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Title: Count Frontenac - Makers of Canada, Volume 3
Author: LeSueur, William Dawson
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Count Frontenac - Makers of Canada, Volume 3" ***

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[Illustration: Frontenac arms and signature]





    _Entered according to Act of the Parliament of Canada in the
    year 1906 by Morang & Co., Limited, in the Department of


The author of the following work desires to acknowledge his obligations
to two preceding writers who have dealt with the life and times of Count
Frontenac, the late Mr. Parkman, and M. Henri Lorin. The merits of the
former are too well known and too thoroughly established to need any
commendation at this time. If he charms by the lucidity and
picturesqueness of his style, none the less does he achieve a high level
of historical accuracy, and manifest the control of the true spirit of
historical criticism. The work of M. Lorin is, perhaps, less attractive
in point of style, but it treats the whole subject from an independent
point of view, and in a very comprehensive manner. It is a
treasure-house of carefully sifted facts in relation to the career of
Canada's most famous governor under the old régime. A certain French
writer once complimented another--a dim recollection suggests that it
was Buffon who so complimented President Debrosses in regard to his work
on language--by saying that whoever treated the same subject "_après
lui_" would also have to do it "_d'après lui_"; and such the author
inclines to think has, to some extent, been his situation in relation to
his two able and industrious predecessors. At the same time the present
work has not been written without consultation of original sources, and
it is trusted that it will be found--for Canadian readers especially--a
not unserviceable or uninteresting narrative.



  _CHAPTER I_                                             Page

  CANADA BEFORE FRONTENAC, 1603 TO 1632                      1


  CANADA BEFORE FRONTENAC, 1632 TO 1672                     23




  THE COMMENCEMENT OF TROUBLES                              87


  DIVIDED POWER                                            105


  THE LIFE OF A COLONY                                     131


  GOVERNORSHIP OF M. DE LA BARRE, 1682 TO 1685             171




  FRONTENAC TO THE RESCUE                                  229


  FRONTENAC DEFENDER OF CANADA                             263


  FIRE AND SWORD ON THE BORDER                             305


  THE DRAMA OF WAR--PEACE AT THE LAST                      333

  INDEX                                                    365



  1608 TO 1632

When Count Frontenac landed at Quebec, in the month of September 1672,
to administer the government of Canada or, as it was then more generally
called, New France, the country had been for a period of a little over
sixty years under continuous French rule. The period may, indeed, be
limited to exactly sixty years if we take as the starting-point the
commission issued to Samuel de Champlain on the 15th of October 1612 as
"Commander in New France," under the authority of the Count de Soissons,
who had been appointed by the queen regent, Marie de Medicis, as
lieutenant-general of that territory. What had been accomplished during
those sixty odd years? How had the country developed, and what were the
elements of the situation which confronted Frontenac on his arrival?
Answers to these questions may be gathered, it is hoped, from the
following brief introductory narrative.

The territorial claims of France in the gulf and valley of the St.
Lawrence were founded on the discoveries made in the name of the French
king, Francis I, by that brave Breton mariner, Jacques Cartier, in the
celebrated voyages undertaken by him in the years 1534 and 1535. An
attempt at colonization made in the latter year, the site chosen being
the left bank of the St. Charles near Quebec, failed miserably; nor were
the similar attempts made in 1541 by Cartier and in 1542 by Roberval any
more successful. Cartier did not again return to Canada, and all efforts
in the direction of colonization were suspended for sixty years, though
French fishermen continued to visit the Gulf of St. Lawrence. In the
year 1603 a notable figure appears upon the scene, Samuel Champlain, the
true founder of French power on the continent of America. A few years
previously a certain naval captain named Chauvin, who enjoyed
considerable influence at court, had applied for and obtained from King
Henry IV a patent granting him exclusive trading privileges in the St.
Lawrence. This he had done at the instance of one Pontgravé, a leading
merchant of St. Malo, well acquainted with the St Lawrence trade, whose
business instinct had led him to see that the fur trade alone of that
region might be a source of vast wealth to any single company
controlling it. One condition of the grant was that not less than five
hundred persons should be settled in the country, and another that
provision should be made for the religious instruction both of the
settlers and of the natives. Having obtained the patent, neither Chauvin
nor Pontgravé, whom he appointed as his lieutenant, seems to have
thought of anything but the conversion of their privilege into money.
They sailed to the St. Lawrence, but proceeded no further than
Tadousac, where they set up a trading establishment. At the end of the
first summer season they returned to France, leaving some sixteen men
behind them so ill provided for that eleven died during the winter of
disease and hardship. The rest would have died of starvation had not
friendly Indians supplied them with food. Chauvin made two more trips to
the St. Lawrence without doing anything to redeem his engagements, and
in the year 1601 he died.

The death of Chauvin having voided his patent, the king was moved to
constitute Knight Commander de Chastes, Governor of Dieppe, his
representative in the western world. A company was formed, and an
expedition was organized and placed under the command of Pontgravé, as a
man having special knowledge of the St. Lawrence navigation. By request
of de Chastes, Champlain was associated with him. At this time Champlain
was thirty-six years of age, and had already distinguished himself as
soldier, sailor, explorer, and geographer. His chief work in the two
latter characters had been done in connection with a voyage which he had
made to the West Indies and Mexico in one of the vessels of the King of
Spain. On his return he described the places he had visited in a work,
still extant, illustrated by curious maps and pictures of his own
drawing. Champlain had higher views than mere money making and no more
valuable man could have been assigned to the expedition. Setting sail
with Pontgravé from Honfleur on the 15th March 1603, he arrived at
Tadousac on the 24th May. How earnestly he was bent on carrying the
Catholic faith into the wilds of Canada is shown by a conversation he
reports having had with an Algonquin chief, into whose mind he was
trying to instil correct views as to the origin of things, and
particularly of the human race. The Algonquin had been under the
impression that the Creator had placed arrows in the ground, and then
turned them into men. Champlain assured him that this was an error, man
having been made in the first place out of clay, and woman from a rib
taken from his side while he slept. He dwelt somewhat also on the
propriety and duty of the invocation of saints, with a view, as the Abbé
Faillon hints,[1] to counteracting any prejudice against that doctrine
which Chauvin and his companions, who were Calvinists, might have
endeavoured to create in the savage mind. Judging, however, by the
Algonquin's replies to Champlain's catechising, his mental attitude was
one of admirable neutrality, securely founded on nescience, regarding
any or all of the doctrines in debate between Rome and Geneva. Chauvin
had attended strictly to business.

Before returning to France, Champlain explored the river St. Lawrence as
far as the Lachine Rapids. On the way up he anchored before Quebec, the
situation of which he describes; doubtless he recognized it as the place
near which Jacques Cartier and his men had spent their terrible winter.
In passing Three Rivers he noticed how advantageously it was situated
both for trade and for defence. He explored the country in the vicinity
of the Lachine Rapids sufficiently to recognize that the land to his
right, as he ascended, was an island (Montreal). Of the rapids
themselves he says that never had he seen a torrent rushing with such
impetuosity. Returning to Tadousac he proceeded down the river to Gaspé
and Percé and entered the Baie des Chaleurs. After making, according to
his custom, as many observations and inquiries as possible in regard to
the character and outlines of the country, he returned to Tadousac, and,
gathering his party, which had meanwhile been doing some profitable
trading with the natives, set sail for France, where he arrived on the
20th September. M. de Chastes, under whose authority he and Pontgravé
were acting, had died in the month of May. Champlain, therefore, went
alone to court, exhibited to the king a map he had made of the country,
and gave such information as to its resources and capabilities as he had
personally gathered. The king was much interested; and, desiring that
the work so well begun should be vigorously prosecuted, he issued a
patent to a Huguenot gentleman, Pierre Dugas, Sieur de Monts and
Governor of Pons conferring upon him exclusive trading privileges for a
period of ten years not only in Canada, but in Acadia. The essential
condition of this grant, it has been said, was the establishment in the
countries mentioned of the "Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman faith"; but,
if such was the case, the terms of the document seem a little lacking in
precision, as they speak only of instructing the natives in the
principles of Christianity and the knowledge of God, and thus bringing
them to the light of faith and the practice of the Christian religion.
As de Monts was a Huguenot the generality of these terms may not have
been without significance.

De Monts had been in Canada before, having accompanied Chauvin on one or
two of his voyages to Tadousac. He had also some knowledge of Acadia,
and had conceived a preference for that region, as being more favourably
situated and milder in climate than Canada so far as he knew it. To that
quarter, therefore, he directed the expedition, which left Havre under
his command in March 1604. The result was complete failure owing to
causes into which it is impossible in this hasty narrative to enter.
Suffice it to say that, opposition having been raised to the privileges
enjoyed by de Monts, the king, who was an accomplished politician--it
was he who had thought Paris "well worth a mass"--cancelled his patent,
and thus destroyed all the expectations which he and his business
associates, who had incurred great expense in equipping the expedition,
had founded thereon. Some progress had been made in settlement at Port
Royal, and excellent relations had been established with the natives,
when in the fall of 1607 the whole colony was recalled to France.
Champlain, who had accompanied this expedition, turned it to good
account in increasing his stores of geographical knowledge. In the
following year, 1608, de Monts succeeded in obtaining a renewal of his
patent for one year. After consultation with Champlain he decided that
Quebec would be the best place at which to attempt a settlement. He
accordingly equipped two vessels for the enterprise, and placed them
under the command of Champlain, whom he appointed as his lieutenant with
full powers of control over the whole expedition. He himself remained
behind in Paris to watch over his interests, which were subject at every
moment to attack. His lieutenant sailed from Honfleur on the 13th April
1608, and arrived at Tadousac on the 3rd of June, and at Quebec on the
3rd of July. Having disembarked his men, Champlain set them to work at
once to clear the level piece of land at the base of the rock, erect a
storehouse and dwellings, and surround the whole with a palisade and
ditch. Thus in the summer of 1608 was the city of Quebec founded, and
the power of France formally established on the North American

The first event of note in the annals of the new colony was certainly
not an auspicious one: a plot that was formed by some of the men of the
expedition against the life of their commander. Had the designs of the
conspirators not been brought to light in time, the course of Canadian
history, as we know it, might have been seriously turned aside. Four
men were found guilty, and sentenced to death; the ringleader only, a
Norman named Jean Duval, was executed, the others were sent to France
where their sentences were commuted. Lescarbot, a contemporary writer,
to whom we are indebted for much information respecting the events of
the period, states that the men were dissatisfied with their food; but
from Champlain's own narrative it appears that the plot was formed, if
not before the expedition left France, at least before it reached
Quebec, and that the whole motive of the conspirators was gain, their
intention being to deliver over all Champlain's goods to the Basques and
Spaniards fishing and trading at Tadousac, and to escape on their
vessels with the proceeds of their treason. This danger, however, having
been happily averted, work was proceeded with on what Champlain in his
narrative calls the "habitation," and by the time winter set in the
dwellings were in readiness. The winter was destined to be a most
unhappy one. As before, when Cartier took up his quarters on the banks
of the St. Charles in the winter of 1535-6, scurvy broke out, and twenty
men out of a company of twenty-eight died.

In the spring of 1609 a reinforcement for the shrunken colony was
brought out by Pontgravé. It was in the summer of that year that
Champlain, with little thought of the consequences his action would
entail, carried out a promise previously made to the Algonquins and
Hurons to assist them in their feud with the Iroquois. Taking eleven
Frenchmen with him in a ship's boat, and accompanied by about three
hundred savages in their canoes, he proceeded as far as the mouth of the
Richelieu River. There most of the savages changed their minds, and
deserted the party. Finding that the boat was not suited to the
navigation of the Richelieu River up which the route to the enemy's
country lay, Champlain sent it back to Quebec and nine men with it. He
with two Frenchmen and sixty Indians proceeded in canoes, and on the
30th of July a band of Iroquois on the war-path was encountered on the
shore of what has since been known as Lake Champlain. The story is
briefly told. Champlain, who had loaded his arquebus with four balls,
brought down at the first shot three Iroquois chiefs, two instantly
killed, and the third mortally wounded. His men did further execution.
The Iroquois, astounded at such swift death, turned and fled. In the
pursuit others were killed. Commenting on this campaign, and a somewhat
similar one of the year following, the Abbé Faillon observes that if
Champlain, instead of siding with the Algonquins and Hurons against the
Iroquois, had declared himself the friend of all the tribes, he would
not only have done more honour to the French name, but would have gained
access for himself and for the missionaries who were to follow him to
all the Indian communities. By the course he actually followed he
inspired the most powerful and best organized of the Indian tribes with
a hatred for the French race and for the religion they professed, which
during a long series of years wreaked itself in countless deeds of
blood, and more than once brought the colony of New France to the verge
of extinction. The massacre of Lachine (1689) was a late harvest of the
blood sown on the shores of Lake Champlain eighty years before.

The vessels which brought out recruits brought also the news that the
exclusive privilege of trade granted to de Monts had been cancelled, or
at least had not been renewed, though de Monts still retained his
position as the king's lieutenant in New France. Champlain was therefore
obliged to return to France in the autumn and discuss matters. Leaving
Quebec on the 5th September he reached Honfleur on the 14th October. He
saw the king, reported progress, and showed him some of the products of
the country. De Monts renewed his efforts to be reinstated in his
privileges, but without success. In the end it was arranged that
Champlain should return to Canada, which he did, leaving Honfleur on the
8th April 1610, and arriving at Quebec early in May. We pass over the
second attack on the Iroquois, made in the month of June of this year,
in which Champlain was slightly wounded. It is interesting, however, to
learn that, on returning from his campaign, he found a piece of land
near his "habitation" at Quebec, which he had brought under
cultivation, yielding good crops of vegetables, Indian corn, wheat,
rye, and barley. He had been much annoyed on reaching Quebec in the
spring to find that no care had been taken of some grape vines that he
had carefully laid down the previous fall. This was but one example of
an indolent neglect only too characteristic, unhappily, of the Quebec
colonists in after years.

Towards the end of this summer grave news arrived. The king, Henry IV,
had fallen under the dagger of an assassin. Champlain and Pontgravé both
thought it desirable to return to France without delay, as it was
impossible to say how their interests might be affected by the change of
government. The only incident of importance, so far as is known, which
happened during Champlain's stay in France on this occasion, was his
marriage to a Protestant young lady named Helen Boullé, whom, on account
of her tender years--she was only twelve years old--he left to grow up
under her father's roof, but who brought him as her dowry a much needed
subsidy of six thousand francs. Thus financially reinforced he sailed
again for Canada in the spring of 1611. He had an appointment to keep,
made the previous year, with certain Indians to meet them at the Grand
Saut (Lachine Rapids) to discuss matters of trade and war. He arrived
there on the 28th May, a few days later than he had said, but found no
Indians. Not being a man to waste time he employed himself while waiting
in prospecting the Island of Montreal and erecting a wall, as the
commencement of a fort, almost on the very spot selected thirty-one
years afterwards by Maisonneuve for the same purpose. It has been
conjectured that, if Champlain had known all the advantages possessed by
Montreal, as compared with Quebec, before he began to construct
buildings at the latter place, Montreal would probably have been the
first capital of New France. This, however, seems hardly probable. It
was important that the capital should be a place naturally strong in a
military point of view--"naturâ fortis," as the motto of the city of
Quebec has it--and of comparatively easy access from the sea; and these
obvious advantages Quebec possessed in a much higher degree than

De Monts was at last convinced that, under existing conditions, there
was no money in the enterprise to which he was committed. Others could
engage in the fur trade as freely as he, without having any
establishments in Canada to keep up; so he willingly resigned his empty
honours as lieutenant-general, in order to see what he could do as a
private trader, or private member of a trading company. The office of
lieutenant-general passed into the hands of a more powerful person, the
Duke of Condé, who wisely made Champlain his lieutenant, and under whose
auspices a powerful company was formed, consisting of all the traders of
Rouen and St. Malo who wished to join it. The merchants of La Rochelle
had also been invited to take a share in the enterprise, but they held
off, and were consequently left out of the arrangement. Champlain had
returned to France in September 1611, and the difficulties and
oppositions of one kind and another to which the organization of the new
company gave rise kept him there till the spring of 1613, when, again
setting sail for Canada, he arrived at Quebec about the 1st of May. It
was in the early summer of this year that he made his celebrated trip up
the Ottawa River as far as Allumette Island, about one hundred miles
above the city of Ottawa, after which he again returned to France.

Up to this time nothing had been done by the various trading companies
that had been formed towards the evangelization of the native tribes,
nor even for meeting the spiritual necessities of the Europeans settled
or trading in New France. Champlain, who remained in France during the
whole of the following year (1614), thought it time to take the matter
in hand. He therefore arranged with the Provincial of the Récollet
Fathers, a sub-order of the Franciscans, that six of their members
should go out to New France as missionaries, their maintenance and
lodging to be provided by the company. Four of the fathers sailed with
him from France in the ship _St. Étienne_ of three hundred and fifty
tons, on the 24th April 1615, and arrived at Quebec about the 1st of
June. They were received with many tokens of satisfaction, but the good
fathers were not long in discovering that there was very little zeal for
religion in the colony, and that their work was going to be beset with
the most serious difficulties and discouragements. A Récollet writer,
Théodat Sagard, who came to Canada a year or two later, and who wrote a
most interesting record of his experiences, says that the French
themselves, who were supposed to be Christians, were by their scandalous
lives the greatest impediment to the conversion of the Indians. We
gather from Champlain's narrative that the first celebration of the mass
took place at Rivière des Prairies, a few miles below Montreal, before a
few French and a large number of Indians, "who were full of admiration
at the ceremonies practised, and the ornaments used, the latter in
particular seeming to them, unaccustomed as they were to such things,
very beautiful and interesting."

Champlain himself was present on this solemn occasion, and it is a cause
of regret to know that he was at the moment under a promise to join the
Huron Indians in another attack on the Iroquois. It was in connection
with this expedition that some of his most interesting geographical
discoveries were made. The point of rendezvous for the warriors was a
Huron village to the west of Lake Simcoe called Cahiagué. To reach it
Champlain's Indian guides took the route by the Ottawa River to Lake
Nipissing, thence by the French River into the Georgian Bay, and down
through the clustering islands on its eastern coast to some point not
far from Penetanguishene. Beyond Allumette Island on the Ottawa all was
new to Champlain. He now saw for the first time Lake Simcoe, Sturgeon
Lake, Rice Lake, and finally Lake Ontario. He describes the country he
passed through as most beautiful. The expedition, however, was fated to
be unsuccessful, and came very near to proving most disastrous. The
attack made on a fortified position of the enemy was repelled; Champlain
himself received two painful arrow wounds; and if the Iroquois had only
sent a party to capture and destroy the canoes of the Hurons, the whole
invading force might easily have been annihilated. It was about the
middle of October that the fight took place. Champlain, as soon as his
wounds were healed, was anxious to be conducted back to the Grand Saut,
whence he might make his way to Quebec; but his allies pleaded the
impossibility of sparing men and canoes for the purpose, and he was
consequently obliged to spend the winter with them. Not unnaturally the
French at Quebec had almost given him up for lost, when he made his
appearance among them some time in the month of June 1616.

Little of interest occurred in the colony, if we may call it by that
name, for several years after this. In 1620 Champlain began the
construction of the Château St. Louis on a portion of the ground now
covered by Dufferin Terrace; yet at this date the whole population of
Quebec did not exceed fifty persons. Amongst these there was only one
who could be called a settler in the true sense of the word. This was
Louis Hébert who had come to Canada in 1617 under a contract with the
company, the terms of which do not give us a favourable opinion of the
liberality of that corporation or of their desire to open up the
country. Hébert, who was a chemist and apothecary by profession, was
bound to serve the company for three years for a hundred crowns a year,
his wife and children being also liable to be called upon for any help
they could render. He received an allotment of land; but he could only
work on it at such times as his services were not required by the
company. At the end of three years he might grow crops, but he must sell
his produce to the company at such prices as were current in France.
Notwithstanding these restrictions, Hébert managed in the course of time
to establish himself in comfort, and to become a substantial _bourgeois_
of the new colony.

The Récollet fathers had now been five years in the country, yet the
interests of religion were not flourishing. They found that they were
not receiving the assistance from the company that had been promised;
and, not only so, but that their influence with the natives was
constantly being undermined by the company's agents and servants, whose
one preoccupation was trade. In their perplexity and discouragement--for
they were really making no headway at all--it occurred to them that, if
they could have the assistance of a few Jesuit fathers, the situation
might be materially improved, their impression being that the Jesuits,
if they came, would probably have some independent means of their own,
and moreover that the high credit they enjoyed in France would stand
them in good stead in the colony. They consequently sent home one of
their number to conduct negotiations to that end. The result was that,
in the month of June 1625, three Jesuit fathers and two coadjutors came
out to Quebec, to begin that career of evangelization and of dauntless,
self-sacrificing effort which has won for their order an imperishable
name in the annals of French colonization in North America.

What may be called the first chapter in the history of New France was
now drawing to a close. In 1621 the Duke of Condé had, with the royal
approval, transferred the lieutenant-generalship to the Duke of
Montmorency for a consideration of eleven thousand francs. Some changes
were at the same time made in the organization of the trading company.
In 1625 Montmorency in turn passed over the office to his nephew, Henri
de Lévis, Duke of Ventadour. These changes in no way improved the
situation of the settlement at Quebec which, under all managements, was
consistently starved and kept down to the level of a precarious
trading-post. The French during these years were more and more losing
influence with their Indian allies, the Hurons and Montagnais, whose
attitude at times became very menacing, and who actually committed
several murders for which it was impossible to bring them to punishment.
The chief reason for the change of temper on the part of the natives
was that they found they were being systematically cheated by the French
traders, who beat them down to the lowest price for their furs, and
charged them the highest price for commodities sold. A Récollet writer
tells a story of an Indian chief which places the character of the red
man in a much more favourable light than that of the civilized Europeans
with whom he was dealing. The chief, at the request of some of his
people, was begging one of the agents of the company to treat them with
a little more fairness and humanity. The agent, after considerable
discussion, offered the chief to do business with him personally on more
liberal terms, but said he could not make any change as regards the
other Indians. "You are insulting me then," said the chief, "for if I
were to consent to such an arrangement I should deserve to be hanged by
my own people. I am their captain; it is for them I am speaking, not for

Things had reached such a pass that Champlain thought it necessary to
speak very plainly to the home authorities. Cardinal Richelieu, who was
at this time at the head of affairs in France, and specially in charge
of the maritime interests of the kingdom, determined on what he hoped
would be a radical measure of reform, namely the formation of a company
on a much wider basis than any preceding one, and consisting of persons
of higher mark and responsibility, who should hold their powers directly
from himself. The edict establishing the company, the legal name of
which was the Company of New France, but which was afterwards more
commonly known as the Company of the Hundred Associates, bore date the
29th April 1627. The preamble set forth in forcible terms the lamentable
failure of all the previous trading associations to redeem their pledges
in the matter of colonization; and the new associates were, by the terms
of their charter, bound in the most formal and positive manner, to
convey annually to the colony, beginning in the following year, 1628,
from two to three hundred _bona fide_ settlers, and in the fifteen
following years to transport thither a total of not less than four
thousand persons male and female. The settlers were to be maintained for
three years, until they could get their land under cultivation, and then
for one season till they had reaped their crops. Provision was also to
be made for the maintenance of a sufficient number of clergy to meet the
spiritual wants both of the settlers and of the native population. In
consideration of these services all French possessions between Florida
and the Arctic Circle, and from Newfoundland as far west as the company
should be able to possess the land, were handed over to them in absolute
sovereignty, saving only the supreme authority of the French king. They
had, of course, a complete monopoly of trade, with the sole exception of
the cod and whale fisheries which, as before, were to be open to all
French subjects.

A most unexpected event, however, was destined to delay for some years
the carrying out of the plans of the great cardinal. In the very year in
which the new company was formed war broke out between France and
England. The general result of the war was both disastrous and
inglorious for England; but a notable incident of it was the capture of
Quebec by a small fleet of privateers under the command of Captain David
Kirke, sailing under letters of marque from the English king, Charles I,
authorizing him to attack the French in Canada, and drive them out of
the country if possible. Kirke's first exploit was to defeat and
capture, early in 1628, not far from Gaspé, a French fleet of eighteen
vessels carrying a considerable number of colonists, and also a large
quantity of provisions, goods of all kinds, and munitions of war for the
colony of New France. To what dire extremities the loss of these
supplies reduced the already feeble settlement is movingly described in
Champlain's own narrative. Kirke, after his victory, stripped the
vessels of the enemy of whatever they contained that was valuable, burnt
the smaller ones, and took the larger ones to Newfoundland. Then, after
destroying the French settlements in Acadia, he sailed for England with
his prisoners and a portion of the booty. This gave the colony at Quebec
a year's respite from attack; but owing to a series of misfortunes no
succour was received from France during the interval. The consequence
was that, when Kirke returned in the following year to the St.
Lawrence, and sent two of his brothers, Louis and Thomas, with three
small but well-appointed vessels--he himself remaining at Tadousac--to
demand the surrender of Quebec, the only course open to Champlain, who
not only had no adequate means of defence, but whose little garrison was
on the point of starvation, was to make an honourable capitulation. It
was agreed that the French should evacuate the place carrying with them
their arms, clothing, and any furs they might individually own, and
should be allowed to return to France in a vessel of their own
providing. As they had difficulty in procuring a suitable vessel, Kirke
in the end furnished one of two hundred and fifty tons, manned by
seventy of his own sailors, and landed them, to the number of over a
hundred, in England. The preliminary articles of capitulation were
signed on the 19th July 1629, and two days later the English flag was
raised on the Château St. Louis, to the accompaniment of salvos of
artillery, fired both from the ships in the river and the land
batteries, of which the English had now taken possession.

While all this was going on the Kirke brothers and Champlain were alike
unaware that, three months previously, peace had been signed between
England and France. The disappointment and chagrin of David Kirke when
he landed the Quebec garrison in England, and learned that the capture
had been made in time of peace and would probably have to be restored,
may be imagined. Champlain made it his business to go at once and see
the French ambassador in London, in order to report what had taken place
and urge the restitution of the colony to France. The matter was taken
up by the French government, and Charles promised to restore Canada, but
made no engagement respecting Acadia. The French king, Louis XIII, about
this time had his hands full with domestic sedition and foreign war. His
own brother, Gaston de France, with the sympathy both of the queen and
of the queen mother, was in revolt against him, as well as the Duke of
Montmorency, former lieutenant-general of Canada. The rebellion was
crushed through the vigorous action of Cardinal Richelieu, and
Montmorency was brought to the block; but meantime the negotiations with
England had remained in suspense. Finally they were brought to a
conclusion in 1632, Charles agreeing to restore both Canada and Acadia.
The probability is that had he refused to do so the matter would not
have been pressed--at least not to the point of war--and that Canada and
Acadia would have remained English possessions. Never, in the course of
history, did a country more distinctly stand at the parting of the ways;
and it is singular to reflect that, in all probability, it is owing to
the restitution of Canada to France at that time that the Dominion of
Canada is to-day a British possession.

[Footnote 1: _Histoire de la Colonie Française en Canada_, vol. i. p.



  1632 TO 1672

Canada had fallen into the hands of the English before the new company
organized by Cardinal Richelieu was able to enter on the rights and
privileges secured to it by the edict of incorporation, or even so much
as to set foot in the country. Whatever there might be at Quebec in the
way of buildings, fortifications, etc., was the property of the
preceding company, of which one William de Caën was the head. It seemed
advisable, therefore, to Cardinal Richelieu to send William de Caën, or
some one deputed by him, out to Quebec to accept transfer of the country
on behalf of the French king from Louis Kirke, who had remained in
command there. De Caën named his brother Emery for this duty, and the
latter, provided with all necessary papers and instructions, set sail
from France towards the end of April 1632, and arrived at Quebec on the
5th of July. An order from King Charles of England, of which he was
bearer, required Kirke to evacuate the place within eight days. The
order was complied with, and the French resumed possession of Quebec
three years, all but a month, after yielding it up to the English.
Mention has been made of the one genuine settler or _habitant_ at
Quebec, Louis Hébert. He had died some time before the capitulation; but
his widow and her son-in-law, who had between them some seven acres of
land under good cultivation, had remained in the country during the
whole period of the English occupation. The _Jesuit Relations_ tell of
the joy of the widow at welcoming her own countrymen again, and
particularly of the delight she manifested when her house was used as a
chapel for the first celebration of mass after the French re-occupation.
In the spring of the following year Champlain, who had been recommended
by the new company as governor, and had received his appointment as such
at the hands of the cardinal, set sail for Canada with three vessels,
carrying in all about two hundred persons, more than half being
intending colonists. The ships brought besides a liberal supply of
stores, the company, in the new-broom stage of its existence, being
desirous of improving on the methods and practices of its predecessors.
Arriving at Quebec on the 23rd of May, Champlain took over the keys of
the place from de Caën. His first care was to put the fort and other
buildings, which were found to be in a ruinous condition, in proper
repair. He next erected a chapel to replace the one formerly in use
which had been destroyed; and, at the earnest request of the Huron
Indians, he established a fort at Three Rivers to assist in protecting
them against the incursions of the implacable Iroquois.

De Caën had brought out one or two Jesuit fathers with him, and others
came with Champlain. Why the Récollets did not seize the first
opportunity of returning to Canada is not very clear. In the year 1635
they had made arrangements for returning, but were requested by the
intendant of the company in France to delay their departure. The next
year they were plainly informed that the cardinal did not wish them to
go to Canada. They were thus shut out from a mission-field which they
had been the first to occupy, and it is not surprising that they felt
considerably aggrieved, nor that they were disposed to attribute their
exclusion to the machinations of the Jesuit order. The responsibility in
the matter seems to have rested with the cardinal. It was he who sent
out the Jesuit fathers; and not improbably he thought that there would
be less friction and more progress if the field of New France were
entrusted to a single order of ecclesiastics than if it were divided
between two.

The laborious, useful, and heroic life of Champlain was now drawing to a
close. One of the last subjects that engaged his attention was the sale
of liquor by traders and colonists to the Indians, a practice against
which he issued the most stringent prohibitions, but which, as we shall
have further occasion to see, proved a very difficult one to control. In
the summer of 1635 he took advantage of the presence at Quebec of a
large number of Hurons from the upper country to summon them and the
French residents to a general assembly, in order that he might have an
opportunity of urging upon them the duty and advantage of espousing the
religion professed by the French. If their friendship with the French,
he said, was to be maintained and strengthened, they must embrace the
faith of the latter; and in that case God, who was all-powerful, would
bless and protect them, and give them the victory over their enemies.
They would also learn the arts of civilization, and in every way enjoy
great happiness and prosperity. What impression this discourse made is
not stated. In point of fact the Jesuits, who devoted themselves
specially to mission work amongst the Hurons, had eventually a
considerable measure of success in converting them to Christianity; but
the unhappy tribe, instead of triumphing in war, became a more and more
helpless prey to their heathen enemies, and, in about fifteen years from
this date, were almost obliterated from the face of the earth.[2]

Not long after the convoking of this assembly Champlain was smitten with
paralysis; and on Christmas Day, 1635, he died in the sixty-ninth year
of his age. His funeral sermon was preached by the Superior of the
Jesuits, Father Le Jeune, and he was buried with all due honour in--as
the Jesuit narrative tells us--a "_sépulcre particulier_"; but a
careless posterity soon forgot even the place of his interment, and
to-day the question as to where he was laid is a matter of antiquarian
debate. The contingency of his death had been provided for by the
company, who had placed in the hands of Father Le Jeune, a sealed
letter, giving authority to a M. de Châteaufort to act as interim
governor. The following summer M. de Montmagny came out from France as
second governor of Canada. He appears to have been a man of firm and
upright character, but the position to which he succeeded was an
extremely difficult and critical one. The Jesuits were as yet having
very limited success in the conversion of the native tribes, and were
even incurring a dangerous amount of suspicion and hostility. They were
accused of witchcraft; and it began to be commonly said amongst the
savages that baptism was a sure precursor of death. There was truth in
the allegation just to this extent, that the fathers, for the most part,
were only allowed to baptize those who were already in a dying
condition, particularly children. The confusion between _post hoc_ and
_propter hoc_ is so common among the civilized and instructed, that we
cannot be surprised if Hurons and Algonquins were not proof against it.
The Iroquois at the same time were becoming more and more daring in
their attacks, while the resources of the colony for repelling them
were sadly inadequate. The Company of the Hundred Associates had made a
fair beginning in the matter of sending out colonists and
supplies--forty-five new settlers came out with Montmagny--but in a few
years their capital began to run short, and it became a question whether
the magnificent powers and privileges they possessed represented a very
profitable business arrangement. The consequence was that, just as
before under successive trading companies, the interests both of
colonization and of defence were neglected.

But, if the company was lapsing into inertness, other agencies, not of a
commercial character, were at work laying the foundations of
institutions destined to exert a most important and lasting influence on
the future life of the colony. The year in which Champlain died
witnessed the establishment at Quebec by the Jesuit, M. de Rohault, son
of the Marquis de Gamache, of a college for boys. Four years later, in
1639, a vessel arrived from France bearing two ladies, of note, Madame
de la Peltrie and Madame Guyard, Mère de l'Incarnation, whose mission
was to establish a school for girls, white and Indian, and whose names
are illustrious as the founders of the Ursuline Convent. On the same
vessel were a number of nuns sent out by the Duchess d'Aiguillon to
perform hospital duties: this was the origin of the Hôtel Dieu. In the
year 1641 M. de Maisonneuve, a pious layman, conducted to Canada a
small band of trusty followers whose destination was the Island of
Montreal, where it was proposed to form a strictly Christian colony.
With M. de Maisonneuve was a pious lady, Mdlle. Mance, who three years
later became the founder of the Hôtel Dieu at Montreal, funds for the
purpose having been supplied by a rich benefactress in France, Madame de
Bullion. Looking forward nine years, that is to say to 1653, we find the
admirable Sister Margaret Bourgeoys establishing at Montreal the
Congrégation de Notre Dame for the education of girls. As Garneau well
says, "the love of learning and charity gave birth in Canada to all the
great establishments destined for public instruction and the alleviation
of human suffering."

The question may naturally be asked how it happened that Canada, at this
very early stage of its history, attracted so much attention as a field
for missionary and educational effort. An explanation is to be found in
the fact that the Jesuits, from the time when they first entered on
their work in this country, made a practice, under instructions from the
head of their order, of writing year by year a narrative of their
doings, which they despatched to France, and which was there published
and circulated amongst those who were interested in religious work.
These narratives constituted the celebrated _Relations des Jésuites_,
which form the chief source of information regarding the history of
Canada for a period of over forty years. Of these interesting annals,
forty volumes of which in all were published, Parkman has said: "The
closest examination has left me no doubt that these missionaries wrote
in perfect good faith, and that the _Relations_ hold a high place as
authentic and trustworthy historical documents." On the other hand the
latest historian of the Jesuits in New France, the Rev. Father
Rochemonteix, while also asserting the substantial accuracy of the
_Relations_, acknowledges that "they do not reflect the complete
physiognomy of New France; they only show one side of it, the most
attractive, the most consoling, namely, the progress of Christianity,
its toils and heroic struggles, and the valiant achievements of the
colonists. The rest is intentionally left in the shade, passed over in
silence. The other side of the physiognomy is omitted, or nearly so.
What we have is history, but incomplete history."[3]

It was from these narratives, so carefully and skilfully edited for
purposes of edification, that the impulse proceeded which moved pious
souls to contribute, in some cases their labours, in others their
wealth, to the advancement of the cause of religion in the wilds of
Canada. The fathers told of their difficulties and discouragements; but
they told also of the many signs vouchsafed that Heaven was interested
in their self-sacrificing efforts. Sometimes they made direct appeals
for assistance. A Jesuit school for boys had been established, as
already mentioned, as early as 1635. A few years later Father Le Jeune
writes in the _Relations_: "Is there no charitable and virtuous lady who
will come to this country to gather up the blood of Christ by teaching
His word to the little Indian girls?" The call was answered in the
establishment of the Ursuline Convent. It is not easy, in these days of
swift, safe, and luxurious travel, to imagine what it was in the earlier
part of the seventeenth century for women of delicate nurture to leave
friends and home and civilized surroundings, and, braving the Atlantic
storms in small, ill-equipped and comfortless vessels, to set their
faces towards a continent lost in the distant west, amid whose forests a
handful of pioneers were doubtfully holding their ground against the
scowling hordes of savagery. The historian, Parkman, devotes two
chapters of his _Jesuits in North America_ to an account of these
enterprises, and of the holy women whose names are inseparably connected
with them. In Madame Guyard, Mère de l'Incarnation, who became Superior
of the convent, he recognizes a very true woman, full of tender feeling,
yet endowed with practical abilities of the first order. Of Margaret
Bourgeoys, founder of the Congrégation de Notre Dame at Montreal, he
speaks with equal enthusiasm. "Her portrait," he says, "has come down to
us; and her face is a mirror of frankness, loyalty, and womanly
tenderness. Her qualities were those of good sense, conscientiousness,
and a warm heart. Her religion was of the affections, and was manifested
in an absorbing devotion to duty." He recognizes "in the martial figure
of Maisonneuve, and the fair form of this gentle nun, the true heroes of

Maisonneuve was the true type of the Christian warrior. An association
of religious persons at Paris, of whom M. Jean Olier, founder of the
Seminary of St. Sulpice, and M. Royer de la Dauversière were chief, had
obtained from the Company of New France a grant of the greater portion
of the Island of Montreal, and a considerable block of land to the east
thereof on the north shore of the river St. Lawrence. To effect this it
had been necessary to pay a considerable sum of money to extinguish a
prior claim of one M. de Lauson, an officer of the company, to the same
territory. Marvellous stories are told of the supernatural
communications received by MM. Olier and Dauversière, by which the duty
was laid upon them of sending a colony for purposes of evangelization
to the Island of Montreal, of the existence of which, it is averred,
they had no previous knowledge. However this may have been--natural
means of knowledge, it may be observed, were available in the _Relations
of the Jesuits_--an association was formed under the title of the
Associates of Montreal; money was liberally subscribed; the island was
purchased; and the members of the projected colony were brought
together. A "Greatheart" was needed to conduct the little band; and
Maisonneuve, who was home from the wars of the Low Countries, hearing of
the holy enterprise, placed his sword and his life at the service of the
association. In the month of May 1641 two small vessels sailed from La
Rochelle, one bearing M. de Maisonneuve and twenty-five men, the other
Mdlle. Mance, a Jesuit priest, and twelve other men. Both arrived safely
at Quebec in the month of August. Governor Montmagny wished to keep what
he regarded as a valuable reinforcement at Quebec; but Maisonneuve
insisted on carrying out his mission. He went up to Montreal accordingly
before the navigation closed, in company with the governor, to take
formal possession of the island, but returned to winter in Quebec. In
the spring he took his whole party up the river, arriving at Montreal on
the 18th of May. Madame de la Peltrie leaving her own work at Quebec
accompanied him, only to return, however, after a short stay. An altar
was erected on the riverside, and mass was celebrated by the Jesuit
father, Vincent, who afterwards delivered an address, in which he said
he doubted not that the grain of mustard seed they were then sowing was
designed by Providence to become a mighty tree.

The prophecy has been amply fulfilled, but many anxious years had to
pass before the destiny of the tree was at all assured. The position of
Montreal was far more precarious than that of Quebec, as it was so much
more accessible to the sworn enemies of the colony, the Iroquois. For
twenty-four years Maisonneuve held the post of military governor,
edifying all by his piety, and inspiring confidence in all by his
bravery and vigilance. The story of his trials and of his prowess, is it
not told, with a rich blending of supernatural elements, in the naïve
record of Dollier de Casson, and the more comprehensive and systematic,
but equally naïve, history of the learned and unfailingly interesting
Abbé Faillon? And yet--such is the irony of human events--when a very
pious governor, the Marquis de Tracy, came out in 1665 as the king's
lieutenant-general for all his North American possessions, one of his
first acts, inspired, it is said, by the council at Quebec, was to
dismiss this veteran warrior as being unfit for his position. Making no
demur, attempting no self-justification, but bowing to the stroke, which
he regarded as an intimation of the will of Providence, the brave
Maisonneuve retired quietly to France, where he spent the remainder of
his days.

After a service of twelve years as governor M. de Montmagny was relieved
in 1648, and replaced by M. d'Ailleboust, who had previously exercised
judicial functions at Montreal in close association with M. de
Maisonneuve, whom he resembled in the exalted and ascetic character of
his piety. The name of Montmagny had been translated by the Indians into
"Onontio," signifying "Great Mountain"; and henceforth all French
governors were, in Indian parlance, "Great Mountains." M. d'Ailleboust
retained office only three years. During his administration, as during
that of his predecessor, the Iroquois were incessant in their
depredations, which they would sometimes carry on under the very
palisades of Montreal. They succeeded during this period in all but
exterminating the Hurons, their traditional foes and now allies of the
French. One or two treaties were made with the aggressive savages, and
once or twice they were repelled with loss; but the treaties were not to
be depended on, nor were the defeats such as to give them serious check.
One event which marked the latter part of M. de Montmagny's
administration must not be overlooked. The Company of New France, or of
the Hundred Associates, had, as we have seen, begun operations upon the
retrocession of the colony by England in 1632. According to their
charter their work was to be one of colonization as well as of trading;
but ten years later the total French population of Canada, Montreal
included, did not exceed two hundred souls. The country, instead of
being developed, was being strangled, the company having absolute
control, not only of the fur trade, but of its commerce generally, which
it hampered in every possible way. Meantime the company itself was
losing money. Negotiations were therefore entered into between the
inhabitants, represented by M. de Repentigny, who went to France for the
purpose, and the officers of the company. The result being that, in the
month of January 1645, a treaty, as it was called, was made between the
company on the one hand, and the inhabitants, through their delegate, on
the other, by which the former, while retaining all their sovereign
proprietary and feudal rights, with power of nominating the governor and
the judges, threw open to the latter, not individually but as a
community, the fur trade of Canada on condition that they should assume
all expenses of civil administration and military defence, pay the
salaries of the clergy, bring into the country every year twenty new
colonists, and finally hand over to the company annually one thousand
pounds weight of assorted beaver skins. The inhabitants were, by this
arrangement, which received the royal sanction on the 6th March 1645,
formed into a corporation, afterwards called the "New Company," to
distinguish it from the Company of New France or the "Old Company." It
was understood that the New Company would elect its own managers; while
the Old Company reserved the right to keep certain officials of its own
in the country to watch over its interests, throwing the cost of their
maintenance, however, on the inhabitants in their corporate capacity.

This arrangement was received at the time with some satisfaction by the
colonists, but in reality it was a most illiberal one, under which it
was impossible for the country to thrive. Its immediate effect was to
send nearly all the men of the settlement into the woods, and to turn
the wilder and more daring spirits into _coureurs de bois_, a class of
men who will figure largely in our subsequent narrative. Two years later
we find the inhabitants complaining to the king that the new scheme was
working very badly, and giving rise to serious "abuses and
malversations." The king did not know very well what to do about it; but
by the advice of certain of his ministers he decided to place the
government of the colony on a slightly wider basis, with just the least
particle in it of a representative element. To this end he created a
council which was to consist of the governor, the ex-governor, if he
were in the country, the superior of the Jesuits, pending the
appointment of a bishop, and two inhabitants to be selected by the
council, or three if the ex-governor were not residing in the country.
In addition, the three settlements of Quebec, Montreal, and Three Rivers
could each elect a "syndic," to hold office for three years, and to have
a deliberative voice in the council, but no vote.

The effect of this measure, which seems to have been adopted without
consulting the Company of New France, was to give the council full
control of the fur trade of the country. That trade had to bear all the
expenses of government, as well as provide for the toll to be paid to
the Old Company; and it rested with the council to fix the proportion
which the inhabitants should contribute out of the gross proceeds of the
furs they either bought from the Indians or procured by the chase. If
they bought from the Indians they would have to pay for them with goods
purchased at the general stores, which again were controlled by the
council or its nominees; and it was a constant matter of complaint that
the prices of these goods were so high that it was impossible to trade
with the Indians on any favourable terms; the latter, as a rule, having
sense enough to put up their prices accordingly. A more burdensome
system, or one more liable to abuse, could not easily be imagined.

In 1651, M. de Lauson was sent to replace M. d'Ailleboust. The question
at this time was seriously debated whether the colony would not have to
be abandoned. The settlement at Montreal was in imminent danger of
extinction. Maisonneuve saw clearly that, with the scanty force he had,
it was only a matter of time when the place would be at the mercy of the
foe. He therefore sailed in this year for France, determined, if he
could not obtain reinforcements, to return to Canada and bring all his
people back to France. The position of matters at Quebec was little
better. Mère de l'Incarnation writes: "The Iroquois have made such
ravages in this part of the country that for a time we thought we should
all have to return to France." Maisonneuve succeeded in his mission; but
he was two years absent from the country, and meantime anxiety both at
Quebec and at Montreal was at the highest pitch. He arrived in the month
of September 1653, bringing with him over one hundred soldiers carefully
chosen and well equipped, furnished, not by the government or the
Hundred Associates, who were tolerably indifferent to the fate of
Montreal, but by the company which had sent him out in the first place.
The governor was anxious to keep the whole force at Quebec; and
Maisonneuve had to exercise considerable firmness in order to be
permitted to take them all with him to Montreal. It was in the vessel
which brought out this detachment that Margaret Bourgeoys, whose name
has already been mentioned, came to Canada. She was struck on her
arrival by the desperately poverty-stricken look of the country. "There
were at the time in the Upper Town" (of Quebec), she says, "only five or
six houses, and in the Lower Town only the storehouse of the Jesuits and
that of the Montreal people. The hospital nuns were dressed in grey. The
poverty on all sides was something pitiable." The Quebec Ursulines were
desirous that Sister Bourgeoys should join their community, and
afterwards perhaps assist them in establishing a branch of their convent
in Montreal; but the future foundress of the Congrégation de Notre Dame
knew her own mind. Her purpose in coming to Canada was to establish a
school for girls at Montreal, and to Montreal she would go.

The weakness of the colony was painfully exhibited about this time in
its dealings with the Iroquois. The principal remnant of the Huron
nation, whose original settlements occupied the country between the
Georgian Bay and Lake Simcoe, had taken refuge from their cruel enemies
in the Island of Orleans just below Quebec. Even here, they were not
left in peace. In the month of February 1654 a number of Iroquois came
down to Quebec ostensibly to negotiate for peace, but secretly
nourishing deadly designs against the unfortunate Hurons. What they
proposed was that those who were settled on the Island of Orleans should
leave their habitations there, go to the Iroquois country, and
incorporate themselves, as a portion of their nation had already done,
with the Iroquois confederacy. They also asked that a French colony,
including a certain number of priests--"black robes," as they called
them--should be planted in their territory. Although these propositions
were believed to mask the most murderous intentions, it was considered
imprudent to reject them, as the colony was in no condition to withstand
the general attack which it was feared would in that case ensue. After
some delay, therefore, a colony consisting of over fifty French left
Quebec in the early summer of 1656, the understanding being that the
Hurons would follow later.

The Iroquois nation or confederacy comprised, as is generally known,
five separate tribes, occupying the central and north-western portion of
what is now the state of New York, and known--to mention them in
geographical order from east to west--as Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas,
Cayugas, and Senecas. There was a keen competition between the Mohawks
and the Onondagas, both for the French colony and for the possession of
the remnant of the Hurons. The colony was sent to the Onondagas; and the
Mohawks in a spirit of revenge made a descent on the Island of Orleans,
killed a number of Hurons, and carried over eighty into captivity. In
their retreat they also committed various depredations under the very
walls of Quebec--in so deplorable a condition of helplessness was even
the citadel of French power in Canada. Two years later the French colony
established among the Onondagas made its escape from impending massacre
in a manner little short of miraculous; but meantime, in defiance and
contempt of French authority, numbers of unfortunate Hurons had been
slaughtered or carried into captivity.

M. de Lauson, the governor, does not seem to have been a man of any
great force of character. Moreover he was now over seventy years of age,
and, considering the helpless condition in which he was
left--practically abandoned by the Old Company and very feebly
supported by the New--it is scarcely surprising that he should have
anticipated the conclusion of his term of office, and returned to France
in the summer of 1656. His son, M. de Charny-Lauson, replaced him for a
year, when he too sailed for France without awaiting the arrival of his
successor, M. d'Argenson. At his request M. d'Ailleboust consented to
act as interim governor.

To the credit of the ecclesiastics it must be said that, whoever
despaired of the situation in Canada, they never did. At the very time
when the fortunes of the colony were at the lowest ebb, and the secular
chiefs were debating whether it would not be necessary to retire, bag
and baggage, the subject which chiefly occupied the minds of the clergy
was the organization and government of the church. M. de Maisonneuve had
brought out with him four Sulpician priests to minister to the needs of
the inhabitants of Montreal, and one of them, M. de Queylus, was the
bearer of letters from the Archbishop of Rouen, to whose diocese New
France was attached, creating him vicar-general for the whole colony.
Availing himself of the powers so conferred, M. de Queylus assumed the
direction of the church in Canada; and when some signs of reluctance to
recognize his authority manifested themselves in Quebec, he went to that
city, took personal charge of the parish, and enforced at least an
outward show of submission. The Sulpicians had hoped that M. de Queylus
would be made bishop; but the Jesuits, who for many years had been in
exclusive charge of the religious interests of the colony, were
considered to have the best right to make the nomination. They chose,
with characteristic wisdom, a man who was destined to fill a most
important place in the history of Canada, François Xavier de
Laval-Montmorency, Abbé de Montigny. The negotiations for the
appointment of the new prelate were of a very perplexed and protracted
character, and it was not till the summer of 1659 that he arrived in
Quebec, and then not as bishop of Quebec, but as vicar-apostolic, with
the title of Bishop of Petraea _in partibus_. Laval was a man of great
piety, and inflexible determination; and for a time there was friction
between him and M. de Queylus, who, in his capacity as vicar-general of
the Archbishop of Rouen, was disposed to claim an independent position
for himself. Laval cut the controversy short by persuading the governor
to ship M. de Queylus off to France; and, when he returned the following
year, to ship him back again. This time the Sulpician had to remain at
home for several years; and the descendant of the Montmorencys achieved
the first of a long series of victories over opposing forces.

In mentioning these incidents, however, we have run ahead by two or
three years of the strict sequence of events. Argenson, the new
governor, arrived on the 11th July 1658. He had hardly been twenty-four
hours at his post before the Iroquois gave him a hint what to expect by
making a raid in the immediate neighbourhood of Quebec. In the following
year the whole country, but particularly Quebec, was thrown into
trepidation over the news that an army composed of twelve hundred
warriors, gathered from the five Iroquois nations, was advancing with
fixed determination to wipe out all the French settlements. It would be
needless to repeat here, even if the limits of a very cursory narrative
permitted it, the glorious feat of arms by which this great danger was
turned aside from the colony. The story of our Canadian Thermopylæ is
familiar to every school-boy and school-girl in Canada. Suffice it to
say that the constancy of Dollard and the handful of companions who
perished with him in defending a position they had hastily fortified on
the river Ottawa, directly in the path of the invaders, so disheartened
the latter that they relinquished their enterprise. When so few could
hold so many at bay, what might not be expected when attack should be
made on the fortified posts of Montreal, Three Rivers, and Quebec? The
abandonment, however, of their larger design did not involve any
discontinuance of their accustomed mode of warfare. We hear of horrible
butcheries committed on settlers in the neighbourhood of Montreal and
even of Quebec; it seemed as if the colony could never get rest from its
tormentors. The new governor was a man of courage and ability, but he
lacked the means of effectually guarding against these treacherous
attacks, while the destitute condition in which he found the colony
filled him with discouragement. Whether general starvation or massacre
was the more imminent danger was sometimes a grave question. Other
difficulties arose. Argenson and Laval, the civil and religious heads of
the state, found themselves at variance on points of ceremony and
precedence; and the bishop, whose self-confidence was unbounded,
undertook to give the governor certain doubtless well-meant admonitions,
which the latter did not take in good part. The governor's health may,
or may not, have been good, but he alleged that he was suffering from
physical infirmities, and asked for his recall. He left for France in
September 1661, his successor, Baron Dubois d'Avaugour, having arrived a
few weeks previously. A remark which he made respecting the head of the
Canadian church, in a letter written a year before his departure, may
perhaps be put on record: "I can say with truth that his zeal on many
occasions bears close resemblance to an extraordinary attachment to his
own opinions, and a strong desire to encroach on the rights and duties
of others."

The Baron d'Avaugour only remained two years in the country. When he
arrived an earnest effort was being made by the clergy, headed by the
bishop, to have the law against selling liquor to the Indians strictly
enforced. The law was not popular in the country, and Avaugour thought
it altogether too severe; still he allowed it to take effect in the case
of two men who had been sentenced to death, and of one who had been
condemned to be publicly whipped. Shortly afterwards a woman was
imprisoned for a similar offence, and the Jesuit father, Lalemant,
having pleaded for a relaxation of the law in her case, Avaugour, glad
of a pretext to do away with it altogether, said that if the woman was
not to be punished, no one should be. The result was that liquor began
to be sold to the natives almost without restraint, and with effects
which one of the ecclesiastics said he had no ink black enough to
describe. Doubtless they were bad enough. The bishop fulminated from his
episcopal throne against the practice, and launched excommunications
right and left, but with little effect. He then decided on going to
France and laying the whole matter before the government. He left in the
summer of 1662; and it was while he was absent, that is to say in
February of the following year, that an earthquake occurred of which the
most extraordinary descriptions have come down to us. The only moderate
account is that given by Avaugour himself, who says in a despatch: "On
the 5th of February we had an earthquake, which continued during half a
quarter of an hour, and was sufficiently strong to extort from us a good
act of contrition. It was repeated from time to time during nine days,
and was perceptible until the last of the month, but steadily
diminishing." This was all an unimaginative mind like that of the baron
could make of it, but not so with minds of another order. One pious
soul saw four demons tugging at the four corners of the sky, and
threatening universal ruin, which they would have effected had not a
higher spirit appeared on the scene. We read that the air was filled
with howlings as of lost spirits, and flashings of strange, unearthly
lights, not to speak of a little detail of blazing serpents flying
abroad on wings of fire. But the marvels that took place in the aerial
regions were surpassed, if possible, by those that were witnessed on the
solid earth. To take only one example out of many: some sailors coming
from Gaspé, as Père Charlevoix relates, saw a mountain "skipping like a
ram," after which it spun round several times, and finally sank out of
sight. Houses swayed to and fro till their walls nearly touched the
street, and yet righted themselves in the end. Quebec and Montreal,
which, even at this early period, did not pull well together, were
somewhat at variance concerning the significance of the phenomenon. At
Montreal the favourite theory was that the devil was enraged to find God
so well served in the colony; at Quebec the humbler view prevailed that
the earthquake was a solemn warning to the people to abandon their evil
ways, and be obedient to the teachings of the clergy. Considering that,
despite the prohibitions of the clergy, the liquor traffic was just then
at its height, the admonition could not have come more opportunely.

Laval, whose reputation for piety gave him great influence, the Abbé
Faillon tells us, at the not altogether puritanical court of Louis XIV,
was completely successful in his mission. Not only was the uncomplying
Avaugour recalled, but the bishop himself was requested to nominate a
successor. If the bishop had consulted the men by whom he had himself
been chosen, he would likely have got good advice; but he followed his
own judgment entirely and made a terrible blunder, as he did in a still
more important matter some years later. His choice fell on a M. de Mézy,
recommended to him by the possession of an exalted and almost hysterical
type of piety; and the two embarking on the same vessel arrived at
Quebec on the 15th September 1663.

It would be taking a very one-sided and radically unjust view of Laval's
character to consider him simply as a man of ability with a strong
propensity to autocratic rule. A man of ability he was, and his temper
was unbending; but that, from first to last, he took the deepest and
most unselfish interest in the welfare of the Canadian people, and also
of the Indian tribes, is not open to a moment's question; nor can it be
denied that his views on the whole were broad and statesmanlike. It was
when he was in France, in 1662, that he arranged for the establishment
of that historic institution, the Quebec Seminary, the higher
development of which is seen in the Laval University of to-day. A few
years after his return he established the Lesser Seminary (Petit
Séminaire), as a school where boys could get a sound education under
religious auspices, and whence the more promising among them might be
drafted into the Grand Séminaire with a view to their preparation for
the priesthood. Memorable also were the services rendered by him in the
organization of a parochial system for Canada, which before his advent
had been treated almost wholly as a mission field.

In February of the year 1663, the Company of New France, whose affairs
had been going from bad to worse, made a voluntary surrender of all
their rights and privileges to the king, leaving it to his discretion to
make them such compensation as might be just for the capital they had
sunk in their not very well-directed efforts. The king accepted the
surrender, and, as a means of providing for the better administration of
justice in the colony, and also the due control of its finances, he
created by royal edict a Sovereign Council, which was to consist of the
governor, the bishop, or other senior ecclesiastic, and five councillors
chosen by them jointly. A year later he proceeded to charter a
completely new company--as if the régime of companies had not been
sufficiently tried--under the name of the West India Company. To it the
entire trade of all the French possessions in America and on the west
coast of Africa was transferred. The new company was virtually the
creation of the great administrator, Colbert; and it may be assumed that
he trusted to his own vigorous oversight and control to make it a
success. He hoped, in fact, to succeed where a Richelieu had failed;
experience had yet to teach him that no administrative ability, however
eminent, can obtain prosperity from a system of close monopoly.

