in both cases, being the same;
its passing into the body from the iron, or into the iron from the body,
being equally injurious to vitality. From a similar cause, the
incautious traveler in Canada is burned in the face by a very cold wind,
with the same sensations as when he is exposed to the blast of an
eastern sirocco. Milton thus alludes to the effects of cold in his
description of the abode of Satan and his compeers. After adverting to
Styx, he says,

 'Beyond this flood, a frozen continent
 Lies, dark and wild, beat with perpetual storms
 Of whirlwind and dire hail, which on firm land
 Thaws not, but gathers heap, and ruin seems
 Of ancient pile; all else deep snow and ice;
 A gulf profound as that Serbonian bog
 Betwixt Damiata and Mount Casius old,
 Where armies whole have sunk: the parching air
 Burns frore (frozen), and cold performs the effect of fire.'

 _Paradise Lost_, B. 2.

"We also find in Virgil, Georg., i., 93,

'Borea penetrabile frigus adurat.'"--Gray's _Canada_, p. 290.


"This meteor is strongest and most frequent about the arctic circle, or
between that and the parallel of 64°. It is now ascertained, we think,
beyond all doubt, that the height of the Aurora, instead of being, as
supposed by Mr. Dalton and others, above the region of the atmosphere,
is, in fact, rarely above six or seven miles. This was satisfactorily
proved by angles taken in the same moment at two distant places, always
exceedingly small at one or both stations; by the extreme rapidity with
which a beam darts from one side of the horizon to the opposite side,
which could not happen if 100 miles high or upward; by its frequently
darting its beams _beneath_ the clouds, and at very short distances from
the earth's surface, and by its being acted upon by the wind. Mr. Hood
was told by one of the partners of the Northwest Company that he once
saw the coruscations of the Aurora Borealis so vivid and low that the
Canadians fell on their faces, and began crying and praying, fearing
lest they should be killed; that he threw away his gun and knife, that
they might not attract the flashes, for they were within two feet from
the earth, flitting along with incredible swiftness, and moving parallel
to the surface; he added that they made a loud rustling noise, like the
waving of a flag in a strong breeze. This rustling noise, which is
universally asserted by the servants of the Northwest Company, was not
heard by any of the officers of Captain Franklin's expedition, but he
says that it would be an absurd degree of skepticism to doubt the fact
any longer, for their observations had rather increased than diminished
the probability of it. It has hitherto been supposed that the magnetic
needle was not affected by the Aurora; but a vast number of experiments
given in the tables prove that, in certain positions of the beams and
arches, the needle was considerably drawn aside, and mostly so when the
flashes were between the clouds and the earth, or when their actions
were quick, their light vivid, and the atmosphere hazy."--Franklin's
_Journey to the Polar Sea_, Nos. II. and III. of the Appendix.

The following is Charlevoix's description of the Aurora Borealis, never
before witnessed by the French colonists:

"Un autre phénomène, qui parôit dans l'air, mériteroit bien qu'on
s'étudiât à en découvrir la cause. Dans le tems le plus serein, on
apperçoit tout à coup au milieu de la nuit de nuages d'une blancheur
extraordinaire, et au travers de ces nuages une lumière très-éclatante.
Lors même qu'on ne sent pas un souffle de vent, ces nuages sont chassés
avec une très-grande vitesse, et prennent toutes sortes de figures. Plus
la nuit est obscure, plus la lumière est vive: elle l'est même
quelquefois à un point, qu'on peut lire à sa lueur beaucoup plus
aisément, qu'à celle de la lune dans son plein.

"On dira peut-être que ce n'est qu'une réfraction des raïons du soleil,
qui par cette hauteur ne s'éloigne pas beaucoup de l'horison pendant les
nuits de l'été, et qu'encore qu'il n'y ait point de vent dans la basse
région de l'air, il peut y en avoir dans la supérieure, ce qui est vrai;
mais ce qui me fait juger qu'il y a encore une autre de ce météore,
c'est que pendant l'hyver même, la lune paroît souvent environnée
d'arc-en-ciel de couleurs différentes, et toutes très-vives. Pour moi je
suis persuadé que ces effets doivent être attribués en partie à des
exhalaisons nitreuses, qui pendant le jour ont été attirées et
enfluencées par le soleil."


"Very distant posterity will one day decide whether, as Mr. Leslie has
endeavored to prove by ingenious hypothesis (_An Experimental Inquiry
into the Nature and Propagation of Heat_, 1804), 2400 years are
sufficient to augment the mean temperature of the atmosphere a single
degree. However slow this increment may be, we must admit that an
hypothesis, according to which organic life seems gradually to augment
on the globe, occupies more agreeably our imagination than the old
system of the cooling of our planet and the accumulation of the polar
ice."--Humboldt's _Personal Narrative_, vol. ii., p. 83.

"A point of much interest is the comparison of the actual temperature of
the globe with that of the same regions in former ages. The evidence
which justifies the conclusion that no change has occurred but from
local or superficial causes, is worth studying, were it only for its
variety and singularity. We might begin with Laplace's conclusion, that
the mean heat can not be altered by 1° of Réaumur since the time of
Hipparchus, inasmuch as the dimensions of the globe would be thereby
changed in a small amount, its angular velocity be increased or
diminished, and a sensible difference be made in the length of the day,
which difference does not exist. We might then proceed to the argument
urged by Biot and Champollion, from the identity of the time of
inundation in the Nile, 5000 years ago, the periodical rains producing
which depend upon and indicate the degree and distribution of heat over
a vast equatorial region. Next we might turn to the method of Professor
Schaw, in his work on the comparative temperature of ancient and modern
times, founded on the northern and southern limits of production of
different animals and plants in any given country, as they come recorded
to us by ancient writers, compared with the observations of our own day.
The result of general identity is obtained by this method also; and the
same remark may be extended to the miscellaneous proofs derived from
other passages in ancient writers, numerously collated, respecting the
climate of particular regions and localities. There is no amount of
diversity shown by this evidence which does not admit of explanation
from local and accidental causes, many of them belonging to the agency
of man himself, on the surface of the earth."--_Quarterly Review_,
September, 1848.

"Several planters attribute the failure of the cotton crop this year
(1842) to the unusual size and number of the icebergs, which floated
southward last spring from Hudson's and Baffin's Bays, and may have
cooled the sea and checked the early growth of the cotton plant, so
numerous and remote are the disturbing causes of meteorology! Forty
degrees of latitude intervene between the region where the ice-floes are
generated and that where the crops are raised, whose death-warrant they
are supposed to have carried with them."--Lyell's _America_, vol. i., p.

No. XXV.

The theory by which Dr. Brewster seeks to account for the peculiarities
of the American climate is the following: "He supposes that the poles of
the globe and the isothermal poles are by no means coincident, and that,
on the contrary, there exist two different points, within a few degrees
of the poles, where the cold is greatest in both hemispheres. These
points are believed by Dr. Brewster to be situated about the eightieth
parallel of latitude, and in the meridians of 95° east and 100° west
longitude. The meridians of these isothermal poles[223] he considers as
lying nearly at right angles to the parallels of what might be called
the meteorological latitudes, which, according to his theory, appear to
have an obliquity of direction as regards the equator something like the
zodiac. Thus the cold circle of latitude that passes through Siberia
would be the same that traverses the frigid atmosphere of Canada. This
theory would go some length toward explaining the causes of the gradual
decrease of the severity of cold in the south of Europe, and lead us to
the conclusion that eventually the cold meridian of Canada may work its
way westward, and leave that part of America to an enjoyment of the same
temperature as those European countries situated in corresponding
latitudes. That the temperature of the air has been modified by
agricultural operations can not be denied, but that these operations
should of themselves be capable of producing the changes known to have
taken place in the course of ages in Europe, where formerly the Tiber
used to be often frozen, and snow was by no means uncommon at Rome;[224]
when the Euxine Sea, the Rhone, and the Rhine, were almost every year
covered with ice, of sufficient thickness to bear considerable burdens,
it is scarcely possible rationally to admit; and, indeed, the
meteorological observations, as far as they go in Canada, serve rather
to disprove than to establish the fact."--Bouchette, vol. i., p. 335.

"The earliest record of the climate of Canada is that contained in the
'Fastes Chronologiques,' and refers to the period of Cartier's second
voyage. On the 15th of November, 1535, Old Style, the vessels in the
River St. Charles were surrounded by ice, and the Indians informed
Cartier that the whole river was frozen over as far as Montreal. On the
22d of February, 1536, the River St. Lawrence became navigable for
canoes opposite to Quebec, but the ice remained firm in the St. Croix
harbor. On the 5th of April his vessels were disengaged from the ice. To
obtain the modern dates, it will be necessary to add eleven days to each

"The later meteorological statistics do not prove that the progressive
opening of the country has had so powerful an influence upon the
temperature of the atmosphere as is generally supposed. Its chief
tendency seems to be to lengthen the summer, and thus abridge the
duration of winter. That the gradual removal of the forests to make room
for open fields contributes to augment the summer temperature, is
undoubtedly true, since it is well known that the atmosphere itself is
not heated by the direct rays of the sun, but that its warmth springs
from the earth, and that the degree of this warmth is entirely governed
by the quantum of heat absorbed through the earth's surface. The
progressive settlement of the country may then be expected to benefit
the climate, by its throwing open to the direct action of the sun a more
extended surface of territory; and this benefit will be more sensibly
felt at night, from the earth's having imbibed a sufficient quantity of
caloric to temper the coolness of the air between the setting and rising
of the sun. In an agricultural point of view, such an improvement in the
climate of Canada will be of great moment, as the coldness of the nights
is generally the cause of blight in tender fruits and plants; and from
its equalizing the temperature, probably render the climate capable of
maturing fruits that are indigenous to warm countries.

"Notwithstanding the opposing testimony of meteorological data, we have
the assertion of some of the oldest inhabitants of the country that the
climate of Canada has become perceptibly milder within their
recollection, and are thus left to conciliate this traditional record
with contradictory facts, and the only mode of doing so appears to be
the application of their remarks, more to the duration of the mild
season than the degrees of cold that were indicated by the thermometer
in the course of the year."--Bouchette, vol. i., p. 334, 340, 1831;
Lambert's _Travels through Canada_ in 1808, vol. i., p. 119.

Kalm says in 1748, September 12th, "The weather about this time was like
the beginning of our August, Old Style. Therefore it seems that autumn
commences a whole month later in Canada than in the midst of
Sweden."--P. 682.

[Footnote 223: On the theory of the isothermal lines, see the papers of
Kupfer in Poggend., _Ann._, bd. xv., s., 184, and bd. xxxli., s. 270, in
the _Voyage dans l'Oural_, p. 382-398, and in the _Edinb. Journal of
Science_, new series, vol. iv., p. 355. See, also, Kamtz, _Lehrbuch der
Meteor_, bd. ii., s. 217, and on the ascent of chthon-isothermal lines
in mountainous countries, Bischoff, s. 174-197; Humboldt's _Cosmos_,
vol. i., p. 347.]

[Footnote 224: Quebec lies nearly in the same latitude as Paris, and
from the description which the Emperor Julian has given of the winters
he quartered there during his command in Gaul, there seems to be little
difference between the winters of France in this respect and the present
winters of Canada.--Juliani Imper., _Opera_.

The author of _Récherches Philosophiques sur les Américains_ supposes
the difference in heat between the two continents to be equal to 12
degrees; that a place 30 degrees from the equator in the Old Continent
is as warm as one situated 18 degrees from it in America, tom. i., p.
11. Dr. Mitchell, after observations carried on during thirty years,
contends that the difference is equal to 14 or 15 degrees of latitude,
p. 257.--Heriot's _Travels through the Canadas_, p. 117.]


The Vitis vinifera is found in America in its wild state; in James's
"Expedition to the Rocky Mountains" it is thus described: "The small
elms along this valley were bending under the weight of innumerable
grape vines, now loaded with ripe fruit, the purple clusters crowded in
such profusion as almost to give a coloring to the landscape. On the
opposite side of the river was a range of low sand-hills, fringed with
vines, rising not more than a foot or eighteen inches from the surface.
On examination, we found these hillocks had been produced exclusively by
the agency of the grape vines, arresting the sand as it was borne along
by the wind until such quantities had been accumulated as to bury every
part of the plant except the end of the branches. Many of these were so
loaded with fruit as to present nothing to the eye but a series of
clusters, so closely arranged as to conceal every part of the stem. The
fruit of these vines is incomparably finer than that of any other native
or exotic which we have met with in the United States. The burying of
the greater part of the trunk with its larger branches produces the
effect of pruning, inasmuch as it prevents the unfolding of leaves and
flowers on the parts below the surface, while the protruded ends of the
branches enjoy an increased degree of light and heat from the reflection
of the sand. It is owing, undoubtedly, to these causes that the grapes
in question are far superior to the fruit of the same vine under
ordinary circumstances. The treatment here employed by nature to bring
to perfection the fruit of the vine may be imitated, but, without the
peculiarities of soil and exposure, can with difficulty be carried to
the same magnificent extent. Here are hundreds of acres, covered with a
movable surface of sand, and abounding in vines, which, left to the
agency of the sun and of the winds, are, by their operation, placed in
more favorable circumstances than it is in the power of man to so great
an extent to afford."--Vol. ii., p. 315, 316.


"Fir-trees, Thuja, and Cypress-trees are a northern type, which is very
rare in the tropical regions. The freshness of their evergreen leaves
cheers the desert winter landscape; it proclaims to the inhabitants of
these regions that although snow and ice cover the earth, the internal
life of the plants, like the fire of Prometheus, is never
extinguished."--_Cosmos_, vol. ii., p. 90.

"There are upward of twenty species of Pinus, of which one half are
natives of Canada, Nova Scotia, or Newfoundland.

"_Pinus Balsamea_ (Balm of Gilead Fir, or American Silver Fir) grows to
the height of fifty feet, and is an elegant tree, resembling the silver
fir of Europe. The resin of this species is the common Canada Balsam,
which is often substituted for the Balm of Gilead. It is found in small
blisters on the bark, extracted by incision, and received in a limpid
state into a shell or cup. This tree has long been cultivated for
curiosity in England, but in general, though it grows to a considerable
size and height, scarcely survives above twenty years, which seems to be
the natural period of its existence. Mr. Lambert mentions some older
trees of this species at Woburn and Warwick Castle.

"_Pinus Canadensis_ (Hemlock Spruce) is a beautiful and very large tree,
bearing some resemblance in its foliage to the common yew. Peter
Collinson records his having introduced this tree to the English
collections in 1736, and a fine specimen of it is, or was, in his garden
at Mill Hill.

"_Pinus Nigra_ (Black or Double Spruce) is found from Canada to Nova
Scotia, and terminates in latitude 65°. It was introduced into England
about the year 1700, but not much cultivated there.

"_Pinus Alba_ (White Spruce) flourishes from latitude 43° northward. Its
growth is nearly equal to that of the European silver fir, 140 feet in
height. It is one of the most ornamental of the _Abies_ tribe (those
having single, not fasciculated leaves); the branches feather down to
the ground, and the leaves have a beautiful and peculiar glaucous hue.
From the young shoots of this tree (also from Pinus Nigra) is obtained
the resinous extract from which spruce beer is made: good turpentine is
obtained from the bark. This tree was cultivated in England by Bishop
Compton before 1700.

"_Pinus Resinosa_ (Pitch Pine) grows in Canada in close forests, and is
distinguished for its great height and smooth red bark, whence it is
often called Red Pine by the French population. This tree is the glory
of Canada. Its timber, in color, quality, and durability, appears to be
in every respect equal to the best Riga, and in one particular superior,
that of being quite free from knots. It was first raised in England by
the Duke of Northumberland at Zion House, where many of this species are
still to be seen flowering in May.

"_Pinus Banksiana_ (Labrador Scrub, or Gray Pine) inhabits cold, barren,
and rocky situations. The finest trees of this species in England are at
Pain's Hill and Kew.

"_Pinus Strobus_ (White, or Weymouth Pine) is the largest species on the
eastern side of the Rocky Mountains, being sometimes 200 feet high, and
the trunk five feet in diameter. The attention which Lord Weymouth,
afterward Marquis of Bath, gave to the cultivation of this valuable tree
has justly stamped it with his name. It is now generally diffused
through every considerable plantation in England. When growing in open
situations, it is feathered to the ground; but, as generally found in
the Canadian forests, it is little more than an immense stick with a
quantity of brush at its head, in about the same proportion as the hair
on the tail of an elephant. It is of this tree that in general the
forests of all British America are composed, and it is, in fact,
peculiar to America. It is called in commerce White Pine, Yellow Pine,
or American Pine. The timber is very valuable for masts. The age to
which this tree arrives is not known: 1500 annular divisions have been

"_Pinus Pendula_ (Black Larch, or Hackmatack) is a beautiful and large
tree, generally resembling the larch of Europe. The buds are black, and
yield a fine turpentine. This tree was first raised in England by the
celebrated Peter Collinson, whose original tree, one of the treasures
of the Mill Hill garden, was cut down about the year 1800 to make a
rail! Few exotics are more worthy of general cultivation. The wood is at
least equal to the European larch.

"_Pinus Microcarpa_ (Red Larch) resembles the preceding so much, that
Michaux and Wildman confounded the two species together. The red larch,
however, is now clearly distinguished as a distinct kind. It is named by
the voyageurs L'Epinette Rouge, and by the Hudson's Bay men
Juniper."--H. Murray's _British America_, vol. iii., p. 328; R. M.
Martin, p. 254; Rees's _Cyclopædia_, art. Pinus.


"The canoes that navigate the Canadian lakes are among the most
ingenious and useful of the Indian manufactures, and nothing that
European ingenuity has devised is so well adapted to the habits and
necessities of their mode of life. They are made of the bark of the
birch-tree; and of all the various contrivances for transporting burdens
by water, these vessels are the most extraordinary. From the slightness
of their construction, they would appear to be totally inadequate to
contend against the rapids they are continually exposed to. They are of
various lengths, from twelve to thirty feet (the latter used only by the
Hudson's Bay Company); their breadth from four to six feet, diminishing
to a point at each end without distinction. The exterior is the bark of
the birch-tree, scarcely the eighth part of an inch in thickness: it is
kept distended by thin hoops and the bark; the gunwale is a narrow lath,
to which the hoop and the bark are sewed with narrow strips of the roots
of the white cedar-tree; and the joinings in the bark are rendered
water-proof by a species of gum, said to be collected from the wild
cherry-tree, which soon becomes perfectly hard. No iron work or nails
are employed in their construction; and they are so light, that the
common-sized ones are easily carried for several miles by a man of
moderate strength. They are worked by paddles over the sides, and the
dexterity of the Indians in working them is surprising. They, of course,
push them forward, and not backward, as in the operation of rowing. The
largest description will carry about five tons of merchandise, besides
eight or ten men. The great objection that attends the use of bark
canoes is the difficulty of keeping them water-tight. It requires the
greatest attention to prevent them from touching a rock, or even the
shore, as they would otherwise break; hence they are never brought near
to the bank. Two men keep the canoe afloat at a distance, while the rest
of the crew load or unload her. The canoe is unloaded every night,
raised out of the water, and left on the beach bottom upward. This is
also occasionally done when they stop during the day: it affords an
opportunity of allowing the canoe to dry, otherwise the bark absorbs
much water, and becomes very heavy. All motion on the part of those on
board is to be avoided, as it causes the pitch to crack, and renders the
canoe leaky."--Keating's _Narrative of an Expedition to the Source of
St. Peter's River_, vol. ii., p. 72, quoted in Sir George Simpson's
_Overland Journey Round the World_, vol. i., p. 14.

La Hontan, in 1684, gives the same description of the bark canoes, and
complains of "the inconvenience of their brittle and tender fabric. If
they do but touch or grate upon stone or sand, the cracks of the bark
fly open, upon which the water gets in, and spoils the provisions and
merchandise. Every day there is some new chink or seam to be gummed
over. At night they are always unloaded and carried on shore, where they
are made fast with pegs, lest the wind should blow them away."

Charlevoix gives a nearly similar account in 1720, vol. v., p. 285. He
adds: "Tous ces canots, jusqu'au plus petits, portent la voile et avec
un bon vent peuvent faire vingt lieues par jour. Sans voiles il faut
avoir de bons canoteurs pour en faire douze dans une eau morte."


"Many of the species of _Acer_ form large, ornamental, and valuable
trees. The kinds in most esteem for making sugar are _Acer dasycarpum_
(white, or soft maple), _Acer nigrum_ (black sugar maple), and _Acer
saccharinum_ (the sugar maple), the last two yielding the greatest
quantity of sugar. The process by which the sap is obtained is extremely
simple, nothing more being necessary than to bore a hole in the tree,
and conduct the flowing liquid, by means of a hollowed piece of wood,
into a vessel beneath. Whatever quantity of sap is collected, it must be
boiled down the same evening, as it is liable to be spoiled by
fermentation in the course of a few hours. The operation of boiling is
generally performed in a very primitive way: it is thus described by the
intelligent authoress of _Backwoods of Canada_: 'A pole was fixed across
two forked stakes strong enough to bear the weight of the big kettle.
The employment during the day was emptying the troughs and chopping wood
to supply the fires. In the evening they lit the fires and began boiling
down the sap. It was a pretty and picturesque sight to see the sugar
boilers, with their bright log-fire among the trees, now stirring up the
blazing pile, now throwing in the liquid, and stirring it down with a
big ladle. When the fire grew fierce it boiled and foamed up in the
kettle, and they had to throw in fresh sap to keep it from running over.
When the sap begins to thicken into molasses, it is then brought to the
sugar boiler to be finished. The process is simple: it only requires
attention in skimming, and keeping the mass from boiling over, till it
has arrived at the sugaring point, which is ascertained by dropping a
little into cold water. When it is near the proper consistency, the
kettle or pot becomes full of yellow froth, that dimples and rises in
large bubbles from beneath. These throw out puffs of steam, and when the
molasses is in this stage it is nearly converted into sugar. Those who
pay great attention to keeping the liquid free from scum, and
understand the precise sugaring point, will produce an article little,
if at all, inferior to Muscovado.' It is, however, often adulterated
with flour, which thickens and renders it heavy. It is very hard, and
requires to be scraped with a knife when used for tea, otherwise the
lumps would be a considerable time in dissolving. The Canadians say that
it possesses medicinal qualities, for which they eat it in large lumps.
It very possibly acts as a corrective to the vast quantity of fat pork
which they consume, as it possesses a greater degree of acidity than the
West India sugar. Before salt was in use, sugar was eaten with meat, as
a corrective; hence, probably, the custom of eating sweet apple-sauce
with pork and goose, and currant-jelly with hare and venison."--Lambert,
vol. i., p. 84.

"The production of maple sugar amounted (in 1836) to about 25,000 cwt.
annually. A plantation of maple is termed 'suegari,' and is considered
very valuable: the sugar sells from 3_d._ to 6_d._ per pound. A moderate
tree is said to yield from twenty to thirty gallons of the sap, from
which may be extracted five or six pounds of sugar. Nor is sugar the
only product to be obtained from this valuable tree: strong and
excellent vinegar is made from it, as well as good wine; and, with the
addition of hops, sound and pleasant beer may be had at a very trifling
expense."--H. Murray's _Canada_, vol. iii., p. 315; Gray's _Canada_, p.

"It is a very remarkable fact that these trees, after having been tapped
for six or seven successive years, always yield more sap than they do on
being first wounded. This sap, however, is not so rich as that which the
trees distill for the first time; but, from its coming in an increased
portion, as much sugar is generally produced from a single tree on the
fifth or sixth year of its being tapped as on the first.

"The ingenious Mr. Nooth, of Quebec, who is at the head of the general
hospital in Canada, has made a variety of experiments upon the
manufacture of maple sugar. He has granulated, and also refined it, so
as to render it equal to the best lump sugar that is made in England. To
convince the Canadians also, who are as incredulous on some points as
they are credulous on others, that it was really maple sugar that they
saw thus refined, he has contrived to have large lumps, exhibiting the
sugar in its different stages toward refinement, the lower part of the
lumps being left hard, similar to the common cakes, the middle part
granulated, and the upper part refined. Dr. Nooth has calculated that
the sale of the molasses alone would be fully adequate to the expense of
refining the maple sugar, if a manufactory for that purpose were
established. Some attempts have been made to establish one of the kind
at Quebec, but they have never succeeded, as the persons by whom they
were made were adventurers that had not sufficient capital for such an
undertaking."--Weld, 1800, p. 271.

Charlevoix says in his _Journal_, "On me régale ici d'eau d'erable--elle
est délicieuse, d'un fraícheur admirable et fort saine. Pour qu'elle
coule avec abondance, il faut qu'il y ait beaucoup de neiges sur la
terre, qu'il ait gelé pendant la nuit, que le ciel soit serein, et que
le vent ne soit pas trop froid. Nos érables auroient peut-être la même
vertu, si nous avions en France autant de neiges qu'en Canada, et si
elles y duroient aussi lontems. J'en ai donné à foudre à un refineur
d'Orleans qui n'y a trouvé d'autre défaut que ce qu'il n'avoit pas été
suffisamment égouté. Il le croyoit même de meilleure qualité de
l'autre."--Vol. v., p. 181.

No. XXX.

"Quelques nations tirent leur subsistance, d'une sorte de grain que la
Nature produit d'elle-même; on le nomme le folle-avoine, dont les
Français ont transporté le nom à quelques-unes de ces nations. C'est une
plante marécageuse qui approche assez de l'avoine, mais qui est mieux
nourrie. Les sauvages vont la chercher dans leurs canots, au tems de sa
maturité. Ils ne font que sécouer les épis, les quels s'égraissent
facilement, de sorte que leurs canots sont bientôt remplis, et leurs
provisions bientôt faìtes, sans qu'ils soient obligés de labourer ni de
semer."--Lafitau, tom. ii., 96.

This grain is the _Zizania aquatica_ of Linnæus. Kalm calls it the water
tare-grass, and says that "the Indians reckon it among their dainty
dishes. It grows in plenty in their lakes, in stagnant waters, and
sometimes in rivers which flow slowly. They gather its seeds in October,
and prepare them in different ways, and chiefly as groats, which take
almost as well as rice."--Kalm, in Pinkerton, vol. xiii., p. 696.