It was not long before Laval and his pocket governor (as he had hoped
Mézy would be) found themselves at daggers drawn. The quarrel was of so
trifling a character that its details need not detain us; suffice it to
say, that Laval represented the case to the court and procured his
nominee's dismissal. The unfortunate man, however, whose weak mind was
assailed with the most distressing spiritual fears, when he found
himself under the ban of the church, accomplished a hasty reconciliation
with the offended powers, and died, desperately penitent, before his
successor reached Canada.

The West India Company was empowered by its charter to nominate the
governor of Canada, but had voluntarily ceded that power to the king.
The latter, under the inspiration probably of Colbert, was now taking a
great interest in Canada. He was not going to leave it any longer at the
mercy of the Iroquois, if a thousand or more good French soldiers could
avail for its protection. As lieutenant-general over all his possessions
in America, he appointed a brave old soldier of much distinction, the
Marquis de Tracy; as governor of Canada in particular, M. de Courcelles;
and as intendant--a new office--M. Jean Baptiste Talon. The
Carignan-Salières Regiment, about twelve hundred strong, had been
detailed for service in Canada, and was sent out in detachments, which
arrived at intervals during the summer; Tracy himself with four
companies reaching Quebec in June. Many of the men were landed sick of
fever; twenty had died on shipboard in the St. Lawrence. Mère
l'Incarnation, in one of her letters, attributes the malady to their
having opened the portholes when they got into the river, and let in the
fresh air too suddenly. In these days one is apt to conjecture that it
was the confined air, not the fresh air, that did the mischief, and that
the portholes might with advantage have been opened earlier.

Tracy was eager to move against the enemy, but, as he was obliged to
await the arrival of the rest of his troops, he improved the interval by
erecting forts on the line of his intended march, one at the mouth of
the river Richelieu, known at that time as the Iroquois River, a second
at Chambly, some forty miles up the stream, and two others at points
still higher up. While this work was in progress Courcelles, the
governor, Talon, the intendant, and the remainder of the troops reached
Quebec (September 1665). Courcelles was even more eager for war than his
superior officer; and as it was too late when the forts were finished,
and the health of the troops had been sufficiently restored, to attempt
a summer campaign, he obtained the consent of the marquis to organize a
midwinter one. Old inhabitants, who knew something of the rigour of the
climate and the difficulties to be encountered on the march, tried to
dissuade him from his purpose, but in vain. With a fatuity, of which
military history furnishes too many examples, Courcelles despised all
such counsels of prudence. He started with five hundred men on the 10th
of January, marching on the frozen St. Lawrence. The cold was fearful,
and the expedition had proceeded but a short distance when the
sufferings of the men became almost unendurable. At Three Rivers a
number had to be left behind who had been disabled by frost-bites. Some
reinforcements having been obtained at that point, the little army again
set forth. Two hundred men out of the whole force were Canadians, and
these naturally proved the fittest for the undertaking; nor did their
superior quality fail to impress Courcelles. At last the expedition
reached the Mohawk country, but the enemy were not there; they had gone
off on some warlike adventure of their own. There was some burning of
deserted cabins; but the position of the invading force began to be a
precarious one, for the winter was now merging into spring, and there
was danger that if the ice melted in the streams, their retreat would be
cut off. The Mohawks were already hovering in their rear. By the time
they reached the nearest of their forts they had lost sixty men by cold
and hunger. The only thing that can be said in favour of the expedition
is that it greatly impressed the minds of the Iroquois, as proving that
the French had now the means of turning the tables on them and carrying
the war into their own country.

The Iroquois showed some disposition to negotiate for peace; but nothing
came of it, and in September a larger expedition set out, commanded by
Tracy himself, with Courcelles as second in command. This time they not
only reached the Iroquois country, but, the savages having fled in
panic, they were able at their ease to destroy a number of fortified
villages and large quantities of food that had been laid up for the
winter. The Iroquois were deeply impressed by these vigorous
proceedings. They saw that a great change had come over the situation
and resources of the French colony, when, instead of submitting
helplessly to attack, they could equip two expeditions in one year to
seek them out in their own habitations. They hastened, therefore, to
renew their propositions of peace, and, as this time they were clearly
in earnest, Tracy concluded a peace with them which held good for
several years. The colony now had a rest, and the beneficial effects of
it were soon evident. Two years later the Jesuit annalist writes: "It is
beautiful now to see nearly all the banks of our river St. Lawrence
occupied by new settlements, stretching along more than eighty leagues,
making navigation not only more agreeable by the sight of houses dotting
the riverside, but also more convenient through an increase in the
number of resting-places." A charming picture is here given in very
simple words.

We have already had occasion to mention incidentally the dismissal by
Tracy of Maisonneuve. Whatever the motive of this harsh act may have
been, its consequences were most unhappy. Maisonneuve was a man of
incorruptible integrity. His successor, François Marie Perrot, was a man
of good family and fine appearance, who enjoyed considerable protection
at court and needed it all, for he had simply the instincts of a
dishonest trader, and used his office for the sole purpose of personal
gain. Tracy's connection with Canada was brief, for he was recalled in
the year following that in which he made his campaign against the
Iroquois, and the government of the country was left in the hands of
Courcelles and Talon; the former, as governor, representing the king in
a military, political, and high administrative capacity; while the
latter, as intendant, was entrusted with all that concerned the finances
of the colony and its industrial and commercial development. The two
heads of the state seem to have worked together at first, and for a
considerable time, with commendable harmony. The governor was a
judicious and capable administrator; the intendant, a man of wide views,
of singular discretion, and of indefatigable industry. The Abbé
Gosselin, in his _Life of Laval_, says that Talon "troubled himself
little about the moral condition of the colony so long as he saw its
commerce and industry flourishing"; and again that "he was never well
disposed to the clergy, whose influence he feared, dreading that they
might become too rich." It is probably the case that he was not very
sympathetic with the ecclesiastical powers of the day, but he certainly
did apply himself to promote the material prosperity of the colony.
Amongst other things he caused three vessels to be built which were
despatched to the West Indies with cargoes of dried fish, staves, and
lumber; and also established a brewery at Quebec, in the hope of abating
the consumption of imported spirits. If he did not achieve a larger
measure of success, it was because little was possible under a system of
combined monopoly and paternalism. His reports to the home government
speak of the country as prosperous. In 1670 he writes that the money
granted by the king for the encouragement of families, and the different
industries established, have had such a good effect, that now no one
dares to beg, unless perhaps some unprotected child too young to work,
or some man too old to work or incapacitated by accident or disease.

A census of the country taken by the intendant in the year 1666 showed a
total population of 3418. The estimated number of men capable of bearing
arms being 1344. The old Company of the Hundred Associates was, by the
terms of its contract to have brought 4000 settlers to the colony in
fifteen years, dating from 1633; but Talon's figures proved that, in
more than twice fifteen years, the whole population still fell
considerably short of that number. The population of Quebec at this time
was 555, of Montreal 584, and of Three Rivers 461. The seigniory of
Beaupré below Quebec had 678 inhabitants and the Island of Orleans 471.
The French government had for some years been showing much zeal in
sending out settlers to Canada, and it was chiefly owing to its efforts
that the population had increased to the extent indicated by the census.
The total number of state-directed immigrants from 1664 to the close of
the year 1671 is estimated at over 2500--a most substantial addition to
the strength of the colony. The Sulpicians must also be credited with
some useful activity in the cause of colonization. Their settlers were
of course directed to Montreal, and, as the figures above quoted show,
the population of that place already exceeded that of Quebec.

The patent granted to the Company of New France, or of the Hundred
Associates, had made them lords of the whole territory of Canada, with
power to concede seigniories therein of varying degrees of extent,
importance and dignity. A few seigniories were established by that
company; but, as we have seen, the country under its management was
practically at a standstill. All the rights which it had in the
disposition of the land were transferred to the West India Company; and
under Talon's régime the creation of seigniories proceeded much more
rapidly, owing mainly to the fact that there were suitable applicants
for them in the officers of the regiments which the king had sent out.
The last few weeks he spent in the country were mainly occupied in this
way. In one month he issued sixty patents.[5] This was entirely in
accordance with the intentions of the French government, which had
promised lands to any of the officers or soldiers of the Carignan
Regiment who might elect to settle in the country. A large number
accepted the proposition; and to provide wives for the excess of men
existing in the colony the government was assiduous in sending out
marriageable girls, on the whole very carefully selected, who as a rule
were snapped up immediately on arrival by wistful bachelors or
disconsolate widowers. If any were slow in finding partners owing to
lack of visible attractions, they were bonused in money and household
goods, which usually had the effect desired. Bounties were moreover paid
throughout the colony for early and fruitful marriages; and the
administrators were instructed to see that special respect was paid to
the fathers of large families, and particularly to those who, having
large families, had succeeded in marrying off their boys and girls at an
early age. Contrariwise, fathers whose children showed backwardness in
entering on matrimony were to be the objects of official displeasure.
Parkman expresses the truth with his usual picturesque force when he
says that, "throughout the length and breadth of Canada, Hymen, if not
Cupid, was whipped into a frenzy of activity." A gratifying success
attended these practical measures. By the year 1671 the total population
had increased to six thousand. There were in that year seven hundred
baptisms; and the bishop, from doubtless reliable sources of
information, was able to promise the governor eleven hundred for the
next year. Unfortunately infant mortality was in those days extremely
high; or the population would indeed have been increasing by leaps and

It is a matter of regret that the early historians of Canada feel
themselves obliged to record a decline in the morals of the country,
dating from the arrival of the king's troops in 1665. Up to that time,
we are told, the inhabitants--those in the Montreal district at
least--had lived in a condition of pristine simplicity and innocence,
recalling that of the early Christians. No one locked his house by day
or night, the crime of theft being unknown. The ordinances of the church
were strictly observed by the whole population; but, if on occasion any
one failed in his duty, punishment promptly followed. For example, a man
on the Island of Orleans, having eaten meat on a Friday, was fined
twenty-five francs, half of which went to the parish church, and
threatened with corporal punishment if he repeated the offence. "Here,"
observes the Abbé Faillon with quiet enthusiasm, "we see the true
destination of the secular power."

But--ages of gold have a tendency to vanish away, and the Astraea of the
French colony took her sad flight shortly after the Carignan-Salières
Regiment arrived. These men had the pleasure-loving ways of soldiers,
and war had not trained them to a very strict regard for personal rights
or clerical admonitions. A ball was given at Quebec--the first ever held
in the country--on the 4th February 1667. The clergy held their breath,
not knowing what might follow. Many abuses, it would seem, followed:
morals began to be relaxed; thefts became sufficiently common to bring
bolts and locks into requisition; a Seneca chief was cruelly murdered by
three soldiers; and shortly afterwards six Indians were massacred in
their sleep by some settlers near Montreal. The object of the latter
crime was to obtain possession of a large quantity of furs which the
Indians had brought down to sell. That peace with the natives was
gravely imperilled by these atrocious deeds may readily be imagined. It
took all the firmness and tact of the governor to avoid an outbreak. The
three soldiers were shot by his orders in the presence of a number of
Indians. The other criminals seem to have escaped punishment by flight.

The last important act of Courcelles was to undertake a journey up the
St. Lawrence as far as the outlet of Lake Ontario. The object of this
adventure was to impress upon the more distant Iroquois tribes, who had
boasted that they were out of reach of the French arms, that such was
not the case. The idea which these savages had was that the only route
by which the French could penetrate into their country was by way of the
river Richelieu and Lake Champlain, in which case they would have first
to pass through the "buffer" territory of the eastern Iroquois tribes.
The rapids of the St. Lawrence, they thought, would effectually bar
approach by way of Lake Ontario. To demonstrate their error, Courcelles
gave orders for the construction of a flat-boat of two or three tons
burden, which could be rowed in smooth water, and dragged up difficult
places on the rapids. When this craft was ready, he manned it with a
crew of eight men; and, taking also thirteen bark canoes, he ascended
the river successfully with a party of over fifty men, including the
governor of Montreal and other leading officials. The Iroquois (Cayugas
and Senecas) took due note of the feat and revised their opinions

In the following year both Courcelles and Talon were recalled at their
own request. There had been friction between them for some time, and
they seem to have thought that it would be best for the king's service
that they should both retire. Whatever the causes of difference may have
been, they did not squabble in public like some of their successors. The
services of both were highly appreciated by the French government, and
the departure of both from Canada was very generally and sincerely

[Footnote 2: According to the _Jesuit Relations_ for 1643-4, the Hurons
cried out in their despair: "The Iroquois, our mortal enemies, do not
believe in God, have no love for prayer, commit all kinds of crimes, and
nevertheless they prosper. We, since we have abandoned the customs of
our fathers, are slaughtered and burnt, our villages are destroyed. What
good do we get by lending ear to the Gospel, if conversion and death
walk hand in hand?" Garneau, who quotes this passage, adds: "One tribe
of them that had counted its warriors by hundreds was now reduced to

[Footnote 3: _Les Jésuites et la Nouvelle France._ Vol. i. Introduction,
p. xv. More than two centuries earlier the pious Superior of the
Ursuline Convent, Mère de l'Incarnation, had referred, in her own gentle
way, to their incompleteness. "If," she says, "any one is disposed to
conclude that the labours of the convent are useless because no mention
is made of them in the _Relations_, the inference must equally be drawn
that Monseigneur the Bishop is useless; that his Seminary is useless;
that the Seminary of the Jesuit fathers themselves is useless; that the
ecclesiastics of Montreal are useless; and that finally the Hospital
nuns are useless; because of none of these persons or things do the
_Relations_ say a word. Nothing is mentioned save what relates to the
progress of the Gospel; and, even so, lots of things are cut out after
the record gets to France."--_Letires Spirituelles_, edition of 1681, p.

[Footnote 4: _Jesuits in North America_, chap. xv.]

[Footnote 5: See the excellent monograph by M. Thos. Chapais, _Jean
Talon, Intendant de la Nouvelle France_, Quebec, 1904.]



The information we possess respecting the life of Count Frontenac prior
to his appointment to the governorship of Canada is far from being as
complete as might be wished. Such particulars as the records of the
period furnish have been carefully gathered by Parkman and others;[6]
and it is doubtful whether any further facts of importance will come to
light. He was born--there is nothing to show where--in 1620, one year
after the great minister, Colbert, under whom he was destined to serve.
His family belonged to the small principality of Béarn, now incorporated
in the Department of the Basses Pyrénées, which, made an appanage to the
French Crown by Henry of Navarre, was only formally incorporated with
the kingdom of France in the very year in which Frontenac was born. His
father, Henri de Buade, was colonel of the regiment of Navarre, but has
not otherwise passed into history. His grandfather, Antoine de Buade,
Seigneur de Frontenac and Baron de Palluau, was a man of more
distinction, being not only state councillor under Henry IV, but first
steward of the royal household and governor of St. Germain-en-Laye. He
is described in the memoirs of Philip Hurault as "one of the oldest
servants of the king." His children used to play familiarly with the
dauphin, afterwards Louis XIII; and the association thus formed lasted
for some time after their playmate became king, which he did, nominally,
at the age of nine, upon the assassination of his father, Henry IV. The
Frontenac family was thus noble, though not of the highest nobility; and
its connection with the domestic life of the royal family gave it no
doubt an additional measure of influence. The youthful king, with whom
the young Frontenacs played, became the father of Louis XIV.

Louis de Buade, Count Frontenac, the subject of this narrative, felt
early in life a call to arms. The Thirty Years' War broke out in 1618;
and when France, in 1635, under the astute guidance of Cardinal
Richelieu, interfered on the Protestant side, Frontenac, then fifteen
years of age, was sent to Holland to serve under the Prince of Orange.
He seems to have acquitted himself with bravery and distinction in many
different sieges and engagements both in the Low Countries and in Italy.
He was wounded many times: at the siege of Orbitello in 1646 he had an
arm broken. In this year he was raised to the rank of _maréchal de
camp_, or brigadier-general. Three years before, at the age of
twenty-three, he had been made colonel of the regiment of Normandy. His
service appears to have been continuous, or nearly so, till the war was
brought to a conclusion in 1648 by the Peace of Westphalia. In the year
mentioned we find him resting from the alarms and fatigues of war in his
father's house on the Quai des Célestins at Paris. Close by lived an
attractive young lady of sixteen, daughter of a certain M. de la
Grange-Trianon, Sieur de Neuville, with whom, as became his age and
profession, the returned warrior fell deeply in love. His passion was
returned sufficiently to lead the young lady, when her father's consent
could not be obtained, to marry her suitor at one of the churches in
Paris authorized to solemnize marriages, in more or less urgent cases,
without the consent of parents. The marriage was not a happy one. Madame
de Frontenac soon conceived a positive aversion for her husband, and
they seem, at a very early period, to have ceased to live together,
though not before the birth of a son. The child was placed in the charge
of a village nurse, and little more is heard of him, except that when he
grew up he embraced the profession of arms, and died, it is not certain
how, at a comparatively early age. The mother joined the train of
Mademoiselle de Montpensier. These were the days of the Fronde--the
abortive rebellion against the fiscal iniquities of Mazarin during the
minority of Louis XIV--and in following the fortunes of her patroness,
whose father, the king's uncle, had joined the opposition, the young
countess had some strange adventures.

What part, if any, Frontenac himself took in the troubles of the period,
does not appear; probably none, for although somewhat turbulent by
nature, as will abundantly appear hereafter, he was not without a large
element of caution, particularly where persons in high authority were
concerned. It is certain, at least, that, when the strife was over, he
enjoyed a good position at court, as Mademoiselle de Montpensier notes,
having met him more than once in the cabinet of the queen. He possessed
a property on the Indre, in the neighbourhood of Blois, and here he
attempted to keep up a state far beyond his income. "Your means are very
slender and your waste is great," said the chief-justice to Sir John
Falstaff; and the same observation might not inaptly have been addressed
to Frontenac. He prided himself extravagantly upon his horses, his
table, his servants--in a word, on everything that was his; entertained
largely, and ran himself hopelessly into debt. In 1669 the French
government sent a contingent to assist the Venetians in defending Candia
(Crete), against the Turks. The Venetians offered to place their own
troops under French command, and Frontenac had the high honour of being
recommended by Turenne, the greatest military leader of the age, for the
position. In this struggle the Turks triumphed; the island fell into
their power; and Frontenac returned to France with enhanced military
prestige, but without any amelioration of his financial position. Saint
Simon describes him as "a man of good abilities, holding a prominent
position in society, but utterly ruined." He adds that he could not bear
the haughty temper of his wife, and that his appointment as governor of
Canada was given to him in order to relieve him of her, and afford him
some means of living. His wife's temper was not more haughty probably
than his own; neither apparently was disposed to show any deference to
the wishes of the other. Madame de Frontenac, who was a woman of keen
intelligence, without any large amount of feminine tenderness, took too
dispassionate a measure of her husband's qualities to satisfy his rather
exacting self-esteem. She must have had some means of her own, for,
though she did not go to court, she lived for many years surrounded by
the best people and enjoying a high degree of social authority. Though
she did not accompany her husband to Canada, and probably was not
invited to do so, it is plausibly conjectured that her influence in
court circles stood him in good stead on more than one occasion.

Frontenac's commission as governor was dated 6th April 1672, but he did
not leave France till midsummer. It is interesting to know that M. de
Grignan, Madame de Sévigné's son-in-law, was a candidate for the same
position. Had he obtained it, and had his wife, the accomplished
daughter of a still more accomplished mother, accompanied him, what
flashes of light on Canadian society might we not have obtained from
that mother's correspondence! Unfortunately no vestige of Frontenac's
private correspondence with either his wife or any one else remains.
Courcelles and Talon were still at Quebec when he arrived. From the
former he obtained a full account of his expedition to Lake Ontario; and
from the latter much information as to the general condition of the
country, the various enterprises in the way of exploration that had
already been undertaken, and the further ones that it might be well to
organize. Frontenac, who had the eye of a soldier for a good military
position, was much impressed by what Courcelles told him of Cataraqui;
and from the first the idea of establishing a fortified post at that
point took strong possession of his mind.

The new governor was not a young man--he was fifty-two years of age--but
his natural force, either of body or of mind, was not abated. To a man
of his tastes and habits there were many privations involved in a
residence in a country like Canada; but there were compensations, the
chief of which, perhaps, was to be found in the opportunity afforded him
of exercising a semi-royal pomp and power; while a close second, it
cannot be doubted, was the chance of rehabilitating his shattered
fortunes. It would be unjust, at the same time, to suppose that the man
who had fought through so many hard campaigns was not sincerely desirous
of serving his king and country in the new position to which he had been
assigned. The first important step that he took was a characteristic
one, namely, an attempt to constitute in Canada the "three estates" of
nobles, clergy, and people, of which the kingdom of France was nominally
constituted. True, the three estates, or "States-General," as they were
properly called, had not been summoned in the mother country since 1614,
and it was doubtful if their existence as an organ of political
authority, or even of political opinion, was more than theoretical. This
fact might have caused another man to hesitate, but not Count Frontenac;
to him the idea of gathering representatives of the country round him,
marshalling them in their respective orders, and, after addressing them
in the name of the king, requiring them to take the oath of allegiance
in his presence, was too alluring to be put aside. So the summons went
forth, and the assembly was held on one of the last days of October in
the new church of the Jesuits. The "estates" were constituted, the oaths
were taken, and the governor stirred the feelings of his audience,
consisting, he says, of over a thousand persons, by referring to the
victories which his royal master had that year achieved in his war with
Holland. Everything, indeed, passed off beautifully; but when a report
of the proceedings reached the minister, Colbert, his response was of a
somewhat chilling nature. The immediate effect of the assembly might,
perhaps, he said, be good, but "it is well for you to observe that, as
you are always to follow the forms in force here, and as our kings have
considered it for a long time advantageous not to assemble the
States-General of their kingdom, with the object perhaps of insensibly
abolishing that ancient form, you also ought only very rarely, or--to
speak more correctly--never, give that form to the corporate body of the
inhabitants of that country." Colbert did not even approve--though
perhaps on this point he was expressing more particularly the views of
the king--of the election of "syndics" to represent the interests of the
population of Quebec. "Let every one," he said, "speak for himself; it
is not desirable to have any one authorized to speak for all." This was
absolutism with a vengeance. It answered for the day; but could the
minister have looked forward to 1789 he would have seen that the
"ancient form," which it was proposed to extinguish by desuetude, was
destined, like a blazing star that suddenly flashes a strange light in
the heavens, to leap into a new life, amazing, consuming, resistless.

The views of the governor, it must be admitted, were, in this whole
matter, decidedly in advance of those of the minister, able
administrator as the latter undoubtedly was. Frontenac had come to
Canada to uphold the royal authority in the fullest sense, but he
appears to have had a perception that, in a new country where so much
responsibility was necessarily thrown upon individuals, there ought to
be a certain measure of spontaneous political life. Masterful as he was
himself by nature, it is not recorded that he ever dwelt on the
necessity of repressing individual liberty; it is the intendant,
Meulles, a dozen years later, who writes: "It is of very great
importance that the people should not be allowed to speak their

No, the quarter in which Frontenac conceived the authority of his royal
master might, perhaps, be threatened, was a different one altogether; in
other words the battle he foresaw was not against the political
aspirations of the people, but against the excessive claims and
pretensions of the ecclesiastical power. This idea did not originate in
his own mind. The instructions which he brought out with him, while they
eulogized the zeal and piety of the Jesuits, hinted that they might seek
to extend their authority beyond its proper limits, in which case
Frontenac was to "give them kindly to understand the conduct they ought
to observe"; and if they did not amend their ways, he was, as the
document read, "skilfully to oppose their designs in such a way that no
rupture may ensue, and no distinct intention on your part to thwart
their purposes may be apparent." The court had, indeed, for several
years been under the impression that cautions of this kind to its
representatives were necessary. In Talon's instructions, drafted in the
year 1664, the troubles that had occurred between previous governors and
the bishop were rehearsed, and the inference was at least suggested
that these might in part have arisen from the domineering spirit of the
prelate. He had had his way with Argenson, Avaugour, and Mézy; but, if
the civil power was not to pale entirely before the ecclesiastical, it
was about time that the series of his victories should close. Other
despatches to Courcelles, Bouteroue (interim intendant during Talon's
temporary absence in France), and Frontenac himself contain observations
of a like tenor.

The redoubtable vicar-apostolic was not in Canada when Frontenac
arrived. He had sailed for France in the month of May to press the
important matter of his appointment as bishop of Quebec. A letter which
he wrote to the cardinals of the propaganda almost immediately on his
arrival serves to show the reasons he had for desiring this change of
status, and, incidentally, his opinion of the civil officers of the
Crown. "I have learnt," he says, "by a long experience how insecure the
office of vicar-apostolic is against those who are entrusted with
political affairs, I mean the officers of the court, the perpetual
rivals and despisers of the ecclesiastical power, who steadily contend
that the authority of a vicar-apostolic is open to doubt, and should be
kept within certain limits. That is why, having considered the whole
matter very carefully, I have fully determined to resign that office,
and not to return to New France, unless the bishopric of Quebec is
constituted, and unless I am provided and armed with the bulls
constituting me the Ordinary."[8] These are the words of a man who knows
his own mind, and, we may add, of one who is prepared to fight his
enemies to a finish. He may not have known, before he arrived in France,
what man, and what kind of a man, had been selected as successor to
Courcelles; but we may be sure that, when he found out, he was not less
impressed than before with the need for a strengthening of his position.

Louis XIV had himself for thirteen years been pressing, at intervals,
upon the Holy See the expediency of establishing a bishopric in New
France, but without much success. There were some points of difference
between the French court and the Roman authorities as to the conditions
under which the projected diocese should be created, and the latter
showed a wonderful skill in prolonging the negotiations. Finally, the
only point in dispute was whether the new bishop should be a suffragan
of one of the French archbishops, as desired by the king, or directly
dependent on the Pope. This point was conceded by the king in December
1673; but it was not till October 1674 that the necessary bull was
issued. In the following April Laval took the oath of fealty to the king
as bishop of Quebec, with jurisdiction over the whole of Canada, and
shortly afterwards he set sail for the scene of his pastoral labours.
Thus it was that for nearly three years Frontenac had no direct
relations with the head of the Canadian church.

Was this interval, then, one of peace? Not entirely. Frontenac defines
his position and raises a note of alarm in his very first despatch to
the minister for the colonies.[9] He was dissatisfied, he said, with
"the complete subserviency of the priests of the seminary at Quebec, and
the bishop's vicar-general to the Jesuit fathers, without whose orders
they never do anything. Thus," he adds, "they [the Jesuits] are
indirectly the masters of whatever relates to the spiritual, which, as
you are aware, is a great machine for moving all the rest." He thinks
they have gained an ascendency even over the Superior of the
Récollets;[10] and he expresses the wish that the ecclesiastics of that
order could be replaced by abler men who could hold their own against
the Jesuit influence. He mentions that he had expressed his surprise in
strong terms to the Jesuit fathers at Ste. Foy that not one of their
Indian converts had been taught the French language, and had told them
that they "should bethink themselves, when rendering the savages
subjects of Jesus Christ, of making them subjects of the king also--that
the true way to make them Christians was to make them men." The governor
had probably noticed that lack of vigorous, self-helping manhood in the
Indian converts, which is hinted at even in the _Jesuit Relations_, and
which had certainly been conspicuous in the christianized Huron tribe in
the crisis of their struggle with the Iroquois. As regards teaching them
the French language, the missionaries had their own well-defined reasons
for not doing so. They did not wish to bring them into too close contact
with the French inhabitants, lest they should unlearn the lessons of
morality and religion that had been taught to them. The great object
which the priests had in view was to build up a kingdom not of this
world; and, as the object which the king and his officers had mainly in
view was to enlarge and strengthen the French dominions, it is not
surprising that there was clashing now and again. Frontenac, in writing
to Colbert, seems to have felt assured of sympathy in his somewhat
anti-clerical, or, at least, anti-Jesuit, attitude; otherwise he would
never have ventured to make, as he does in the same despatch, the
unjustifiable statement that the Jesuit missionaries were quite as much
interested in the beaver trade as in the conversion of souls, and that
most of their missions were pure mockeries. It was of Colbert that
Madame de Maintenon said: "He only thinks of his finances, and never of

But while the elements of future trouble were plainly visible, no
serious friction occurred during the first year of the new governor's
administration. His relations with the Jesuit order were civil, and with
the Sulpicians, at Montreal, and the Récollets entirely friendly. With
the Sovereign Council, too, they were all that could be wished. His mind
at this time was greatly taken up with the project he had in view of
following in Courcelles' footsteps and establishing a military and
trading post at Cataraqui. His general policy when he wanted to do a
thing was not to ask permission beforehand, but to do it, and trust to
the result for justification. Had he laboured under Nelson's disability,
he would have been quite capable of turning his blind eye to a
prohibitive signal, even after seeing it distinctly with his good one.
In his despatch to Colbert of the 2nd November he mentions, in a casual
way, that he proposes next spring to visit the place at the outlet of
Lake Ontario where M. de Courcelles had projected the establishment of a
fort, in order that he may be able "the better to understand its site
and importance, and to see if, notwithstanding our actual weakness, it
be not possible to create some establishment there that would also
strengthen the settlement the gentlemen of Montreal [the Sulpicians]
have already formed at Quinté." He adds: "I beg of you, my Lord, to be
assured that I shall not spare either care or trouble, or even my life
itself, if it be necessary, in the effort to accomplish something
pleasing to you, and to prove the gratitude I shall ever feel for the
favours I have received at your hands." This is quite effusive, and at
the same time tolerably diplomatic. How _could_ the minister do
otherwise than approve an enterprise undertaken in so self-sacrificing a
spirit, and one prompted by so much personal devotion to himself?
Colbert might possibly have replied--if he had had the chance--by
pointing Frontenac to his instructions, and asking him to show his
devotion to duty by following them out as closely as possible. Those
instructions contained the following clause, the tenor of which we shall
find repeated in many subsequent communications from the home
government: "Sieur de Frontenac is to encourage the inhabitants by all
possible means to undertake the cultivation and clearing of the soil;
and as the distance of the settlements from one another has considerably
retarded the increase thereof, and otherwise facilitated the
opportunities of the Iroquois for their destructive expeditions, Sieur
de Frontenac will consider the practicability of obliging those
inhabitants to make contiguous clearings, either by constraining the old
colonists to labour at it for a certain time, or by making new grants to
future settlers under this condition." There is not a word said about
extending the boundaries of the colony, or throwing out advanced posts,
or any other phase of the policy of expansion. The French government was
in fact strongly anti-expansionist; but Frontenac, resembling in this
point a later sage, did not think they knew everything in the "Judee" of
the ministry of marine and colonies.

So, just about the time that the minister was inditing the despatch in
which he gently chided the ebullient Frontenac for his rashness in
summoning the States-General, the latter was preparing another little
surprise for him. In the spring of the year he had given orders that men
and canoes should be held in readiness for the contemplated movement;
and, as the supply of available canoes was likely to fall short, he had
ordered that a number of new ones should be built. He also directed the
construction of two flat-boats, similar to the one used by Courcelles,
but of twice the capacity. On the 3rd of June he started with a certain
force from Quebec, and after visiting and inspecting different posts
along the river, arrived at Montreal, the point of rendezvous, on the
15th of the same month. Here he was received, according to his own
account, which there is no reason to question, with the greatest
enthusiasm and _éclat_.

It may be interesting to pause for a moment and try to reconstruct in
imagination the scene on which the grizzled and sun-beaten warrior gazed
as he alighted from his canoe at five o'clock in the afternoon of that
long, bright summer day. The river bank, which had become a common, was
probably no longer flower-bespread as it was on that glorious morning in
the month of May 1642 when Maisonneuve, Mademoiselle Mance, and their
companions knelt in prayer on the soil which their labours and
sacrifices were to consecrate; but the mountain, with its leafy honours
thick upon it, stood forth in royal splendour, while cultivated fields,
smiling with the promise of a harvest, sloped upwards to its base. In
the foreground was the growing burg, full of life and animation on this
memorable day. To the left was the fort built by Maisonneuve, no longer
relied on for defence, but used chiefly as a residence for the local
governor. The river front was as yet unoccupied by houses, the nearest
line of which lay along what is now, as it was then, St. Paul Street,
from St. Peter Street in the west to somewhat beyond the present
Dalhousie Square in the east. Montreal as yet did not possess any parish
church; the churches maintained by the different congregations,
particularly that of the Hôtel Dieu, having up to this time been made to
serve the needs of the population. The foundations of a regular parish
church had been laid, but the work of construction was proceeding
slowly, and five years had yet to elapse before the edifice was
finished. The principal buildings were the Hôtel Dieu, which had lately
lost its pious founder, Mademoiselle Mance; the Congrégation de Notre
Dame, still conducted by the brave and cheery Margaret Bourgeoys; and
the Seminary of St. Sulpice. The whole town, if we may so call it, was
comprised between the eastern and western limits just defined, and the
northern and southern ones of St. Paul and St. James Streets; even so,
much the larger part of the contained space was not built up. A few of
the wealthier merchants had erected substantial houses, and there was
something already in the appearance of the place which suggested that it
would have a future. We can imagine the zeal with which the local
governor, Perrot, upon whose proceedings in the way of illicit traffic
it is probable Frontenac already had an eye--an eye of envy the Abbé
Faillon somewhat harshly suggests--would receive the king's direct
representative. All the troops that the island could furnish were drawn
up under arms at the landing-place, and salvos of artillery and musketry
gave emphasis to the official words of welcome. The officers of justice
and the "syndic"--the spokesman of the people in municipal matters--were
next presented, and, after they had delivered addresses, a procession
was formed to the church, at the door of which the clergy were waiting
to receive the viceregal visitor with all due honour. By the time the
appropriate services, including the chanting of the _Te Deum_, had been
concluded, the sun had sunk behind the mountain. It was the hour for
rest and refreshment, and the governor was conducted to the quarters
assigned to him in the fort, beneath the windows of which tranquilly
rolled the mighty flood of the St. Lawrence, still bright with the
evening glow.

Frontenac had brought with him his military guard, consisting of twenty
men or so, his staff, and a few volunteers. Additional men were to
follow from Quebec, Three Rivers, and other places; and some were to be
recruited at Montreal. In ten or twelve days everything was in
readiness. A waggon-road had been made to Lachine, over which baggage,
provisions, and munitions of war were conveyed; and a start was made
from that point on the 30th June, the whole force consisting of about
four hundred men, including some Huron Indians, in one hundred and
twenty canoes and the two flat-boats already mentioned. Some time before
setting out Frontenac had sent on, as an envoy to the five Iroquois
nations, to invite them to a conference, Cavelier de la Salle, a man who
had already penetrated some distance into the western country, and who
was destined to achieve the highest fame as an explorer.

The voyage up the river was attended, as had indeed been expected, with
serious difficulty. The united strength of fifty men was necessary to
draw each of the flat-boats up the side of some of the rapids. The whole
force, however, worked with the utmost zeal and good-will; the Hurons in
particular accomplishing wonders of strength and endurance such as they
had never been known to perform for any previous commander. But if
portions of the journey were thus arduous, others were delightful. Thus
we read in Frontenac's own narrative: "It would be impossible to have
finer navigation or more favourable weather than we had on the 3rd of
July, a light north-east breeze having sprung up which enabled our
bateaux to keep up with the canoes. On the 4th we pursued our journey
and came to the most beautiful piece of country that can be imagined,
the river being strewn with islands, the trees in which are all either
oak or other kinds of hard wood, while the soil is admirable. The banks
on both sides of the river are not less charming, the trees, which are
very high, standing out distinctly and forming as fine groves as you
could see in France. On both sides may be seen meadows covered with rich
grass and a vast variety of lovely wild flowers; so that it may be
safely stated that from the head of Lake St. Francis to the next rapid
above, you could not see a more beautiful country, if only it were
cleared a bit."

On the 12th July, as the expedition was approaching Cataraqui in
excellent military order, they were met by the Indians, who evinced much
pleasure at seeing the count and his followers, and conducted them to a
spot suitable for encampment. Some preliminary civilities were
exchanged, but it was not till the 17th that serious negotiations were
begun. The count, meanwhile, having found close by what he considered
an advantageous location for his proposed fort, set his men to work to
clear the ground, fell and square timber, dig trenches, etc., in a
manner which fairly surprised the Indians, who were not accustomed to
seeing building operations carried on so systematically and speedily.
But if they were impressed by the working capacity of the expeditionary
force, they were still more deeply influenced by the discourse of the
governor and the presents which accompanied it. Had the count been a
"black robe" himself, he could not have spoken with more unction or more
unimpeachable orthodoxy in urging his savage hearers to embrace
Christianity. He condensed, for the occasion, the whole of Christian
teaching into the two great commandments of love to God and love to man,
and appealed to the consciences of his hearers as to whether both were
not entirely reasonable. This portion of his speech, in which he also
declared that he desired peace both between the French and the Iroquois,
and between the latter and all Indian tribes under French protection,
was recommended by a present of fifteen guns and a quantity of powder,
lead, and gunflints. Next he informed them of his intention to form a
trading-post at Cataraqui. "Here," he said, "you will find all sorts of
refreshments and commodities, which I shall cause to be furnished to you
at the cheapest rate possible." He added, however, that it would be very
expensive to bring goods so far, and that they must take that into
consideration in criticizing prices. Twenty-five large overcoats were
distributed at this point. In the third place he reproached them with
their cruel treatment of the Hurons, and said that he meant to treat all
the Indian nations alike, and wished all to enjoy equal security and
equal advantages in every way. "See," he said, "that no complaints are
made to me henceforward on this subject, for I shall become angry; as I
insist that you Iroquois, Algonquins, and other nations that have me for
a father, shall live henceforth as brothers." He asked also that they
would let him have a few of their children that they might learn the
French language and be instructed by the priests. Twenty-five shirts, an
equal number of pairs of stockings, five packages of glass beads, and
five coats were given to round off this appeal.

The reply of the delegates of the five Iroquois nations was in tone and
temper all that could be wished. They thanked Onontio that he had
addressed them as children, and were glad that he was going to assume
towards them the relation of father. They readily consented to live at
peace with the Hurons and Algonquins, and would, when they returned to
their cantons, carefully consider the question of letting him have a
certain number of their children. One delegate showed his financial
acumen by observing that, while Onontio had promised to let them have
goods as cheap as possible at the fort, he had not said what the tariff
would be. To this the count replied that he could not say what the
freight would amount to, but that considering them as his children, he
would see that they were fairly treated. Another, a Cayugan, evinced his
knowledge of current history by lamenting the calamities which the Dutch
were suffering in their war with the French, trade relations between the
Dutch and the Iroquois having always been very satisfactory. He consoled
himself, however, with the thought that his nation would now find a
father in Onontio.

While the negotiations were in progress, work on the fort was proceeding
rapidly, and by the 20th of the month it was finished. The count then
dismissed the body of his force, the men being anxious to return to
their homes. He himself remained behind to meet some belated delegates
from points on the north shore of Lake Ontario, whom he did not fail to
reprove for their want of punctuality, after which, with rare liberality
of speech, he repeated to them all he had said to the others. A few
days' delay was also caused by the necessity of awaiting a convoy from
Montreal with a year's provisions for the fort. Finally, on the 28th
July, the governor and his party started on their homeward journey and
arrived safely at Montreal on the 1st of August. During the whole
expedition not one man or one canoe was lost.

The narrative of this expedition has been given in some detail because
it sets in a strong light the better side of Frontenac's character. We
see him here as the able and vigorous organizer, the firm, judicious,
and skilful commander, the accomplished diplomat, and the lover of peace
rather than war. Short a time as he had been in the country, he seemed
already to understand the Indian character, and the Indians in turn
understood him. His language in addressing them was direct and simple,
frank and courageous. He had no hesitation in assuming the paternal
relation, and won their hearts by doing so. But it was not only over
savages that he exerted a natural ascendency, for we have seen the zeal
and enthusiasm with which his orders were executed by the whole
expeditionary force. Whatever weaknesses he may have had, it was not in
the field or in active service that they were displayed.

The memorandum, which serves as authority for the facts just narrated,
was addressed to Colbert, and sent to France by a ship sailing from
Quebec shortly before the close of navigation. The minister's reply was
dated 17th May of the following year. He does not at all congratulate
Frontenac upon his exploit. "You will readily understand," he says, "by
what I have just told you,[11] that his Majesty's intention is not that
you undertake great voyages by ascending the river St. Lawrence, nor
that the inhabitants spread themselves for the future further than they
have already done. On the contrary, he desires that you labour
incessantly, and during the whole time you are in that country, to
consolidate, concentrate, and form them into towns and villages, that
they may be in a better position to defend themselves successfully." In
acknowledging this despatch, far from apologizing for what he had done,
Frontenac told the minister that the very best results had flowed from
it. More Indians had come to Montreal than ever before, eight hundred
having been seen at one time; Iroquois, Algonquins, and Hurons were
mixing with one another in the most friendly manner; the Jesuit
missionaries among the Iroquois found their position greatly improved,
and were never tired of saying so; and, finally, he had obtained the
Indian children he had asked for, eight in number, who were being
educated in the French fashion, and who would be a perpetual guarantee
of the peaceful behaviour of the tribes to which they belonged. At the
same time he says, that if the minister absolutely disapproves of the
fort, he will go next year and pull it down with as much alacrity as he
had put it up. This the minister did not insist on. In fact he was not
long in coming round to Frontenac's view that considering all the
circumstances of the case the fort was a necessity. One point of
interest connected with its establishment, upon which Frontenac has left
us in ignorance, is whom he appointed as its first commandant. A
contemporary writer[12] tells us it was La Salle, and the statement is
not improbable. It was La Salle, as we have seen, whom the governor
sent to the Iroquois to invite them to the conference, and as he had
acquitted himself of that mission in the most successful manner, it
seems natural that he should have been the first chosen to command a
post, the principal object of which was to serve as a convenient
meeting-place for Iroquois and French. A temporary concession of the
fort was made a year later to two Montreal merchants, Bazire and Lebert,
but it passed again, in the following year, into the hands of La Salle,
who had meantime gone to France and laid before the court certain larger
schemes for which Fort Frontenac was to serve as a base, and which he
obtained the king's authority to carry into effect.

[Footnote 6: See particularly the interesting work of Mr. Ernest Myrand,
_Frontenac et ses Amis_, Quebec, 1902.]

[Footnote 7: It was not till 1717 that the merchants of Montreal and
Quebec were allowed to meet and discuss business affairs.]

[Footnote 8: Quoted by Faillon, vol. iii. p. 432.]

[Footnote 9: This office was held by Colbert (in connection with a
general control of marine, finance, and public works) from 1669 to the
date of his death, 6th September 1683; by his son, the Marquis of
Seignelay, from 1683 to the date of his own death, 3rd November 1690;
and from that time to the conclusion of the period covered by this
narrative by the Marquis of Pontchartrain.]

[Footnote 10: Through the influence of Talon, the king was induced in
the year 1668 to sign a decree permitting the Récollets to return to
Canada, and reinstating them in their former possessions. Père Leclercq,
Récollet, says they were very much wanted. "For thirty years," to quote
his words, "complaint was made in Canada that consciences were being
burdened; and the more the colony increased in population the greater
was the outcry. I sincerely hope that there was no real occasion for it,
and that the great rigour of the [Jesuit] clergy was useful and
necessary. Still the Frenchman loves liberty, and under all skies is
opposed to constraint, even in religion."]

[Footnote 11: He had been speaking of the slow growth of the population
of Canada.]

[Footnote 12: Père Leclercq, _Premier Etablissement de la Foi_, vol. ii.
p. 117.]



It is difficult in the present advanced condition of all the arts and
sciences which converge on the perfecting of our means of transport and
communication to form an adequate idea of the toils, inconveniences, and
perils encountered by those who in the seventeenth century attempted the
task of colonizing this continent. To say nothing of the difficulties of
land travel, the colonist, by the mere fact of crossing the ocean,
placed a barrier of two or three months of perilous navigation between
himself and the land that had been his home. To the dangers of the sea
were added the yet more serious danger of infection on ill-ventilated
and pest-breeding vessels. A ship coming to the St. Lawrence could in
those days make but one trip to and fro in the year. It is easy to see,
therefore, in how critical a position a colony would be that depended in
any large measure on supplies brought from the other side. The wreck or
capture of one or two vessels might bring it to the verge of starvation.
Success in agriculture, again, can only be looked for where there is
peaceable and secure possession of the land. If all the results of
laborious tillage are liable to be carried off or destroyed at any
moment by marauding foes, there is little encouragement to engage in
that kind of industry. The population will, by preference, turn to the
search for metals, or seek to trade in articles easily marketed. Thus it
was that, in the early days, the Canadian settlers gave themselves up
almost wholly to hunting and fur-trading. Later, when the French
government began to interest itself directly in the settlement of the
country, strong efforts were made to induce the colonists to apply
themselves to agriculture. Lands were conceded on condition that they
should be cleared and cultivated within a specified time, failing which,
they should revert to the Crown. The same condition applied to any
_portion_ of a grant remaining unimproved after the stipulated period.
Under these inducements agriculture began to make a little headway,
particularly, as we have seen, after the lesson given to the Iroquois by

Still, there was too much hunting and too much trading with the Indians
in the woods, as distinguished from legitimate trading in the
settlements. Mention has already been made of the _coureurs de bois_.
These were men who, instead of awaiting the arrival of the Indians at
the posts of Montreal, Three Rivers, or Quebec, went out to meet them,
in order that they might get the pick of the skins they possessed, and
perhaps also get the better of them in a trade by first making them
drunk. Two classes of _coureurs de bois_ have been distinguished: on the
one hand, the men who merely _traded_ in the woods in the way described,
and, on the other, those who attached themselves to different Indian
bands, and lived the common life of their savage companions. This
reversion to savagery had a great fascination for many of the Canadian
youths; and, as it led to great moral disorder, the clergy were quite as
much opposed to it as the civil governors. As a convert is generally
more zealous than one born in the faith, so these converts from
civilization to barbarism seemed bent on outdoing the original sons of
the forest in all that was wild and unseemly. Like their bronzed
associates they would sometimes spurn clothing altogether, even when
visiting settlements, and would make both day and night hideous with
their carousing and yelling.[13]

Frontenac had received from the king strict instructions to repress the
_coureurs de bois_ by all means in his power. The law against them was
severe, for the punishment was death. One of the first things Frontenac
learnt on arriving in the colony was that Montreal was the headquarters
of these lawless men, and that not only did the local governor, Perrot,
make no effort to reduce them to order, but that he was commonly
understood to be a sharer in their illicit gains. It was further stated
that he had an establishment of his own on an island, which still bears
his name, at the confluence of the Ottawa and St. Lawrence, where his
agents regularly intercepted the Indians on the way to Montreal, and
took the cream of the trade. The king's instructions, it was well known,
forbade any trading on the part of officials; but Perrot, whose family,
as already mentioned, was influential, and whose wife was a niece of the
late Intendant Talon, did not think that such a regulation was made for
him. In passing through Montreal at the time of his expedition to
Cataraqui, Frontenac had requested Perrot to see that the king's
instructions respecting the _coureurs de bois_ were obeyed. The latter
promised compliance, but the promise was not redeemed. Frontenac at
first thought he could get round the difficulty by appointing M. de
Chambly as local governor for the district surrounding the Island of
Montreal--Perrot's jurisdiction being limited strictly to the
island--and thus establishing a kind of cordon by which the comings and
goings of the _coureurs de bois_ might be controlled. This arrangement
was never put into operation, for the reason that, just about the same
time, M. de Chambly received from the king the appointment of governor
of Acadia. Perrot, however, accompanied him as far as Quebec, and this
gave Frontenac the opportunity of placing under the eyes of the Montreal
governor the orders he had received from the court, and urging him to
co-operate in giving them effect. Again Perrot promised to do his duty
in the matter, but with what degree of sincerity events quickly showed.
He had hardly returned to Montreal when the local judge, Ailleboust, who
had received personal instructions from Frontenac in regard to carrying
out the law, tried to effect the arrest of two offenders who were
lodging in the house of one Carion, an officer. Carion refused to permit
the arrest, and was upheld therein by Perrot, whereupon the judge took
the only course open to him, namely, to notify the governor-general. It
was now midwinter; but, without a moment's hesitation, Frontenac
deputed one Bizard, a lieutenant of his guard, to go to Montreal with
three men, effect the arrest of Carion, and bring him to Quebec. He gave
Bizard at the same time a letter to Perrot, but instructed him not to
deliver it till he had first made sure of his prisoner. The lieutenant
carried out his instructions, so far as the arrest of Carion was
concerned; but, before he could leave Montreal, Perrot pounced down upon
him and made him prisoner in turn, asking him how he dared to make an
arrest in the limits of the government of Montreal without first
notifying him. The scene was witnessed by two prominent residents of
Montreal, Lebert, the merchant, and La Salle, of whom we have already
heard; and a report of the matter, attested by them, was despatched to
Quebec. The choleric Perrot, hearing of this piece of officiousness, as
he regarded it, put Lebert also into prison. La Salle, thinking the same
treatment might be meted out to him, lost no time in taking the road to

The rage of Frontenac at this open defiance of his authority may be
imagined. Was it for this that he had come to Canada, to be flouted and
set at nought by a subordinate officer? The worst of it was that there
was no immediate remedy. The only thing to do at the moment was to
summon the culprit to appear before the Sovereign Council at Quebec. But
would he come? If he refused, Frontenac had no force to compel him. The
force was all on the other side; the governor-general had but his body
guard, whereas Montreal was full of men accustomed to Indian warfare,
who would probably obey Perrot's orders, especially as there was a
standing jealousy between Montreal and Quebec. At this point in his
reflections, the count bethought him of writing a letter to the Abbé de
Fénelon, Sulpician, of Montreal, who had accompanied him to Cataraqui,
and with whom he was on very friendly terms, asking him to represent to
Perrot what a serious thing it would be if he aggravated his former
misconduct by refusing to go to Quebec. Rightly or wrongly, M. de
Fénelon understood this letter as signifying that the governor, while
desirous of vindicating his authority, was prepared to compromise the
difficulty to some extent, and consequently gave Perrot to understand
that, if he would obey the order to go to Quebec, the matter would in
all probability be amicably adjusted. He offered to accompany him; and
the two set out towards the close of January on a snowshoe tramp to
Quebec over the frozen St. Lawrence. They arrived at the capital on the
29th of the month. Perrot at once sought an interview with the governor;
but the discussion, far from taking a friendly turn, soon became
extremely violent; and the result was that Perrot found himself in an
hour's time placed under arrest.

The surprise and chagrin of the Montreal official may be imagined. As
for the abbé, his indignation at what he regarded as a breach of faith
knew no bounds.[14] Sharp words passed between him and the governor, and
he returned to Montreal in a most agitated and rebellious state of mind.
A few weeks later, having to preach on Easter Sunday in the parish
church, he slipped into his sermon some observations which could only be
construed as an attack on the king's representative. Speaking of those
who are invested with temporal authority, he said--according to a
summary of his discourse given by the Abbé Faillon--that the magistrate
who was animated by the spirit of the risen Christ would be strict, on
the one hand, to punish offences against the service of his Prince, and
prompt, on the other, to overlook those against his own dignity; would
be full of respect for the ministers of the altar, and would not treat
them harshly when, in the discharge of their duty, they strove to
reconcile enemies and establish general good-will; would not surround
himself with servile creatures to fill his ears with adulation, nor
oppress under specious pretexts persons also invested with authority who
happened to oppose his projects; further that such a ruler would use his
power to maintain the authority of the monarch, and not to promote his
own advantage, and would content himself with the salary allowed him
without disturbing the commerce of the country or ill-using those who
would not give him a share of their gains; finally, that he would not
vex the people by unjustly exacting forced labour for ends of his own,
nor falsely invoke the name of the monarch in support of such

In every sentence there was a sting. The last words referred to the
expedition to Lake Ontario, and the unpaid labour of the men by whom the
fort at Cataraqui had been constructed. The preacher, in fact, may be
said to have summed up the charges which certain Montrealers were at the
time making against the governor, and which the Abbé Faillon, swayed
perhaps in some measure by sympathy with a fellow Sulpician, does not
hesitate to say were well founded.

The church on that Easter Sunday was filled to its utmost capacity, over
six hundred persons being present. Amongst these was the watchful La
Salle, who, not only took it all in himself, but by his gestures and
movements called the attention of as many persons as possible to what
was being said, and its obvious import. It was not only the friends of
Frontenac, however, who recognized the drift of the sermon, for the curé
of the parish, the Rev. M. Perrot, said to M. de Fénelon as he came down
from the pulpit: "Really, sir, you have entered into details which have
caused me a great deal of trouble." Other ecclesiastics were affected in
the same manner, amongst them La Salle's own brother, an ecclesiastic of
the Seminary, who went at once to the Superior, the excellent M. Dollier
de Casson, to tell him what had happened. The latter, in turn,
foreseeing trouble, sent to tell La Salle that the Seminary had no
responsibility whatever for M. de Fénelon's sermon, as it had not been
submitted beforehand for approval, and no one had the least notion what
he intended to say. The same communication was made in the most earnest
terms to M. de la Nauguère, who was temporarily filling the place of
governor of Montreal by Frontenac's nomination, with a request that he
would convey the assurance to the governor-general.

The extraordinary thing is that the reverend gentleman who had caused
all this trouble, when spoken to on the subject by the Superior, gave
his word as a man of honour and a priest, that he had no intention
whatever of alluding to the governor-general, adding that those who so
applied his remarks were doing much dishonour to that high officer. The
Abbé Faillon does not like to call M. de Fénelon's word in question, but
he says that he manifestly lacked "one quality very important in a
missionary, the prudence which directs the exercise of zeal, and keeps
it within the bounds that circumstances require."

It was not only by this sermon that the Abbé Fénelon showed his lack of
prudence. Madame Perrot had come out from France with her husband when
he was appointed to the governorship of Montreal in 1669, and now that
he was in trouble, and his case was likely to come before the king, she
was anxious to get some testimonial from the people of Montreal in his
favour. As to the kind of a governor Perrot had really been, we may
safely rely on the judgment pronounced by the industrious author of the
_Histoire de la Colonie Française en Canada_, who says[15]: "This
governor contributed more than any one else to that fatal revolution
which changed entirely the moral aspect of this colony [Montreal]. . . .
The whole course of his conduct in Canada justifies us in thinking that
when, in 1669, he decided to come here, it was in the hope of making a
great fortune through the influence of M. de Talon, whose niece,
Madeleine Laguide, he had married." The abbé goes on to explain that the
Seminary (as seigneurs of the Island of Montreal) would never have
nominated Perrot had they known his true character, and would certainly
not have retained him in office after his character became known, if
they had been free to act in the matter. What stood in the way was that,
through Talon's influence, his commission as governor had been confirmed
by the king, and that he had thus, in a manner, been rendered
independent of the Seminary authorities. "From that moment," the writer
continues, "he considered himself free from all control in the matter of
the traffic in drink which he was already carrying on with the savages
to the great scandal of all the respectable inhabitants. . . . It is
certain that he himself gave open protection to the _coureurs de bois_,
not only in his own island through M. Bruey, his agent, but also
throughout the whole extent of the Island of Montreal. . . . In order to
have, without much expense, _coureurs de bois_ under his orders, he
allowed nearly all the soldiers in the island to desert and take to the
woods, without either pursuing them, or notifying the governor-general
of their desertion." It may be added that, when some of the most
respectable inhabitants of Montreal ventured on a timid remonstrance
respecting the irregularities that were taking place, he assailed them
in the lowest and most ruffianly language, and put their principal
spokesman, who at the time was the acting judge of Montreal, into

This was the man, then, in whose interest, when Madame Perrot could not
get any one else to do it, M. de Fénelon undertook to go round the
Island of Montreal, and get the inhabitants to sign a petition. The
petition, it is true, only stated that the signers had no complaints to
make against M. Perrot; but its object was to throw dust in the eyes of
the court, and it is impossible to think highly of the candour of the
man--elder brother, though he was, of the great Archbishop of
Cambrai--who was the chief agent in procuring it.

It is not surprising, in view of these proceedings, that M. de Fénelon
received an order to repair to Quebec. Before summoning him, Frontenac
had carried on a prolonged correspondence with the Seminary at Montreal.
He first of all required them to banish Fénelon from their house as
being a factious and rebellious person. To save his brethren trouble,
Fénelon retired of his own accord, and took up parish work at Lachine.
Frontenac then asked for signed declarations as to what had been said in
the sermon. These the Sulpicians declined to give, saying they could not
be called upon to testify against a brother. "Then send down a copy of
the sermon," the governor said. The reply to this was that they had no
copy of it. For form's sake they consented to ask the vicar-general at
Quebec, the highest ecclesiastical authority in the absence of the
bishop, to request M. de Fénelon to furnish the original. The
vicar-general did so, and the abbé promptly replied that he would do
nothing of the kind; he did not acknowledge himself to be guilty of any
misdemeanour, but, if he were, he could not be required to furnish
evidence against himself.