"Common in all the waters from Canada to Florida, and known by the name
of Tuscarora,[225] or wild rice."--Pursh. Sir Joseph Banks introduced it
into this country in 1790, and cultivated it abundantly in the ponds of
his villa of Spring Grove. The seeds were obtained from Canada in jars
of water. Mr. Lambert is of opinion that this grain might be cultivated
in many shallow lakes of Ireland, and turned to considerable advantage.

[Footnote 225: The Tuscaroras, so called from the Wild Rice, were a race
of the Iroquois. It is of them that the fable was narrated that Owen
Chapelain (in 1619) saved himself from their hands, when they were about
to scalp him, by speaking in his Gaelic mother tongue. Catlin is
inclined to consider the fair and frequently blue-eyed nation of the
Tuscaroras to be a mixed race, between the ancient Welsh and the
American aboriginal tribes.]


"The soil and climate of Canada are admirably adapted to the growth of
hemp. The Society for the Encouragement of Arts, &c., assert, in their
preface to Vol. XXI., 'That they have ascertained, by actual
experiments, that Canada can furnish hemp equal in quality for the uses
of the navy to that from the Baltic.' Hemp is one of the most valuable
and profitable productions of the earth. It enriches the cultivator,
and furnishes shipping with the most useful and important part of its
equipment. The several processes of hemp, also, benefit the state, by
employing many hands that could not be so usefully and profitably
engaged in other occupations. The advantage, therefore, which a country
must derive from the culture and manufacture of hemp, throughout its
several branches, can not be doubted, and is sufficiently proved by the
importance which Russia has derived from her commerce in that article,
by which she has, in a manner, rendered the greatest navy in the world
dependent upon her will and caprice. The importation of hemp from Russia
has annually amounted to no less than 30,000 tons for the general
consumption of the country, and for the use of the royal navy. It must,
therefore, in every point of view, be a great object to Great Britain to
draw her supplies of hemp from her own colonies. The efforts of
government to promote its general cultivation have hitherto proved very
partially successful. The failure is attributed, in a great degree, to
the attachment of the Canadians to old customs, and the opposition of
the Romish clergy, hemp not being a tithable article. The wheat
merchants and the seigniors, who depend for success in trade and for the
constant employment of their mills, the chief source of their revenues,
upon abundant crops of wheat, are strongly opposed to the introduction
of the culture of hemp, which they conceive would partly, if not wholly,
annihilate that of wheat."--Lambert, vol. i., p. 449.

M. de Talon, the able Intendant of Quebec (in 1665), strongly
recommended the cultivation of hemp, having ascertained that the nature
of the soil and climate promised every possible success.


"It is calculated that there is a greater proportion of wheat soil in
the Canadas than in England, and that, if this valuable grain were
cultivated in this latter country in the same defective manner as in
these provinces, it could not be of much value. Climate, an equally
important particular, seems, at first sight, less favorable than soil. A
region which for several months, and, in some districts, for more than
half the year, remains buried in frost and snow, may well be supposed
unfriendly to vegetation. The strong, steady heat of summer, however,
counteracts almost completely this chilling influence, and matures, with
surprising rapidity, the most valuable plants. Mr. Evans has had wheat
in ear nine weeks after it was sown. Even the violent alternations of
frost and thaw, of snow and rain, instead of injuring vegetation, are
found to pulverize and soften the soil, and thus render it more fertile
with less culture. The great steadiness of the summer weather exempts
plants from sundry vicissitudes which they undergo in a more changeable
climate. From these causes, the _annuals_ suited to a temperate region
grow in Canada to full perfection, and as these include the grains
fitted for bread, the food most essential to man, she has little cause
to envy any other country. In regard to wheat, indeed, the chief of
those vegetables, this observation must be somewhat restricted. Its
plants are so far biennial, that to acquire the very first quality they
must be sown during the preceding autumn. Yet this course has not been
found safe in Lower Canada, where wheat must be treated as an annual,
sown in spring, and reaped before the end of the year. The defect is
owing, not to the rigor of the winter, still less to the depth of snow,
which, on the contrary, is found to protect and cherish vegetable
growth, but is ascribed to severe frosts, violent and chilling rains,
occurring after the snow has left the ground, and the plants have made
some progress. An opinion is entertained that, with good management,
autumn wheat might be raised with success. The British American Land
Company have decidedly adopted this idea, and some successful
experiments have been made. Mr. Evans, however, is of opinion that, from
the above causes, unless in some favored situations, it must always be
an unsafe crop, and peculiarly liable to disease. He had once autumn and
spring wheats growing on the same field, when, although the first was
completely ruined by rust and mildew, the other proved excellent. He
seems to apprehend, therefore, that Lower Canada must be content with
her good spring growth. It is said, however, to require a soil more
minutely pulverized, while the grain produced contains a greater
proportion of gluten, and is thus harder and more difficult to grind. In
Upper Canada, autumn wheat is raised without any difficulty."--H.
Murray, vol. i., p. 339.

"Canada wheat is of an excellent quality: it is thought superior to the
Baltic wheat, being harder, and yielding more flour in proportion to the
quality. The Canadian farmers are very negligent in preventing the
growth of weeds, so that the wheat, when thrashed, is very foul, and
seldom or never in a condition to be shipped until it is cleaned. For
that purpose, it undergoes the operation of being once or twice put
through what is called the _cribbles_."--Gray's _Canada_, p. 199.


It is still a subject of dispute among naturalists whether the moose
deer and the elk are the same animal. Professor Kalm and his translator,
Forster, formed this opinion principally on the Algonquin name for the
elk, _Musu_, the final u being scarcely sounded. The Algonquins, before
the Iroquois attained to such great power in America, were the principal
nation in the northern part of the continent, and their language a kind
of universal language. Charlevoix says, "Ce qu'on appelle ici Orignal,
c'est ce qu'en Allemagne, en Pologne, et en Muscovie on nomme Elau, ou
la Grand Bête." The first mention of this remarkable animal is in a
tract of Mr. Josselyn's, entitled "New England Rarities." That author
says, "It is a very fine creature, growing to twelve feet high; the
horns are extremely beautiful, with broad palms, some of them full
grown, being two fathoms from the tip of one horn to the tip of the
other." The same author, in another work, entitled "Two Voyages to New
England," calls this creature "a monster of superfluity;" and says that,
"when full grown, it is many times larger than an ox." The best account,
however, of the moose deer is Mr. Paul Dudley's. This gentleman says
they are of two kinds: the common light-gray moose deer, called by the
Indians _Wampoose_, and the larger black moose. The gray moose is the
same animal which Mr. Clayton, in his account of the Virginian
quadrupeds, calls the elk; and this is the creature described in the
Anatomical Discoveries of the Paris Academy under the name of the stag
of Canada. Horns of this creature have been sent from Virginia, and
called elks' horns; they are wholly the same with those of our red deer,
except in size, weighing about twelve pounds, and measuring from the
burr to the tip about six feet long.--_Phil. Trans._, No. cxliv., p.
386; Abr., vol. vii., p. 447. Mr. Dudley says that the gray moose is
like the English deer, and that these creatures herd together thirty or
more in a company. The black or large moose has been taken, he says,
measuring 14 spans in height from the withers, which, allowing 9 inches
to the span, is 10-1/2 feet. The large horns found fossil in Ireland
have, from their vast dimensions, been supposed to have originally
belonged to the black moose deer; they are provided with brow antlers
between the burr and the palm, which the European elk has not, and the
American has. However, the largest horns of the American moose ever
brought over are only 32 inches long, and 34 between tip and tip, while
some of the Irish horns are near 12 feet between tip and tip, and 6 feet
4 inches long; they may probably be ranked among those remains which
fossilists distinguish by the title of diluvian.

Professor Kalm says, "They sometimes dig very large horns out of the
ground in Ireland, and nobody in that country, or any where else in the
world, knows any animal that has such horns. This has induced many to
believe that it is the moose deer so famous in North America, and that
the horns found were of animals of this kind which had formerly lived in
that island, but were gradually destroyed. It has even been concluded
that Ireland, in distant ages, either was connected with North America,
or that a number of little islands, which are lost at present, made a
chain between them. This led me to inquire whether an animal with such
excessive great horns as are ascribed to the moose deer had ever been
seen in any part of this country. Mr. Bertram told me that he had
carefully inquired to that purpose, and was entirely of opinion that
there was no such animal in North America. Mr. Franklin related that he
had, when a boy, seen two of the animals which they call moose deer; but
he well remembered that they were not near of such a size as they must
have been if the horns found in Ireland were to fit them. The two
animals which he saw were brought to Boston in order to be sent to
England to Queen Anne. The height of the animal up to the back was that
of a pretty tall horse, but the head and its horns were still higher. On
my travels in Canada, I often inquired of the Frenchmen whether there
had ever been seen so large an animal in this country as some people say
there is in North America, and with such great horns as are sometimes
dug out in Ireland. But I was always told that they had never heard of
it, much less seen it; some added that if there was such an animal, they
certainly must have met with it in some of their excursions in the
woods."--Kalm, in Pink., vol. xiii., p. 472. In shape the elk or moose
deer is much less elegant than the rest of the deer kind, having a very
short and thick neck; a large head; horns dilating immediately from the
base into a broad, palmated form; a thick, broad upper lip, hanging very
much over the lower; very high shoulders, and long legs. The hair is a
dark grayish-brown color, strong, coarse, and elastic, much longer on
the top of the shoulders and ridge of the neck than on other parts,
forming together a kind of stiffish mane; the eye and ears are large,
the hoofs broad, and the tail extremely short. The elk resides
principally in the midst of forests, for the convenience of browsing the
boughs of trees, because it is prevented from grazing with facility on
account of the shortness of the neck and the disproportionate length of
the legs. Their gait is remarkable; their general pace is described to
be a high, shambling, but very swift trot, the feet being lifted up very
high, and the hoofs clattering much during their motion; in their common
walk they lift their feet very high, and will without difficulty step
over a gate five feet high. The flesh of the moose is extremely sweet
and nourishing; the Indians say that they can travel three times further
after a meal of moose than after any other animal food. The tongues are
excellent; but the nose is said to be perfect marrow, and is considered
the greatest delicacy in Canada. The skin makes excellent buff, being
strong, soft, and light. The Indians dress the hide, and, after soaking
it for some time, stretch and render it supple by a lather of the brains
in hot water. They not only make their snow-shoes of the skin, but after
the chase cover the hull of their canoes with it, in which they return
home with the spoils of their chase. The hair on the neck, withers, and
hams of a full-grown elk is of considerable use in making mattresses and
saddles; and the palmated parts of the horns are further excavated by
the Indians, and converted into ladles and other culinary articles. An
ancient superstition has prevailed that the elk is naturally subject to
epilepsy, and that it finds its cure by scratching its ear with the hoof
until it draws blood; in consequence of this notion, the hoofs of the
elk form an article of the ancient Materia Medica. A piece of the hoof
was anciently set in a ring, and worn as a preservative against the
complaint above mentioned; sometimes the hoof was held in the patient's
hand, or applied to the pulse, to the left ear, or suspended from the
neck.--Rees's _Cyclopædia_, art. Cervus Alces; Lambert's _Canada_, vol.
i., p. 414.

Charlevoix speaks of the species having been almost entirely destroyed
even in his time (1721) by the indiscriminate carnage of the early
settlers.--Vol. v., p. 184. "Les Orignaux étoient partout à foison,
lorsque nous découvrimes a pays, et ils pouvoient faire un objet pour le
commerce, une douceur pour la vie, si on les avoit mieux ménages."--Vol.
v., p. 193.

La Hontan minutely describes the chase of the elk or moose deer, in
which laborious amusement he spent three months. Fifty-six elks were
killed by the party of savages who accompanied him. He says that the
flesh of the Orignal eats deliciously. He was assured by the savages
that in summer it would trot for three days and three nights without
intermission; it neither runs nor skips, he says, but its trot will
almost keep up with the running of a hart.--La Hontan, in Pinkerton,
vol. xiii., p. 284.


_Ursus Americanus_, a species distinct from the black bear of Europe: it
has a long, pointed nose, and narrow forehead, the hair of a glossy
black color, smoother and shorter than that of the European kind, and is
generally smaller than the European bear. The brown bear, _Ursus
Arctos_, is also found in some of the northern parts of America. La
Hontan observed the difference of disposition between the brown and the
black bear; the latter, he says, "are extremely black, but not
mischievous, for they never attack one unless they be wounded or fired
upon." The reddish (_rougeâtres_) bears are mischievous creatures, for
they fall fiercely upon the huntsmen, whereas the black fly from them.
The former sort are less, and more nimble than the latter. The flesh of
the black bear, and, above all, their feet, are very nice victuals. The
savages affirm that no flesh is so delicious as that of bears, and I
think they are right.[226]--La Hontan, in Pinkerton, vol. xiii., p. 288.
Charlevoix, vol. v., p. 172.

The _Ursus Maritimus_, or Polar Bear, is confined to the coldest parts
of the globe, being unknown except on the coasts of Hudson's Bay,
Greenland, and Spitzbergen. (Lambert says that they have been seen at
Newfoundland, and La Hontan saw one at a distance at Placentia.) This
animal grows to so great a size that the skin of some are thirteen feet
long. They are so fond of human flesh that they will greedily disinter
dead bodies; they will attack companies of armed men, and will even
board small vessels. The skins of the Polar Bear were formerly offered
by the hunters of the Arctic regions to the high altars of cathedral and
other churches, for the priest to stand on during the celebration of
mass in winter.--Rees's _Cyclopædia_, art. Ursus.

Captain Clarke agrees with La Hontan in ascribing fierceness of
disposition to the brown bear, and also speaks of it as "reddish," or of
a bay brown. "We had rather," says Captain Clarke, "encounter two
Indians than meet a single brown bear; their very track in the mud or
sand, which we have sometimes found 11 inches long and 7-1/4 wide,
exclusive of the talons, is alarming. The wonderful power of life which
they possess renders them dreadful: there is no chance of killing them
by a single shot, unless the ball goes through the brain." ... Six of
Captain Clarke's party, all good hunters, having sight of a large one
of the brown breed, came unperceived within forty paces of him; four of
them then fired, and each lodged a ball in his body, two of which went
directly through the lungs. The brave beast made at them instantly; as
he came near, the two men who had reserved their shot both wounded him;
one of the balls broke his shoulder, and retarded his motion for a
moment; before they could reload, he was so near that they all ran to
the river; two jumped into the canoe, the other four separated, hid
themselves among the willows, and, firing as fast as they could reload,
struck him repeatedly, but every shot seemed as if it only served to
guide him, and he pursued two of them so closely that at last they threw
aside their guns and pouches, and jumped down a perpendicular bank of
twenty feet into the water. Even this did not secure them; Bruin sprang
after them, and was within a few feet of the hindermost, when one of the
hunters from the shore shot him in the head. It was found that eight
balls had passed through him. Another brown bear, after being shot five
times through the lungs, and receiving four other wounds, swam half
across the river to a sand-bar. This creature measured 8 feet 7-1/2
inches from the nose to the extremity of the hind feet, and his heart
was as big as that of a large ox, his maw ten times larger. Another,
having been shot through the middle of the lungs, pursued his enemy for
half a mile, than traveled more than a mile in another direction, and
dug, as if for his grave, a hole for himself in the earth two feet deep
and five feet long, in which he was found by the hunters. The skin of
this beast was a burden for two men.--Captain Lewis and Clarke's
_Travels to the Source of the Missouri River_.

[Footnote 226: Bear's flesh is reckoned one of the greatest rarities
among the Chinese, insomuch that, as Du Halde informs us, the emperor
will send fifty or a hundred leagues into Tartary to procure it for a
great entertainment.]


"None of the foxes of North America possess the long-enduring speed of
the European kind, their strength appearing to be exhausted at the first
burst, after which they are easily overtaken by a mounted horseman. The
American cross fox (_Canis decussatus_) is probably nothing more than a
variety of the red fox of that country (_Canis fulvus_), though usually
of smaller size. Its fur is highly esteemed; a single skin, not many
years ago, being worth from four to five guineas, while that of the red
fox did not bring more than 15s. The black, or silver fox (_Canis
argentatus_) is a much rarer and still more valuable variety, of which
seldom more than four or five individuals are ever taken at any single
post throughout the year. It varies from a mixed or hoary hue to a
shining black, and La Hontan observes that, in his time, the skin of one
was worth its weight in gold. We know that it still brings six times the
price of any fur obtained in America."--H. Murray, vol. iii., p. 236.


Charlevoix says that hares and rabbits are the same in America as in
Europe, except that their hinder feet are longer than their fore feet.
The rabbit, however, has never been found wild in any part of America.
La Hontan says that the Ossæ are little animals like hares, and resemble
them in every thing excepting the ears and fore feet.


Sciurus, a name formed of two Greek words, signifying shade and tail,
because the tail serves this animal for an umbrella. The Sciurus Niger,
Black Squirrel; the S. Vulpinus, Cat Squirrel; the S. Hudsonius,
Hudson's Bay Squirrel, and S. Striatus, Striped Squirrel, are all
natives of Canada, besides two species of flying squirrels. The S.
Cinereus, Gray Squirrel, is confined entirely to North America. It is
about half the size of a full-grown rabbit; the animal is of an elegant
pale gray, with the inside of the limbs and the under part of the body
white; the ears and tail are sometimes tinged with black. It is
frequently so numerous as to do incredible mischief to plantations of
corn; hence it is a proscribed animal, and 3_d._ per head given for
every one killed; at which rate, in the year 1749, £8000 were paid in

The black squirrel, Weld says, is also peculiar to North America. It is
entirely of a shining black, except that the muzzle and the tail are
sometimes white; specimens have sometimes been seen with a white ring
round the neck. "In this year" (1796), Weld says, "the black squirrels
migrated from the south, from the territory of the United States. As if
conscious of their inability to cross a very wide piece of water, they
bent their course toward Niagara River, above the falls, and at its
narrowest and most tranquil part, crossed over into the British
territory. It was calculated that upward of 50,000 of them crossed the
river in the course of two or three days, and such great depredations
did they commit on arriving at the opposite side, that in one part of
the country the farmers deemed themselves very fortunate where they got
in as much as one third of their crops of corn. Some writers have
asserted that these animals can not swim, but that when they come to a
river, in migrating, each one provides itself with a piece of wood or
bark, upon which, when a favorable wind offers, they embark, spread
their bushy tails to catch the wind, and are thus wafted over to the
opposite side. Whether these animals do or do not sometimes cross in
this manner, I can not take upon me to say; but I can safely affirm that
they do not always cross so, for I have often shot them in the water
while swimming. Their tail is useful to them by way of rudder, and they
use it with great dexterity; owing to its being so light and bushy, the
greater part of it floats upon the water, and thus helps to support the
animal."--P. 330.

The S. Striatus, Striped Squirrel, is a native of the colder parts of
America and Asia, but has sometimes been found in Europe also. Its body
is yellowish, with five longitudinal stripes of a blackish color. It
differs from the major part of the squirrel tribe in its mode of life,
which rather resembles that of the dormouse. It resembles some of the
mouse tribe in this, that it is provided with cheek pouches for the
temporary reception of food, a peculiarity not to be found in any other
species of squirrel. It is not known whether this is the same species as
that described by La Hontan as "Suisse squirrels, little animals
resembling rats." The epithet Suisse is bestowed upon them in regard
that the hair which covers their body is streaked with black and white,
and resembles a Suisse's doublet; and these streaks make a ring on each
thigh that strongly resembles a Suisse's cap. He also describes "the
flying squirrels, as big as a large rat, and of a grayish white color.
They are as drowsy as those of the other species are watchful. They are
called flying squirrels, in regard that they fly from one tree to
another, by the means of a certain skin which stretches itself out in
the form of a wing when they make these little flights." The S.
Volucellæ and the S. Hudsonius are the only species of the flying
squirrel found in America. The former is an animal of great beauty, and
is readily tamed, showing a considerable degree of attachment to its
possessor. It is naturally of a gregarious disposition, and may be seen
flying, to the number of ten or twelve together, from tree to
tree.--Rees's _Cyclopædia_, art. Sciurus. La Hontan, in Pinkerton, vol.
xiii., p. 352. Kalm, in Pink., vol. xiii., p. 480.


"The most interesting feature of the animal creation in the Western
Continent is, perhaps, the beaver (_Castor fiber_). These amphibia,
indeed, occur in the northern parts of Europe and Siberia, but on
comparatively so small a scale, both in number and size, that the beaver
may be viewed with propriety as specially American. There appears to be
absolutely no animal which makes so close an approach to human art and
intelligence. The beaver builds his habitation either in a pond or in
the channel of a river, converted into a pond by strong piles being laid
across. This operation involves the greatest display of ingenuity. A
tall tree is selected, and filed round with the teeth till it is
undermined and falls across the stream. It is then fastened down by
smaller trees and branches, brought often from a distance, and connected
with earth. In the little lake thus formed, the beaver rears his abode
to the height of two, three, or four stories, half above and half under
the water, and with an opening into both elements. Stones and earth, as
well as wood, are used in forming the walls, which, by the joint
operation of the feet and the tail, are brought into a mass so solid as
to be proof against the action of current, wind, and weather. The
outside is plastered in the neatest manner, the floor kept excessively
clean, strewed with box and fir. A large provision of food, consisting
of bark and leaves, is stored up for the winter. The beavers possess a
social and almost a moral existence. Each mansion contains from six to
thirty inhabitants, who live together in the greatest harmony, and
afford mutual aid and co-operation. From twelve to fourteen houses
united form a village, containing thus a population of 200 or 300.

"The flesh of these animals is much prized by the Indians and Canadian
voyageurs, especially when roasted in the skin after the hair has been
singed off. The enjoyment of this expensive luxury is of course
restrained as much as possible by the fur traders. The Iroquois are the
greatest beaver-catchers in Canada. Great injury has resulted from the
indiscriminate capture of old and young, and the too frequent trenching
of the same dams. It is known that in the year 1743 the amount of their
skins brought into the ports of London and Rochelle exceeded 150,000,
besides a considerable quantity introduced illicitly into Great Britain;
while in 1837, the importation into London, from more than four times
the extent of fur country formerly possessed, did not much exceed

"There are two modes of taking the beaver--one by traps, which is the
easiest, and generally followed by single adventurers; the other is what
is termed trenching, or the ice chisel. On a beaver house being
discovered, all the canals leading from it are stopped up; then, with
the instrument above named, it is broken into, and the old animals
speared. The young are left untouched, and thus the breed remains
uninjured, while in trapping both old and young equally fall victims.
The company, therefore, have prohibited the latter operation in all
their settlements. The skins are divided into parchment, or those of the
old animals; and cub, or those of the young ones. The latter are the
finest, but, from their smaller size, not of equal value with the
others. They have, of course, become much rarer since their capture was
prohibited."--Murray's _America_, vol. ii., p. 306.

Kalm says that he ate beaver flesh, and thought it any thing but
delicious, as he had been told it was. He says that it must be boiled in
several waters from morning till noon to make it lose the bad taste it
has. Charlevoix says the same. The flesh is reckoned best when the
beaver has lived only on vegetables; when he has eaten fish it does not
taste well. It was a popular food among the French Roman Catholics, as
the only meat they could indulge in on fast days, his holiness, in his
system (Kalm says), having ranked the beaver among the fish. This
arrangement is attributed by Charlevoix to two numerous and learned
bodies in France. "Le Castor a été juridiquement declaré poisson par la
Faculté de Médicine de Paris, et en consequence de cette déclaration la
Faculté de Theologie a decide qu'on pouvoit manger sa chair les jours
maigres. Par sa queuë il est tout a fait poisson." La queuë--the tail,
so remarkable in natural history, is thus described by Charlevoix, one
of the earliest observers of the habits of the beaver in North America:
"Elle est presque ovale, épaisse d'un pouce, et longue d'un pied. Elle
est couverte d'une peau écailleuse dont les écailles sont hexagones, ont
une demi ligne d'épaisseur, sur trois ou quatre lignes de longueur, et
sont appuyées les unes sur les autres comme toutes celles des poissons.
Une pellicule très délicate leur sert de fond, et elles y sont
enchâssées de manière, qu'on peut aisément les en séparer après la mort
de l'animal.... Tous les vuides de leurs batimens sont remplis d'une
terre grasse si bien appliquée qu'il n'y passe pas une goûte d'eau.
C'est avec leurs pattes que les Castors preparent cette terre, et leur
queuë ne leur sert pas seulement de truelle pour maçonner, mais encore
d'auge pour voiturer ce mortier, ce qu'ils font en se traînant sur leurs
pattes de derrière. Arrivés au bord de l'eau, ils le prennent avec les
dents, et pour l'employer, ils se servent d'abord de leurs pattes,
ensuite de leur queuë." Charlevoix applies the happy term of "une petite
Venise" to the habitations of a society of beavers. He says, that in
their erection "les proportions sont toujours exactement gardées. La
régle et le compas sont dans l'oeil du grand maître des arts et des
sciences. On a observé que le côté du courant de l'eau est toujours en
tatus, et l'autre côté parfaitement à plomb. En un mot il seroit
difficile à nos meilleurs ouvriers de rien faire de plus solide et de
plus regulier." Both La Hontan and Charlevoix speak of the "Castor
terriers." "They are called by the savages 'the idle or lazy kind,' as
being expelled by the other beavers from the kennels in which these
animals are lodged, because they are unwilling to work. They make holes
in the earth, like rabbits or foxes, and resemble the other sort in
their figure, except that the hair is rubbed off many parts of their
body by their rubbing against the earth whenever they stir out from
their holes."--La Hontan, p. 307. Charlevoix adds, "Ils sont maigres,
c'est la fruit de leur paresse. Les Castors, ou Biévres d'Europe,
tiennent plus de ceux-ci que des autres; en effet M. Lemery dit qu'ils
se retirent dans les creux et dans les cavernes qui se rencontrent sur
les bords des rivières surtout en Pologne. Il y en a aussi en Allemagne
le long de l'Ehre, et en France, sur le Rhone, l'Isère, et l'Oise. Ce
qui est certain c'est que nous ne voyons point dans les Castors
Européens le merveilleux qui distingue si fort ceux du Canada.... Avant
la découverte de l'Amérique on trouve dans les anciens titres des
Chapeliers de Paris des réglemens pour la fabrique des chapeaux Biévres,
or Biévre et Castor c'est absolument le même animal, mais soit que le
Biévre Européen soit devenu extrêmement rare, on que son poil n'eût pas
la même bonté que celui du Castor Américain, on ne parle plus guéres que
de ce dernier.... Leur poil est de deux sortes par tout le corps,
excepté aux pattes, où il n'y en a qu'un fort couet. Le plus grand est
long de huit à dix lignes, il est rude, gros, luisant, et c'est celui
qui donne la couleur à la bête. On n'en fait aucun usage. L'autre poil
est un duvet tres fin, fort épais, long tout au plus d'un pouce, et
c'est celui qu'on met en oeuvre; on l'appelloit autrefois en Europe,
Laine de Moscovie."--Charlevoix, vol. v., p. 147.

"In 1669 an attempt was made to employ the flix or down of the beaver in
the manufacture of cloths, flannels, stockings. Much more wool, however,
than flix was required, the hair of the beaver being so short, and this
prevented the manufacture being very profitable. It flourished for a
while, however, in an establishment in the Faubourg St. Antoine, near
Paris, but finally was given up on finding by experience that the stuffs
lost their dye when wet, and that, when dry again, they were harsh and
stiff as felts."--Rees's _Cyclopædia_, art. Beaver.

"In Captain Lewis and Clarke's Travels to the Source of the Missouri,"
it is mentioned that "the beavers who have not been invaded here by the
furrier are continually altering the course of the river. They dam up
the small channels of about twenty yards between the islands; when they
have effected this, their pond ere long becomes filled with mud and
sand; they then remove to another; this is in like manner filled up; and
thus the river, having its course obstructed, spreads on all sides, and
cuts the projecting points of lands into islands."--_Quarterly Review_,
vol. xii., p. 346.

Weld mentions, in 1796, that "the indiscriminate slaughter of beavers
had so much diminished their numbers that an annual deficiency of 15,000
beaver skins had for some years been observed in the number brought to
Montreal."--P. 551.

"One day a gentleman, long resident in this country, espied five young
beavers sporting in the water, leaping upon the trunk of a tree, pushing
one another off, and playing a thousand interesting tricks. He
approached softly, under cover of the bushes, and prepared to fire on
the unsuspecting creatures; but a nearer approach discovered to him such
a similitude between their gestures and the infantile caresses of his
own children that he threw aside his gun."--Franklin's _Journey to the
Polar Sea_, p. 91.

"The proprietor of one of the large quarries of gypsum on the
Shubenacadie showed me some wooden stakes, dug up a few days before by
one of his laborers from a considerable depth in a peat bog. His men
were persuaded that they were artificially cut by a tool, and were the
relics of aboriginal Indians; but, having been a trapper of beavers in
his younger days, he knew well that they owed their shape to the teeth
of these creatures. We meet with the skulls and bones of beavers in the
fens of Cambridgeshire, and elsewhere in England. May not some of the
old tales of artificially cut wood, occurring at great depths in peats
and morasses, which have puzzled many a learned antiquary, admit of the
like explanation?"--Lyell's _Travels in America_, vol. ii., p. 229.


"The Hudson's Bay Company is now the only survivor of the numerous
exclusive bodies, to which almost every branch of British trade was at
one time subjected. The Northwest Company, after a long and furious
contest, destructive alike to the interests of both, and most
demoralizing to the savage aborigines, were at length obliged to yield
to their rivals; and, in consequence of their overstrained exertions,
they became involved beyond their capital. They obtained in 1821 an
honorable capitulation. On transferring all their property and means of
influence, the principal partners were admitted to shares in the
Hudson's Bay Company, who took the inferior officers into their service.
Thus these two concerns were united, with great advantage to the peace
of the fur countries, and perhaps to the permanent interests of the
trade. A great blank was indeed felt in the city where the partners had
resided, and where, according to Washington Irving, they had held huge
feasts and revels, such as are described to have taken place in Highland
castles. 'The hospitable magnates of Montreal, the lords of the lakes
and forests, have passed away,' and that city, as to the fur trade, has
sunk to a subordinate station.

"In the present case, there are some peculiar circumstances which plead
strongly in favor of the monopoly exercised by the Hudson's Bay Company.
For example, their trade is carried on throughout vast regions, free
from all control of law, and tenanted by savage races, who are easily
prompted to deeds of violence. The struggle with the Northwest Company
filled large tracts with outrage, often amounting to bloodshed. The
article, too, by far the most prized by those tribes, and which, amid an
eager rivalry, can not be prevented from coming into the market, is
spirits, the immoderate use of which is productive of the most dreadful
consequences. The company, by their present position, obtained the
opportunity, of which they have most laudably availed themselves, to
withdraw it altogether as an object of trade, merely giving an
occasional glass when the natives visit the factories. They have even
prohibited it from passing, under any pretext, to the northward of
Cumberland House, on the Saskatchawan, so that all the settlements
beyond form complete temperance societies. Another very important
specialty in their case consists in the nature of the commodities drawn
from this range of territory, namely, they are such as human industry
can not produce or multiply according to the demand. The wild animals,
which afford its staple of furs and skins, exist only in a limited
number, and being destined to give way in proportion as colonization
advances, will soon be thinned, or even utterly exterminated. Bands of
individual hunters, with no permanent interest in the country, capture
all they can reach, young and old indiscriminately, without any regard
to keeping up the breed. Thus the beaver, the most valuable of the
furred animals, has been nearly destroyed in Upper and Lower Canada, and
much diminished in the districts beyond the Rocky Mountains, which are
traversed by trapping parties from the States. During the competition of
the Northwest adventurers, a great part even of the wooded countries
suffered severely; but since the Hudson's Bay Company obtained the
entire control, they have carefully nursed the various animals, removing
their stations from the districts where they had become scarce, and
prohibiting all wasteful and destructive modes of capture. It may be
finally observed, that in this vast open territory the means of
excluding rivalry are so imperfect, that without good management and
liberal dealing it would be impossible to maintain their privilege. In
fact, Mr. Irving admits, that by the legitimate application of large
capital, by good organization, regular transmission of supplies, with
faithful and experienced servants, they have carried all before them,
even in the western territory, where they are exposed to a full
competition from the United States. Several associations from thence
have made very active efforts to supplant or rival them, but without
success."--Washington Irving's _Adventures of Captain Bonneville_, vol.
ii., p. 17, 19; vol. iii., p. 267, 272; H. Murray's _British America_,
vol. iii., p. 83.

No. XL.

"This species of rattlesnake is most commonly found between four and
five feet in length, and as thick as the wrist of a large man. Its body
approaches to a triangular form, the back bone rising higher than any
other part of the animal. It is not with the teeth which the rattlesnake
uses for ordinary purposes that it strikes its enemy, but with two long,
crooked fangs in the upper jaw, which point down the throat. When about
to use these fangs, it rears itself up as much as possible, throws back
its head, drops its under jaw, and, springing forward upon its tail,
endeavors to hook itself, as it were, upon its enemy. In order to raise
itself upon its tail, it coils itself up previously in a spiral line,
with the head in the middle. It can not spring further forward than
about half its own length. Tho body of the rattlesnake, finely
pulverized, after being dried to a cinder over the fire, and then
infused in a certain portion of brandy, is said to be a never-failing
remedy against the rheumatism. The liquor is taken inwardly, in the
quantity of a wine-glassful at once about three times a day. It is said
that one of the reasons why these creatures are decreasing so much in
the neighborhood of human habitations, is, that they are eaten by the
pigs."--Sir G. Simpson's _Journey round the World_, vol. i., p. 159;
Weld, p. 411.

"The rattle is usually about half an inch in breadth, one quarter of an
inch in thickness, and each joint about half an inch long. The joint
consists of a number of little cases of a dry, horny substance, inclosed
one within another; and not only the outermost of these little cases
articulates with the outermost case of the contiguous joint, but each
case, even to the smallest one of all, at the inside, is connected by a
sort of joint with the corresponding case in the next joint of the
rattle. The little cases or shells lie very loosely within one another,
and the noise proceeds from their dry and hard coats striking one
against the other. It is said that the animal joins a fresh joint to its
rattle every year. Of this, however, I have great doubts; for the
largest snakes are frequently found to have the fewest joints to their
rattles. A medical gentleman in the neighborhood of Newmarket had a
rattle in his possession which contained no less than thirty-two joints;
yet the snake from which it was taken scarcely measured five feet.
Rattlesnakes, however, of the same kind, and in the same part of the
country, have been found of a greater length with not more than ten
rattles."--Weld, p. 409.

"Man or animals bitten by the rattlesnake expire in extreme agony; the
tongue swells to an enormous size, the blood turns black, and, all the
extremities becoming cold, gangrene ensues, and is speedily succeeded by
death. The remedies in common use are the _Polygala seneca_ or
_Aristolochia serpentaria_, employed as a decoction. Sometimes
scarification, or cauterizing the wound with a burning iron, if
immediate in their application, is attended with success. The Indians'
favorite remedy is sucking the wound, which in a slight bite is
generally successful. Mr. Catesby, by traveling much among the Indians,
had frequent opportunities of seeing the direful effects of the bite
inflicted by these snakes. He seems to consider that the success of any
remedy is owing more to the force of nature or to the slightness of the
bite than to any other cause. He has known persons bitten to survive
without assistance for many hours; but where a rattlesnake with full
force penetrates with his deadly fangs into a vein or artery, inevitable
death ensues, and that, as he has often seen, in less than two minutes.
The Indians, for this reason, know their destiny directly they are bit,
and when they perceive it is mortal, apply no remedy, concluding all
efforts in vain. From experiments made in Carolina by Captain Hall, and
related in the Philosophical Transactions, it appears that a rattlesnake
of about four feet long, being fastened to a stake in the ground, bit
three dogs, the first of which died in less than a quarter of a minute;
the second, which was bitten a short time afterward, in about two hours,
in convulsions; and the third, which was bitten about half an hour
afterward, showed the visible effects of the poison in about three
hours, and died likewise. Four days after this, another dog was bitten,
which died in half a minute; and then another, which died in four
minutes. A cat which was bitten was found dead the next day. The
experiments having been discontinued some time, from want of subjects, a
common black-snake was procured, which was healthy and vigorous, and
about three feet long. It was brought to the rattlesnake, when they bit
each other, the black-snake biting the rattlesnake so as to make it
bleed. They were then separated, and in less than eight minutes the
black-snake died, while the rattlesnake, on the contrary, showed no
signs of indisposition, appearing as well as before. Lastly, in order to
try whether the rattlesnake could poison itself, it was provoked to bite
itself: the experiment succeeded, and the animal expired in less than
twelve hours."--Rees's _Cyclopædia_, art. Crotalus.

Charlevoix says that "La morsure du Serpent à Sonnettes est mortelle, si
on n'y rémédie sur-le-champ; mais la Providence y a pourvu. Dans tous
les endroits, où se rencontre ce dangereux reptile, il croît une plante
à laquelle on a donné le nom d'Herbe à Serpent à Sonnettes (Bidens
Canadensis) et dont la racine est un antidote sûr contre le venin de cet
animal.... Il est rare que le serpent à sonnettes attaque les passans
qui ne lui cherchent point nuire. J'eu ai en un à mes pieds qui eut
assurément plus de peur que moi, car je ne l'aperçus que quand il
fuyoit."--Charlevoix, vol. v., p. 235.

"Archdeacon Burnaby was told by a planter in Virginia that he had one
day provoked a rattlesnake to such a degree as to make it strike a small
vine which grew close by, and the vine presently drooped and
died."--Burnaby's _Travels in North America_, in Pinkerton, vol. xiii.,
p. 724.

"The rattlesnake has two fangs, which are concealed in a sheath, one at
each side of the upper jaw. They are curved in their shape, and their
point is as sharp as that of a common needle. They are hollow in the
center, and the roots of the fangs are connected with the poison bags.
These reptiles generally use only one fang at a time, and when they do
use it, they seize with their mouth the part which they intend to
poison, then perforate it deeply with the fang. At this moment the bag
contracts, and the deleterious fluid, which has such an enmity to the
blood, is injected into the very bottom of the wound, through a small
aperture in the under part of the fang, at a short distance from the
sharp point. Having effected his purpose, he withdraws the instrument,
and leaves his victim to his fate. He does not seem to feel pain at the
moment, and generally for the first five minutes he appears to be
perfectly well. At the end of this period, however, the ears begin to
droop; he seems giddy and uneasy; the lower extremities soon lose their
power; he falls on the ground; the pupils dilate; slight convulsions
come on; and the animal dies, generally, in about fifteen minutes from
the time that the poison had been injected into the wound. When we
examine the part immediately after death, we find that the poison has
completely destroyed the red color of the blood; and not only of this,
but for two inches all round the puncture, the muscular fibers, and even
the cellular substance, are as black as if they had been for hours in a
state of complete mortification. When the muriate of soda (common salt)
is immediately applied to the wound, it is a complete antidote. When an
Indian is bitten by a snake, he applies a ligature above the part, and
scarifies the wound to the very bottom; he then stuffs it with common
salt, and after this it soon heals, without producing any effect on the
general system. (The ligature may be the efficacious remedy,
intercepting the current of blood to the heart, and consequently
preventing the action of the poison upon that vital organ.) A rabbit,
under the influence of the rattlesnake poison, has been seen to drink a
saturated solution of muriate of soda and soon recover, while healthy
rabbits would not taste a drop of the same saline water."--Stevens's
_Observations on the Properties of the Blood_, p. 137, 315.

"I was with the Hon. Esquire Boyle when he made certain experiments of
curing the bite of vipers with certain East India snake-stones, that
were sent him by King James II., purposely to have him try their virtue
and efficacy. For that end he got some brisk vipers, and made them bite
certain pullets; he applied nothing to one of the pullets, and it died
within three minutes and a half; but I think they all recovered to whom
he applied the snake-stones, though they turned wonderful pale, their
combs drooped immediately, and the next morning all their flesh was
turned green to a wonder; nevertheless, they recovered by
degrees."--_Miscellanea Curiosa_, vol. iii., p. 345.

No. XLI.

"It is an unquestionable fact, that the copper-colored man can not
endure the spread of European civilization in his neighborhood, but
perishes in its atmosphere, without suffering from ardent spirits,
epidemics, or war, as if touched by a poisonous breath." Thus writes Mr.
Poeppig, a German naturalist, who has resided for some years in South
America; and he proceeds to compare the substitution of the one race for
the other, with the destruction of the first growth of low vegetation in
the recently-formed islands of the Pacific by the vigorous crop of
forest trees which succeeds it.--_Encyclopædia_ of Erz and Gruber, art.

Thus also writes the philosophical traveler, Mr. Darwin: "Besides
several evident causes of destruction, there appears to be some more
mysterious agency at work. Wherever the European has trod, death seems
to pursue the aboriginal. We may look to the wide extent of the
Americas, Polynesia, the Cape of Good Hope, and Australia, and we shall
find the same result. Nor is it the white man alone that thus acts the
destroyer. The Polynesian of Malay extraction has, in parts of the East
Indian Archipelago, thus driven before him the dark-colored native. The
varieties of man seem to act upon each other in the same way as
different species of animals, the stronger always extirpating the
weaker. It was melancholy at New Zealand to hear the fine, energetic
natives saying, 'They knew the land was doomed to pass from their

Sir Richard Bourke writes thus to Lord Glenelg respecting New Zealand
(1837): "Disease and death prevail even among those natives who, by
their adherence to the missionaries, have received only benefit from the
English connection, and even the very children, who are reared under the
care of the missionaries, are swept off in a ratio which promises, at no
very distant period, to leave the country destitute of a single
aboriginal inhabitant. The natives are perfectly sensible of this
decrease, and when they contrast their own condition with that of the
English families, they conceive that the God of the English is removing
the aboriginal inhabitants to make room for them; and it appears to me
that this impression has produced among them a very general unhappiness
and indifference to life."

Sir Francis Head justified the sweeping measures of removal[227]
contemplated during his administration of Canada, by asserting his
belief in the same mysterious certainty of the aboriginals' extirpation.
"We may as well endeavor to make the setting sun stand still on the
summit of the Rocky Mountains, as attempt to arrest the final
extermination of the Indian race."--See Merivale's _Lectures on
Colonization_, No. 19 (delivered before the University of Oxford in
1839, 1840, and 1841), in which he objects to the truth of the facts on
which the above statements are founded, in so far as they are supposed
to involve any mysterious influence of the white over the copper-colored
races. "Perhaps I may venture to attribute some of the coloring (of the
foregoing statements) to that taste for fanciful analogies, and
speculations partaking of the mysterious, in which natural philosophers
are apt to indulge when they apply their knowledge to subjects not
immediately within their province. When we find one race of animals, or
one class of vegetation, extirpating another, there is nothing
inexplicable in the succession of cause and effect. The stronger
destroys the weaker by natural agencies: animals become the prey of
newly-imported indigenous ones, or their food is destroyed by the
multiplication of the latter: the seeds of one class of vegetables can
not spring where a stronger growth has established itself, and so forth.
What is there in these or similar processes analogous to the supposed
mysterious influence of the mere contact of one family of the human race
upon another? If it be true that the mere presence of a white population
is sufficient to cause the Red Indians or the Polynesians to dwindle and
decay, without any assignable agency of the one or the other, it must be
confessed that this is an anomaly in the laws of Providence utterly
unexplained by all our previous knowledge, wholly at variance with all
the other laws by which animal life and human society are
governed."--Vol. ii., p. 206.

[Footnote 227: Three millions of fertile acres were to be resumed;
several thousand Indians were persuaded to relinquish them, and migrate
to a large island (Manitoulin) on Lake Huron. "The greatest kindness,"
says Sir F. Head, "which we can perform to these intelligent and
simple-minded people, is to remove and fortify them as much as possible
from all communication with the whites."--_Returns_, 1839, p. 145. These
are nearly the same arguments which have uniformly been urged in the
United States, and would justify incessant acts of arbitrary removal,
such as would render all improvement impossible.]


"The small-pox proves almost always fatal to the Red Indian, his
hardened skin preventing the appearance of the eruption. In Abyssinia,
where this dreadful disease is supposed to have originated, when any
person is seized with it, the neighbors surround the house and set it on
fire, consuming it with its miserable inhabitants. The American Indians
regard the contagion with almost as much horror. The Mahas had been a
powerful and warlike tribe till now, when they saw their strength wasted
by a malady which they could neither resist nor prevent; they became
frantic; they set fire to their village, and many of them killed their
wives and children, to spare them the sufferings of disease, and that
they might all go together to the land of souls."--Lewis and Clarke's
_Travels to the Source of the Missouri_.

Lambert says, "Many nations have been totally exterminated by the
small-pox. When I was in Canada in the spring of 1808, a village of
Mississagas, residing near Kingston, was nearly depopulated by the
small-pox; not more than twenty escaped of five hundred."

"Repeated efforts have been made, and so far, generally, as the tribes
have ever had the disease (or, at all events, within the recollection of
those who are now living in the tribes), the government agents (of the
United States) have succeeded in introducing vaccination as a
protection; but among the tribes in their wild state, who have not yet
suffered from the disease, very little success has been met with in the
attempt to protect them, on account of their superstitions, which have
generally resisted all attempts to introduce vaccination. While I was on
the Upper Missouri, several surgeons were sent into the country with the
Indian agents, where I several times saw the attempt made without
success. They have perfect confidence in the skill of their own
physicians, until the disease has made one slaughter in their tribe, and
then, having seen white men among them protected by it, they are
disposed to receive it, before which they can not believe that so minute
a puncture in the arm is going to protect them from so fatal a disease;
and as they see white men so earnestly urging it, they decide that it
must be some new trick of the pale faces, by which they are to gain some
new advantage over them, and they stubbornly and successfully resist
it."--Catlin, vol. ii., p. 258.

From the accounts brought to New York in the fall of 1838 by Messrs.
M'Kenzie, Mitchell, and others, from the Upper Missouri, and with whom I
conversed on the subject, it seems that in the summer of that year the
small-pox was accidentally introduced among the Mandans by the fur
traders, and that in the course of two months they all perished except
some thirty or forty, who were taken as slaves by the Riccarees, an
enemy living two hundred miles below them, and who worked up and took
possession of their village soon after their calamity, taking up their
residence in it, it being a better built village than their own; and
from the lips of one of the traders who had more recently arrived from
there, I had the following account of the remaining few, in whose
destruction was the final termination of this interesting and once
numerous tribe:

"'The Riccarees,' he said, 'had taken possession of the village after
the disease had subsided, and, after living some months in it, were
attacked by a large party of their enemies, the Sioux, and while
fighting desperately in resistance, in which the Mandan prisoners had
taken an active part, the latter had concerted a plan for their own
destruction, which was effected by their simultaneously running through
the pickets on to the prairie, calling out to the Sioux (both men and
women) to kill them, "that they were Riccaree dogs, that their friends
were all dead, and they did not wish to live;" that they here wielded
their weapons as desperately as they could, to excite the fury of their
enemy, and that they were thus cut to pieces and destroyed.'

"The accounts given by two or three white men, who were among the
Mandans during the ravages of this frightful disease, are most
appalling, and actually too heart-rending and disgusting to be recorded.
The disease was introduced into the country by the Fur Company's steamer
from St. Louis, which had two of their crew sick with the disease when
it approached the Upper Missouri, and imprudently stopped to trade at
the Mandan village, which was on the bank of the river, where the chiefs
and others were allowed to come on board, by which means the disease got

"I am constrained to believe that the gentlemen in charge of the steamer
did not believe it to be the small-pox; for if they had known it to be
such, I can not conceive of such imprudence as regarded their own
interests in the country, as well as the fate of these poor people, by
allowing their boat to advance into the country under such

"It seems that the Mandans were surrounded by several war parties of
their more powerful enemies, the Sioux, at that unlucky time, and they
could not, therefore, disperse upon the plains, by which many of them
could have been saved; and they were necessarily inclosed within the
pickets of the village, where the disease in a few days became so very
malignant, that death ensued in a few hours after its attacks; and so
slight were their hopes when they were attacked, that nearly half of
them destroyed themselves with their knives, with their guns, and by
dashing their brains out by leaping head foremost from a thirty-foot
ledge of rocks in front of their village. The first symptom of the
disease was a rapid swelling of the body, and so very virulent had it
become, that very many died in two or three hours after their attack,
and that in many cases without the appearance of the disease upon the
skin. Utter dismay seemed to possess all classes and all ages, and they
gave themselves up in despair as entirely lost. There was but one
continual crying and howling, and praying to the Great Spirit for his
protection, during the nights and days; and there being but few living,
and those in too appalling despair, nobody thought of burying the dead,
whose bodies, whole families together, were left in horrid and loathsome
piles in their own wigwams, with a few buffalo robes, &c., thrown over
them, there to decay, and be devoured by their own dogs. That such a
proportion of their community as that above mentioned should have
perished in so short a time, seems yet to the reader an unaccountable
thing; but, in addition to the causes just mentioned, it must be borne
in mind that this frightful disease is every where far more fatal among
the native than in civilized population, which may be owing to some
extraordinary susceptibility, or, I think, more probably, to the exposed
lives they live, leading more directly to fatal consequences. In this,
as in most of their diseases, they ignorantly and imprudently plunge
into the coldest water while in the highest state of fever, and often
die before they have the power to get out.

"Some have attributed the unexampled fatality of this disease among the
Indians to the fact of their living entirely on animal food; but so
important a subject for investigation I must leave for sounder
judgments than mine to decide. They are a people whose constitutions
and habits of life enable them most certainly to meet most of its ills
with less dread, and with decidedly greater success, than they are met
in civilized communities; and I would not dare to decide that their
simple meat diet was the cause of their fatal exposure to one frightful
disease, when I am decidedly of opinion that it has been the cause of
their exemption and protection from another, almost equally destructive,
and, like the former, of civilized introduction.

"During the season of the ravages of the Asiatic cholera, which swept
over the greater part of the Western country and the Indian frontier, I
was a traveler through those regions, and was able to witness its
effects; and I learned from what I saw, as well as from what I have
heard in other parts since that time, that it traveled to and over the
frontiers, carrying dismay and death among the tribes on the borders in
many cases, so far as they had adopted the civilized modes of life, with
its dissipations, using vegetable food and salt; but wherever it came to
the tribes living exclusively on meat, and that without the use of salt,
its progress was suddenly stopped. I mention this as a subject which I
looked upon as important to science, and therefore one on which I made
careful inquiries; and, so far as I have learned, along that part of the
frontier over which I have since passed, I have, to my satisfaction,
ascertained that such became the utmost limits of this fatal disease in
its travel to the west, unless where it might have followed some of the
routes of the fur traders, who, of course, have introduced the modes of
civilized life.

"From the trader who was present at the destruction of the Mandans I had
many most wonderful incidents of this dreadful scene, but I dread to
recite them. Among them, however, there is one that I must briefly
describe, relative to the death of that noble _gentleman_, of whom I
have already said so much, and to whom I became so much attached,
_Mah-to-to-pa_, or 'the Four Bears.' This fine fellow sat in his wigwam
and watched every one of his family die about him, his wives and his
little children, after he had recovered from the disease himself, when
he walked out round the village, and wept over the final destruction of
his tribe; his braves and warriors, whose sinewy arms alone he could
depend on for a continuance of their existence, all laid low; when he
came back to his lodge, where he carried his whole family in a pile,
with a number of robes, and wrapping another around himself, went out
upon a hill at a little distance, where he laid several days, despite
all the solicitations of the traders, resolved to _starve_ himself to
death. He remained there till the sixth day, when he had just strength
enough to creep back to the village, when he entered the horrid gloom of
his own wigwam, and, laying his body alongside of the group of his
family, drew his robe over him, and died on the ninth day of his fatal

"So have perished the friendly and hospitable Mandans, from the best
accounts I could get; and although it may be _possible_ that some few
individuals may yet be remaining, I think it is not probable; and one
thing is certain, even if such be the case, that, as a nation, the
Mandans are extinct, having no longer an existence.

"There is yet a melancholy part of the tale to be told, relating to the
ravages of this frightful disease in that country on the same occasion,
as it spread to other contiguous tribes, to the Minatarrees, the
Knisteneaux, the Blackfeet, the Chayennes, and Crows, among whom 25,000
perished in the course of four or five months, which most appalling
facts I got from Major Pilcher, now Superintendent of Indian Affairs at
St. Louis, from Mr. M'Kenzie, and others."--Catlin's _American Indians_,
vol. ii., p. 257.