These _pourparlers_ consumed considerable time, as letters were not
exchanged in those days with modern rapidity between Quebec and
Montreal. Moreover, Frontenac took a slice out of the summer in order to
pay a visit to Montreal at the height of the trading season, not
impossibly with some thrifty design, though it is known that he attended
to the king's business to the extent of capturing, through his officer
M. de Verchères, no less than twelve _coureurs de bois_. It was not till
some time in the month of August that M. de Fénelon appeared to answer
for himself at Quebec.

To follow in detail the incidents of the abortive inquiry into Perrot's
insubordination, and the equally unsatisfactory proceedings in the case
of the refractory abbé, would be tedious and unprofitable. Two of the
councillors, Tilly and Dupont, were appointed a commission to examine
Perrot. The latter made no objection at first to answering their
questions, but a few days later he took it into his head to protest the
competency of the council to try the charges against him. The governor,
he said, was his personal enemy, and the members of the council,
holding office during his good pleasure, could only be considered as his
creatures. The council disregarded the protest, and continued the
inquiry; but on each subsequent occasion Perrot refused to answer any
question till his protest had been duly entered in the minutes. One of
his answers almost betrays a sense of humour. He was asked why he had
not arrested the _coureurs de bois_ who made his private island their
headquarters. "Because," he said, "I had no jurisdiction; my government
does not extend beyond the Island of Montreal." In other words, he had
chosen a spot for his illegal operations where, in his private capacity,
he could, so to speak, snap his lingers in his own face in his official
capacity. Possibly it was an attempt on Frontenac's part to repay humour
with humour, when he caused one of these very _coureurs de bois_, a man
whom Perrot probably knew very well, to be hanged directly in front of
his prison window.

During the summer a despatch was received from the minister for the
colonies which somewhat disquieted Frontenac, and doubtless had some
effect also on the minds of the councillors. In order to lay an account
of Perrot's rebellious conduct at the earliest possible moment before
the king, Frontenac had taken the unusual course of sending a letter by
way of Boston in February, hoping that it might reach the minister's
hands in time to be answered by the ship leaving in the spring or early
summer. Colbert wrote under date the 17th May 1674, evidently without
having received the letter, for he terminated his despatch with these
words: "His Majesty instructs me to recommend to you particularly the
person and interests of M. Perrot, governor of Montreal, and nephew of
M. Talon, his principal _valet de chambre_." Nothing could well have
been more awkward, considering that the person so warmly recommended was
at that moment, and had been for months, in durance vile, as a rebel
against the governor's authority, and indirectly against his Majesty's.

The Abbé Fénelon, when he appeared before the council, was more defiant
by far than Perrot. He was told to stand up. He said, No, he would sit
down, as he was not a criminal; and, if he were, he could only be tried
by an ecclesiastical court. He was asked to remove his hat; to which he
replied by jamming it harder on his head, saying that ecclesiastics had
a right to keep their heads covered. In the end the council began to
fear that the governor was getting them into trouble; and they
consequently determined, in both cases, that they would confine
themselves to taking evidence, and leave the court to pronounce
judgment. This conclusion was not pleasing to Frontenac, who wished to
have a distinct decision of the council in his favour. He, too, was
"weakening," however, as we may see by his letter to the minister, dated
14th November 1674, and despatched by the same vessel by which the
governor of Montreal--released at last after ten months'
confinement--and the fiery abbé sailed for France. "I am sending," he
says, "M. Perrot and M. de Fénelon to France, in order that you may
judge their conduct. For myself, if I have failed in any point of duty,
I am ready to submit to his Majesty's corrections. A governor in this
country would be much to be pitied if he were not sustained, seeing
there is no one here on whom he can depend; and should he commit any
fault he might assuredly be excused, seeing that all kinds of nets are
spread for him, and that, after avoiding a hundred, he is liable to be
caught in the end. So, My Lord, I hope that, should I have had the
misfortune to take any false step, his Majesty will be kind enough to
sympathize with me, and to believe that the error was due to an excess
of zeal for his service, and not to any other motive."

The tone of this communication, it must be confessed, is not quite what
one would expect from a man of Frontenac's character and antecedents. It
shows what influence at court counted for in that day. The letter was
accompanied by a docket of enormous proportions containing the charges
against Perrot and the abbé, and all the evidence taken in the course of
the prolonged investigation at Quebec. He received replies both from the
king and the minister. In regard to Perrot the king wrote: "I have seen
and examined all you have sent me concerning M. Perrot; and, after
having seen all that he has put forward in his defence, I have condemned
his action in imprisoning the officer you sent to Montreal. To punish
him I have sent him for some time to the Bastille, in order that this
discipline may not only render him more circumspect for the future, but
may serve as an example to others. But, in order that you may thoroughly
understand my views, I must tell you that, except in a case of absolute
necessity, you should not execute any order within the sphere of a local
government without having first notified the governor of the locality.
The punishment of ten months' imprisonment you inflicted on him seems to
me sufficient; and that is why I am sending him to the Bastille for a
short term only, in order to vindicate in a public manner my violated
authority." His Majesty added that he was sending Perrot back to his
government, but that he would instruct him to call on the
governor-general at Quebec and apologize for all his past offences;
after which Frontenac was to dismiss all resentment, and treat him with
the consideration due to his office.

As regards Fénelon, he was not allowed to return to Canada; and he was
censured by the Superior of his order for having busied himself with
things with which he had no concern. At the same time Frontenac was
informed that he was wrong in instituting a criminal process against
that ecclesiastic, as well as in calling upon his brethren of the
Seminary to give evidence against him. The king made it clear that he
thought Frontenac had been unduly harsh and autocratic in his
proceedings generally. It would have been well for that dignitary if he
could have taken the admonition more deeply to heart.

[Footnote 13: It was no doubt in large measure due to the extraordinary
physical vitality of the French race in Canada that so strong a tendency
was manifested towards this reversion, which of course was facilitated
by the general condition of life in a country that was little else than
forest. "_L'école buissonnière_" was at every one's door, and the men of
the colony were not alone in feeling the call of the wild. Mère Marie de
l'Incarnation, in her _Lettres Spirituelles_ says: "Sans l'éducation que
nous donnons aux filles françaises qui sont un peu grandes, durant
l'espace de six mois environ, elles seraient des brutes pires que les
sauvages; c'est pourquoi on nous les donne presque toutes, les unes
après les autres." See Ferland's _Cours d'Histoire du Canada_, vol. ii.
p. 85, who quotes this passage without any reference to page. Passages
of similar purport may, however, be found on pp. 231 and 258 of the
first edition (1681) of the _Lettres Spirituelles_.]

[Footnote 14: Mr. P. T. Bedard, in his lecture on _Frontenac_, published
in the _Annuaire_ of the Institut Canadien of Quebec for 1880 speaks of
Frontenac's "duplicity" in this matter, a stronger term than the facts
seem to justify.]

[Footnote 15: Vol. iii. pp. 446-52.]



If the king read carefully, as he says he did, the cruel mass of
correspondence which Frontenac forwarded to him in connection with the
Perrot-Fénelon imbroglio, he could hardly have failed to come to the
conclusion that something was amiss in the state of Canada. Frontenac
had begged, somewhat piteously, that he might be "sustained," and
sustained he was in a manner, as we have just seen; but the king and the
minister had their own opinion on the subject, which they only partly
expressed in words, the rest they translated into action. Frontenac,
from the date of his arrival in Canada, had been the only visible source
of authority. Laval was in France, looking after the long delayed bull
which was to raise him from the doubtful rank of a bishop _in partibus_
to the full legal status of bishop of Quebec. Talon, too, had left the
country a few weeks after the governor's arrival, and no one had been
sent to replace him. The old warrior had, therefore, had things entirely
his own way, and his own way had not proved to be the way of peace. To
place matters on a better footing, the court decided on two measures: to
reorganize the Sovereign Council, and to revive the office of intendant.
The council, it will be remembered, consisted of four members and an
attorney-general, nominated by the governor and the bishop jointly, and
holding office during their good pleasure. Henceforth it was to consist
of seven members, each holding office by direct commission from the
king. The main object of the change was to enable it to act with more
independence in the performance of its proper functions, which were
essentially of a judicial character. A secondary effect, probably
neither foreseen nor intended, was to augment the influence of the
bishop, at the expense of that of the governor, through the operation of
the natural law which inclines men to side rather with permanent than
with transient forces. Frontenac was jealous from the first of the
increased prestige of the council, and soon became disagreeably aware of
the advantage it afforded to his ecclesiastical rival.

The council, as reconstituted, consisted of the four old members, Louis
Rouer de Villeray, who received the designation of first councillor, Le
Gardeur de Tilly, Mathieu Damours, and Nicolas Dupont, with three new
ones, Réné Charlier de Lotbinière, Jean Baptiste de Peyras, and Charles
Denis de Vitre. The attorney-general, Denis Joseph Ruette d'Auteuil, a
man described by Frontenac a couple of years later as "very ignorant,
and having such imperfect sight that he can neither read nor write," was
by name reappointed to his office, with one Gilles Rageot as clerk. All
these, holding their appointments directly from the king, were secure
from removal by any lesser authority. The utmost the governor could do
would be to suspend one or more of them for grave misconduct, subject to
confirmation of his action by the sovereign. Another change in the
judiciary of the colony was made a couple of years later. The king had,
in the year 1674, abolished a court called the Prévôté (Provost's Court)
of Quebec, which had been established by the West India Company for the
purpose of exercising a kind of police jurisdiction, and making
preliminary inquiries in certain cases. The royal idea at the time had
been that it would be simpler to intrust the whole administration of
justice to one court, the Sovereign Council. The enlargement and
strengthening of the council, however, and the appearance upon the scene
of an intendant whose views did not always harmonize, to speak very
moderately, with those of the governor, somewhat altered the situation.
There was a balance of powers; but justice itself would sometimes hang
in the balance longer than was desirable. In order, therefore, to get as
many cases as possible disposed of without troubling that important
tribunal, his Majesty, in the month of May 1677, determined to
re-establish the Prévôté, with power to judge, as a court of first
instance, all cases civil and criminal, subject to appeal to the
Sovereign Council. The court was to consist of a lieutenant-general as
judge, a public prosecutor and a clerk. To these was added, by an edict
of the same month, a special officer having the title of _prévôt_, with
judicial functions in criminal cases only. It probably was not foreseen
that the governor might play off the Prévôté against the Sovereign
Council. That, however, is what happened, and as the lower court had at
its service six "archers" or constables, it was able, when acting in
concert with the governor, to accomplish an occasional _tour de force_.

The new intendant, M. Jacques Duchesneau, arrived at Quebec in the month
of September 1675 by the same vessel which bore back Laval, in all the
glory and power of full episcopal authority, to a flock from which he
had been absent three long years. His letter of instructions mentions
the fact that he had filled a somewhat similar office at Tours in
France, and had acquitted himself therein to the great satisfaction of
his Majesty. Research has been made without success to find out what the
office was; we have only, therefore, to take his Majesty's word for it.
Whatever M. Duchesneau's previous history may have been, he seems to
have come to Canada with the determination to keep a very watchful, and
not too benevolent, eye on the proceedings of his official superior, the
governor. There was the strongest possible contrast between the
characters of the two men. Frontenac was haughty, headstrong, and
aggressive; Duchesneau, cautious, crafty, and persistent. When two such
men come into conflict, it is not the cool calculator who suffers most,
however he may whine (as Duchesneau did) at the high-handed proceedings
of the other. Under the best of circumstances a governor and an
intendant were not likely to work very harmoniously together. Courcelles
and Talon did not, though both were well-meaning men. M. Lorin hints
that Colbert sent out Duchesneau to act as a spy upon Frontenac.[16] The
supposition seems to be a needless one. Duchesneau was sent out as Talon
had been before him, to see that the intentions of the court in the
government of the country were duly carried into effect, and in
particular that the considerable sums of money which the king
appropriated to the uses of the colony were rightly expended. It is
possible that, had Frontenac acted with more judgment and moderation
during the first two years of his administration, the appointment of an
intendant would not have been considered necessary; but, in any case,
the court in giving him a colleague, and thus relieving him of part of
his responsibilities, was simply applying to Canada a system of
administration long established in France, where, as a rule, every
province had its intendant as well as its governor.

Duchesneau's instructions were certainly very clear as to the attitude
he was to maintain towards the governor. He was enjoined "to be careful
to live with Comte de Frontenac in relations of great deference, not
only on account of the honour he had of representing the king's person,
but also on account of his personal merit, and not to do anything in the
whole range of his duties without his consent and participation." To
secure concordant conduct on the governor's part, he was instructed in a
despatch of even date to allow the intendant to act "with entire liberty
in everything relating to justice, police, and finance, without meddling
at all in these matters, except when they are discussed in the Sovereign
Council." It is significant that in this same letter a hint is dropped
about trading: not only was Frontenac not to trade himself, or allow
trading on his behalf, but he was not to permit any one belonging to his
household to trade. It thus appears that, before Duchesneau had even
arrived in the country, the court had had its suspicions aroused as to
the course the king's personal representative might be tempted to pursue
in this matter. We may be certain that anything Perrot and Fénelon knew
on the subject would be poured into the minister's ear, nor were they
the only ones whose representations regarding the governor would not be
of a friendly character. Villeray, the senior member of the Sovereign
Council and the Abbé d'Urfé, a relative of Fénelon's, were in France at
the same time. The former had been denounced by Frontenac in one of his
earliest despatches as a busybody and a close ally of the Jesuit order;
while the latter had been very haughtily treated by him in connection
with the Fénelon matter, and had left Canada in high indignation by the
same vessel which bore Fénelon and Perrot. It happened that, just about
this time, Urfé's cousin, a Mademoiselle d'Allegre, was being contracted
in marriage to Colbert's son and destined successor in office, the
Marquis de Seignelay, so that altogether the influences which were
operating against Frontenac at this juncture were of a somewhat
formidable character. That his position should have been so little
affected speaks well for his claim to personal consideration. It speaks
well also for the spirit of equity which actuated the king in his
relations with his officers.

A meeting of the reorganized Sovereign Council was held at Quebec on the
16th September 1675. It is this meeting which fixes for us as nearly as
it can be done the date of the arrival of the bishop and intendant, for
the minutes show that the former was present, and that part of the
business transacted was the registration of the commission of the
latter. M. de Laval lost no time in making his influence felt. The Abbé
Fénelon, when arraigned before the Sovereign Council the year before,
had demanded to be tried by an ecclesiastical tribunal, and reply had
been made that there was no such tribunal in Canada. The bishop's first
act was to supply this lack by establishing a court consisting of his
two grand-vicars, Bernières and Dudouyt, and a clerk or registrar. The
new court soon found work to do. A man was cited before it, upon
information of the _curé_ of Montreal, for having failed to perform his
Easter duties. He appealed to the Sovereign Council, which at first
showed a disposition to assume jurisdiction in the case, but in the end
left it in the hands of the ecclesiastics. The bishop wished it to be
understood that Canada was not France. Some encroachments of the civil
on the spiritual power had, he said, taken place in that country, but
"these were things to be guarded against in a country in which a Church
is in course of establishment." Manifestly Laval understood the word
"Church" in a very absolute sense, and meant to enforce his
understanding of it if possible.

During his absence from the country the clergy had got into the way,
either of their own accord, or at Frontenac's suggestion, of paying the
governor certain honours in church which the bishop considered--correctly
it appears--unsanctioned by precedent or usage. He ordered that they
should be discontinued. A wrangle with the governor ensued, and the
matter had to be referred to the king, who must sometimes have wondered
whether the colonial game was worth the candles consumed in reading the
colonial despatches; for his Majesty, no less than his minister, had
often to prolong the work far into the night. The patient monarch
replied that the governor had been claiming more than was his due, and
more than was accorded to men of his rank in the provinces of the
kingdom; he must, therefore, make up his little difference with the
bishop of Quebec, by gracefully moderating his pretensions. Three years
later there were still some differences of the same nature pending, for
we find the king sending directions to the bishop to pay the same
honours to the governor of Canada as were paid to the governor of
Picardy in the cathedral of Amiens. Frontenac, on his part, was not to
claim more.

The document which throws most light on Frontenac's attitude towards the
dominant ecclesiastical powers--the bishop and the Jesuits--and on his
estimate of their work and general policy, is a letter which he wrote to
Colbert in 1677, and which must have been of a confidential nature.[17]
"Nearly all the disorders existing in New France," he therein declares,
"have their origin in the ambition of the ecclesiastics, who wish to add
to their spiritual authority an absolute power over temporal matters."
Their aim from the first, he goes on to say, was to amass wealth as a
means of influence; and in this they have been extraordinarily
successful. They have had subsidies from the king and charitable
donations from individuals in France; they have obtained concessions of
large tracts of the best and most valuable lands in the country;
finally, in spite of the king's prohibitions, they have been driving an
active and most profitable trade. In support of the latter statement he
cites the names of a number of persons who have given him positive and
detailed evidence on the point. He estimates the bishop's revenue from
all sources at not less than forty thousand livres; and refers to the
fact that he is erecting vast and superb buildings at Quebec at a cost
of four hundred thousand livres, although he and his ecclesiastics are
already lodged much better than the governor-general. He complains of
the espionage they exercise through the country and in his own
household; and says there would be no end to the story if he were to
attempt to tell all that they have done to augment their influence
through the confessional and by threats of excommunication. Instances
are given of what the writer claims to have been their undue severity
towards persons who had incurred their censure. If the bishop chose, he
could do what he has always hitherto refused to do: provide the country
with a reasonable number of parish priests having fixed positions. He
has ample means for the purpose if he would employ them in a less
ambitious manner; his main objection to doing so is that the erection of
parishes served by priests not removable at pleasure would diminish his
power and throw patronage into the hands of the king. So far the
governor. It is probable that his impeachment of his ecclesiastical
rivals did not fall on altogether unsympathetic ears; but Colbert, as a
statesman, recognized power wherever it existed; and his only advice to
the civil administrators was to hold their own as well as they could. In
a despatch, written some years before, he had told Courcelles that be
looked forward to the time when, with an increase of population, things
would get into better shape, and the secular power assume its just

Duchesneau himself, shortly after his arrival in the country, had a
passing difficulty with the bishop, arising out of an idea he
entertained, that, as intendant, he ought to rank next to the governor;
and this wretched matter had also to be referred to the court, which
promptly decided in the bishop's favour. From that time forward there
was perfect harmony between the two, so much so that, on more than one
occasion, the intendant drew down upon himself the censure of the court
for what was regarded as his undue subservience to the bishop's views.
One of the first matters regarding which he and the bishop joined forces
was the policy of the governor in connection with the issue of hunting
and trading licences. The law under which Frontenac had previously taken
severe measures against the _coureurs de bois_ was still in force; but
the governor had felt himself justified in issuing a limited number of
permits to responsible persons, authorizing them to carry goods to the
Indians and trade in the Indian settlements. These persons became, in a
certain sense, _coureurs de bois_; but as they went out by authority,
and could be held to the terms of their licences, and as, moreover, they
could be used for the purpose of obtaining information as to the
movements and disposition of the native tribes, the governor thought,
or professed to think, that he was acting for the best in relaxing to
this extent the strict letter of the law. The bishop, on the other hand,
objected to the system; in the first place, because the persons licensed
carried liquor as part of their stock-in-trade, and, in the second,
because it threw impediments in the way of the effective ecclesiastical
control of the population. It was agreed that he and the intendant
should both write to the minister, the one dwelling on the evils of the
liquor traffic with the Indians, and the other on the infringement of
the law. Duchesneau, we have seen, had been warned in his instructions
to keep in close touch with the governor in all that he did; but he had
not been three months in the country before, in a matter of the first
importance, and one affecting the governor's own actions, he sent home
recommendations of which his superior officer knew nothing.

The answer came back the following year. It was dated 15th April 1676,
but seems only to have reached Quebec in September. The governor, by
royal edict, was forbidden to issue permits under any pretext
whatsoever. The punishment of contumacious _coureurs de bois_ was placed
in the hands of the intendant exclusively, as it was he alone--such was
the reason given--who had official knowledge of the conditions under
which the fur trade was being farmed out. Quebec, Montreal, and Three
Rivers were at the same time indicated as the only places where the
trade with the Indians might lawfully be carried on.

Frontenac was not at Quebec when this document arrived; he was at Fort
Frontenac (Cataraqui), which was now in the hands of his friend La Salle
under a concession from the king. Doubtless he was enjoying, not only
his temporary freedom from the worries and vexations of office, but also
the congenial society of a man, who, though much his junior, had, in
common with himself, a large knowledge of the world, a keen and aspiring
spirit, and a strong love of adventure. At Quebec the councillors were
somewhat at a loss what to do in the matter of the despatch. Some were
indisposed to register, in the absence of the governor, an edict which
so directly condemned the policy he was pursuing. Duchesneau, however,
did not approve of delay, and on the 5th of October the document was
registered, and thus became the law of the land. When Frontenac returned
to Quebec and found what had been done--that one of the first acts of
the intendant had been to hand him over to the censure of the court, and
that its censure had practically been pronounced--he was indignant
beyond measure. He saw at a glance that, if the situation were not in
some way retrieved, his authority and prestige in the colony he had been
sent out to govern would be gravely compromised. The fall vessels were
to leave in a week or two, so he sat down and wrote a despatch to
Colbert which gave that able minister something to think about. The
bishop, dreading lest the governor's reasons--he probably knew that
Frontenac wielded a vigorous pen--might lead to a countermanding of the
instructions, thought it well to send an envoy of his own to France in
the person of the Abbé Dudouyt. Frontenac meantime so far complied with
the edict as to publish an order requiring all _coureurs de bois_,
licensed and unlicensed, to return at once to the settlements; though,
according to Duchesneau, he nullified this to a great extent by issuing
a number of hunting permits which were only trading permits in disguise.

So far as the sale of liquor to the Indians was in question, it is
impossible not to approve, theoretically at least, the stand taken by
the bishop. He would have suppressed it absolutely, if he had had the
power. The thing, however, was practically impossible. We see the effect
probably of Frontenac's representations on the subject in a despatch
which the intendant received dated in the spring of 1677. He is told
that he had yielded too easily to the extreme views of the bishop in
regard to this matter. The bishop had spoken of the fearful effects
caused by drink amongst the Indians, who maimed and murdered one
another, and committed all kinds of abominations, when under its
influence. Colbert is not content with such a general statement; he
wants particulars; and instructs Duchesneau to find out how many such
crimes can be proved to have been committed since he (the intendant) had
arrived in Canada. Here was a very suitable piece of work cut out for
M. Jacques Duchesneau, who was nothing if not a man of facts and
figures; but there is nothing to show that he ever prepared the desired
statement. The minister goes on to say: "The general policy of the state
is necessarily opposed to the views of a bishop who, in order to prevent
the abuse made by a few individuals of a thing good in itself, is
prepared to abolish entirely the trade in an article of consumption
which serves greatly to promote commerce, and to bring the savages into
contact with orthodox Christians like the French. We should run the
risk, if we yielded to his opinion, not only of losing this commerce,
but of forcing the savages to do business with the English and Dutch,
who are heretics; and it would thus become impossible for us to keep
them favourably disposed towards the one pure and true religion."
Colbert, it will be seen, had that judicious blending of the missionary
with the commercial spirit which has been so efficacious in our own day
in promoting great colonial enterprises. One or two other allusions to
the bishop may be quoted: "It is easy to see that, though the bishop is
a very good man, and most faithful in the performance of his duty, he
nevertheless is aiming at a degree of power which goes far beyond what
is exercised by bishops in any other part of Christendom, and
particularly in France." Then, with reference to his attendance at
meetings of the Sovereign Council: "You ought to try and put him out of
love with going there; but in doing so you must act with the greatest
prudence and secrecy, and take care that no person whatsoever knows what
I am writing to you on this point."

The minister, it is evident, had hard work to keep his representatives
in Canada to their respective spheres of duty. He opens his despatch to
Duchesneau by begging him to mind his own business, and not in future
recommend any military appointments, as he had done in a late
communication. He wrote to Frontenac a few days later, cautioning him to
keep aloof from questions of justice, police, and finance, observing
that men in military command "are too apt to let flatterers persuade
them that they ought to take cognizance of everything and look after
everything." Touching on the drink question, he said that "if the
disorders complained of are limited in number, and if the Indians are
only a little more subject to getting intoxicated than the Germans for
example, or, among the French, the Bretons," there was no need for
drastic prohibitive measures; the irregularities happening from time to
time could be dealt with by the courts. He was not to take ground openly
against the bishop; but he was to see that the latter did not go beyond
his proper prerogative "in a matter that was purely one of police." The
Abbé Dudouyt had evidently not succeeded in winning over the minister to
the bishop's extreme views. He must, however, have had more success with
the king, for on the 12th May 1678 a royal edict was issued, dealing in
a very uncompromising fashion with the _coureur de bois_ question as
well as with that of the liquor traffic. As regards the former, the
previous prohibition, which, it was complained, had been rendered
nugatory by the system of special permits, was renewed in all its force.
The liquor traffic was equally condemned: no liquor was to be sold to
the Indians under any circumstances. Colbert thereupon presented a
memoir to his Majesty setting forth his reasons for considering a
prohibition of the liquor traffic inexpedient, these being much the same
as he had embodied in his despatch to Duchesneau of the preceding year.
The result was that the king, without recalling his edict, ordered that
the whole matter should be fully discussed in a meeting of the principal
inhabitants of Canada, including the administrators and magistrates, and
that a report of the proceedings should be sent to him for his
information and further consideration.

Thus was the question referred back to Canada, and an appeal actually
made, after a fashion, to public opinion. The meeting ordered by the
king was held at Quebec on the 26th October. The persons composing it
were chosen by Frontenac and Duchesneau jointly, and were beyond doubt
as influential men as could be found in the country--nineteen in all,
exclusive of those who attended in an official capacity. The sense of
the meeting was overwhelmingly against the suppression of the traffic,
and against the stand taken by the bishop in making a "reserved case" of
the selling of liquor to the Indians, or, in other words, excluding from
the sacraments all who were guilty of that act. Two of the delegates,
the seigneurs of Berthier and Sorel, said that the prohibition which was
then nominally, and to a considerable degree practically, in force
worked injury, not only to trade, but to the Indians themselves. They
could get all the liquor they wanted from the Dutch of Orange (Albany);
and the Dutch rum was not nearly so good as the French brandy. The last
time the Indians came to trade at Cataraqui, they had forty barrels of
Dutch spirits with them, having laid in a supply owing to their
apprehension that they might not be able to obtain any from the French.
But of course they would cease coming to Cataraqui or trading with the
French at all, if they could not get liquor. They denied that the
drinking of brandy prevented the Indians from becoming Christians. Did
not the Christian Indians in the missions near Montreal drink brandy?
Yet they remained docile to their teachers, and were not often seen
drunk--a statement which certainly might have been challenged. Others
urged the argument with which we are already familiar that, if the
Indians had to get their liquor from the Dutch and English, they would
either imbibe heresy at the same time, or be left in their heathenism.
Others again said that the disorders caused by drink amongst the savages
had been greatly exaggerated, and moreover things of the same nature
occurred among Indians who made no use of spirituous liquors. The
"reserved case" was doing no good; on the contrary it was troubling
consciences, and had possibly already caused the damnation of some
inhabitants. Drunkenness, another delegate remarked, was not confined to
the Indians. In the most civilized countries, where all were Christians,
it was a common vice; yet no one thought of making a "reserved case" for
the liquor sellers. One speaker went so far as to say that the Indians
would never become Christians unless they were allowed the same
liberties as the French, and that the clandestine sale of liquor
promoted immoderate drinking. Robert Cavelier de la Salle was strongly
in favour of the trade being left open. It was for laymen, he said, to
decide what was good or bad in relation to commerce, and not for
ecclesiastics. There had been but little disorder, upon the whole,
amongst the savages as the result of drink. He thought they were less
given to intoxication than the French, and much less than the English of
New York. Two delegates were entirely opposed to the trade as being
hurtful to religion, and the source of moral disorders. Two others
thought it should be restricted to the settlements, and that no liquor
should be sold in the woods.[18]

How far the opinions of those who favoured the traffic were
disinterested may be open to question. Traders are apt to consider
exclusively the immediate interests of trade; and the love of gain is
often sufficient to stifle the instincts of humanity. The church looked
upon the Indians as its wards; but the majority of the settlers, it is
to be feared, thought only of exploiting, if not of actually plundering,
them. It is difficult to read the little treatise composed about
twenty-five years after these events, under the title of the _History of
Brandy in Canada_, without feeling persuaded that there was more ground
for the position taken by the clergy than the seigneurs and others who
assembled at Quebec were willing to admit. From what the anonymous
writer, evidently a missionary in close touch with the facts, says, it
is clear that brandy was often made an instrument for the robbery of the
unhappy Indian. We are told of one man at Three Rivers who, having made
an Indian drunk, insisted next day that the score for the brandy the
poor savage had taken amounted to thirty moose skins. The author of the
treatise is convinced that the horrible massacre at Lachine, of which we
shall have to speak in a later chapter, was a direct manifestation of
the anger of God at the drink traffic, of which that place in particular
was the headquarters. If so, the warning unfortunately was not taken to
heart, for the writer himself tells us that the traffic was resumed and
prosecuted as vigorously as ever as soon as the village was rebuilt.

When Laval, who had just laid the corner-stone of his seminary at
Quebec, saw the way things were going, he decided to start for France
himself, to see what he could effect for the cause he had so deeply at
heart by personal representations. The decision of the court, however,
was what might have been expected under the circumstances. Two edicts
were issued in the following year, one dated the 25th April 1679,
confirming the regulations previously laid down respecting the _coureurs
de bois_, but allowing the governor to grant hunting permits good from
the 15th January to the 15th April of each year; and the other, dated
24th May, expressly prohibiting the holders of such permits from
carrying liquor to the Indians, under pain of a fine of one hundred
francs for the first offence, three hundred for the second, and corporal
punishment for the third. The French of the settlements on the other
hand were left free to sell liquor to the Indians resorting thither. The
bishop was at the same time requested to make the "reserved case" apply
only to those selling under illegal conditions, which, with no little
reluctance, he consented to do.

It is to be noted that the second edict contains a clause expressly
entrusting its enforcement to "Sieur, Comte de Frontenac, governor and
lieutenant-general for his Majesty in the said country," and not as
previously to the intendant. Frontenac thus had it in his power, M.
Lorin observes, "to free himself in practice from the time limits
imposed, or even tacitly to authorize the hunters to carry a few goods
to the Indians." This writer, who is an ardent admirer of Frontenac,
seems to regard it as a thing quite to be expected that the king's
representative should seize the opportunity to violate the king's
regulations. The motive, however, which he assigns for such probable
disobedience is a very high one: the governor was anxious to keep in
touch, through the traders, with the outlying Indian tribes, in order
that he might watch the course of their trade, study their dispositions,
and thus be enabled to take timely measures to maintain them in right
relations with the French colony. Were there ground for assurance that
this was his only, or even his greatly predominant, motive, we might
well join with M. Lorin in considering such far-sighted devotion to the
king's interests as more than a set-off to a technical irregularity. But
can we? The question is one in regard to which the documents before us,
consisting mainly of the correspondence of Frontenac and Duchesneau with
the court, render it difficult to arrive at a positive conclusion. The
matter will be discussed in the following chapter; meanwhile let us
briefly note the further development of the _coureur de bois_ question
to the end of Frontenac's first administration.

It does not appear that the ordinance of April 1679 improved the
situation in the least. The law continued to be violated, as Duchesneau
affirms, with the connivance of the governor, and, as Frontenac says,
with the active assistance (in favour of his special friends) of the
intendant. In the month of November 1680 Duchesneau writes to the
minister, observing that the only thing to do is to try and find the
best means to induce these men to return "without prejudice to the
absolute submission they owe to the king's will." He proceeds to hint at
something like a conditional amnesty, lenient treatment to be promised
to all those who, returning home promptly on the publication of the
king's proclamation, should "make a sincere and frank declaration in
court of the time they have been absent, for what persons they were
trading in the Indian country, who furnished them with goods, how many
skins they procured, and how they disposed of them." Evidently M.
Jacques Duchesneau was in pursuit of information; and there can be
little doubt with what intent. What Frontenac wrote on the subject is
not on record. It seems probable that he too suggested an amnesty; but
we may doubt whether he recommended the condition proposed by his friend
the intendant. The court in the month of May following granted an
amnesty, the sole condition of which was that the persons concerned
should return to their homes immediately on being notified to do so.
This was not to imply any indulgence for the offence in future, as
another edict was passed in the course of the same month, providing
severer punishments than had previously been prescribed--flogging and
branding on a first conviction, and perpetual servitude in the galleys
on a second. When these edicts reached Quebec it was noticed that to the
council was given the duty, not only of registering, but of publishing
and executing them. The governor, however, intervened, and, upon his
promising to take the whole responsibility upon himself, the council
agreed to leave the publication and execution in his hands. "Under this
pretext," says M. Lorin, "Frontenac could send officers to all the posts
of the upper country; and if he was anxious to do so, it was less to
participate, despite the king's orders, in the fur trade, than to
control the proceedings of the merchants and missionaries." The word
"less" can hardly be said to imply unambiguous praise. Moreover who can
say what motive was predominant?

Under the edict of 1679 the governor had the power of issuing an
unlimited number of permits for hunting exclusively. The privilege had
clearly been abused; and orders were now issued that in future
twenty-five permits only should be granted each year, the holder of a
permit to be entitled to take or send one canoe only with three men. In
this way the amount of trade which could be done under a permit was
limited. In all only twenty-five canoe loads of merchandise could be
sent out annually. Moreover the intention in granting these permits was
less to promote trade at a distance--an object the court never had at
heart--than to reward certain supposedly meritorious individuals. It
was a species of patronage which was placed in the governor's hands, and
which he was expected to distribute in a judicious manner. If the holder
of a permit did not wish to use it himself, he could sell it to some one
else; and it not infrequently happened that a single trader would buy a
number of permits, and send quite a little fleet of canoes up the river.
The era of "trusts" was not as yet, but even here we can see the trust
in germ.

[Footnote 16: _Le Comte de Frontenac_, p. 159.]

[Footnote 17: It is to be found in Margry, _Mémoires et Documents des
Origines Françaises des Pays d'Outre Mer_, vol. i. pp. 301-25.]

[Footnote 18: See Report (Procès Verbal) of the proceedings of the
assembly in Margry, _Mémoires et Documents_, vol. i. pp. 405-20.]



The great trouble in Canada was that it was an over-governed country.
The whole population when Frontenac arrived was but little over six
thousand souls, scattered over a territory stretching from Matane and
Tadousac in the east, to the western limit of the Island of Montreal.
What these people needed in the first place was freedom to seek their
living in their own way, and secondly, an extremely simple form of
government. Instead of this they were hampered in their trade, and made
continually to feel their dependence on the central power; while, in the
matter of political organization, they were placed under the precise
system which prevailed in the provinces of the French kingdom. In the
Sovereign Council they had the equivalent of a parliament in the
French--by no means in the English--sense; that is to say, a body for
registering, and so bestowing a final character of validity upon, the
decrees of the sovereign, and for administering justice. The executive
power was divided between governor and intendant with very doubtful
results. Below the Sovereign Council, as a judicial body, was the court
of the Prévôté. The one thing the people were not allowed to have was
anything in the way of representative institutions. Colbert, perhaps by
immediate royal direction, gave the keynote of monarchical absolutism
when he said, in words already quoted: "Let every man speak for himself;
let no one presume to speak for all." Thus was the king in his strength
and majesty placed over against the solitary protesting individual.
Doubtless self-government in the full sense would not have been possible
at the time, seeing that self-government implies, as its first
condition, pecuniary independence, and the country was not in a position
to provide all the money required for its civil and military
expenditure. However, possible or impossible, the thing was not thought
of, or to be thought of, at the time. The result of the elaborate
organization actually established was that administrators and
councillors, having far too little to do, fell to quarrelling with one
another in the manner already seen and yet to be seen. The Canadian
colony was not really peculiar in this respect. Any one who reads in
Clément's great work the voluminous correspondence of Colbert will see
that strife and jealousy was the rule throughout the whole colonial
service. The same spirit, in fact, prevailed which was exhibited in the
daily life of the court, where every one was desperately struggling for
the sunshine of royal favour, and where, consequently, questions of
precedence and etiquette were regarded as of surpassing importance. And
now a most serious question of this nature was to blaze forth in Canada.

In various despatches from the court, Frontenac had been spoken of as
"President of the Sovereign Council," though that office had never in
any formal way been attached to the governorship. Shortly after
Duchesneau's appointment as intendant, a royal ordinance was issued
conferring the title in question upon him. In this there was no
intention whatever to diminish the rank or prestige of the governor. The
idea was rather to relieve him from the drudgery of presiding at
meetings of the council, by giving to the latter a permanent working
head in the person of the intendant, a man assumed to be accustomed to
routine business and to have the trained official's capacity for
details. Any other man than Frontenac would have seen the matter in this
light, and rejoiced that a substitute had been found for him in a most
uninteresting duty. He still had access to the council, and whenever he
chose to attend, he occupied the seat of honour as the king's immediate
representative, while a lower functionary would act as chairman, put
questions to the vote, and sign the minutes. To the mind of Frontenac,
unfortunately, the thing presented itself in a very different light; he
saw his prerogative attacked, his dignity impaired. If he was not
president of the council, why was he ever so addressed in official
despatches? M. Duchesneau, on the other hand, took his stand on the
stronger ground of a special ordinance appointing him to the office.
Behold the elements of a mighty quarrel!

In the early days of Frontenac's governorship the preamble of the
proceedings in council used to read: "The council having assembled, at
which presided the high and mighty lord, Messire Louis de Buade
Frontenac, chevalier, Comte de Palluau," etc. Later it was simplified so
as to read: "At which presided his Lordship, the governor-general."
After the arrival of Duchesneau a new formula was adopted. In the
minutes of the 23rd September 1675, the intendant is mentioned as
"having taken his seat as president"; and in those of 30th September we
find the words "acting as president according to the declaration of the
king." The bickering began almost from the date of Duchesneau's arrival;
but it was not till the winter of 1678-9 that it developed into actual
strife. The minister received many tiresome communications on the
subject, and in April 1679 he seems to think that the chief fault is on
the side of the intendant, for he writes to him sharply: "You
continually speak as if M. de Frontenac was always in the wrong. . . .
You seem to put yourself in a kind of parallel with him. The only reply
I can make to all these despatches of yours is that you must strive to
know your place, and get a proper idea into your head of the difference
between a governor and lieutenant-general representing the person of the
sovereign, and an intendant." This was hard enough, but what follows is
a shade worse: he is told that in making his reports, particularly when
they contain accusations, he "should be very careful not to advance
anything that is not true." Finally, he is warned that until he learns
the difference between the king's representative and himself, he will be
in danger, not only of being rebuked, but of being dismissed.
Frontenac's turn came a few months later. Colbert writes in December of
the same year, and tells him that the king is getting very tired of all
this squabbling, and has come to the conclusion that he (Frontenac) "is
not capable of that spirit of union and conciliation which is necessary
to prevent the troubles that are continually arising, and which are so
fraught with ruin to a new colony." The king had heard of the trouble
that was being made over this petty question, and Colbert expresses his
Majesty's surprise that Frontenac should bother his head about such a

When this despatch reached Canada, Frontenac had gone much further in
the matter than either the king or the minister suspected. Peuvret,
clerk of the council, had been imprisoned because he would not disobey
the orders of the council, in the matter of his minutes, in order to
obey those of the governor. During four months the routine business of
the council had been suspended while this wretched business was being
fought over. Three of the councillors had been banished from Quebec,
being ordered to remain in their country-houses till permitted to
return. A more discreditable state of things could not well be imagined,
nor one of worse example for the country. At last a compromise was
proposed by d'Auteuil, the attorney-general, which was that the minutes
should mention the presence of the governor and intendant at the
meetings of the council, without speaking of either as presiding or as
president. Frontenac at first would not have anything to do with such an
arrangement, but finally he consented to it till the king's pleasure
could be known.

The king this time lost patience. When an answer came back, it was his
_dis_pleasure that was known, and displeasure with his "high and mighty
Lordship, the governor." The king told him plainly that he had on
various occasions advanced claims that had very little foundation, and
that in this matter his pretensions were directly opposed to a royal
ordinance. His Majesty added: "I am sure you are the only man in my
kingdom who, being honoured with the titles of governor and
lieutenant-general, would care to be styled chief and president of a
council such as that at Quebec." Colbert dealt with the matter
officially, and quoted this opinion of the king's almost in the same
words. He also observed that, if Frontenac had any wish to give
satisfaction to his Majesty, he would have to change entirely the line
of conduct he had hitherto pursued. It seemed, however, as if the court
could not afford to give a clear victory to Duchesneau, for, as a
practical settlement of the point at issue, it was ordered that the
_modus vivendi_ suggested by the attorney-general and actually in force
should be adopted as a permanent rule--a classical example of political

It is difficult to understand how any man in Frontenac's position could
fail to feel profoundly humbled and chastened by so emphatic a reproof
emanating direct from his sovereign master, and echoed in an official
despatch from the minister in charge of colonies. We look in vain,
however, for evidence that any such effect was produced on the spirit of
the governor. He doubtless felt that he had achieved at least half a
victory. The title had been depreciated in the despatches from the
court; it was not worth _his_ having, and Duchesneau was not to have it.
For a time there was what looked like a truce between the two heads of
the state, and shortly afterwards we find Duchesneau writing to say that
he and the governor are now on excellent terms; that he is omitting
nothing on his side that can give satisfaction to the latter; that he
communicates the very smallest things to him, and that he hopes, by
sheer force of amiability, to secure a little show of kindness in
return. Seeing, however, that in the same despatch in which these
excellent sentiments occur, he enters into lengthy accusations against
Frontenac on the trading question, and that the latter was engaged about
the same time in working up similar charges against him, as appears by a
document bearing date the following year, we may reasonably doubt
whether very amicable or charitable feelings prevailed on either side.

D'Auteuil, the attorney-general, who had been for some time in a failing
condition, and whose health had probably not been improved by his
occasional stormy interviews with the governor, by whom he was cordially
detested, died in the early winter of 1679-80. Duchesneau, in
anticipation of this event, had obtained the king's permission to name a
successor, and had secured a signed commission which, to be complete,
only required to have a name filled in. Auteuil's son, François
Madeleine, had been assisting him for a couple of years in his office,
and as he was a very assuming youth--he was not yet twenty-one--and
bitterly hostile to the governor, he was naturally the intendant's
choice. Young d'Auteuil had hardly entered on his duties before he
picked a quarrel with Boulduc, prosecutor of the lower court, known as a
firm ally of Frontenac, whom he ordered to wait upon him at his office
every Saturday to prepare cases for the court under his (d'Auteuil's)
supervision. Boulduc refused. The council took the matter up, but found
it hard to decide, and the squabble dragged during most of the year
1680. In the following year facts came to light which caused Boulduc to
be charged with embezzlement, and d'Auteuil pushed the matter with great
zeal. Frontenac, anxious to save his friend, tried to represent the
accusation as the outcome of private vengeance; unfortunately the facts
were against the _procureur_, who was condemned, and dismissed from

Some of the side issues that were raised on this occasion brought out
strikingly the spirit of Canadian official society. Villeray, first
councillor, a man more obnoxious to Frontenac on account of his extreme
devotion to the ecclesiastical authorities perhaps than by reason of his
dubious antecedents,[19] gave himself, in certain pleadings, the title
of "esquire." Frontenac denied that he had any right to it, and held the
pleadings invalid. Frontenac's secretary, Le Chasseur, appeared on a
summons before the council, but refused to answer because he had been
described in the summons as "secretary of Monsieur, the Governor,"
instead of "Monseigneur the Governor." Thus were the king's instructions
to all and sundry to practise peace and concord being observed! A worse
affair was that of the councillor, Damours, who, in the summer of 1681,
obtained a _congé_ from Frontenac to go as far as Matane where he had a
property, and who was arrested by order of the governor on his return a
few weeks later for having in some way exceeded the terms of his permit.
Damours' wife appealed to the council, but Frontenac objected to having
her letter read. Duchesneau urged the council to take cognizance of the
case, but some of the members did not feel it safe to do so, and finally
the papers were referred to the king--another quarrel for his Majesty
to adjust! Meantime Damours remains in confinement for about six weeks.
His Majesty of course disapproves of such harshness. In a letter dated
30th April 1681, after giving his representative various other cautions,
he begs him to divest his mind of all those private animosities which up
to the present have been almost the sole motive of his actions. "It is
hard," he adds, "for me to give you my full confidence when I see that
everything gives way to your personal enmities."

A question reserved for consideration in this chapter was as to how far
there was foundation for the charges of illegitimate trading brought so
continually by the intendant against the governor, and retorted by the
latter against the intendant. What may be noticed in the first place is
the slight amount of attention apparently paid by the court to these
charges and counter-charges. The king could not openly approve of
trading on the part of his high officers; he was obliged to condemn it
in strong and precise terms; but he knew at the same time that they had
starvation salaries, and it is possible that he was not wholly unwilling
that they should, in a quiet way, make a little money out of the traffic
in furs. Frontenac and Duchesneau were both recalled in the end; but it
was not for trading; it was for quarrelling, playing at cross-purposes,
and sacrificing the welfare of the country to their mutual jealousies.
M. Lorin, whose sympathy with Frontenac is conspicuous, is disposed to
admit that he did not wholly abstain from trading; but he thinks he did
it in a more respectable and less rapacious manner than Duchesneau. He
observes that Frontenac's partners, if partners he had, were chiefly the
great explorers, La Salle, Du Lhut and others; while the associates of
Duchesneau were traders pure and simple, men like Lebert, Le Moyne and
La Chesnaye. On the other hand the court does not seem to have taken
Frontenac's accusations against the intendant seriously. The king indeed
informs him that he regards his charges as "mere recriminations."
Duchesneau, it will be remembered, had been warned not to put into his
despatches things that were not true; possibly he was worrying the
minister and the king with information they would rather not receive.
The correspondence of 1679 shows clearly the hostile relations of the
two administrators.

In the summer and fall of that year the governor spent nearly three
months at Montreal. On the 6th November, having returned to Quebec, he
writes to the king: "I have received diverse advices from the Jesuit
fathers and other missionaries that General Andros (Governor of New
York) was lately soliciting the Iroquois in an underhand way to break
with us, and that he was about convening a meeting of the Five Nations,
in order to propose matters of a nature to disturb our trade with them."
Four days later the intendant takes up his parable and informs the
minister that the governor "had _made_ the news he pretended to have
received regarding the plans of the English general, Andros, to debauch
the Iroquois," the whole thing being a mere pretext for making a
prolonged stay at Montreal at the height of the trading season. He
charges the governor with exacting presents from the Indians in return
for the protection afforded them by his guards, and with having taken
seven packages of beaver skins from the Ottawas in consideration of his
having settled a dispute into which they had got with some Frenchmen at
Montreal. It will be remembered, and the fact certainly has an air of
significance, that, when it was a question of granting amnesty to the
_coureurs de bois_, it was Duchesneau who suggested that each man should
be required to give the fullest information as to what trade he had been
carrying on, and _on whose account_. The amnesty was granted without
this condition. Evidently the court did not want an embarrassment of
information. Duchesneau's trouble was an excess of not wholly
disinterested zeal.

The case is not overstated by Frontenac's latest and fullest biographer,
M. Lorin, when he says that "the lack of a good understanding between
the two administrators had divided Canadian society, or at least that
portion of it which came into contact with the king's officers, into two
camps." Street brawls arising out of the embitterment of feeling were
not infrequent. An illustrative incident was the imprisonment of young
Duchesneau, son of the intendant, for singing in the streets some
snatches of a song disrespectful to the governor. The patience of the
court was at last exhausted, and in the summer of 1682, Frontenac and
Duchesneau were simultaneously recalled; and thus was brought to a close
the count's first term of office as governor of Canada.

Some larger questions relating to this period may now profitably occupy
our attention. One of the earliest acts of Frontenac, it will be
remembered, was to summon the Iroquois to meet him in conference at
Cataraqui, where, by his happy manner of dealing with them, he
established a remarkable personal ascendency over their minds, and
succeeded, for the time at least, in placing the relations between them
and the French upon an excellent footing. The frequent visits which he
subsequently paid to his favourite fort gave him opportunities of
improving his acquaintance with his dusky lieges and of strengthening
the good understanding that had been brought about. For some years
things worked smoothly, and the colony enjoyed a comfortable sense of
security. From the first, however, the influence of Onontio was more
felt by the eastern and nearer members of the confederacy than by the
western and more remote; and, as time wore on, the latter, particularly
the Senecas, began to show a quarrelsome and insolent temper. They did
not venture to attack the French, but they committed various acts of
aggression on native tribes allied with them and under their
protection. Several years before they had waged war with the Illinois
and driven them from their habitations. Then they turned southwards and
engaged in a prolonged conflict with a tribe known as the Andostagnés,
during which time the Illinois, having recovered in a measure from their
losses, ventured to return to their former abodes. The explorations of
La Salle had brought these people into alliance with the French; but
when the Senecas had successfully concluded their war with the
Andostagnés they were not disposed to refrain from attacking them anew
on that account. After various preliminary raids, they sent, in the
spring of 1680, an army of five or six hundred men into the Illinois
territory and committed great havoc. It was on this occasion that Tonty,
La Salle's lieutenant, nearly lost his life at Fort Crèvecoeur. The
question now was whether the French would stand idly by and see their
allies destroyed. If they did, not only would their influence over the
tribes trusting in their protection be annihilated, but they might soon
have to fight for their own preservation without any native assistance.
Frontenac sent messages to the Iroquois enjoining them to keep the
peace; but the voice that once had charmed and overawed sounded now a
very ineffectual note. Father Lamberville, Jesuit missionary to the
Iroquois, wrote to say that the upper tribes had lost all fear of the
French, and that a slight provocation would cause them to make war on

Frontenac and Duchesneau both discuss the matter in their despatches of
the year 1681, the latter as usual blaming the former, hinting that he
shirked his duty in not going up to Cataraqui in the previous summer in
order to meet the tribes and use his personal influence in favour of
peace. Frontenac writes as if he had not much confidence in that method;
he asks for five or six hundred soldiers to quell the rebellious tribes.
He thinks it would be quite enough to patrol Lake Ontario with a
respectable force in order to bring them to submission. After this
despatch had gone, news arrived of a most regrettable incident which
threatened to precipitate war. This was the murder of a Seneca chief by
an Illinois on the territory of the Kiskakons, one of the Ottawa tribes
in alliance with the French. According to Indian usage the Kiskakons
were responsible for the crime, and the Senecas were hot for revenge.
Appreciating the gravity of the situation, Frontenac sends a special
message to request the offended tribe to stay their hands, promising to
hold himself responsible for seeing that full atonement is made for the
wrong done. They consent, but ask that he will meet them somewhere in or
near Iroquois territory on the 15th June of the following year. No
pledge is given on this point, but messengers are sent to the Ottawas to
tell them that they must be prepared to make full amends, and that, if
they will send delegates to Montreal, the matter will be discussed and
arranged there.

The winter of 1681-2 was clearly an anxious one for the colony.
Frontenac thought it well to summon the wisest heads in the country to
meet in the Jesuit Seminary at Quebec in order to discuss the Indian
question in all its bearings. Those taking part in the conference, in
addition to himself, were the intendant, the provost, and three Jesuit
fathers, who had had long experience in mission work and knew the savage
tribes thoroughly. The general opinion of the meeting was that Frontenac
should go to Fort Frontenac to meet the Iroquois, as they had requested,
in the following month of June. Frontenac, for some reason or other, did
not like the idea. He did not want to go further than Montreal.
Moreover, there was no use, he said, in meeting the Iroquois till he
knew what the Ottawas were going to do; and they would not reach
Montreal till late in the summer. The governor had his way. The Ottawas,
including the Kiskakons, came in August. Only with great difficulty were
they persuaded to give the necessary satisfaction to the Iroquois, who,
they said, no doubt with truth, were much keener in seeking satisfaction
for wrongs than in giving it when wrong was done by themselves. The
Iroquois sent delegates to Montreal in the following month; and by dint
of presents and promises a somewhat doubtful arrangement was patched up
for the temporary maintenance of peace. Frontenac took advantage of his
visit to Montreal to survey the fortifications and give instructions
for strengthening them at several points. These were virtually the final
acts of his administration, for in the last week of September his
successor landed at Quebec.

What at this time were the resources of the colony in population? In
1668, under the administration of Courcelles, Talon, the intendant, had
reported the population at 6282. In 1673, a year after his arrival,
Frontenac made a return showing a total of 6705 souls. The king, Colbert
said, was much disappointed at these figures and thought they could not
be correct, as there were more people in the country ten years before.
Where his Majesty got this information we do not know, but probably from
some agent of the West India Company interested in exaggerating the
prosperity of the country. He seems to have completely overlooked
Talon's figures for 1668, not to mention two previous returns made by
the same careful officer in 1666 and 1667; the first showing a
population of 3418 only, and the second one of 4312. It seems probable,
however, that Frontenac's figures were somewhat short, as the increase
they showed was less than seven per cent. over Talon's for 1668, five
years earlier; while a return which he made two years later gave a
population of 7832, indicating a gain of nearly seventeen per cent. in
that comparatively brief period. Even these figures did not satisfy the
king, who insisted that he had sent over more people himself in the
fifteen years or so that the country had been under his direct control.

It is to be remarked that for some years after Frontenac's arrival in
Canada immigration received a serious check. His commission as governor
was nearly even in date with the commencement of Louis XIV's
buccaneering war against Holland, in which he was joined by his English
cousin Charles II. The heroic stand made by the Dutch against the united
power of the French and English monarchies is one of the glories of
their history. It was not a good time for French immigrant ships to be
abroad; moreover, all available Frenchmen were wanted for military
service, over 200,000 having been drafted into the land forces alone,
and the losses by war continually calling for recruits. A natural
increase, however, was going on in the colony all the time; and in 1679
Duchesneau reported the population of Canada at 9400, and that of Acadia
at 515. Three years later, at the end of Frontenac's first
administration, the number had increased to over 10,000.

Trade, however, was not prosperous. Duchesneau, in November 1681, speaks
of it as declining; though he tries to show that the West India trade in
particular had increased in his time. The reason why trade was not
prosperous is not far to seek: it was hampered and strangled by various
forms of political control. The West India Company, called into
existence by Colbert in 1663, had not fared much better than the
Company of New France organized by Richelieu. The reflections which
Clément makes on this subject in his life of Colbert are much to the
point. "If ever a company," he says, "was placed in circumstances where
everything seemed to promise success, assuredly it was the West India
Company as reconstituted by Colbert. Monopolizing the commerce of a
large part of the West Indies and of the settlements on the west coast
of Africa, absolute and sovereign proprietor of all the territory in
which its privilege was exercised, receiving large premiums on all that
it exported or imported, one would naturally expect it to surpass the
expectations of its founders. The contrary, however, was what happened,
and new mortifications were added to all that had gone before. . . . By
the year 1672 the company was bankrupt."[20] The chief cause of the
failure M. Clément believes to have been the prohibition of trade with
foreigners. Certainly what Canada most wanted was an outlet for its
productions; and, could foreign vessels have freely visited the country
to buy fish, lumber, potash, and skins, not to mention their own
supplies, Canada would have had an open and really unlimited market
during nearly the whole season of navigation. This restriction of
foreign trading continued unfortunately after the king had bought out
the rights of the bankrupt company in the year 1674. Having only the
market of France to depend on, the trade of the colony was subject to
all the vicissitudes by which that market was affected. It thus suffered
severely through the war with Holland, which brought an enormous strain
to bear, for a period of six years (1672-8), on the finances of the
kingdom. In the years 1675 and 1676 starvation was stalking through the
land; the courtiers, in driving from Paris to Versailles, would
frequently see the corpses of the wretched victims of famine strewing
the highway; while in Brittany and one or two other provinces the
hangman was doing a merry business in swinging off the unfortunates
whose misery had driven them to theft or other acts of disorder.
"Gallows and instruments of torture were to be seen at all the
crossways," says Henri Martin. Madame de Sévigné gives the most horrible
details in regard to the severities exercised, but with very little show
of sympathy for the unhappy people whom she speaks of as a "_canaille
revoltée_"--rebellious riff-raff. "This province" [Brittany], she says,
"will be a fine example for the rest and will teach the lower orders to
respect the higher powers." To the same fluent and graceful pen we owe
the almost Tacitean utterance: "The punishments are easing off: by dint
of vigorous hanging, there will be no more hanging to do." "They make a
desert," says Tacitus, "and they call it peace."

Such was the industrial stagnation prevalent about this time throughout
the kingdom that very often vessels arriving at certain ports could not
find return freights; there was nothing to export. Colbert's efforts to
build up great industries by means of bounties and restrictive tariffs
had, after a temporary flash of success, resulted in dismal failure; and
when peace was made with Holland in 1678, one of the conditions agreed
upon was that "reciprocal liberty of trade between France and the United
Provinces was not to be forbidden, limited, or restrained by any
privilege, customs duty, or concession, and that neither country should
give any immunities, benefits, premiums, or other advantages not
conceded equally to subjects of the other." Thus was Colbert's leading
principle of commercial policy completely overthrown, and that after a
war which had brought him to the verge of despair to provide the means
for carrying it on.

Those were the days, however, of "imperialism" in a very real sense.
Whatever the state of commerce might be in the Mother Country, Canada
still had to trade with her alone; and, even so, all mercantile
operations were hampered by an arbitrary fixing of prices. This was so
under the sway of the company, and continued to be so to a large extent
after its privileges had been swept away. Very imperial was the rule of
Louis XIV. In his youth he had seen an attempt by the parliament of
Paris to assert its prerogatives. In January 1649, just about the time
when the scaffold was being prepared for Charles I of England, he and
the court hardly knew where to turn for shelter; and he never forgot
one night which they had to spend in fireless rooms without any
attendance. The royal power, astutely guided by Mazarin, asserted itself
eventually over parliaments and princes alike; and Louis XIV, arrived at
manhood, determined that no such trouble should occur again in his time.
Gaillardin, in his history of the reign of Louis XIV, fixes upon the
year 1672--the year in which Frontenac was sent to Canada--as the epoch
of the most complete enslavement of the parliaments. The historic
function which those bodies were supposed to exercise, apart from their
judicial powers, was that of registering the royal edicts; and in theory
such registration was necessary in order to give any edict the full
force of law. Manifestly this privilege might, like the control over
money votes exercised by the English House of Commons, have developed
into an effective check upon monarchical absolutism. The possibility was
not overlooked, and marvellously clear and precise is the declaration by
which Louis XIV, in the year 1673, put all the parliaments of his
kingdom into the precise position he meant them to occupy. "First of
all," the decree reads, "silent obedience: the courts [parliaments] are
strictly forbidden to listen to any opposition to the registration of
the letters of the king; clerks are forbidden to enter such oppositions
on the records; bailiffs are forbidden to give notification of
them. . . . The courts are ordered to register the letters of the king
without any modification, restriction, or condition which might cause
delay or impediment to their execution." When this duty has been
submissively performed, then, if the parliaments have any observations
to make, they may make them; but, when once the king has replied, there
is to be no further discussion of any kind, simply prompt obedience. The
registration of the royal edicts became henceforth a mere matter of
form; and remonstrances of any kind, even such as the king graciously
permitted _after_ registration, ceased to be made. The Chancellor
d'Aguesseau[21] says that none were made during the remaining forty-two
years of the king's lifetime.

It may be objected, perhaps, that this is French and not Canadian
history; if so the answer must be that it is impossible to understand
the history of Canada in this period unless we have a sufficient
comprehension of the political system to which Canada was bound by the
most vital of ties. We get a strong light upon the character of
Frontenac when we rightly grasp that of his master, the Roi-Soleil, as
he allowed himself to be called, the man who, daring the fate of Herod
or Nebuchadnezzar, once said, "It seems to me as if any glory won by
another was robbed from myself." Some years before he had put on record
the sentiment: "It is God's will that whoever is born a subject should
not reason but obey."

To return, however, to Canada, when the king bought out the rights of
the bankrupt company, monopoly was not at an end, for he proceeded to
put up the trade of the country, under limited leases, to the highest
bidders. Those who obtained leases were called the "farmers," and were
entitled to ten per cent. of the value of all furs taken in the country.
The Sovereign Council at Quebec undertook to fix the prices of goods
except as regards dealings with the Indians; and non-resident merchants,
while they might establish warehouses, and there sell to the French
inhabitants, were not allowed to deal directly with the Indians, these
being left to the mercy of local traders who made a practice of charging
them excessive prices for all that they sold. Frontenac and Duchesneau
both report to the home government that the Indians get twice as much
from the English and Dutch in exchange for their furs as they do from
the French; and yet the aim of both is to force all the Indians in their
jurisdiction to sell their furs exclusively in Canada. Canadians who
went to the English settlements, either in New England or in what is now
New York, were amazed at the cheapness of goods. Duchesneau, in one of
his later despatches, speaks of the commercial prosperity of Boston and
the large fortunes accumulated by some of its citizens. Nothing similar
was to be seen in Canada, where there was a settled belief on the part
of the governing powers in whatever was most restrictive and illiberal
in commercial policy.

The first administration of Frontenac will always be associated with the
intrepid enterprises of the great western explorers, Jolliet, La Salle,
Du Lhut, Nicolas Perrot, and others. To Jolliet is reasonably assigned
the first discovery of the Mississippi. Starting from Green Bay, or, as
it was then called, Baie des Puants, on the west shore of Lake Michigan,
in company with the Jesuit father, Marquette, he worked his way to the
Wisconsin River, which he followed to its junction with the Mississippi;
and then descended the latter river till he reached latitude 33°, or
about as far as the northern boundary of the present state of Louisiana.
Fear of falling into the hands of the Spaniards, who, as he was informed
by the Indians, had settlements not far to the south, caused him to
retrace his steps. When he was just completing his return journey, his
canoe upset close to Montreal, and all his papers were lost, including
the notes he had made of his observations, and a map of the region
through which he had passed. He himself narrowly escaped with his
life--the laws of nature were in fact suspended, as he gravely declares,
in his behalf--but a young savage whom he was bringing from the country
of the Illinois was drowned.[22] He reached Quebec in the month of
August 1674, and the thrilling account which he gave of his adventures
produced a strong impression on the mind of the governor. Nevertheless
when, two years later, he asked permission to go with twenty men to make
further explorations in the same direction, Colbert refused his request.
A possible explanation is that his previous journey with Père Marquette
had established relations which Frontenac did not quite approve between
him and the Jesuits in the western country, who had lost no time in
pushing their missions towards the south. However this may have been,
Frontenac had his eye at this very time upon a man who seemed to him
much better suited to be an agent of his policy.

It has already been mentioned that Robert Cavelier de la Salle obtained
from the king in the year 1675 a grant of the fort erected by Frontenac
at Cataraqui. The conditions of the grant were that he was to reimburse
the cost of construction, estimated at ten thousand livres; keep it in
good repair; maintain a sufficient garrison; employ twenty men for two
years in clearing the land conceded to him in the neighbourhood; provide
a priest or friar to perform divine service and administer the
sacraments; form villages of Indians and French; and have all his lands
cleared and improved within twenty years. On these terms he was to have
four square leagues of land, that is to say, eight leagues in length
along the river and lake front, east and west of the fort, by half a
league in depth, together with the islands opposite. But what was of
most value in a pecuniary sense, and what he depended on to compensate
his outlay, was the right of hunting and fishing in the neighbouring
region, and of trading with the Indians. To what extent La Salle
actually developed the property thus conceded to him is a matter of
dispute. The Abbé Faillon, who perhaps has some little animus against
him, says that he did nothing worth mentioning towards establishing such
a colony as the king intended. The king, on the other hand, when
granting La Salle authority to undertake explorations in the direction
of the Mississippi speaks approvingly of the work he had done on his
concession. The information may have been derived from La Salle himself,
who went to France in the autumn of 1677 to obtain sanction for his
proposed expedition; but it is hardly likely that he would lay
altogether false information before the minister for submission to the
king. It seems to be certain that he did at least put the fort in a good
condition of defence. He pulled down the old one, which consisted merely
of a wooden palisade banked up with earth and having a circumference of
one hundred and twenty yards, and replaced it by one having a
circumference of seven hundred and twenty yards, and protected by four
stone bastions.

The probability is that La Salle, from the first, looked upon his
establishment at the fort partly as an advanced base for the further
explorations he had in view, and partly as a means of providing the
funds without which his schemes could not be realized. The proposition
which he laid before the government, was that he should erect at his own
expense two forts, one at the mouth of the Niagara River on the east
side, the other at the southern extremity of Lake Michigan; and that he
should be commissioned to proceed to the discovery of the mouth of the
Mississippi, and be granted the exclusive right of trading with the
Indians inhabiting the countries to be visited. The trade he was most
anxious to control was that in buffalo hides, a sample of which he had
brought with him to France. Having obtained all necessary powers, he
sailed for Canada in the summer of 1678, bringing with him as much money
as he could persuade his family and friends to advance, together with a
large quantity of goods. The pecuniary obligations thus assumed were to
be paid off, as he hoped, partly by the profits of his trade at
Cataraqui, and partly by those of his operations in the more distant
West. The story of his struggles and tribulations is too long to give in
any detail here, but the main points may be hurriedly sketched.

The first care of the explorer on arriving at Quebec in the autumn was
to load several canoes with goods to the value of several thousands of
francs, and despatch them with a party of men to the Illinois country.
In the spring carpenters were sent forward to Niagara to commence the
construction of a fort. He himself followed in a large canoe laden with
provisions and goods. His first misadventure was the loss of this canoe
and its freight, not far from the mouth of the Niagara River. The
accident was due to the inattention of his men while he was on shore. A
little above the Falls of Niagara he began the construction of a
forty-five ton vessel, destined for the trade between that point and an
establishment he proposed to make at the southern end of Lake Michigan.
The Iroquois of the neighbourhood did not like these proceedings, but
did not make any active opposition. The vessel was completed and La
Salle and his men sailed away in her through Lake Erie, the St. Clair
River, and Lake Huron into Lake Michigan. Severe storms were encountered
on the way. Near Green Bay the men whom he had sent forward with goods
the previous fall met him with a number of canoes, all laden with skins,
the result of their trading with the Illinois. This was more expedition
than he had counted on, for he had told them to await his arrival. He
caused the goods, however, to be transferred to his vessel, the
_Griffon_, as she was called, and sent her back to Niagara with a
sufficient crew. She was never heard of more; but the Indians reported
that, shortly after she left shelter, a terrible storm had arisen on
Lake Michigan. They watched her for some time as she was tossed about by
the fury of the waves, and then they lost sight of her. Ignorant of this
disaster, La Salle was making his way south. He established two forts on
the Illinois River. The first, which he called St. Louis, was near the
site of the present town of La Salle. The second, a little further
south, near to Peoria, he named Crèvecoeur. The name is significant of
"heartbreak," and his fortunes were then at their lowest ebb, for
provisions were exhausted and a number of men had deserted; still it is
not recorded that the name was given on that account. Leaving Henry
Tonty, a man of great energy and resource, whom he had brought out from
France, in charge of Fort Crèvecoeur he made his way back alone to Fort
Frontenac and thence to Montreal.

It was at Fort Frontenac that La Salle first learnt the fate of his
richly-laden _Griffon_; while at Montreal the news reached him of the
loss of a vessel coming from France with a large quantity of goods for
his trade. Such an accumulation of misfortunes was enough to break the
spirit of an ordinary man; but La Salle was a man whom adversity could
not conquer. Straining his credit to the utmost to procure supplies and
reinforcements, he returns to the Illinois country to find Fort
Crèvecoeur in ruins. It had been attacked by the Iroquois and its
defenders scattered. Tonty, wounded in the skirmish, had gone to
Michilimackinac. Getting no word of him, La Salle assumes that he is
dead. Once more the long journey eastward must be faced. He reaches
Montreal, and succeeds in organizing yet another expedition. Again he
sets out for the West. It is late in the fall of 1680 when he reaches
Michilimackinac, where he is overjoyed to find the lost Tonty. The two
proceed together to the Illinois country. The year 1681 is spent in
establishing or re-establishing posts and dealing or negotiating with
the natives. On the 6th February 1682 La Salle strikes the Mississippi.
Two months and three days later, or on the 9th of April, he is gazing
forth over the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

The tale is quickly told; but not so easy is it adequately to appraise
the courage, determination and resource necessary for the accomplishment
of such an enterprise. Knowing what we do of the man, the portrait of
him in Margry's third volume seems to possess a certain convincing
character, though Margry himself does not vouch for its authenticity. We
see a face sensitive, perhaps sensuous, subtle, passionate, daring,
tenacious. Such a man could not bind himself to the task of patient
colonization at Fort Frontenac, or even find satisfaction in the more
varied and exciting life of a frontiersman and trader. An overwhelming
desire possessed him

  "To sail beyond the sunset and the baths
  Of all the western stars,"

and to follow the swelling flood of the mightiest of rivers to its
bourne in some mighty sea. Such a man will have the defects of his
qualities, and La Salle was neither devoid of jealousy nor incapable of
injustice; and he was a somewhat hard taskmaster. Possessed himself of
iron nerve and unbending resolution, and sustained by visions of high
accomplishment, he expected more from average men than they were
altogether capable of rendering. More than once some of his followers
deserted him. One attempt was made at Fort Frontenac to poison him; and
finally he met his death at the hand of an assassin, a member of his own
party, in that far southern region which he had added to the domain of

Frontenac's personal relations with La Salle are not very clearly
defined. He was certainly favourable to him at first. The two men were
much alike in their attitude towards the ecclesiastical power; and both
showed a preference for the Récollet order, two members of which La
Salle maintained at the fort. Frontenac also approved of La Salle's
plans of discovery in the west and south, as tending to the extension of
the French dominions and the glory of the French name, and possibly also
as furnishing a counterpoise to the growing influence of the Jesuits
among the western Indians. There is nothing, however, to show that he
followed the later movements of the great explorer with any particular

Du Lhut was a man of a different type. He did not possess the vaulting
ambition, nor perhaps the talent for organization, of La Salle; but he
discovered a vast stretch of new territory in what is now the western
part of New Ontario, and along the course of the Assiniboine; and, so
far as skill in the management of the native races was concerned he was
probably superior to the more romantic explorer. No man was more
successful in upholding French prestige amongst the Indian tribes. It
was just before La Salle returned from France in the autumn of 1678 that
Du Lhut, in somewhat clandestine fashion, slipped off to the West. Those
were the days in which the _coureur de bois_ difficulty was at its
height; and, upon arriving at Sault Ste. Marie, he wrote to Frontenac in
a rather deprecatory tone as if sensible of the doubtful legality of his
position, but pointed out the advantages that would accrue from entering
into relations with the North Western Indians. About a year later he
presided over a great meeting of the tribes on the site of the important
city which now bears his name (according to one spelling of it);
established peace between communities that had long been at war; and
obtained the promise of the important tribe of the Nadessioux to direct
their trade in future to Montreal. This was eminently useful work, and
gained for its author the full sympathy of Frontenac. Nevertheless, on
his return to Quebec in the following year (1680), he was imprisoned for
violation of the king's regulations, in all probability at the instance
of the vigilant M. Jacques Duchesneau, who would be prompt to suspect
complicity in illegal trading between him and the governor. He was
released after a short detention, and went to France in the fall of
1681, in the hope of obtaining the king's sanction for further
explorations. In this he was unsuccessful; but, returning to Canada, he
obtained employment in the West as post commander and agent to the
tribes west and north of Lake Superior. Through him the French influence
was extended, not only far into what is now our own North-West, but even
to the shores of Hudson's Bay, much of the trade which had before been
done with the English of that region being diverted, through his
persuasions, to Montreal.

While the secular rulers of the country were, with somewhat divided
aims, striving to promote the material interests and provide for the
security of the colony, the church, with considerably more unity of
purpose, was labouring to achieve spiritual results. The promotion of M.
de Laval to the see of Quebec put an end to much disputing and mutual
distrust amongst different orders of the clergy. It is said to have had
a markedly beneficial effect on Laval himself, who seemed at once to
dismiss the exaggerated suspicions he had entertained regarding all who
were not thoroughly subdued to his influence, and the Sulpician order in
particular. Missionary work was actively carried on, and though the
question of tithes gave more or less trouble, and the people were not as
zealous as might have been wished in providing for the maintenance of
their local clergy, the influence of the church and of religion was
strongly felt throughout the length and breadth of the land. The king
had much at heart the establishment of permanent curacies, and in 1679
issued an edict on the subject, which, however, had little effect. His
Majesty's idea was that the _curé_ should receive tithes, and that if
these did not suffice to give him a decent living, further rates should
be levied on the seigneurs and the people. As even the tithes were paid
very grudgingly, it is easy to believe that a scheme of further taxation
for church purposes stood little chance of acceptance. We have already
seen that Laval was by no means in love with the policy of fixed
_cures_, and he was probably not sorry to be able to represent to the
court that it really could not be carried into effect. Bishop and people
together were too much even for the king.

The Récollets, always on the alert to make themselves useful, rose to
the occasion by offering to serve the parishes and accept simply what
the people might be disposed to give, but the bishop thought their zeal
savoured of officiousness, and declined the offer with scanty thanks.
These worthy ecclesiastics were very popular in the country, and it is
probable they could have successfully carried out their undertaking had
they been allowed to try. The bishop had other views for the nurture of
his Canadian flock. The Récollet fathers did not at this time stand very
high in his esteem. The Jesuits accused them of tolerating grave abuses
in the household of the governor, who had a Récollet, Father
Maupassant, for confessor; but, as M. Lorin pertinently observes, the
accusation was singularly ill-timed, considering the flagrant disorders
which marked the private life of Frontenac's master, Louis XIV, whose
spiritual interests were in charge of the Jesuit, Père Lachaise. The
monarch--"ce religieux prince," as the Abbé Faillon calls him--had no
hesitation in demanding of the parliament of Paris legitimation of
successive batches of his bastard offspring, and registration of the
titles of nobility he was pleased to confer upon them. Whatever the
responsibilities of Father Maupassant may have been, he must have had a
sinecure in comparison with the king's confessor. It may be added that
Frontenac vehemently denied that there were any disorders or scandals in
his household.

Missions to the different Indian tribes were in active operation during
the whole of the period now under review. Those of the Jesuits were by
far the most widespread. Their chief establishment outside of Quebec was
at Sault Ste. Marie; in addition they had permanent missions at
Mackinac, Green Bay, and various points in the Iroquois country; while
Father Albanel penetrated as far as Hudson's Bay, and others laboured
amongst the Indians of the Saguenay region. The Sulpicians were less
adventurous; they did most of their evangelizing work on or near to the
Island of Montreal. They had an establishment, however, on the Bay of
Quinté, and one or more on the Ottawa River. The Récollets had Fort
Frontenac, Percé on the Baie des Chaleurs, and certain posts on the line
of La Salle's explorations.

As regards the conversion of the savage tribes, it can hardly be claimed
that any of these missions were very successful. All authorities agree
that it was extremely difficult to impress the Indian mind with the
truths of Christianity, or with the idea of any absolute and exclusive
theology. The Indian was quite ready to accept the missionary's version
of the origin of the world, provided the missionary would reciprocate
and accept his decidedly different version. Each, he held, was good in
its place; a little variety in these matters did no harm. He had little
or no sense of sin, for he did not recognize that the things he did were
wrong, and when threatened with the terrors of a future world, he simply
said that he did not believe the "master of life" could hate anybody. At
the same time he was quite prepared to join in religious services if
requested, and seemed even to enjoy the ceremonial. He believed in
unlimited charity to relatives and friends, but could not be got to
admit the duty of forgiving enemies. An Indian who had been informed
that in France many died of want, while others of the same nation had
food and substance of all kinds in the greatest profusion, was
scandalized beyond measure. He was affected much as we should be by some
dark tale of cruelty and superstition from a far-off heathen land. And
to think that people of whom such things could be told were sending
missionaries to _him_, to enjoin upon him, among other things, the duty
of charity![23]

But if the missionaries made comparatively little headway in the matter
of actual conversions, it is impossible to doubt that they exerted a
general influence for good upon the tribes to whom they ministered. This
may fairly be inferred from the moral authority they exercised and the
security and respect they enjoyed. They were themselves men of pure
lives and disinterested motives; and so far they personally recommended
the doctrines they preached. To some extent also they taught the savages
various useful arts of life. Frontenac specially commends the Montreal
Seminary for their efforts to civilize the Indians of their missions
who, under their instruction, had taken to raising domestic animals,
swine, poultry, etc., and to cultivating wheat as well as native grains.
The Abbé Verreau, on the other hand, is inclined to hold that the
attempts made, at the urgent demand of the French government, to
civilize as well as christianize the Indians are accountable, in part at
least, for the general failure of the missions. "We all know now," he
says, "what has been the result of so much effort and so much outlay of
money. Two or three poor villages inhabited by unhappy creatures who
have added our vices to their own deficiencies, without having adopted
any of our better qualities. That is all that remains of the Abenaquis,
the Hurons, and the Iroquois."[24] The reflection is a sad one, and the
abbé feels it, for he speaks further of the painful mystery of the
disappearance of these children of the forest. Truly does the poet say
that "God fulfils Himself in many ways," yet none the less the surviving
white man may well feel some misgiving when he thinks of all his past
dealings with his red brother.

[Footnote 19: He had been charged some years before by a commissioner
sent out by the Company of the Hundred Associates with embezzlement, and
had taken part in a violent attack on the commissioner and in the
seizure of his papers.]

[Footnote 20: _Vie de Colbert_, vol. i. p. 502.]

[Footnote 21: Quoted by Gaillardin, _Histoire du Règne de Louis XIV_,
vol. iv. p. 311.]

[Footnote 22: See extract from a letter written by him in Faillon, vol.
iii. p. 315. The Récollet, Père Leclercq, is uncharitable enough to hint
that the canoe accident may have been made to cover a lack of the
documents which the explorer professed to have had with him.]

[Footnote 23: See the _Recit d'un ami de l'Abbé Galinée_, in Margry,
vol. i.]

[Footnote 24: Mère de l'Incarnation remarked even in her day the
decrease of the native population. "When we arrived in this country,"
she says, "the Indians were so numerous that it seemed as if they were
going to grow into a vast population; but after they were baptized God
called them to Himself either by disease or by the hands of the
Iroquois. It was perhaps His wise design to permit their death lest
their hearts should turn to wickedness."--_Lettres Spirituelles_,
edition of 1681, p. 230.]



  1682 TO 1685

The successors of Frontenac and Duchesneau received their appointments
in the month of May 1682, and arrived at Quebec towards the end of the
following September. They were, respectively, a military officer named
Lefebvre de la Barre who had served with some distinction in the West
Indies; and a man of whose previous career little or nothing is known,
one M. Jacques de Meulles. If the fault of Frontenac had been the
assumption of too much state and dignity, and the exercise of too much
self-will, the fault of La Barre was that he possessed too little
dignity and extremely little firmness of character. The recall of
Frontenac had practically been one more triumph for the ecclesiastical
authorities, who caused it to be understood that, if Duchesneau had also
been recalled, it was simply to save Frontenac from too open
humiliation. La Barre prudently determined, therefore, from the first
not to come into collision with the clergy, whatever else he might do.
On the other hand the Abbé Dudouyt writing from Paris, enjoins prudence
on the bishop, lest "it should seem as if he could not keep on good
terms with anybody." With such dispositions on both sides, it is not
surprising that, during the whole of La Barre's administration his
relations with the church were extremely harmonious. The Abbé Gosselin
says that he and Meulles "revived the happy times of the highly
Christian administration of M. de Tracy." The king, however, did not
view the situation with equal approval; the despatches of the period
show that he thought that deference to the views of the clergy was being
carried too far.

We have seen that, towards the close of Frontenac's administration, the
Indian situation was again becoming critical. The arrangement patched up
by him in the month of August was far from being of a very solid
character; and when La Barre assumed the reins of government he found a
widespread feeling of insecurity as to the continuance of peace. He
thought it prudent, therefore, to summon, as Frontenac had done
previously, a conference of persons specially competent to advise on the
Indian question. The meeting took place on the 10th of October at
Quebec, before Frontenac had left the country. He might, therefore, have
attended it, had he chosen; and we cannot help feeling surprised that he
did not. The general opinion expressed by those who took part in the
deliberations was that the Iroquois were planning hostilities, and that
the king should be asked to send out more troops. La Barre wrote home to
this effect; but the same vessel that bore his despatch carried the
returning ex-governor, who, on arriving in France, seems to have made it
his business to throw cold water on the appeal for help. It was
doubtless to Frontenac's interest to represent that he had left the
country in a peaceful and secure condition; but his conduct would appear
in a better light had he gone before the conference at Quebec, and there
explained, in the presence of those possessing local information, why he
considered that there was no danger. La Barre could then in writing to
the government have given his reasons and those of his advisers for
dissenting from the ex-governor's views, and the latter could honourably
have made his own representations to the court. As it was, the man who
had ceased to be responsible was allowed to thwart the policy of the
actual administrator on whom the whole responsibility for the safety of
the country rested. La Barre is not a man who attracts our admiration or
sympathy, but, in this matter at least, it is difficult to feel that he
received fair treatment.

Remembering all the trouble there had been between the former governor
and the intendant, La Barre hastens to inform the court that he and
Meulles are on the very best of terms. As they had scarcely been two
months in the country when this despatch was written, the announcement
seems a little hasty. Meulles on his part does not make any such
statement, and his letters of the following and subsequent years show
that he had not formed a very high opinion of his superior officer. He
complains that the meetings of the Sovereign Council are held in the
governor's own antechamber, amid the noise of servants going and coming
and the clatter of the guards in an adjoining room. The minister takes
no notice of this; and a year later Meulles returns to the charge,
stating that the governor held the meetings "in his own chimney corner
where his wife, his children and his servants were always in the way."
The intendant was a man of business, and liked to see things done in a
businesslike way. If he did not admire the disorderly methods of the
governor, neither did he approve of the dilatory methods of the council.
When matters were brought before him for adjudication he dealt with them
promptly; and, in his desire to save delays, he disposed of some cases
which the council considered as falling within its sole jurisdiction.
Frontenac, it will be remembered, had packed off young d'Auteuil, who
had been nominated by Duchesneau as attorney-general, to France to
justify, if he could, the conduct he had been pursuing. The youth had
come back a full-fledged attorney-general, and at once fell foul of the
intendant, accusing him of exceeding his powers. Meulles was a prudent
man and contrived to make his peace with the council. M. Lorin says
there was probably as much real dissension as in Frontenac's time, but
that it was hushed up. There is no evidence of this. Some dissension
there may have been; but La Barre was not as fiery as Frontenac, nor was
Meulles as intriguing as Duchesneau. The same elements of discord were,
therefore, not present.

We have seen that the court did not seem to take any serious notice of
the charges of trading reciprocally brought by Frontenac and Duchesneau
against one another; and in this matter La Barre appears to have assumed
from the first that for him there was an "open door." At a very early
period of his residence in the country, he formed intimate relations
with certain prominent traders; it soon became evident, indeed, that he
had placed himself and his policy largely in their hands. They were in
the main the same men with whom Frontenac had accused Duchesneau of
having underhand dealings, La Chesnaye, Lebert and one or two others.
According to Meulles, the governor not only carried on trade on his own
account contrary to the king's regulations, but trade in its most
illegal form, that is to say with the English. His Majesty's
representative found out without much trouble what the Indians were well
aware of, that the English paid a much better price for furs than could
be got in Canada from the king's farmers who controlled the fur trade of
the country. He talks freely indeed of the English in a despatch dated
in May 1683, and says that they both sell goods cheap to the Indians and
give them full price for their furs. It is a saying among the English,
he adds, that the French do not _trade_ with the Indians but _rob_ them.
It is no wonder he was anxious to send his own wares to so good a
market. If the intendant may be trusted, indeed the governor was
continually receiving at the château at Quebec Englishmen and Dutchmen
who were simply his agents at New York. La Hontan avers that he saw two
canoe loads of his stuff at Chambly on their way to that emporium.

A man so devoted to money-making as La Barre could hardly be expected to
take a very deep interest in the wider schemes of exploration and
territorial expansion which appealed to the imagination of a La Salle.
Possibly he thought he could curry favour with the court by disparaging
the achievements of the latter. In a despatch of the 30th May 1683 we
find him saying that he did not think much of the discovery of the mouth
of the Mississippi, and that in any case there was a great deal of
falsehood mixed up with the tales that were told of it. If the remark
was meant to please, it seems to have been successful, for the king in
his reply, under date 5th August following, says: "I am persuaded with
you that _Sieur de la Salle's discovery is very useless, and such
enterprises must be prevented hereafter_, as they tend only to debauch
the inhabitants by the hope of gain and to diminish the revenue from the
beaver." Could the power of official narrowness and banality go further?
A man, taking his life in his hand, penetrates forest and jungle,
commits himself to unknown waters, braves the encounter of hostile
peoples, takes the risk of treachery among his own followers, faces
every form of privation and all extremities of fatigue, travels a
thousand leagues, and adds a continent to the possessions of his
sovereign, only to have the verdict pronounced by that sovereign that
his discoveries are very useless, and that similar expeditions must be
prevented for the future lest the beaver trade of Ca Canada suffer!

La Salle's great discovery was made in the month of April 1682.
Returning northwards in the autumn, with the intention of proceeding to
France, and making a full report of his proceedings to the king, he
heard, on reaching Michilimackinac, that the Iroquois were preparing a
hostile movement against the Illinois. He determined at once to go back
with a picked body of men to protect his threatened allies. The news of
his discovery was therefore carried to France by the Récollet, Father
Zénobe, who reached Quebec just as the ships were leaving, and may
possibly have sailed in the same vessel as Frontenac. He does not seem
to have given any information, in passing, to La Barre. The latter was
expecting La Salle's return, and chose to put an unfavourable
construction on his failure to appear. In writing to the minister he
says that Fort Frontenac has been abandoned. The truth was that La Salle
had left it in charge of one La Forest, and that subsequently a cousin
of the explorer's, named Plet, had come from France to look after the
trade of the fort in the interest of the parties in France who had
advanced money for its construction and equipment. It is doubtful
whether the place was ever left even temporarily unoccupied; but
certainly La Salle had no intention of abandoning it. On the contrary,
not knowing of Frontenac's recall, he had written to him in October 1682
asking him to maintain La Forest in command and to let him have a
sufficient number of men for purposes of defence. What is singular is
that he does not appear to have given Frontenac any more information
regarding his discovery than Father Zénobe gave to La Barre. Possibly he
had some hope, as the latter hints, of organizing a separate government
in the new territory he had discovered. In no case, however, can La
Barre's proceedings towards him be justified. On the pretext that Fort
Frontenac had been abandoned, he took possession of it, and turned it,
if we are to credit Meulles, into a trading-post for himself and his
friends. He had a barque built there, professedly for the king's service
on the lake, but used it mainly, the intendant says, for his own trade.

La Salle spent the winter in the Illinois country. In the spring of 1683
he wrote to La Barre from his fort of St. Louis, announcing his
discovery, and expressing the hope that the kindly treatment which he
had always received from the previous governor would continue to be
extended to him. His financial affairs had for some time been in a very
unsatisfactory state, but he expected, he said, to be able in the course
of the then current year to place them on a sound footing, and prove
that he had not undertaken more than it was in his power to accomplish.
He had meantime sent men to Montreal for supplies, but these did not
return, nor did he get any reply from La Barre either to this letter or
to a later one written in June. Instead of replying, La Barre sent an
officer named Baugy to take possession of Fort St. Louis. La Salle, who
had started for Quebec, met Baugy on the way, and sent back word to his
men at the fort not to resist the seizure. Du Lhut, under instructions
from the governor, followed shortly after, confiscated the merchandise
stored in the fort, and brought it to Montreal. La Salle on arriving at
Quebec saw La Barre, and obtained from him restitution of Fort
Frontenac, but could not get any compensation for the loss he had
sustained through the interruption of his trading operations at that
point. He consequently proceeded to France in the fall of the year, and
in the course of the winter presented a full statement of the case to
the minister, M. de Seignelay. Only a few months before, the king had
expressed the opinion above quoted as to the uselessness, or worse than
uselessness, of such explorations as La Salle had been engaged in; but
when the explorer himself appeared upon the scene, a change came over
the views of the court. The king writes to the intendant that, not only
is the fort which the governor had wrongfully seized to be handed over
to La Salle, but that full reparation is to be made for all the loss
which he has sustained, and that the intendant is to see that this is
done. Writing to La Barre himself, the king informs him that he takes
La Salle under his particular protection, and cautions the governor not
to do anything against his interest. La Salle's agent, La Forest, is to
be placed in charge of Fort St Louis.

Settling down to business, as he did, almost immediately on his arrival
in the country, La Barre was naturally anxious that the persons to whom
he issued hunting and trading permits under the regulations established
in Frontenac's time should, as far as possible, be screened from
competition, and he therefore most ill-advisedly gave the Iroquois
tribes to understand that they might treat as they pleased any persons
found trading who were unprovided with permits signed by him. The
Iroquois, greatly pleased to have a pretext for such operations,
proceeded to plunder some canoes belonging to the governor's own
friends, who were still in the woods on the authority of permits issued
by Frontenac. This alarmed the governor not a little, and caused him, in
the spring of 1683, to send a special vessel to France with an earnest
request for military reinforcements. Worse news came to hand very
shortly after. La Salle's fort of St. Louis having been seized, the
governor wished to stock it with goods, and had despatched thither seven
canoe loads to the value of fifteen or sixteen thousand francs. As these
canoes were passing through the Illinois country, where the Iroquois
were on the war-path, the latter, who were not in a humour for fine
discrimination, seized them, explaining afterwards that they supposed
them to belong to La Salle, whose property they claimed to have the
governor's permission to plunder. La Barre writes to the king, under
date 5th June, in still stronger terms, and says that, with or without
reinforcements, he will move against the Senecas about the middle of
August. This was mere bluster, as no preparations had at that time been
made for a campaign. The king sent out one hundred and fifty men in
August; but these did not arrive till the 10th October. It was then
decided that war should be waged the following year. The intendant
appears to have agreed entirely with the governor that war was
inevitable; his chief fear seems to have been that the governor, in
whose stability of character he had very little confidence, would change
his mind on the subject, and fall back on some weak and futile scheme of

The winter of 1683-4 was not marked by any notable event. In the
following spring, pursuant to the plan which he had communicated to the
French government, the governor sent instructions to the post commanders
in the West, La Durantaye, Du Lhut, and Nicolas Perrot, to rendezvous at
Niagara with as many men of the different Ottawa tribes as they could
persuade to follow them. At that point they would find awaiting them
provisions, arms, and ammunition, with means of transportation to the
scene of action. Home levies of militia and of mission Indians were at
the same time being raised and equipped. At this stage of the
proceedings it occurred to La Barre that it would be a good thing to
inform the governor of New York, Colonel Dongan, of his intention to
make war upon the Senecas. The communication happened to be particularly
ill-timed. The English of Maryland and Virginia had been having their
own troubles with the Iroquois, who had made many destructive raids into
their territory; and in the early summer of 1684 Lord Howard of
Effingham, governor of Virginia, had gone to New York to consult with
the governor there as to the measures to be adopted, and thence had gone
on to Albany, Colonel Dongan accompanying him, to hold a conference with
the offending tribes--in this case the Oneidas, Onondagas, and Cayugas.
Delegates from the Mohawks, who had not broken the peace, were also
present; and one of them, Cadianne by name, made ample acknowledgment of
the wrongs done by his brethren of the other tribes, to whom he took the
opportunity of addressing some very severe and wholesome remarks.
Shortly afterwards delegates from the Senecas also arrived, when a
general treaty of peace and good-will was made between the Five Nations
on the one hand, and the English and their Indians on the other. It was
in the midst of these proceedings that Dongan received La Barre's
letter. He replied by saying that the King of England exercised
sovereignty over the whole Iroquois confederacy, and that if the Senecas
had committed the depredations complained of he would see that they
made reparation; he hoped that La Barre, in the interest of peace, would
refrain from invading British territory. He then took occasion of the
conference to inform the tribes of the French designs, his object being
to draw from them an acknowledgment of the sovereignty of the English
king in return for a promise of protection against the French. The
tribes, who had some time before requested that the arms of the Duke of
York (now James II) should be raised over their fortresses, consented to
this, but with the not altogether consistent proviso that they should
still be considered a free people. The subject was further debated at
the chief town of the Onondagas, the central nation of the confederacy,
a few weeks later. Dongan was represented by Arnold Viele, a Dutchman.
It happened that Charles Le Moyne of Montreal was also there, having
been sent by La Barre to invite the Onondagas to a conference, as well
as the Jesuit, Father Lamberville. Very little progress was made with
the diplomatic question; but the Seneca deputies expressed very savage
sentiments in regard to the French, promising themselves a feast of
French flesh as the result of the coming war.

This was in the month of August, and La Barre, at the head of an
expedition consisting of seven hundred Canadian militia, one hundred and
thirty regular troops, and two hundred Indians, had left Montreal on the
27th July, expecting to be joined by about one thousand Indian
auxiliaries from the north and west. It took about two weeks to reach
Fort Frontenac, where a delay of two or three weeks occurred, during
which time the army began to sicken. The heat was intense, and the camp
had been established on low malarial ground. La Barre himself became
dangerously ill. Finally a move was made to the southern side of Lake
Ontario, the army encamping at the mouth of what is now known as the
Salmon River, a little east of Oswego. The place at that time was known
by the ill-omened name of La Famine. In point of unwholesomeness the
place was quite as bad as Fort Frontenac; and a large part of the army
fell into a most deplorable condition of debility. Moreover, provisions
ran short, and those whom malaria and other diseases had spared were
face to face with hunger. Discontent was rife in the camp. All chance of
taking the offensive against the Senecas was at an end. La Barre's one
hope was that Charles Le Moyne's mission to the Onondagas had been
successful, and that, through the good offices of that tribe, he might
be able to make peace with some little show of honour. Most opportunely
Le Moyne arrived on the 3rd September, bringing with him a celebrated
Onondaga orator and politician named Ourouehati, otherwise known as
Grande Gueule, or, as Colden, historian of the Five Indian Nations, has
it, Garangula, together with twelve other deputies, eight of his own
people, two Oneidas, and two Cayugas. To conceal as far as possible his
real situation, La Barre had sent away his sick, and pretended to have
come with a mere escort, the body of his army being at Fort Frontenac.
Nevertheless, in his speech, while professing a desire for peace, he
threatened war unless complete satisfaction were rendered by the Senecas
and others for the mischief they had done, and pledges given for their
future good conduct. Perfectly informed as to the real weakness of the
French governor's position, Grande Gueule (Big Mouth) did not mince
matters in replying to him. He thanked Onontio for bringing back the
calumet of peace, and congratulated him that he had not dug up the
hatchet that had so often been red with the blood of his countrymen.
Onontio, he said, pretended to have come to smoke the calumet of peace,
but the pretence was false: he had come to make war, and would have done
so but for the sickness of his men. If the Iroquois had pillaged
Frenchmen, it was because the latter were carrying arms to the Illinois.
(This of course was not true as regards the seven canoes which the
governor and his friends had sent forward; but Big Mouth was a
diplomatist.) As regards conducting certain English traders to the
lakes, which was one of the points complained of by La Barre, they were
acting perfectly within their rights. They were free to go where they
pleased, and to take with them whom they pleased. They were also quite
justified in making war on the Illinois, who had hunted on their lands,
and would give no pledge to refrain from attacking them in future. In
this respect they had done less than the English and French, who had
dispossessed many tribes and made settlements in their country.

This was a forenoon's work. In the afternoon another session was held,
and the day concluded with the settlement of the terms of peace. La
Barre was not to attack the Senecas, and Big Mouth undertook that
reparation should be made for the acts of plunder committed. He refused
entirely to pledge his people to desist from war on the Illinois; they
would fight them to the death; and La Barre, notwithstanding what he had
said about the king's determination to protect his western children, was
obliged to give way. Next morning he broke up camp and set out on the
return journey. Sickness continued to plague his force, and eighty men
died on the way to Montreal.[25]

But this was not all. The commanders in the West had acted on their
orders to raise as many men as they could amongst the Indian allies in
the region of the Great Lakes, and to lead them to Niagara. Du Lhut and
La Durantaye had great difficulty in executing their task. Only the
Hurons seemed in the least disposed to move. Nicolas Perrot, however,
possessed more influence; and, mainly through his persuasions, a force
was gathered of about five hundred men, drawn from the Hurons, Ottawas,
and other neighbouring tribes. Accompanying these were about one hundred
Frenchmen of the _coureur de bois_ class, who in manners and customs
were at times hardly distinguishable from their native companions.
Having got the force together, the next thing to do was to start them
and keep them on the march. The commanders had a hard time of it:
certain accidents happened on the way which to the Indians were of evil
omen; and it was difficult to prevent whole bands from deserting.
Finally, however, the expedition reached Niagara just about the time
that La Barre was making terms with Big Mouth. They found there neither
provisions, nor arms, nor instructions. In a short time a sail appeared.
It was a boat sent by La Barre to tell them that he had made peace with
the Iroquois, and that they might go home. The indignation and disgust
of the warriors, the disappointment and mortification of the French
leaders, may be imagined. The Indian allies said they had been betrayed,
and expressed their opinion of the French in no measured terms. Some of
the more hot-headed ones urged that, as they had started on the
war-path, they should go on and attack the Senecas by themselves. Wiser
counsels prevailed. The chief men had not been eager for the war from
the first; and, calming the spirits of their followers, they induced
them to turn their faces homewards. Some of them had come a thousand
miles, and now that long journey had to be retraced with nothing
accomplished. It was a desperate blow to French influence in all the
region of the Great Lakes.

The only man who gave La Barre any comfort in these depressing
circumstances was Père Lamberville, missionary among the Onondagas. This
amiable and kindly priest, who had written to Frontenac some valued
words of commendation when he was leaving the country, wrote to La Barre
to tell him that he had acted most wisely in making peace. So doubtless
he had, in comparison with making war just at that time; but none the
less the peace was one which made the colonists hang their heads with
shame. Meulles in his despatch to the minister did not help to put the
matter in a more favourable light. Speaking of the governor he said: "He
signed the peace just as he decided on the war, without consulting any
one but a few merchants; and he has uselessly expended forty-five
thousand francs, of which he alone will owe an account to the king." So
much severity on the intendant's part was hardly necessary; the facts
spoke for themselves; and the king, when they were brought to his
knowledge, wrote to the discomfited governor, under date the 10th March
1685, the following gently worded letter:--

    "Monsieur de la Barre,--Having been informed that your years
    make it impossible for you to support the fatigues inseparable
    from your office of governor and lieutenant-general in Canada, I
    send you this letter to acquaint you that I have selected M. de
    Denonville to serve in your place; and my intention is that, on
    his arrival, after resigning to him the command, with all
    instructions concerning it, you embark for your return to

Thus ended an administration that cannot be regarded as a happy or a
creditable one. In no respect was M. de la Barre on a level with the
office he held. He had no clear policy of his own, and was, therefore,
more or less, at the mercy of incompetent or interested advisers. As is
not uncommonly the case with such men, he was sometimes foolishly
impulsive. In a letter, dated 10th April 1684, the king expresses the
greatest surprise that the governor should have actually proposed to
hang, of his own authority, a colonist who was preparing to remove to
the English settlements. He reminds him that, except in military
matters, he possesses no judicial power whatever, and adds the sage
observation that the exercise of such constraint would certainly
increase the desire of the French inhabitants to go where they would
enjoy more liberty. In the matter of ecclesiastical policy, La Barre
failed to carry out the views of the king. His instructions were to
afford all the help in his power to the clergy in their efforts for the
good of the country, but to see that they did not extend their authority
beyond its proper bounds. In his first despatch he indulges in a little
criticism of the bishop for his delay in establishing permanent _cures_,
as desired by the king; but this is his sole exhibition of anything like
independence of the ecclesiastical power. There was a question pending
at the time as to the emoluments to be secured to the country _curés_;
and La Barre and Meulles are both blamed by the court for having allowed
the bishop to appropriate a larger amount out of the royal grant for
church purposes than the king had authorized or intended.

In the matter just referred to, however, the bishop may well have been
substantially in the right. He knew the country, its needs, and its
possibilities better than the king; and he had the interests both of his
clergy and of his people sincerely at heart. It seems a little
surprising that, just at this time, when his relations with the secular
power were so satisfactory, he should have formed the intention of
resigning the office which he had been so eager to obtain only a few
years before, and of confining himself to the oversight of the Seminary.
The explanation is to be found partly in the state of his health, and
partly in the expectation he entertained of being able to find a man to
replace him as bishop who would adopt and carry out all his views with
the utmost fidelity and exactness, and thus give him even greater
influence than he had had in the past. If a bishop alone could make
headway against all the opposition of the civil power, what might not be
expected of a bishop of sound opinions supported by such an ex-bishop as
Laval himself? With these views he sailed for France in the fall of
1684 to tender his resignation to the king; and, with these views also,
he not long afterwards recommended as his successor a pious ecclesiastic
of noble family, M. Jean Baptiste de la Croix Chevrières de Saint
Vallier, who, though only thirty-two years of age, had already refused
two bishoprics. Once before Laval had chosen a man for his piety, M. de
Mézy, and it had not turned out well. The Reverend M. Gosselin, in his
life of Saint Vallier, says that the day of his nomination was a regular
"day of dupes." The appointment did not take place till the year 1688;
but meantime M. de Saint Vallier consented to go out to Canada in the
capacity of vicar-general, and make acquaintance with the diocese. Thus
it happened that he and the Marquis de Denonville, La Barre's successor,
came out together in the same ship, arriving at Quebec on the 1st August
1685. The vessel which brought the new governor was accompanied by two
others carrying troops to the number of three hundred. Fever broke out
on the way, as was so often the case in those days, and there were many
deaths. Amongst those who succumbed were two priests, who, in their
attendance on the sick, had caught the malady. Their fate inspired Saint
Vallier with intense regret that he had not taken passage on the same
vessel, so that he might have shared so glorious a death. The sentiment
seems strange on the part of a man at his time of life, just entering on
a career in which he might reasonably hope for long years of the most
exalted usefulness. He did not in fact die till the year 1727.

We have two accounts of the condition of Canada at this time; one from
the pen of the bishop designate, the other from that of the new governor
after a residence of a little over three months in the country. Strange
to say, the two do not in the very least agree. Saint Vallier sees
everything _couleur de rose_, and detects the odour of sanctity
everywhere. Denonville, on the contrary, sees license, insubordination,
idleness, luxury, debauchery, running riot throughout the land. "The
Canadian people," says Saint Vallier, "is, generally speaking, as devout
as the clergy is holy. One remarks among them something resembling the
disposition which we recognize and admire in the Christians of the early
centuries." Even in the distant settlements where a priest is rarely
seen, the people are constant in the practice of virtue, the fathers
making up for the lack of priests, so far as the training of their
children is concerned, "by their wise counsels and firm discipline."[26]
Denonville, just about the same time, undertakes to give the minister an
account of the disorders prevailing not only in the woods, but, as he
states, in the settlements as well. "These arise," he says, "from the
idleness of young persons, and the great liberty which fathers, mothers,
and guardians have for a long time given them of going into the forest
under pretence of hunting or trading. One great evil," he continues, "is
the infinite number of drinking-shops. . . . All the rascals and idlers
of the country are attracted into this business of tavern-keeping. They
never dream of tilling the soil; on the contrary, they deter other
inhabitants, and end by ruining them." Of the two pictures, it is
probable that the governor's was nearer the truth; though probably his
ascetic turn of mind led him to exaggerate the evils that existed. Saint
Vallier, when he came to the country as bishop in 1688, was not long in
discovering how greatly he had overrated the virtue and piety of the
inhabitants. He took an early opportunity of repairing his error as far
as possible by preaching a sermon on the sins which he found prevailing.
"We thought," he said, "before we knew our flock, that the Iroquois and
the English were the only wolves we had to fear; but, God having opened
our eyes, we are forced to confess that our most dangerous foes are
drunkenness, luxury, impurity, and slander." We cannot think very highly
of the judgment of a man who has to repudiate his own statements so
completely in regard to facts fully open to observation.

It is allowable, fortunately, to take a more favourable view of the
Canadian people than either the governor, or the bishop in his revised
opinion, expresses. They were careless and ease-loving, more fond of
adventure than of steady toil; they were vain and given to luxury; but
these qualities were in a large measure the result of the circumstances
in which they were placed and the general influences of the time. How
could they fail to be fond of adventure when incitements to it presented
themselves on every hand, and the rewards that it promised were so much
more tempting than those to be derived from the tillage of the soil? It
was human nature in those days to prefer the gun to the spade, and the
paddle to the scythe. If they were vain and fond of luxury and show, it
proceeded in part from innate taste, and in part from the example of
those above them, who, in turn, reflected the manners, the habits, and
the tone of the most luxurious court in Europe. It soon began to be
observed that a given class in Canada represented a higher degree of
refinement and culture than a similar class in European France. The
reason was that, in the vast spaces and free air of a new continent,
human nature had more scope for expansion; ambition was stirred; thought
and imagination were quickened. The old seed was germinating with new
power in a virgin soil. The people were gay, chivalrous, courteous, and
brave, with an underlying tenacity of purpose and power of industry
ready to be revealed in due season under more settled conditions of
life. That intemperance was a serious evil there can be no doubt; but
that, too, was more or less incidental to the times. The physique of the
people was good; and, if their moral habits were not all that their
spiritual guides could have wished, they were at least free from
serious corruption. In a word, the Canadians of that period lived, on
the whole, healthy lives, and were planting a hardy and enduring race on
the soil they had made their own.

[Footnote 25: Colden pithily sums up the result of the campaign in the
following words: "Thus a very chargeable and fatiguing expedition (which
was to strike terror of the French name into the stubborn hearts of the
Five Nations) ended in a scold between the French general and an old

[Footnote 26: Saint Vallier, _Etat présent de l'Eglise et de la Colonie
Française_, p. 84.]



  1685 TO 1689

The Marquis de Denonville was sent to Canada to retrieve a difficult and
dangerous situation. He was a soldier by profession, and had had thirty
years' experience of military life. His courage and honour were alike
beyond question. In morals he was irreproachable. He was one of those
laymen who are half churchmen; and on the voyage from France he greatly
edified Saint Vallier by the gravity of his conduct and his punctilious
observance of all the forms and practices of religion. "He spent," Saint
Vallier himself tells us, "nearly all his time in prayer and the reading
of good books. The Psalms of David were always in his hands. In all the
voyage I never saw him do anything wrong; and there was nothing in his
words or acts which did not show a solid virtue and a consummate
prudence, as well in the duties of the Christian life as in the wisdom
of this world." Three years later Saint Vallier speaks of him in terms
of equal praise, adding that "there is no need to be astonished at the
benedictions which God is bestowing upon his government and upon his
enterprises against the Indians." Unfortunately, this interpretation of
the ways of Providence preceded by just a year the greatest calamity in
early Canadian history, the massacre of Lachine.

The three hundred men who were sent out with Denonville were far from
constituting, even had their number not been sensibly reduced by fever
on the voyage, the reinforcement he required in order to assume the
offensive against the Iroquois with any hope of success. He was
compelled, therefore, to temporize while making the most earnest appeals
for a more liberal supply of troops. To counteract English intrigues
among the Five Nations, he sent numerous presents in that direction, and
carefully avoided any acts which could precipitate a conflict. One of
the chief perils of the situation was the disaffection produced in the
minds of the Lake tribes by the dismal failure of La Barre's expedition
of 1684. The only way to regain credit, he says in a despatch to the
minister (Seignelay), dated 12th June 1686, is to put a sufficient
number of French troops, militia and regulars, into the field to attack
and defeat the Iroquois without any assistance from the western allies.
He wished to begin building blockhouses for defensive purposes, but was
afraid to do so, lest the enemy should consider it a preparation for
war. Like La Barre, he entered into correspondence with the governor of
New York, Colonel Dongan, but in a more guarded manner. He wrote first
simply announcing his appointment to the governorship of Canada. Dongan
replied in his usual high-flown manner with many expressions of
courtesy. Denonville returned the compliment, and then took occasion to
speak of the Senecas and the difficulty of keeping peace with them,
inviting Dongan to assist him in protecting the missionaries who were
labouring amongst those heathen at the peril of their lives. Dongan, who
had been appointed by the Duke of York before he ascended the throne of
England as James II, and who, as might be supposed, was a good Catholic,
was quite ready to do justice to the personal merits of the
missionaries; but his fidelity to the English Crown made it impossible
for him to overlook the fact that they were Frenchmen operating on what
he claimed to be English territory. Their influence, he knew, could not
fail to be cast in favour of the rival claims of their own people; and
his desire was to replace them, as soon as it could conveniently be
done, by English priests, who, without being less sound in theological
matters, would be more so on the political side.

The two governors were thus playing at cross purposes, and it was not
long before all disguise in the matter was set aside. Each was planning
the construction of a fort at Niagara for the purpose both of
strengthening his influence in the Iroquois country and of shutting the
other out of Lake Erie. Dongan heard of Denonville's intention from some
_coureurs de bois_ who had deserted to Albany; whereupon he wrote to the
French governor to say that he found it hard to believe that a man of
his reputation would be so ill-advised as to follow in the footsteps of
M. de la Barre, and seek to make trouble by planting a fort on
territory clearly belonging to the King of England, and all for the sake
of "a little peltry." Denonville replied with more diplomacy than truth
that he had no intention of building a fort at Niagara; and expressed in
turn his surprise that a gentleman of Dongan's character should "harbour
rogues, vagabonds, and thieves," and believe all the silly stories they
told him. As the correspondence went on its tone became warmer. Dongan
had promised to send back deserters; but he found these men too
valuable, and did not keep his promise. Denonville upbraids him for this
want of good faith, and also for exciting the Indians by telling them
that the French are preparing to attack them. He blamed him also for
furnishing the savages with rum to the great detriment of their
religious and moral interests; to which Dongan retorted that, in the
opinion of Christians, English rum was more wholesome than French

While this correspondence was going on, both governors were doing their
best to win over the Indians of the lake region. If these could be drawn
into an alliance with the Iroquois, so that their trade should pass
through the Iroquois country to the English, not only would the French
lose the most profitable part of their traffic, but their political
position would be seriously endangered, in fact would become untenable.
There was much in the arrangement from a business point of view to
recommend it to the savage mind. The English paid better prices for
goods, and gave their merchandise at lower prices; and, if their traders
once had free access to the lake region, the effects of their more
liberal dealing would be felt in every wigwam. Against this highly
practical consideration was to be set a certain hereditary distrust of
the Iroquois on the part of the Huron and Ottawa tribes, to which might
be added the personal influence of the French missionaries and a few
noted French leaders. The situation was for some time a most doubtful
one; but in the end it was not the economic argument that triumphed.

In the winter of 1685-6, a Dutchman, named Johannes Rooseboom, had set
out from Albany, by Dongan's directions, with a party of armed traders
in eleven canoes, filled with English goods, to trade in the Upper
Lakes. There was no resistance to their progress; and after trading most
successfully, and to the great satisfaction of the Indians, they
returned in safety. This was encouragement for a larger expedition the
following year; so, in the fall of 1686, the same adventurer set out
with a similar party in twenty canoes. On this occasion they were to
winter with the Senecas and resume their journey in the spring,
accompanied by fifty men, who were to come from Albany under the charge
of a Scots officer named M'Gregory, and a band of Iroquois; the whole
party to be under M'Gregory's command. The intention was to form a
general treaty of trade and alliance with the tribes that hitherto had
been under the domination of the French.

This was a bold step to take, and shows Dongan in the light of an early
advocate of the policy of "Forward." It was too bold. Fortunately for
Denonville, he had in the early summer of 1686 sent an order to Du Lhut,
then at Michilimackinac, to fortify a post at the outlet of Lake Huron,
which that capable and zealous officer lost no time in doing. On hearing
of the projected expedition, the governor was greatly incensed. He wrote
to Dongan in strong terms, and at the same time laid the matter before
the minister, declaring that it would be better to have open war with
the English than to be in constant danger from their intrigues. A
favourite plan of his was that Louis XIV should buy the colony of New
York from James II, as he had previously bought Dunkirk from Charles II.
The idea was not taken up by the French court, and there is much reason
to doubt whether, with the best will in the world, the English king
could have transferred the colony to France. It would have been an easy
thing to send out orders, but it would have been quite a different thing
to get them obeyed. In the New World men were already learning to put a
very wide construction upon their civil rights; and, as far the larger
portion of the population were of the reformed faith in one or other of
its branches, they would certainly have made strong objection to being
handed over to the tender mercies of the monarch who, at this very
moment, was extirpating Protestantism in his own kingdom by the cruelest
forms of persecution. The appeal to Dongan drew forth from that worthy
the declaration that, in his belief, it was "as lawful for the English
as for the French to trade with the remotest Indians." He denied,
however, that he had incited the Iroquois to acts of aggression, and
protested, in regard to the deserters, that he would much rather "such
rascalls and bankrouts" would stay in their own country, and that
Denonville was welcome to send for them. Negotiations, however, were
going on at this time between the English and French courts in relation
to affairs in America; and both Denonville and Dongan received
injunctions to cultivate peaceful relations with one another pending the
settlement of all matters in dispute by a joint commission.