"In man the coloring matter seems to be deposited in the dermoidal
system by the roots or the bulbs of the hair,[228] and all sound
observations prove that the skin varies in color from the action of
external stimuli on individuals, and is not hereditary in the whole
race. The Eskimoes of Greenland, and the Laplanders, are tanned by the
influence of the air, but their children are born white. We will not
decide on the changes which Nature may produce in a space of time,
exceeding all historical traditions. Reason stops short in these matters
when no longer under the guidance of experience and analogy. The nations
that have a white skin begin their cosmogony by white men; according to
them, the negroes and all tawny people have been blackened or embrowned
by the excessive heat of the sun. This theory, adopted by the Greeks,
though not without contradiction (Onesicritus apud Strabon, lib. xv., p.
983), has been propagated even to our own times. Buffon has repeated, in
prose, what Theodectes had expressed in verse two thousand years before,
'that the nations wear the livery of the climate they inhabit.' If
history had been written by black nations, they would have maintained
what even Europeans have recently advanced (Prichard's _Researches into
the Physical History of Man, 1813_), p. 233, 239, that man was
originally black, or of a very tawny color, and that he has whitened in
some races from the effect of civilization and progressive debilitation,
as animals in a state of domestication pass from dark to lighter colors.
I shall here cite the authority of Ulloa. This learned man has seen the
Indians of Chili, of the Andes, of Peru, of the burning coasts of
Panama, and those of Louisiana, situated under the northern temperate
zone. He had the good fortune to live at a time when theories were less
numerous, and, like me, he was struck at seeing the native under the
line as much bronzed as brown, in the cold climate of the Cordilleras as
in the plains. Where differences of color are observed, they depend on
the race."--Humboldt's _Personal Narrative_, vol. iii., p. 298.

[Footnote 228: According to the interesting researches of Mr. Gaultier,
on the _Organization of the Human Skin_, p. 57. John Hunter observes,
that in several animals, the coloration of the hair is independent of
that of the skin.

Blumenbach informs us how climate operates in modifying the color of the
skin. He states that the proximate cause of the dark color of the
integuments in an abundance of carbon, secreted by the skin with
hydrogen, precipitated and fixed in the rete mucosum by the contact of
the atmospheric oxygen.--_De Variet._, p. 124.

If Voltaire is to be believed, no well-informed person formerly passed
by Leyden without seeing a part of the black membrane (the reticulum
mucosum) of a negro, dissected by the celebrated Ruysell. Their error
is, however, now universally admitted. The "rete mucosum" has been
discovered to be nothing but the latest layer of epidermis, the inner
surface of which is being continually renewed as the exterior is worn
away, just like the bark of a tree. There is no distinct coloring layer,
it appears, either in the fair or the dark-skinned races, the peculiar
hue of the latter depending upon the presence of coloring matter in the
cells of the epidermis itself. Color, therefore, is not even _skin
deep_, for it does not reach the true skin, being entirely confined to
the epidermis or scarf skin.]


"The Indian and the negro races, both fated, as it seems, to yield the
supremacy to the _whites_, present in every other particular a curious
contrast to each other. The red man appears to have received from nature
every quality which contributes to greatness, except--I have no other
word for it--_tamability_; he has shown in many remarkable instances
intellectual capacity, talents for government, eloquence, energy, and
self-command.... There is something noble and striking--something that
commands respect and admiration, in the Indian character, irreconcilable
though it be with advanced civilization and the operation of Christian
influences. The negro, on the contrary, has precisely what the Indian
wants; he is a domestic animal.... The Indian avoids his conqueror; the
negro bows at his feet. The Indian loves the independence and privations
of his solitude better than all the flesh-pots of Egypt; the negro, if
left to himself, is helpless and miserable: he must have society and
sensual pleasures; if he be allowed to eat and drink well, to dance, to
sing, and to make love, he seems to have no further or higher
aspirations, and to care nothing for the degradation of his race. With
the single exception of Toussaint, I know no instance of a negro
distinguishing himself in politics, or arms, or letters; and though I
make every allowance for the difficulties and obstacles to his doing so
which his situation imposes on him, I can not allow that these account
for the fact that, notwithstanding the excellent education which many
negroes receive, and the stimulus afforded by constant intercourse with
whites, not one of them has yet, either here or in the West Indies, with
the above-named exception, taken the lead among his countrymen, or made
a name for himself. And this natural superiority of the Indian is,
perhaps unconsciously, recognized and illustrated in a singular manner
by the white man, in the different feelings which he exhibits upon the
subject of amalgamation with the two races. Some of the best families in
the United States are _proud_ to trace their origin to Indian chiefs
(_e.g._, the Randolphs of Virginia boast that they came of the lineage
of Powhatan); and I have myself met with half-breeds who were considered
(and most justly) in every respect equal in estimation with full-blooded
whites. It is needless to observe, that with respect to the negroes, the
precise converse is the case. _Cæteris paribus_, we seem naturally to
receive the red man as our equal."--Godley's _Letters from America_,
vol. i., p. 153.

No. XLV.

"These islands were partly discovered by Behring in 1741, and the rest
at several periods since his time. The most considerable of them amount
to forty in number, and they may be justly considered as a branch of the
Kamtskadale Mountains continued in the sea. The three small islands,
known by the names of Attak, Shemya, and Semitshi, with a few others,
were denominated by the Russians Aleutskie Ostrova, because a bold rock
in the language of these parts is called 'Aleut.' In the sequel this
name was extended to the whole chain, though a part of it is named the
Andreanoffskoi, and the rest, lying further toward America, the Fox
Islands. The survey of these islands, more anciently discovered by the
Russians, and of the adjacent parts of the two continents, was made by
Captain Cook in his third voyage, in 1778. If the Russians, then, can
deservedly claim the priority of the discovery, no one can withhold from
the adventurous and persevering Captain Cook the glory and the merit of
having fixed the distance of the two continents and their respective
extent, to the east for Asia, and to the west for North
America."--Rees's _Cyclopædia_, art. Aleutian Islands.


"Almost every where in the New World we recognize a multiplicity of
forms and tenses in the verb, an artificial industry to indicate
before-hand, either by inflection of the personal pronouns, which form
the terminations of the verb, or by an intercalated _suffix_, the nature
and the relation of its object and its subject, and to distinguish
whether the object be animate or inanimate, of the masculine or the
feminine gender, simple, or in complex number. This multiplicity
characterizes the rudest American languages. Astarloa reckons, in like
manner, in the grammatical system of the Biscayan, 206 forms of the
verb. Strange conformity in the structure of languages among races of
men so different, and on spots so distant.

"Those languages, the principal tendency of which is inflection, excite
less the curiosity of the vulgar than those which seem formed by
aggregation. In the first, the elements of which words are composed, and
which are generally reduced to a few letters, are no longer
distinguished. These elements, when isolated, exhibit no meaning; the
whole is assimilated and mixed together. The American languages, on the
contrary, are like complicated machines, the wheels of which are
exposed. The artifice is visible--I mean the industrious mechanism of
their construction. We seem to be present at their formation, and we
should state them to be of very recent origin, if we did not recollect
that the human mind follows imperturbably an impulse once given; that
nations enlarge, improve, and repair the grammatical edifice of their
language according to a plan already determined; finally, that there are
countries where the languages of all the institutions and the arts have
remained stereotyped, as it were, during the lapse of ages. The highest
degree of intellectual development has been hitherto found among nations
which belong to the Indian and Pelasgic branch. The languages, formed
principally by aggregation, seem themselves to oppose obstacles to the
improvement of the mind. They are, in fact, unfurnished with that rapid
movement, that interior life, to which the inflection of the root is
favorable, and which gives so many charms to works of the imagination.
Let us not, however, forget that a people celebrated in the remotest
antiquity, from whom the Greeks themselves borrowed knowledge, had
perhaps a language, the construction of which recalls involuntarily that
of the language of America. What a scaffolding of little monosyllabic
and dissyllabic forms is added to the verb and to the substantive in the
Coptic language!"--Humboldt's _Personal Narrative_, vol. iii., p. 273.

In his "Researches," Humboldt observes: "We find in the New Continent
languages, some of which, as the Greenland, the Cora, the Tamanac, the
Totonac, and the Quichua (_Archiv. fuer Ethnographie_, b. i., s. 345;
Vaters, s. 206), display a richness of grammatical forms which we trace
nowhere in the Old World, except at Congo, and among the Biscayans, who
were the remains of the ancient Cantabrians. But, amid these marks of
civilization (referring to the Aztec nation), and this progressive
perfection of language, it is remarkable that no people of America had
attained that analysis of sounds which leads to the most admirable, we
might almost say the most miraculous of all inventions, an alphabet. We
are led to think that the progressive perfection of symbolic signs, and
the facility with which objects are painted, had prevented the
introduction of letters ... _not_ the case in Egypt."

Chateaubriand says that the Jesuits have left important works relative
to the language of the Canadian savage. Father Chaumont, who had lived
fifty years among the Hurons, composed a grammar of their language. To
Father Rasles, who spent ten years in an Abenakis village, we are
indebted for valuable documents. A French and Iroquois dictionary--a new
treasure for philologists--is finished. There is also a manuscript
dictionary--Iroquois and English--but, unluckily, the first volume is

"Les trois langues, Huronne, Algonquine et Siou sont les langues mères
du Canada. Ils ont tous les caractères des langues primitives, et il est
certain qu'elles n'ont pas une origine commune. La seule prononciation
suffisoit pour le pronom. Le Siou sifle en parlant, le Huron n'a point
de lettre labiale, qu'il ne sçanroit prononcer, parle du gosier et
aspire presque toutes les syllabes; l'Algonquin prononce avec plus de
douceur, et parle plus naturellement. Je n'ai pu rien apprendre de
particulier de la première de ces trois langues; mais nos anciens
missionnaires ont beaucoup travaillé sur les deux autres, et sur les
principales de leurs dialectes: voici ce que j'en ais oui dire aux plus

"La langue Huronne est d'une abondance, d'une énergie, et d'une
noblesse, qu'on ne trouve peut-être réunies dans aucune des plus belles,
que nous connoissons, et ceux, à qui elle est propre, quoiqu'ils ne
soient plus qu'une poignée d'hommes, ont encore dans l'âme une
élévation, qui s'accorde bien mieux avec la majesté de leur langage,
qu'avec le triste état, où ils sont réduits. Quelques uns ont cru y
trouver des rapports avec l'Hébreu; d'autres en plus grand nombre ont
prétendu qu'elle avoit la même origine que celle des Grecs; mais rien
n'est plus frivole que les preuves, qu'ils en apportent. La langue
Algonquine n'a pas autant de force, que la Huronne, mais elle a plus de
douceur et d'élégance. Toutes deux ont une richesse d'expressions, une
variété de tones, une propriété de termes, une régularité, qui étonnent:
mais ce qui surprend encore davantage, c'est que parmi des Barbares
qu'on ne voit point s'étudier à bien parler, et qui n'ont jamais eu
l'usage de l'écriture, il ne s'introduit point un mauvais mot, un terme
impropre, une construction vicieuse, et que les enfans mêmes en
conservent, jusque dans le discours familier, toute la pureté.
D'ailleurs, la manière dont ils animent tout se qu'ils disent, ne laisse
aucun lieu de douter qui ne comprennent toute la valeur de leur
expressions, et toute la beauté de leur langue. Dans le Huron tout se
conjugue; un certain artifice, que je ne vous expliquerois pas bien, y
fait distinguer des verbes, les noms, les pronoms, les adverbes, &c. Les
verbes simples ont une double conjugaison, l'une absoluë, l'autre
réciproque. Les troisièmes personnes ont les deux genres, car il n'y en
a que deux dans ces langues; à sçavoir, le genre noble, et le genre
ignoble. Pour ce qui est des nombres et des tems, on y trouve les mêmes
différences que dans le Grec. Par exemple, pour raconter un voyage, on
s'exprime autrement si on la fait par terre, ou si on l'a fait par eau.
Les verbes actifs se multiplient autant de fois, qu'il y a de choses,
qui tombent sous leur action; comme le verbe, qui signifie _Manger_,
varie autant de fois, qu'il y a de choses comestibles. L'action
s'exprime autrement à l'égard d'une chose inanimée: ainsi _voir un
homme_, et _voir une pierre_, ce sont deux verbes. Se servir d'une
chose, qui appartient à celui qui s'en sert, ou à celui à qui on parle,
ce sont autant de verbes différens.

"Il y a quelque chose de tout cela dans la langue Algonquine, mais la
manière n'en est pas la même, et je ne suis nullement en état de vous en
instruire. Cependant, madame, si du peu, que je viens de vous dire, il
s'ensuit que la richesse et la variété de ces langues les rendent
extrêmement difficiles à apprendre, la disette et la stérilité où elles
sont tombées ne causent pas un moindre embarras. Car, comme les peuples,
quand nous avons commencé à les fréquenter, ignoroient presque tout ce
dont ils n'avoient pas l'usage, ou qui ne tomboit pas sous leurs sens,
ils manquoient de termes pour les exprimer, ou les avoient laissé tomber
dans l'oubli."--Charlevoix, tom. v., p. 288.

The variety of dialects proves the little communication held between the
different tribes of savages, a necessary consequence of their living by
the chase, and requiring extensive hunting-grounds.

"We need only," says Acosta (_De Procur. Indorum Salut._), "cross a
valley for hearing another jargon."


"The following are the results of the most recent researches on the
lines of fortifications, and the tumuli found between the Rocky
Mountains and the chain of the Alleganies. The fortifications chiefly
occupy the space between the great lakes of Canada, the Mississippi and
the Ohio, from the fourty-fourth to the thirty-ninth degree of latitude.
Those which advance most toward the northeast are on the Black River,
one of the tributary streams of Lake Ontario. The most remarkable
ancient fortifications in the State of Ohio are, 1st. Newark, a very
regular octagon, containing an area of 32 acres, and connected with a
circular circumvallation of 16 acres; the eight great doors of the
octagon are defended by eight works placed before each opening. 2d.
Perryvale County, numerous walls, not in clay, but stone. 3d. Marietta,
two great squares with twelve doors; the walls of earth are 21 feet
high, and 42 feet at their base. 4th. Circleville, a square with eight
doors, and eight small works for their defense connected with a circular
fort, surrounded by two walls and a moat. 5th. Point Creek, at the
confluence of the Scioto and the Ohio; the fortifications are partly
irregular; one of them contains 62 acres. 6th. Portsmouth, opposite
Alexandria; vast ruins, disposed on parallel lines, denote that this
spot heretofore contained a numerous population. 7th. Little Miami and
Cincinnati, a wall of 7 feet high and 6300 toises long. All these square
forts are placed as exactly to the east as the Egyptian and Mexican
pyramids; when the forts have only one opening, it is directed toward
the rising sun. The walls of these lines of fortification are most
frequently of earth, but two miles from Chilicothe, in the State of
Ohio, we find a wall constructed in stone, from 12 to 15 feet high, and
from 5 to 8 feet thick, forming an inclosure of 80 acres. It is not yet
precisely known how far those works extend to the west, along the course
of the Missouri and the River La Plata; but they are not found on the
north of the Lakes Ontario, Erie, and Michigan, neither do they pass the
chain of the Alleganies. Some circumvallations discovered on the banks
of the Chenango, near Oxford, in the State of New York, may be
considered as a very remarkable exception. We must not confound these
military monuments with the mounds or _tumuli_ containing thousands of
skeletons of a stunted race of men, scarcely 5 feet high. These mounds
increase in number from the north toward the south; Mr. Brackenridge
thinks there are nearly 3000 tumuli, from 20 to 100 feet high, between
the mouth of the Ohio, the Illinois, the Missouri, and the Rio San
Francisco, and that the number of skeletons they contain indicate how
considerable must have been the population heretofore of those
countries. These monuments, considered as the places of sepulture of
great communes, are most frequently situated at the confluence of
rivers, and on the most favorable points for trade. The base of the
tumuli is round, or of an oval form; they are generally of a conical
form, and sometimes flattened at the summit, as if intended to serve for
sacrifices, or other ceremonies to be seen by a great mass of people at
once. Some of those monuments are two or three stories high, and
resemble in their form the Mexican _Teocallis_, and the pyramids with
steps of Egypt and Western Asia. Some of the tumuli are constructed of
earth, and some of stones heaped together. Hatchets have been found on
them, together with painted pottery, vases, and ornaments of brass, a
little iron, silver in plates (near Marietta), and perhaps gold (near
Chilicothe). Some of these mounds are only a few feet high, and are
placed at the center or in the neighborhood of the circular
circumvallations; they were either tribunes for haranguing the assembled
people, or places of sacrifice, and where they are only from 20 to 25
feet high, they may be considered as observatories erected to discover
the movements of a neighboring enemy. The great tumuli, from 80 to 100
feet high, are most frequently insulated, and sometimes seem to be of
the same age as the fortifications to which they are linked. The latter
merit particular attention: I know nowhere any thing that resembles them
either in South America or the ancient continent. The regularity of the
polygon and circular forms, and the small works intended to cover the
doors of the building, are, above all, remarkable. We know not whether
they were inclosures of property, walls of defense against enemies, or
intrenched camps, as in Central Asia. The custom of separating the
different quarters of a town by circumvallations is observed alike in
the ancient Tenochleitian and the Peruvian town of Chimu, the ruins of
which I examined, between Truxillo and the coast of the South Sea. The
_tumuli_ are less characteristic constructions, and may have belonged to
nations who had no communication with one another; they cover both
Americas, the north of Asia, and the whole east of Europe, and, it is
said, are still constructed by the Omawhaws of the River Plata. The
skulls contained in the _tumuli_ of the United States furnish means of
recognizing, almost with certainty, to what degree the race of men by
whom they were raised differ from the Indians who now inhabit the same
countries. Mr. Mitchell believes that the skeletons of the caverns of
Kentucky and Tennessee 'belong to the Malays, who came by the Pacific
Ocean to the western coast of America, and were destroyed by the
ancestors of the present Indians, and who were of Tartar race (Mongul).'
With respect to the tumuli and the fortifications, the same learned
writer supposes, with Mr. De Witt Clinton, that those monuments are the
works of Scandinavian nations, who, from the eleventh to the fourteenth
century, visited the coast of Greenland, Newfoundland, or Vinland, or
Drageo, and a part of the continent of North America. If this
hypothesis be well founded, the skulls found in the _tumuli_ ought to
belong, not to the American, Mongul, or Malay race, but to a race
vulgarly called Caucasian.... Did the nations of the Mexican race, in
their migrations to the south, send colonies toward the east, or do the
monuments of the United States pertain to the Autochthone nations?
Perhaps we must admit in North America, as in the ancient world, the
simultaneous existence of several centers of civilization, of which the
mutual relations are not known in history. The very civilized nations of
New Spain, the Tolteques, the Azteques, and the Chichimeques, pretended
to have issued successively, from the sixth to the twelfth century, from
three neighboring countries situated toward the north. These nations
spoke the same language, they had the same cosmogonic fables, the same
propensity for the sacerdotal congregations, the same hieroglyphic
paintings, the same divisions of time, the same taste (Chinese and
Japanese) for noting and registering every thing. The names given by
them to the towns built in the country of Analmae; were those of the
towns they had abandoned in their ancient country. The civilization on
the Mexican table-land was regarded by the inhabitants themselves as the
copy of something which had existed elsewhere, as the reflection of the
primitive civilization of Aztlan. Where, it may be asked, must be placed
that parent land of the colonies of Anahuac, that _officinum gentium_
which, during five centuries, sends nations toward the south who
understand each other without difficulty, and recognize each other for
relations? Asia, north of Amour, where it is nearest America, is a
barbarous country, and in supposing (which is geographically possible) a
migration of southern Asiatics by Japan, Tarakay (Tchoka), the Kurile
and Aleutian Isles, from southwest toward the northeast (from 40 to 55
degrees of latitude), how can it be believed that in so long a
migration, on a way so easily intercepted, the remembrance of the
institutions of the parent country could have been preserved with so
much force and clearness? The cosmogonic fables, the pyramidal
constructions, the system of the calendar, the animals of the tropics
found in the catasterim of days, the convents and congregations of
priests, the taste for statistic enumerations, the annals of the empire
held in the most scrupulous order, lead us toward Oriental Asia, while
the lively remembrances of which we have just spoken, and the peculiar
physiognomy which Mexican civilization presents in so many other
respects, seem to indicate the antique existence of an empire in the
north of America, between the thirty-sixth and forty-second degrees of
latitude. We can not reflect on the military monuments of the United
States without recollecting the first country of the civilized nations
of Mexico. It is in rising to more general historical considerations, in
examining with more care than has been hitherto done the languages and
the osteologic conformation of different tribes, in exploring the
immense country bounded by the Alleganies and the coast of the Western
Ocean, that means will be obtained of throwing light on a problem so
worthy of exercising the sagacity of historians.... According to the
traditions collected by Mr. Heckewelder, the country east of the
Mississippi was heretofore inhabited by a powerful nation, of gigantic
stature, called Alleghewi, and which gave its name to the Alleganian
mountains. The Alleghewis were more civilized than any of the other
tribes found in the northern climates by the Europeans of the sixteenth
century. They inhabitated towns founded on the banks of the Mississippi,
and the fortifications that now excite the astonishment of travelers
were constructed by them, in order to defend themselves against the
Delawares, who came from the west, and were allied at that period with
the Iroquois. It may be supposed that this invasion of a barbarous
people changed the political and moral state of those countries. The
Alleghewis were vanquished by the Delawares after a long struggle. In
their flight toward the south they gathered together the bones of their
relations in separate _tumuli_; they descended the Mississippi, and what
became of them is not known.... The lines of fortification of a
prodigious length observed by Captain Lewis on the banks of the Missouri
sufficiently prove that the ancient habitation of the Alleghewis, that
powerful people which I am inclined to regard as being of Tolteque or
Azteque race, extended far to the west of the Mississippi, toward the
foot of the Rocky Mountains. Mr. Nuttall, in going up the Arkansas to
Cadron, was informed of the existence of an ancient intrenchment,
resembling a triangular fort. The Arkansas assert that it is the work of
a _white_ and civilized people, whom, when they arrived in this country,
their ancestors fought and vanquished, not by force, but cunning. They
attribute, also, to a more ancient and polished people than themselves,
the monuments of rough stones heaped up on the summit of the hills.
Other monuments, not less curious, are the commodious roads of immense
length which the natives have traced from time immemorial, and which
lead from the banks of the Arkansas, near Little Rock, to Saint Louis on
the right, and by the settlement of Mont Prairie, as far as
Natchitoches, on the left. Do the characteristic features of colossal
stature and _white_ color, attributed to nations now destroyed, owe
their origin to the ideas of power and physical force in general, to the
feeling of the intellectual preponderance of the Europeans, or are those
features linked with the fables of white men, legislators, and priests,
which we find among the Mexicans, the inhabitants of New Granada, and so
many other American nations? The skeletons contained in the _tumuli_ of
the trans-Alleganian country belong, for the most part, to a stunted
race of men, of lower stature than the Indians of Canada and the

"An idol discovered at Natchez has been justly compared by M. Malte-Brun
to the images of celestial spirits found by Pallas among the Mongul
nations. If the tribes who inhabit the towns on the banks of the
Mississippi issued from the same country of Aztlan, it must be admitted
that the Tolteques, the Chichimeques, and the Azteques, from the
inspection of their idols, and their essays in sculpture, were much less
advanced in the arts than the Mexican tribes, who, without deviating
toward the east, have followed the great path of the nations of the New
World, directed from north to south, from the banks of the Gila toward
the Lake of Nicaragua."--Humboldt's _Personal Narrative_, vol. vi., p.


"Dr. Morton, in his luminous and philosophical essay on the aboriginal
race of America, seems to have proved that all the different tribes,
except the Eskimaux, are of one race, and that this race is peculiar and
distinct from all others. The physical characteristics of the Fuegians,
the Indians of the tropical plains, those of the Rocky Mountains, and of
the great Valley of the Mississippi, are the same, not only in regard to
feature and external lineaments, but also in osteological structure.
After comparing nearly 400 crania, derived from tribes inhabiting almost
every region of both Americas, Dr. Morton has found the same peculiar
shape pervading all; 'the square or rounded head, the flattened or
vertical occiput, the high cheek bones, the ponderous maxillæ, the large
quadrangular orbits, and the low, receding forehead.' The oldest skulls
from the cemeteries of Peru, the tombs of Mexico, or the mounds of the
Mississippi and Ohio, agree with each other, and are of the same type as
the heads of the most savage existing tribes."--Lyell, vol. ii., p. 37.


"I saw no person among the Chaymas who had any natural deformity. I
might say the same of thousands of Caribs, Muyseas, and Mexican and
Peruvian Indians, whom we observed during the course of five years.
Bodily deformities--deviations from nature--are infinitely rare among
certain races of men, especially those nations who have the dermoid
system highly colored. I can not believe that they depend solely on the
progress of civilization, a luxurious life, or the corruption of morals.
We might be tempted to think that savages all appear well made and
vigorous, because feeble children die young for want of care, and that
the strongest alone survive; but these causes can not act on the Indians
of the missions, who have the manners of our peasants, and the Mexicans
of Cholula and Tlascala, who enjoy wealth that has been transmitted to
them by ancestors more civilized than themselves. If, in every state of
cultivation, the copper-colored race manifest the same inflexibility,
the same resistance to deviation from a primitive type, are we not
forced to admit that this property belongs in great measure to
hereditary organization--to that which constitutes the race? I use
intentionally the phrase _in great measure_, not entirely to exclude the
influence of civilization. Besides, with copper-colored men, as with the
whites, luxury and effeminacy, by weakening the physical constitution,
had heretofore rendered deformities more common at Corezco and
Tenochtitlan."--Humboldt's _Personal Narrative_, vol. iii., p. 235.

No. L.

To those well read in the sad records of Indian history, the names of
Powhatan, Opechancanough, Massasoit, Alexander, Philip, Canonchet,
Logan, Pontiac, and the never-to-be-forgotten Tecumthè, will suggest
memories fully justifying the above assertion. The name of Tecumthè
signifies "a tiger crouching for his prey." He was equally great in
council and in war, noble and generous in spirit as commanding in
intellect. He bore the commission of Chief of the Indian Forces in the
British army during the late war. He did not, however, join the ranks of
the white men until the failure of several admirably contrived projects
convinced his sound and enlightened judgment that opposition to the
white race was vain. Pontiac was an Ottawa chieftain, who in 1763
succeeded in the next-to-impossible scheme of uniting all the scattered
and often hostile Indian tribes distributed throughout the colonized
districts of North America in one grand confederacy against their
European invaders. Their first step was the projected extinction of all
the white man's posts along a thousand miles of frontier; and he
actually succeeded so far as to cut off, almost simultaneously, nine out
of twelve of these military establishments. The surprise of
Michillimackinac, one of these stations, is thus narrated in a public
document. (It was a period of profound peace between the Europeans and

"The fort was then upon the main land, near the northern point of the
peninsula. The Ottawas, to whom the assault was committed, prepared for
a great game of ball, to which the officers of the garrison were
invited. While engaged in play, one of the parties gradually inclined
toward the fort, and the other pressed after them. The ball was once or
twice thrown over the pickets, and the Indians were suffered to enter
and procure it. Nearly all the garrison were present as spectators, and
those on duty were alike unprepared as unsuspicious. Suddenly the ball
was again thrown into the fort, and all the Indians rushed after it. The
rest of the tale is soon told: the troops were butchered, and the fort
destroyed." This extensive and well-laid scheme failed, from Pontiac
himself being betrayed at the fort of Detroit. He has been accused of
great cruelty; but, in contests waged between the red and white races,
this is a word of doubtful import. His generosity and heroism are

As a compliment, Major Rogers had sent Pontiac a bottle of brandy. His
counselors advised him not to take it: "It must be poisoned," said they,
"and sent with a design to kill him;" but Pontiac laughed at their
suspicions. "He can not," he replied, "he can not take my life; I have
saved his!"

No. LI.

But a far truer insight into the religious state of the American Indian
will be obtained by observing how peculiarly and emphatically he is, in
the words of the apostle, "a law unto himself." I mean, how distinctly
he evinces, in the whole moral conduct of his life, that he lives under
a strong and awful sense of positive obligation. It is of little matter
with what doctrines that sense of obligation connects itself. It often
appears to connect itself with none. The Indian can not tell why a
burden is laid upon him to act in this or that manner. He obeys a law
undefined, unwritten, but mysteriously binding upon his spirit. All the
compulsive force which what we call the law of honor had upon the
conscience of a man of the world--I had almost said which religious
sanctions have upon the man of principle--is scarcely to be paralleled
with that kind of moral necessity which seems in some cases to actuate
his proceedings. If religion be what its name implies, _id quod
relligat_, that which binds the will, and enforces self-denial and
self-devotion (be the object or motive held out what it may), then no
people taken in the mass is to be compared, in this respect, to the
savages of America. "After all," says Mr. Flint, "that which has struck
us, in contemplating the Indians, with the most astonishment and
admiration, is the invisible but universal energy of the operation and
influence of an inexplicable law, which has, where it operates, a more
certain and controlling power than all the municipal and written laws of
the whites united. There is despotic rule without any hereditary or
elected chief. There are chiefs with great power, who can not tell when,
where, or how they became such. There is perfect unanimity on a question
involving the existence of a tribe, when every member belonged to the
wild and fierce democracy of nature, and could dissent without giving a
reason. A case occurs where it is prescribed by custom that an
individual should be punished with death. Escaped from the control of
his tribe, and as free as the winds, this invisible tie is about him,
and he returns and surrenders himself to justice. His accounts are not
settled, and he is in debt. He requests delay till he shall have
finished his summer's hunt. He finishes it, pays his debt, and dies with
a constancy which has always been, in all views of the Indian character,
the theme of admiration."--Flint's _Geography of the Mississippi
Valley_, p. 125.

In the expressive words of Penn, "What good might not a good people
graft, where there is so distinct a knowledge both of good and
evil?"--_Report on Aborigines_, 1837, p. 116.

Mr. Merivale adds, "I would not insert the following high-colored
expression in a work edited by Washington Irving, were it not for the
remarkable agreement between all capable observers of the uncontaminated
races of Indians upon this subject. 'Simply to call these people
religious (some tribes of the Rocky Mountains) would convey but a faint
idea of the deep hue of piety and devotion which pervades the whole of
their conduct. They are more like a nation of saints than a horde of
savages.'"--_Adventures of Captain Bonneville._

No. LII.

Catlin gives the same account of the appropriation of the Manitou or
guardian angel as Lafitau and Charlevoix. He applies to it the term of
Mystery, or Medicine-bag, and thus explains the derivation of the modern

"The term Medicine, in its common acceptation among the Indians, means
mystery, and nothing else. The origin of the term is, that in the French
language a doctor is called '_Médecin_;' the Indian country is full of
doctors, and as they are all magicians, and profess to be skilled in
many mysteries, the word '_médecin_' has become habitually applied to
every thing mysterious or unaccountable, and the English and American
have easily and familiarly adopted the same word, with a slight
alteration conveying the same meaning; and, to be a little more
explicit, they have denominated these personages 'Medicine-men,' which
means something more than merely a doctor or physician. The Indians do
not use the word 'medicine,' however, but in each tribe they have a word
of their own construction synonymous with mystery or mystery-man. Their
medicine-bag then is a mystery-bag, and its meaning and importance
necessary to be understood, as it may be said to be the key to Indian
life and character.

"Feasts are often made, and dogs and horses sacrificed, to a man's
'medicine;' and days, and even weeks of fasting and penance of various
kinds are often suffered to appease his medicine, which he fancies he
has in some way offended. This curious custom has generally been done
away with along the frontier, where white men laugh at the Indian for
the observance of so ridiculous and useless a form; but in this country
(beyond the Rocky Mountains) it is still in full force, and every male
in the tribe carries this his supernatural charm or guardian, to which
he looks for the preservation of his life in battle or in other
danger.... During my travels thus far I have been unable to buy a
medicine-bag of an Indian, though I have offered extravagant prices for
them; and even on the frontier, where they have been induced to abandon
the practice, though a white may induce an Indian to relinquish his
medicine, yet he can not buy it of him: the Indian in such case will
bury it to please a white, and save it from his sacrilegious touch, and
he will linger around the spot, and at regular times visit and pay it
his devotions as long as he lives."--Catlin's _North American Indians_,
vol. i., p. 36.


Catlin says, "The tribes, so far as I have visited them, all distinctly
believe in the existence of a Great (or Good) Spirit, an Evil (or Bad)
Spirit, and also in a future existence and future accountability,
according to their virtues and vices in this world. So far the North
American Indians would seem to be one family, and such, an unbroken
theory among them; yet, with regard to the manner and form, and time
and place of that accountability--to the constructions of virtues and
vices, and the modes of appeasing and propitiating the Good and Evil
Spirits, they are found in all the change and variety which fortuitous
circumstances, and fictions and fables have wrought upon them.... These
people, living in a climate where they suffer from cold in the severity
of their winters, have very naturally reversed our ideas of heaven and
hell. The latter they describe to be a country very far to the north, of
barren and hideous aspect, and covered with eternal snow and ice. The
torments of this freezing place they describe as most excruciating,
while heaven they suppose to be in a warmer and delightful latitude,
where nothing is felt but the keenest enjoyment, and where the country
abounds in buffaloes and other luxuries of life. The Great or Good
Spirit they believe dwells in the former place, for the purpose of there
meeting those who have offended him, increasing the agony of their
sufferings by being himself present, administering the penalties. The
Bad or Evil Spirit they suppose to be at the same time in Paradise,
still tempting the happy; and those who have gone to the regions of
punishment they believe to be tortured for a time proportioned to the
amount of their transgression, and that they are then to be transferred
to the land of the happy, where they are again liable to the temptation
of the Evil Spirit, and answerable again at a future period for their
new offenses."--Catlin, vol. i., p. 159.

Dr. Richardson says, "While at Carlton I took an opportunity of asking a
communicative old Indian of the Blackfoot nation his opinion of a future
state. He replied that they had heard from their fathers that the souls
of the departed have to scramble with great labor up the sides of a
steep mountain, upon attaining the summit of which they are rewarded
with the prospect of an extensive plain, interspersed here and there
with new tents, pitched in agreeable situations, and abounding in all
sorts of game. While they are absorbed in the contemplation of this
delightful scene, they are descried by the inhabitants of the happy
land, who, clothed in new skins, approach and welcome, with every
demonstration of kindness, those Indians who have led good lives; but
the bad Indians, who have imbrued their hands in the blood of their
countrymen, are told to return from whence they came, and, without more
ceremony, precipitated down the steep sides of the mountain."--Franklin's
_Journey_, p. 77.

"C'est du côté de l'ouest, d'où les sauvages prétendent être venus,
qu'il placent le pays des ancêtres, ou des âmes. C'est, disent-ils, un
pays très êloigné, et où chacun est contraint de se rendre, après son
trèpas, par un chemin fort long et fort pénible, dans lequel il y a
beaucoup à souffrir, à cause des rivières qu'il faut passer sur des
ponts tremblants, et si étroits qu'il faut être une âme pour pouvoir s'y
soûtenir; encore trouve-t-il au bout du pont un chien, qui comme un
antre cerbère leur dispute le passage, et en fait tomber plusieurs dans
les eaux, dont la rapidité les roule de précipice en précipice. Celles
qui sont assez heureuses pour franchir ce pas, trouvent en arrivant, un
grand et beau pays, au milieu duquel est une grande Cabane, dont
_Tharonhiaouagon_, leur Dieu, occupe une partie, et Ataensic, son
ayeule, occupe l'autre. L'appartement de cette vielle est tapissé d'une
quantité infini de colliers de porcelaine, de bracelets, et d'autres
meubles, dont les morts, qui sont sous sa dépendance, lui ont fait
présent à leur arrivée. _Ataensic_ est maîtresse de la Cabane, selon le
style des sauvages, elle et son petit fils dominent sur les mânes, et
font consister leur plaisir à les faire danser devant eux. Il y a une
infinité de versions sur le pays des âmes, mais ce qui je viens d'en
rapporter en est comme le fonds, où tout le reste se réduit."--Lafitau,
tom. i., p. 402.

No. LIV.

"Un officier Français, qui parle la langue Huronne comme les Hurons
même, et qui connoît fort bien le génie des sauvages, m'a raconté un
fait, dont il a été le témoin ... Quelques sauvages intrigués, au sujet
d'un parti de sept guerriers de leur village, et dont tout le monde
commençoit à être en peine, prièrent une vielle sauvagesse de _jongler_
pour eux. Cette femme étoit en grande réputation, et on avoit vérifié
plusieurs de ses prédictions, mais on avoit beaucoup de peine à la
déterminer à faire ces sortes d'opérations, quoiqu'on la payât bien,
parce-qu'elle souffroit beaucoup. Comme elle avoit de l'amitié pour moi,
dit cet officier, je me mis de la partie avec les sauvages, ajoutant
néanmoins très peu de foy à ces sortes de choses, je la priai très
fortement, et je fis tant, qu'elle s'y résolut. Elle commença d'abord
par préparer un espace de terrain qu'elle nettoya bien, et qu'elle
couvrit de farine. Elle disposa sur cette poudre comme sur une carte
géographique, quelques paquets de buchettes, qui représentaient divers
villages de différentes nations, observant particulièrement leur
position, et les rhumbs de vent. Elle entra ensuite dans de grandes
convulsions, pendant lesquelles nous vîmes sensiblement sept bluettes de
feu sortir des buchettes qui représentoient notre village; tracer un
chemin sur cette farine et aller d'un village à l'autre. Après d'être
éclipsées pendant un assez long tems, dans l'un de ces villages, ces
bluettes reparurent au nombre de neuf, tracèrent un nouveau chemin pour
le retour, jusqú'à ce qu'enfin elles s'arrêtèrent assez près du village,
ou paquet de buchettes, d'où les sept premièrs étoient d'abord sorties.
Alors la sauvagesse, toujours en fureur, troubla tout l'ordre des
buchettes, foula aux pieds tout le terrain qu'elle avoit préparé, et où
cette scène venoit de passer. Elle s'assit ensuite et après s'être donné
le tems de se tranquilliser, et de reprendre ses esprits, elle raconta
tout ce qui étoit arrivè aux guerriers, la route qu'ils avoient tenue,
les villages par où ils avoient passé, le nombre des prisonniers qu'ils
avoient fait; elle nomma l'endroit où ils étoient dans ce moment, et
assura qu'ils arriveroient trois jours après au village, ce qui fut
vérifié par l'arrivée des guerriers, qui confirmèrent de point en point
ce qu'elle avoit dit."--Lafitau, tom. i., p. 387.

"Quoiqu' aujourd'hui les Abénaquis fassent tous profession du
Christianisme, ils ne laissent pas encore d'avoir quelquefois recours à
cet art qu'ils ont reçû de leurs pères (la Pyromantie, ou Divination par
le feu). Ils s'en confessent néanmoins, à cause de l'horreur qu'on leur
en a inspiré, mais il s'en trouve quelques uns qui cherchent à le
justifier. Une sauvagesse disoit à un missionnaire, qui tâchoit de lui
faire concevoir sa faute: 'Je n'ai jamais compris qu'il n'y eût à elle
aucun mal, et j'ai peine à y en voir encore: écoute, Dieu a partagé
différemment les hommes; à vous autres François, il a donné l'écriture,
par laquelle vous apprennez lea choses qui se passent loin de vous,
comme si elles vous étoient présentes; pour ce qui est de nous, il nous
a donné l'art de connoître par le feu les choses absentes et eloignées;
suppose donc que le feu c'est notre livre, notre écriture; tu ne verras
pas qu'il y ait de différence, et plus de mal dans l'un que dans
l'autre. Ma mère m'a appris ce secret pendant mon enfance, comme tes
parents t'ont appris à lire et à écrire; je m'en suis servi plusieurs
fois avec succès, avant d'être Chrètienne, je l'ai fait quelquefois avec
le même succès depuis que je la suis; j'ai éte tenté, et j'ai succombé à
la tentation, mais sans croire commettre aucune péché.'"--Lafitau, tom,
i., p. 388.

Some of the Indians seem to have been acquainted with the mysteries of
_clairvoyance_. "Ils croyent qu'il y a des personnes que les esprits
favorisent d'avantage, qui sont plus éclairées que le commun, dont l'âme
sçut, non seulement ce qui les concerne personnellement, mais qui voient
jusques dans le fonds de l'âme des autres, qui percent à travers le
voile qui les couvre, et y apperçoit les désirs naturels et innés,
qu'elle a, quoique cette âme elle même ne les ait pas aperçus; c'est ce
qui leur a fait donner le nom de Iaïotkatta par les Hurons, c'est á dire
_voyans_, parce qu'ils voyent les hommes dans leur intérieur."--Lafitau,
tom. i., p. 371.

Charlevoix also relates instances of the successful exercise of magical
arts.--Vol. vi., p. 92.

No. LV.

"In the neighborhood of Caughnawaga are the large tracts of land once
belonging to the Johnson family, whose possessions were all confiscated
at the period of the Revolution, in consequence of their adherence to
the British, who gave them compensation by grants of land in Canada. The
founder of this family is said to have acquired this fine tract of
country by a dexterous piece of management. He traded extensively with
the tribe of Mohawk Indians. Their chiefs were in the habit of applying
to him frequently for tobacco and rum, which they had, they told him,
dreamed that he was to give them. Johnson never failed to encourage
their strong faith in dreams, humoring their foible by acceding to every
request founded on them. Thus visits and dreams became frequent on the
part of the Indians. Johnson never sent them away empty handed. To every
request he replied, 'I will prove that you are right,' and presented
them with whatever they applied for, on the footing that they had
dreamed of it. At length the king had the conscience to dream that, if
he were invested with Johnson's military dress of scarlet and gold, he
should be as great a man as King George; and King George he soon in so
far became, for no long time elapsed before Johnson had him appareled as
he wished. But Johnson's turn to dream had now arrived, for he had all
the while attached the same weight to dreams. He dreamed that the nation
had, in consequence of his kindness to them, and in return for the
hospitality he had shown them, bestowed on him part of their territory,
which he had described, and which he of course took care should be
sufficiently extensive and valuable--in fact, one of the finest tracts
of land that it is possible to conceive. 'Have you really had such a
dream?' they exclaimed, with terror and alarm depicted on their
countenances. Being satisfied on this point, the chief or king convoked
his tribe, who deliberated, and then announced to the dreamer that they
had confirmed the dream. 'Brother Johnson,' they said, 'we give thee
that tract of land, but never dream any more.' The head of this family
was subsequently created a baronet, for his gallantry in the war, when
the French made an incursion from Canada in 1755."--Stuart's _America_,
vol. i., p. 71. See, also, Mrs. Grant's _Letters of an American Lady_,
for an account of Sir William Johnson's intercourse with the Indians.

Lafitau and Charlevoix write at great length upon the Indian faith in
dreams; Lafitau gives the following curious illustration of the extent
to which this superstition is carried: "Un ancien missionnaire m'a
raconté qu'un sauvage ayant rêvé que le bonheur de sa vie dépendoit de
son mariage avec une femme qui étoit déjà mariée à l'un des plus
considérables du village où il demeuroit. Le mari et la femme vivoient
dans une grande union et s'entre-aimoient beaucoup. La séparation fut
rude à l'un et à l'autre, cependant ils n'osoient refuser. Ils se
séparèrent donc. La femme prit un nouvel engagement, et le mari
abandonné, par complaisance et pour ôter tout soupçon qu'il pensât
encore à sa première épouse, se marie avec une autre. Il reprit la
première cependant, après la mort de celui qui les avait désunis,
laquelle arriva peu de temps après."--Lafitau, vol. i., p. 364.

No. LVI.

"C'étoit une loi générale chez certains peuples barbares de l'antiquité
(Ælian, _de Cois_, lib. iii.; Sext. Emp., _de Tybaren_.; Procop., _de
Etulis_., lib. ii.; _de Bello Gotico_; Stobæus, _de Massag._, Serm. 122)
de faire mourir leurs viellards avant l'âge de soixante ou soixante et
dix ans, soit qu'ils ne voulassent point parmis eux conserver des morte
payes, qui consumassent le peu qui restoit aux autres pour vivre: soit
qu'ils se persuadassent rendre service à ceux qu'ils faisoient ainsi
périr, en leur épargnant par une morte prompte et courte, la tristesse
et les ennuis d'un âge avancé, dont les infirmités peuvent être
regardées comme une mort continuelle. Cela a été, dit-on, une loi
générale parmi quelques peuples de l'Amérique, et une de nos dernières
relations porte, qu'il y a une nation où il n'est pas même permis de
laisser passer aux femmes l'âge de trente ans; ce qui paroitra sans
doute bien rigoureux à celles qui veulent encore être jeune dans un âge
plus avancé.

"Les Algonquins et les autres nations errantes sont plus sujets à cette
inhumanité envers les viellards que les autres, parcequ' étant presque
toujours en voyage, et plus souvent réduits à la faim, l'incommodité des
viellards qu'il faut porter et nourrir, devient alors plus sensible. Ces
pauvres malheureux sont souvent les premiers à dire à celui qui les
porte, 'Mon petit fils, je le donne bien de la peine, je ne suis plus
bon à rien, casse-moi la tête.' On ne les écoute pas toujours; mais
quelquefois aussi il arrive que le jeune homme epuisé de lassitude et de
faim, répond froidement, 'Tu as raison, mon grand père.' Il décharge en
même tems son paquet, prend sa hache, et casse la tête au bon homme, qui
sans doute est faché intérieurement d'être pris au mot."--Lafitau, tom.
ii., p. 490.

In 1819, James writes thus of the same inhuman custom: "The worst trait
in the Indian character is the neglect shown toward the aged and
helpless, which is carried to such a degree that, when on a march or a
hunting excursion, it is a common practice to leave behind their nearest
relations when reduced to that state, with a little food and water,
abandoning them without ceremony to their fate. When thus abandoned by
all that is dear to them, their fortitude does not forsake them, and the
inflexible passive courage of the Indian sustains them against
despondency. They regard themselves as entirely useless; and as the
custom of the nation has long led them to anticipate this mode of death,
they attempt not to remonstrate against the measure, which is, in fact,
frequently the result of their earnest solicitation."--James's
_Expedition to the Rocky Mountains_, vol. i., p. 237.

"This cruelty to living relations strongly contrasts with the
extravagance and self-sacrifice of their mourning for the dead. The same
people who expose a living parent because they can not carry him, are
often found to convey the corpses of their departed friends to 'the
festivals of the dead,' during many days of wearisome journeying."--P.
de Breboeuf, _Relation de la Nouvelle France_; Charlevoix: Lafitau.

Catlin, one of the most partial observers, and the most zealous defender
of the Indian character, relates the following scene, of which he was an
eye-witness (in 1840): "We found that the Puncahs were packing up all
their goods, and preparing to start for the prairies in pursuit of
buffaloes, to dry meat for their winter's supplies. They took down their
wigwams of skins to carry with them, and all were flat to the ground,
and every thing packing up ready for the start. My attention was
directed by Major Sanford, the Indian agent, to one of the most
miserable and helpless-looking objects I ever had seen in my life--a
very aged and emaciated man of the tribe, who, he told me, was going to
be _exposed_. The tribe were going where hunger and dire necessity
obliged them to go, and this pitiable object, who had once been a chief,
and a man of distinction in his tribe, who was now too old to travel,
being reduced to mere skin and bone, was to be left to starve, or meet
with such death as might fall to his lot, and his bones to be picked by
the wolves! I lingered around this poor old forsaken patriarch for hours
before we started, to indulge the tears of sympathy which were flowing
for the sake of this poor benighted and decrepit old man, whose worn-out
limbs were no longer able to support him, and his body and his mind
doomed to linger into the withering agony of decay, and gradual solitary
death. I wept; and it was a pleasure to weep; for the painful looks and
the dreary prospects of this old veteran, whose eyes were dimmed, whose
venerable locks were whitened by a hundred years, whose limbs were
almost naked, and trembling as he sat by a small fire which his friends
had left him, with a few sticks of wood within his reach, and a
buffalo's skin stretched upon some crotches over his head. Such was to
be his only dwelling, and such the chances for his life, with only a few
half-picked bones that were laid within his reach, and a dish of water,
without means of any kind to replenish them, or move his body from that
fatal locality. His friends and his children had all left him, and were
preparing in a little time to be on the march. He had told them to leave
him; 'he was old,' he said, 'and too feeble to march.' 'My children,'
said he, 'our nation is poor, and it is necessary you should all go to
the country where you can get meat. My eyes are dimmed, and my strength
is no more; my days are nearly all numbered, and I am a burden to my
children; I can not go, and I wish to die. Keep your hearts stout, and
think not of me; I am no longer good for any thing.' In this way they
had finished the ceremony of _exposing_ him, and taken their final leave
of him. I advanced to the old man, and was undoubtedly the last human
being who held converse with him. I sat by the side of him, and though
he could not distinctly see me, he shook me heartily by the hand, and
smiled, evidently aware that I was a white man, and that I sympathized
with his inevitable misfortune. When passing by the site of the Puncah
village a few months after this in my canoe, I went ashore with my men,
and found the poles and the buffalo skin standing as they were left over
the old man's head. The fire-brands were lying nearly as I had left
them; and I found at a few yards' distance the skull and others of his
bones, which had been picked and cleaned by the wolves, which is
probably all that any human being can ever know of his final and
melancholy fate. This cruel custom of exposing their aged people
belongs, I think, to all the tribes who roam about the prairies, making
severe marches, when such decrepit persons are totally unable to go,
unable to ride or to walk, when they have no means of carrying
them."--Catlin's _American Indians_, vol. i., p. 217.


"The child, in its earliest infancy, has its back lashed to a straight
board, being fastened to it by bandages, which pass around it in front,
and on the back of the board they are tightened to the necessary degree
by lacing-strings, which hold it in a straight and healthy position,
with its feet resting on a broad hoop, which passes around the foot of
the cradle, and the child's position (as it rides about on its mother's
back, supported by a broad strap that passes across her forehead), that
of standing erect, no doubt has a tendency to produce straight limbs,
sound lungs, and long life. The bandages that pass around the cradle,
holding the child in, are often covered with a beautiful embroidery of
porcupine quills, with ingenious figures of horses, men, &c. A broad
hoop of elastic wood passes around in front of the child's face to
protect it in case of a fall, from the front of which is suspended a toy
of exquisite embroidery for the child to handle, and amuse itself with.
The papoose (the Indian name for the cradle) seems a cruel mode of
confining the child; but I am inclined to believe it is a very good one
for those who use it, and well adapted to the circumstances under which
they live; in support of which opinion, I offer the universality of the
custom, which has been practiced for centuries among all the tribes of
North America, as a legitimate and a very strong reason. Along the
frontiers, where the Indians have been ridiculed for the custom, they
have in many instances departed from it; but even there they will
generally be seen lugging their child about in this way, when they have
abandoned almost every other native custom, and are too poor to cover it
with more than rags and strings, which fasten it to its cradle. The
infant is carried in this manner until it is five, six, or seven months
old.... If the infant dies during the time allotted for it to be carried
in this cradle, it is buried, and the disconsolate mother fills the
cradle with black quills and feathers, in the parts which the child's
body had occupied, and in this way carries it about with her wherever
she goes for a year or more; and she often lays or stands it against the
side of the wigwam, where she is all day engaged in her needle-work, and
chatting and talking to it as familiarly and affectionately as if it
were her loved infant instead of its shell that she was talking
to."--Catlin, vol. ii., p. 133.


The following is Lafitau's description of this barbarous operation: "Ils
cernent pour cet effet la peau qui couvre la crâne, coupant au-dessus du
front et des oreilles jusqu'au derrière de la tête. Après l'avoir
arrachée, ils la préparent, et la ramollissent comme ils ont coûtume de
faire a celles des bêtes qu'ils ont prises à la chasse. Ils étendent
ensuite cette peau sur un cercle au ils l'attachent, ils la peignent des
deux côtés de diverses couleurs, quelquefois ils tracent du côté opposé
aux cheveux, le portrait de celui à qui ils l'ont enlevée at la
suspendent au bout d'une perche et la portent ainsi en triomphe. Ce
qu'il y a de surprenant, c'est que tous ceux à qui l'on fait cette
cruelle opération de leur enlever la chevelure, n'en meurent point, non
plus que du coup de casse-tête, dont on a crû les avoir assommés à n'en
plus revenir. Plusieurs en sont réchappés et j'ai vu une femme dans
notre mission, à qui après un semblable accident, les François avoient
donnée le nom de la Tête-pelée, et qui se portoit fort bien. Elle étoit
mariée à un François Iroquoisé, dont elle avoit des enfans." Lafitau
does not omit to notice the striking similarity between Indian and
Scythian barbarity; he cites the following passage from Herodotus as a
support and illustration of his own peculiar theory: "Un Scythe boit du
sang du premier prisonnier qu'il fait, et il présente au roi les têtes
de tous ceux qu'il a tués dans le combat; car en portant une tête il a
part au butier, auquel il n'a nul droit sans cette condition. Il coupe
la tête de cette manière. Il la cerne autour les oreilles et ayant
séparé le test d'avec le reste, il en arrache la peau, qu'il a soin de
ramollir avec ses mains, et d'apprêter comme un apprête une peau de
boeuf. Il en fait ensuite un ornement, et l'attache au harnois de son
cheval en guise de trophèe. Plus un particulier a de ces sortes de
dépouilles, plus il est considéré et estimé."--Lafitau, tom. ii., 258;
Herodotus, lib. iv., n. 64.