If Dongan was preparing to trespass upon French rights in the region of
the Great Lakes, Denonville himself was acting with even less scruple in
another direction. For several years before this, the Hudson's Bay
Company, under the charter granted to them by Charles II in the year
1670, had been trading to the bay from which they derived their name,
and had established a number of posts along its shores. The charter had
been granted in perfect good faith, as the region in question, which had
been discovered and explored by navigators sailing under the English
flag, Cabot, Hudson, Baffin, and Davis, was regarded as English
territory. It is true that a memoir prepared by M. de Callières,
Governor of Montreal, for the minister of marine and colonies,[27]
mentions proceedings taken at different times by governors of Canada,
between the years 1656 and 1663, to bring the country under French
sovereignty; but there is nothing to show that any attempt was made at
settlement or even at trading on the coast. The Hudson's Bay Company, on
the other hand, had from the date of its charter, not to mention earlier
operations, been carrying on trade, and establishing posts in that
region without any remonstrance from the French government, and without
disturbance of any kind until the year 1682, in the early winter of
which two Frenchmen, named Radisson and Des Groseilliers, sailed into
Hudson's Bay with two vessels, and took possession of a fort which the
English had established near the mouth of the Nelson River. The
explanation given by these parties was that they were acting on behalf
of the "Compagnie Française de la Baie du Nord de Canada," which had
previously formed establishments some distance up that river, and that
finding that some English had begun to erect dwellings on an island at
the mouth of the river, they had forced them to retire, considering
their own claim to the river and its outlet the better.

This was the beginning of trouble. The French king in writing to La
Barre on the subject authorized him to check, as far as possible,
English encroachments in that quarter. In the spring of 1684 he writes
again, and says that he has had a further communication from the English
ambassador in regard to the proceedings of Radisson and Des
Groseilliers, and that, while he is anxious not to give the English king
any cause of complaint, he still thinks it desirable that the English
should not be allowed to establish themselves on the Nelson River. La
Barre was therefore to make a proposal to the English commandant in
Hudson's Bay that no new establishments should be formed there by either
French or English. This was at the very least an acknowledgment of the
_status quo_. Nevertheless, a charter having been granted by the French
king in the following year to a Canadian company authorizing it to trade
on the Bourbon River, called in previous correspondence the Nelson,
Denonville chose to consider that fact a warrant for making a general
attack on the English in the bay. While his discussion with Dongan was
in progress in the summer of 1686, he organized an expedition of about a
hundred picked men, thirty being regular soldiers, and placed it under
the command of a very capable officer, the Chevalier de Troyes,
assigning to him as lieutenants three sons of Charles Le Moyne, of
Montreal: Iberville, Ste. Hélène, and Maricourt. The difficulties of
the overland route were most formidable, but Troyes surmounted them with
the loss of only one man. He did not attempt any negotiation with the
English, nor send any summons to surrender, but fell upon Port Hayes,
the first to which he came, in the dead of night, and captured it
without difficulty, the garrison being totally unprepared to resist an
attack. At this point there does not appear to have been any loss of
life; but at Fort Rupert, which was similarly attacked at night, three
of the occupants were killed, and two were wounded. Three more men were
killed on the same night on board a vessel anchored near the shore. When
the assailants reached Fort Albany, held by a garrison of thirty men,
they found that their coming had been anticipated, but, with the aid of
cannon captured in the other forts, they had little difficulty in
forcing a surrender. Leaving Maricourt in command at the bay, Troyes
returned to Quebec. The English captured in this buccaneer fashion were
sent home in one of their own vessels which happened to arrive
opportunely for the purpose.

Denonville had succeeded in arousing the French government to the
importance of proceeding vigorously against the Iroquois. Eight hundred
men were sent out to him in the spring of 1687, which, with about eight
hundred already in the colony, made the force at his disposal quite a
formidable one. In the summer of the previous year there had been a
change of intendant. M. de Meulles had been recalled, and a new man,
Bochart de Champigny, sent out in his place. As the appointment of the
latter was made as early as April 1686, it may be surmised that
Denonville, shortly after arriving in the country, signified to the king
that he and Meulles were not adapted to work together satisfactorily.
Meulles was certainly far from having the fervent piety of the governor;
and it may not improbably have been some difference of opinion or policy
arising out of this fact that caused his recall. His successor was a man
conspicuously devoted to the church; and Denonville in his despatches
praises him in high terms. Having now the necessary force at his
command, and being zealously seconded in all his views by the new
intendant, the governor determined not to let the summer of 1687 pass
without undertaking his long meditated campaign against the Iroquois.
While preparing for war, however, he talked of peace, in the hope of
taking the enemy unawares. So far did he carry his dissimulation that he
completely misled the colonists, so that, when they discovered that war
was intended, they manifested a strong indisposition to respond to the
call to arms. There were enough regular soldiers, they said, in the
country to meet all military requirements. Denonville was too well
advised, however, to dream of taking a force of regulars into the woods,
unsupported by militia accustomed to the country and familiar with the
methods of Indian warfare. He therefore issued a special proclamation,
which the vicars-general, in the absence of the bishop, supported by a
_mandement_, with the result that the inhabitants, accustomed to yield
to authority, furnished the quota of men required, about eight hundred.

The more effectually to throw the Iroquois off their guard, the governor
had instructed his chief agent amongst them, Father Lamberville, a man
in whom they had perfect confidence, to invite them to a friendly
conference at Fort Frontenac. The good father was kept completely in the
dark as to what was really intended, and was allowed to continue his
solicitations to the Indians to attend the conference up to the moment
when all disguise was thrown off. He was still with them when they
discovered that they had been deceived; and, had it not been for the
unbounded faith they had learnt to place in the good priest's word, they
would certainly have put him to death with torture as a traitor. As it
was they charged the deception entirely on Denonville, who, in this
case, had certainly carried craft to very dangerous, not to say
indefensible, lengths.

The expedition as organized by Denonville consisted of four companies of
regulars, men who had been some time in the country, and four of
militia, making in all fifteen hundred Frenchmen, to whom were added
five hundred mission Indians, Christian in name, but scarcely less
savage in instinct than their unreclaimed brethren of the forest. The
regulars were commanded by their own officers, amongst whom we
recognize Troyes, the hero of the Hudson's Bay exploit. The militia were
led by four notable seigneurs, Berthier, Lavaltrie, Grandville, and Le
Moyne de Longueuil, brother of the three Le Moynes who had accompanied
Troyes. All the French troops were placed under the general command of
Callières, Governor of Montreal, a very capable officer. M. de
Vaudreuil, who had just come out from France as commander of the king's
forces, accompanied the expedition in the capacity of chief-of-staff to
the governor. The troops that he brought with him were left behind to
take care of the country in the absence of its other defenders.

Starting from Montreal on the 13th June 1687, the expedition, after
encountering the usual perils and fatigues of the St. Lawrence route,
and losing one or two men in the rapids, arrived at Fort Frontenac on
the 1st July. Here news was received of a reinforcement on which the
governor had not permitted himself to count. In October of the previous
year orders had been sent to the commanders in the West to rally the
Indians of that region for another movement against the Iroquois. As
Denonville well knew, there were serious difficulties in the way. The
fiasco of 1684 had left a deplorable impression on the minds of the Lake
tribes, whose loyalty was being further undermined by the pleasing
prospect of trade with the English. These arguments, however, did not
weigh with the Illinois, the latest victims of Iroquois barbarity; and
Tonty in charge at Fort St. Louis, who had been notified with the
others, had little trouble in getting a couple of hundred of them to
follow him to Detroit on the way to Niagara. Nicolas Perrot in like
manner raised a contingent among the tribes to the west of Lake
Michigan, and, passing by way of Michilimackinac, joined his efforts to
those of La Durantaye who had been labouring all winter to win over the
dissatisfied Hurons and Ottawas. The Hurons were at last persuaded to
move; but the Ottawas still refused, and La Durantaye and the Hurons
started for Detroit, the first place of rendezvous, without them.
Scarcely had they left Michilimackinac when they fell in with a number
of the canoes which Dongan had sent to trade in the lakes. La Durantaye
at once summoned the intruders to surrender; and, as he seemed to have a
formidable force with him, the summons was obeyed. The commander
distributed most of the goods among his Indian followers to their great
delight, and sent some barrels of rum to the Ottawas in the hope that it
would incline them to follow. It is difficult to say what did influence
the minds of these savages; but in a few days they set out, taking,
however, a route of their own by way of the Georgian Bay and overland to
what is now Toronto. Perrot and his men went to Detroit, and from that
point he and the others conducted their respective commands to Niagara,
arriving there just about the same time that Denonville's force reached
Fort Frontenac.

The gratification of the governor on learning that this important
reinforcement had arrived just in the nick of time may be imagined. He
sent word to the commanders to proceed to Irondequoit Bay, the entrance
to the Seneca country; and, conducting his force thither, saw the
western men approaching just as he himself was about to land. Such a
concentration, on the same day, of troops brought from as far east as
Quebec, and from as far west as the sources of the Mississippi, was
indeed remarkable. It seemed on this occasion at least as if everything
was destined to go well.

Denonville had now nearly three thousand men under his command. Forming
a camp and erecting temporary fortifications on the point of land which
shuts in Irondequoit Bay from Lake Ontario, he left four hundred men at
that place to guard supplies, and arranged his army in marching order.
The van was led by La Durantaye, Du Lhut and Tonty with their _coureurs
de bois_, about two hundred in number. On their left were the mission
Indians, and on their right the Lake and other western tribes--a wild
and motley gathering of, for the most part, naked savages, made hideous
with paint and horns and tails. Separated from these by a short
interval, the main body of the army followed, regulars and militia in
alternate companies. A broad trail ran southwards to the heart of the
Seneca country, but on either side was a dense bush in which enemies
might well be concealed. The first day a distance of about ten miles was
covered. It was mid-July, the heat was intense, the flies were
outrageous, and the men were burdened with thirteen days' provisions in
addition to their arms and ammunition. On the second day, as they were
drawing near to the first fortified habitation of the enemy, whom they
supposed to be awaiting them behind their defences, the advance guard
was vigorously attacked both in front and rear by a foe as yet
invisible. The Senecas had supposed that the advance guard, _coureurs de
bois_ and Indians, constituted the entire army, but learnt their error
when those making the rear attack found themselves, as they soon did,
between two fires.

Meantime, however, no little confusion had been caused in the ranks of
the invaders; and Denonville and his principal officers had to exercise
all their powers of command to prevent a panic. As soon as confidence
was restored, the vigorous firing of the French and their allies put the
enemy to flight. "The Canadians," says Charlevoix, "fought with their
accustomed bravery; but the regular troops did themselves little credit
in the whole campaign." "What can one do with such men?" wrote
Denonville in a despatch to the minister. On the Canadian side five
militiamen, one regular soldier and five Indians were killed, and about
an equal number, according to Denonville's statement, were wounded. The
Senecas left twenty-seven dead upon the field. Their wounded they
succeeded in carrying off; to have abandoned them would have meant to
leave them to torture at the hands of the hostile Indians. As it was,
the victory was followed by horrible scenes of cannibalism, in which the
Ottawas, who, in the fight had showed marked cowardice, took the
principal part.

This engagement, which has been localized as having occurred near the
village of Victor, some fifteen miles south-east of the city of
Rochester, N. Y., was the only one of the campaign. Not meeting again
with the enemy, the army spent some days in burning the Seneca
habitations, in which large quantities of grain were stored, and in
destroying the standing crops. When this had been accomplished, they
retraced their steps to their fortified camp on the lake shore. Already
the army was getting into bad shape; the Indians were deserting and the
French were falling sick through eating too abundantly of green corn and
fresh pork; the latter article of diet being furnished by herds of swine
kept by the Senecas. Despatching the sick in bateaux to Fort Frontenac,
Denonville conducted the rest of his troops to Niagara in order to carry
out the long-cherished design, which, in his correspondence with Dongan,
he had disavowed, of erecting a fort at that point. This only occupied a
few days; and on the 3rd August he was able to set out on the return
journey, after detaching one hundred men to garrison the fort, which he
placed under the command of M. de Troyes. Proceeding further up the lake
to a point where it narrows, he crossed over to the north shore, and so
made his way to Fort Frontenac, and thence to Montreal, where he arrived
on the 13th of the month. The campaign, as Parkman observes, was but
half a success; it certainly fell short of being what Abbé Gosselin
calls it, "_une victoire éclatante_." The Senecas had been put to
flight; and their dwellings had been destroyed, together with their
stores of food; but their loss in men was not serious, and they could
rely on the neighbouring Cayugas and Onondagas to tide them over a
season of distress. Denonville writes, indeed, that they were succoured
by the English. At the same time the injury they had received sank deep
into minds not prone to forgive.

An incident which happened before the expedition set out from Fort
Frontenac tended greatly to aggravate the situation. It had been
intimated to Denonville in a despatch from the French government that
the king desired to have some captured Iroquois sent over to France for
service in the galleys, as it was understood that they were muscular
fellows, well fitted for such work. Champigny, who left Montreal with
Denonville, went ahead of the expedition with a few light canoes, in
order to make arrangements for its reception at Fort Frontenac. Finding
at that place a number of Iroquois, chiefly Onondagas, who, relying on
Denonville's professions of peace, had come thither for trade or
conference, and being anxious to show his zeal for his royal master, he
did not hesitate to make them prisoners. The savages had their wives and
children with them, a sure sign that they had come with friendly intent.
This circumstance did not weigh with the intendant, nor was he
influenced by the tears and entreaties of the families of the captured
men. He doubtless thought that the formidable force which the governor
was leading would strike such terror into the hearts of the Iroquois
nation as to put anything in the way of reprisals quite out of the
question: in any case there was advantage for himself in obeying the
mandate of the king. What kind of a service it was for which the
unfortunate captives were destined may be learnt from a description
given by a careful French writer: "Chained in gangs of six, with no
clothing save a loose short jacket, devoured by itch and vermin,
shoeless and stockingless, the galley slaves toiled for ten hours
consecutively at a rate of exertion which one would hardly have believed
a man could endure for one hour. They were indeed in luck when they were
not made to work twenty-four hours consecutively, with nothing to
sustain their strength but a biscuit steeped in wine, which was put into
their mouths, so that they should not have to stop rowing. If their
galley began to lose ground the petty officers would rain curses on
their heads and blows on their backs. Many a time, when the pace was
being forced under a blazing Mediterranean sun, some poor wretch would
sink down dead on his bench. In such a case his companions would pass on
his body, throw it overboard, and that was all."[28]

The total number of Indians sent home to France to be consigned to this
fate was thirty-five. They were at Fort Frontenac as captives, bound
helplessly to posts when Denonville's army passed through, and an
eye-witness, the Baron La Hontan, tells how he saw the mission Indians
torturing the poor creatures by burning their fingers in the bowls of
their pipes. He tried to interfere, but was censured for doing so, and
put under arrest. The leaders, doubtless, thought they could not afford
to put their Indian allies out of humour by interfering with their
amusements.[29] The wrong done in this matter seems to have created a
far more bitter feeling in the minds of the Iroquois than the open war
on the Senecas. The Oneidas retaliated by torturing a Jesuit father
named Millet, and would in the end have put him to death if an Indian
woman had not interceded for him and adopted him as her son. The temper
of the savages generally, in spite of the campaign, was far from being a
submissive one; and Denonville himself within a month of his return to
Quebec came to the conclusion that another punitive expedition would be
necessary before a solid peace could be obtained. He therefore wrote
home asking that eight hundred additional troops should be supplied to
him, observing that his Indian allies were not to be depended on, and
that the Canadians were not at all zealous for military service. His
opinion was that he should have a force of not less than three or four
thousand men at his disposal for two years. The French government did
not agree with him on this point. The troops could not be spared, and
the king thought that it ought to be possible to arrange matters by
negotiation. There were those, indeed, in Canada who thought the whole
war had been unnecessary; certainly, for some time before the Senecas
were attacked, they were not acting on the aggressive. The Iroquois
tribes generally had been impressed by the fact that the military forces
of the colony had been considerably augmented; and the character of the
governor himself, who seemed to possess much more firmness and
resolution than his immediate predecessor, had more or less influenced
them in favour of peace. Had Denonville made the most of these
advantages, and shown in addition a disposition to act with good faith,
it is altogether probable a satisfactory peace could have been arranged
without resort to war.

However, the mischief had been done. All the Iroquois tribes had been
angered, and the hives were ominously buzzing. Acts of reprisal became
frequent. Even the immediate neighbourhood of Fort Frontenac was not
secure, for during the following winter a woman and three soldiers were
carried off within gunshot of its walls. The Onondagas who effected
these captures stated expressly that they were made in retaliation for
those so treacherously made by Champigny. The captives were not put to
death, but were held as hostages, which gave them an opportunity of
appealing to Dongan. That worthy was not at all sorry that his rival had
got himself into trouble; and answered the appeal by saying that he
could not do anything for them till Fort Niagara, unjustly planted by
their governor on English territory, had been evacuated. On the last day
of the year Denonville sent to Albany an able negotiator in the person
of Father Vaillant, Jesuit, but with no satisfactory result. The only
terms on which Dongan would consent to use his influence in favour of
peace were that the prisoners sent to France for the galleys should be
restored; that the mission Indians at Laprairie and the Montreal
Mountain should be sent back to the Iroquois country to which they
originally belonged; that Forts Niagara and Frontenac should be razed;
and that the goods captured by the French from English traders on the
Upper Lakes should be restored. Scarcely had Vaillant left Albany on
his return when Dongan summoned representatives of the tribes, and,
acquainting them with the terms he had demanded, asked for their
ratification, which was readily granted. He told the chiefs not to bury
the hatchet, but simply to lay it in the grass where they could get it
if it was wanted, and meantime to post themselves along the lines of
communication to the French country.

The advice was promptly taken. Some bands operated along the St.
Lawrence, others along the Richelieu. Early in the season of 1688 a
convoy had been sent to revictual Forts Frontenac and Niagara. It passed
up the river safely, but on its return it was attacked, though greatly
superior in force, by a party of twenty-five or thirty Indians, who
killed eight men, and took one prisoner. Other raids more or less
destructive were made at Chambly, St. Ours, Contrecoeur, and even as far
east as Rivière du Loup. In the face of these attacks a sort of lethargy
seemed to have seized upon the colonists, making them slow to defend
themselves even when the conditions were in their favour. In other
respects also the state of affairs was one of great depression. The war
had been costly and burdensome; and, owing to the withdrawal of so many
men from the work of the fields, agriculture had greatly suffered. The
pillaging carried on by scattered bands of Iroquois made matters still
worse. Beggars began to be numerous in the streets of Quebec and
Montreal. It is interesting to note that mendicity was not looked upon
with favour in those days, and that praiseworthy attempts were made to
regulate it and restrain it within the narrowest possible limits.
Charitable ladies undertook to inquire into cases of ostensible want so
as to distinguish those which merited relief from others which might
proceed from idleness or misconduct. M. de Saint Vallier, who had
returned to France in the autumn of 1687, came back as bishop in August
of the following year. He brought with him two hundred copies of his
work on _The Present State of the Church in Canada_, written by him
after his arrival in France, and published at Paris in March 1688, in
which, as already seen, a glowing tribute was paid to the piety of the
Canadian people. Instead, however, of distributing this work in the
country, as he had doubtless intended, he virtually suppressed it; and,
in almost his first episcopal utterances, told the people that the
troubles and distresses from which they were suffering were the result
of their lukewarmness in religious matters. The statement was not
received in the most submissive spirit. There were some who said that
the mundane causes of the sad plight in which the country found itself
were only too apparent, and that it was not necessary to look

In the course of the summer of 1688, while Denonville had still under
consideration the unpalatable terms proposed by Dongan, he received at
Montreal, through the useful mediation of Father Lamberville, a visit
from La Barre's old friend, the famous Onondaga orator, Big Mouth, who
brought with him six other warriors. As on the occasion of his meeting
with the former governor, Big Mouth occupied a strong position, and made
the most of it. He had been holding back his own people, he said;
otherwise they would have swarmed down on the colony and destroyed it.
The conditions of peace which he proposed were those already outlined by
Dongan; and he wanted an answer in four days. Denonville told him that
he was prepared to treat for peace if the tribes would send delegates to
Montreal duly empowered for that purpose. Big Mouth promised that this
should be done, and meantime signed a treaty of neutrality. Denonville
had by this time brought himself to the point of agreeing to abandon
Fort Niagara, the garrison of which had been reduced by sickness from
about a hundred men to ten or twelve, and with which, moreover, he found
it impossible to maintain satisfactory communication. He had also been
forced to give way as regards the captives sent to France, and had
written asking that as many of them as survived might be sent out;
suggesting at the same time that, to produce as good an effect as
possible, they should be decently clothed. These were the principal
points, and he hoped to be able to make peace without any further

The negotiations, however, were destined to be badly wrecked. The Indian
allies, Hurons and Algonquins, had only too good reason to suspect that
the peace would not include them. Big Mouth had been ominously
non-committal on that point. It was doubtless remembered that, when La
Barre had made peace with the Iroquois, he had abandoned the Illinois to
their mercy. A leading Huron, Kondiaronk, or the Rat, by name,
determined that there should be no peace if he could help it. He was at
Fort Frontenac with a party of forty warriors when he heard that
negotiations for peace were in progress and that delegates from the Five
Nations were expected to arrive in a few days. His plan was at once
formed. Pretending to have set out with his party for Michilimackinac,
he really paddled over to La Famine, placed himself in ambush in the
path of the delegates, and waited their coming. It was four or five days
before they appeared, and no sooner were they within gun shot than the
Huron party fired. One chieftain was killed outright; several were
wounded; the rest, all but one who escaped wounded, and made his way to
Fort Frontenac, were captured. The captives in great indignation
explained to the Rat the mission they were on, when the wily Huron
expressed the most profound regret, saying that the French had sent him
out on the war-path, and had never given him the slightest hint that
peace negotiations were in progress. He was eloquent in denouncing the
bad faith of Onontio, and at once let his captives go. True, the warrior
who had escaped heard a very different story at Fort Frontenac--that the
Rat had been specially informed of the negotiations, and had professed
that he was starting for home; nevertheless, as the Rat expected, the
peace was killed. The party attacked had consisted of some men of
consequence who were preceding the delegates to give assurance to the
governor that the latter would soon be at hand. They never came. Other
thoughts now occupied the Iroquois mind.

For months there was an ominous calm. The winter of 1688-9 passed
without incident, and so did the following summer. Marauding on the part
of the Iroquois had so entirely ceased, that the opinion began to
prevail in the colony that the enemy had lost courage, and were no
longer disposed for war. Some rumours, it is true, reached the governor
that mischief was brewing, but he paid little heed to them: no special
measures of defence whatever were taken. A strange kind of somnolence
seems to have crept over almost the entire population. The intendant, in
a despatch written just about this time (6th November 1688), after
speaking of the disastrous effect of brandy drinking upon the Indians,
goes on to say: "The Canadians also ruin their health thereby; and, as
the greater number of these drink a large quantity of it early in the
morning, they are incapable of doing anything the remainder of the day."
It may safely be assumed that the morning potations were indulged in
without prejudice to a tolerably free use of the bottle in the evening.
It is remarkable that so serious a judgment upon the habits of the
people should have preceded by only a few months a striking and fatal
example of their unreadiness and incapacity.

The night of the 4th August 1689 was dark and stormy with rain and hail.
It was just such a night as might serve to cover the approach of a
stealthy foe; and the foe, vengeful and relentless, was at hand.
Fourteen hundred Iroquois had descended the St. Lawrence and taken up
their station on the south side of the Lake St. Louis, opposite Lachine.
About midnight, amid the darkness and the noise of the elements, they
crossed the lake, and, landing, posted themselves in small bands close
to the dwellings of the slumbering inhabitants. An hour or so before
daybreak, a war-whoop, the preconcerted signal, was raised. Instantly a
thousand savage throats gave forth the dismal howl; and then began the
work of slaughter that made "the massacre of Lachine" a name of terror
for generations. The account of the disaster given by Charlevoix, who
puts the number of the slain at two hundred, has been generally followed
by later writers; but there is fortunately reason to believe that the
massacre was much less in extent, and perhaps somewhat less horrible in
character, than the reverend father represents. Judge Girouard,[31] who
has gone into the matter in a most careful and painstaking manner,
places the number of persons killed at Lachine--men, women, and
children--at twenty-four. The place was defended by three forts, all of
which had garrisons; but from these no help seems to have been afforded
to the wretched inhabitants. The torch did its work as well as the
tomahawk, and fifty-six houses were burnt. There were some regular
troops--about two hundred--under an officer named Subercase, encamped
about three miles off. A shot from one of the forts gave the alarm, and
Subercase with his men marched to the scene of action. Many of the
Indians had inebriated themselves with brandy seized in the houses of
the inhabitants; and it is probable that, had they been promptly and
vigorously attacked, they might have been defeated with heavy loss.
Subercase was just on the point of leading his men against them, when M.
de Vaudreuil, acting-governor of Montreal in the absence of M. de
Callières who had gone to France, appeared on the scene with formal and
positive orders from M. de Denonville, who, as ill-luck would have it,
was at Montreal, to remain strictly on the defensive. Subercase was
extremely indignant, and felt strongly tempted to disobey; but the
instinct of subordination prevailed, and he remained inactive. The
Indians meanwhile dispersed themselves over the Island of Montreal,
killing, capturing, burning, and meeting with little or no resistance.

A really circumstantial and consistent account of the whole occurrence
is lacking; and it is therefore uncertain how long the Iroquois remained
in the neighbourhood. The probability would seem to be that the main
body retreated with their prisoners and booty after a brief campaign,
but that some bands of warriors stayed behind for further pillage. On
the 13th of November a bloody raid was made on the settlement at La
Chesnaye, on the north shore of the St. Lawrence, some twenty miles
below Montreal; all the houses were burnt, and the majority of the
inhabitants either killed or captured. The total number of persons
killed elsewhere than at Lachine is estimated by Judge Girouard, who has
endeavoured to trace the names in the parish registers, at forty-two,
making, with the twenty-four killed at Lachine, a total of sixty-six. As
regards the number of captives, the same authority, whose careful
methods inspire much confidence, accepts the statement of Belmont, who
places it at ninety. We read that, when the savages left Lachine, which
they did without any attempt being made from the forts to harass their
retreat, they crossed Lake St. Louis, and, encamping on the opposite
shore, lit their fires and began to torture their prisoners. Torture,
there can be no doubt, was sufficiently congenial to the Iroquois
nature; and yet there is room for doubt whether there is sufficient
warrant for the highly coloured narrative which has become the popular
legend on this subject. It was usual with the Iroquois to carry their
captives with them into their villages; and it is known that they did
this with at least the great majority of those whom they secured on the
Island of Montreal, for many of them were alive years afterwards.
Moreover had there been many burnings on the south shore of Lake St.
Louis, the same pious care which caused the re-burial a few years later
(1694) of the remains of the victims of the Lachine massacre would have
been extended to any that might have been found on the site of the last
encampment. There is no record of the discovery of any such remains or
of their burial or re-burial. It is true that some burnings of captives
occurred in the Iroquois villages; still it is some satisfaction to
think that the calamity as a whole was not on the scale that tradition
has represented.[32]

It is related that as the savages paddled away from the Lachine shore,
they called out: "Onontio, you deceived us; now we have deceived you."
The last days of Onontio, in his official capacity at least, were at
hand. The king had decided early in the year that he was not the man to
support a falling state or rescue an imperilled community, and had
offered the position again to Count Frontenac notwithstanding the many
troubles that had marked that gallant soldier's former tenure of office.
Evidently, with all his faults of temper, he had at least impressed
himself on the king as a man who could be relied on in the hour of
danger. Denonville's last act was one which strikingly illustrated the
condition of feebleness and dejection into which he had fallen. Dongan
and the Iroquois had demanded the abandonment of Fort Frontenac.
Denonville now determined that this was the only course to follow, and
accordingly sent orders to the garrison to blow up the walls, destroy
the stores, and make the best of their way to Montreal.

[Footnote 27: _New York Colonial Documents_, vol. ix. p. 268. See also
"Transactions between England and France, relating to Hudson's Bay,
1687," in _Canadian Archives_, 1883, p. 173.]

[Footnote 28: Clément, _Vie de Colbert_, p. 456.]

[Footnote 29: "In dealing with indigenous races," observes M. Lorin,
"governors were sometimes obliged to sacrifice a few victims to the
ferocity of savages; and it was not on the eve of a campaign that it
would have been wise to exhibit towards the Iroquois a humanity that
would have been mistaken for weakness."--_Comte de Frontenac_, p. 333.
We may certainly agree that it would have been difficult for those who
had captured peaceful and unsuspecting natives for the horrible régime
of the galleys to adopt a high humanitarian tone in reproving the
cruelties of their Indian confederates and converts.]

[Footnote 30: _New York Colonial Documents_, vol. ix. p. 389.]

[Footnote 31: See his _Lake St. Louis, Old and New_.]

[Footnote 32: Both as regards the number of the slain and the details of
the massacre Charlevoix simply repeats the statements made by Frontenac
in a despatch dated the 15th November 1689, one month after his return
to Canada, and after several days spent at the scene of the disaster and
at Montreal. It is he who speaks of the "_enlèvement de cent vingt
personnes après un massacre de deux cents brûlés, rôtis vifs, mangés, et
les enfans arrachés du ventre de leurs mères_." The tendency in
furnishing information to the French government was always to exaggerate
the havoc wrought by the Indians. At the time Frontenac wrote this
despatch he was not aware of the further massacre at La Chesnaye, the
news of which only reached him on the 17th of November.]



From the moment that Prince William of Orange, the one unconquerable foe
of Louis XIV, was called to the throne of England, war between England
and France was a foregone conclusion. It was not declared, however, in
France till the 25th June 1689. Frontenac sailed from Rochelle on the
5th August following, the very day of the Lachine massacre. The king in
an interview with him is reported to have said: "I am sending you back
to Canada, where I am sure that you will serve me as well as you did
before; I ask nothing more of you." His Majesty also intimated, we are
told, that he believed the charges made against him were without
foundation. During the intervals between his two terms of office,
Frontenac had been living for the most part at court, in rather reduced
circumstances. The king once at least came to his relief with a gratuity
of three thousand five hundred francs, and possibly other liberalities
may have flowed to him from the same royal source, though Mr. Ernest
Myrand, after careful research, has not been able to discover trace of

The mission which was tendered to the aged count--he was now in his
seventieth year--was one which a younger man might have felt some
hesitation in accepting. The last accounts from Canada showed the
country to be in a deplorable condition, equally unable to make an
enduring peace or to wage a successful war; and the worst was yet to be
told on the governor's arrival. The situation was rendered decidedly
more critical by the fact of the war with England. True, a treaty had
been made by Louis XIV with James II, providing that, should war break
out between France and England, it should not extend to their American
possessions; but Louis, who did not recognize William III as a
legitimate sovereign, probably felt under no obligation to observe a
treaty made with his predecessor. We know, at least, that a scheme for
the conquest of the English colonies was arranged before Frontenac's
departure. Callières, Governor of Montreal, had been sent to France by
Denonville in the fall of 1688 to represent the perilous situation of
the colony, and to urge the king to adopt a system of reprisals against
the English for the misdeeds of the Iroquois. Callières and Frontenac
had some friends in common, and were thus brought together at court, and
the plan that was adopted was probably one that they had jointly
suggested to the court. It was, briefly, that two or three war vessels
should accompany Frontenac to Canada; that the count should disembark at
some point on the coast of Acadia, and proceed by the first private
vessel he could secure to Quebec; that on arrival there he should
organize a force of sixteen hundred men, one thousand regulars, and six
hundred militia, to march on New York by way of Albany; and that when he
was ready to move, he should notify the commander of the squadron, so
that the latter might advance to New York, and be prepared to co-operate
in the capture and occupation of the place. Meantime, the naval force
was to employ itself in picking up any English trading vessels that
might fall in its way.

Not only were plans thus formed for invading and seizing the English
colonies, but the French king made complete arrangements as to the
treatment of the inhabitants when conquered. Those who either were
Catholics, or were prepared to embrace the Catholic faith, might be
allowed to remain in possession of their property and civil rights; the
citizens of means were to be imprisoned and held for ransom, the rest of
the population, numbering about eighteen thousand, were to forfeit
everything and be driven penniless out of the country. It was proposed
to deport them, in the first place, to New England, pending the ulterior
conquest of that region. M. Lorin truly observes that Louis XIV, having
just deprived his own subjects of religious liberty by the revocation of
the Edict of Nantes, could not possibly be expected to tolerate it in
any country of which he might acquire control.[34] A more ruthless
policy could scarcely have been devised, nor, it may be added, a more
senseless one. The deportation of so large a body of inhabitants, mainly
of Dutch origin, and all accustomed to the use of arms, was a task
ridiculously beyond the ability of the forces he was proposing to employ
for the purpose.

The plan was followed, so far as the sending out of a small squadron
with the new governor-general was concerned. Sailing, as already
mentioned, on the 5th August, Frontenac arrived at Chedabucto
(Guysborough), near the Straits of Canso, on the 12th September, and
there embarked in a small vessel, the _François Xavier_, for Quebec. On
the way he stopped at Percé, where the Récollet missionaries informed
him of the massacre of Lachine. His vessel must have been detained by
contrary winds, for it was the 12th October before he arrived at Quebec.
Here he was received by the citizens with the liveliest manifestations
of joy. The ecclesiastics associated themselves, _bon gré mal gré_, with
the popular feeling. The town was illuminated by night and hung with
banners by day; a _Te Deum_ was sung; and a Jesuit father delivered what
is recorded to have been a most pathetic discourse. On all hands the
count was acclaimed as the man the country needed to restore its fallen
fortunes and stay the hand of the destroyer. Denonville and Champigny
did not grace the rejoicings; they were at Montreal.

Quebec, however, was not the point of danger, nor that at which the
governor's services were most required. Still he remained there eight
days before proceeding to Montreal, where he arrived on the 27th
October. At that place he learnt from Denonville of the instructions he
had given for the abandonment and destruction of Fort Frontenac. The
indignation of the old warrior, to whom the fort called after his name
was a spot of peculiar predilection, can better be imagined than
described. He could hardly believe that a French governor could perform
so craven an act. If we may trust the Baron La Hontan, who does not in
this case tax very seriously our powers of belief, the interview between
the two dignitaries was a decidedly stormy one.[35] There was no time to
waste, however, in useless debate. Something possibly had happened to
delay or prevent the carrying out of the orders, and the fort might
perhaps yet be saved. An expedition was hastily organized to proceed to
the spot and ascertain the facts, but scarcely had it well started
before it encountered the entire garrison of the fort, minus six men,
whom they had lost in the rapids on the way down, returning to Montreal.
The deed had therefore been done. Valrennes, the commandant, told how he
had destroyed the stores, thrown such arms and ammunition as he could
not remove into the river, undermined the walls and fired the train, and
how, as they retreated, they had heard a dull explosion. Yes, the deed
had been done; but, as it turned out later, not with the full result
intended. The mines had exploded, but probably they had been hastily and
not over skilfully placed, and the injury to the walls was but slight.
Not long afterwards Frontenac was able to repair the damage and put the
fort once more in a condition of defence.

The season was now so far advanced that the project which had been
formed of raising a large force with which to invade English territory,
in conjunction with a naval attack on New York, had to be abandoned. La
Caffinière, commander of the squadron, waited for two months for some
sign of the arrival of the Canadians, and then sailed back to France,
making a few prizes on the way. But, if the governor was unable to
organize an expedition on a large scale, he did not forego his intention
of attacking the English colonies. If he could not march with an army he
could make raids after the Indian fashion. His plan was to stand simply
on the defensive as regards the Iroquois, and to impress their minds by
the suddenness and vigour of his attacks on the English. Three raiding
parties were accordingly organized, one having its base at Montreal, the
second at Three Rivers, and the third at Quebec. The Montreal party
consisted of a little over two hundred men, of whom somewhat less than
half were mission Indians from Sault St. Louis--the present Caughnawaga
settlement--and the Montreal Mountain. The remainder of the party
consisted for the most part of _coureurs de bois_, formidable men for
border warfare, far steadier than the Indians, and just as wary. Their
destination was Albany and the neighbouring English settlements. The
leaders were men of skill and courage, Daillebout de Mantet, and Le
Moyne de Ste. Hélène; the latter, a man greatly admired and beloved for
his brilliant soldierly qualities and gay, amiable disposition, but
nevertheless a keen and relentless fighter. With these were two of Ste.
Hélène's brothers, formidable men all, Le Moyne d'Iberville, who had
already made fame for himself in Hudson's Bay, where still greater glory
yet awaited him, and Le Moyne de Bienville, together with several other
members of the Canadian _noblesse_. The Three Rivers party was under the
charge of François Hertel, a man of much experience in Indian warfare.
When quite a lad he had been carried off by the Iroquois, and had
endured some cruel treatment at their hands before making his
escape,[36] and since then he had been in constant contact with them
either in peace or in war. With him went three of his sons, twenty-four
Frenchmen, and twenty-five Indians, fifty-two men in all. The third
party, recruited at Quebec, consisted of fifty Frenchmen and sixty
Abenaquis Indians from the settlement at the falls of the Chaudière,
under the command of M. de Portneuf, who had as lieutenant his cousin,
Repentigny, Sieur de Courtemanche. The Montreal expedition set out in
the beginning of February, those from Three Rivers and Quebec a few days
earlier; but before recounting their exploits, it may be well to glance
at the negotiations, which the governor was at this time carrying on
with a view to putting the relations of the colony with the Iroquois
tribes on a better basis.

The king, it has been mentioned, had consented to send back the Indians
who had been so treacherously captured and sent to France as galley
slaves. It would be doing his Majesty injustice to suppose that he ever
intended his representative in Canada to procure men for his galleys in
so disreputable a fashion. The Marquis of Denonville from the moment of
his arrival in Canada had breathed nothing but war; and the king
doubtless counted on a large number of prisoners as the result of his
martial prowess. It is significant that, even before encountering the
Senecas, Denonville should have written to the king explaining how very
difficult it was to capture Iroquois in battle. He did not say so, but
he doubtless thought that to trap them would be much easier. Out of
nearly forty Indians sent to France, thirteen only were alive when the
order for their restoration to their country was given; the rest had
died of hardship and homesickness. The survivors were sent out in the
same vessel with Frontenac, who did all in his power to make them forget
the wrongs they had suffered. The most important man in the band was a
Cayuga chief named Orehaoué, between whom and the count a sincere
friendship seems to have sprung up. During the whole voyage the count
treated him with the highest consideration, invited him to eat at his
table, and furnished him with a handsome uniform; so that, by the time
they landed at Quebec, the savage chief was completely won over to the
French side. The same treatment was continued after they landed.
Orehaoué was lodged in the Château St. Louis and went everywhere with
the governor. There was policy in this of course on Frontenac's part,
but there is no reason to doubt that on both sides there was a genuine
feeling of attachment.

After viewing the scene of desolation at Lachine, Frontenac reported to
the king that nine square leagues of territory had been laid waste. The
question was what to do. The best course seemed to be to send four of
the Indians who had been brought back from France to their Iroquois
kinsmen with a suitable message. They were despatched accordingly,
accompanied by an Indian named Gagniogoton who, a short time before, had
come to Montreal as a kind of ambassador, but whose tone had been more
insolent than conciliatory. The returned warriors were to invite their
people "to come and welcome their father whom they had so long missed,
and thank him for his goodness to them in restoring a chief whom they
had given up as lost,"[37] namely Orehaoué. The latter did not accompany
the mission, Frontenac considering that he would be more useful for the
present at Montreal. It does not appear exactly when the envoys set out,
but, after some delay, consequent upon prolonged deliberation on the
part of the tribes, they returned to Montreal on the 9th March. It was
evident the mission had not been a great success. The messengers came
laden with belts of wampum, each of which had its own special
significance, yet for several days they kept silence. Finally at the
urgent request of M. de Callières--Frontenac had gone back to
Quebec--they disburdened themselves of the messages with which they were
charged. Belt number one was to explain that delay had been caused by
the arrival of an Ottawa delegation among the Senecas with overtures of
peace, as a pledge of which they had brought with them a number of
Iroquois prisoners whom they were prepared to restore. The second belt
was meant to express the joy of the whole Iroquois confederacy over the
return of Orehaoué, whom they spoke of as their general-in-chief. The
third demanded the return of Orehaoué and the other prisoners; and
mentioned the fact that all the surviving French prisoners were at the
chief town of the Onondagas, and that no disposition would be made of
them till they should hear the advice of Orehaoué on his return home.
The fourth congratulated Frontenac on his wish to plant again the tree
of peace; but the fifth was the most expressive of all. Referring to the
desire of Frontenac to bring them again to his fort, it said: "Know you
not that the fire of peace no longer burns in that fort; that it is
extinguished by the blood that has been spilt there; the place where the
council is held is all red; it has been desecrated by the treachery
perpetrated there." Fort Frontenac, it went on to say, was henceforth an
impossible place for peaceful gatherings: if the tree of peace was again
to be planted it must be in some other spot, nearer or more distant they
did not care--only not _there_. Then these words were added: "In fine,
Father Onontio, you have whipped your children most severely; your rods
were too cutting and too long; and after having used me thus you can
readily judge that I have some sense now." The sixth belt mentioned that
there were parties now out on the war-path, but that they were prepared
to spare their prisoners should they take any, if the French would agree
to do the same on their side. There was no lack of frankness in the
further information conveyed by this belt, which was to the effect that
the Onondagas had received eight prisoners as their share of the
prisoners taken at La Chesnaye, and had eaten four of them, and spared
the other four. This was intended to show their superiority in humanity
to the French, who, having taken three Seneca prisoners, had eaten them
all, that is to say, allowed their Indian allies to kill and eat them,
instead of sparing one or two. To what incident this refers is not
clear, as Denonville did not report any prisoners taken in his fight
with the Senecas.

Callières sent the deputation down to Quebec to see the
governor-general; but the latter, according to the account here
followed, which was written by his own secretary, Monseignat, declined
to give them an audience, mainly on account of the objection he had to
their spokesman, Gagniogoton. Doubtless Callières had informed him
sufficiently of the tenor of the communications they had to make. The
governor had much on his mind, but he was not a man to act in nervous
haste. Towards the close of the month of December, a man named Zachary
Jolliet arrived at Quebec from Michilimackinac, having been despatched
by La Durantaye to represent the perilous nature of the situation there
owing to the very unsatisfactory dispositions of the Lake tribes. The
massacre of Lachine with all its attendant circumstances had convinced
them that French power was at a very low ebb. As the narrative says:
"They saw nothing on our part but universal supineness; our houses
burnt; our people carried off; the finest portion of our country ruined;
and all done without any one being moved; or, at least, if any attempts
were made, the trifling effort recoiled to our shame." Yet what the
French, individually, were capable of may be judged by the fact that
this messenger, with only one companion, had come all the way from
Michilimackinac at a most inclement season of the year, partly in a
canoe and partly on the ice, reaching Quebec at the very end of
December. Surely some benumbing influence must have been at work upon
the colony. Was it the extreme mediævalism of the Denonville régime
aided by an excessive use of intoxicating liquors? These at least were
_veræ causæ_, and might well have had no small share in creating the
situation described.

Something had to be done, and that speedily, to strengthen La
Durantaye's position, or the French of the Upper Lakes would virtually
find themselves hostages in the hands of disaffected tribes; if indeed
their lives were not sacrificed to cement the union which the Ottawas
were even then endeavouring to effect with the Iroquois. Frontenac
wanted to send Zachary Jolliet back at once with instructions; but it
was learnt that the route was infested by Iroquois; very unwillingly,
therefore, he deferred action till the breaking of the ice in the
spring. He then despatched M. de Louvigny, with a hundred and
forty-three Canadians and a small number of Indians, to strengthen the
garrison and relieve La Durantaye. With this contingent went a man well
known to all the region, and probably second to none in his ability to
influence the native mind, Nicolas Perrot. The count did not, however,
entrust Perrot with any merely verbal message, but placed in his hands a
written one, conceived in the style of which he had acquired so great a
mastery. "Children," said Onontio, "I am astonished to learn on arriving
that you have forgotten the protection I always afforded you. Remember
that I am your father, who adopted you, and who has loved you so
tenderly. I gave you your country; I drove the horrors of war far from
it, and introduced peace there. You had no home before that. You were
wandering about exposed to the Iroquois tempests. Hark, I speak to you
as a father. My body is big; it is strong and cannot die. Think you I am
going to remain in a state of inactivity such as prevailed during my
absence; and, if eight or ten hairs have been pulled from my children's
heads when I was absent, that I cannot put ten handfuls of hair in the
place of one that has been torn out? or that, for one piece of bark that
has been stripped from my cabin, I cannot put double the number in its
place? Children, know that I always am, that nothing but the Great
Spirit can destroy me, and that it is I who destroy all." The message
went on to refer to the Iroquois as a ravenous dog who formerly was
snapping and biting at every one, but whom Frontenac had tamed and tied
up, and whom he would discipline again if he did not mend his ways. The
blood shed at Montreal last summer, it said, was of no account; the
houses destroyed were only two or three rat holes. The English were not
people to have confidence in; they deceived and devoured their children.
"I am strong enough to kill the English, destroy the Iroquois, and whip
you if you fail in your duty to me." Finally there was a warning against
the use of English rum, which was killing in its effects, whereas French
brandy was health-giving.

What the effect of this allocution would have been, unsupported by
favouring circumstances, it is difficult to say. The Indian tribes all
had a remarkable gift of perspicacity. They had no need of Dr. Johnson's
advice to clear their minds of cant, for cant was something quite
foreign to their mental habits; it was not a product of forest life. It
happened, however, that Perrot was able to show them a number of
Iroquois scalps, and hand over to them an Iroquois prisoner that his
party had taken on their journey up the Ottawa. This looked like
business, and lent a weight which might otherwise have been lacking to
the somewhat fustian eloquence of Onontio. The affair of the capture had
happened in this wise. As the expedition neared the place now known as
Sand Point, on the river Ottawa, they discovered two Iroquois canoes
drawn up at the end of the point. Three canoes were detached to attack
the enemy, but were received with a heavy fire from an ambush on the
shore, by which four Frenchmen were killed. Perrot, who thought it much
more important to accomplish his mission among the Ottawas than to have
even a successful fight with the Iroquois, did not at first wish to push
the matter further; but his men were full of fight, and he finally
allowed a general attack to be made, which resulted most successfully.
More than thirty Iroquois, the narrative says, were killed, and many
more were wounded. Out of thirteen canoes only four escaped. Two
prisoners were taken. One of these was sent to Quebec and was used by
Frontenac to help out his negotiations with their nation; the other was
taken to Michilimackinac. His fate was not a pleasant one. Perrot gave
him to the Hurons, and by so doing made the Ottawas a little jealous.
Both Ottawas and Hurons were at the time meditating an alliance with the
Iroquois, and the Hurons thought they could make good use of their
prisoner as a peace-offering. The French, however, were not going to
have any nonsense of that kind. The commanders conferred with the
missionaries, and finally a hint was dropped to the Hurons that, if they
did not put their prisoner "into the kettle," he would be taken from
them and given to the Ottawas. That settled the question; the unhappy
prisoner was put to death with the customary tortures, and all chance of
peace between Hurons and Iroquois was thus destroyed. What the Ottawas
might do still remained uncertain. Frontenac's message had by no means
wholly won them over to the French alliance. They had heard of the
warfare Onontio was waging against the English, and thought they would
await developments.

That war had been going merrily on in its own fashion, and Perrot was
able to give an account of the success of the principal expedition--the
one directed against Albany--for it had returned to Montreal after doing
its bloody work nearly two months before he left for the Upper
Lakes.[38] The story of the three war parties must now be woven into our
narrative. The one just mentioned started from Montreal on one of the
first days in February (1690). The Indians of the party had not been
informed what their destination was. When they learned that the
intention was to attack Albany, they inquired with surprise how long it
was since the French had become so bold. Like the Indians of the West,
they had drawn their own conclusions from the events of the previous
year. They were not disposed to join in so hazardous an undertaking; and
it is allowable, perhaps, to doubt whether it was at any time seriously
contemplated to make Albany the point of attack. If it was, the leaders
changed their minds, for on coming to a point where the roads to that
place and to Corlaer or Schenectady diverged, they took the latter. The
difficulties of the march were extreme. Though it was yet midwinter,
more or less thaw prevailed, and during much of the journey the men had
to walk knee-deep in water. Then on the last day or two came a blast of
excessive cold. A few miles from Corlaer the expedition was halted, and
the chief man of the Christian Mohawks harangued his people. The
opportunity had now come, he said, for taking ample revenge for all the
injuries they had received from the heathen Iroquois at the instigation
of the English, and to wash them out in blood. This Indian known as the
Great Mohawk, or in French as the _Grand Agnié_, is described in the
official narrative as "the most considerable of his tribe, an honest
man, full of spirit, prudence, and generosity, and capable of the
greatest undertakings." The little army was in wretched plight, and
probably, had they been attacked at this point by even a small force of
men in good condition, they would have been completely routed. No such
attack, however, was made. Marching a little further, they found a
wigwam occupied only by four squaws. There was a fire in it, and,
benumbed with cold, they crowded round it in turns. At eleven o'clock at
night they were in sight of the town, but in order that they might take
the inhabitants in their deepest sleep, they deferred the attack for
three hours; then they burst in through an open gate in the palisade.
The official account says, in very simple words, that "the massacre
lasted two hours." This, be it remembered, was supposed to be regular
warfare, not between savage Indians, or between French and Indians, but
between French and English. War, as already stated, had been declared
between France and England, and this was Frontenac's method of carrying
on his part of it. When New England retaliated later in the year by the
attack on Quebec, we can hardly wonder that some of the inhabitants of
that city anticipated a general massacre should the English obtain
possession of the town. The special enormities alleged to have been
committed by the heathen Iroquois in the massacre at Lachine are, by
witnesses who made their statements within a few days after the event,
affirmed to have been perpetrated by the Christian Indians at
Schenectady. Sixty persons in all were killed, thirty-eight being men
and boys, ten women, and twelve children of tender age.[39] Many were
wounded, thirty were carried away captive. The chief magistrate of the
place, John Sanders Glen by name, lived outside the town in a palisaded
and fortified dwelling, which he was prepared to defend. He was known,
however, to the French commanders as a man who had always been
favourable to their people, having on several occasions rescued French
prisoners from the Mohawks, over whom he had great influence. On being
assured that his life and property would be spared, he surrendered. It
was also agreed to extend the same immunity to any of his relatives who
might have survived the massacre; and the number of persons claiming the
privilege was so great as to cause the Indians to express some surprise
and ill-humour at the wide range of his family connection.

The homeward march was begun a day or two later. It was by no means a
prosperous one. Early in the attack a man on horseback had escaped
through the eastern gate of the town, and, though shot at and wounded,
was able to make his way to Albany and give the alarm. Thence word was
sent on to the Mohawk towns, and the warriors, accompanied by a
detachment of fifty young men from Albany, started on the track of the
retreating foe. Two only on the French side had been killed in the
attack on Schenectady, but before the party reached Montreal, their
losses amounted to twenty-one, seventeen French, and four Indians. The
opinion of the Mohawk Indians on the character of the expedition was
expressed in a message of sympathy which they sent to the authorities at
Albany. "The French," they said, "did not act on this occasion like
brave men, but like thieves and robbers. Be not discouraged, we give
this belt to wipe away your tears. We do not think what the French have
done can be called a victory. It is only a further proof of their cruel

The expedition organized at Three Rivers left that place on the 28th
January; but it was not till after two months' wanderings in the
inhospitable wilderness that they were able to strike their first blow.
The New England frontier had for a year past been in a very disturbed
and precarious condition owing to a renewed outbreak of hostilities on
the part of the Abenaquis Indians. A long period of previous warfare
with these tribes had been closed by the Treaty of Casco in 1678, but
now the frontier was again aflame. The English settlers attributed the
trouble to the machinations of the French with whom the Abenaquis were
in close alliance; and certain it is that the Marquis of Denonville, in
a memorandum written after his return to France, takes credit to himself
for the mischief done. He speaks of the progress made in christianizing
the Abenaquis, and of the establishment near Quebec of two colonies of
them which he thought would prove useful. He then proceeds: "To the
close relations which I maintained with these savages through the
Jesuits, and particularly the two brothers Bigot, may be attributed the
success of the attacks which they made upon the English last summer when
they captured sixteen forts besides that of Pemaquid, where there were
twenty cannon, and killed two hundred men."[41] The ex-governor
exaggerates the number of cannon in the fort at Pemaquid, as there were
only seven or eight, and omits to mention the fact that, after that
place had surrendered on the promise that the lives of all in it should
be spared, a number were murdered by his Indians. That they were not
also tortured, Father Thury, who was with the attacking party,
attributes to the influence of his exhortations. M. Lorin, in giving an
account of the occurrence, says there is no doubt that the Abenaquis
were impelled by their missionary, the Abbé Thury. He quotes the
statement of Charlevoix that, before setting out, their first care had
been to make sure of the divine assistance, by partaking of the
sacrament. "Certainly," he says, "the part taken by the missionaries in
expeditions of this character, was a preponderating one." He also
ventures the theory that, as the heathen Iroquois never penetrated into
New England, the only enemies of the faith upon whom the missionaries
could exercise the zeal of their Abenaquis converts were the

The fighting along the frontier lasted all through the summer and autumn
of 1689. The winter brought respite from attack, and the settlers were
beginning to indulge a sense of security when Hertel and his fifty men
crept up to the little settlement of Salmon Falls, on the borders of
New Hampshire and Maine. The attack was made in very similar fashion to
that at Schenectady. The assailants burst in at night and at once began
to apply tomahawk and torch. Thirty persons, men, women, and children
indiscriminately, were slaughtered, and fifty-four were made prisoners.
Hearing that a force of English from Piscataqua, now Portsmouth, was
hastening to the scene, Hertel ordered a retreat. At Wooster River the
pursuers caught up with him, but, taking up an advantageous position on
the far side of that stream, he held them in check, killing several as
they tried to cross the narrow bridge. At night he resumed his retreat.
Some of the prisoners were given to his Indians to torture and kill. It
was unfortunate that Father Thury was not present to inspire milder
sentiments in these converts.

Hertel was a born fighter, and when, upon reaching one of the Abenaquis
villages on the Kennebec, he learnt that the Quebec party under M. de
Portneuf had just passed south, he determined to follow them with
thirty-six of his men, though he was obliged to leave behind him his
eldest son who had been badly wounded in the fight at Wooster River. A
number of Indian warriors joined the party at a point on the Kennebec;
and on the 25th May, the united force, numbering between four and five
hundred men, encamped in the forest not far from the English forts on
Casco Bay. The principal of these was Fort Loyal, a palisaded place
mounting eight cannon. The others were simple blockhouses. The several
garrisons consisted of about one hundred men under the command of
Captain Sylvanus Davis, whose narrative in the original--and most
original--spelling has come down to us. The garrison first knew that an
enemy was at hand by hearing the war-whoop of the Indians, who had just
scalped an unfortunate Scotsman found wandering about in the
neighbourhood, all unconscious of danger. Thirty volunteers at once
sallied forth from the fort to meet the foe. They had not gone far when
they received a volley at close range which killed half of them. Of the
remaining half only four reached the fort, all wounded. During the night
the men in the blockhouses crept into the fort, together with the
inhabitants of some neighbouring houses. The place could not be carried
by assault, so Portneuf determined to besiege it in due form by opening
trenches and working his way in. The work was well and rapidly done, and
Davis saw that surrender was inevitable. He inquired if there were any
French in the attacking force, and, if so, whether they would give
quarter. The answer was affirmative on both points. Davis inquired
whether the quarter would include men, women, and children, wounded and
unwounded, and whether they would all be allowed to retire to the
nearest English town. This was agreed to and sworn to; but, no sooner
had the occupants of the fort filed out, than the Indians fell upon
them, killed a number, and made prisoners of the rest. Davis protested,
but he was told that he and his people were rebels against their lawful
king, and therefore without any claim to consideration. The captives,
Davis among them, were carried off to Quebec, where they arrived about
the middle of June. The fort was burned, the guns were spiked, the
neighbouring settlements destroyed, and the dead left unburied.

Thus had Frontenac's expeditions fared. They had spread grief and alarm
amongst the English settlements, but had inflicted no serious blow on
English power. They had shown how expert the colonial French had become
in the methods of Indian warfare, and also to how large an extent they
had themselves inbibed the Indian spirit. We may doubt whether Frontenac
philosophized much on the subject; his immediate object was to produce
an effect on the minds of his wavering Indian allies and his sullen
Indian enemies; and the raids into English territory, with the
slaughterings and burnings, were doubtless well adapted to that purpose.
If Onontio was strong enough and bold enough to make war in this fashion
on Corlaer and Kishon[43] at once, there was something for allies, and
enemies as well, to reflect on. This view of the matter finally
prevailed with the Lake tribes. For some two or three years trade had
been almost at a standstill, and furs had accumulated which the savages
were now anxious to turn into European goods. With one accord they
determined to try the Montreal market once more, and see Onontio face to

During the winter, while his guerrilla forces were in the field,
Frontenac had not been idle. Having arranged for offensive measures, he
next took thought for defensive ones; and, as if with a prevision that
Quebec itself might not be exempt from attack, he devoted special
attention to strengthening the fortifications of that place. He caused a
vast amount of timber to be cut for palisades, with which he protected
the city at the rear, its only weak point. In the spring he began the
erection of a strong stone redoubt; and the work was pushed with so much
vigour that by midsummer it was well advanced towards completion. These
pressing occupations did not, however, absorb all his thoughts. The fact
of his having been chosen a second time by the king for the governorship
of Canada, notwithstanding all the criticism of which he had formerly
been the object, gave him a position of manifest strength, which even
his bitterest opponents of former days could not ignore. The Sovereign
Council as a whole recognized the fact, and was anxious to arrange
matters so as, if possible, to avoid friction for the future.