"The scalping is an operation not calculated of itself to take life, as
it only removes the skin, without injuring the bone of the head, and
necessarily, to be a genuine scalp, must contain and show the crown and
center of the head--that part of the skin which lies directly over what
the phrenologists call 'self-esteem,' where the hair divides and
radiates from the center, of which they all profess to be strict judges,
and able to decide whether an effort has been made to produce two or
more scalps from one head. Besides taking the scalp, the victor
generally, if he has time to do it without endangering his own scalp,
cuts off and brings home the rest of the hair, which his knife will
divide into a great many small locks, and with them fringe the seams of
his shirt and leggins, which also are worn as trophies and ornaments to
the dress, and these are familiarly called 'scalp-locks.' ... As the
scalp is taken in evidence of a death, it will easily be seen that an
Indian has no business or inclination to take it from the head of the
living, which I venture to say is never done in North America, unless it
be, as has sometimes happened, when a man falls in the heat of battle,
and the Indian, rushing over his body, snatches off his scalp, supposing
him dead, who afterward rises from the field of battle, and easily
recovers from this superficial wound of the knife, wearing a bald spot
on his head during the remainder of his life."--Catlin, vol. i., p.

No. LIX.

Charlevoix gives the following account of some of the games of chance in
use among the red Indians:

"_Le Jeu de Pailles._--Ces pailles sont de petits joncs de la grosseur
des tuyaux de froment et de la longueur de deux doigts. On en prend un
paquet, qui est ordinairement de deux cent un, et toujours en nombre
impair. Après qu'on les a bien remués, en faisant mille contortions, et
en invoquant les génies, on les sépare avec une espèce d'aliene, ou un
os pointee, en paquets de dix; chacun prend le sien à l'aventure, et
celui, à qui échoit le paquet de onze, gagne un certain nombre de
points, dont on est convenu: les parties sont en soixante ou en quatre
vingt.... On m'a dit qu'il y avoit autant d'addresse que de hazarde dans
ce jeu, et que les sauvages y sont extremement fripons, comme dans tous
les autres; qu'ils s'y acharnent souvent jusqu'à y passer les jours et
les nuits.

"_Le Jeu de la Crosse._--On y joue avec une bale et des bâtons,
recourbés et terminés par une espèce de raquette. On dresse deux poteaux
qui servent des bornes, et qui sont éloignés l'un de l'autre, à
proportion du nombre des joueurs. Par exemple s'ils sont quatre vingt,
il y a entre les poteaux une demie lieue de distance. Les joueurs sont
partagés en deux bandes, qui ont chacune leur poteau, et il s'agit de
faire aller la bale jusqu'à celui de la partie adverse, sans qu'elle
tombe à terre, et sans qu'elle soit touchée avec la main; car si l'un ou
l'autre arrive on perd la partie, à moins que celui qui a fait la faute
ne la répare, en faisant aller la bale d'un seul trait au but, ce qui
est souvent impossible. Ces sauvages sont si adroits à prendre la bale
avec leurs crosses, que quelquefois ces parties durent plusieurs jours
de suite.

"_Le Jeu du Plat, appellé aussi le Jeu des Osselets._--Il ne se joue
qu'entre deux personnes. Chacun a six ou huit osselets, que je pris
d'abord pour des noyaux d'abricots; els en ont la figure et sont de même
grandeur, mais en les regardant de près je m'aperçus qu'ils étoient à
six faces inégales, dont les deux principales sont peintes, l'une en
noir, l'autre en blanc tirant sur le jaune. On les fait sauter en l'air,
en frappant la terre, ou la table, avec un plat rond et creux, où ils
sont, et qu'ils font pirouetter auparavant. Si tous en tombant
présentent la même couleur, celui qui a joué gagne cinq points, la
partie est en quarante, et on défalque les points gagnés, à mesure que
l'adversaire en gagne de son côté. Cinq osselets d'une même couleur ne
donnent qu'un point pour la première fois, mais à la seconde on fait
rafle de tout. En moindre nombre on ne gagne rien. Celui, qui gagne la
partie, continue de jouer; le perdant cède sa place à un autre, qui est
nommé par les marqueurs de sa partie. Car on se partage d'abord, et
souvent tout le village s'intéresse au jeu: quelquefois même un village
joue contre un autre. Chaque partie choisit son marqueur, mais il se
retire quand il veut, ce qui n'arrive que lorsque la chose tourne mal
pour les siens. À chaque coup que l'on joue, surtout si c'est un coup
décisif, il s'élève de grands cris: les joueurs paroissent comme des
fascinés, et les spectateurs ne sont pas plus tranquils."--Charlevoix,
vol. v., p. 386; vol. vi., p. 26.

No. LX.

"The action in which Sir Richard met with his death is so extraordinary
that it well merits recital: its object was to surprise the Spanish
fleet when it rendezvoused at the Azores, on its return from America.
For this purpose, Lord Thomas Howard sailed from England with six of the
queen's ships, six victualers, and some pinnaces, Sir Richard Grenville
being vice admiral in the Revenge. Having set out in the spring, 1591,
they waited six months at Flores in expectation of their prize. Philip,
however, obtaining intelligence of their design, dispatched Don Alphonso
Barcau with fifty-three ships of war to act as convoy. So secure had the
English become by protracted delay, that this armament was bearing down
upon them before they had the least suspicion of its approach. Most of
the crews were on shore, providing water, ballast, and other
necessaries, and many were disabled by sickness. To hurry on board,
weigh anchor, and leave the place with the utmost speed, was their only
safety; and Grenville, upon whom the charge of the details at this
pressing crisis was imposed, was the last upon the spot, superintending
the embarkation, and receiving his men on board, of whom ninety were on
the sick-list, and only one hundred able for duty. Thus detained, he
found it impossible to recover the wind, and there was no alternative
but either to cut his mainsail, tack about, and fly with all speed, or
remain and fight it out single handed. It was to this desperate
resolution that he adhered. 'From the greatness of his spirit,' says
Raleigh, 'he utterly refused to turn from the enemy, protesting he would
rather die than be guilty of such dishonor to himself, his country, and
her majesty's ship.' His design was to force the squadron of Seville,
which was on his weather bow, to give way; and such was the impetuosity
of his attack, that it was on the point of being successful. Divers of
the Spaniards, springing their loof, as the sailors of those times
termed it, fell under his lee; when the San Philip, a galleon of 1500
tons, gained the wind, and coming down on the Revenge, becalmed her
sails so completely that she could neither make way nor obey the helm.
The enemy carried three tier of guns on each side, and discharged eight
foreright from her chase, besides those of her stern ports. At the
moment Sir Richard was thus entangled, four other galleons loofed up and
boarded him, two on his larboard and two on his starboard. The close
fight began at three in the afternoon, and continued, with some slight
intermission, for fifteen hours, during which time, Grenville,
unsupported, sustained the reiterated attacks of fifteen Spanish ships,
the rest not being able to engage in close fire. The unwieldy San
Philip, having received a broadside from the lower tier of the Revenge,
shifted with all speed, and avoided the repetition of such a salute; but
still, as one was beaten off, another supplied the vacant space. Two
galleons were sunk, and two others so handled as to lie complete wrecks
upon the water; yet it was evident no human power could save Sir
Richard's vessel. Although wounded in the beginning of the action, its
brave commander refused, for eight hours, to leave the upper deck. He
was then shot through the body, and as his wound was dressing he
received another musket ball, and saw the surgeon slain at his side.
Such was the state of things during the night; but the darkness
concealed the full extent of the calamity. As the day broke, a
melancholy spectacle presented itself. 'Now,' says Raleigh, 'was to be
seen nothing but the naked hull of a ship, and that almost a skeleton,
having received eight hundred shot of great artillery, and some under
water; her deck covered with the limbs and carcasses of forty valiant
men, the rest all wounded, and painted with their own blood; her masts
beat overboard; all her tackle cut asunder; her upper works raised and
level with the water, and she herself incapable of receiving any
direction or motion except that given her by the heaving billows.' At
this moment Grenville proposed to sink the vessel, and trust to the
mercy of God rather than fall into the hands of the Spaniards--a
resolution in which he was joined by the master gunner and a part of the
crew; but the rest refused to consent, and compelled their captain to
surrender. Faint with the loss of blood, and, like his ship, shattered
with repeated wounds, this brave man soon after expired, with these
remarkable words: 'Here die I, Richard Grenville, with a joyful and
quiet mind, for that I have ended my life as a true soldier ought to do,
fighting for his country, queen, religion, and honor.'"--_Report of the
Truth of the Fight about the Isles of the Azores_, 4to, 1501, quoted in
Tytler's "Life of Raleigh."

No. LXI.

"Pocahontas, before her marriage, was instructed in the principles of
the Christian religion, which she cordially embraced, and was baptized
by the name of Rebecca. Soon after, she set sail to visit England. As
soon as Smith heard of her arrival, he sent a letter to the queen,
recounting all her services to himself and to the nation, assuring her
majesty that she had a great spirit, though a low stature, and earnestly
soliciting her majesty's kindness and courtesy. Mrs. Rolfe was
accordingly introduced, and well received at court. At first James
fancied that Rolfe, in marrying her, might be advancing a claim to the
crown of Virginia; however, by great pains, this idea was at last driven
out of his brains. Mrs. Rolfe was for some time, as a novelty, the
favorite object in the circles of fashion and nobility. On her
introduction into these, she deported herself with a grace and propriety
which, it is said, many ladies, bred with every advantage of education
and society, could not equal. Purchas mentions meeting her at the table
of his patron, Dr. King, bishop of London, where she was entertained
'with festival state and pomp,' beyond what, at his hospitable board,
was shown to other ladies. She carried herself as the daughter of a
king, and was respected as such. She was accompanied by Vitamokomakkin,
an Indian chief and priest, who had married one of her sisters, and had
been sent to attend her. Purchas saw him repeatedly 'sing and dance his
diabolical measures.' He endeavored to persuade this chief to follow the
example of his sister-in-law, and embrace Christianity, but found him 'a
blasphemer of what he knew not, preferring his God to ours.' He insisted
that their _Okee_, having taught them to plant, sow, and wear a cork
twisted round their left ear, was entitled to their undivided homage.
Powhatan had instructed him to bring back every information respecting
England, and particularly to count the number of people, furnishing him
for that purpose with a bundle of sticks, that he might make a notch for
every man. Vitamokomakkin, the moment he landed at Plymouth, was
appalled at the magnitude of the task before him; however, he continued
notching most indefatigably all the way to London; but the instant that
he entered Piccadilly, he threw away the sticks, and on returning,
desired Powhatan to count the leaves on the trees, and the sand on the
sea-shore. He also told Smith that he had special instructions to see
the English god, their king, their queen, and their prince. Smith could
do nothing for him as to the first particular; but he was taken to the
levee, and saw the other three, when he complained bitterly that none of
them had made him any present. As soon as Smith learned that Pocahontas
was settled in a house at Brentford, which she had chosen in order to be
out of the smoke of London, he hastened to wait upon her. His reception
was very painful. The princess turned from him, hid her face, and for
two hours could by no effort be induced to utter a word. A certain
degree of mystery appears to hang on the origin of this deadly offense.
Her actual reproaches, when she found her speech, rested on having heard
nothing of him since he left Virginia, and on having been assured there
that he was dead. Prevost has taken upon him to say that the breach of
plighted love was the ground of this resentment, and that it was only on
believing that death had dissolved the connection between them that she
had been induced to marry another. I can not in any of the original
writers meet with the least trace of this alleged vow, and should be
sorry to find in Smith the false lover of the fair Pocahontas. It would
not also have been much in unison with her applauded discretion to have
resented a wrong of this nature in such a time and manner. I am
persuaded that this love was a creation of the romantic brain of
Prevost, and that the real ground of her displeasure was, that during
the two years when she was so shamefully kept in durance, she had heard
nothing of any intercession made in her favor by one whom she had laid
under such deep obligation, and really the thing seems to require some
explanation. It appears that when Smith at last was able to draw speech
from the indignant fair one, he succeeded in satisfying her that there
had been no such neglect as she apprehended, and she insisted on calling
him by the name of father.

"It is said that Pocahontas departed from London with the most
favorable impressions, and with every honor, her husband being appointed
Secretary and Recorder General of Virginia. But Providence had not
destined that she should ever revisit her native shore. As she went down
to embark at Gravesend she was seized with illness, and died in a few
days. Her end is described to have edified extremely all the spectators,
and to have been full of Christian resignation and hope."--Murray's
_America_. See Smith, in Pinkerton, vol. xiii., p. 120-123; Beverley;
Prevost, _Hist. Gen. des Voyages_, vol. xiv., p. 471; Purchas, vol. iv.,


"The historians of Virginia have left some records respecting this
unfortunate race, who have not even left behind a relic of their name or
nation. A rude agriculture, devolved solely on the women; hunting,
pursued with activity and skill, but rather as a pastime than a toil;
strong attachment of the members of the little communities to each
other, but deadly enmity against all their neighbors, and this
manifesting itself in furious wars--these features belong to the
Virginians, in common with almost every form of savage life. There are
others which are more distinctive. Although a rude independence has been
supposed to be, and in many cases is, the peculiar boast of the savage,
yet, when a yoke of opinion and authority has once been established over
his mind, he yields a submission more entire and more blind than is
rendered to the most absolute of Eastern despots. Such a sway had the
King of Virginia. 'When he listeth,' says Smith, 'his will is a law, and
must be obeyed; not only as a king, but as half a god they esteem him.
What he commandeth they dare not disobey in the least thing. It is
strange to see with what great fear and adoration all this people do
adore this Powhatan; at the least frown of his brow their greatest
spirits will tremble with fear.' Powhatan (father of the celebrated
Pocahontas; see Appendix, No. LXI.) had under him a number of chiefs,
who ruled as supreme within their own circle; and they were so numerous,
and covered so large an extent of territory, that Powhatan is often
dignified by Europeans with the title of emperor.

"The priests and conjurers formed a separate order, and enjoyed that
high influence which marks a certain advance in the social state. They
possessed some knowledge of nature, and of the history and traditions of
their country, superior, at least, to that of their ruder countrymen.
Their temples were numerous, formed on a similar plan to those of
Florida, and each served by one or more priests.

"Beverley was the man who made the most close inquiry into the Virginian
mythology. He did not meet with all the success he wished, finding them
excessively mysterious on the subject. Having got hold, however, of an
intelligent Indian, and plied him heartily with strong cider, he at last
got him to open his heart in some degree. As he declared his belief in a
wise, perfect, and supremely beneficent being, who dwelt in the
heavens, Beverley asked him how then he could confine his worship to the
devil, a wicked, ugly, earthly being. The Indian said that they were
secure as to the good being, who would shower down his blessings without
asking any return; but that the evil spirit was perpetually busy and
meddling, and would spoil all if court were not paid to him. Beverley,
however, pressed upon him how he could think that an insensible log, 'a
helpless thing, equipped with a burden of clouts,' could ever be a
proper object of worship. The visage of the Indian now assumed a very
marked and embarrassed expression. After a long pause, he began to
utter, in broken sentences, 'It is the priests;' then, after another
pause, 'It is the priests;' but 'a qualm crossed his conscience,' and he
would say no more.

"Beverley had been so well informed upon this last point, in consequence
of a favorable accident of which he had availed himself. While the whole
town were assembled to deliberate upon some great state affair, he was
ranging the woods, and stumbled upon their great temple. He resolved not
to lose so favorable an occasion. After removing about fourteen logs,
with which the door was barricadoed, he entered the mansion, which
appeared at first to consist only of a large, empty, dark apartment,
with a fire-place in the middle, and set round with posts, crowned with
carved or painted heads. On closer observation, he at length discovered
a recess, with mats hung before it, and involved in the deepest
darkness. With some hesitation he ventured into this wondrous sanctuary,
where he found the materials, which, on being put together, made up
Okee, Kiwasee, or Mioceos, the mighty Indian idol. The main body
consisted of a large plank, to whose edges were nailed half hoops, to
represent the breast and belly. Long rolls of blue and red cotton cloth,
variously twisted, made arms and legs, the latter of which were
represented in a bent position. The reputation of the god was chiefly
supported by the very dim religious light under which he was viewed, and
which enabled also the conjurer to get behind him, and move his person
in such a manner as might be favorable to the extension of his
influence, while the priest in front, by the most awful menaces,
deterred any from approaching so near as might lead to any revelation of
the interior mysteries.

"Smith alleges against the Virginians that they made a yearly sacrifice
of a certain number of children; but it appears clear, from the
statements of Beverley, that he misunderstood, in this sense, the
practice of _huskenawing_, a species of severe probation through which
those were required to pass who desired either to be chiefs or priests.
On this occasion, after various preparatory ceremonies, the children are
led naked through two lines of men, armed with bastinadoes, which are
employed with great rigor against the victims, who, after running
through this gauntlet, are more dead than alive, and are covered with
boughs and leaves of trees. If any expire under this trial, it is
esteemed that the Okee has fixed his heart upon him, and carried him
off. The rest are conveyed into the depths of a wood, and shut up into a
cage or pen, where they are plied with intoxicating drugs till they are
said to become for several weeks actually deranged. By this process
they are supposed completely to lose all memory of what they have seen
and known in their former life, and to begin a new and brighter era.
They must not, on their return home, recognize their nearest friends or
comrades, the most common objects, nor even know a word of their own
language; all must be learned afresh. If any indications of memory
escape, the youth must pass again through the dreadful ordeal. Above
all, he must be careful not to have retained the slightest recollection
of any property he may have possessed, and which the neighbors usually
consider a favorable opportunity to appropriate.

"These Indians had not the least tincture of science, nor, of course,
used any form of writing. They made, however, paintings of animals and
other natural objects, by the form and natural position of which
information was transmitted; but it is to be regretted that none of the
Virginian paintings have been preserved to compare with those of the
Mexicans."--Murray's _America_, vol. i., p. 235. See _History of
Virginia_, by R. Beverley, a native and inhabitant of the place. 8vo.
London, 1702.


The following is Hennepin's account of the voyage of the first vessel
built by Europeans on the American lakes:

"It now became necessary for La Salle, in furtherance of his object, to
construct a vessel above the Falls of Niagara sufficiently large to
transport the men and goods necessary to carry on a profitable trade
with the savages residing on the Western lakes. On the 22d of January,
1679, they went six miles above the falls to the mouth of a small creek,
and there built a dock convenient for the construction of their

"On the 26th of January, the keel and other pieces being ready, La Salle
requested Father Hennepin to drive the first bolt, but the modesty of
the good father's profession prevented.

"During the rigorous winter La Salle determined to return to Fort
Frontenac;[230] and leaving the dock in charge of an Italian named
Chevalier Tuti, he started, accompanied by Father Hennepin, as far as
Lake Ontario; from thence he traversed the dreary forests to Frontenac
on foot, with only two companions and a dog, which drew his baggage on a
sled, subsisting on nothing but parched corn, and even that failed him
two days' journey from the fort. In the mean time, the building of the
vessel went on under the suspicious eyes of the neighboring savages,
although the most part of them had gone to war beyond Lake Erie. One of
them, feigning intoxication, attempted the life of the blacksmith, who
defended himself successfully with a red-hot bar of iron. The timely
warning of a friendly squaw averted the burning of their vessel on the
stocks, which was designed by the savages. The workmen were almost
disheartened by frequent alarms, and would have abandoned the work had
they not been cheered by the good father, who represented the great
advantage their perseverance would afford, and how much their success
would redound to the glory of God. These and other inducements
accelerated the work, and the vessel was soon ready to be launched,
though not entirely finished. Chanting Te Deum, and firing three guns,
they committed her to the river amid cries of joy, and swung their
hammocks in security from the wild beasts and still more dreaded

"When the Senecas returned from their expedition they were greatly
astonished at the floating fort, 'which struck terror among all the
savages who lived on the great lakes and river within 1500 miles.'
Hennepin ascended the river in a bark canoe with one of his companions
as far as Lake Erie. They twice pulled the canoe up the rapids, and
sounded the lake for the purpose of ascertaining the depth. He reported
that with a favorable north or northwest wind the vessel could ascend to
the lake, and then sail without difficulty over its whole extent. Soon
after, the vessel was launched in the current of Niagara, about four and
a half miles from the lake. Hennepin left it for Fort Frontenac, and,
returning with La Salle and two other fathers, Gabriel and Zenobe
Mambre, anchored in the Niagara on the 30th of July, 1769. On the 4th of
August they reached the dock where the ship was built, which he calls
distant eighteen miles from Lake Ontario, and proceeded from thence in a
bark canoe to their vessel, which they found at anchor three miles from
the 'beautiful Lake Erie.'

"The vessel was of sixty tons burden, completely rigged, and found with
all the necessaries, arms, provisions, and merchandise; it had seven
small pieces of cannon on board, two of which were of brass. There was a
griffin flying at the jib-boom, and an eagle above. There were also all
the ordinary ornaments and other fixtures which usually grace a ship of

"They endeavored many times to ascend the current of the Niagara into
Lake Erie without success, the wind not being strong enough. While they
were thus detained La Salle employed a few of his men in clearing some
land on the Canadian shore opposite the vessel, and in sowing some
vegetable seeds for the benefit of those who might inhabit the place.

"At length, the wind being favorable, they lightened the vessel by
sending most of the crew on shore, and with the aid of their sails and
ten or a dozen men at the tow-lines, ascended the current into Lake
Erie. Thus, on the 7th of August, 1679, the first vessel set sail on
the untried waters of Lake Erie. They steered southward after having
chanted their never-failing Te Deum, and discharged their artillery in
the presence of a vast number of Seneca warriors. It had been reported
to our voyagers that Lake Erie was full of breakers and sandbanks, which
rendered a safe navigation impossible; they therefore kept the lead
going, sounding from time to time.

"After sailing without difficulty through Lake Erie, they arrived on the
11th of August at the mouth of the Detroit River, sailing up which they
arrived at Lake St. Clair, to which they gave the name it bears. After
being detained several days by contrary winds at the bottom of the St.
Clair River, they at length succeeded in entering Lake Huron on the 23d
of August, chanting Te Deum through gratitude for a safe navigation thus
far. Passing along the eastern shore of the lake, they sailed with a
fresh and favorable wind until evening, when the wind suddenly veered,
driving them across Saginaw Bay (Sacinaw). The storm raged until the
24th, and was succeeded by a calm, which continued until next day noon
(25th), when they pursued their course until midnight. As they doubled a
point which advanced into the lake, they were suddenly struck by a
furious wind, which forced them to run behind the cape for safety. On
the 26th the violence of the storm compelled them to send down their
top-masts and yards and to stand in, for they could find neither
anchorage nor shelter.

"It was then the stout heart of La Salle failed him; the whole crew fell
upon their knees to say their prayers and prepare for death, except the
pilot, whom they could not compel to follow their example, and who, on
the contrary, 'did nothing all that time but curse and swear against M.
la Salle, who had brought him thither to make him perish in a nasty
lake, and lose the glory he had acquired by his long and happy
navigation on the ocean.' On the 27th, favored with less adverse winds,
they arrived during the night at Michillimackinack, and anchored in the
bay, where they report six fathoms of water and a clay bottom. This bay
is protected on the southwest, west, and northwest, but open to the
south. The savages were struck dumb with astonishment at the size of
their vessel and the noise of their guns.

"Here they regaled themselves on the delicious trout, which they
described as being from 50 lbs. to 60 lbs. in weight, and as affording
the savages their principal subsistence. On the 2d of September they
left Mackinack, entered Lake Michigan (Illinois), and sailed forty
leagues to an island at the mouth of the Bay of Puara (Green Bay). From
this place La Salle determined to send back the ship laden with furs to
Niagara. The pilot and five men embarked in her, and on the 10th she
fired a gun and set sail on her return with a favorable wind. Nothing
more was heard from her, and she undoubtedly foundered in Lake Huron,
with all on board. Her cargo was rich, and valued at 60,000 livres.

"Thus ended the first voyage of the first ship that sailed over the
Western lakes. What a contrast is presented between the silent waves and
unbroken forests which witnessed the course of that adventurous bark,
and the busy hum of commerce which now rises from the fertile bottoms,
and the thousand ships and smoking palaces which now furrow the surface
of those inland seas!"--_American Tourist._

[Footnote 229: There can be but little doubt that the place they
selected for building their bark was the mouth of the Cayuga Creek,
about six miles above the falls. Governor Cuss says "the vessel was
launched at Erie;" Schoolcraft, in his Journal, says, "near Buffalo;"
and the historian Bancroft locates the site at the mouth of Tonawanda
Creek. Hennepin says the mouth of the creek was two leagues above the
great falls; the mouth of the Tonawanda is more than twice that
distance, and the Cayuga is the only stream that answers to that

[Footnote 230: Now Kingston, Canada.]



"All the inhabitants of the colony, by virtue of the Law of Fiefs
(except such gentlemen and other persons who, by their employments, had
the privilege of nobles), were militia-men, and enrolled in the several
companies of militia of the province. The captains of militia were the
most respectable persons in the country parishes, and were entitled to
the first seat in the churches; they also received the same distinctions
as the magistrates in the towns; they were held in great respect, and
government exacted from the inhabitants obedience to the orders they
signified to them on the part of government. If any of the inhabitants
did not obey orders, the captains were authorized to conduct them to the
city, and, on complaint, they were punished according to the nature of
the delinquency. When the government wanted the services of the militia
as soldiers, the colonels of militia, or the town majors, in consequence
of a requisition from the governor general, sent orders to the several
captains of militia in the country parishes to send a certain number of
militia-men, chosen by those officers who ordered the draughts, into
town, under an escort commanded by an officer of militia, who conducted
them to the town major, who furnished each militia-man with a gun, a
capot or Canadian cloak, a cotton shirt, a cap, a pair of leggins, a
pair of Indian shoes, and a blanket; after which they were marched to
the garrison to which they were destined. The militia were generally
reviewed once or twice a year to inspect their arms. The militia of the
city of Quebec were frequently exercised, and the company of artillery
every Sunday were exercised at the great gun practice, under the orders
and directions of the artillery sergeant major of the king's troops. To
excite the emulation of the militia-men, a premium was given to such as
excelled. The captains in the country were obliged to execute all orders
addressed to them by the governor general, and also all processes from
the intendant respecting the police, and also with regard to suits
touching fiefs. They were also obliged to execute all orders respecting
the roads from the grand voyer. It was customary for the governor
general to deliver to the several captains of militia every year, by way
of gratification, a quantity of powder and ball."--General Murray's

No. LXV.

"When the French began their settlements in Canada, the country
exhibited one vast and unbounded forest, and property was granted in
extensive lots called _seigneuries_, stretching along either coast of
the St. Lawrence for a distance of ninety miles below Quebec, and thirty
miles above Montreal, comprehending a space of three hundred miles in

"The _seigneuries_ each contain 100 to 500 square miles, and are
parceled out into small tracts on a freehold lease to the inhabitants,
as the persons to whom they were granted had not the means of
cultivating them. These consisted of officers of the army, of gentlemen,
and of communities, who were not in a state to employ laborers and
workmen. The portion to each inhabitant was of three acres in breadth,
and from seventy to eighty in depth, commencing on the banks of the
river, and running back into the woods, thus forming an entire and
regular lot of land.

"To the proprietors of _seigneuries_ some powers, as well as
considerable profits, are attached. They are by their grants authorized
to hold courts and sit as judges in what is termed _haute_ and _basse
justice_, which includes all crimes committed within their jurisdiction,
treasons and murders excepted. Few, however, exercised this privilege
except the ecclesiastical seigneurs of Montreal, whose right of
jurisdiction the King of France purchased from them, giving them, in
return, his _droit de change_. Some of the seigneurs have a right of
villain service from their tenants.

"At every transfer or mutation of proprietor, the new purchaser is bound
to pay a sum equal to a fifth part of the purchase money to the seigneur
or to the king; but if this fine be paid immediately, only one third of
the fifth is demanded. This constituted a principal part of the king's
revenues in the province. When an estate falls by inheritance to a new
possessor, he is by law exempted from the fine.

"The income of a seigneur is derived from the yearly rent of his lands,
from _lots et vents_, or a fine on the disposal of property held under
him, and from grist mills, to whose profits he has an exclusive right.
The rent paid by each tenant is considerable; but they who have many
inhabitants on their estates enjoy a tolerably handsome revenue, each
person paying in money, grain, or other produce, from five to twelve
livres _per annum_. In the event of a sale of any of the lots of his
_seigneurie_, a proprietor may claim a preference of repurchasing it,
which is seldom exercised but with a view to prevent frauds in the
disposal of the property. He may also, whenever he finds it necessary,
cut down timber for the purpose of building mills and making roads;
tithes of all the fisheries on his domain likewise belong to him.

"Possessed of these advantages, seigneurs might in time attain to a
state of comparative affluence were their estates allowed to remain
entire. But by the practice of divisions among the different children of
a family, they become, in a few generations, reduced. The most ample
share, which retains the name of _seigneurie_, is the portion of eldest
son; the other partitions are denominated _feofs_. These are, in the
next generation, again subdivided, and thus, in the course of a few
descents, a seigneur is possessed of little more than his title. This is
the condition of most of those estates that have passed to the third or
fourth generation.

"The inhabitants, in like manner, make divisions of their small tracts
of land, and a house will sometimes belong to several proprietors. It is
from these causes that they are in a great measure retained in a state
of poverty, that a barrier to industry and emulation is interposed, and
that a spirit of litigation is excited.

"There are in Canada upward of 100 _seigneuries_, of which that of
Montreal, belonging to the seminary of St. Sulpicius, is the richest and
most productive. The next in value and profit is the territory of the
Jesuits. The members of that society who resided at Quebec were, like
the priests of Montreal, only agents for the head of their community.
But since the expulsion of their order from France, and the seizure by
the Catholic sovereigns of Europe of all the lands of that society
within their dominions, the Jesuits in Canada held their _seigneurie_ in
their own right.

"Some of the domiciliated savages held also in the province land in the
right of seigneurs.

"Upon a representation of the narrow circumstances to which many of the
_noblesse_ and gentlemen of the colony were reduced, not only by the
causes already assigned, but by others equally powerful, Louis XIV. was
induced to permit persons of that description to carry on commerce by
sea or land without being subjected to any inquiry on this account, or
to an imputation of their having derogated from their rank in society.

"To no _seigneurie_ is the right of patronage to the Church attached; it
was upon the advancement of the pretensions of some seigneurs, founded
on their having built parochial churches, that the king in 1685
pronounced in council that this right should belong to the bishop, he
being the most capable of judging concerning the qualifications of
persons who were to serve, and the incomes of the curacies also being
paid from the tithes, which belonged to him alone. The right of
patronage was at the same time declared not to be reputed an
honor."--Heriot's _Canada_, p. 98.


"Louis Joseph, marquis de Montcalm de St. Véran, lieutenant général,
naquit au château de Candiac, près de Nîmes, en 1712. Sa famille,
originaire du Ronerque, joint ordinairement à son nom celui de
Gozon.[231] L'éducation du Marquis de St. Véran fut confiée, ainsi que
celle de son frère aîné, enfant célébre,[232] aux soins de Dumas,
l'inventeur du bureau typographique. Quoiqu'il fut sorti à l'âge de
quatorze ans des mains de cet habile instituteur, pour entrer dans la
carrière militaire, il avoit si bien profité de ses leçons qu'il
conserva le goût de l'étude jusque dans le tumulte des camps; et
l'étendue de ses connaissances justifia son ambition et son espérance
d'être admis à l'Académie Royale des inscriptions et belle-lettres de
Paris. Il ne vécut pas assez pour jouir de cette honneur.

"Sa vie militaire a jetté un grand éclat. Il se distingua dès les premiers
pas dans la carrière, reçut trois blessures à la bataille de Plaisance, et
deux au funeste combat d'Exilles (ou de l'Assiette).[233] Il étoit alors
colonel d'infanterie. Devenue brigadier il passa dans la cavalerie et fut
fait mestre-de-camp d'un régiment de son nom. Maréchal-de-camp en 1756 il
alla commander en chef les troupes chargées de la défense des colonies
Françaises dans l'Amérique Septentrionale."-_Biographie Universelle_,
art. Montcalm.

The French troops that served in Canada, being desirous of erecting a
monument in honor of Montcalm, their general, who fell in the action at
Quebec, when we also lost the brave Wolfe, a French colonel wrote to the
Academy of Belles-Lettres for an epitaph to be placed over Montcalm's
tomb, in a church in that city, which occasioned the following letter
from M. de Bougainville, member of the academy, to Mr. Pitt:

"Sir,--The honors paid, under your ministry, to Mr. Wolfe, assure me
that you will not disapprove of the grateful endeavors of the French
troops to perpetuate the memory of the Marquis de Montcalm. The body of
their general, who was honored by the regret of your nation, is interred
in Quebec. I have the honor to send you an epitaph made for him by the
Academy of Inscriptions. I beg the favor of you, sir, that you will be
pleased to examine it, and, if not improper, obtain leave for me to send
it to Quebec, engraved on marble, and to be placed on the Marquis de
Montcalm's tomb. Should such leave be granted, may I presume, sir, that
you will be so good as to inform me of it, and at the same time to send
me a passport, that the marble, with the epitaph engraved upon it, may
be received into an English ship, and Mr. Murray, governor of Quebec,
allow it to be placed in the Ursuline Church. You will be pleased, sir,
to pardon me for this intrusion on your important occupations; but
endeavoring to immortalize illustrious men and eminent patriots is doing
honor to yourself.

"I am, with respect, &c.,


Mr. Pitt's answer:

"Sir,--It is a real satisfaction to me to send you the king's consent on
a subject so affecting as the epitaph composed by the Academy of
Inscriptions at Paris for the Marquis de Montcalm, and which it is
desired may be sent to Quebec, engraved on marble, to be placed on the
tomb of that illustrious soldier. It is perfectly beautiful; and the
desire of the French troops which served in Canada to pay such a tribute
to the memory of their general, whom they saw expire at their head in a
manner worthy of them and himself, is truly noble and praiseworthy.

"I shall take a pleasure, sir, in facilitating every way such amiable
intentions; and on notice of the measures taken for shipping this
marble, I will not fail immediately to transmit you the passport you
desire, and send directions to the governor of Quebec for its reception.

"I withal beg of you, sir, to be persuaded of my just sensibility of
that so obliging part of the letter with which you have honored me
relating to myself, and to believe that I embrace as a happiness the
opportunity of manifesting the esteem and particular regard with which I
have the honor to be, &c.,


"_London, April 10th, 1761_."

The epitaph was as follows:

                 Utroque in orbe æternum victurus,
             Ludovicus Josephus de Montcalm Gozon,
               Marchio Sancti Verani, Baro Gebriaci,
               Ordinis sancti Ludovici commendator,
             Legatus generalis exercituum Gallicorum;
                     Egregius et civis et miles,
           Nullius rei appetens præterquam veræ laudis,
                 Ingenio felici, et literis exculto;
         Omnes militiæ gradus per continua decora emensus,
       Omnium belli artium, temporum, discriminum gnarus,
                 In Italia, in Bohemia, in Germania
                           Dux industrius.
     Mandata sibi ita semper gerens ut majoribus par haberetur.
                         Jam clarus periculus
           Ad tutandam Canadensem provinciam missus,
       Parva militum manu hostium copias non semel repulit,
         Propuguacula cepit viris armisque instructissima.
           Algoris, inediæ, vigiliarum, laboris patiens,
             Suis unice prospiciens, immemor sui,
               Hostis acris, victor mansuetus.
   Fortunam virtuti, virium inopiam peritia et celeritate compensavit;
 Imminens coloniæ fatum et consilio et manu per quadrimum sustinuit,
       Tandem ingentum exercitum duce strenuo et audaci,
           Classemque omni bellorum mole gravem,
             Multiplici prudentia diu ludificatus,
               Vi pertractus ad dimicandum,
     In prima acie, in primo conflictu vulneratus,
       Religioni quam semper coluerat innitens,
   Magno suorum desiderio, nec sine hostium moerore,
                         Extinctus est
       Die xiv. Sept., A.D. MDCCLIX., ætat. XLVIII.
     Mortales optimi ducis exuvias in excavata humo,
   Quam globus bellicus decidens dissiliensque defoderat,
               Galli lugentes deposuerunt,
       Et generosæ hostium fidei commemdârunt.


                       Here lieth,
           In either hemisphere to live forever,
           Lewis Joseph de Montcalm Gozon,
         Marquis of St. Veran, Baron of Gabriac,
         Commendatory of the Order of St. Louis,
         Lieutenant general of the French army;
         Not loss an excellent citizen than soldier,
       Who knew no desire but that of true glory;
   Happy in a natural genius, improved by literature,
 Having gone through the several steps of military honors
                   With uninterrupted luster,
                 Skill'd in all the arts of war,
         The juncture of times, and the crisis of dangers,
               In Italy, in Bohemia, in Germany,
                     An indefatigable general.
           He so discharged his important trusts,
         That he seemed always equal to still greater.
           At length, grown bright with perils,
           Sent to secure the province of Canada,
                     With a handful of men
       He more than once repulsed the enemy's forces,
           And made himself master of their forts,
             Replete with troops and ammunition.
         Inured to cold, hunger, watchings, and labors,
                     Unmindful of himself,
           He had no sensation but for his soldiers;
           An enemy with the fiercest impetuosity,
             A victor with the tenderest humanity.
          Adverse fortune he compensated with valor,
          The want of strength with skill and activity,
              And, with his counsel and support,
 For four years protracted the impending fate of the colony.
                Having with various artifices
                  Long baffled a great army,
          Headed by an expert and intrepid commander,
            And a fleet furnished with all warlike stores,
                Compelled at length to an engagement,
              He fell, in the first rank, in the first onset,
 With those hopes of religion which he had always cherished,
              To the inexpressible loss of his own army,
              And not without the regret of the enemy's,
        XIV. September, A.D. MDCCLIX., of his age XLVIII.
                       His weeping countrymen
     Deposited the remains of their excellent general
                           In a grave,
   Which a fallen bomb in bursting had excavated for him,
 Recommending them to the generous faith of their enemies.

--_Annual Register_, 1762.

[Footnote 231: "La famille de Montcalm joint ordinairement à son nom
celui de Gozon, sons lequel elle s'illustra au quatorzième siècle; le
grand-maître de l'ordre de St. Jean de Jérusalem, qui obtint cette
dignité pour avoir délivré l'ile de Rhodes d'un dragon qui la ravageoit.
Les grans bois de la terre de Gozon, vendu domainalement, portent encore
le nom de dragonnières, d'après la tradition que c'est là que le
chevalier Dieu Donnè exerçoit ses chiens à la poursuite d'un dragon
artificiel avant d'attaquer celui que désoloit l'ile de Gozon. La même
tradition de la famille Montcalm a conservé le nom du fidèle domestique
qui accompagna ce héros; il se nomma Roustan. On grava sur son tombeau
cette courte inscription, 'Draconia Extinctor.' Plusieurs critiques ont
cherché a jeter des doutes sur le combat de Gozon. On peut voir dans le
Dictionnaire de Chaufepié, les raisons qu'on leur oppose, tirées de
l'existence de serpents monstreux, prouvée par l'accord des historiens
anciens, et par les récits des voyageurs, comme par le témoignage des
monuments contemporains, des Chroniques de l'Ordre de Malte, et enfin
d'une tapisserie sur laquelle est représenté le mémorable combat de
Gozon."--_Biographie Universelle_, art. Gozon.]

[Footnote 232: "Le frère aîné de Montcalm, Jean Louis Pierre Elizabeth
de Montcalm de Candiac, étoit un enfant célébre, qui attira l'attention
et les hommages des savants à Nîmes, à Montpellier, à Grenoble, à Lyons,
à Paris. Sa vie n'eut que sept ans de durée, et cependant outre sa
langue maternelle qu'il connoissait par principes, il avoit des notions
assez avancées de Latin, de Grec, et d'Hébreu, il possédoit toute
l'arithmétique, savoit la fable, le blason, la géographie et plusieurs
parties importantes de l'histoire sacrée et profane, ancienne et
moderne. Il étoit l'élève de Dumas aussi bien que son frère; sa mort fut
causée par une hydropisie de cerveau."--_Biographie Universelle_, art.

[Footnote 233: "Le Comte de Belleisle avoit la promesse du bâton de
Maréchal de France s'il réussissait de pénétrer dans le coeur du Piémont
avec l'armée du Dauphiné. Le 19 Juillet, 1746, à la pointe du jour, il
commença l'attaque mémorable et sanglante, où tous les prodiges de la
valeur Française furent vains. Quatorze bataillons Piémontais
défendaient le col de l'Assiette qui couvroit, à la fois, Exilles et
Fenestrelles. Désespéré du mauvais succés d'une attaque désapprouvée par
les généraux les plus expérimentés, le Comte de Belleisle se mit à la
tête des officiers de l'armée, dont il forma une colonne, et qui,
presque tous, vinrent se faire tuer au pied des retranchemens. Blessé
aux deux mains, Belleisle tachoit d'arracher les palisades avec les
dents, lorsque il reçut un coup mortel. Les François repoussés et sans
chef firent leur retraite sur Briançon."--_Biographie Universelle_, art.

[Footnote 234: Jean Pierre de Bougainville was Secretary to the French
Academy of Inscriptions. He died in 1763, at the age of forty-one, of
asthma, brought on by intense application. His brother, Louis Antoine,
the celebrated circumnavigator, who had been Montcalm's aide-de-camp,
retired from the service in 1790. He was afterward made a count and a
senator by Bonaparte, became member of the National Institute, and of
the Royal Society of London. He died at Paris in 1811, at the age of



James Wolfe was the second son of Colonel Edward Wolfe, who was
afterward colonel of the 8th Regiment, and died on the 27th of March,
1759, but a short time before the death of his gallant son. Colonel
Wolfe had served and won honorable estimation, under Marlborough in
early life; on his return from the continental wars he married Miss
Harriett Thompson, sister to the then member of Parliament for York. The
inhabitants of that city made a vigorous effort to appropriate the honor
of James Wolfe having been born among them, and a controversy in prose
and verse, neither of them of a very brilliant description, was long
carried on in the periodicals of the day, between the capital of the
North and the quiet village of Westerham. Whatever the merits of the
writers upon either side may have been, and their power of wit and
argument, there were a few lines in the parish register of the Kentish
hamlet which proved more convincing than any thing else; James, son of
Colonel Edward Wolfe, was baptized on January 11th, 1727. On a tablet
erected to his memory in Westerham Church, it is stated that he was born
on the 2nd of January, 1727.

The vicarage house of the village was the place of Wolfe's birth, then
leased to his father by the Reverend George Lewis, the vicar, whose son
was vicar when Wolfe died, and wrote the inscription for his monument.
The elder brother of this gallant general died young; he himself was
sent to a respectable private school in the neighborhood, where,
although an ardent and clever boy, he was not distinguished for any very
remarkable characteristics.

When only fourteen years of age he embarked with his father, who was
engaged in the expedition to Flanders under Lord Cathcart; the youth,
however, who was then and always of a very delicate constitution, fell
ill, and was under the necessity of being landed at Portsmouth. After a
little time, his health being somewhat re-established, he joined his
father on the Continent, and at once began to read the lessons of
military art in the stern school of reality.

On the 3rd of November, 1741, Colonel Wolfe caused his youthful son to
be appointed to a commission in a battalion of marines which he himself
commanded. On the 27th of March, 1742, James Wolfe removed into the 12th
Regiment as ensign, and fought at the battle of Dettingen in that same
year. In April he appears to have been on leave, traveling probably for
health; in this month he writes to his mother, dating Rome, a grateful
and affectionate letter. On the 14th of July, 1743, he was promoted to a
lieutenancy in the same regiment, while serving with the allies behind
the Scheldt, and in 1744 was engaged under Wade in his inglorious
operations; in that year he was given a company in the 4th Regiment; in
the following, he fought under the Duke of Cumberland in the fatal but
glorious battle of Fontenoy. Up to this time Wolfe had been with his
regiment in every engagement in which it had taken part, and had already
gained greater distinction than can usually fall to the lot of those in
the junior ranks of the army. In 1746 he fought under Hawley in the
front line at the disgraceful rout at Falkirk, and his conduct, even in
that unfortunate occasion, called forth the praise of his superiors. In
the same year his services were transferred to a service more worthy of
his future fame than the obscure and painful struggles of a civil war;
he served and gained new approbation under the gallant Ligonier at

On the 5th of February, 1746-7, he was raised to a majority in the 33d
Regiment. This step of rank afforded new opportunity to this gallant
youth; at the battle of La Feldt, in the same year, he distinguished
himself in so remarkable a manner, that the British general-in-chief,
the Duke of Cumberland, publicly thanked him on the battle-field. On the
5th of January, 1748-9, he removed into Lord George Sackville's, the
20th Regiment of Foot.

Wolfe commanded this regiment during the absence of the colonel for a
considerable time, and soon brought it into a state of the highest
discipline. Wherever he went, he received the praise of the different
general officers commanding, and gained the esteem and regard of all who
became acquainted with him in civil or military life. His regimental
orders, which are still extant, are admirable, and furnish ample
evidence of zeal for, and knowledge of, his profession.

In February, 1748-9, Wolfe served at Stirling, in Scotland; in April, at
Glasgow; in October, at Perth. March 20th, 1749-50, he was made colonel
of the regiment which he had for some time so admirably commanded; in
October he was at Dundee, in November at Banff; and remained in Scotland
till 1753, when he removed to Reading, where his regiment was reviewed
and highly commended by the Duke of Cumberland. In December in that year
he was at Dover Castle. In 1755 he was at Winchester and Southampton; at
the end of October he marched to Gravesend, and in December to
Canterbury. While in the south of England, he constantly practiced his
regiment in such evolutions as might be necessary to oppose the landing
of an invading army, and wrote an elaborate code of instructions, to be
acted upon in case of any attempt being made upon the coast. At the same
time, a number of his trained soldiers were withdrawn to fill up the
ill-fated ranks of the 44th and 48th, then about to sail for America
under Braddock, where many of them perished miserably and ingloriously.

Early in 1757, Lieutenant-colonel Wolfe was selected, on account of his
known merit, by Mr. Pitt to serve as quarter-master general of the force
sent against Rochefort, under Sir John Mordaunt, the general, and Sir
Edward Hawke, the admiral. While the expedition lay motionless in Basque
Roads, from the untoward dissensions between the naval and military
officers, Wolfe landed one night alone upon the hostile shore, and
walked two miles up the country. He found that there were no real
difficulties in the way of debarkation, and that no preparations had
been made to oppose it. When he returned to the fleet he reported the
result of his observations, and strongly, but vainly, urged the general
to land, and at once attack Rochefort. Finally, he pledged himself to
carry the place, should three ships of war and 500 men be placed at his
disposal. The proposal was neglected: however, the zeal and daring shown
by the gallant young soldier on this occasion confirmed Pitt in the
estimate which he had formed of his character. Some more days were
wasted in inaction, and at length the expedition, having destroyed the
unimportant fortifications of Aix, returned ingloriously to England.
Wolfe's merit was thrown out in strong relief by the incapacity of
those under whom he served; while they were despised, he was honored.
The rank of brevet colonel on the 21st of October of that year was his
first reward.

On the 23d of January, 1758, Mr. Pitt made Wolfe brigadier general, and
gave him the command of a brigade under Amherst, in the expedition
against Louisburg, disregarding the mere official routine of seniority.
Events soon proved the wisdom of the selection. From thenceforward
Wolfe's biography is English history. However, it may be added that he
was made colonel of the 67th Foot on the 21st of April, 1758. In
January, 1759, Pitt again selected him for service. This time he was to
command in chief: he was gazetted as major general, and intrusted with
the conduct of the arduous expedition against Quebec.

It is a painful duty to repeat here an anecdote of Wolfe, which stands
recorded by the high authority of Lord Mahon. The young general dined
with Mr. Pitt shortly after his appointment to the command, a third
person only being present. After dinner, when the conversation turned
upon the approaching expedition, Wolfe became unreasonably excited: he
strode about the room, flourished his sword, and broke forth in a style
of vaporing altogether surprising in a man of real spirit. When he at
length departed, Mr. Pitt remained dismayed at having intrusted the fate
of the country and of the ministry in such hands. Happily, he did not
suffer new doubts to alter his former arrangements.

For some time Wolfe appears to have been unsuccessful in a suit which he
pleaded to Miss Lowther, and, in consequence, his naturally domestic
mind was re-strung to the harsher tones of ambition. Subsequently,
however, he became engaged to this lady, and the marriage was to have
been celebrated immediately on his return from the expedition against
Quebec. After his death Miss Lowther became Duchess of Bolton, but
tradition says that she always wore henceforth a pearl necklace which he
had given her, covered with black velvet, in memory of the departed.

Wolfe was a plain man: his features were sharp, his forehead somewhat
receding, his hair sandy or red, and, contrary to the fashion of the
time, was not powdered; his skin was coarse, fair, and freckled; but his
mouth wore a smiling and gentle expression, and his eyes were blue and
benignant. He was delicate from early youth, and the seeds of fatal
diseases were displayed in his constitution. At first his address and
manner were unengaging, but he invariably endeared himself to all with
whom he was familiar. All his thoughts and actions were influenced by a
deep religious feeling. When a courtier remonstrated with the king upon
Wolfe's appointment to command the expedition against Quebec, saying
that "he was mad" (meaning that he was over-religious), the king
replied, "If he be mad, I wish he would bite some of my other generals."

Wolfe was assiduously and conscientiously attentive to his profession,
and was constitutionally and steadily daring. His mind was clear and
active, his temper lively and almost impetuous; he was independent
without pride, and generous to profusion. "He never caviled with his
instructions, or hesitated to obey orders; exact in discipline himself,
he was always punctual to obey. His judgment was acute, his memory quick
and retentive, and his disposition candid, constant, and sincere. The
union of the gentle and the bold, of ambition and affection, formed the
peculiar charm of his character. His courage never quailed before
danger, nor shrank from responsibility."

Little is known of Wolfe's private life. Dr. Southey contemplated the
task of writing his biography, but abandoned it from the want of
materials. To Lord Mahon and Mr. Gleig we are indebted for some very
interesting particulars, and for a few judiciously selected portions of
such of the hero's letters as are still extant. It only remains to
conclude this imperfect memoir with a few of these selections.

On first assuming the command of a regiment, Wolfe writes, "I take upon
me the difficult duty of a commander. It is a hard thing to keep the
passions within bounds, where authority and immaturity go together. It
is hard to be a severe disciplinarian, yet humane; to study the temper
of all, and endeavor to please them, and yet be impartial--to discourage
vice at the turbulent age of twenty-three."

His letters breathe a spirit of tenderness and gentleness, over which
ambition could not triumph. In writing to his mother on the 28th of
September, 1755, he says, "My nature requires some extraordinary events
to produce itself. I want that attention and those assiduous cares that
commonly go along with good nature and humanity. In the common
occurrences of life I am not seen to advantage." So far back as the 13th
of August, 1749, he writes also to his mother from Glasgow, "I have
observed your instructions so rigidly that, rather than want the word, I
got the reputation of being a very good Presbyterian by frequenting the
Kirk of Scotland till our chapel opens." Again he writes to his mother
from Inverness, November 6th, 1751, "There are times when men fret at
trifles, and quarrel with their tooth-picks. In one of these ill habits
I exclaim against my present condition, and think it the worst of all,
but coolly and temperately, it is plainly the best. Where there is most
employment and least vice, there should one wish most to be."