The governor on his part was determined to preserve an attitude of
dignified, not to say haughty, reserve, and throw upon the council the
task of making such advances as might be necessary. In pursuance of this
policy, he refrained from attending the meetings, though his presence
was much required. The council having deputed Auteuil, the
attorney-general, to wait upon him and invite his attendance, he replied
that the council should be able to manage its own business and that he
would come when he thought the king's service required it. It is hard to
understand why Auteuil should have been chosen for this negotiation; for
Frontenac must have had a vivid recollection of the insolence with which
he had been treated during his first administration by this individual,
then a raw youth of not much over twenty. The next move of the council
was to send four of their number to repeat the invitation, and to ask
the governor at the same time with what ceremonies he would wish to be
received. His answer was that if they would propose the form he would
tell them whether it was satisfactory. The council felt that the
governor was pushing his advantage a little too far; but nevertheless
they applied themselves to the question, and, having devised a form
which they thought could not fail to be acceptable, sent Villeray, the
first councillor, to the château to explain what was proposed. Villeray
was as deferential and complimentary as he knew how; but the end was not
yet. "See the bishop, and any other parties who have knowledge of such
matters, and get their opinion," said the governor. The bishop was
consulted accordingly, but very properly declined to give any opinion.
Thrown back on their own resources the councillors devised the following
scheme: that, when his Lordship, the count, should decide to make his
first visit to the council, four of its members should present
themselves at the château in order to accompany him to the place of
meeting, which was the intendant's palace on the bank of the St.
Charles; and that, on all subsequent occasions, he should be met by two
councillors at the head of the stairs and respectfully conducted to his
seat. This was duly explained by the first councillor, Villeray, who
said he was authorized to add that any modification of the plan which
the governor might suggest would be gladly adopted by the council. This
was submission indeed, yet still the count hesitated. He asked to see
the minutes of the council in which the resolution bearing on the matter
was recorded. Villeray struggled up Palace Hill with the official
register, and presented himself again before the potentate, who found
the entry in good shape, but reserved his final answer. A few days
later, having been again waited on, he graciously informed the
deputation that the arrangement proposed was quite satisfactory. With
what must really be called a fatuous self-complacency, he added that,
had the council wished to go too far in the way of obsequiousness, he
could not have consented to it, as, being himself its head, he was
jealous of its dignity and honour. If for some men there is, as the poet
hints, "a far-off touch of greatness" in knowing they are not great, it
is to be feared Frontenac did not possess that particular touch.

Not only were the fortifications of Quebec strengthened, but steps were
also taken to form a local militia guard under the command of the
town-major, Prevost. Leaving to that officer the supervision of whatever
work was still required on the defences, Frontenac, accompanied by the
intendant and Madame Champigny, left the capital on the 22nd July for
Montreal, where his presence was much required. He probably did some
inspection of posts on the way, for he did not reach the end of his
journey till the 31st. Trade at this time was pretty much at a
standstill. Bands of mission Indians were on the war-path against the
English; and every now and again the Iroquois would swoop down on the
settlements, notwithstanding the fact that scouts were kept continually
employed along the routes by which they were accustomed to make their
approaches. Under the new administration the lesson of Lachine, the
lesson of eternal watchfulness, was being taken to heart. The governor
had much to occupy his thoughts. At Montreal, as at Quebec, he was
anxious to perfect the organization of the military forces, and to place
the city, from every point of view, in the best possible condition of
defence. He had not as yet received news as to how Louvigny and Perrot
had succeeded among the Lake tribes; yet upon the success of their
mission hung the most momentous issues. Was Canada to secure allies in
the West who would hold at least in partial check the Iroquois power, or
were Hurons, Ottawas, Iroquois, and English to combine their forces for
her destruction? Meantime bad news had come from Acadia. Port Royal and
other fortified posts had been captured; the English were in possession
of the entire country; the governor had been carried captive to Boston.
It was known that the English of Albany and New York were moving: what
the next news would be, who could tell?

On the 18th August news came. In hot haste the officer in command at
Lachine had despatched a messenger to say that Lake St. Louis to the
west was covered with Iroquois canoes bearing down on the island. The
terror of the inhabitants, in spite of the presence of the governor
amongst them, was extreme. Orders were given to fire alarm guns to warn
the inhabitants of the surrounding country; and other measures of
protection were being hastily concerted, when a second messenger arrived
to say that it was all a mistake. It was not the dreaded Iroquois who
were close at hand, but a large body of Lake Indians who were coming to
trade. Fear was at once turned into joy. The envoys sent to the upper
country in May had been successful; a great danger had been averted.
Perrot with his scalps and Frontenac with his vigorous and aggressive,
if somewhat primitive and ruthless, war policy had turned the scale in
favour of Canada. Firm alliances would now be made, and there would be a
big market at Montreal.

The next day the canoes, laden with the accumulated furs of the last two
or three years, shot the Lachine Rapids and landed at Montreal. There
were about five hundred Indians in all, Hurons, Ottawas, Crees,
Ojibways, and various other tribes, all bent on buying, selling, and
negotiating. It was not the habit, however, of these savages to enter
precipitately on any kind of business; and three days were allowed to
elapse before they opened their great council at which, tribe by tribe,
they were to lay their views before the governor. The first to speak
were the Ottawas, and their talk was almost exclusively of trade. Their
instinct for business was keen, and had it been possible they would
probably have steered clear of politics. They had had some experience of
the low prices of English goods, and were very insistent that the French
should deal with them on equally favourable terms. The spokesman of the
Hurons, a much weaker tribe numerically, was not so narrowly commercial
in his views. He said he had come down to see his father, to listen to
his voice, and to do his will. He presented three belts. By the first he
prayed that the war might be prosecuted against the Iroquois as well as
against the English. If not, he feared he and his father would both
die. The second thanked the count for his former services to their
nation. The third prayed him to take pity on the Ottawas, and give them
good bargains. Such a manifestation of interest in the Ottawas was very
touching; but probably the Huron orator, whose people had a certain
reputation for subtlety, calculated that, if a lower tariff were made
for the Ottawas, all would get the benefit of it. On the twenty-fifth of
the month, the count entertained them all at a great feast. Two oxen and
six large dogs furnished the meat, which was cooked with prunes. Two
barrels of wine were provided to wash this down, and liberal rations of
tobacco were served out to every man. Before the feasting began, the
count stood up to address his guests. He assured them that he meant to
prosecute the war with the Iroquois until he had brought it to a
successful issue, and forced them to sue for peace. Then, when peace was
made, it should be a general peace: all should be included in it, and
the Iroquois themselves would again be his children. Meantime, however,
they were preparing to invade the country; and the question was whether
to await their arrival or go to meet them. Then ensued a remarkable
performance, which might well have employed a livelier pen than that of
Monseignat who gives us the account of it. Seizing a hatchet, the aged
governor, war-worn but yet fiery and vigorous, began to sing the war
song, walking to and fro in the most excited manner, and brandishing
the hatchet over his head in true Indian fashion. The effect was
electric. The old Onontio was surpassing himself. Here was a leader
whose very presence banished fear. When he had sufficiently excited
their admiration, and stimulated their warlike ardour, he handed the
hatchet to the different chiefs in turn, and to a number of Frenchmen,
who all imitated Onontio's example, vowing vengeance on the foe. Then
began the feast, a function to which it is needless to say the savage
guests brought ravenous appetites. In diplomacy dinners have been known
to work wonders; and Frontenac was seeking the hearts of his guests
through a well-recognized channel.

We have seen that the mission sent by the governor to the Iroquois
towards the close of the previous year, and which returned in the
following month of March, had not accomplished any satisfactory result.
The count waited till navigation was open before resuming negotiations.
He then determined to restore to their nation the four returned Iroquois
who had formed his first embassy, and to make them the bearers of belts
which he hoped would speak strongly in favour of peace. With these
Indians he sent a French gentleman, the Chevalier d'Eau. He tendered the
mission in the first place to the gay and dashing Baron La Hontan; but
that young man, who was well versed in the classics, was afraid of the
Iroquois even when carrying gifts to them; and, with marked discretion,
declined the honour. The Chevalier d'Eau had no reason to congratulate
himself on having accepted it. He made his appearance amongst the
Iroquois at a most unfavourable moment. The affair at Schenectady was
fresh in their recollection; and though their own people had, through
motives of policy, been spared on that occasion, they were under a
strong pledge to the English to assist in revenging the slaughter. A
couple of Frenchmen who accompanied the chevalier were burnt; he himself
was soundly thrashed and handed over as a prisoner to the English; the
messages of the belts were disregarded. No news of the fate of the envoy
had reached Frontenac up to the time of the gathering of the western
Indians at Montreal; but after their departure the facts concerning them
were obtained from some Iroquois prisoners at Fort Frontenac. The one
great gain of the year had been the winning over of the Lake tribes, a
result which at once assured the safety of the French traders and
missionaries in the West, and prevented that isolation of the colony
which would have followed had an alliance been struck between those
tribes and the Iroquois.

[Footnote 33: _Frontenac et ses Amis_, p. 93.]

[Footnote 34: _Comte de Frontenac_, p. 358.]

[Footnote 35: Far from yielding to Frontenac's view of the matter,
Denonville doggedly adhered to his own opinion that the fort ought to be
entirely abandoned; and, when it was found that it had only been partly
destroyed, he wrote to the king advising that Frontenac should be
ordered to send up three hundred men with instructions to demolish it

[Footnote 36: Parkman tells the story in his usual brilliant manner in
chapter iii. of his _Old Régime in Canada_. Père Charlevoix gives the
facts and adds: "Je l'ai vu en 1721, âgé de quatre-vingt ans, plein de
forces et de santé; toute la colonie rendant hommage à sa vertu et à son
mérite," vol. ii. p. 111, edition of 1744.]

[Footnote 37: _New York Colonial Documents_, p. 464.]

[Footnote 38: Perrot and his party, according to Monseignat's narrative,
left the end of the Island of Montreal on the 22nd May. The Albany--or
more correctly Schenectady party, for they did not venture to attack
Albany--returned towards the end of March. Frontenac's message must have
been composed some months before Perrot's departure, otherwise he would
undoubtedly have mentioned with pride the Schenectady massacre. It was
certainly not up to date.]

[Footnote 39: "There was little resistance," says Père Chrétien
Leclercq, a contemporary writer, "except at one house, where Sieur de
Marque Montigny was wounded; but Sieur de Ste. Hélène, having come up,
all were slaughtered with sword or tomahawk, the Indians sparing no
one."--_Premier Etablissement de la Foi._]

[Footnote 40: _Documentary History of New York_, vol. ii. pp. 164-9.]

[Footnote 41: _New York Colonial Documents_, vol. ix. p. 440. See also
Lorin, _Comte de Frontenac_, chap. x.]

[Footnote 42: _Comte de Frontenac_, p. 367.]

[Footnote 43: Names given by the Indians to the governors of New York
and Massachusetts; Corlaer being a corruption of Cuyler, a Dutchman of
the early period held in high honour by them, and Kishon signifying "The



In planning his attacks on the English colonies it does not appear that
Frontenac took specially into account the political disorganization
existing amongst them at the time, or built his hopes of success to any
extent on that circumstance. It is nevertheless true that, if his object
had been to strike at a moment of unpreparedness and weakness, he could
not have timed his operations better. The rule of James II and his
agents had been borne with no little reluctance by his subjects in North
America, and particularly by those of New England, and when news came of
his expulsion from the throne, his flight from England, and the arrival
and coronation of the Prince of Orange and his wife (daughter of James
II) as king and queen, there was at once a popular movement both at
Boston and at New York to seize the government, and hold it subject to
the orders of the new sovereigns. Sir Edmund Andros was governor of New
England at the time, with authority over the province of New York,
Boston being the chief seat of government, and the governor being
represented at New York by a lieutenant-governor, one Francis Nicholson.
Andros had been appointed governor of New York, by James, then Duke of
York, to whom the province had been patented in 1674, and had held the
office till 1681, when he was replaced by Colonel Dongan of epistolary
fame. His recall was consequent upon complaints that had been made by
the colonists of various arbitrary acts on his part; but on his arrival
in England he managed to defend himself successfully, and in 1686, James
being now on the throne, he was sent out again with the larger
jurisdiction we have mentioned.

Religious passions in those days ran high; and Andros, who was a strong
churchman, soon found himself on worse terms with the puritanical
population of Boston than he had been with the more heterogeneous and
less rigid inhabitants of New York. The circumstances of the time, it
must be confessed, were such as to excuse a somewhat sensitive condition
of public feeling. Two years before the arrival of Andros, the Court of
Chancery of England had declared null and void the charter granted to
the colony of Massachusetts in the year 1629, which, from that date
onwards, had been the basis, not only of all government, but of all land
grants, transfers of property, and popular liberties generally. A
provisional government, under one Joseph Dudley had succeeded. Then had
come Andros, commissioned by a king who was far from commanding the
unlimited confidence of his subjects at home, and who was looked upon
with at least equal distrust by the ultra-Protestants of his American
dominions. How long they were going to be deprived of legally guaranteed
liberties there was no knowing, nor what the intentions of James II
might be in regard to their beloved commonwealth. They did not think it
impossible he might wish to hand them over to his close ally the King of
France; and in Andros they feared they saw only too meet an instrument
for stratagems and spoils. The instructions given to him as governor
contained a special injunction to favour by all means in his power the
rites and doctrines of the Church of England; and the colonists, with
the exception of a small minority, were maddened to see public taxes
applied to this hateful object. As the Indians were giving trouble, the
governor made a campaign against them in the summer of 1688, which was
not very successful; hence more odium gathered on his head. Having
failed in his measures of offence he thought he would at least provide
for defence, and garrisoned the forts on the frontier with six hundred
men, chiefly militia. More discontent: the garrisons served unwillingly,
and the people at home professed to believe that such measures were
unnecessary. A small detachment of soldiers had come out with Andros.
Their conduct, according to contemporary accounts, was most unedifying
and in shocking contrast to the unrelenting rigour and formality of
colonial piety. It is not surprising therefore that, when, in April
1689, news was brought that James II, whose commission Andros bore, was
no longer king, but that the leader of European Protestantism reigned in
his stead, there should have been an instant uprising of the populace
against his representative. Andros was seized and imprisoned with fifty
of his followers. "For seven weeks," says a contemporary writer, "there
was not so much as the face of any government." A vessel having arrived
towards the end of May with instructions to proclaim William and Mary,
certain of the members of the former General Council assumed to act, and
one of their number, the aged Simon Bradstreet, was named as governor.

It did not take long for the news to travel from Boston to New York. The
condition of things there was different; public opinion was not in the
same state of exasperation as at Boston; still Andros was of old
unpopular, and after a little hesitation, a movement was organized,
headed by one Jacob Leisler, to take the government out of the hands of
the lieutenant-governor, Nicholson. Like his superior officer at Boston,
the latter was obliged to submit; and Leisler, most unhappily for
himself and his family, assumed, with the support of a committee of
citizens, the control of affairs. Thus, both in New England and in New
York, there supervened a period of divided councils and enfeebled
administration, and this at the precise moment when the colonies were
about to encounter new perils. The provisional government of New
England, in blind opposition to the policy of Sir Edmund Andros,
withdrew or greatly reduced the garrisons he had wisely established
along the frontier. If Leisler could have got his authority recognized
at Albany he would have sent forces for the defence of the northern part
of the province. There was a party there in his favour; but the
magistrates, though quite ready to pay allegiance to William and Mary,
thought Leisler's credentials of too dubious a character to justify
their negotiating with him. Between divided responsibility and
irresponsibility, the difference is not great. News had been received
that the French were meditating mischief, but no proper precautionary
measures were taken. To this condition of unpreparedness the horrible
disaster of Schenectady may be distinctly attributed, and probably those
at Salmon Falls and Casco Bay as well.

Even after the mischief was done, it was extremely difficult to secure
any harmonious or well-directed action. A strong appeal was sent by the
magistrates of Albany to the governor and council of Massachusetts,
representing their own deplorable condition of weakness, and asking that
New England should undertake the serious enterprise of invading Canada
by water. That was a matter for grave consideration, and one, the
authorities of Massachusetts thought, in which, if they attempted it at
all, they should have the assistance of the Mother Country. They
despatched a vessel in April to England with a request for help; but
meantime, spurred by their own wrongs and sufferings, they determined to
take an easier revenge on the French by invading Acadia. Early in the
month of May 1690 the different New England colonies sent delegates to a
congress held at New York for the purpose of deciding on a military
policy. The conclusion come to was that there should be both a land and
a sea expedition, the first directed against Montreal, the second
against Quebec. To the former New York was to contribute four hundred
men and the New England colonies jointly three hundred and fifty-five.
The Iroquois, it was expected, would add a powerful contingent. The
naval expedition, it was proposed, should be provided entirely by the
New England colonies. The Massachusetts delegates hesitated to commit
themselves to so extensive and costly a scheme, but finally agreed to
undertake it, relying on assistance from the Mother Country, which, in
existing circumstances, they hardly thought could be refused. Meantime
the expedition against Acadia could be pushed forward.

French Acadia had at all times been much exposed to attacks from the
English colonies. The settlers were few in number--at this time not much
over a thousand all told--and their defences were but feeble. In 1654,
in accordance with secret orders sent by Cromwell, the territory had
been seized by an English force from Boston under the command of Major
Robert Sedgwick and Captain John Leverett. Two years later it was made a
province, Sir Thomas Temple being appointed governor. After remaining in
the possession of the English for a period of thirteen years, it was
ceded back to France by the Treaty of Breda in 1667. Five years later
Frontenac arrived in Canada for the first time, and in the following
year, 1673, M. de Chambly, a very capable soldier, whose services had
been highly appreciated by the previous governor, M. de Courcelles, was
sent to command in Acadia, and established himself at Pentagouet, a
fortified post at the mouth of the river Penobscot. This was the extreme
western limit of his jurisdiction even according to the French view of
the matter. The New Englanders held that the true limit was the river
St. Croix, the present boundary between the province of New Brunswick
and the state of Maine. To the east Acadia embraced, by common consent,
the southern part of what is now New Brunswick and all Nova Scotia west
of the Straits of Canso.

M. de Chambly had not been more than a year in his new government when
an attack was made on Pentagouet by a Flemish corsair conducted by a
Boston pilot or ship captain. After a brief defence he was obliged to
surrender, his force being very inferior, and he himself having been
wounded. The attacking party then proceeded to the only other Acadian
fort, Jemseg, on the river St. John, and captured it. M. de Chambly was
taken as a prisoner to Boston, but was soon set at liberty and permitted
to return to France. The attack gave rise to a strong protest on the
part of Frontenac, and was wholly disavowed by the Massachusetts
authorities. In the year 1676, M. de Chambly was sent out again from
France with a royal commission as lieutenant-governor. He did not
attempt to establish himself at Pentagouet, but for a time made his
headquarters at Jemseg, and not long afterwards removed to Port Royal,
now Annapolis, on the northern coast of Nova Scotia, which thus became
the capital of Acadia. Here he remained till about the year 1679 or
1680, when he was transferred to the governorship of Grenada in the West

It was not till the autumn of 1684 that a duly appointed successor was
provided in the person of M. François Perrot, who had finally been
dismissed from the governorship of Montreal. In the interval there had
been one or two descents on the Acadian coast, calling forth further
protests on Frontenac's part, and further disclaimers of responsibility
on that of the constituted authorities of New England. To fish in French
waters or to trade with the inhabitants was considered an infraction of
international law; and yet there is clear evidence that the French
settlers rather longed than otherwise for the flesh-pots of Boston in
the shape of English goods and English money, very much after the manner
of the Iroquois and the Indian tribes of the West. When Perrot came to
Port Royal he was pleased to find that the conditions there were nearly
as favourable as at Montreal for the trading in which his soul
delighted. The chief difference was the substitution of Boston for New
York as his commercial centre. In the fall of the year 1685, a few weeks
after the arrival of the Marquis of Denonville, Meulles, the intendant,
accompanied by a member of the Sovereign Council, Peyras, paid a visit
of inspection to the country, remaining till the following summer. A
carefully-made census showed that the total population amounted at that
time to 885 souls, mustering 222 guns. Of cultivated land there were 896
acres. Horned cattle numbered 986, sheep 759, and pigs 608. Just as
Meulles was leaving the country, the bishop designate, Saint Vallier,
arrived on a pastoral visit. The account he gives of the people in his
_Etat présent de l'Eglise_ is most laudatory, and strangely at variance
with a report made by Duchesneau, the intendant, a few years earlier. In
1681 that officer had written that the poverty of the people was not the
most serious evil; "their discords are a much greater one. Among them
there is neither order nor police; and those who are sent hence to
command them pillage them." The future bishop, in 1689, saw things very
differently. Although, he said, they had been deprived of spiritual
instruction for many years, they did not seem to have suffered in the
least thereby. Their morals were excellent; they were kindly and
well-disposed, and were greatly rejoiced to learn that their spiritual
interests were going to be better looked after in future. Of course they
may have improved in the eight years that had elapsed since M.
Duchesneau made his report; or that not very genial individual may have
needlessly darkened the picture; or, again, the worthy prelate may have
thrown a little too much sunshine into it. It is satisfactory to learn
that the result of Meulles's visit was the dismissal of Perrot, who,
doubtless, was plundering the people. This time no other office was
provided for him. He remained in the country, however, to do a little
more trading, and was finally killed, it was reported, in a fight with
some pirates. His successor was M. de Menneval, a good soldier and a man
of character.

Such was the country on which Massachusetts had determined to make a
descent. Seven vessels, carrying two hundred and eighty-five sailors,
and four or five hundred militiamen, were commissioned for the
expedition, which was put under the command of Sir William Phipps, "a
rugged son of New England," as Parkman calls him. Phipps was, in truth,
an early American example of a self-made man. His knighthood, as well as
a comfortable fortune, had been won by adventurous and successful
service at sea. One of his biographers tells us that he was born "at a
despicable plantation on the river Kennebec." His early years were
passed in sheep-tending. The attacks of the Indians drove him, in the
year 1676, to Boston, where he applied himself to learning the trade of
ship-building, and where he also married Mary Hull, widow of one John
Hull, a woman several years his senior and of much better education and
social position than he. A year later we find him in command of a
sailing vessel. A Spanish treasure vessel had been wrecked somewhere off
the Bahamas some forty years before, and Phipps felt confident that if
he were furnished with a suitable ship he could find the wreck and
recover the treasure. He made an application to the English government,
and was granted the use of a vessel called the _Algier Rose_. His first
expedition was not successful; but on a second attempt he located the
wreck, and by the aid of a diving-bell--a comparatively recent invention
at the time--recovered treasure to the value of £300,000. He had next to
face a mutiny on his vessel, which he only quelled by dint of personal
courage and address. On reaching England he received as his own share of
the booty £16,000; but James II further recognized his services by
creating him a knight. This was in the summer of 1687. Phipps then
returned to Boston, and was henceforth a man of substance and influence
in the community.

The fleet under his command sailed from Nantasket about the 1st May, and
on the 11th reached Port Royal. Menneval, the governor, had under his
command a garrison consisting of not far short of one hundred men. The
fort had also been provided with twenty cannon; but these, it appears,
had not been mounted. Menneval must have judged that the place was
incapable of defence, because, when summoned by Phipps to surrender, he
complied without making any attempt at resistance. He stipulated that
private property as well as the church should be respected, and that the
garrison should be returned to France. Phipps might have insisted on
surrender at discretion, as he clearly saw when he entered into
possession of the fort; but as he had not done so, honour required that
he should observe the terms he had made. This, unfortunately for his
reputation, he did not do. Availing himself of the pretext afforded by
the fact that some goods belonging to the king had been carried away
from the fort and secreted in the woods, he proceeded to plunder the
traders of the place and desecrate the church. It is one of his own men
who writes: "We cut down the cross, pulled down their high altar, and
broke their images." The inhabitants in general were promised security
for life, liberty, and property, on condition of swearing allegiance to
the English Crown, which they did with great alacrity. The fact was they
had dealt so much with the New Englanders in the way of business that
they had little prejudice against them, while they had been so much
neglected by the French government, both politically and
ecclesiastically, not to speak of being robbed by its agents, that their
national feelings had been but little cultivated. Phipps had with him
such a force as they had never seen before--seven hundred men; and the
probability is that they hoped for greater quiet and surer protection
under English rule than, so far as they could see, they were likely to
enjoy under that of France. Phipps seemed to have assumed that they
would remain true to their new allegiance, for he did not leave any
garrison in the country, but invited the people to govern themselves by
means of a council consisting of six ordinary members and a president,
whom he chose from amongst themselves. Acadia was now to rank as a
colony of Massachusetts, which was thus affording the earliest example
of American "imperialism," though in a liberal fashion.

While Phipps was taking possession of Port Royal, one of his officers,
Captain Alden, had captured Saint-Castin's post at Pentagouet
(Penobscot), after which, by orders of his chief, he sailed to the
southern coast of what is now Nova Scotia, and seized the settlements of
La Hève, Chedabucto, and one or two others. No resistance was made
anywhere, and consequently no lives were lost. The conquest, such as it
was, was a bloodless one. Bitter complaint, nevertheless, was made of
the bad faith shown by the New England leader after the capture of Port
Royal, and with good cause. A soldier's word in such a case should be
absolutely inviolable. At the same time it is a memorable fact that men
who might have sought to avenge the blood of kindred slain without
warning in night attacks, such as those at Schenectady and Salmon Falls,
or in violation of terms of surrender, as at Casco Bay, should have
absolutely refrained from bloodshed. The French account of the affair
at Port Royal distinctly mentions that the New Englanders were bitterly
resentful of the Salmon Falls massacre in particular; nevertheless it
did not enter into their mind to follow the example of Hertel and his

On the 30th May Phipps arrived at Boston, bringing with him as prisoners
Menneval, fifty-nine French soldiers, and two priests. The "rugged son
of New England" showed that he had the over-thrifty qualities which were
formerly, more than to-day, associated with the "down-east" character.
Menneval had entrusted him with his money, and Phipps refused to return
it. He also appropriated a quantity of the French governor's clothing
and other effects, which he showed the greatest reluctance to give up,
though distinctly ordered to do so by the General Council of
Massachusetts. Upon a repetition of the order in more emphatic terms, he
restored a portion of the property, but could not be induced to make
complete restitution. Successful generals are not always easy to confine
within the bounds of strict legality. Phipps himself was a member of the
General Council, having been elected thereto while absent in Acadia;
and, as just before starting on the expedition, he had joined the church
of the celebrated Cotton Mather, he possessed a combination "pull," as
it would be denominated in these days--civil, religious, military, and
doubtless social--which it must have been very difficult to overcome,
particularly in the unsettled condition of things then prevailing.
Menneval, after being kept for a considerable time in confinement, was
allowed to sail for France.

Massachusetts had not waited for the return of Phipps before taking in
hand the more serious matter of the expedition against Quebec. It was
hoped, as has already been mentioned, that some assistance would come
from the Mother Country in time for a union of forces; but, should that
hope be disappointed, New England had determined to proceed with the
enterprise alone. The ease with which Acadia had been reduced to
submission seemed to be a presage of success in the larger undertaking;
and if Phipps could return with a respectable show of booty from so
small an establishment as that of Port Royal, what might not be expected
if so acquisitive a commander could get a chance at Quebec. Then there
was the religious aspect of the case. The Puritan commonwealth would not
dishonour God by doubting that they were the people, or that the
Catholics of Canada were idolaters. With all the sound doctrine and
scriptural worship on one side, and all the deadly error and
superstitious practice on the other, how could Providence hesitate which
cause to support? At the same time prayer was not considered
superfluous, nor was it allowed to flag. "The wheel," as Cotton Mather
expressed it, "was kept in continual motion"; and as they prayed they
worked, these sturdy Roundheads of the New World. Till well past
midsummer Boston harbour was alive with preparation. The chief
difficulty was to finance the enterprise. Previous Indian wars had
exhausted the colony, and the treasury was well-nigh empty. The only
thing to do was to pledge the public credit and raise a loan, which it
was hoped might be liquidated, in great part, if not in whole, by the
plunder of the enemy. Thirty vessels altogether were requisitioned for
the expedition. Most were of small capacity; the largest was a West
India trader named the _Six Friends_, carrying forty-four guns, and the
second largest the _John and Thomas_, carrying twenty-six guns. The rest
had little or no armament. Three vessels appear to have been contributed
by the province of New York, one of which was a frigate of twenty-four
guns, and the two others vessels of smaller size carrying eight and four
guns respectively. The supply of ammunition was decidedly short; but it
was hoped, almost up to the last moment, that some contribution in the
way of warlike stores, if not in ships and men, would arrive from
England. That hope was destined to be frustrated. It was the year when
William III was carrying on his campaign in Ireland, while Queen Mary
and her Privy Council were trying to control domestic disaffection. It
was the terrible year of Beachy Head, when the combined English and
Dutch fleets, under Torrington and Evertsen, were defeated by the French
under Tourville, and when the buoys at the mouth of the Thames were
taken up to prevent the ships of the enemy from appearing before London.
It is perhaps not much to be wondered at that, in a time of so much
stress and perplexity, an appeal from a trans-Atlantic colony for
assistance that could ill be spared should have received scant
attention. No help was sent: the New Englanders were left to fight their
own battles as William was fighting his.

Considering the resources of the colonies, it was no mean effort they
were putting forth. Some hundreds of men volunteered for the expedition;
but, the number being insufficient, a press was resorted to in order to
make up the total required, namely, twenty-two hundred. Of these about
three hundred were sailors, and the rest soldiers. Provisions for four
months were taken on board, and the expedition, under the command of
Phipps, sailed from Nantasket on the 9th August 1690.

What progress was being made in the meantime with the land expedition
against Montreal in which New York was to take the lead? The answer must
be, very poor progress indeed. At Boston there was a considerable
measure of unity of action; in New York there was almost none. It had
been agreed that Connecticut should furnish a contingent of troops, and
that the whole expedition should be placed under the command of one of
its officers, Fitz-John Winthrop, afterwards governor. Winthrop
organized a force of two or three hundred men, and started from
Hartford for Albany on the 14th July. A week later he arrived at the
latter town only to find everything in complete disorder. "I found," he
says, "the design against Canada poorly contrived and little forwarded,
all things confused and in no readiness or position for marching towards
Canada; yet every one disorderly projecting something about it."[44] The
Dutch displayed the greatest indifference in the matter, and the
English, for want of any commanding influence or unquestioned authority,
were irresolute and vacillating. There was no definite understanding
with the Indians; and what help they were going to give was quite
uncertain. Organizing his forces as best he could in these most
disadvantageous circumstances, Winthrop set out from Albany on his march
northwards. He had not gone far when he was overtaken by a despatch from
the governor of Massachusetts and Connecticut, telling him that the
fleet was in readiness to sail. Eager to do his part in the combined
operations, Winthrop pressed on and encamped at Wood Creek at the
southern extremity of Lake Champlain. Here smallpox broke out among the
troops; disagreements arose with the Indians; and, to make matters still
worse, the provisions which should have been pushed on from Albany
failed to arrive. After waiting several days in inactivity, Winthrop
became persuaded that an advance to Montreal with the body of his
troops was out of the question. He allowed the mayor of Albany, Captain
John Schuyler, to go on with a small detachment, while he with the rest
of his force, largely consisting of sick men, returned to Albany. All
that Schuyler succeeded in doing was to perpetrate a rather ignoble raid
upon the hamlet of Laprairie near Montreal, where he killed ten or
twelve of the inhabitants, destroyed the farms and the cattle, and made
a number of prisoners, including some women. As an act of retaliation
for Schenectady it was a feeble performance; as an act of war it was not
a heroic exploit. Winthrop, before the month of September closed,
marched back to Hartford, and thus ended the New York expedition.
Clearly, if anything effective is to be done against Canada, the Boston
men must do it.

The fleet sailed, as already mentioned, on the 9th August. The admiral's
pennon floated from the _Six Friends_, the vice-admiral's from the _John
and Thomas_. The vice-admiral for the occasion was Major John Walley;
the third in command, apparently, was a Major Thomas Savage. Had the
winds been favourable, the expedition might easily have reached Quebec
within a month. They were most unfavourable, however; and it was not
till the 3rd October that it arrived off Tadousac. Here the ships were
brought to anchor, and a council of war was held. Four days later the
fleet had only advanced fifty miles, and it took eight days more to
reach a point off the Island of Orleans near the present village of St.
Jean, where it anchored for a few hours. Here Walley proposed that the
men, who had been for weeks confined on shipboard, should be allowed to
land and "refresh themselves," and that opportunity should be taken to
form the several companies, and get everything into perfect order before
proceeding to an attack. He was overruled however; and, taking advantage
of a rising tide, the fleet slipped up the river, and at daybreak on
Monday the 16th October made its appearance in the harbour of Quebec.

We have seen that, during the month of August and part of the month of
September Frontenac was engaged at Montreal with his western Indians. It
was during this time that Schuyler made his attack on Laprairie. After
the departure of the Indians, Frontenac remained in Montreal to complete
his measures for the defence of the country, and hoping also to get news
of his embassy to the Iroquois. His return to Quebec was fixed for the
10th October, and on the afternoon of that very day a messenger who had
been sent post haste by Prevost, the major in command of the troops at
Quebec, placed in his hands two letters. The first, dated the 5th
October, told him that an Abenaquis Indian had arrived at Quebec from
the neighbourhood of Pentagouet deputed by his tribe to bring important
news obtained from a captive New England woman, namely that, about six
weeks before, a considerable fleet had sailed from Boston for the
capture of Quebec. The second letter, written later on the same day,
said that one Sieur de Cannanville had arrived from Tadousac, where he
had seen twenty-four ships, eight of which appeared of considerable

It does not say much for Frontenac's intelligence department, if such an
institution existed in that day, that he should have known nothing of
the preparations which had been going on in Boston during the previous
spring and summer. His first impulse was to disbelieve the news now
brought, but none the less he lost no time in starting for Quebec with
the intendant, Champigny. The first boat he embarked in proved leaky,
and came near foundering. He transhipped into a canoe, and went as far
as was possible before dark. On the afternoon of the next day a further
message was received from Prevost confirming his first, and saying that
the enemy had captured, about thirty leagues below Quebec, a vessel in
which were two ladies. This looked serious, and the count sent back
Captain de Ramesay to Montreal with orders to Callières, the governor,
to march to Quebec at once with all the troops he could gather at
Montreal or pick up on the way. He himself made all possible haste, and
arrived at Quebec at ten o'clock in the morning of Saturday, the 14th

Work on the fortifications of Quebec had been more or less in progress
all summer; but from the moment that the first news of the intended
attack had been received, Prevost had been particularly active in
planting batteries, digging trenches, and doing other work of immediate
necessity. He had also despatched a long-boat and a canoe, both well
armed, under the charge of his brother-in-law, Grandville, to make a
reconnaissance in the direction of Tadousac, and had sent orders to the
militia captains of the neighbouring parishes of Beauport and Beaupré,
and also to those on the Island of Orleans, to hold their men in
readiness to march into the city, and meantime to watch the enemy, that
they might offer all possible opposition to his landing. Frontenac
employed his time on the 14th and 15th in examining and perfecting the
general system of defence; and he was much pleased as well as surprised
to find how much Prevost had accomplished in a few days. Two principal
batteries had been established in the Upper Town, one, consisting of
eight guns, to the right of the château, and one of three guns on the
rock overlooking Mountain Hill known as Sault au Matelot. Two batteries
of three guns each were placed on the river bank, one near the present
market-place, and the other near where the Custom House now stands. Most
of the pieces were eighteen pounders. The non-combatant inhabitants of
the surrounding country had come into the city in considerable numbers,
bringing with them what they could in the way of provisions. On Sunday
two canoes were sent down the river to warn the vessels that were
expected to arrive from France to keep out of harm's way. On their safe
arrival the life almost of the colony might be said to depend. At seven
o'clock on Sunday evening news came that the hostile fleet had passed
the eastern end of the Island of Orleans. There was not much sleeping
that night. At three o'clock on Monday morning their distant lights
could be seen down the river. At daybreak there could be counted in the
harbour, some authorities say thirty-two, and some thirty-four, English

A few hours of tense expectation elapsed, and then a boat carrying a
flag of truce was seen putting out from the admiral's ship. It bore an
envoy from Phipps, who was to demand of the governor the surrender of
the place. A boat put out from the shore to meet it, and the envoy,
having been taken on board, was blindfolded, and brought ashore. Here,
according to one account, he was crowded and hustled, and made to
clamber over unnecessary obstacles, the object being to persuade him
that the place was more numerously defended and more difficult of
entrance than it really was. In reading the contemporary narratives it
is often difficult to know what to believe. Nearly all are vitiated by
extreme generality of statement and inaccuracy in detail. That of La
Hontan betrays the enormous mendacity of the writer, who, so long as he
could be amusing and sensational, was absolutely indifferent as to
facts. Checking one by another, however, it is not impossible to arrive
at a fairly coherent and credible narrative. It was about ten in the
forenoon when the messenger was introduced into the reception-room of
the Château St. Louis. The _mise en scène_ had been carefully arranged
for the moment when the bandage should be removed from his eyes.
Frontenac was there in a gorgeous uniform and looking the soldier and
seigneur from head to foot. Around him, also in uniform, stood the
members of his staff and the principal military and civil officers of
the colony. It was such an array of military and official pomp as simple
New England eyes had probably never gazed on. History does not seem to
have preserved the name or rank of the messenger, and we have no certain
information as to the effect produced upon him by the gallant and
brilliant company that met his gaze. All we know is that he handed a
letter from Phipps to the haughty governor, and awaited his answer. The
letter read as follows:--

    "Sir William Phipps, Knight, General and Commander-in-Chief, in
    and over their Majesties' forces of New England, by sea and
    land, to Count Frontenac, Lieutenant-General and Governour for
    the French King at Canada; or in his absence to his deputy, or
    him or them in chief command at Quebeck.

    "The war between the Crowns of England and France doth not only
    sufficiently warrant, but the destruction made by the French and
    Indians, under your command and encouragement, upon the persons
    and estates of their Majesties' subjects of New England, without
    provocation on their part, hath put them under the necessity of
    this expedition for their own security and satisfaction. And
    although the cruelties and barbarities used against them by the
    French and Indians might, upon the present opportunity, prompt
    unto a severe revenge, yet, being desirous of avoiding all
    inhuman and unchristian-like actions, and to prevent shedding of
    blood as much as may be.

    "I, the aforesaid William Phipps, Knight, do hereby in the name
    and on behalf of their most excellent Majesties, William and
    Mary, King and Queen of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland,
    Defenders of the Faith, and by order of their said Majesties'
    government of Massachusetts colony in New England, demand a
    present surrender of your forts and castles, undemolished, and
    the king's and other stores, unembezzled, with a reasonable
    delivery of all captives; together with a surrender of all your
    persons and estates to my dispose: upon the doing whereof you
    may expect mercy from me, as a Christian, according to what
    shall be found to be for their Majesties' service and the
    subjects' security. Which, if you refuse forthwith to do, I am
    come provided, and am resolved, by the help of God, in whom I
    trust, by force of arms to revenge all wrongs and injuries
    offered, and bring you under subjection to the Crown of England,
    and, when too late, make you wish you had accepted of the favour

    "Your answer positive in an hour returned by your own trumpet,
    with the return of mine, is required upon the peril that will

Frontenac was not versed in the English language, so the letter was
given to an interpreter to translate. When the latter had finished the
reading, the envoy presented his watch to the governor, observing that
it was then ten o'clock, and that he would have to have an answer by
eleven. The dignity of the assembled officers was much hurt by the
brusque terms of Phipps's summons; and, before Frontenac had had time to
frame his reply, one of them cried out that Phipps was nothing but a
pirate, and that the man before them should be hanged. Frontenac was not
disposed to go so far. "Tell your general," he said, "that I do not
recognize King William, and that the Prince of Orange is a usurper, who
has violated the most sacred ties of blood in attempting to dethrone his
father-in-law. I recognize no other sovereign in England than King
James. Your general ought not to be surprised at the hostilities he says
are carried on by the French against the Massachusetts colony; since he
might expect that the king, my master, having received the King of
England under his protection, and being ready to replace him on the
throne by force of arms, as I am informed, would order me to wage war
in this country on a people in rebellion against their lawful sovereign.
Does your general imagine," he continued, pointing to the officers who
filled the room, "that, even if he offered me better conditions, and I
were of a temper to accept them--does he think that so many gallant
gentlemen would consent to it, or advise me to place any confidence in
the word of a man who violated the capitulation he made with the
governor of Port Royal, one who has been wanting in loyalty to his
rightful sovereign, and who, unmindful of the personal benefits received
by him from that sovereign, adheres to the fortunes of a prince who,
while trying to persuade the world to accept him as the liberator of
England and defender of the faith, tramples on the laws and privileges
of the kingdom, and overturns the English Church? This is what the
divine justice invoked by your general in his letter will not fail some
day to punish severely."

It is possible that the terms of the governor's answer may have been
somewhat conventionalized by his secretary, to whose pen we are indebted
for a report of it.[46] Phipps speaks of it as "a reviling answer," the
drift of which was that he and those with him were traitors for "having
taken up with a usurper, and seized upon that good Christian Sir Edmund
Andros." The messenger, who doubtless felt his position somewhat
uncomfortable, asked the count whether he would not give him an answer
in writing. "No!" was the reply; "the only answer I will give will be
from the mouth of my cannon and musketry, that he may learn that it is
not in such a style that a person of my rank is summoned." Whatever he
might forget, Frontenac could not forget his personal rank. There was
now no more to be said; the messenger's eyes were again bandaged, and he
was conducted back to his boat.

So now, Sir William, your work is cut out for you! There is the
fortress; take it. This is not Port Royal, nor is that hard-featured
warrior Menneval. This is a city set on a hill. Its guns are shotted and
skilfully disposed. It has defenders by the hundred; and before night
closes their numbers will be doubled; for Callières is on the march with
all the troops that can be spared from Montreal, Three Rivers and other
posts--eight hundred fighting men in all. Behind those ramparts, or
awaiting you in the rear of the town, are men accustomed to warfare
whether in the open field or in forest ambush. The adventure is one of
great pith and moment, if you can but succeed in it!

The probability is that by this time Phipps had begun to take a more
serious view of his task. He was one of those men who require to be
favoured by luck. He was better at making a dash than at organizing
victory. He had courage and a good deal of practical skill in
navigation, but there is no evidence that he possessed the talents of a
military commander. The readiness with which the inhabitants of Acadia
had renounced their French allegiance had led him to believe that in
Canada he might actually be welcomed as a liberator.[47] Of any such
disposition on the part of the Canadians there had certainly been no
sign as yet. It was reported at Quebec that he had attempted to land
some men at Rivière Ouelle, and had been repulsed by the inhabitants
under the leadership of their _curé_. The story, however, as given by
Mère Juchereau, had plainly passed through the hands of the mythmakers
before she got hold of it, for she tells us that "the moment the first
boat was within musket shot, the _curé_ ordered a volley, which killed
the whole crew with the exception of two men who made off in great
haste." Walley's journal makes no mention of any attempt to land, and
the story may be assumed to be an imaginative invention. What at least
may be regarded as certain is that, up to the date of his arrival before
Quebec, Phipps had not received any encouraging overtures from the
inhabitants. Other causes of anxiety were not wanting. Smallpox had
broken out in his fleet, and the weather was most bitterly cold for the
season. On the day of the summons and the following day he and his force
remained inactive. On the afternoon of the first day Iberville and his
brother Maricourt, returning with a few of their men from Hudson's Bay,
landed safely at Beauport in sight of the ships, having slipped up the
North Channel in a couple of canoes. In the evening about seven o'clock
Callières, governor of Montreal, marched into the city at the head of
eight hundred men. Shouts of welcome, mingled with martial music,
reached the ears of the English, and were rightly interpreted as meaning
that the city had received reinforcements.

The plan of the attack was that a body of men should be landed on the
Beauport flats to the north of the city, and endeavour to obtain access
by crossing the river St. Charles; that the principal war vessels should
take up their position in front of the city; that others should move
further up so as to create the impression that troops were to be landed
above Cape Diamond, in order to take the city in the rear; and that the
bombardment should only begin when a signal had been received that the
troops at the other side had made their entrance. The scheme was a good
one, but it was not well carried out. On Wednesday forenoon about
thirteen hundred men under Major Walley were landed, apparently without
opposition, though there were troops in abundance--levies from Beauport
and Beaupré, Indians from Lorette, as well as the forces within the
city--who could have made the landing exceedingly difficult and costly
in lives, had they been led to the spot; particularly as the enemy had
to wade knee-deep, and even waist-deep, in icy water in order to get to
land. The landing having been effected, Walley drew up his force in
companies, selecting four to act as an advance guard, or, as he calls
them, "forlorns," and then ordered a march for the higher ground. They
had not gone a hundred yards before there was firing from cover on both
flanks, particularly from the right; there, Walley says, "there was a
party galled us considerably." A charge having been ordered the
defenders gave way, but continued to fire from swamp and bush as they
retreated.[48] In the pursuit Walley gained a position not far from the
St. Charles River. He was expecting some vessels to come into the river
with supplies, and for that reason, as well as for others, wished to be
near it. One or two houses and barns gave a little shelter, but many of
the men had to lie out all night. If we may trust his statement his loss
in killed on that day was four, and in wounded sixty. Considering the
nature of the landing, "it was a great mercy," he says, "we had no more
damage done us." He judged that he had killed some twenty of the
Canadians, but that was a vast over-estimate. The Chevalier de Clermont,
an experienced and valuable officer, had been killed, and Juchereau de
St. Denis, who commanded the Beauport militia, had been wounded; but the
total of killed and wounded on the Canadian side did not probably exceed
the figure mentioned.

In the course of the day a Frenchman, who was a fugitive from his own
side, surrendered to Walley's men, and from him the New England
commander learned the somewhat discouraging news that the defensive
forces in the city far outnumbered the whole of Phipps's expedition.
Troops had been pouring in from different quarters both before and after
the governor's arrival, and the last body of men brought by Callières
had raised the total to about three thousand. Walley threatened the man
very seriously as to what would happen if he did not tell the truth, and
he seems to have heeded the warning. The number he mentioned agrees with
the figures given by the contemporary historian Belmont, and also by
Captain Sylvanus Davis, who was a prisoner in Quebec during the siege.

According to the arrangement made between Phipps and Walley, the former
was only to begin the bombardment after the latter had forced an
entrance into the town. Moreover, small armed vessels were to sail into
the St. Charles, to assist his passage of that river and to furnish his
force with necessary supplies of food and ammunition. Why this
arrangement was departed from is not very clear; but about four o'clock
on Wednesday afternoon Phipps moved his four principal vessels up
before the town, and no sooner had he come within cannon shot than the
shore batteries opened fire. Then ensued a duel in which the defence had
all the best of it. Their guns were much better served than those of the
assailants, and they had excellent marks to shoot at. The fight was
maintained till after dark, by which time Phipps had fired away nearly
all his ammunition and accomplished virtually nothing. One boy in the
town had been killed by a splinter of rock; the buildings in the town
had scarcely been injured at all. Phipps says he dismounted some of the
enemy's best guns, but his story is unconfirmed. Certain it is that his
vessels suffered serious damage in hulls, masts, and rigging, and that,
after a brief renewal of the encounter the next morning, he drew them
all off.

An incident which has given rise to a good deal of discussion may here
be referred to. The flag of the admiral's vessel was shot away and fell
into the river. It was captured by some men from the shore, but whether
under the very heroic circumstances described by an eminent Canadian
poet on the authority of Père Charlevoix, is, to say the least, open to
doubt. Charlevoix has it that, no sooner had the flag fallen into the
water and begun to drift away, than some Canadians swam out and seized
it, notwithstanding the fire directed on them from the ships.
Contemporary writers know nothing of any such feat. The one who comes
nearest to the father's account of the matter is Mère Juchereau, who
says that "our Canadians went out rashly in a bark canoe and brought it
to land under the noses of the English." She does not even say they were
fired on. How near they got to the English we can hardly judge from the
expression "_à la barbe des Anglais_," which is not a measure of length.
On the other hand we have from a contemporary writer, the Récollet, Père
Leclercq, whose book was published in 1691, the year following the
attack on Quebec, a plain, consistent statement as to how the thing
happened, and one the terms of which are in distinct conflict with the
popular version. After describing how the vice-admiral's ship had been
the first to withdraw beyond the reach of the shore batteries, he
continues: "The admiral [Phipps] followed him pretty closely and with
precipitation, paying out the whole length of his anchor-cable, and then
letting it go. His flag, which drifted away in the river, was _left to
our discretion_, and our people went and fished it out."[49] The words
used plainly imply that there was neither difficulty nor danger in
recovering the flag; and this be it remembered was the story Leclercq
heard at the time, and published almost immediately. Frontenac, who
would certainly have been pleased to approve the bravery of his people,
simply says that Phipps lost his flag, "which remained in our
possession"; while Monseignat's statement in what may be regarded as the
official narrative, is that the admiral's flag and another were borne in
triumph to the church. Charlevoix's lack of accuracy in details is
evident in the very paragraph in which he deals with this incident; for
he says that no sooner had Phipps's messenger returned to his ship,
than, to the great surprise of the English, shots were fired from one of
the Lower Town batteries, and that the first one carried away the flag.
This is pure romance. Phipps's vessel was not within range at the time,
and no shots were exchanged till late in the afternoon of Wednesday, two
days later. The loquacious La Hontan, who at least knows how to adorn a
tale, if not point a moral, knows nothing of this particular occurrence,
otherwise he would certainly have included it in a narrative which, it
is evident, he aimed at making as lively and piquant as possible. It is
no disparagement of the valour of the defenders of Quebec to doubt
whether the incident took place as described either by Charlevoix, who
did not visit the country till thirty years after the event, and did not
publish his book till twenty-four years later, or by Mère Juchereau.
Many a brave deed has passed unnoticed of history; and, en revanche,
many an insignificant act has been wrapped round by legend with clouds
of glory. If there is reason to doubt whether this particular deed was
done in a specially heroic, or even in a very dramatic manner, there are
incidents in abundance left to attest the heroism of the French-Canadian
race. The legends of a people bear witness to its ideals, and help to
repair the wrongs that history does by leaving so much that is truly
memorable and admirable unrecorded.

While Phipps on Thursday was drawing off his shattered vessels, Walley
and his men were having a very miserable time ashore. The succour he was
expecting did not arrive. Instead he received what he did not want at
all--six field-pieces, twelve-pounders, weighing about eight hundred
pounds each, which the nature of the ground made it impossible to use,
and which thus proved a simple embarrassment. However, thinking the
vessels would arrive later in the day, Walley moved his men somewhat
nearer to the town, and took up a position rather better both for
shelter and for defence. This movement does not seem to have been
opposed by the Canadian forces, as there is no mention in the narratives
of any fighting on this day. The vessels did not come with the evening
tide as hoped; and Walley, in his simple narrative, says: "We stood upon
our guard that night, but found it exceeding cold, it freezing that
night so that the next morning the ice would bear a man." The position
was both distressing and precarious, and a council of war was called
during the night to consider what should be done. By this time the
assailing force had some idea of the nature of the task they had
undertaken: to advance in the face of skirmishers having every advantage
of position; to ford a river behind which a thousand men and several
pieces of artillery were posted; and, should they by any miracle succeed
in that, to encounter a couple of thousand more within the walls of the
town. Many of their men were sick, some were literally freezing, others
worn and exhausted. Their provisions were short, their ammunition very
low. The decision of the council was that Walley should go on board the
admiral's vessel next day and ask for instructions.

During Walley's absence on Friday forenoon, skirmishing was renewed with
losses on both sides, but chiefly on that of the New Englanders. On the
French side M. de Ste. Hélène received a wound in the thigh, from which
he died in hospital some weeks later. Phipps consented to a retreat; and
Walley, on returning to land in the afternoon, began to prepare for it.
The following morning before daylight boats arrived to take the men off;
but Walley, discovering too great haste on the part of his men to
embark, ordered the boats back. There was further skirmishing during the
day consequent upon Walley's desire to keep the enemy at a respectful
distance, so that the embarkation he hoped to make that night might not
be interfered with. Towards evening he used some boats that he had to
send off his sick and wounded, but was careful not to afford any
indication of a general retreat. This was finally accomplished, not
without haste, noise, and confusion bordering on insubordination,
between dark and one or two o'clock on the morning of Sunday, the 22nd.
Through some gross mismanagement five of the eight cannon that had been
landed were left behind for the greater glory of the enemy.

A council of war was held on board the admiral's ship on that lamentable
Sunday. Further offensive schemes were discussed; but, even as they
talked, the leaders knew that nothing of any moment could be
accomplished. They had all but exhausted their ammunition, and their
provisions were running low. There was a great deal of sickness among
the men, and the casualties ashore and in the bombardment had not been
inconsiderable. In the end, they appointed a prayer-meeting for next day
"to seek God's direction" as Walley expresses it, but the weather was
unfavourable for a meeting. Some of the ships, in fact, dragged their
anchors, and were in danger of being driven on the town. The following
day the whole fleet slipped down to the Island of Orleans on the
homeward track.

Walley in his _Journal_, apparently an honest piece of work, sums up
comprehensively the causes of the failure: "The land army's failing, the
enemy's too timely intelligence, lying three weeks within three days'
sail of the place, by reason whereof they had time to bring in the whole
strength of their country, the shortness of our ammunition, our late
setting out, our long passage, and many sick in the army--these," he
says, "may be reckoned as some of the causes of our disappointment."
Reasons enough surely. On both sides the hand of Providence was seen.
"Well may you speak of this country," writes Laval to Denonville, "as
the country of miracles." Had Phipps arrived but one week sooner he
would certainly, in Laval's opinion, have captured the city, and that he
did not arrive sooner was due to unfavourable winds. Similarly, Sister
Anne Bourdon, archivist of the Ursuline Convent, writes that, when the
first news of the approach of the English was received, nothing was
spared in the way of religious practices "to appease divine justice."
The happy result was that "Heaven, granting our prayers, sent winds so
contrary that the enemy in nine days only made the distance they might
otherwise have made in half a day." So Mère Juchereau of the Hôtel Dieu:
"God doubtless stopped them, to give the Montrealers time to arrive."
Bishop Saint Vallier improved the occasion to stimulate the piety of his
people. "Let us," he said, "raise our eyes, my dear children, and see
God holding the thunder in His hand, which He is ready to let fall on
us. He is causing it now to rumble in order to awaken you from the
slumber of your sins."

On the English side no less solemn a view was taken of the events of the
time. Governor Bradstreet, of Massachusetts, writing to the agents of
the colony in England, speaks of "the awful frown of God in the
disappointment of that chargeable [costly] and hazardous enterprise."
"Shall our Father," he exclaims, "spit in our face, and we not be
ashamed? God grant that we may be deeply humbled and enquire into the
cause, and reform those sins that have provoked so great anger to smoke
against the prayers of his people, and to answer us by terrible things
in righteousness." Cotton Mather in like manner speaks of "an evident
hand of Heaven, sending one unavoidable disaster after another." He also
reports a saying of Phipps, that, though he had been accustomed to
diving in his time, he "would say that the things which had befallen him
in this expedition were too deep to be dived into." The total loss of
life on the part of the New England forces, taking shipwreck and disease
into account, must have run far into the hundreds. Phipps estimated his
loss in the engagements at Quebec at thirty, and possibly the number of
those actually killed did not much exceed that figure. On the Canadian
side the number of killed has been placed at nine, and of the wounded at

All that remained now was to make the best of their melancholy way to
Boston. Frontenac had sent a small force under M. Subercase to the
Island of Orleans to watch the departing fleet, which might, had its
commander been so minded, have committed serious depredations on the
parishes along the river. Phipps sent ashore to ask Subercase if there
would be any objection to his buying supplies from the inhabitants. The
reply was that he might buy what he liked, and a lively trade, very
profitable to the farmers, at once sprang up between them and the
squadron. Negotiations for an exchange of prisoners followed. Phipps, as
we have seen, had captured some on his way up; and he had with him two
ecclesiastics whom he had taken in Acadia. The French on their side had
Sylvanus Davis, the former commandant of Fort Loyal, two daughters of
Captain Clarke who had been killed in the attack on that fort, and a
little girl called Sarah Gerrish. All these had received good treatment
during their detention at Quebec, and the little girls had particularly
endeared themselves to the nuns to whose charge they had been confided,
and who were much grieved at having to give them up.