On the 18th of February, 1755, he writes to his father, "I find that
your bounty and liberality keep pace, as they usually do, with my
necessities. I shall not abuse your kindness, nor receive it
unthankfully, and what use I make of it shall be for your honor and the
king's service--an employment worthy of the hand that gives it." His
amiable temper strongly inclined him, from an early age, to domestic
life; in the letter, November 6th, 1751 (before quoted), he declares
that he has "a turn of mind that favors matrimony prodigiously; I love
children, and think them necessary to people in their later days." He,
however, struggled with these wishes, and for a long time overcame them,
from his ardent love of fame.

Of Wolfe's life we know but little; the waves of oblivion have closed
over it, but the story of his death remains forever treasured in
England's grateful memory.

"Annual Register," May, 1760.

Some gentlemen in the parish of Westerham, in Kent, have erected a plain
monument to the late General Wolfe, in the inscription on which the
extraordinary honor intended his memory by his sovereign is hinted at,
and the impropriety of a more expensive monument in that place justly
shown. The table is of statuary marble, beautifully executed by Mr.
Lovel, near Cavendish Square.

 Son of Colonel Edward WOLFE, and Henrietta his wife, was born in
                   this parish, January 2d, 1727,
             And died in America, September 13th, 1759.

             "While George in sorrow bows his laurel'd head,
             And bids the artist grace the soldier dead,
             We raise no sculptured trophy to thy name,
             Brave youth! the fairest in the list of fame.
             Proud of thy birth, we boast th' auspicious year;
             Struck with thy fall, we shed a general tear;
             With humble grief inscribe one artless stone,
             And from thy matchless honors date our own."
                        "I DECUS I NOSTRUM."[235]

              "Annual Register," October, 1773.

On an oval tablet on front of the sarcophagus of General Wolfe's
monument in Westminster Abbey, just opened, is the following

           To the memory of
         JAMES WOLFE, Esq.,
 Major General and Commander-in-Chief
       Of the British Land Forces
   On an expedition against Quebec,
   Surmounting, by ability and valor,
    All obstacles of art and nature,
               Was slain,
      In the moment of Victory,
   At the head of his conquering troops,
      On the 13th of Sept., 1759,
              The King
   And the Parliament of Great Britain
       Dedicate this monument.

 "Annual Register," 1762.

The Right Honorable the Earl Temple has lately dedicated a most
magnificent building at Stowe, of the Ionic order, CONCORDIÆ ET

In the pediment of the portico is a fine alto relievo, representing the
four quarters of the world bringing gifts to Britain. In the portico, or
ante-temple, two medallions, _Concordia foederatorum_, _Concordia
civium_. Over the door, _Quo tempore salus corum in ultimas angustias
deducta nullum ambitioni locum relinquebat_. In the inner temple, in a
niche facing the entrance, the statue of BRITANNIA: over which, in a
tablet, _Candidis autem animis voluptatum, præbuerint in conspicuo
posita, quæ cuique magnifica merito contigerunt_. On the walls, fourteen
medallions, representing the taking of Quebec, Martinico, &c.;
Louisburg, Guadeloupe, &c.; Montreal, &c.; Pondicherry, &c. Naval
victory off Belleisle, naval victory off Lagas, Crevelt and Minden,
Fellinghausen; Senegal and Gorce, Niagara and Crown Point, Beau Sejour
and Fort du Quesne, Cherburg and Belleisle. On a hill at a distance, in
a diagonal line, runs an obelisk above a hundred feet, inscribed


_Ostendunt Terris nunc tantum Fata._

[Footnote 235: Is in white marble letters, inlaid in a ground of black


"Lord Howe always lay in his tent with the regiment which he commanded,
while the rest of the army were quartered in the town and fort of
Albany. This regiment he modeled in such a manner that they were ever
after considered as an example to the whole American army. Lord Howe
laid aside all pride and prejudice, and gratefully accepted council from
those whom he knew to be the best qualified to direct him. Madame
Schuyler was delighted with the calm steadiness with which he carried
through the austere rules which he found it necessary to lay down. In
the first place, he forbade all displays of gold and scarlet in the
rugged march they were about to undertake, and set the example by
wearing himself an ammunition coat, that is to say, one of the surplus
soldiers' coats cut short. This was a necessary precaution, because, in
the woods, the hostile Indians who started from behind the trees usually
caught at the long and heavy skirts then worn by the soldiers; and, for
the same reason, he ordered the muskets to be shortened, that they might
not, as on former occasions, be snatched from behind by these agile
foes. To prevent the march of his regiment from being descried at a
distance by the glittering of their arms, the barrels of their guns were
all blackened; and to save them from the tearing of bushes, the stings
of insects, &c., he set them the example of wearing leggins, a kind of
buskin made of strong woolen cloth. The greatest privation to the young
and vain yet remained. Hair well dressed and in great quantity was then
considered as the greatest possible ornament, which those who had it
took the utmost care to display to advantage, and to wear in a bag or
queue. Lord Howe's was very full and very abundant; he, however, cropped
it, and ordered every one else to do the same.

"The austere regulations and constant self-denial which he imposed upon
the troops he commanded were patiently borne, because he was not only
gentle in his manners, but generous and humane in a very high degree,
and exceedingly attentive to the health and real necessities of the
soldiery. Among many instances of this, a quantity of powdered ginger
was given to every man, and the sergeants were ordered to see that when,
in the course of marching, the soldiers arrived hot and tired at the
banks of any stream, they should not be permitted to stoop to drink, as
they generally inclined to do, but be obliged to lift water in their
canteens, and mix ginger with it. This became afterward a general
practice, and in those aguish swamps through which the troops were
forced to march, was the means of saving many lives. Aunt Schuyler, as
this amiable young officer familiarly styled his maternal friend, had
the greatest esteem for him, and the greatest hope that he would at some
future time redress all those evils that had formerly impeded the
service. The night before the march they had a long and serious
conversation. In the morning Lord Howe proposed setting out very early;
but, when he arose, was astonished to find Madame Schuyler waiting, and
breakfast ready; he smiled, and said he would not disappoint her, as it
was hard to say when he might again breakfast with a lady. Impressed
with an unaccountable degree of concern about the fate of the enterprise
in which he was embarked, she again repeated her counsels and her
caution; and when he was about to depart, embraced him with the
affection of a mother, and shed many tears, a weakness she did not often
give way to. A few days after Lord Howe's departure, in the afternoon, a
man was seen coming on horseback from the north, galloping violently,
without his hat. Pedrom ran eagerly to inquire, well knowing he rode
express. The man galloped on, crying out that Lord Howe was killed.
Shrieks and sobs of anguish re-echoed through every part of the
house."--_Letters of an American Lady_, vol. ii.; p. 73.


"Le troisième de Juillet de cette année Samuel de Champlain fonda la
ville de Quebec, capitale de la Nouvelle France, sur la rivière
septentrionale du fleuve St. Laurent à six-vingt lieuës de la mer, entre
une petite rivière qui porte le nom de St. Charles et un gros cap, qu'on
appelle le Cap aux Diamans, parce qu'on y trouvoit alors quantité de
diamans assez semblables à ceux d'Alençon."--_Fastes Chronologiques_,

"Cape Diamond abounds with very fine specimens of quartz, or rock
crystals. I have myself, in walking on the banks of the river at the
foot of the rocks, found many of them. They are discovered from the
brilliancy of their reflecting surfaces: they sparkle like the diamond,
and hence the place had its name. On examination, I have generally found
that they are pentagons, terminating in a point, and possessing
_naturally_ much of the brilliancy and polish of a cut diamond; and
they are so hard, that, like a diamond, they cut glass."--_Gray's
Canada_, p. 68.

"The mountain on which Quebec is built, and the hills along the River
St. Lawrence, consist of it for some miles together on both sides of
Quebec. About a yard from the surface this stone is quite compact, and
without any cracks, so that one can not perceive that it is a slate, its
particles being imperceptible. It lies in strata, which vary from three
or four inches to twenty thick and upward. In the mountains on which
Quebec is built the strata do not lie horizontal, but dipping, so as to
be nearly perpendicular, the upper ones pointing northwest and the lower
ones southeast. From hence it is, the corners of these strata always
strike out at the corners into the streets, and cut the shoes in pieces.
I have likewise seen some strata inclining to the northward, but rather
perpendicular, as the former. The strata are divided by narrow cracks,
which are commonly filled by fibrous white gypsum, which can sometimes
be got loose with a knife, if the larger stratum of slate above it is
broken in pieces; and in that case it has the appearance of a thin white
leaf. The large cracks are almost filled up with transparent quartz
crystals of different sizes. One part of the mountain contains great
quantities of these crystals, from which the corner of the mountain
which lies to S.S.E. of the palace has got the name of Pointe de
Diamante, or Diamond Point."--Kalm, in Pinkerton, vol. xiii., p. 678.

No. LXX.

"The Cherokees are planters and farmers, tradespeople and mechanics.
They have corn-fields and orchards, looms and work-shops, schools and
churches, and orderly institutions. In 1824, when the population of the
Cherokees was 15,560 persons, it included 1277 negroes; they had 18
schools, 36 grist-mills, 13 saw-mills, 762 looms, 2486 spinning-wheels,
172 wagons, 2923 plows, 7683 horses, 22,531 black cattle, 46,732 swine,
2546 sheep, 430 goats, 62 blacksmiths' shops, &c., with several public
roads, and fences, and turnpikes. The natives carry on a considerable
trade with the adjoining states, and some of them export cotton to New
Orleans. A printing-press has been established for several years, and a
newspaper, written partly in the English and partly in the Cherokee
language, has been successfully carried on. This paper, called the
_Cherokee Phoenix_, is written entirely by a Cherokee, a young man under
thirty. The missionaries among them declare that the converts generally
are very attentive to preaching, and very exemplary in their conduct.
Public worship, conducted by native members of the church, is held in
three or four places remote from the station. The pupils are making
great progress at the schools. Many of them are leaving the schools with
an education sufficient for life. New Echota is the seat of government
of the Cherokees. The provisions of the Constitution are placed under
six heads, divided into sections. The trial by jury is in full
operation. The right of suffrage is universal; every free male citizen
who has attained the age of eighteen years is entitled to vote at public
elections."--Stuart's _Three Years in North America_, vol. ii., p. 143.

"The Creeks, Cherokees, and Choctaws certainly hold out a promise of the
gradual attainment of civilization.... The recent invention of written
characters by a full-blood Cherokee,[236] consisting of eighty-four
signs expressing all the dominant sounds of that language, and the great
number of half words among them, are both favorable to this change of
life. The best proof that they are advancing from their savage state to
a higher grade is, that their numbers increase, while almost all other
tribes spread over the American continent far and near are known to
diminish in numbers so rapidly that common observation alone would
enable any one to predict their utter extinction before the lapse of
many years."--Latrobe, _Rambler in America_, vol. i., p. 163.

The Stockbridge Indians (so called from Stockbridge, Massachusetts) are,
upon the whole, considered to have made greater attainments in the
useful arts of civilized life, and also in the Christian religion, than
any other tribe of the aborigines. They heard the preaching of Brainard
and Edwards, and have enjoyed Christian privileges and education with
little interruption for more than ninety years. The Stockbridge Indians,
and the Oneidas, under the celebrated Oneida half-blood Mr. Williams,
were the principal of those unfortunate New York Indians who were
persuaded, on the faith of solemn treaties, to leave their homes in New
York and form new settlements among the wild Indian tribes beyond the
Mississippi. One of the visitors to these new settlements, after the
Indians had been a few years established there, thus describes the
improvements they had effected in this remote wilderness: "On the east
bank of Fox River they had in the course of some half dozen years
reared a flourishing settlement; built houses and barns in the usual
style of the white settlements under similar circumstances; cleaved away
portions of the forest, and reduced their farms to an interesting state
of improvement; organized and brought into solitary operation a
political and civil economy; established schools, and in 1830 were
building a very decent Christian church; had erected mills and
machinery; exhibiting, in a word, a most interesting phasis of
civilization, along with the purest morals under the simplest
manners."--Colton's _Tour among the Northwest Indians_, vol. i., p. 203.
This American writer is justly indignant at the cruel and dishonest
policy of the American government in driving these unfortunate wanderers
away from the new home solemnly promised them into the wild and dreary
regions of the Far West, as soon as the settlement at Fox River was
ascertained to possess sufficient natural advantages to entitle it to
form a part of the Union.

[Footnote 236: "It is remarkable that a red Indian should have been able
to accomplish that which no civilized societies have accomplished during
thousands of years. He had already attained to manhood when he invented
an alphabet of his own language, having no knowledge of any other. The
idea of writing Cherokee struck him on hearing several whites boasting
of their superiority over the Indians, and adding that they could do
many things which the red man never dared attempt, particularly in
committing to paper a conversation, so as to make it understood by all,
even in the most distant parts. He determined to try if it was not
possible. At first he saw no other chance of executing his project than
to make a sign or figure for every sound, which he partly learned by
heart himself, partly gave to his own family to learn and remember; but,
after working at it a whole twelvemonth, he found that the number of
signs already amounted to several thousands, and that it was impossible
to retain them in the memory. He now began to divide the words into
parts, and then discovered that the same syllables might be applied to a
variety of words. Exulting in this discovery, he continued his exertions
with unremitting zeal, and directed his attention particularly to the
sounds, and thus discovered at last all the syllables in the language.
After working upon this plan for a month, he had diminished the number
of sounds to eighty-four, of which the language at present consists. He
first wrote them on sand, afterward cut out the signs in wood, and
finished by printing them such as they now are in the Cherokee
Phoenix."--Arfwedson's _United States and Canada_.]


Articles of Capitulation demanded by M. de Ramsay, the king's
lieutenant, commanding the high and low towns of Quebec, chief of the
Military Order of St. Louis, to his excellency the general of the troops
of his Britannic majesty.

"The capitulation demanded on the part of the enemy, and granted by
their excellencies, Admiral Saunders and General Townshend, &c., &c., is
in manner and form as hereafter expressed:

"I.M. de Ramsay demands the honors of war for his garrison, and that it
shall be sent back to the army in safety, and by the shortest route,
with arms, baggage, six pieces of brass cannon, two mortars or
howitzers, and twelve rounds for each of them. The garrison of the town,
composed of land forces, marines, and sailors, shall march out with
their arms and baggage, drums beating, matches lighted, with two pieces
of French cannon, and twelve rounds for each piece, and shall be
embarked as conveniently as possible, to be sent to the first port in

"II. That the inhabitants shall be preserved in the possession of their
houses, goods, effects, and privileges.--Granted, upon their laying down
their arms.

"III. That the inhabitants shall not be accountable for having carried
arms in the defense of the town, forasmuch as they were compelled to do
it, and that the inhabitants of the colonies, of both crowns, equally
serve as militia.--Granted.

"IV. That the effects of the absent officers and citizens shall not be

"V. That the inhabitants shall not be removed, nor obliged to quit their
houses, until their condition shall be settled by their Britannic and
most Christian majesties.--Granted.

"VI. That the exercise of the Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman religion
shall be maintained, and that safeguards shall be granted to the houses
of the clergy and to the mountaineers, particularly to his lordship the
Bishop of Quebec, who, animated with zeal for religion, and charity for
the people of his diocese, desires to reside in it constantly, to
exercise freely, and with that decency which his character and the
sacred offices of the Roman religion require, his episcopal authority in
the town of Quebec, whenever he shall think proper, until the possession
of Canada shall be decided by a treaty between their Britannic and most
Christian majesties. The free exercise of the Roman religion is granted,
likewise safeguards to all religions persons, as well as to the bishop,
who shall be at liberty to come and exercise, freely and with decency,
the functions of his office whenever he thinks proper, until the
possession of Canada shall have been decided between their Britannic and
most Christian majesties.

"VII. That the artillery and warlike stores shall be faithfully given
up, and that an inventory of them shall be made out.--Granted.

"VIII. That the sick and wounded, the commissaries, chaplains,
physicians, surgeons, apothecaries, and other people employed in the
service of the hospitals, shall be treated conformably to the cartel of
the 6th of February, 1759, settled between their Britannic and most
Christian majesties.--Granted.

"IX. That before delivering up the gate and the entrance of the town to
the English troops, their general will be pleased to send some soldiers
to be posted as safeguards upon the churches, convents, and principal

"X. That the king's lieutenant commanding in Quebec shall be permitted
to send information to the Marquis de Vaudreuil, governor general, of
the reduction of the place, as also that the general may send advice
thereof to the French ministry.--Granted.

"XI. That the present capitulation shall be executed according to its form
and tenor, without being subject to non-execution under pretense of
reprisals, or for the non-execution of any preceding capitulation.--Granted.

"Duplicates hereof, taken and executed by and between us, at the camp
before Quebec, this 18th day of September, 1759.



Extracts from "Lettres de M. le Marquis de Montcalm, G.G. en Canada, à
MM. de Berryer et de la Molé, 1757-1759. Londres, 1777."

In 1757.--Letter 1. Montcalm informs M. de Berryer that he carries on a
correspondence with the English planters by giving them a few prohibited
articles. "They dupe their own people, who think they dupe us; their
letters discover to me many curious political secrets. Our governors of
Canada have neglected the only means of making the country prosperous
... another system is indispensable."

S.J., of Boston, writes to Montcalm, "The cause of your non-progress
lies in the genius of your nation. Your governors were French gentlemen,
hating and despising commerce--wealth, commerce, and strength are
inseparable--your skeleton colony has lost more in a year than it can
regain in ten. Your commerce with us ought to be free and unfettered....
We shall soon break with England for commercial reasons."

Montcalm observes on the foregoing, "Let us beware how we allow the
establishment of manufactures in Canada; she would become proud and
mutinous like the English. So long as France is a nursery to Canada, let
not the Canadians be allowed to trade, but kept to their wandering,
laborious life with the savages, and to their military exercises. They
will be less wealthy, but more brave and more faithful to us.

"We may lose Canada--no great loss, if we keep some port in North
America for fishing and trade.... The English settlers are as hostile to
their mother country as to us. The state of their country is
singular--not a city is fortified. The English governors often wished to
fortify, but the people objected. If Canada be in the hands of an able
(French) governor when the certain quarrel comes on, it will repay us
for all former cost. England made a great mistake in not taxing these
colonies from the first, even ever so little. If they now attempt

Letter from M. de Montcalm to M. de Molé, Premier Président au
Parliament de Paris, 1759:


"Me voici, depuis plus de trois mois, aux prises avec M. Wolfe: il ne
cesse jour et nuit de bombarder Quebec, avec une furie qui n'a guères
d'example dans le siège d'une place qu'en veut prendre et conserver. Il
a déjà consumé par le feu presque toute la basse ville, une grande
partie de la haute est écrasée par les bombes. Mais ne laissa-t-il
pierre sur pierre, il ne viendra jamais à bout de s'emparer de cette
capitale de la colonie, tandis qu'il se contentera de l'attaquer de la
rive opposée, dont nous lui avons abandonné la possession. Aussi après
trois mois de tentative, n'est il pas plus avancé dans son dessein qu'on
premier jour. Il nous ruine, mais il ne s'enrichit pas. La campagne n'a
guères plus d'un mois à durer, à raison du voisinage de l'automne,
terrible dans ces parages pour une flotte, par les coups de vent qui
règnent constamment et périodiquement.

"Il semble qu'après un si heureux prélude, la conservation de la colonie
est presque assurée. Il n'en est cependant rien: la prise de Quebec
dépend d'un coup du main. Les Anglois sont maîtres de la rivière: il
n'ont qu'à effectuer une descente sur la rive, où cette ville, sans
fortifications et sans défense, est située. Les voilà en état de me
présenter la battaille, que je ne pourrai plus refuser, et que je ne
devrai pas gagner. M. Wolfe, en effet, s'il entend son métier, n'à qu'à
essuyer le premier feu, venir en suite à grand pas sur mon armée, faire
à bout partant sa décharge, mes Canadiens, sans discipline, sourds à la
voix du tambour, et des instrumens militaires, dérangés par cet escarre,
ne sçauront plus reprendre leurs rangs. Ils sont ailleurs sans
bagonettes pour repondre à celles de l'ennemi: il ne leur reste qu'à
fuir, et me voilà, battue sans ressource. Voilà ma position!... Position
bien fâcheuse pour un général, et qui me fait passer de bien terribles
momens. La connaissance que j'en aye m'a fait tenir jusqu'ici sur la
défensive, qui m'a réussi; mais réussira-t-elle jusqu'à la fin? Les
évènemens en décideront! Mais une assurance que je puis vous donner,
c'est, que je ne survivrois pas probablement la perte de la colonie. Il
est des situations où il ne reste plus à un général, que de périr avec
honneur: je crois y être: et sur ce point je crois que jamais la
postérité n'aura rien à reprocher à ma mémoire; mais si la Fortune
décide de ma vie, elle ne décidera pas de mes sentimens--ils sont
François, et ils le seront, jusque dans le tombeau, si dans le tombeau
on est encore quelque chose! Je me consolerai du moins de ma défaite, et
de la perte de la colonie, par l'intime persuasion où je suis, que cette
défaite vaudroit un jour à ma patrie plus qu'une victoire, et que le
vainqueur en s'aggrandissant, trouveroit un tombeau dans son
aggrandissement même.

"Ce que j'advance ici, mon cher cousin, vous paroitra un paradoxe; mais
un moment de réflexion politique, un coup d'oeil sur la situation des
choses en Amérique, et la vérité de mon opinion, brillera dans tout son
jour. Non, mon cher cousin, les hommes n'obéissent qu'à la force et à la
nécessité; c'est à dire, que quand ils voyent armé devant leurs yeux, un
pouvoir toujours prêt, et toujours suffisant pour les y contraindre, ou
quand la chaine de leurs besoins leur en dicte la loi. Hors de là point
de joug pour eux, point d'obéissance de leur part; ils sont à eux; ils
vivent libres, parce qu'ils n'ont rien au dedans, rien au dehors, qui
les oblige à se dépouiller de cette liberté, qui est le plus bel
appanage, la plus précieuse prérogative de l'humanité. Voilà les hommes!
et sur ce point les Anglois, soit par l'éducation, soit par sentiment,
sont plus hommes que les autres: La gêne de la contrainte leur déplait
plus qu'à tout autre: il leur faut respirer un air libre et dégagé; sans
cela ils sont hors de leur élément. Mais si ce sont là les Anglois de
l'Europe, c'est encore plus les Anglois d'Amérique. Une grand partie de
ces colons sont les enfans de ces hommes qui s'expatrièrent dans ces
temps de trouble, où l'ancienne Angleterre, en proye aux divisions,
étoit attaquée dans ses privilèges et droits, et allèrent chercher en
Amérique une terre, où ils puissent vivre et mourir libres, et
presqu'indépendents; et ces enfans n'ont pas dégénerés des sentimens
republicains de leurs pères. D'autres sont des hommes, ennemis de tout
frein, de tout assujettissement, que le government y a transporté pour
leur crimes. D'autres, enfin, sont un ramas de différentes nations de
l'Europe, qui tiennent très peu à l'ancienne Angleterre par le coeur et
le sentiment, tous en général no se soucient guères du roi ni du
Parlement d'Angleterre.

"Je les connois bien, non sur des rapports étrangers, mais sur des
corréspondances, et des informations secrets, que j'ai moi-même ménages,
et dont un jour, si Dieu me prête vie, je pourrais faire usage à
l'avantage de ma patrie. Pour surcroit de bonheur pour eux, tous ces
colons sont parvenu dans un état très florissant; ils sont nombreux et
riches; ils recueillent dans le sein de leur patrie, toutes les
nécessités de la vie. L'ancienne Angleterre a été assez sotte, et assez
dupe, pour leur laisser établir chez eux les arts, les métiers, les
manufactures; c'est à dire, qu'elle leur a laissé briser la chaine de
besoins, qui les lioit, qui les attachoit à elle, et qui les fait
dépendants. Aussi toutes ces colonies Angloises auroient depuis long
temps secoué le joug, chaque province auroient formé une petite
république indépendante, si la crainte de voir les François à leur porte
n'avoit été un frein, qui les avoit rétenu. Maîtres pour maîtres ils ont
préferé leur compatriotes aux étrangers, prenant cependant pour maxime,
de n'obéir que le moins qu'ils pourroient; mais que la Canada vînt à
être conquis, et que les Canadiens et ces colons ne fussent plus qu'un
seul peuple, et la première occasion, où l'ancienne Angleterre
sembleroit toucher à leurs intérêts, croiez-vous, mon cher cousin, que
colons obéiroient? Et qu'auroient-ils à craindre, en se revoltant?

       *       *       *       *       *

"Je ne puis cependant pas dissimuler que l'ancienne Angleterre avec un
peu de bonne politique pourroit toujours se réserver dans les mains une
ressource toujours prête pour mettre à la raison ses anciennes colonies.
Le Canada considéré dans lui-même, dans ses richesses, dans ses forces,
dans le nombre de ses habitans n'est rien en comparaison du conglobat
des colonies Angloises; mais la valeur, l'industrie, la fidélité de ses
habitans, y supplie si bien, que depuis plus d'un siècle ils se battent
avec avantage contre toutes ces colonies: dix Canadiens sont suffisants
contre cent colons Anglois. L'expérience journalière prove ce fait. Si
l'ancienne Angleterre, après avoir conquis le Canada sçavoit se
l'attacher par la politique des bienfaits, et se le conserver à elle
seule, si elle le laissoit à sa religion, à ses loix, à son language, à
ses coûtumes, à son ancienne gouvernement, le Canada, divisé dans tous
ces points, d'avec les autres colonies, formerait toujours un pais
isolé, qui n'entreroit jamais dans leurs intérêts; ... mais ce n'est pas
là la politique Brittannique. Les Anglois font-ils une conquête, il faut
qu'ils changent la constitution du pays, ils y portent leur loix, leur
coûtumes, &c., &c.... Voilà les Canadiens transformés en politiques, en
négocians, en hommes infatués d'une prétendue liberté, qui chez la
populace tient souvent en Angleterre de la licence, et de la nardin....
Je suis si sûr de ce que j'écris, que je ne donnerai pas dix ans après
la conquête de Canada pour en voir l'accomplissement.

"Voilà ce que, comme François, me console aujourd'hui du danger éminent
que court ma patrie, de voir cette colonie perdue pour elle.

"Du camp devant Quebec, Jan.


"24 d'Août, 1759."


[TRANSCRIBERS NOTE: Original spelling has been retained]

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