If the weather had been bad on the way to Quebec it was worse on the
return. Without the aid of a pilot, Phipps had succeeded in bringing all
his vessels safely to Quebec, but on the home voyage several were lost.
One, Cotton Mather relates, was never heard of. A second was wrecked,
but most of its crew were saved. A third was cast on the coast, and all
on board, with the exception of one man, perished through drowning,
starvation, or at the hands of the Indians. A fourth was stranded on the
Island of Anticosti. There seemed to be no means of escape from this
dreary shore; and forty-one of the crew had already died of hardship,
when the captain, John Rainsford by name, and four others determined
that they would try to reach Boston in an open boat, in order that, if
they escaped the perils of the sea, they might send help to those still
alive on the island. It was the 25th March when they put forth in their
most precarious craft. "Through a thousand dangers from the sea and ice,
and almost starved with hunger and cold," to use the words of Cotton
Mather's recital, they arrived at Boston on the 11th May. As soon as a
proper vessel could be procured, Rainsford started back to rescue the
survivors. Four had died during his absence. Death was staring the
remainder in the face, when the sail they had hardly dared to hope for
flickered on the horizon. It was too good to be true, and yet it was
true. Their heroic captain had come to their relief; and on the 28th
June he landed them, seventeen in number, once more on New England soil.

[Footnote 44: See "Winthrop's Journal" in _New York Colonial Documents_,
vol. iv. p. 193.]

[Footnote 45: The letter is given in Cotton Mather's _Magnalia_, vol. i.
p. 186.]

[Footnote 46: _New York Colonial Documents_, vol. ix. p. 486.]

[Footnote 47: The same mistake was destined to be made in later days,
more than once, under the English régime.]

[Footnote 48: "La Canardière (the name given to the flats where the New
Englanders landed) was in those days nothing but a horrible marsh,
covered with impenetrable woods thickly fringed with underbrush. So
dense was the thicket that in full daylight our skirmishers were
invisible to the English, who in their exasperation had nothing to guide
them in firing but the smoke of their enemies' muskets."--Myrand, _Sir
William Phipps devant Quebec_, p. 271.]

[Footnote 49: _Premier Etablissement de la Foi_, vol. ii. p. 434. As
Leclercq is the one authority of importance of whom Mr. Myrand, in his
discussion of this matter, makes no mention, his exact words, which I
have not elsewhere seen reproduced, may be quoted: "L'amiral le suivit
(le contre-amiral) d'assez près et avec précipitation; il fila tout le
cable de son ancre qu'il abandonna; son pavillon fut emporté dans la
rivière et laissé à notre discrétion, que nos gens allèrent pêcher."]

[Footnote 50: In his work already quoted, _Sir William Phipps devant
Quebec_, Mr. Myrand goes very carefully, and in a spirit of great
impartiality, into the question of the probable losses on the New
England side. Those on the Canadian side he is able to establish by
means of authentic records. Mr. Myrand has laid his readers under great
obligations by reprinting the principal original documents bearing on
the Phipps expedition, as well as by his own intelligent discussion of
the whole episode.]



The departure of the New England fleet left the French colony in a
condition of great exhaustion, and, for a time, of poignant anxiety.
Three vessels were on their way out from France laden with military and
other supplies, and were due just about this time. Should Phipps
encounter them in the lower St. Lawrence, they would assuredly become
his prey, and what the country would do in that case it was painful to
speculate. Frontenac writing after Phipps had left, and before he had
news of the safety of the expected vessels, gives a vivid account of the
situation. There had been a serious failure of the crops. Early in the
season the grain had looked very promising; but cold and rainy weather
during the harvest had almost ruined it. What made matters worse was
that there had been a short crop the year before, so that they were
already, in November, consuming the little grain they had just
harvested. Unless a supply is received by the ships, there will be
hardly any to be got in the country for love or money. Everything else
is at the lowest ebb, wine, brandy, goods of all kinds. The servants in
the château have for some time had only water to drink, and in a week
the governor himself will be brought to the same sad necessity. This
letter was written on the 11th November; fortunately before the week
expired the vessels had arrived; and the gallant count was not reduced
to being an involuntary total abstainer. The quantity of provisions
brought out, however, was very scanty, not exceeding a month's supply;
and as the colony managed to struggle through the winter, and had a
sufficiency of seed-grain for the following spring, perhaps things were
not quite so bad as represented. The ships owed their escape from
capture to measures wisely taken by the governor in sending boats down
the river to advise them to slip into the Saguenay till Phipps should
have passed down, which they did.

The arrival of Phipps in Boston with his shattered and diminished fleet,
and shrunken and disheartened forces, produced a feeling almost of
despair. The success of the expedition had been counted on with the
greatest certainty. Cotton Mather declares that he "never understood
that any of the faithful did in their prayers arise to any _assurance_
that the expedition should prosper in all respects; yet they sometimes
in their devotions uttered their persuasion that Almighty God had heard
them in this thing, that the English army should not fall by the hands
of the French enemy." The higher criticism would probably detect in this
declaration a large _ex post facto_ element. The English army did not
exactly fall by the hands of the French enemy; but between the French
enemy, cold, tempest and sickness, the expedition had been a most
disastrous failure, which "the faithful" had certainly been far from
thinking was, or could be, in the designs of Providence. There was no
money in the treasury with which to pay the troops, who soon began to be
clamorous and threatened mutiny. Finally, an issue of paper money was
decided on, and the difficulty was thus tided over; but it was long
before this questionable currency, which was only receivable in payment
of public debts, and which for a time circulated at a discount of from
twenty-five to thirty per cent., was fully redeemed.

The period now opening was destined to be one of savage border warfare.
The Iroquois--particularly the Mohawks--were still on the war-path, and
were resuming all their ancient boldness in their attacks on the French
settlements. In the spring of 1691 there were some informal and, as they
turned out, futile negotiations for peace, brought on by the fact that a
party of Mohawks who had captured ten mission Indians near Chambly, sent
them back a few days later by three of their own people, who entered the
fort at St. Louis unarmed, and began to talk of peace. Callières, the
governor of Montreal, did not quite know what to make of it, and
meantime kept his troops scouring the neighbourhood. It seems probable
that the Mohawks were really more anxious to draw away their kinsmen of
the Laprairie mission from the French than to make peace with the
latter. On more than one occasion the mission Indians had shown
reluctance in making war on their own people, and something of the same
feeling existed on the side of the heathen warriors, who always hoped
that they might some day reclaim their separated brethren. Meantime the
raiding went on, but took the form chiefly of killing the cattle and
burning the houses of the settlers, though now and again one or two of
the latter would be killed or carried off. It was in the early summer of
1691 that a somewhat memorable incident in this wild warfare occurred. A
party of forty or fifty Oneidas had in one of their forays taken
possession of an abandoned house at Repentigny, a point on the north
shore of the river St. Lawrence, just opposite the north-eastern end of
the Island of Montreal. Possibly they had captured some brandy in their
prowlings round the country; but whatever the reason was, they were not
exercising their usual vigilance. They were observed by a certain
Captain de Mine in charge of a detachment of soldiers, who succeeded in
retreating from the spot and crossing over to some islands in the river
without attracting their attention. Here he was joined by M. de
Vaudreuil, at the head of a picked force of Canadians and some regular
soldiers; and the combined force then crossed over to the main-shore, a
little below the house which the savages were making their headquarters.
Approaching with the greatest caution, they found some Indians asleep
outside. These they killed with a volley at short range; then rushing
forward they surrounded the house. The Indians within fired from the
windows and killed four or five of the French, including M. de
Bienville. Their fate, however, was sealed. The French fired in at the
windows, and finally set fire to the house, when the unhappy savages,
driven forth by the flames, were, all save one, either killed or
captured. The sequel is not pleasant to relate. The captives numbered
five. One was given to the Ottawa Indians, for what purpose does not
appear; one, a lad of fourteen years, was spared, because his family had
protected the Jesuit father, Millet; and the remaining three were
distributed to the farmers of Pointe aux Trembles, Boucherville and
Repentigny, who burnt them in retaliation, it is said, for lost

The attack on Quebec had awakened the French government to the necessity
of strengthening the forces in Canada. On the 1st July a frigate, the
_Soleil d'Afrique_, famous in her day as a very rapid sailer, arrived at
Quebec, bringing much needed stores and supplies, and twelve days later
a dozen more vessels, under the command of a M. du Tast, appeared in the
harbour. Just about the same time a deputation of Ottawas had made their
way to Quebec to discuss various matters, but particularly trade
questions, with the governor. The one dream of the Ottawas was cheap
goods. Probably had they been manufacturers their one dream would have
been a high tariff. It was a bad time to ask for cheap goods--no time,
indeed, in Canada was very good for that purpose--as the war between
France and England was interfering considerably with trade, and such
goods as there were in the country were held at exorbitant prices. Other
gratifications, however, were afforded them: the sight of the fourteen
vessels in the harbour, the drill of the soldiers and sailors, the
firing of salutes, the illumination of the ships and of the town--for
the arrival of the fleet was made an occasion for prolonged rejoicings
and festivities--produced a powerful impression on minds unaccustomed to
such wonders. They were also greatly charmed with an entertainment given
at the château on the 22nd of July to which they were invited, and at
which, according to the official narrative, "thirty beautiful ladies,
entering very properly into the views of their host, paid them every
attention." On the following day they were dismissed, laden with gifts,
but not before they had been shown the large stores of war material that
had been received from France, which it was hoped would give them a
lively idea of the resources Canada possessed for making successful war
upon her enemies. Early in the season Frontenac had despatched the Sieur
de Courtemanche to Michilimackinac to convey to the tribes of that
region the news of the defeat of the English before Quebec, and to
inquire what they were doing against the Mohawks. The reply given was to
the effect that a number of their bands had gone on the war-path, that
others were about to start, and that the Miamis and Illinois had also
moved against the enemy, and forced the Senecas to abandon some of
their towns. As regards the Ottawas and Hurons the case was probably
overstated; otherwise the deputation to Quebec, which started after
Courtemanche had left Michilimackinac, would have laid no little stress
on the sacrifices which their people were making.

The month of August of this year (1691) was marked by one of the most
important and stubborn engagements which had yet taken place between the
French of Canada and their English and Indian enemies. The Iroquois, who
since the massacre at Schenectady had been doing a good deal of fighting
at the instance of their English allies, began to get a little tired of
the business, in which, as they thought, the parties most concerned were
not taking their proper share. They spoke out so plainly on the subject
that it was decided at Albany to organize an expedition of whites to act
in concert with the Mohawks and Mohegans or Wolves. The entire force,
the command of which was given to Major Peter Schuyler, consisted of two
hundred and sixty men, one hundred and twenty being English or Dutch,
and the rest Indians. Going by way of Lake Champlain they descended the
Richelieu to within a few miles of Chambly, where they left a detachment
to guard their canoes, and then pushed on towards Laprairie de la
Madeleine, the scene of Captain John Schuyler's exploit of the year
before. Here a force of seven or eight hundred men, under Callières,
was awaiting them, an English prisoner captured by an Indian party near
Albany having given information of their approach. As it happened,
however, Callières had been smitten with a serious fever, and was not
himself in active command. The regular troops were encamped to the left
of the fort, which was close to the river, and the Canadians and Indians
to the right. If a contemporary historian, Belmont,[51] may be trusted,
the Canadians were well supplied with brandy, and used it only too
freely. However that may have been, Schuyler's men, about an hour before
dawn, attacked the Canadian camp, and drove the enemy before them into
the fort, killing two or three, and also six Ottawa Indians who were
sleeping under their canoes. The firing roused the regulars who, rushing
to the scene, were met by a deadly volley. They rallied, however, and
Schuyler, finding himself greatly outnumbered, retreated to a ravine,
where he made a stand, and, as he states, repulsed his assailants. What
seems to be certain is that he made a deliberate retreat towards his
base on the Richelieu without being pursued, notwithstanding the
superiority of the enemy. Amongst those who were killed on the French
side were M. de St. Cirque, second in command to M. de Callières, M.
d'Hosta, a valuable officer who had accompanied Nicolas Perrot on his
mission to the Ottawas the year before, Captain Désquérat, and
Lieutenant Domergue.

This, however, was not the end. Could Schuyler have retired after having
inflicted comparatively heavy loss on the enemy, and sustained but
little himself, he might have boasted of a signal success as these
things went. This, however, was a case in which _recipere gradum_ was
destined to be much the harder part of his task. There was an enemy
posted on the line of his retreat, and a brave and determined one.
Valrennes, an officer of birth and of tried ability, former commandant
of Fort Frontenac, had been sent to Chambly with a force consisting of
one hundred and sixty regulars and militia, together with thirty or
forty Indians, his instructions being to defend that place if attacked;
but, should the enemy take the road to Laprairie, then to post himself
in their rear and cut them off from their canoes. It was hoped in this
way to catch them between two fires. Had this scheme been fully carried
out, Schuyler's whole force would indubitably have been killed or
captured. Owing, however, to the unexplained inactivity of the main body
at Laprairie, the brunt of the second fight had to be borne by the
detachment under Valrennes, which was somewhat, though not much,
inferior in number to Schuyler's command. Valrennes posted his men
behind two large trees that had fallen across the road on an acclivity,
and, from this position of vantage, inflicted considerable loss upon the
invaders. The latter, however, exhibited great bravery, and finally
fought their way through, but were compelled to leave their dead behind
to the number of nearly forty. Schuyler, in his narrative of the
expedition, admits that he was uncommonly glad to see the last of so
obstinate a foe. Why the small band of about twenty-five men left in
charge of the canoes was not first overpowered, as it might easily have
been, and the canoes destroyed, does not appear. Schuyler on reaching
the river found men and canoes safe, and, re-embarking with his
diminished force, succeeded in regaining Albany.

The courage and address displayed by Valrennes in this encounter won him
a great increase of reputation. As we have seen, the French lost a
number of valuable officers in the fight at Laprairie. The English loss
was almost entirely incurred in the second fight; in the first, Schuyler
says he lost but one Christian and one Indian. The reason given in the
French narrative for not pursuing the enemy is that, after an hour and a
half's fighting and some previous heavy marching, neither French nor
Indians had strength for any further exertion--that they could not even
have defended themselves had the fight been prolonged. This rather tends
to confirm Schuyler's statement that, after breaking through their
position, he turned about and forced them to retreat. He and his men
then effected their own retreat without molestation, carrying with them
their wounded, who must have been numerous.

The news of the advance of the English had caused Frontenac to proceed
to Three Rivers with such troops as could be spared from Quebec. He had
not been there many days when news of the actual fighting came to hand.
A couple of days later Valrennes himself arrived with fuller details;
and gave so glowing an account of the valour of his troops and the
losses inflicted on the enemy, that the depression which had at first
been caused by the serious list of casualties amongst the officers, was
in a large measure removed. He was accompanied by the famous Indian,
Orehaoué, previously mentioned as having been brought out by Frontenac
from France, and who during this summer had been rendering valuable
service in different expeditions. This chieftain had with him an
Onondaga Indian captured by him in the West, whom he presented to
Frontenac. This was the day of reprisals, and Frontenac handed over the
unfortunate to the Algonquins to be dealt with after their manner. The
Algonquins were in due course proceeding to burn him, when a Huron gave
him a _coup de grâce_ with his tomahawk, which the writer of the
official narrative seems almost to think was a mistake, observing that
"the Algonquins are better judges of these things."

Notwithstanding the decisive repulse of the Boston expedition, no small
anxiety was felt lest there might be a renewal of attack from the same
quarter. Phipps had threatened to come back, and shortly after his
arrival at Boston had sailed for England in the hope of engaging the
king's interest and assistance in the matter. Frontenac thought it
prudent, all things considered, to detain two of the ships which came
out in July until the 3rd September. He then commissioned one of them to
convey to Acadia M. de Villebon, whom he was sending to that province as
lieutenant-governor. The New Englanders had taken no measures whatever
for securing their control of the country; no officer of any kind, no
garrison, however small, had been left there to represent English
authority, so that all Villebon had to do was to haul down an English
flag which he found peacefully flying, and run up a French one in its
place. Reporting to the minister, M. de Pontchartrain, in a despatch
dated 20th October 1691, the re-establishment of French control,
Frontenac takes occasion to recommend that Boston should be attacked by
sea. Not only would it make Canada more secure, but there would be a
great satisfaction in destroying such a nest of hardened
parliamentarians. Frontenac's sympathies, as may be supposed, were all
with the Stuarts and the divine right of kings. Unfortunately for the
realization of his wishes, neither Frontenac nor his master had any
ships available for the suggested undertaking. All that was possible at
the moment was to incite the Abenaquis to inflict as much damage as
possible on the hated enemy. In a despatch written a few months earlier,
Frontenac had given a very lively account of the services rendered by
these faithful and bloodthirsty allies. "It is impossible," he says,
"to describe the ravages these Indians commit for fifty leagues around
Boston, capturing daily their forts and buildings, killing numbers of
their people, and performing incredible deeds of bravery." A little
discount must, perhaps, be taken off the "incredible bravery," as the
Indian mode of warfare was rather stealthy than brave; but Frontenac in
his despatches could always heighten the effect with a little judicious
rhetoric. Villebon, too, after arriving in his government, wrote direct
to the minister, eulogizing the same allies, and observing how dangerous
it would have been to Canada, if the Boston people had succeeded in
making a solid peace with them. In that case, instead of having to sail
round by the gulf, they could at any time march direct from Pentagouet
to Quebec in about twelve days. It was therefore of the utmost
importance to cultivate the friendship of the savages by means of
presents, and to keep them well supplied with arms. The idea of
attacking Boston was also very close to Villebon's heart. There would be
no difficulty about it, if only there were a few ships to spare, as its
situation was a most exposed one; and no town could be more easily
burnt, the streets being very narrow, and the houses all of wood.

Canada at this time, there is no doubt, was suffering from severe
depression. Frontenac himself says that when the ships arrived in July,
"the colony was reduced to the greatest extremities." He estimated that
out of thirteen hundred soldiers maintained by the king at the date of
the attack on Quebec more than half had been "killed on divers occasions
or had died of disease." In all, he said, more than two thousand men,
"militia, regulars and veterans," had been lost in Canada since the war,
by which he probably means the war against the Iroquois commenced by his
predecessor. He asks that one thousand effective men should be sent "to
complete the twenty-eight companies his Majesty has hitherto maintained
here." The ships that arrived in July had not brought out any additional
troops. It must be confessed that it is a little difficult to understand
the loss of so many soldiers as Frontenac reports. The losses of men at
Quebec in repelling Phipps's attack--represented by the French accounts
as being very light, and which even the enemy did not pretend were very
heavy--fell chiefly on the militia; while, in the fights with Schuyler,
described by the French annalist as "the most obstinate battle that has
ever been fought in Canada since the foundation of the colony," the
acknowledged losses were only forty killed and about the same number
wounded. There is nothing on record to show that many perished in casual
skirmishes with the Indians, whose custom was to avoid troops whenever

An expedition that deserves to be recorded was undertaken in the month
of February of the following year (1692), when some three hundred men
were sent to attack a band of Iroquois, understood to be hunting
somewhere between the St. Lawrence and the Ottawa. The leader of the
party was M. Dorvilliers, an officer who had distinguished himself in
the fight under Valrennes. At the very outset, however, Dorvilliers was
accidentally disabled, and the command fell upon a youthful officer of
engineers named Beaucour. The march through the forest was a terrible
one: the cold was intense, and, accustomed as the men were to the
rigours of the Canadian winter, they were rapidly losing heart, while
some of the Indians were refusing to follow. Nothing but the indomitable
spirit and courage of the leader saved the expedition from failure. He
gathered the men round him and harangued them in terms and tones that
gave new life to the whole party. Guided by the snowshoe tracks of the
enemy, they followed on for four hours longer, when they caught up to
and surprised them in their bivouac on an island in the St. Lawrence
about a day's march below Cataraqui. Few of the savages escaped; most
were killed in the first onset, but some, less fortunate, were captured
and taken to Quebec, where three of them were tortured and burned. To
avoid the same fate another killed himself in prison.

It was in the month of October of the same year that an incident
occurred that has become the basis of what may be called one of the
classic tales of Canadian history, the defence of the fort at Verchères
by Madeleine, the fourteen-year-old daughter of the seigneur of the
place, then absent on duty at Quebec. The story is so fully and
interestingly told by Parkman in his _Count Frontenac and New
France_,[52] and is otherwise so well known, that it seems needless to
repeat it here. A people may well be proud who know that the blood of
such heroes and heroines as gave lustre to the early annals of Canada
flows in their veins.

The conclusion to which Frontenac had come at this time was that the
raising of large levies of men and organizing formal campaigns against
so agile and elusive an enemy as the Iroquois was not a wise policy. He
states so distinctly in a letter to Pontchartrain, dated in October
1692. Such expeditions, he says, "make great noise and do little harm";
he believes in "small detachments frequently renewed." There are some
people, he continues, who think differently, and are always urging the
Indians to entreat him to attempt something on a large scale. Who these
are does not appear, but Frontenac says: "I put them off and endeavour
to amuse them by always giving them hopes that I shall grant their
desire." Possibly Callières was the moving spirit. Strange to say, it
was only three months after writing thus that Frontenac gave his
sanction to an expedition of the very kind that he had objected to.
According to Champigny, indeed, he not only sanctioned but ordered it.
The campaign in question, like that undertaken by Courcelles
twenty-seven years before, was a midwinter one. The force raised
consisted of six hundred and twenty-five men, comprising over three
hundred of the most active young men of the country, one hundred picked
soldiers, and about two hundred Indians, chiefly mission Iroquois of the
Saut and the Mountain, but partly Hurons, Algonquins, and Abenaquis from
Three Rivers and the neighbourhood of Quebec. The expedition started
from Laprairie on the 25th January 1693, spent a night at Chambly, and
then pushed on for Lake Champlain, their destination being the country
of the Mohawks, for some time past their most troublesome enemies. Some
hunting was done by the Indians on the way, and it was not till the 16th
of February that they arrived within sight of the first of the Mohawk
forts. There was another fort less than a mile distant. Both were
attacked and captured simultaneously. There were only five defenders, we
are told, in the first and still fewer in the second. There was a more
important fort, however, about eight miles further away. This was taken
by surprise at night, though not without a skirmish in which one man was
killed on the French side, while some twenty or thirty of the Mohawks
were slaughtered; the rest, to the number of over three hundred,
two-thirds being women and children, surrendered.

Hereupon ensued a little misunderstanding between the French and their
Indian allies. The former wanted the latter to kill all the male
prisoners of fighting age, appealing to a promise they had made before
starting that they would do so. The Indians declined, and the French
did not like to do the business themselves; possibly there would have
been trouble had they attempted it. The only course that remained was to
make the best of their way home, taking their prisoners with them. Their
movements were hastened by learning that Peter Schuyler was on their
track with a party of English and Indians. Immediately following on this
news came the information that peace had been declared in Europe, and
that Schuyler wished to hold a parley. The French leaders placed little
faith in this statement, but their Indians insisted on waiting to see
what Schuyler had to say. As the savages could not be moved, it was
decided to fortify a position and wait. Schuyler arrived, and fortified
a position of his own not far off. Some skirmishing followed, but no
parleying; and after a few days' delay the French slipped away by night.
Schuyler could not pursue them effectively for want of provisions. The
retreat to Canada was marked by the greatest misery and suffering. Most
of the prisoners had to be abandoned. Provisions that had been stored by
the way were found on their return to have been totally destroyed by
water. Several members of the party died of starvation, and others
became perfectly helpless. News of their desperate condition was sent by
special couriers to Callières, who at once despatched one hundred and
fifty men with provisions on their backs. "Never," says Champigny, "was
there such distress. They were four or five days without food. About one
hundred and twenty, overpowered and exhausted, remained behind till
they should be somewhat restored by the provisions we sent them. Two or
three died of hunger; many threw down their arms, and almost all arrived
without blankets, and scarcely able to drag their feet after them." The
general result might well have confirmed Frontenac in the opinion he had
previously expressed of such expeditions.

The Ottawa River had been so infested by Iroquois war parties for the
last three years that it had been impossible for the Indians or
_coureurs de bois_ to use it as a channel of commerce, and the trade of
the country was consequently at a standstill. The financial situation
was indeed so gloomy that Frontenac, whose courage never failed him in a
crisis, determined to try heroic measures of relief. He accordingly
despatched M. d'Argenteuil with eighteen Canadians in four canoes to
convey his orders to M. de Louvigny, commanding at Michilimackinac, to
send down as large a party as he could of French and Indians with all
the skins they could convey. The mission was a perilous one, and the men
who engaged in it had to be well paid. With M. d'Argenteuil was sent
another detachment of twenty men under M. de Lavaltrie to accompany him
over what was considered the most dangerous part of the route. It does
not appear at what point Argenteuil and Lavaltrie parted. The former
reached his destination safely; the latter, on his return, was attacked
by a party of Iroquois near the head of the Island of Montreal and
killed with three of his men. This was not encouraging for the safe
arrival of the men from the West. What was almost unhoped for, however,
happened; and, to the immense joy and relief of the inhabitants, a
flotilla of nearly two hundred canoes laden with goods arrived on the
4th August (1693) at Montreal. Frontenac heard the news at Quebec on the
17th. Three days later he set out for Montreal, arriving on the 28th.
Seldom, if ever, had Montreal seen so much gaiety and good spirits; and,
if we may trust the official narrative of events, profuse and unbounded
were the expressions of praise and gratitude directed towards the head
of the Canadian state, the brave old governor, who in the darkest days
had never lost heart, nor allowed others to lose heart if he could help
it, and whose prowess and resource the enemy was again being taught to

That one at least of the Iroquois nations was prepared for peace was
shown by the arrival at Montreal, in the month of June of this year, of
an Oneida chief, bringing with him a French captive named Damour, whom
he wished to exchange for a relative of his own in captivity at the
Saut. The main object of his visit, however, was evidently to talk about
peace. He was accordingly sent on to Quebec, where he had an interview
with the governor. He stated that the most influential of the Oneida
cabins were anxious for peace, and that the other nations were aware
that he had come to speak about it. Frontenac's answer was very firm.
If the nations wanted peace, he said, let them send duly authorized
delegates, and he would treat with them. The present chance was,
perhaps, the last they would have; and, if they did not seize it, he
would prosecute the war against them till they were exterminated. The
Oneida, Tareha by name, departed with this answer. In the month of
October he returned. He and his own people were still anxious for peace,
but the other nations wanted to have the negotiations carried on at
Orange. To this the count vehemently refused to assent. Meantime several
vessels had arrived from France with reinforcements and large supplies
of war material. M. d'Iberville also returned about the same time from
Hudson's Bay, bringing with him a couple of English trading ships that
he had picked up on the way, one being laden with a cargo of tobacco
from Virginia. The crops throughout the country were this year very
good, and, owing to the diminished activity of the enemy, had been saved
almost entire.

Following on the arrival of the western Indians, M. de Tonty, with a
large body of _coureurs de bois_, had come down from the Illinois and
lake country to discuss questions of trade and defence and receive the
governor's orders for their future movements. After being well
entertained and receiving all necessary instructions, they departed
laden with fresh supplies and equipments, as well as with presents for
the tribes amongst whom they were stationed. While New France was thus
strengthened in its distant outposts its home defences had not been
neglected. Extensive improvements had been made in the fortifications of
Quebec, according to plans prepared by the celebrated French engineer
Vauban, and carried out under the superintendence of M. de Beaucour, the
officer already mentioned as having conducted a winter expedition
against the Iroquois. A new and very strong palisade had been erected
around Three Rivers; and the forts at Sorel and Chambly, virtually
outposts of Montreal, had been greatly strengthened. Taking everything
into account, there was much to justify a more confident and hopeful
feeling throughout the country.

Meantime Frontenac's trusty allies, the Abenaquis, incited by the
governor of Acadia and their missionary priests, and led by M. de
Portneuf, a brother of M. de Villebon, had been fighting Canada's
battles on the New England frontier. In February 1692 a band of between
two and three hundred fell on the small frontier settlement of York,
situated on the Maine coast, not far from the New Hampshire border, and
killed, according to the French accounts, about a hundred persons,
chiefly women and children, taking at the same time about eighty
captives. New England authorities place the number of killed at
forty-eight, and that of the captives at seventy-three. Amongst the
slain was the minister of the parish, Dummer by name, a graduate of
Harvard, and a man greatly respected. His gown was carried off, and one
of the Indians afterwards, arraying himself in it, preached a mock
sermon to his companions. As soon as spring opened a body of the
warriors proceeded to carry the good news to Villebon, who had
established himself in a fort at a place called Naxouat, on the river
St. John, near the site of the present town of Fredericton, Port Royal,
as he thought, being too open to attack. Villebon received them right
royally. Speeches, drinking, and feasting were the order of the day, and
presents were distributed with calculated generosity. They had done
nobly, but there was more work of the same kind to be done. Their next
venture, however, was not equally successful. The settlement of Wells
was but a short distance from York, and thither they bent their steps in
the early summer. Some of the houses at Wells were fortified; one in
particular was defended by fifteen men under a militia captain named
Convers. Fourteen more men with supplies arrived in two sloops on the
9th June, the very day on which the enemy made their appearance. The
fourteen men managed to get into the fort, and the sloops, which were
stranded in the bay by the ebbing tide, were left with no defenders save
their crews. An unfortunate man named Diamond was captured in an attempt
to pass from the fort to the sloops. The latter were first attacked, but
the crew were well armed and shot two or three of the assailants, who
then desisted. Turning their attention to the fort they fired some
futile shots, and did not a little shouting and threatening. Enraged at
their want of success, they wreaked their fury on their unfortunate
captive, whom they mutilated horribly before putting him to death. Then,
after butchering all the cattle they could see, and burning some empty
houses, they departed. Some went to Naxouat to see Villebon, who
mentions in his journal that he "gave them a prisoner to burn, and that
it would be impossible to add anything to the tortures they made him
endure." Such was the frontier warfare of the time, and such were the
men who incited it and sanctioned its worst excesses.

The hostility of the Abenaquis to the English was largely a cultivated
one. The French could not afford to let it die out, and the influence of
the missionaries was exerted in the same direction. Left to themselves,
these savages, who, like their western brethren, wanted English goods,
which were still cheaper at Boston than at Albany, would doubtless have
come to terms with their English neighbours. Two circumstances at this
time were inclining them to a change of policy. One was their ill
success at Wells, and the second the fact that Phipps, who had returned
from England in May 1692 with a commission as governor of Massachusetts,
had proceeded, in the summer of that year, to rebuild and render much
stronger than before the fort at Pemaquid, opposite Pentagouet, which
had been destroyed in 1689, and also to erect another at the falls of
the Saco. The one at Pemaquid had scarcely been completed before two
French vessels under the command of Iberville were sent against it by
Frontenac; and why they did not capture it has never been satisfactorily
explained. True, the government of Massachusetts had received word of
the approach of the enemy, and had sent an armed vessel for its
protection; but the advantage was still greatly on the side of the
French, who were under the command, moreover, of a man noted both for
daring and for capacity. Whatever the reason, the French vessels sailed
away without accomplishing anything. In August of the following year,
both forts being garrisoned and equipped, most of the chiefs, including
Madocawando, father-in-law of the famous Saint-Castin,[53] recognizing
how seriously their own position had been weakened by the establishment
of these outposts, negotiated a peace on behalf of their respective
tribes. The French leaders, lay and clerical, alarmed at this
abandonment of their cause, set to work at once to repair the mischief.
Certain of the tribes were still disposed for war; and the final result
of prolonged debate and a profuse distribution of presents, together
with skilfully contrived appeals to the mutual jealousy of the
different chieftains, was that the peace was repudiated by those who had
signed it, and that all alike declared for hostilities.

This was in the month of June 1694. In July a force of over two hundred
Indians, accompanied by two missionaries, and conducted by Villieu,
successor to M. de Portneuf, who had been removed for peculation,
attacked by night the settlement of Oyster River, now Durham, some
twelve miles north-west of the present town of Portsmouth, New
Hampshire, and murdered one hundred and four persons, chiefly women and
children. A few days later a similar descent was made on the settlements
near Groton, fifty or sixty miles inland, where some forty persons were
killed. Then pushing on to Quebec, Villieu gratified Count Frontenac by
the exhibition of thirteen English scalps. More could have been had, but
these sufficed as samples. The scalps of many of the slain would have
been too pitifully small to add much grace to a warrior's belt. Villebon
himself says in his journal that "the slaughter did not stop even at
infants in the cradle."

These deeds were wrought, in part at least, by men who, a short time
before, had signed a peace with the English. Phipps, who had proclaimed
the peace through the settlements, felt a measure of responsibility for
having, to that extent, induced a false sense of security among the
inhabitants. He repaired to Pemaquid, and sent messengers to invite
delegates of the tribes to meet him there. A number came. He reproached
them for their bad faith, and secured from them expressions of regret
and promises to keep the peace in future. It was in vain, however; his
work was quickly undone by the same influences which had been active
before in the perpetuation of strife.

Phipps, whose appointment as governor had not been well received at
Boston, and who consequently found himself involved in constant
wrangling with some of the leading men of the place, was recalled about
this time to England, where he died in the following year (1695). His
successor, Stoughton, wrote a peremptory letter to the Abenaquis,
calling upon them to bring in the prisoners they had taken. Those on the
Kennebec returned a haughty answer; but a band from Father Thury's
mission approached Fort Pemaquid under a flag of truce, and entered into
a parley with the commandant, Chubb by name. Whether they sincerely
meant to treat for peace is uncertain; Villebon says they were only
pretending to do so. However this may have been, Chubb, without any
positive knowledge of treachery on their part, opened fire on them,
killed several, and made their chief, Egermet, a prisoner. A year later
two French vessels under command of Iberville appeared before Pemaquid,
landed cannon, and prepared to attack the place in concert with a large
band of Indians led by Saint-Castin. Chubb at first put on a bold front;
but scarcely had the firing begun before he offered to surrender,
stipulating only that the lives of the garrison should be spared, and
that they should be exchanged for French and Indian prisoners then at
Boston. Iberville honourably observed the conditions, though his Indian
allies, in their eagerness to be avenged on Chubb, were hard to
restrain. Their vengeance, however, was only deferred. Chubb was accused
at Boston of cowardice in surrendering the fort, and suffered
imprisonment there for some months. After his release he retired to his
home at Andover. Thither his relentless foes tracked him, and murdered
both him and his wife at their own fireside.

[Footnote 51: As Belmont was a very ardent enemy of the drink traffic he
may have been a little inclined to exaggerate in these matters.]

[Footnote 52: Chapter xiv.]

[Footnote 53: The Baron de Saint-Castin had come to Canada in 1665 as an
ensign in the Carignan-Salières Regiment, being then only in his
seventeenth year. On the disbanding of the regiment he had gone to
Acadia, and betaken himself to the life of the woods. He became a famous
hunter and trader, and acquired great influence over the Indian tribes.
The chief Madocawando, as above mentioned, was his father-in-law, but he
had others.]



Our narrative of the warfare on the New England frontier has somewhat
outrun that of events in Canada proper. The safe arrival of the canoes
from the West, the consequent revival of trade, and the comparative
immunity from attack enjoyed by the country towards the close of the
year 1693 had, as we have seen, made the governor more popular in the
country than ever before. Still there were not a few who acknowledged
his merits but grudgingly, while they had much to say in regard to the
defects of his administration. Charlevoix says that, could he only have
added to his own high qualities the virtues of his predecessor, the
pious Denonville, he would have been perfect, and the condition of the
colony would have left nothing to desire. Frontenac, however, could not
be a Denonville any more than Denonville could have been a Frontenac. He
was a religious man in the practical, businesslike way in which men with
strong political instincts and aptitudes are apt to be religious. There
was nothing mystical about him, and little that was sentimental.
Religion, in his opinion, was a good thing, but it had its own place; it
was meant to co-operate to good ends with the state, but not to dominate
the state. In France such views might have passed unchallenged, for
these were the days when Gallicanism was at its height, but in Canada
they met with keen opposition. There, as already remarked, the leaders
of the church hoped to be able to mould a state in which the secular
power should find its greatest glory in being the handmaiden of the

Resuming the complaints made against the governor, Charlevoix tells us
that he was censured for his indulgence to the officers, whose esteem
and attachment he was very anxious to enjoy, and that he let all the
burden of the war fall on the colonists. There may have been a slight
measure of truth in the accusation; but it is certain that many officers
of the regular army died bravely fighting the battles of the country.
That the militia were, on the whole, better and more skilful fighters
than the regular troops was early discovered. Denonville, it may be
recalled, made some very disparaging remarks in regard to the latter on
the occasion of his expedition against the Senecas. Another accusation,
for which there was undoubted foundation, was that the officers were
allowed to retain the pay of the soldiers who received permission to do
civilian work. A soldier could always earn in one form or another of
manual labour, much more than his military wages amounted to; and the
custom sprang up of retaining and dividing amongst the officers the pay
of those who engaged in such labour. The court finally took cognizance
of the practice, and condemned it. Still more serious complaint was
made, Charlevoix says, of Frontenac's toleration of the liquor trade. He
quotes on this subject a letter written by an ecclesiastic, the Abbé de
Brisacier, to Père Lachaise, the king's confessor, in which it is stated
that "brutalities and murders are being committed in the streets of
Quebec by intoxicated Indian men and women, who in that condition have
neither shame nor fear." There is also a letter extant from the worthy
Superior of the Sulpicians at Montreal, M. Dollier de Casson, dated 7th
October 1691, to a friend in France, that is really pathetic in its
terms. If, he says, "our incomparable monarch" only knew the truth of
the matter, "the uprightness of his intentions would not be misled by
those numerous emissaries of the Evil One who spread the belief that
without liquor we should have no savages visiting us and no fur trade."
He speaks of liquor as "_un damnable ecueil_"--a damnable rock on which
the poor Indian makes shipwreck--and gives a pitiful account of some of
the horrors to be seen almost daily in the Indian missions. It may be
doubted whether the condition of things was any worse in this respect
under Frontenac than under Denonville, when the whole country seemed to
be more or less paralyzed through the excessive use of brandy. It may
possibly, indeed, have been better; the comparative efficiency of
military operations may not unreasonably be held to point in that

Frontenac and Champigny were not openly at strife, but judging by a
letter written by the latter, and dated 4th November 1693, the governor
acted very tyrannically towards him. He quotes the bishop as saying
that Frontenac treats him (Champigny) worse than he ever treated
Duchesneau. He only puts up with it, he says, in order to carry out his
instructions to live peaceably with the governor at all costs, and in
the hope that the minister will appreciate the sacrifice he is making.

Frontenac, when in France, had lived much at court, and had doubtless
witnessed and participated in many of the elaborate festivities which
royalty was wont to grace with its presence. It is not surprising that
he was ambitious to have some little echo of Versailles in his mimic
court at Quebec. Never had the public of that capital been so disposed
to relaxation and enjoyment as in the winter of 1693-4 when the country
seemed to see some days of prosperity and tranquillity before it. Great,
therefore, was the enthusiasm when in the holiday season two dramatic
representations were given at the château. Officers and ladies took part
in the performances, and the plays _Nicomède_ and _Mithridate_ were
wholly unobjectionable. Everybody was happy except the clergy, who saw
in such mundanities the most serious danger to the spiritual welfare of
the community. The Abbé Glandelet of the Seminary was the first to raise
a cry of alarm, preaching a sermon in the cathedral, in which he essayed
to prove that no one could attend a play without incurring mortal sin.
Then the bishop issued a mandate a little more moderate in its terms,
in which he distinguished between comedies innocent in their nature, but
which under certain circumstances may be dangerous, and those which are
absolutely bad and criminal in themselves, such as the comedy of
_Tartuffe_ and similar ones. _Tartuffe_, although his Majesty had
listened to it on more than one occasion, and entertained a particular
friendship for its author, was to the ecclesiastical world a terror. The
bishop had heard a report that it was to be put upon the boards next,
and fearing that his mandate alone might not have sufficient effect, he
took occasion of a chance meeting with Frontenac to offer him a thousand
francs if he would not produce it. Frontenac's friends say that he never
had any intention of producing it; but he took the bishop's money all
the same, and, it is stated, gave it next day to the hospitals. It is
somewhat remarkable that Frontenac should have taken the money whether
he did or did not intend to produce the play, and equally so that the
bishop should have considered him accessible to a purely pecuniary
argument in a matter of the kind.

It has been mentioned that in the summer of 1693 an Oneida chief had
come to Quebec and talked of peace, and that, having gone back to his
people, he returned in October with propositions which the governor
contemptuously rejected. In the month of January following, two
messengers came from the Iroquois country to say that, if they could
have a safe-conduct, chiefs from each of the Five Nations would come
down with authority to negotiate for peace. A safe-conduct was promised,
but Frontenac expressly stipulated that one particular Onondaga chief,
Teganissorens, with whom he had had negotiations many years before,
should accompany the delegation. In April a number of delegates came,
but without Teganissorens. Frontenac refused to deal with them, and said
that if any of them dared to come to see him again without that chief,
he would put them into the kettle. This had its effect, for towards the
end of May two delegates from each nation came down, Teganissorens being
of the number. Belts were presented, and the language of the delegates
was all that could be desired. "Onontio," said Teganissorens, presenting
the sixth belt, "I speak to you in the name of the Five Nations. You
have devoured all our chief men, and scarce any more are left. I ought
to feel resentment on account of our dead. By this belt I say to you
that we forget them; and, as a token that we do not wish to avenge them,
we throw away and bury our hatchet under the ground, that it may never
more be seen. To preserve the living we shall think no more of the
dead." The personal appearance of the orator, known to the English as
Decanisora, has been described by Colden in his _History of the Five
Nations_, published in 1727. According to that author he was a tall,
well-formed man, with a face not unlike the busts of Cicero; and we know
from the French official narrative that he spoke with remarkable
fluency and grace. The count replied in a conciliatory manner; on both
sides there seemed to be good dispositions towards peace, but yet no
definite understanding was arrived at. The Iroquois wished to include
the English in the peace, but Frontenac, of course, was not at liberty
to make peace with a people with whom his master, the French king, was
at war. The savages agreed, however, to give up their prisoners; and
Orehaoué was sent with them to accept delivery of the captives and bring
them back. The Onondagas for some reason refused to surrender theirs,
but the other tribes made good the promise of their delegates. Among
those who were released were some who had been detained since the
massacre of Lachine, and in general they had not much complaint to make
of their treatment. It was a proud day for Orehaoué when, completing the
important duty entrusted to him, he was able to restore the long missing
ones to country and home.

The majority of the tribes must have wished for peace, or they would not
have given up their prisoners. It was, however, as much against the
interest of the English to have peace established between the Iroquois
and the French, as it was against the interest of the latter that there
should be peace between the Abenaquis and the New Englanders. A long
period of intrigue followed, with plotting and counter-plotting between
the different parties concerned. The English on their side were striving
to stir up the Iroquois against the French, and the French on theirs to
incite the Abenaquis against the English; the Iroquois talked peace to
the French, but were working all the time to draw the Lake tribes away
from their alliance; while the French commanders in the West were doing
their best to keep their Indians on the war-path against the Iroquois.
Intrigue reigned too among the Lake tribes; for an influential chief
called the Baron was trying hard to persuade them to join the Iroquois.
Some horrible treacheries and cruelties were meantime being perpetrated
in that region. The French at Michilimackinac, where La Motte Cadillac
had replaced Louvigny, killed two Iroquois who had been brought into the
camp in the guise of prisoners, but who were suspected of being
emissaries from their nation acting in collusion with the Baron. The
latter and his associates were very angry at first, but in the end
yielded to the French, and handed over another Iroquois, whom they had
with them. The French determined, La Potherie says, to make an example
of him. The Ottawas were invited "to drink the broth of an Iroquois,"
which they did after the victim had been put to death with cruel
tortures in which a Frenchman took the lead. Not long after four others
were similarly treated. The object, of course, in getting the Ottawas
and Hurons to participate in these cruelties was to render peace with
the Iroquois impossible.

In the summer of 1695, Frontenac carried out his long-cherished design
of restoring the fort at Cataraqui. The scheme was strongly opposed by
the intendant, Champigny, who had managed in some way to win the court
over to his views. The expedition organized by Frontenac consisted of
seven hundred men, and was placed by him under the command of the
Marquis of Crisafy, a Neapolitan noble, who, as Charlevoix informs us,
had been guilty of treason in his own country, and so been obliged to
take service under the French king. Scarcely had the expedition started
before a letter from the Comte de Pontchartrain was placed in
Frontenac's hand enjoining him not to take any steps in the matter of
re-establishing the fort. Anything more _mal à propos_ could scarcely
have happened. Had Frontenac been a timid man, he would have sent a
messenger after Crisafy, and ordered him back; but his service of many
years in many lands had accustomed the veteran to taking responsibility;
and, persuaded as he was that he knew better what the interest of the
country required than the king and the minister put together, he allowed
the expedition to proceed. Within a month it had returned to Montreal
after having put the fort once more in a condition of defence at a cost
of sixteen thousand francs. Forty-eight men were left behind as a
garrison. Frontenac had now a base for the operations which he felt sure
would be required against the Iroquois, and which in point of fact were
carried out in the following year. The king, on hearing of what had
been done, did not censure the governor, but merely asked him to
consider carefully, in consultation with M. de Champigny, whether it was
really for the advantage of the colony that the fort should be
maintained. In the interest of harmony the court had for some time
followed the practice of writing to the governor and the intendant
jointly, and requiring them to make joint despatches. Notwithstanding
this prudent arrangement, each of the high officials managed to bring
his own private views before the minister or the king, as the case might
be. In joint consultations the will of Frontenac was pretty sure to
carry the day. His fort henceforth was safe.

We may now, while a desultory and not very eventful warfare is being
waged between the colony and its traditional enemy, the Iroquois, and
while negotiations and intrigues are being carried on in triangular
fashion between the French, their allies, and the common foe, turn for a
few moments to another field, a far distant one, in which Canadian
enterprise, bravery, and military aptitude won repeated successes, and,
on one occasion at least, performed deeds of lasting renown. We have
already related the expedition under M. de Troyes to Hudson's Bay in the
summer of 1686 in which Iberville and his brother Ste. Hélène took part.
Troyes returned to Quebec in the same year, and, as we have seen, joined
Denonville's campaign against the Senecas. Iberville seems to have
remained in the Hudson's Bay country till the following year, for we
hear of his returning to Quebec in the fall of 1687 with a large amount
of booty in the way of furs. The Hudson's Bay Company of England, in a
petition which they addressed to the king asking for redress, put the
amount of loss they had sustained by this expedition at £50,000, quite
probably an over-valuation. After this adventure Iberville, in company
with his brother Maricourt, seems to have gone to France; but two years
later both are in the bay again defending Fort Albany against an English
vessel. Later in the year, in the absence of Iberville, who had gone to
Quebec with a cargo of furs, the English possessed themselves of the
fort; but, returning in the summer of 1690, he wrested it from them
again, and again sailed to Quebec with furs, this time to the value of
80,000 francs. The next year he went to France, and in July 1692
returned with two French vessels _L'Envieuse_ and _Le Poli_, destined
for operations in Hudson's Bay. As he did not reach Quebec, however,
till the 18th August, it was considered that the season was too far
advanced for an attempt in that quarter; and the vessels were
consequently diverted to Acadia in order that they might operate against
the newly erected fort at Pemaquid. As stated in our last chapter, the
expedition proved a failure. In the following year _Le Poli_, which
Iberville had taken back to France, was sent out again to Canada with a
companion vessel, _L'Indiscret_. It was intended that they should
proceed to Hudson's Bay, but they only arrived at Quebec on the 22nd
July, and, as the king had expressly stipulated that _Le Poli_ should
return to France that year, every practical man in Canada saw at once
that she at least could not take part in the expedition. Then could
there be any expedition? It was at first proposed that Iberville should
make the best he could of _L'Indiscret_ and an English ship he had
captured on the way out, the _Mary Sarah_; and a number of French
captains who were in port at the time were formed into a commission to
report on the matter from a practical point of view. Their report, made
on the 7th August, was unfavourable as regarded both vessels.
_L'Indiscret_ does not seem to have had any armament, and though guns
could have been provided for her at Quebec, the captains doubted whether
either decks or hull were strong enough to admit of her conversion into
an effective fighting ship, or indeed whether she was suitable at all
for northern navigation. As to the _Mary Sarah_, she was a very poor
sailer, and would only prove an embarrassment. Iberville, who of course
expected, if he went, to winter in the bay, said he must have a full
year's provisions for the party; and one of the points the captains
inquired into was whether there was accommodation in the ships for all
the stores required. As one of the necessities of the voyage they put
down 154 barriques of wine, or, alternatively, 38 of brandy. As the
barrique contains something over 50 gallons, the estimate was for about
2000 gallons of brandy, not an illiberal allowance. The upshot of the
matter was that there was no expedition that year, and that the English
had all their own way in the bay, capturing once more the fort at
Albany, together with furs to the value, as stated, of 150,000 francs,
the property of the Compagnie du Nord.

The news of this serious loss arrived at Quebec in August just after the
idea of an expedition had been abandoned, and was carried to France by
M. de Serigny, one of Iberville's brothers. The French government
thereupon determined to organize a strong force for the purpose of
securely establishing French supremacy in those northern waters. Serigny
was accordingly sent back to Quebec in the summer of 1694, with
instructions to Frontenac to lend as many soldiers as he could spare for
the enterprise. No time was lost in executing the order. On the 10th
August Iberville with Serigny and another brother M. de Châteauguay, and
over a hundred picked Canadians set sail for Hudson's Bay in two
frigates of twenty and thirty guns respectively. The first point of
attack was to be Port Nelson on the west side of the bay, garrisoned by
about fifty English, and mounting thirty-six cannon. Having arrived at
the place on the 24th September, Iberville demanded its surrender, which
was refused. The assailants had much the advantage in strength, and on
the 13th October the fort surrendered. The Canadians took up their
quarters there for the winter; and when summer came Iberville decided to
wait in the neighbourhood in the hope of capturing one or two English
trading vessels which were expected to arrive. None came, however, and
he set sail in September, leaving La Forest in charge with sixty men.
Contrary winds rendering his return to Canada difficult, he steered his
course for France, and arrived safely at Rochelle, where he wrote out a
full account of his adventures and achievements.

It was related in the last chapter how, in the following year (1696),
Iberville, in conjunction with Saint-Castin and the neighbouring
Indians, had captured and destroyed the English fort of Pemaquid, on the
west side of what is now Penobscot Bay. His instructions were, as soon
as this had been accomplished, to sail for Newfoundland, take St.
John's, and harry the English settlements strewn along the eastern
coast. This enterprise had been carefully prepared beforehand, and a
number of fishing vessels from St. Malo had been armed for the purpose.
There was a French governor stationed at Placentia, M. de Brouillan, to
whom instructions had been sent to co-operate with M. d'Iberville. All
accounts agree in saying that this officer was a man of an extremely
surly and jealous temper. Anxious to win the glory and profit of
capturing St. John's without assistance, he did not await the arrival of
Iberville before setting out on the enterprise. With the help of the St.
Malo men he captured one or two English vessels; but, owing to
disagreements that arose between him and his men, nothing more was
accomplished. Returning to Placentia he found that Iberville with his
Canadians had arrived. Some dispute arose as to who should command the
combined force; finally it was agreed that Iberville should have that
honour. It is doubtful whether the Canadians would have consented to
serve under any other leader. The capture of St. John's was effected on
the 1st December; but no booty of any consequence was taken, as some
English vessels had shortly before removed everything of value. Then
followed a cruel winter raid on the poor fisher-folk of the coast who
were not in a condition to make any resistance. All the hamlets were
burned, and the French writers say that two hundred of the English
inhabitants were killed, surely a most unnecessary slaughter.

Other work and other laurels somewhat worthier of a warrior's brow were,
however, awaiting the redoubtable Canadian chief. In the month of May
1697, when the desolation in Newfoundland was complete, his brother
Serigny arrived from France with five ships of war, the _Pelican_, the
_Palmier_, the _Wasp_, the _Profond_, and the _Violent_. Port Nelson had
again fallen into the hands of the English; and this expedition, which
Iberville was to command, had been organized for the purpose of retaking
it. For trading purposes it was much the most important port on the bay,
being the outlet of a vast fur-bearing region stretching towards Lake
Superior. It was July before the squadron sailed from Placentia,
Iberville taking command of the _Pelican_, and his brother of the
_Palmier_. One ship carrying stores was crushed and lost amid floating
ice, though the crew were saved. The others were in great danger. When
the _Pelican_ got free her companions were nowhere to be seen, and
Iberville pursued his way towards Port Nelson alone, hoping that the
other vessels would make their appearance after a time. He had nearly
reached his destination when three sail did heave in sight, which he
took to be the missing vessels. He was soon undeceived. They were armed
English merchantmen--the _Hampshire_, of fifty-two guns; the _Daring_,
of thirty-six; and the _Hudson's Bay_, of thirty-two. The chances looked
bad for the _Pelican_, which had but forty-four; but Iberville was
accustomed to taking chances, and he did not decline the unequal fight.
The French commander had the advantage of the wind, and seems not to
have engaged more than one vessel at a time. After some hours of
cannonading he came to close quarters with the _Hampshire_, and,
delivering some terrible broadsides, caused her to sink in that dreary
sea with all on board. The _Hudson's Bay_, which he next attacked, soon
struck her flag, while the _Daring_, doing little honour or justice to
her name, seized a favouring wind and escaped. The _Pelican_ had by no
means escaped Scot free. So badly shattered was she that, having
stranded a few miles from the fort, and a gale having sprung up, she
went to pieces. Some of the crew were lost, while, of those who reached
land, a number died from cold and exhaustion. Snow was lying a foot deep
on the ground; and had it not been for the timely arrival of the
missing vessels, the whole party would doubtless have perished, unless
they could have made their way to the fort and thrown themselves on the
mercy of the enemy. As it was, the work of the expedition was now
proceeded with. Cannon and mortar were landed. The fort was only
protected by a palisade, and though it mounted a few light cannon, it
was quite unable to withstand a bombardment. The commandant, therefore,
though at first he refused to surrender, was soon compelled to lower his
flag. He obtained honourable terms for his garrison, but was obliged to
hand over a vast quantity of furs. Iberville after this signal
triumph--a triumph, as Parkman describes it, "over the storms, the
icebergs, and the English"--left his brother in charge of the captured
fort, and, taking the two best vessels left, sailed for France, where he
arrived early in November.

The news which greeted him there was that, just about the time he was
sailing from the bay, peace had been signed[54] between England and
France. By the terms of the peace Louis was to acknowledge William III
as rightful King of England and Anne as his successor, and to withdraw
all assistance from the exiled James. As regards the colonies, the most
important provision was that the _status quo ante bellum_ should be
re-established. Thus the gallant fight that Iberville had waged, one
against three, and all the bitter hardships which he and his men had
endured by sea and land, had been in vain. Port Nelson and the other
ports in Hudson's Bay would have to revert to the English. All boundary
questions in dispute between the two nations were to be settled by
commissioners appointed for that purpose.

Returning now to Canada, and going back a year and a half in our
narrative, that is to say, to the early summer of 1696, we find Count
Frontenac making his plans for the campaign he had for some time felt to
be necessary against the Iroquois, but particularly against the most
obstinately hostile nation of the confederacy, the Onondagas. He had no
great reason to think that the court desired him to engage in this
enterprise, for all the counsels he had lately been receiving from that
quarter had been in favour of contraction rather than expansion, of
peaceful rather than warlike measures. He trusted, however, that if he
signally succeeded, as he expected to do, all would be not only condoned
but approved, including his disobedience of orders in re-establishing
Fort Frontenac the year before, a matter in regard to which he had not
heard from the court as yet. The expedition as organized was one which
certainly should have been adequate for the punishment of the Iroquois,
if they would only stay to be punished. It consisted of four battalions
of regulars of two hundred men each, and four of militia, numerically
somewhat stronger. With these were five hundred mission Indians,
Iroquois from the Saut, near Montreal, and Abenaquis from Sillery, near
Quebec. Two battalions of regulars, with most of the Indians,
constituted the vanguard, which was under the command of M. de
Callières. The militia, under M. de Ramesay, Governor of Three Rivers,
were placed in the centre, while M. de Vaudreuil brought up the rear,
consisting of the two remaining battalions of regulars and the rest of
the Indians. Frontenac himself, with his staff and a number of
volunteers, took a position between the van and the centre. In this
order the expedition started from Lachine on the 6th July. In fifteen
days it had reached Fort Frontenac, where it halted a week, awaiting the
arrival of a contingent of Ottawas which La Motte Cadillac had promised
to send from Michilimackinac. As this reinforcement did not arrive, the
expedition pushed on, and in two days reached the mouth of the Oswego
River. Here the rapids proved very difficult, and several portages were
necessary. On these occasions the count, notwithstanding his
seventy-five years, was prepared to foot it like the rest; but the
Indians would have none of it: they raised him aloft in his canoe,
"singing and yelling with joy."

On the 4th August the army reached the principal fort of the Onondagas
only to find it abandoned and burnt. There was nothing to do but, as on
former similar occasions, to destroy the corn. An old Onondaga Indian
who had remained in the neighbourhood was captured and put to death with
horrible tortures, which he endured with the greatest fortitude;
reviling his enemies with his latest breath, and calling the French
"dogs," and their Indian allies "the dogs of dogs," bidding them, at the
same time, to learn from him how to suffer when their turn should come.
While such havoc as was possible was being wrought in the Onondaga
habitations, Vaudreuil was detached from the main force to do similar
damage in the country of the Oneidas. As he approached their village,
some deputies of the tribe came forward to offer submission, and beg
that their crops might not be destroyed, but Vaudreuil told them he had
to obey his orders, and that, if they chose, they might come and dwell
with the French, where they would not want for anything. While the
detachment was engaged in the work of destruction news came that a force
of three hundred English was marching to attack them, whereupon the
Abenaquis expressed great joy, saying that they would not need to waste
powder on such enemies, their tomahawks and knives would be enough. The
English did not come, however. Governor Fletcher, of New York, was on
the move; but, by the time he had gathered a force, he learnt that the
French had gone. It is difficult to see in what respect this campaign,
which was precisely of the kind that Frontenac had said a few years
before he did not approve, was more effectual than that of Denonville in
1687; Frontenac, nevertheless, represented it to the king as a notable
victory. He could be pious in his phraseology when he liked; and he
wrote that the Iroquois had been smitten at his approach with a panic
which could only have come from Heaven. The Iroquois were surely in hard
luck in having to fight, at the same moment, human foes in superior
numbers, and armed with superior weapons, and celestial ones capable of
paralyzing their faculties in the moment of their greatest need. But not
more actively did the gods and goddesses of Olympus intervene on the
plain of Troy on behalf of well-greaved Greeks or horse-taming Trojans
than did the higher powers, if we can trust the narratives of the time,
on behalf of the well-musketed Canadians.

On the 10th August the return journey was begun, and on the 20th the
army reached Montreal. Some lives had been lost in the rapids; otherwise
there had been no casualties. In concluding his letter to the king,
Frontenac, after praising the officers under his command, particularly
M. de Callières, put in a modest word for himself: "I do not know
whether your Majesty will consider that I have tried to do my duty, and,
if so, whether you will judge me worthy of some mark of honour such as
may enable me to live the brief remainder of my life in some
distinction. However your Majesty may decide, I must humbly beg you to
believe that I am prepared to sacrifice the remainder of my days in your
Majesty's service with the same ardour which I have always hitherto
displayed." His Majesty was graciously pleased to say in reply, by the
mouth of the minister, that he was entirely satisfied with the count's
expedition against the Onondagas and Oneidas, and with his whole
conduct. After dealing with other matters the minister added: "Until his
Majesty has it in his power to bestow on you more marked proofs of his
satisfaction, he has granted you his Military Order of St. Louis, and
you will find herewith his permission to you to wear its cross." This
was a distinction of which his subordinate Callières, as well as M. de
Vaudreuil and the intendant, Champigny, were already in enjoyment; yet
it was all that the very decided merit of M. de Frontenac was able to
extract. It is said that the violent take the kingdom of heaven by
force; but it is also said that the meek shall inherit the earth.
Frontenac tried to make his way by dint of self-assertion, but in the
end his success was only moderate. The enemies whom he thrust aside, or
cowed into silence, could whisper at opportune moments, and their
whispers did him no good; while sometimes they could secure
gratifications for themselves decidedly worth having.

Various inconclusive negotiations for peace followed the Onondaga
campaign; and things dragged on in this way till news came in January
1698, though not through an authorized channel, of the signing of the
Peace of Ryswick. The officer in command at Albany, Peter Schuyler, had
deputed Captain John Schuyler and one Dellius to carry the news to
Callières at Montreal. Frontenac received it at Quebec a few days later.
The messengers stated that a new governor was coming out to New
York--the Earl of Bellomont--and mentioned that instructions had been
given to their Indians to cease their warfare against the French.
Frontenac sent a reply stating that he would have to await confirmation
of the news from his own government; but he did not think it well to
recognize that part of the message which assumed, on the part of the
English, authority over the Iroquois. Early in the following June (1698)
Schuyler and Dellius came, bringing some twenty French prisoners of all
ages, and also a letter from the Earl of Bellomont to Frontenac,
forwarding copies in French and Latin of the treaty of peace, and
proposing that Frontenac should give up all his Iroquois prisoners to
him, undertaking, on his part, to secure the restoration of all the
French prisoners whom the Iroquois might be holding. This brought things
to an issue. Frontenac replied in firm but courteous terms, saying that,
although he was still without advices from his government, he was
prepared to hand over all English prisoners in his custody, but that he
could not understand how his Lordship could have instructed his
delegates to ask for the return of the Iroquois prisoners. The Iroquois
had been uninterruptedly subjects of the French king from a time prior
to the taking of New York by the English from the Dutch. So far as they
were concerned, therefore, the Earl of Bellomont need not give himself
any trouble, as they were suing for peace, had engaged to restore all
their French prisoners, and had given hostages for the fulfilment of
their promise. He also referred, as a further proof of French authority,
to the missions which they had maintained among the Iroquois for over
forty years. This letter was dated 8th June. Bellomont replied on the
13th August, manifesting much irritation at Frontenac's refusal to
recognize the Iroquois as English subjects, and consequently covered by
the peace. He told Frontenac that he had sent word to those nations to
be on their guard, that he had furnished them with arms and munitions of
war, and promised them assistance in case they were attacked. As to the
Jesuit missionaries, the Indians had repeatedly entreated him "to expel
those gentlemen from amongst them," their wish being "to have some of
our Protestant ministers among them, instead of your missionaries, in
order for their instruction in the Christian religion." Here was a
pretty quarrel right on the head of a peace! Frontenac replied with his
customary firmness, saying that he would pursue his course unflinchingly
and insist on the fulfilment by the Iroquois of the engagement they had
entered into before the declaration of peace. He referred to the fact
that commissioners were to be appointed to decide questions of boundary,
and said that, such being the case, the earl had taken too absolute a
position. Here the correspondence ended so far as Frontenac was
concerned. He was fighting in a losing cause, for the claim of England
to the territory in dispute was shortly afterwards recognized. He could,
however, at least say that the cause was not lost through him; to the
last he maintained with courage, resolution, and dignity, what he held
to be the rights of his sovereign. As regards the formal establishment
of peace with the Iroquois it was not to be in his time. His last
despatch to the court bears date the 25th October. He tells the minister
that the Iroquois, who had promised to come and conclude peace and bring
back their prisoners, have not yet done so, and that he has no doubt
they are held back by the Earl of Bellomont. The minister answers that,
to prevent a continuation of disputes, he had consented that the tribes
in question should remain undisturbed and enjoy the peace concluded at
Ryswick. The boundary question would be settled in due time by the
commissioners appointed for that purpose.

This reply Count Frontenac was not destined to see. Three months,
indeed, before it was penned the curtain had fallen upon his eager,
strenuous, and, broadly speaking, honourable life. About the middle of
November he fell ill. He was in his seventy-ninth year. In a few days,
if not from the first, he knew that he had passed into the shadow of
death, that he was at last meeting One whom he could not conquer. The
old man made all his arrangements with admirable calmness. On the 22nd
November he sent for the notary to make his will. He expressed a desire
to be buried, not in the cathedral church, but in that of the
Récollets, whose milder theology had best suited his practical and
somewhat Erastian turn of mind. He makes pecuniary provision for a daily
mass on his behalf for one year, and a yearly one thereafter on the
anniversary of his death, Mme. de Frontenac to share in it after her
death. His heart was to be placed in a chapel of the Church of St.
Nicolas des Champs at Paris, where the remains of his sister, Mme. de
Monmort, were already reposing. A merchant of Quebec, François Hazeur,
and his private secretary, are named as his executors. He requests
Champigny to support his friends in having his wishes carried out. He
bequeaths to him a crucifix of aloes wood, and to Mme. de Champigny a
reliquary. The bishop, M. de Saint Vallier, came to see him several
times during his illness, as also did the intendant; death, not for the
first time, was acting the part of reconciler. It was rather expected by
the clerical party that, in his last moments, the old warrior would
express deep contrition for his deficiencies on the religious side and
his frequent opposition to the policy of the church; but in this they
were disappointed. "God gave him full time," says an anonymous critic of
the period, who has annotated very harshly the funeral sermon preached
over his remains, "to recognize his errors, and yet to the last he
showed a great indifference in all these matters. In a word, he behaved
during the few days before his death like one who had led an
irreproachable life and had nothing to fear." The last rites of
religion were administered by the Récollet father, Olivier Goyer, and on
the 28th November 1698, retaining his faculties to the last, the veteran
passed peacefully away.

What manner of man he was, this narrative, it may be trusted, has in
some measure shown. Compounded of faults and virtues, his was a
character that appealed strongly to average human nature. Common people
understood, admired and trusted him. His faults were those common,
everyday ones,[55] which it is not impossible to forgive; and he had the
more than compensating virtues of courage, decision, simplicity,
underlying kindliness, and humour. His nature, vehement, turbulent, and
self-asserting throughout his early and middle manhood, was gaining
towards the end that ripeness in which, according to Shakespeare, lies
the whole significance of life. The Abbé Gosselin has defined with great
exactness his attitude towards religion. "Frontenac," he says, "was a
Christian and a religious man after the fashion of his time, and as
people generally are in the great world; attached to the church, but
with all the Gallican ideas of the period, according to which the church
was only a dependency of the state; making it a point of honour to
discharge the duties incumbent on a gentleman and a Christian, but
drawing a clear distinction between the demands of duty and those of
perfection."[56] The late Abbé Verreau, quoted by Gosselin in his _Life
of Laval_, has a few words of mingled praise and blame, which, perhaps,
in their general effect are not far from the truth. "The harsh doctrines
of Jansenism," he says, "and domestic troubles had infused into his
nature something unrefined which the outward manners of the aristocrat
did not entirely conceal. . . . When, however, he yielded to the natural
bent of his mind, he attracted every one by the intellectual grace and
charm of his conversation. . . . His ambition was to be in New France
the reflection of the great monarch who ruled in Old France." The Abbé
probably exaggerates the effect of Jansenist doctrines upon the mind of
Frontenac, and also that of his conjugal difficulties; but he rightly
discerns an element in his character which clashed with his finer and
more distinguished qualities.

    *    *    *    *    *

There is no known extant portrait of Frontenac. For many years a certain
photograph was sold at Quebec as representing him on his death-bed, and
was reproduced in different works relating to Canadian history. Parkman,
the historian, sent it to the late M. Pierre Margry of Paris, the
well-known authority on early Canadian history, who at once pronounced
that it was not a portrait of Frontenac at all, but had been taken from
one of the illustrations published in Lavater's celebrated work on
physiognomy, the original being a German professor of the name of
Heidegger. How it ever came to pass for a portrait of Frontenac remains
a mystery. The matter is fully discussed in Mr. Ernest Myrand's work,
_Sir William Phipps devant Quebec_. So far as appears, it was through a
correspondence between Mr. Myrand and M. Pierre Margry, that the fact of
the unauthenticity of the alleged portrait of Frontenac first became
known in Canada.

The funeral sermon over the deceased governor was preached by the
Récollet father who had attended his death-bed, and the manuscript of it
is still preserved in the library of Laval University. The eulogium of
the sympathetic father may here and there be a little forced; but surely
a generous meed of praise was due to the man who, when past the meridian
of life, had undertaken and borne unflinchingly for many years the
burden of so difficult and dangerous an administration as that of
Canada. The manuscript has been annotated by an anonymous and unfriendly
ecclesiastical hand, one of whose criticisms is quoted above. The
critic's point of view is further indicated by the comment on the
preacher's statement that Frontenac diligently practised the reading of
spiritual books. "As for his reading, it was often Jansenist books, of
which he had a great many, and which he greatly praised and lent freely
to others." The _odium theologicum_ here is not difficult to discern.
The people, however, who cared little for theological subtleties and
animosities, but who judged their fallen chief as a man and an
administrator, mourned him sincerely. His death was announced by the
intendant to the king in words that are almost touching; and Callières,
a good soldier, and a man after his own heart, ruled in his stead.

[Footnote 54: The Peace of Ryswick, 20th September 1697.]

[Footnote 55: [Greek: Ta koina tôn anthrôpôn pathê.]--Aristotle,
_Rhet._ vii.]

[Footnote 56: _Monseigneur de Saint Vallier et son Temps_, p. 32.]




  Abenaquis Indians, hostile to New England, 240;
    incited by Governor Denonville, 249;
    ravages committed by, 316;
    attack settlement of York, 326;
    repulsed at Wells, 327;
    disposed to make peace with New England, 328;
    French influence in opposite direction prevails, 330;
    attack settlement of Oyster River, 330;
    fired on from Fort Pemaquid, under flag of truce, 331

  Acadia, attempt to form settlement in, 6;
    seized by English under Kirke, 22;
    subsequent vicissitudes, 268-72;
    seized under orders from Cromwell, 268;
    settlers disposed to trade with New England, 270;
    Port Royal (Annapolis) made capital, 270;
    visited by Meulles and Saint Vallier, and census taken, 271;
    Port Royal and other posts captured by Phipps, who establishes
      government, 274;
    passes again under French control, 316

  Agriculture in Canada, difficulties in the way of, 87

  Aguesseau, Chancellor d', on French parliaments, 153

  Ailleboust, M. d', succeeds Montmagny as governor, 35;
    interim governor, 42

  Albany, Fort, captured by Troyes, 206;
    captured alternately by French and English, 343, 345

  Andros, Sir Edmund, governor of New England, 263;
    seized and imprisoned, 266

  Argenson, Vicomte d', arrives as governor, 43;
    on Laval, 45

  Auteuil, Denis Joseph Ruette d', attorney-general, 106;
    death of, 138

  Auteuil, François d', son of Denis, succeeds him, 138;
    makes trouble for Intendant Meulles, 174;
    waits on Frontenac, 255

  Avaugour, Baron Dubois d', governor, 45;
    disagrees with clergy on liquor question, 46;
    describes earthquake, 46


  Ball, first given in Canada, 59

  Beaucour, M. de, brave conduct of, in command of party against
      Iroquois, 319;
    superintends improvements in fortifications of Quebec, 326

  Bellomont, Earl of, governor of New York, corresponds with Frontenac,

  Belmont, Abbé, on number of captives taken at Lachine, 226;
    on excessive use of brandy, 312 and note

  Bernières, Henri de, grand-vicar of bishop of Quebec, 111

  Berthier, M. de, commands militia in campaign against Iroquois, 209

  Bienville, Le Moyne de, joins war party against Schenectady, 235

  Big Mouth (Grande Gueule), Onondaga orator, 184, 221

  Bizard, officer of Frontenac, arrested by Perrot, 91

  Boulduc, prosecutor of Prévôté, dismissed, 138

  Bourdon, Sister Anne, on divine protection of Quebec, 301

  Bourgeoys, Sister Margaret, establishes Congrégation de Notre Dame,
      29, 39;
    impressed on arrival by poverty of country, 39

  Bradstreet, Simon, made governor of Massachusetts, 266;
    on failure of expedition against Quebec, 301

  Brouillan, M. de, French governor at Placentia, Newfoundland, 346

  Bruey, agent of governor Perrot at Montreal, 97

  Buade, Antoine de, grandfather of Frontenac, 61

  Buade, Henri de, father of Frontenac, 61

  Buade, Louis de, Count Frontenac, see _Frontenac_

  Bullion, Mme. de, benefactress of Hôtel Dieu at Montreal, 29


  Caen, William de, head of trading company, 23

  Caen, Emery de, takes over Quebec from the English, 23

  Callières, M. de, memorandum by, on French claims in Hudson's Bay, 204;
    commands regular troops in attack on Iroquois, 209;
    sent to France to represent situation of colony, 230;
    leads 800 men from Montreal to defence of Quebec, 292;
    commands vanguard in attack on Onondagas, 351;
    commended in despatches, 353;
    succeeds Frontenac as governor, 362

  Canada, population of, 36, 55, 58, 131, 147, 148;
    poverty of, impresses Sister Margaret Bourgeoys, 39;
    morals of the people, 58, 59;
    over-governed, 131;
    trade, 148;
    affected by all the vicissitudes of Mother Country, 150, 151;
    "farmers" of revenue appointed for, 154;
    Bishop Saint Vallier's first description of country and inhabitants,
    Governor Denonville's description, 192;
    Saint Vallier's revised opinion, 193;
    real character of the people, 193-5;
    state of depression throughout the country, 219, 240;
    drinking habits of people, 223;
    described by Laval as the country of miracles, 301;
    exhaustion of, after departure of New England fleet, 305, 317

  Carignan-Salières Regiment sent out, 51;
    some of the officers settle in Canada and become seigneurs, 57

  Carion, officer at Montreal, refuses to recognize Frontenac's order
    for arrest of _coureurs de bois_, 91

  Cartier, Jacques, voyages of, 1

  Cataraqui, expedition of Courcelles to, 59;
    of Frontenac, 76-84;
    fort, known afterwards as Fort Frontenac, erected at, 83

  Census of 1666, 55

  Chambly, fort erected at, 51

  Chambly, M. de, appointed governor of Acadia, 90, 269;
    taken prisoner to Boston and there set at liberty, 269;
    again governor, 270;
    governor of Grenada (W.I.), 270

  Champigny, Jean Bochart de, intendant, 207;
    captures peaceful Indians for king's galleys, 215;
    on sufferings of expeditionary force sent against Mohawks, 322;
    complains of Frontenac's treatment of him, 336;
    opposes restoration of Fort Frontenac, 341

  Champlain, Samuel de, early career of, 3;
    sails for St. Lawrence and explores river to Lachine rapids, 4;
    explores Baie des Chaleurs, returns to France, 5;
    accompanies de Monts to Acadia, 7;
    founder of Quebec, 8;
    plot against his life, 8;
    expedition against Iroquois, 9;
    returns to France and sails again for Canada, 10;
    returns to France, marries, and sails again for Canada, 11;
    prospects Island of Montreal, 12;
    returns to France (1611), sails for Canada (1613), again to France,
      again to Canada (1615), 13;
    brings out Récollet missionaries, 13;
    heads another expedition against Iroquois, 14;
    begins construction of Château St. Louis, 15;
    surrenders Quebec to English under Kirke, 20;
    landed in England, 21;
    urges restitution of Canada, 22;
    sails for Quebec (1633), 24;
    death of, 26

  Chapais, M. Thos., his work on Talon referred to, 57 (note)

  Charlevoix, Père, on bravery of Canadians and indifferent conduct of
      French troops, 212;
    on Lachine massacre, 224, 227;
    on old age of François Hertel, 235 (note);
    his account of "flag" incident in siege of Quebec, 295;
    on character and conduct of Frontenac, 333-6

  Charny-Lauson, temporary governor, 42

  Chastes, M. de, trading patent granted to, 3;
    death of, 5

  Châteaufort, M. de, interim governor after death of Champlain, 27

  Château St. Louis, Quebec, construction begun, 15

  Chauvin, obtains patent for exclusive trade in Canada, 2;
    sails to St. Lawrence, 3

  Chedabucto (Guysborough, N.S.), Frontenac arrives at, 232

  Chubb, commandant of Fort Pemaquid, fires on Indians while under flag
      of truce, 331;
    killed, 332

  Clarke, Captain, killed at Fort Loyal, two daughters taken to Quebec,

  Clément, Pierre (author of _Vie de Colbert_), on causes of failure of
      West India Company, 149;
    on galley service, 215

  Clermont, Chevalier de, killed in skirmish on Beaufort flats, 294

  Colbert, creates West India Company, 49;
    disapproves Frontenac's action in summoning "three estates," 67;
    anti-clerical tendencies, 73;
    Madame Maintenon's opinion of, 74;
    advice to Courcelles in relation to ecclesiastical power, 115;
    asks for particulars as regards effects of liquor traffic, 118;
    speaks of bishop as aiming at too much power, 119;
    overthrow of his commercial policy, 151

  Company of New France, or of Hundred Associates, created by Cardinal
      Richelieu, 19;
    colonists sent out by, 28;
    cedes some of its rights to colonists, 36;
    new arrangement works badly, 37;
    surrenders all its powers to the king (1663), 49;
    its failure to fulfil its engagements, 55

  Condé, Duke of, lieutenant-general for New France, 12

  Congrégation de Notre Dame, Montreal, established, 29

  Connecticut, takes part in expedition against Montreal, 279

  Corlaer, Indian name of Schenectady, which see.
    Also Indian name for governors of New York, 253 (note)

  Council, created (1647) at Quebec, 37.
    See also _Sovereign Council_.

  Courcelles, M. de, governor of Canada, 50;
    arrives at Quebec, 51;
    moves against Iroquois (Mohawks), 52;
    character, 54;
    expedition to Cataraqui, 59;
    recalled, 60

  _Coureurs de bois_, 37;
    two classes of, 88;
    Frontenac instructed to repress, 89;
    twelve captured, 99;
    one hanged, 100;
    king's decisions respecting, 125;
    difficulty in enforcing the law, 127;
    amnesty granted on certain conditions, 127;
    punishments prescribed for offenders, 128

  Courtemanche, M. de, sent to Michilimackinac, 310

  Crèvecoeur, fort, built by La Salle, 160

  Crisafy, Marquis of, conducts expedition for restoration of Fort
    Frontenac, 341

  Curacies, permanent (_cures fixes_), question of, 165, 190


  D'Ailleboust, see _Ailleboust_

  Damours, Mathieu, member of Sovereign Council, 106;
    arrested by Frontenac, 139

  Dauversière, M. Royer de la, one of founders of Montreal colony, 32

  Davis, Captain Sylvanus, captured at Fort Loyal, 252;
    a prisoner in Quebec during siege by Phipps, 294

  De Monts, see _Monts_

  Denonville, Marquis de, succeeds M. de la Barre as governor, 189;
    comes out in same ship as M. de Saint Vallier, 191;
    gives unfavourable account of Canadian people, 192;
    his piety, 197;
    asks for more troops, 198;
    corresponds with Dongan, governor of New York, 198;
    desirous of constructing a fort at Niagara, 199;
    proposes to French king to buy colony of New York, 202;
    instructed to cultivate peaceful relations with English neighbours,
    sends expedition to Hudson's Bay, 205;
    receives reinforcements, 206;
    determines to march against Iroquois, 207;
    crafty policy, 208;
    complains of French troops, 212;
    erects fort at Niagara, 213;
    asks for more troops, 217;
    receives visit from Big Mouth, 221;
    in attack by Iroquois on Lachine orders troops to remain on
      defensive, 225;
    recalled, 228;
    orders Fort Frontenac to be blown up, 228;
    stimulated Abenaquis to attack New England settlements, 249

  Désquérat, Captain, killed at Lapraire, 313

  Dollier de Casson, Sulpician, his history of Montreal, 34;
    depicts evils of liquor traffic, 335

  Domergue, Lieutenant, killed at Laprairie, 313

  Dongan, Colonel, governor of New York, correspondence with La Barre,
    policy with Iroquois, 183;
    correspondence with Denonville, 199, 200;
    claims right to trade with Lake tribes, 203;
    demands destruction of Fort Niagara, 218;
    advice to Iroquois, 219

  Duchesneau, Jacques, intendant, 108;
    his instructions, 109;
    claims to rank above bishop, 115;
    causes king's prohibition of trading licences to be registered in
      Frontenac's absence, 117;
    asked to furnish particulars as to ill effects of liquor traffic, 118;
    censured for interfering in matters beyond his sphere, 120;
    his recommendations on the _coureurs de bois_ question, 127;
    dispute with Frontenac as to presidency of Sovereign Council, 133-40;
    severely censured in despatch from minister, 134;
    accuses Frontenac of manufacturing the news he sends to the minister,
    his son imprisoned for disrespect to Frontenac, 143;
    recall of, 143;
    makes report on Acadia, 271

  Dudley, Joseph, provisional governor of Massachusetts, 264

  Dudouyt, Jean, grand-vicar of bishop of Quebec, 111;
    sent to France by bishop in connection with liquor question, 118;
    advice to bishop, 171

  Dugas, Du Gua, or Du Guast, sieur de Monts, see _Monts_

  Du Lhut, Daniel Greseylon, explorer, discoveries of, 162;
    imprisoned on return to Quebec, 163;
    appointed post commander among north-western tribes, 164;
    diverts trade from English posts on Hudson's Bay to Montreal, 164;
    under orders from La Barre confiscates goods in La Salle's fort of
      St. Louis, 179;
    instructed to rendezvous at Niagara, 181, 186, 187;
    fortifies post at outlet of Lake Huron, 202

  Dupont, Nicolas, member of Sovereign Council, 106

  Duval, Jean, executed for conspiracy against Champlain, 8


  Earthquake of 1662, 46, 47

  Eau, Chevalier d', goes on embassy to Iroquois and is badly used, 262

  English colonies, goods cheap in, 154;
    paid better price for furs, 154, 175, 201;
    political confusion prevailing in, after downfall of James II, 263


  Faillon, abbé, quoted, 4, 9;
    his description of conduct of Perrot, governor of Montreal, 96, 97

  Fénelon, abbé de, intermediary between Frontenac and Perrot, 92;
    indignant at Perrot's arrest, 93;
    preaches sermon against Frontenac, 93;
    carries round memorial in Perrot's favour, 96;
    summoned to Quebec, 98;
    his conduct before the council, 101;
    sent to France, censured, and not allowed to return to Canada, 102,

  "Flag" incident in siege of Quebec, 295-8

  France, condition of, in 1675-6, 150, 151

  Frontenac, Louis de Buade, Comte de Palluau et, particulars respecting
      his early life scanty, 61;
    born in 1620, 61;
    enters army under Prince of Orange at age of fifteen, 62;
    promoted to rank of _maréchal de camp_, 62;
    peace of Westphalia (1648) releases him from military life, 63;
    marriage and birth of son, 63;
    his wife separates from him, 63;
    extravagant habits, 64;
    commands Venetian troops in defence of Crete against Turks, 64;
    leaves France for Canada midsummer of 1672, 65;
    endeavours to constitute "three estates," and summons an assembly,
    action disapproved by king, 67;
    his instructions regarding the ecclesiastical power, 69;
    friendly to Sulpicians and Récollets, 74;
    plans a visit to Cataraqui, 74;
    conducts an expedition to Cataraqui, 76-84;
    invites Iroquois to conference at that place, 79;
    harangues them and distributes presents, 81, 82;
    erects fort, 83;
    expedition not approved by minister, 84;
    Frontenac defends it, 85;
    difficulties with Perrot, governor of Montreal, and the Abbé Fénelon,
    captures twelve _coureurs de bois_, 99;
    sends Perrot and Fénelon to France with report on case, 102;
    the king's reply, 103;
    enemies at court, 110;
    honour paid to him in church curtailed by Laval, 112;
    attitude towards ecclesiastical powers, 113;
    difficulty with bishop over issue of trading permits, involving
      carrying of liquor to Indians, 116;
    king prohibits permits, 116;
    visits Cataraqui (Fort Frontenac), 117;
    appeals against king's decision, 117;
    instructed not to meddle with questions of finance, etc., 120;
    authorized to grant hunting permits, 125;
    number to be issued restricted, 128;
    dispute with intendant Duchesneau as to presidency of Sovereign
      Council, 133-40;
    censured by minister for his contentious spirit, 135;
    again cautioned by king and minister, 136;
    recalled, 143, 144;
    asks home government for soldiers, 145;
    summons conference on Indian question, 146;
    arranges peace between Senecas and Ottawas, 146;
    orders strengthening of fortifications of Montreal, 147;
    relations with Du Lhut, 162;
    has Récollet confessor, Father Maupassant, 165;
    alleged disorders in his household, 165;
    commends Sulpicians, 168;
    his recall a triumph for clerical opponents, 171;
    on return to France makes light of La Barre's demand for troops, 173;
    reappointed governor of Canada, 229;
    arrives at Chedabucto, 232;
    arrives at Quebec, 232;
    goes to Montreal, 233;
    exaggerates number of killed in Lachine massacre, 227 (note);
    tries to arrest destruction of Fort Frontenac, 233;
    organizes raiding parties against English colonies, 234-6;
    brings out with him from France survivors of Indians captured for
      the galleys, 237;
    sends deputation to Iroquois, 237;
    sends reinforcements to La Durantaye, 241;
    his address to the Lake tribes, 242;
    result of his raids on English settlements, 253;
    improves fortifications of Quebec, 254;
    his relations with the Sovereign Council, 254-7;
    goes to Montreal where anxiety prevails, 257;
    his expedition to Lake Indians successful, 258;
    dances a war-dance, 260;
    protests to Massachusetts authorities against attack on Pentagouet,
    gets news at Montreal of approach of expedition against Quebec, 282;
    replies to Phipps's demand for surrender, 288, 289;
    recommends attack on Boston by sea, 316;
    describes ravages of Abenaquis, 317;
    estimate of military losses in Canada, 318;
    expresses himself as opposed to large expeditions, 320;
    orders M. de Louvigny at Michilimackinac to send down Indians with
      their furs, 323;
    firm in negotiations with Iroquois, 325, 338;
    complaints made against, 333-6;
    gives theatrical representations at Quebec, 336;
    question of _Tartuffe_, 337;
    restores Fort Frontenac against instructions of minister, 341;
    directs campaign against Iroquois, 350-3;
    reports his victory to the king, and asks for recognition, 353;
    receives cross of St. Louis, 354;
    receives news of Peace of Ryswick, 354;
    corresponds on question of sovereignty over Iroquois with Earl of
      Bellomont, governor of New York, 355;
    his last despatch to home government, 357;
    illness and death, 357-9;
    his will, 358;
    no known portrait, 360;
    funeral sermon and critical annotations thereon, 361

  Frontenac, Mme., aversion of, for her husband, 63;
    joins Mlle. de Montpensier, 63;
    assisted Frontenac by her influence at court, 65

  Frontenac, Fort, erected at Cataraqui, 83;
    conceded to La Salle, 156;
    seized by La Barre, 178;
    restored to La Salle, 179;
    Dongan demands its destruction, 218;
    Denonville gives orders for blowing it up, 288;
    order partially carried out, 234;
    repaired, 234;
    rebuilt, 341

  Fur trade, burdensome restrictions on, 38, 154


  Gaillardin, French historian, referred to, 152

  Gerrish, Sarah, captured at Fort Loyal, exchanged for one of Phipps's
    prisoners, 303

  Girouard, Judge, on loss of life in massacre of Lachine, 224;
    at La Chesnaye and other places, 226

  Glandelet, abbé, preaches against theatre, 336

  Glen, John Sanders, magistrate of Schenectady, life spared, 247

  Gosselin, abbé, his opinion of Talon, 54;
    on administration of La Barre, 172;
    on Laval's choice of M. de Saint Vallier, 191;
    on Frontenac's attitude towards religion, 359

  Goyer, Olivier, Récollet father, preaches funeral sermon on Frontenac,

  Grande Gueule, see _Big Mouth_

  Great Mohawk (Grand Agnié), Christian Mohawk leader, 246

  _Griffon_, name of vessel built by La Salle and lost in Lake Michigan,

  Grignan, M. de, son-in-law of Mme. de Sevigné, a candidate for
    governorship of Canada, 65

  Guyard, Marie, see _Incarnation, Mère de l'_


  Hébert, Louis, first regular settler at Quebec, 16

  Henry IV of France, assassination of, 11

  Hertel, François, commands Three Rivers war party, 235;
    leader in massacre of Salmon Falls, 251;
    joins M. de Portneuf in attack upon Fort Loyal, 251;
    his old age, 235 (note)

  _History of Brandy in Canada_, quoted, 124

  Hosta, M. d', killed at Laprairie, 312

  Hôtel Dieu, Montreal, established by Mlle. Mance, 29

  Hôtel Dieu, Quebec, origin of, 28

  Hudson's Bay, English claim to, disputed by France, 204;
    La Barre instructed to check English encroachments in, 205;
    expedition under M. de Troyes captures English forts, 205;
    Iberville's exploits in, 342-50;
    English possessions in, restored by Peace of Ryswick, 349

  Hudson's Bay Company, 203;
    trading done and posts established by, 204;
    redress claimed by, for losses inflicted by the French, 343

  Hundred Associates, Company of, see _New France, Company of_

  Hurons, destruction of, by Iroquois, 26 and note, 35;
    join Frontenac's expedition to Cataraqui, 79;
    dread being abandoned to Iroquois, 222

  Hunting permits, issue of sanctioned, 125;
    number to be issued annually limited, 128;
    issue of, becomes a form of patronage, 129


  Iberville, Le Moyne d', accompanies expedition to Hudson's Bay, 206;
    joins war party against Schenectady, 235;
    arrives from Hudson's Bay with two captured vessels, 325;
    takes Fort Pemaquid, 331;
    exploits in Hudson's Bay, 342-50;
    sails for France and returns with two French ships, 343;
    captures Port Nelson, 345;
    sails for France, 346;
    attacks English settlements in Newfoundland, 346;
    takes St. John's, 347;
    in his ship the _Pelican_ successfully engages three English vessels,
    sails for France, 349

  Illinois Indians, allies of French, attacked by Iroquois, 144

  Incarnation, Mère de l' (Marie Guyard), arrival of, at Quebec, 28;
    on _Jesuit Relations_, 30 (note);
    on influence of convent teaching, 89 (note);
    on rapid decline in Indian population, 168 (note)

  Indians (see also names of tribes or nations), menacing attitude of,
    defrauded by traders, 18, 154;
    not readily receptive of Christian doctrine, 167

  Intendant, Jean Talon appointed as, 51;
    office revived, 105;
    Jacques Duchesneau appointed, 108;
    Jacques de Meulles, 171;
    Jean Bochart de Champigny, 207

  Iroquois, Champlain joins Hurons and Algonquins in attacking, 9, 10,
    nearly exterminate Hurons, 26 and note, 35;
    demand establishment of French colony in their country, 40;
    their confederacy, of what tribes composed, 41;
    attack remnant of Hurons on Island of Orleans, 41;
    checked at the Long Sault on the Ottawa by heroism of Dollard and
      his companions, 44;
    governor Courcelles marches against, 52;
    similar expedition led by Tracy, 53;
    invited by Frontenac to conference, 79;
    consent to make a peace including Indian allies of French, 82;
    under La Barre's administration seize canoes of French traders, 181;
    La Barre's expedition against, 183;
    Denonville's, 207-14;
    capture of a number of peaceful Iroquois for king's galleys, 215;
    reprisals, 218, 219;
    massacre of Lachine, 224;
    send envoys to meet Frontenac, 238;
    native eloquence, 239;
    worsted in skirmish on Ottawa River, 243;
    Mohawk opinion of Schenectady massacre, 248;
    ill treat embassy from Frontenac, 262;
    renew their attacks, 307;
    party of, destroyed at Repentigny, 308;
    three prisoners burnt alive, 309;
    another party surprised and destroyed, 319;
    expedition against (Mohawks), 321;
    peace negotiations, 337;
    Onondaga orator, Teganissorens (Decanisora), 338;
    Frontenac's campaign against, 350


  Jemseg, for a short time headquarters of Acadia, 270

  Jesuit fathers, arrival of, 17;
    return after restoration of Canada to France, 25;
    Frontenac's attitude towards, 113;
    their missions, 166

  _John and Thomas_, vice-admiral's ship in Phipps's squadron, 281

  Jolliet, Louis, discoverer of Mississippi, 155

  Jolliet, Zachary, his December journey from Michilimackinac to Quebec,

  Juchereau, Mère, reports repulse of some of Phipps's men at Rivière
      Ouelle, 291;
    on flag incident, 296;
    on divine protection of Quebec, 301


  Kirke brothers (David, Louis, and Thomas) capture Quebec, 21

  Kirke, Louis, left in charge of Quebec, surrenders it to French on
    conclusion of peace, 23

  Kishon (the Fish), Indian name for governors of Massachusetts, 253

  Kondiaronk, or the Rat, see _Rat_


  La Barre, M. Lefebvre de, governor, arrival of, 171;
    summons conference on Indian question, 172;
    applies for troops, 172;
    criticized in despatches by intendant, 173, 174;
    takes to illegitimate trading, 175;
    disparages discoveries of La Salle, 176;
    seizes Fort Frontenac and Fort St. Louis, 177, 179;
    instructed to restore to La Salle all his property, 180;
    his unwise instructions to Iroquois, 180;
    decides to make war on Senecas, 181;
    corresponds with Colonel Dongan, governor of New York, 182;
    leads expedition, 183;
    arranges ignominious terms of peace, 186;
    recalled, 188;
    unfitness for his position, 189;
    results of his weak policy, 198, 209

  La Caffinière, M. de, commander of squadron sent against New York, 234

  La Canardière, former name of Beauport flats, 293 (note)

  La Chesnaye, trader, La Barre's dealings with, 175

  La Chesnaye settlement, Iroquois raid on, 226

  Lachine, massacre of, 10, 224, 225

  La Durantaye, post commander, ordered to rendezvous at Niagara, 181;
    captures English canoes on the way, 210;
    reports critical situation among Lake tribes, 240;
    reinforced, 241

  La Famine, La Barre's army encamps at, 184

  La Forest, left in charge of Port Nelson, 346

  La Grange-Trianon, Mlle. de, becomes wife of Frontenac, 63

  Laguide, Madeleine, niece of Talon, wife of François Perrot, 97

  La Hontan, Baron de, on treatment of captured Iroquois at Fort
      Frontenac, 216;
    on interview between Frontenac and Denonville, 233;
    declines to go on embassy to Iroquois, 261;
    his account of attack on Quebec by Phipps, 285

  Lamberville, Jesuit father, missionary to the Iroquois, 144, 188, 208

  La Motte Cadillac, post commander at Michilimackinac, 340

  La Peltrie, Mme. de, arrival of, at Quebec, 28;
    accompanies Maisonneuve to Montreal, 33

  Laprairie, attack on, by war party under John Schuyler, 281;
    serious encounter at, between Canadian forces and party under Peter
      Schuyler, 312

  La Salle, René Robert Cavelier de, sent to invite Iroquois to
      conference, 79;
    first commandant of Fort Frontenac (Cataraqui), 88;
    reports Perrot's defiant proceedings to Frontenac, 92;
    his views on sale of liquor to Indians, 123;
    obtains grant of Fort Frontenac from king, 156;
    obtains exclusive right of trading in Mississippi region, 158;
    difficulties encountered by, 159, 161;
    relations with Frontenac, 162;
    discoveries disparaged by La Barre and also by the king, 176;
    financial affairs, 178;
    his forts and other property seized by La Barre restored to him, 179;
    king takes him under his special protection, 180

  Lauson, M. Jean de, governor, 38;
    returns to France, 42

  Laval-Montmorency, François Xavier de, arrival of as vicar-apostolic
      and bishop of Petraea _in partibus_, 43;
    sends M. de Queylus back to France, 43;
    disagrees with governor Argenson, 45;
    also with Avaugour, 46;
    sails for France (1662), 46;
    procures recall of Avaugour, and appointment of M. de Mézy, 48;
    returns to Quebec September 1663, 48;
    establishes Quebec Seminary, 48;
    and Lesser Seminary, 49;
    quarrels with Mézy, 50;
    sails for France to settle question of bishopric, May 1672, 70;
    made bishop of Quebec and returns to Canada, 1675, 71;
    establishes ecclesiastical court, 111;
    curtails honours paid to governor in church, 112;
    king's instructions on the subject, 113;
    Frontenac's estimate of bishop's revenue, 114;
    objects to trading permits issued by governor, as involving selling
      of liquor to Indians, 116;
    gains the king over to his views, 118;
    sends grand-vicar to France to uphold his policy, 118;
    goes to France to press his views (1678), 125;
    effect of his elevation to rank of bishop, 164;
    not favourable to permanent curacies, 165, 190;
    rejects offer of Récollets to serve the parishes without any fixed
      provision for their support, 165;
    determines to resign, 190;
    goes to France, 1684, 191;
    chooses M. de Saint Vallier as his successor, 191;
    describes Canada as "the country of miracles," 301

  Lavaltrie, M. de, seigneur, commands militia in attack on Iroquois,
    killed by Iroquois, 323

  Lebert, merchant, of Montreal, imprisoned by Perrot, 92;
    La Barre's dealings with, 175

  Le Chasseur, secretary to Frontenac, 139

  Leclercq, Père, Récollet, on great need for Récollet order in Canada,
      72 (note);
    on Schenectady massacre, 247 (note);
    on "flag" incident in siege of Quebec, 296 and note

  Leisler, Jacob, seizes government of New York, 266

  Le Jeune, Jesuit father, preaches funeral sermon of Champlain, 27

  Le Moyne, Charles, sent to invite Onondagas to conference, 183, 184

  Liquor traffic, condemned by Champlain, 25;
    subject of dispute between civil and religious authorities, 46, 115;
    king's instructions regarding, 116, 118, 120;
    question referred to a meeting of the principal inhabitants, 121;
    opinions expressed, 122, 123;
    king's decision thereon, 125;
    evils depicted, 335

  Longueuil, Le Moyne de, commands militia in attack on Iroquois, 209

  Lorin, M. Henri, author of _Le Comte de Frontenac_, referred to, 109,
    126, 128, 142, 165, 174, 216 (note), 231, 250

  Lotbinière, Réné Charlier de, member of the Sovereign Council, 106

  Louis XIII of France, close relations of Frontenac family with, 62

  Louis XIV, his war with Holland, 148;
    absolutism of his rule, 151-3;
    desires to have permanent curacies (_cures fixes_) established in
      Canada, 164;
    private life, 166;
    pronounces La Salle's discoveries useless, 176;
    later takes him under his special protection, 180

  Louvigny, M. de, sent with reinforcements to Michilimackinac, 241

  Loyal, Fort (Casco Bay), captured by Canadians, 252


  Madocawando, Abenaquis chief, 329

  Maisonneuve, Paul Chomedy, sieur de, conducts mission colony to
      Montreal, 29, 33;
    bravery of, 34;
    goes back to France for reinforcements, 38;
    returns to Canada with 100 soldiers, 39;
    removed from governorship by the Marquis de Tracy, 54

  Mance, Mlle., establishes Hôtel Dieu at Montreal, 29;
    death of, 73

  Mantel, Daillebout de, one of leaders of war party against Schenectady,

  Maricourt, Le Moyne de, accompanies expedition to Hudson's Bay, 206;
    arrives at Quebec during siege by Phipps, 292;
    with his brother, Iberville, in Hudson's Bay, 343

  Marquette, Jesuit father, accompanies Jolliet in his explorations, 155

  Marriage, stimulated by civil authorities, 57

  Massachusetts, charter of, declared null and void, 264;
    takes lead in expedition against Quebec, 277

  Mather, Cotton, on failure of Phipps's expedition, 302;
    on rescue of some men cast ashore on Anticosti, 304

  Maupassant, Récollet father, Frontenac's confessor, 165

  Menneval, M. de, governor of Acadia, 272;
    surrenders to Phipps, 274;
    carried prisoner to Boston, 276;
    released, 277

  Meulles, Jacques de, intendant, opposed to popular representation, 69;
    arrival of, 171;
    criticizes La Barre in despatches, 173, 174;
    on La Barre's expedition against Senecas, 188;
    recalled, 207;
    visits Acadia and makes census, 271

  Mézy, M. de, appointed governor on Laval's recommendation, 48;
    quarrels with Laval, 50;
    death of, 50

  Millet, Jesuit father, tortured by Oneida Indians, 216

  Missions to Indians, 166;
    pure lives of missionaries produced good effect, 168

  Mohawks (Iroquois tribe) attack Hurons on Island of Orleans, 41;
    Courcelles leads expedition against, 52;
    Tracy leads a second, 53;
    expedition against, 321

  Monseignat, Frontenac's secretary, 260, 297

  Montmagny, M. de, second governor of Canada, 27;
    retirement of, 35

  Montmorency, Duke of, becomes lieutenant-general for Canada, 17;
    executed for revolt, 22

  Montpensier, Mlle. de, Mme. Frontenac's relations with, 63

  Montreal, beginnings of, 33;
    settlement in danger of extinction, 38;
    population in 1666, 56;
    Frontenac's arrival at, on his way to Cataraqui, 76;
    description of, 77;
    expedition from Albany against, 268;
    great rejoicings at, on arrival of trading canoes from the Lakes, 324

  Monts, Pierre Dugas, sieur de, ten years' trading patent, with position
      of lieutenant-general, granted to, 5;
    conducts expedition to Acadia, 6;
    patent cancelled, but renewed for one year, 7;
    sails for Quebec, 8;
    resigns lieutenancy, 12

  Myrand, Ernest, author of _Frontenac et ses Amis_, 229;
    his work _Sir William Phipps devant Quebec_ quoted, 293 (note);
    on losses incurred in siege of Quebec by Phipps, 302 (note);
    discusses question of Frontenac's portrait, 361


  Nayouat, governor Villebon of Acadia establishes himself at, 327

  "New Company," name given to trading company formed by inhabitants of
    Canada in 1645, 36

  Newfoundland, English settlements in, attacked, 346

  New France, Company of, see _Company_

  New York, British colony, plan for conquest of, 231

  Nicholson, Francis, lieut.-governor of New York, 263;
    uprising against, 266


  "Old Company," name applied to Company of New France after 1645, 36

  Olier, M. Jean, founder of Sulpician order, obtains grant of Island of
    Montreal, 32

  Oneida Indians, torture Father Millet, 216;
    party of, destroyed, 308;
    three burnt alive, 309;
    negotiate for peace, 324

  Onondagas (Iroquois tribe), demand a French colony, 40;
    escape of colony, 41;
    a number treacherously captured for king's galleys, 215;
    their orator Teganissorens, 338;
    campaign against, 350-3

  Onontio (Big Mountain), name applied by Indians to French governors, 35

  Orehaoué, Cayuga chief, brought back from France by Frontenac, 237;
    services rendered by, 315, 339

  Ottawa Indians, keen for trade and cheap goods, 259;
    entertained at Quebec, 310

  Ourouehati, Onondaga orator, otherwise known as Grande Gueule,
    Garangula, and Big Mouth, see _Big Mouth_.


  Parkman, Francis, referred to, 30, 31, 57, 320

  Parliaments in France, subjection of, to royal power, 152

  Pemaquid, Fort, destroyed 1689, rebuilt 1692, 328;
    taken by Iberville, 331

  Pentagouet, fortress on western boundary of Acadia, captured by
      freebooters, 269;
    by New Englanders, 275

  Permits, see _Trading Permits_, _Hunting Permits_

  Perrot, François Marie, succeeds Maisonneuve as governor of Montreal,
    engages in illicit trading and shields _coureurs de bois_, 90;
    his wife a niece of Talon, 90;
    arrests Bizard, an officer of Frontenac's, 91;
    summoned before Sovereign Council, 92;
    arrested at Quebec, 93;
    character and conduct, 96-7;
    protests competency of Sovereign Council to try him, 99;
    specially commended to Frontenac in a dispatch from minister, 101;
    sent to France, 102;
    allowed to return to Canada after brief imprisonment, 103;
    removed to government of Acadia, 270;
    continues to trade, 271;
    dismissal and death, 272

  Perrot, Rev. M., _curé_ of Montreal, disapproves of Abbé Fénelon's
    sermon, 95

  Perrot, Nicolas, ordered to rendezvous at Sault with Indian allies,
      181, 186, 187;
    arrives with contingent, 210;
    accompanies Louvigny to Michilimackinac, 242;
    exhibits Iroquois scalps, 243

  Peuvret, clerk of the council, imprisoned by Frontenac, 135

  Peyras, Jean Baptiste, member of Sovereign Council, 106;
    visits Acadia, 271

  Phipps, Sir William, birth and early life, 272;
    conducts expedition against Acadia, 273;
    captures Port Royal, but violates terms of surrender, 274;
    ravages committed by his men, 274;
    captures other Acadian posts, and establishes government, 275;
    returns to Boston with prisoners and booty, 276;
    sails from Nantasket, 279;
    arrives at Quebec, 282;
    demands surrender, 285-7;
    his attack repulsed, 295;
    decides on retreat, 299;
    his estimate of his losses, 302;
    disastrous return voyage, 303;
    goes to England, 315;
    returns as governor of Massachusetts, 328;
    recall and death of, 331

  Plet, cousin of La Salle, comes from France in connection with
    financial matters, 177

  Pontchartrain, Marquis de, minister of marine, 72 (note)

  Pontgravé, François de, voyages of, to St. Lawrence, 3, 8

  Port Hayes (Hudson's Bay), captured by Troyes, 206

  Port Nelson, captured by Iberville, 345;
    retaken by English, 347;
    again taken by Iberville, 349

  Portneuf, M. de, commands war party from Quebec, 236;
    captures Fort Loyal, 252;
    removed for peculation, 330

  Port Royal (Annapolis), capital of Acadia, 270;
    captured by Phipps, 274

  Prevost, town-major of Quebec, 257;
    strengthens defences, 284

  Prévôté (provost's court) abolished 1674, re-established 1677, 107


  Quebec, foundation of, 7;
    capture of, by Kirke, 20;
    restored to France, 23;
    population of city in 1666, 56;
    first ball given at, 59;
    sea expedition planned against by New Englanders, 268-77;
    defences strengthened, 284;
    attack by squadron under Phipps, 285-300;
    defences further strengthened, 326

  Queylus, Rev. M. de, Sulpician, appointed vicar-general for Canada, 42;
    sent back to France by bishop Laval, 43


  Radisson, Pierre Esprit, proceedings of, in Hudson's Bay, 204-5

  Rageot, Gilles, clerk to attorney-general, 106

  Rainsford, John, rescues comrades cast away on Anticosti, 304

  Ramesay, M. de, commands militia in attack on Iroquois, 351

  Rat, the, Kondiaronk, Huron Indian, wrecks peace negotiations with
    Iroquois, 222

  Récollet missionaries, brought out by Champlain, 13;
    difficulties encountered by, 16;
    not allowed to return to Canada after restoration to France, 25;
    permitted to return, 1668, 72 (note);
    favoured by Frontenac and La Salle, 162;
    offer to serve the parishes without any fixed provision for their
      support, 165;
    not greatly esteemed by the bishop, 165; missions, 166

  _Relations des Jésuites_, 29, 30, and note

  Repentigny, band of Iroquois surprised and destroyed at, 308

  Repentigny, M. de, goes to France on behalf of early colonists, 36

  Representative institutions, complete absence of, 131-2

  Richelieu, Cardinal, creates Company of New France, 19

  Richelieu River, highway to Iroquois country, 9;
    fort erected at mouth of, 51

  Rivière Ouelle, alleged repulse of party of New Englanders at, 291

  Rochemonteix, Rev. P. Camille, S.J., on _Jesuit Relations_, 30

  Rohault, M. de, establishes college for boys at Quebec, 28

  Rooseboom, Johannes, of Albany, carries goods to Lake Indians, 201

  Rupert, fort (Hudson's Bay), captured by Troyes, 206

  Ryswick, Peace of, restores to England her Hudson's Bay ports, 349


  Saco River, fort built at falls of, 329

  Sagard, Théodat, Récollet, on bad examples shown by colonists to
    Indians, 14

  Saint-Castin, Baron de, 329 and note;
    leads Indians against fort Pemaquid, 331

  Saint Simon, his statements regarding Frontenac, 65

  Saint Vallier, M. de, chosen by Bishop Laval as his successor, 191;
    comes out to Canada first as vicar-general, 191;
    his first impression of country and inhabitants, 192;
    his revised opinion, 193, 220;
    pays pastoral visit to Acadia (1686), 271;
    issues mandate regarding the theatre, 337;
    pays Frontenac 1000 francs on condition _Tartuffe_ shall not be
      produced, 337

  Salmon Falls, massacre of, 251

  Salmon River, La Barre's expedition encamps at, 184

  Savage, Major Thomas, third in command in Phipps's expedition, 281

  Schenectady, massacre of, 245-8

  Schuyler, Captain John, his raid on Laprairie, 281;
    comes to Quebec with news of peace, 354

  Schuyler, Peter, commands expedition from Albany, 311

  Sedgwick, Major Robert, seizes Acadia by Cromwell's orders, 268

  Seignelay, Marquis de, succeeds his father, Colbert, in ministry of
      marine, 72 (note);
    marries Mlle. d'Allegre, 111

  Seigniories, establishment of, 56

  Seminary (Quebec), establishment of, 48

  Seneca Indians, show quarrelsome temper, 143;
    attack Illinois, 144;
    enraged by murder of a chieftain on territory of Ottawas, 145;
    accept terms of peace, 146;
    attack canoes of French traders, 181;
    Denonville's expedition against, 207-14

  Serigny, Le Moyne de, goes to France on Hudson's Bay affairs, 345

  Sévigné, Mme. de, her son-in-law candidate for governorship of Canada,
    describes severities exercised on peasants in revolt in France, 150

  _Six Friends_, flagship of Phipps, 281

  _Soleil d'Afrique_, French frigate, brings supplies, 319

  Sovereign Council, created, 49;
    reorganized, 105-6;
    resembled a parliament in French sense, 131;
    Frontenac claims to be styled President of, 133-40;
    fixed prices of goods, 153

  St. Cirque, M. de, killed at Laprairie, 312

  St. Denis, Juchereau de, wounded in skirmish on Beauport flats, 294

  Ste. Hélène, Le Moyne de, accompanies expedition to Hudson's Bay, 208;
    commands in war party against Schenectady, 235;
    mortally wounded in skirmish on Beauport flats, 299

  St. John's, Newfoundland, taken by Iberville, 347

  St. Louis, fort, built by La Salle, 160;
    seized by La Barre, 179

  Subercase, Lieutenant, in command at Lachine on occasion of massacre,
    sent to Island of Orleans to watch Phipps, 303

  Sulpicians, religious order, come to Montreal with Maisonneuve, 42;
    work of colonization done by, 56;
    Frontenac friendly to, 74;
    seigneurs of the Island of Montreal, 97;
    their missions, 166, 168

  Syndics, local representatives without votes provided for in first
    council, 37


  Teganissorens (Decanisora), Onondaga orator, 338

  Talon, Jean, intendant, 51;
    character, 54;
    attitude to the clerical power, 55;
    labours for the prosperity of the country, 55;
    recalled at his own request, 60;
    instructed to guard against ecclesiastical encroachments, 69;
    secures permission for Récollets to return to Canada, 72

  Temple, Sir Thomas, English governor of Acadia (1656), 268

  Theatrical representations at Quebec, 336

  Three Rivers, fort erected at, 24;
    population in 1666, 268

  Thury, abbé, missionary to Abenaquis, 250

  Tilly, Le Gardeur de, member of Sovereign Council, 106

  Tonty, Henri, La Salle's lieutenant at Fort Crèvecoeur, 144, 160;
    joins expedition against Iroquois, 209;
    arrives from Illinois country with _coureurs de bois_, 325

  Tracy, Marquis de, appointed king's lieutenant-general for all his
      possessions in America, 50;
    arrives at Quebec, 51;
    marches against Iroquois (Mohawks), 53;
    concludes peace, 53;
    removes Maisonneuve from governorship of Montreal, 54;
    is recalled, 54

  Trading permits, issued by governor, 115;
    objected to by bishop as involving carrying of liquor to the Indians,
    prohibited by king, 116;
    permitted under limitations, 128

  Troyes, Chevalier de, leads expedition to Hudson's Bay, 205;
    joins expedition against Iroquois, 209;
    in charge of fort at Niagara, 214


  Urfé, abbé d', haughtily treated by Frontenac, 110

  Ursuline Convent, Quebec, foundation of, 28, 30;
    sister Margaret Bourgeoys urged to join, 39


  Vaillant, Jesuit father, sent as negotiator to Albany, 218

  Valrennes, M. de, commandant of Fort Frontenac, 233;
    tries to cut off retreat of Peter Schuyler at Chambly, 313

  Vauban, M. de, French engineer, prepares plans for defence of Quebec,

  Vaudreuil, M. de, acts as chief-of-staff to Governor Denonville, 209;
    acting governor of Montreal, 225;
    surprises and destroys band of Indians at Repentigny, 308

  Ventadour, Henri de Lévis, Duke of, lieutenant-general of New France,

  Verchères, Mlle. Madeleine, defends fort against Iroquois, 319

  Verreau, abbé, on attempt to civilize Indians, 168;
    on character of Frontenac, 360

  Villebon, governor of Acadia, mentions burning of a prisoner, 328

  Villeray, Louis Rouer de, first councillor, 106;
    Frontenac's opinion of, 110;
    his right to title of "esquire" challenged by Frontenac, 139;
    waits on Frontenac, 255, 256

  Villieu, M. de, leads Abenaquis in attack on English settlements, 330

  Vincent, Jesuit father, celebrates first mass at Montreal, 34

  Vitre, Charles Denis de, member of Sovereign Council, 106


  Walley, Major, second in command to Phipps, 281;
    lands with troops on Beauport flats, 292;
    his forces suffer severely, 298;
    draws off his men, leaving artillery behind, 300;
    his explanation of defeat of expedition, 300

  West India Company, creation of, 49;
    failure of, 149

  Winthrop, Fitz-John, of Connecticut, commands expedition against
      Montreal, 279;
    arrives at Albany, and pushes on to Wood Creek, 280;
    returns to Albany and to Hartford (Connecticut), 281

  Wood Creek, expedition against Montreal encamps at, 280

  =Transcriber's Notes:=
  hyphenation, spelling and grammar have been preserved as in the original
  Page 203, extirpating Protestanism ==> extirpating Protestantism
  Page 249, that of Pemquid ==> that of Pemaquid
  Page 250, fort at Pemquid ==> fort at Pemaquid
  Page 287, much as may be, ==> much as may be.
  Page 291, she tell us ==> she tells us
  Page 307, the neigbourhood. ==> the neighbourhood.

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